The News Matrix: Tuesday 28 May 2013


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The Independent Online

Death sentence for baby-killer

A man who strangled a baby boy after realising the infant was in the back seat of a car he had just stolen has been sentenced to death in a north-eastern Chinese court. Zhou Xijun stole an SUV outside a supermarket before finding the baby asleep in the back seat.

Woman ‘dragged into tiger pen’

A woman who died after she was mauled by a Sumatran tiger in a zoo in Cumbria could have been dragged by the animal into a pen, police have said. Sarah McClay, 24, was attacked on Friday at South Lakes Wild Animal Park. Police said the tiger escaped from its pen. MORE

Payday lenders ‘give money to minors’

Payday lenders are giving money to people aged under 18, according to a debt-advice charity. Citizens Advice said it had seen cases in recent months including payday lending to people who had mental-health issues or were drunk when they took out the loan.

Rebels kill at least 25 people in attacks

A Red Cross worker says rebel attacks on villages in the Central African Republic have killed at least 25 people. Namssene Paulin, a Red Cross worker in the region near Bossangoa, said the rebels arrived in the village of Poulissi on Friday in three vehicles and began killing residents.

Jolie’s aunt dies of breast cancer

Angelina Jolie’s aunt has died of breast cancer – just two weeks after the actress announced that she had undergone a double mastectomy to significantly reduce her chances of developing the disease. MORE

Jobs market ‘will not heal any time soon’

The jobs market will not fully heal until early in the next decade, a think-tank has claimed. The Resolution Foundation said that while the number of people classed as unemployed was below its 2011 peak, there was a “jobs gap” of 930,000 – that is the number of new jobs needed to restore the employment rate to the 60.3 per cent recorded in 2008 before the recession.

Packaging chemical may be harmful

Evidence has emerged that a chemical used widely in plastic packaging and the lining of drinks cans may be harmful to health. The latest study by Columbia University in New York showed that bisphenol A (BPA) consumed through diet affected the sex-specific behaviour of rats.

Former HMRC head gets Deloitte role

The former head of HM Revenue and Customs, Dave Hartnett, who was heavily criticised for agreeing “sweetheart” tax deals with firms including Goldman Sachs, has been appointed to work for accountants Deloitte, which has acted as auditors for companies facing tax avoidance allegations.

Army ‘dog tag’  sent home after 69 years

A forgotten US Army “dog tag” that spent 69 years in a farmer’s field in France is back in the hands of the New York veteran who lost it. Irving Mann received an email from a French woman saying she had found the tag in her barley field. The 88-year-old’s doubts disappeared when Sophie LaFollie sent it by post.

11 held as four million fake stamps seized

Turkish police have seized four million fake British postage stamps and detained 11 people in Istanbul. The suspects, accused of printing the stamps and shipping them to Britain, were caught in 10 simultaneous raids. The denomination of the stamps is not currently clear. Turkey has one of the world’s largest markets for fake goods.

Blackburn unveils flat-pack homes

Britain’s first flat pack, Ikea-style “instant” homes are to be assembled in Blackburn. Four steel-framed homes will be built in two pieces – a ground floor and an upper floor – and slotted together on-site. Councillor Jim Shorrock said: “If it eases waiting lists, I am all for it.”

Basking sharks  shun British waters

Cool sea temperatures are keeping basking sharks away from UK waters, experts have claimed. The Marine Conservation Society said it had received hardly any reports of sightings this year. The sharks’ favourite food, plankton, fails to bloom in colder waters. The basking shark is the second largest fish in the world.

Unfurling the biggest flag

A Romanian village has unfurled what they say is the largest flag ever made. It took about 200 people several hours to roll out the flag, which organisers say measured 330 metres (1,090 feet) by 220 metres (725 feet). The five-ton flag was displayed in Clinceni, 22 miles south-east of Bucharest. The flag took weeks to sew and required 44 miles of thread.