The News Matrix: Wednesday 10 September 2014


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The Independent Online

Sleeping pills may raise dementia risk

A popular sedative has been linked with an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Benzodiazepines, which are  widely prescribed to treat  anxiety and insomnia, have been associated with a heightened risk of developing the condition, particularly for long-term users, a new study suggests.

Over-65s ‘can die of  a broken heart’

The immune defence system in the over-65s is weakened in the period of grief when someone loses a person very close to them, causing them to die soon afterwards, researchers have found. The phenomenon was only identified in people older than 65.

MH17 was ‘struck by high-energy objects’

Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was probably struck by “high-energy objects from outside the aircraft”, a preliminary report into the disaster concluded. The report by the Dutch Safety Board stopped short of saying the jet was shot down by a missile.

UK’s student literacy rate not improving

Despite now having one of the highest rates of university participation in the world, Britain has not had a rise in literacy and numeracy skills, a new study has found. Many students fail to improve their key skills at all during their degrees.

UN to hold crisis meeting on Ebola

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is to hold a high-level event during the General Assembly’s annual ministerial meeting  later this month to spur international efforts to respond to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The death toll has topped 4,200.

Donors to discuss Gaza reconstruction

Cairo will host a donors’ conference on the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip on 12 October, the Egyptian foreign minister said yesterday. The announcement came after Norway’s Foreign Minister held talks with President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. Egypt and Norway will chair the meeting.

Two detained researchers freed

Britons Ghimire Gundev and Krishna Upadhyaya, detained in Qatar while researching migrant worker issues in the Gulf state, have been released, the rights group that employs them said.

Army and warplanes attack Boko Haram

Troops backed by warplanes yesterday battled Islamist Boko Haram militants in a second day of heavy fighting around the north-east town of Michika, in which the officer son of former President Olusegun Obasanjo was wounded, a government official has told Reuters.

Broadway lights are dimmed for Rivers

Theatre owners on Broadway last night decided to dim the lights on their 40 marquees in honour of the late Joan Rivers, having originally decided against it. The group, which represents theatre owners and producers, said on Monday that Rivers did not meet the criteria for the honour, but caved in after an industry backlash.

We do like to swear beside the seaside

The North Yorkshire seaside resort Redcar has been revealed as the UK town where residents are most likely to swear on Twitter. Scientists at the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis monitored tweets sent from a smartphone using geo-location for the week beginning 28 August. It found the town accounted for the most profanities.

First couple wed in the Rovers Return

A Coronation Street-mad couple have become the first people to get married inside the Rovers Return pub at the old Granada Studios in Manchester. Andy Daniel and Paul Johnston wed behind the bar of the famous soap pub. The set, where Corrie was filmed for 53 years, is now home to the soap’s official visitor attraction, and bosses successfully won a wedding licence in June.

Body hunt after dog brings home a skull

A Labrador retriever named Carly surprised her owners by bringing a weathered human skull to the front yard of their home in Austin, Texas, police said yesterday. Officers were notified and  then went in search of more bones, using their own dogs specially trained in finding cadavers, in the area where Carly discovered the skull on Monday, police said.

New U2 album free on iTunes

U2 is putting out a new album and giving it away to iTunes users. The band played at the launch of the new iPhone yesterday and CEO Tim Cook made the announcement. The album will be released to everyone else in October.