The News Matrix: Wednesday 17 September 2014


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Academies ‘pay for sponsored services’

Academy schools are paying significant amounts of public money on “services” provided by their sponsors or individual trust board members, but regulating potential conflicts of interest is too weak, a new report commissioned by the Education Select Committee has found. “Questionable practices” are being signed off within the existing rules, it found.

Copycat passport website banned

Three websites masquerading as official channels for health insurance cards, birth certificates and passports have been banned by the advertising watchdog., and were deemed misleading “copycat” sites.

Asian man a suspect in killing of Britons

The families of two British tourists murdered at a Thai beach resort have paid tribute to their loved ones as police tried to identify an Asian man now considered a prime suspect. The bodies of Hannah Witheridge, 23, and David Miller, 24, were flown to Bangkok for forensic tests.

Poor women ‘need help’ in pregnancy

More needs to be done to help women from a lower socio-economic group through pregnancy, experts have said. Researchers from Oxford University found that deprived women were 60 per cent less likely to have received any antenatal care than their better-off sisters.

‘Never too late’ to cut Alzheimer’s risk

Health officials should run an “it’s never too late” campaign over lifestyle changes that could help stave off dementia, a report suggests. Factors such as low education, smoking and diabetes can increase risk, according to Alzheimer’s Disease International.

Brakes off Uber after court decision

A court has lifted an emergency injunction that banned the ridesharing service Uber from operating anywhere in the country. The Frankfurt state court ruled that the urgent measures taxi drivers won against their upstart rival last month were not warranted.

Prisoner granted  the right to die

A man convicted of murder and rape has been granted the right to die after doctors agreed his psychiatric condition was incurable. Frank van den Bleeken claimed he was “suffering unbearably”.

Cardinal robbed at gunpoint in Rio

The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Rio de Janeiro escaped unhurt in a robbery.  Cardinal Orani Joao Tempesta was being driven to a radio station when he was stopped by three gunmen. A photographer, a seminarian and the driver were with him, but no one was hurt.

The undertaker who is over the moon

An undertaker with the surname Dyer has declared himself “over  the moon” after being honoured  as the country’s Embalmer of the Year. Bob Dyer, 65, of Studley in Warwickshire, carried off the unusual title at the Good Funeral Awards 2014 in Birmingham.

Yusuf back among the pigeons

Singer-songwriter Yusuf Islam – formerly known as Cat Stevens – has announced a new album and a tour that will take him to Britain, Canada and, for the first time since 1976, the US. Yusuf’s first new studio album in five years, Tell ‘Em I’m Gone, will be released on 27 October.

Guildhall School  offers beatboxing

London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama, one of Europe’s most prestigious arts institutions, will announce today that it  is offering undergraduates the chance to study beatboxing – a form of vocal percussion – for the first time.