The News Matrix: Tuesday 24 March 2015


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The Independent Online

Parents reveal son  is clear of cancer

The parents of five-year-old brain cancer patient Ashya King have said their son is clear of the disease. Brett and Naghemeh King, who removed their son from a British hospital and fled to Europe, said he was now cancer-free after undergoing proton therapy in Prague.

People’s Party officials to face trial

Two former treasurers of Spain’s ruling conservative People’s Party are among six people who should face trial over allegations that the party ran a slush fund, the country’s high court said yesterday. A long-running investigation found Luis Barcenas, Alvaro Lapuerta and four other suspects should be tried for tax evasion.

Schoolgirls’ families retrace their steps

The families of three London schoolgirls believed to be in Syria have travelled to Turkey and retraced the trio’s steps. Shamima Begum, 15, Kadiza Sultana, 16, and Amira Abase, 15, left east London and went to Turkey last month before crossing into an Isis-controlled area of Syria.

Thousands mourn New York fire victims

Seven Jewish siblings who died in a devastating New York house fire were laid to rest in Jerusalem yesterday at an emotional ceremony attended by several thousand mourners. Friends and relatives of the Sassoon family attended the service, as well as supporters who learnt of the tragedy from the news.

MPs call for inquiry into benefits cuts

The Government has been urged to launch an independent inquiry into benefit sanctions by MPs on the Work and Pensions Select Committee following complaints that funds are being withheld from people with little or no other income. The move comes after the death of a claimant.

Defence warning as Putin threat grows

Britain urgently needs to rebuild defence capabilities abandoned after the Cold War in the face of the growing threat from Russia, MPs are warning. The Commons Defence Committee said more aircraft, warships, tanks and missiles were needed to deter further aggression by President Vladimir Putin.

Tory candidate quits over march ‘plot’

The suspended Conservative candidate Afzal Amin resigned as prospective parliamentary candidate for Dudley North yesterday following an alleged plot to stage-manage a far-right march in his constituency. Mr Amin, 40, resigned after insisting he would defend his actions before a disciplinary committee today.

Woman free after 22 years on death row

A judge dismissed the murder case yesterday against an Arizona woman, Debra Milke, who spent more than 20 years on death row for conspiring in the 1989 killing of her four-year-old son. The case was controversial partly because it relied almost entirely on the work of a detective with a long history of misconduct.

Family affair carries off Folio Prize

A family saga that crosses continents from New Delhi to New York has won a leading literary prize. Akhil Sharma, who was born in India but emigrated to the United States, picked up the £40,000 Folio Prize for his book Family Life, beating the Irish novelist Colm Toibin and the Scottish writer Ali Smith in the process.

Tale of another charming man...

The Smiths’ guitarist Johnny Marr is following his former songwriting partner, Morrissey, and publishing his memoirs. Marr, whose songwriting talents were central to the band’s success, will have his book published next year. He said: “I’m very happy to say that the time has come to tell my story.”

Enjoy a selfie with Mad Men’s Don

Mad Men fans can now take a selfie with Don Draper, thanks to a bench featuring the fictional adman’s silhouette. Jon Hamm, the actor who plays Draper, unveiled the bench in Manhattan yesterday. It is one of a number of attractions around New York that coincide with the start of the show’s  final season.

Eric Cantona is off to Manchester again

Former Manchester United player Eric Cantona will return to the city to star in a comedy film about a widower who sets up a synchronised swimming team. The Mermaid Man will be the 30th film starring or directed by Cantona and centres on unemployed men who alleviate their problems in the Eighties.

Burglar found  hiding under bed

An American woman who reached under her bed in search of her two cats instead found herself grappling with a burglar who had broken into her Palm Springs, Florida, home. Christian Vatovec, 25, fled the scene and jumped a fence as soon as the woman, who has not been named, found his hiding place. He was later arrested.