The News Matrix: Wednesday 05 March 2014


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PM’s adviser faced harassment claim

An adviser to David Cameron arrested over allegations of child abuse images had also been accused of harassing a Downing Street colleague. Patrick Rock, who had been involved in drawing up proposals for internet porn filters, resigned hours before being detained by police on 13 February. The Prime Minister spoke yesterday of his “profound shock” at the allegations. MORE

Pistorius in tears at grisly killing details

Oscar Pistorius buried his head in his hands and wiped away tears as he listened to grisly details of the killing on Valentine’s Day last year of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. It was the first sign of emotion from the track star since the murder trial began on Monday. MORE

Childcare costs higher than housing

Families are paying more for part-time childcare than they spend on their mortgage. A study by the Family and Childcare Trust reveals parents are spending more than £7,500 a year on childcare for two children, around 4.7 per cent more than the average mortgage bill. MORE

A third of chemical arms sent abroad

Syria has shipped out about a third of its chemical weapons for destruction abroad, the global chemical arms watchdog said. Damascus missed deadlines in December and February and diplomats worry  it will also miss a final, politically significant deadline of mid-2014.

Migrant reform is a ‘British issue’

A European Commissioner has dismissed calls for free movement reform across the EU as a “very British” issue. Cecilia Malmstrom, EU commissioner for Home Affairs, said there was little widespread support for renegotiation of any European treaties.

30,000-year-old virus is revived

Researchers have revived a giant virus more than 30,000 years old, recovered from the permafrost of north-east Siberia. The virus poses no threat to people, but scientists have raised concern that global warming may revive other more dangerous viruses. MORE

Deep freeze hits swathes of America

The eastern and central US have  been hit by record low temperatures.  A storm caused frigid conditions after pushing freezing rain, sleet and snow from the Mississippi Valley to the Atlantic and Gulf coasts.

Revealed: world’s most expensive city

Singapore now tops Tokyo and Osaka as the world’s most expensive city, according to a survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit. The survey, which compared cost of living in 131 cities, found Singapore was the most expensive place to run a car and to buy clothes. MORE

British snowboarder dies in the Alpes

A snowboarder has died while training for the British Snowboarding Championships in France. Michael Handley, from Blackburn, was taken to hospital after suffering a major head injury during practice in Les Deux Alpes but was pronounced dead two days later.

Rights groups call for UN investigation

Human rights groups have asked the United Nations to investigate alleged war crimes and other rights violations during the country’s civil war. Twenty-four local rights groups signed a memorandum to the UN Human Rights Council.

Clegg warms up for Farage showdown

Nick Clegg is stepping up his attack on the Ukip leader Nigel Farage ahead of their televised showdown. The Liberal Democrat leader is set to accuse Mr Farage of pocketing his MEP’s salary but not bothering to vote.

Teacher suspended ‘for mouth taping’

A teacher was suspended yesterday following claims tape was put over the mouths of pupils. The incident is alleged to have taken place at Danesfield School in Williton, Somerset. Parents say the teacher applied the tape as pupils were being too noisy. An investigation is taking place.

Dove scraps ‘armpit’ poster campaign

Dove is scrapping its plans to run a billboard in New Jersey that tells residents to embrace being called “The Armpit of America”. Unilever, the toiletry brand’s parent company, ditched the idea because it received complaints after The New York Times ran a story about it last week.

Mayor Ford on TV to deny drink problem

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has appeared on US talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live, batting off suggestions that he had a drink problem. Kimmel introduced him by saying: “Our first guest has tripped, bumped, danced, argued and smoked his way into our national consciousness.”

Fry to narrate gay wedding musical

Stephen Fry is to narrate one of the UK’s first same-sex weddings, which will be shown on Channel 4. Our Gay Wedding: The Musical was composed by Benjamin Till and his partner Nathan Taylor as a musical. All of the  vows and readings during the ceremony will be sung.

UN agency ‘regrets’ legislation on pot

The United Nations’ drug watchdog says the legalisation of marijuana in the Colorado and Washington poses a threat to the international fight against drug abuse. The International Narcotics Control Board said it “deeply regrets” moves by the states to lift restrictions on its sale and use.

Puppy survives trip inside car’s engine

A three-month-old puppy survived a 12-mile journey trapped inside the engine of a car. Betty Boop, the Jack Russell, climbed under the bonnet of a neighbour’s Audi in Manchester before becoming stuck. The pup’s owner, Gary James, had to dismantle the engine to rescue the puppy.

Redditch ‘musically unsophisticated’

The birthplace of One Direction star Harry Styles has been found to be the least musically sophisticated part of Britain. Redditch, in Worcestershire, topped the list of the least musical parts of the UK. Hastings, in East Sussex, was judged as being the most musically sophisticated.

Physicist Hawking meets ‘Bananaman’

Stephen Hawking showed his fun side when he encountered nine men dressed as Bananaman on a stag do. The physicist posed with the revellers in Cambridge for a photo. Chris Hallam, 29, said he was left stunned after bumping into Dr Hawking when his group got lost.