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The News Matrix: Tuesday 24 September 2013


80 prisoners freed ahead of UN meeting

Iranian officials said yesterday they had freed 80 prisoners held in political crackdowns hours after President Hasan Rouhani left for New York to attend the annual UN General Assembly. The freeing of the prisoners reinforces the impression Rouhani has support from the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to explore a broad rapprochement with the West.

17,000 drug searches a year on under-15s

Almost 17,000 drug searches a year have been carried out by police on children under the age of 15 in London, new data reveals today. Officers carried out nearly 280,000 stop-and-searches for drugs in London in 2010, half of which were on people aged 21 and under.

Billionaire aims to rival Hollywood

China’s richest man, Wang Jianlin, plans to spend 50 billion yuan (£5.1bn) to build the country’s version of Hollywood in the northeastern city of Qingdao. The Qingdao Oriental Movie Metropolis’s 20 studios will include a 10,000 square metre stage. MORE

British aid to fight deadly diseases

The UK has pledged to save “a life every three minutes” by spending £1bn over the next three years to fight some of the world’s most devastating preventable diseases. The money doubles the Government’s commitment to the Global Fund to Fight Aids, TB and Malaria. MORE

Civil rights champion to close due to cuts

The civil rights barristers’ chambers whose leading barrister was in court yesterday representing the family of Mark Duggan, and which led inquiries into the death of Stephen Lawrence, is closing due to Government cuts to legal aid. Tooks Chambers said its dissolution was a “direct result of government policies”. MORE

Merkel now seeks coalition partner

Chancellor Angela Merkel was faced with finding a willing coalition partner for her triumphant party yesterday after winning a third term in Sunday’s general election. The Christian Democrats fell short of gaining an absolute majority. MORE

Demolition begins of Philpott fire house

The demolition has begun of the semi-detached house in Victory Road, Derby, that Michael Philpott poured petrol in and set fire to, killing his six children. Their grandmother, Vera Duffy, said the youngsters will be able to rest in peace now that their former home is being demolished.

Court bans Muslim Brotherhood

A court has ordered the Muslim Brotherhood to be banned and its assets seized in an escalation of a crackdown by the government against supporters of the ousted Islamist President, Mohamed Morsi. The ruling opens the door for a wider crackdown on the Brotherhood. MORE

Lack of flexible jobs affecting mothers

A fifth of women have not been able to get a job after taking a career break to have a child, a new study has shown. It also revealed a similar number had taken a lower level position when they returned to work. The poll by website Workingmums indicated a lack of flexible jobs.