The News Matrix: Tuesday 3 March 2015


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The Independent Online

North-South divide for drugs services

There is a North-South divide in services for recovering drug users, with more than 16,000 addicts in the North-east competing for 28 available beds, according to new research. In the South-east, there are 84 addicts per available bed, compared with 604 in the North-east.

‘Wilful neglect’ law for health workers

New legislation will see social workers and teachers face prosecution and imprisonment for failing to report evidence that children are being sexually abused, David Cameron will announce today. A new criminal offence of wilful neglect of patients by health workers would be extended to cover public sector staff.

Robbers seize a golden opportunity

Armed robbers have stolen $4m in gold from a truck travelling from Florida to Massachusetts. Two security guards pulled off to the side of the interstate highway on Sunday after their vehicle began having mechanical problems and were then approached by three armed men who robbed the van.

Footballer accused of sex with girl, 15

The England footballer Adam Johnson has been released on bail after he was arrested on suspicion of sexual activity with a girl under 16. The Sunderland winger was questioned by police last night following the allegation involving a girl who is believed to be 15 years old. He has been suspended by the club.

Revolutionary Guard monitors Facebook

Iran’s official IRNA news agency says the powerful Revolutionary Guard has monitored activities on Facebook accounts of eight million Iranian members of the social network.  It accuses Facebook of trying to attract users to “immoral pages” with “obscene content” through its suggestion system.

Longest serving woman to retire

The longest serving woman in the history of the US Congress is to retire. Senator Barbara Mikulski, 78, a Maryland Democrat, said she won’t seek re-election for a sixth term. She became the longest-serving woman in history in 2012 and was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1976.

Morgan says science practicals ‘crucial’

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan has raised fresh concerns about plans to scrap direct assessment of practical work from GCSE science, saying the chance to perform experiments is a “crucial part” of the subject and removing assessment of these skills “risks undermining the teaching of practicals in schools”.

The how-long-will-it-last guarantee

Manufacturers are being ordered to inform consumers how long they can expect their TV, cell phone or other appliances to last – before they buy it. A new government decree requires manufacturers to inform vendors how long spare parts for an appliance will continue to be produced.

Yeates killer guilty of child sex pictures

The man convicted of the murder of Bristol landscape architect Joanna Yeates in 2010 has pleaded guilty to possessing indecent images of children. Vincent Tabak, 37, is already serving a life sentence, with a minimum term of 20 years. He was sentenced at Bristol Crown Court to 10 months, to run immediately.

Town living in fear of ‘terror owl’ attacks

An owl is terrorising the residents of Pumerend, near Amsterdam, injuring more than 20 people in a spate of attacks. The council is now hoping to capture the two-foot-tall animal, dubbed “terror owl” by local media, whose attacks one victim compared to “having a brick laced with nails thrown at your head”.

Uber app founders make billionaire list

The co-founders of the controversial taxi app Uber have joined the Forbes billionaire list. Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp, who created the smartphone-based service, each have a net worth of $5.3bn (£3.45bn). The company is now valued at $41.2bn but its use of unlicensed drivers has been criticised.

Hugh is not a huge  fan of the hologram

The X-Men star Hugh Jackman discussed his latest film in the world’s first holographic press conference over the weekend. But Jackman, whose face was beamed to an audience in Madrid from Berlin to promote the sci-fi film Chappie, said: “As cool as holograms are, I really don’t want to stop travelling.”

British men like lobsters and sharks

Lobsters hold a unique appeal for British men, new research has found. A YouGov poll of 190,000 adults found that the marine crustaceans were unusually popular among men when their preferences were compared with those of women. Other animals that men showed a preference for included alligators and sharks.