The News Matrix: Tuesday 25 November 2014


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The Independent Online

132 Birmingham children ‘vulnerable’

At least 132 children in Birmingham have been victims of sexual exploitation or are “vulnerable” to it, a report has found. The city’s council carried out an investigation amid fears grooming rings could be operating in the area. It found teenage girls in care are most at risk of sexual exploitation, while some girls said they were raped as part of gang initiation ceremonies.

Hagel leaves Obama with a problem

Barack Obama announced the departure of his defence secretary Chuck Hagel yesterday, raising questions of a new direction of foreign policy. Hagel was the only Republican in the cabinet, which could leave the President with a fight on his hands over his successor.

Lawrence suspect prosecution dropped

A sixth man held over the murder of black teenager Stephen Lawrence, in South-east London in 1993, will not be prosecuted due to insufficient evidence, the Crown Prosecution Service has confirmed. The suspect, who has not been named, was arrested 11 months ago.

Boko Haram gunmen attack border town

Suspected Boko Haram militants attacked a Nigerian border town in the north-east on Monday, killing an unknown number of people, witnesses and government sources said. Hours after the raid started on Damasak, gunmen still roamed the area. Locals fled to neighbouring Niger.

Ramsay’s wife tells of extreme distress

Tana Ramsay has told of her “extremely distressing” discovery that her father and brother were “systematically defrauding” her chef husband, Gordon. Mr Ramsay is accusing her father, Christopher Hutcheson, of using a ghostwriter machine to “forge” his signature.

Museum accepts Nazi-looted art  

Bern Museum accepted one of the largest caches of suspected Nazi-looted art ever discovered yesterday. The museum has said it will return any pieces of art from the collection, which belonged to collector Cornelius Gurlitt, to their rightful owners.

Teenage girl from London ‘fighting Isis’

A Kurdish teenager from London is feared to have travelled to Syria to fight against Isis extremists. Silhan Ozcelik has not been seen since 27 October when police say she travelled on Eurostar to Europe.

Policeman: ‘Mitchell  was unpleasant’

A police officer who accompanied former Government Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell on two foreign trips has told the High Court that the MP was “unpleasant until he got what he wanted”. Inspector Duncan Johnston said: “I felt as though my professional opinion was worthless.”

750-year-old oak tree damaged in fire

A suspected arson fire in Poland has damaged a 750-year-old oak tree, believed to be the country’s oldest. Firefighters battled the blaze for more than 30 hours last week after foresters in Szprotawa first noticed the fire on Tuesday morning. “I was sure that the ‘grandpa’ would survive me,” one said.

Boat lost in tsunami returned to owner

A Japanese man says he’s grateful for the return of his boat three years after it disappeared in the 2011 tsunami. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports a Hawaiian student found the small boat on Johnston Atoll in the Pacific Ocean and Tomomune Matsunaga got it back on 10 November, his birthday.

Paddington creator tell’s of bear’s birth

Paddington Bear author Michael Bond has revealed he was swamped with rejection slips before he found success with his creation. The writer, 88, found inspiration when he was working as a television cameraman and came across a small, solitary bear in the toy department of Selfridges on Christmas Eve.

Take an unapproved selfie and go to jail

South Korean officials announced that a crackdown on sales of unapproved selfie sticks could lead to prison sentence for sellers. The science ministry said the Bluetooth-enabled devices are classified as communications equipment and must be certified to ensure they comply with regulations.

Mafia boss’s son shunned by church

The Archbisop of Palermo has refused to allow the confirmation of the 17-year-old son of a jailed Mafia boss Guiseppe Graviano to take place in the city’s cathedral. The cathedral houses the remains of a priest murdered by Graviano in 1993, a crime for which the Archbishop said Graviano had shown no remorse.