The News Matrix: Tuesday 25 March 2014


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The Independent Online

English to be taught as a foreign language

A Leeds school will become the first in the UK to teach English as a foreign language to all its pupils regardless of their ethnic background. Less than a quarter of students at City of Leeds School speak English as their first language. Head teacher Georgiana Sale said all students will spend an additional 50 minutes each week in a class to boost their English skills. MORE

108 people missing after mudslide

There are 108 names on the list of people who have been reported missing or unaccounted for after the mudslide in Washington state at the weekend, authorities said yesterday. At least eight people were killed in the mudslide that hit about 55 miles north-east of Seattle.

Travellers win right to challenge Ofcom

The Traveller Movement, a charity supporting gypsies and travellers, has won permission to seek a judicial review against Ofcom. It says the watchdog conducted a biased inquiry into accusations that Channel 4’s Big Fat Gypsy Wedding series perpetuated racist stereotypes.

Airmen attend ‘Great Escape’ ceremony

British airmen have attended a ceremony marking 70 years since the Great Escape of Allied officers from the Nazi prisoner camp near Zagan, in Poland, which was celebrated in the 1963 film The Great Escape. Two British former prisoners, now in their 90s, attended the ceremony.

Victim Shereka ‘not involved with gangs’

Shereka Fab-Ann Marsh, 15, who died after being shot in the neck in Hackney, east London, on Saturday was not involved with gangs or violence, say her family. A 15-year-old boy was remanded in custody when he appeared at Stratford Youth Court yesterday charged with her murder.

Singer Weller seeks £45,000 in damages

The singer Paul Weller wants at least £45,000 privacy damages to compensate three of his children whose faces were “plastered” over a website. He is suing Associated Newspapers for misuse of private information.

528 Morsi supporters sentenced to death

A court has sentenced 528 people, said to be supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohamed Morsi, to death in a mass trial that raised an outcry from rights activists. The defendants were found guilty of being involved in an attack on a police station that killed a senior police officer.  MORE

Doctor hits out at FGM prosecution

A leading gynaecologist has criticised the decision to bring the first prosecution against a doctor for female genital mutilation (FGM) in Britain. Dr Katrina Erskine said the case gave a “misleading” impression of FGM and risked deterring other doctors from giving appropriate care to affected women. MORE

Ireland needs ewes for world contest

With just weeks to go before this year’s Golden Shears World Championships, Ireland is more than 1,000 sheep short. Organisers need ewes, aged 12 to 14 months, to ensure all competitors can use similarly shaped sheep. Entrants from 38 countries will try to beat defending champion Gavin Mutch of Scotland.

Yorkshire Pudding  is county’s finest

The Yorkshire Pudding is the county’s greatest icon, according to a poll to mark the 75th anniversary of Dalesman magazine. York Minster came in second, with the Yorkshire Dales third. The highest humans were the Bronte sisters in fourth with playwright Alan Bennett the top living person in seventh.

Anger over launch of discount PoundPub

A discount pub is to sell pints for only £1.50, vexing alcohol awareness campaigners. The PoundPub will open on the site of an existing pub in Stockton-on-Tees, County Durham. Campaigners claim that drink is already too cheap, but PoundPub’s owners insisted: “We are a responsible retailer.”

Camera taken to the Moon is snapped up

The only camera that made it to the Moon and back has been auctioned for nearly $760,000 (£460,000). The Hasselblad 500 sold over the weekend was described by Vienna auctioneers Galerie WestLicht as part of the equipment carried by the 1971 Apollo 15 mission. The new owner is believed to be Japanese.

The fox in the chicken coop

Shocked pupils found a fox nestling among the eggs in a chicken coop at Flying Bull Primary School in Portsmouth. Jane France, the school’s  office manager, said: “The chickens were pecking away  as normal outside but the  children came out saying we  can’t get the eggs because  there’s a fox in there.”