The News Matrix: Tuesday 7 April 2015


Scientists herald green fuel discovery

Scientists working on clean fuel have shown it is possible to convert 100 per cent of the sugar stored in the stalks, cobs and husks left over in a harvested maize field into hydrogen gas. The study – funded by Shell Oil – found there was no increase in CO2 emissions from the process.

Forensic teams dig up mass grave sites

Iraqi forensic teams yesterday began excavating 12 suspected mass grave sites thought to hold the corpses of as many as 1,700 soldiers massacred last summer by Isis militants. The mass killings of Shia soldiers from Camp Speicher, a former US base outside the Sunni city of Tikrit, have become a symbol of Isis’s brutality.

Vigorous, not gentle, exercise extends life

Those seeking to avoid an early death are advised to adopt high intensity training rather than longer, less exhausting periods of exercise. A study of 200,000 people found vigorous exercise better prevented ill health than gentler exercise, lowering the risk of premature death by between 9 and 13 per cent.

Watchtowers built on Russian border

Poland will build six watchtowers along its border with Kaliningrad, a Polish news agency has reported, after Moscow announced its intention to place state-of-the-art Iskander missiles in the Russian exclave. Six towers will reportedly be built along the 200km border between Poland and Kaliningrad.

Drug drivers believe they are calmer

Government research has found that drug drivers do not believe taking substances including cocaine and MDMA seriously impairs their reactions at the wheel, with some thinking it calms them down, making them less likely to cause an accident. Drug drivers are thought to cause up to 200 deaths each year.

Far-right ‘behind threat to behead MP’

A far-right group in Germany is suspected to be behind a threat to behead an MP over long-running plans to open a home for asylum-seekers in the town of Tröglitz, in the east of the country. The threats are the latest in the battle over the facility, after the building was burnt down over the weekend.

500 razor blades dumped in Thames

Thames river users have been urged to take care after more than 500 razor blades were found dumped in the water. The discovery, made by a member of the public on the foreshore in the Isleworth area of west London, came as a group of schoolchildren were taking part in a wildlife project nearby.

Photographs show  human cost of war

The project Humans of Syria is hoping to bring to life the many images of death and destruction that come out of the devastated country on a daily basis. With Syrian photographers contributing, it is dedicated to sharing human stories to go along with the photos it shares of daily life under siege.

Easter treat as temperatures hit 21C

Britons ended their Easter break on a high as temperatures rose to a balmy 21C, well above the average for this time of year. The good weather looks to continue for the rest of the week as high pressure ensures conditions in most areas remain settled. South Wales will enjoy the best of the warmer weather.

Woman files for divorce on Facebook

A judge has given a New York City woman permission to file for divorce from her elusive husband via a Facebook message. Victor Sena Blood-Dzraku will be served with the divorce summons via a private Facebook message. It will be repeated until “acknowledged” by Ellanora Baidoo’s hard-to-find husband.

100-year-old sets swimming record

A 100-year-old Japanese woman has set her own record to become the first centenarian to complete a 1,500-metre freestyle swim. Mieko Nagaoka managed the feat in just under an hour and 16 minutes. The achievement follows her book last year, I’m 100 years old and the World’s Best Active Swimmer.

Sea lion drags posing fisherman from boat

A 62-year-old man holding a fish he caught on a boat in a San Diego bay was pulled overboard. Lifeguards said that the man was posing for a photo when a sea lion, trying to get the fish, bit on the man’s arm instead and pulled him to the bottom of 20 feet of water in Mission Bay. He was let go and rose to the surface alive.

Actress praises ‘Thrones’ women

Game of Thrones actress Emilia Clarke has praised the show for creating female characters who “accept our femininity”. The drama has been accused of misogyny because of its depiction of sexual violence. Clarke, who plays royal exile Daenerys Targaryen, said the female characters had become stronger.