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The News Matrix: Tuesday 29 October 2013

Five charged with terrorism offences

Five people have been arrested and charged with terrorism offences and conspiracy to murder. Four men, aged 26, 30, 34 and 39, and a woman aged 27 were arrested last Wednesday in an operation led by Police Scotland and involving the Police Service of Northern Ireland. Police Scotland said the operation focused on the “activities of individuals sympathetic to dissident Republicanism”.

Call for shake-up in complaints system

The Labour MP Ann Clwyd and NHS manager Professor Tricia Hart have called for a “revolution” of the way the health service handles complaints. The recommendations include giving patients the confidence to raise concerns about poor practices in hospitals. MORE

Anger over claims of US phone-tapping

The US ambassador was summoned by the government in Madrid yesterday to explain allegations that America’s National Security Agency tapped 60 million phone calls in Spain in one month. Ministers warned that if proved true, it could break the climate of trust. MORE

Britons are afraid to answer the phone

More than three million Britons are afraid to answer the phone because of the volume of unsolicited marketing calls and text messages, many from payday loans companies. A report by the StepChange Debt Charity aims to highlight the harm caused by cold-callers.

Lord Bath plans cable car at Cheddar

The Marquess of Bath, the owner of Longleat House, is causing controversy in Somerset as his estate makes plans to run a cable car down the middle of Cheddar George in the hope of boosting waning tourist revenues. The National Trust is opposing the scheme. MORE

BBC payoffs ‘an own goal’, says Norton

Chat-show host Graham Norton has criticised the BBC for the giant payoffs given to his former bosses. Norton, who earned £2.61m last year, described the severance pay-offs as an “own goal” for the corporation.

Mother hid baby in boot for 15 months

A 15-month-old girl discovered filthy and naked in the boot of her mother’s car had spent her entire life there, police believe. “The baby was completely hidden away, apparently since birth,” said a prosecutor. The infant was discovered by mechanics in the Dordogne when a woman brought her car in for repair. MORE

Squatters occupy £3m council house

Squatters occupied a property billed as Britain’s most expensive council house hours before it was auctioned to a private buyer for £2.96m. The group targeted the Grade-II listed property in Borough Market, south London, in protest at the sale of public housing at a time when London faces an affordability crisis.

Extramarital dating site ‘not welcome’

Adultery is no laughing matter in Singapore, it seems. Since local media reported that the “discreet extramarital dating” website  Ashley Madison was setting up in the ultra-conservative city-state, 11,000 people have signed a Facebook petition against the move.

Party official was hot for trotters

As the clampdown on officials’ excesses continues, one Communist Party boss has been suspended after running up an unpaid bill of £70,000 at a restaurant specialising in pigs’ trotters. Han Junhong ran up the tab over three years in the central Henan province.

I wanted Granada, not Grenada...

A retired teacher who booked a trip to Granada in Spain as part of a “bucket list” found herself on a flight to the Caribbean island of Grenada after a mix-up by travel company Avios. Lamenda Kingdon was reimbursed and flown to Granada the next day.

Thieves make off with mown grass

Police are seeking witnesses to the theft of mown grass from a field. The grass went missing from the village of Liebenfels some time in the past three weeks, but the farmer noticed it only yesterday because the meadow is a long way from his house. He estimates the stolen crop is worth about £2,500 as animal fodder.

SuBo’s Christmas duet with Elvis

Susan Boyle’s duet with Elvis Presley is being released as a Christmas single to raise money for charity. Royalties from the version of “O Come, All Ye Faithful” will benefit Save The Children. The Britain’s Got Talent winner said singing with the King was “beyond my wildest dreams”.

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