The News Matrix: Wednesday 2 July 2014


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The Independent Online

Harris to be quizzed on fresh abuse claims

The disgraced entertainer Rolf Harris is to face a fresh investigation as more alleged victims have spoken out. Dozens more alleged victims came forward while the 84-year-old’s trial was in progress at Southwark Crown Court, and yesterday the law firm representing victims of Jimmy Savile said it had been contacted by “up to a dozen people” with allegations about Harris. MORE

Met ‘discriminated against black officer’

The Metropolitan Police “directly discriminated” against a black, female officer because of her race and sex, an employment tribunal concluded. It faces a compensation claim from Carol Howard, 35, after a judgment found that she was “singled out and targeted” for almost a year.

Sollecito: I cannot vouch for Amanda

In a hope that the top criminal court will overturn his conviction for the 2007 murder of Meredith Kercher, the ex-boyfriend of Amanda Knox, Raffaele Sollecito, told a news conference yesterday that he was withdrawing the alibis for the American student. MORE

New drivers ‘should face restrictions’

The majority of people would be in favour of having restrictions placed on recently qualified young drivers, a poll has found. Two thirds of the public would support a form of graduated licensing, a survey of 2,101 adults by the RAC Foundation found.

Leaders warn of ‘heavy price’ to pay

Israeli leaders vowed to exact a “very heavy price” from the militant group Hamas yesterday as tens of thousands of mourners attended  the funeral of three teenagers believed to have been abducted  and killed by Palestinian  assailants. MORE

Parliament fails to agree leader deal

The Iraqi parliament closed its inaugural session after two hours because political parties have not yet decided on new leaders to seek a way out of the crisis caused by the fall of Mosul and the takeover of much of northern and western Iraqi last month by Isis. MORE

Sarkozy arrested over corruption

France was in shock yesterday after Nicolas Sarkozy became the first former President to be detained for questioning by anti-corruption police, threatening a widely expected political comeback. MORE

‘Crumbling schools need to be replaced’

Ministers need to replace “crumbling” schools and spend more on design and construction to ease overcrowding for pupils, the Royal Institute of British Architects has said. The organisation also criticised the refurbishment programme established by Michael Gove.

Baby born in street as shoppers watch

A woman has given birth in the street outside Primark in Birmingham city centre. Security staff held up a sheet around the woman to give her privacy as dozens of shoppers gathered to watch events unfold yesterday afternoon. Mother and baby daughter were “OK”.

Pet dog coughs up missing ring...

A woman who lost her diamond wedding ring five years ago found it again when her Rottweiler vomited. It turns out the dog, nicknamed the “food burglar” for eating anything, had the ring belonging to his owner, Lois Matykowski, from Wisconsin, lodged inside him the whole time.

A not-so-sweet homecoming

The football returned early from the World Cup after coming last in their group, to be met by angry fans throwing toffees at them. It has become the custom to thrown popular pumpkin toffees as an insult which is a ruder version of “get lost”.

Pub burglar says sorry after 22 years

A Cheshire pub owner has been sent a £100 cheque and an apology from an “ashamed” burglar 22 years after the crime. Frances Cunningham, of the Swettenham Arms, said she could not remember the break-in, which caused damage to the cigarette machine.

Doctor proposes four-day weeks

People should work only four days a week to reduce stress, allow them to take more exercise and see their families, a leading public health doctor has said. Professor John Ashton said the UK was suffering a “maldistribution of work” whereby some people worked far too hard.

For sale: whole town on offer for £234,000

A town in South Dakota has gone on sale for $400,000 (£234,000). Swett, a 6.16-acre hamlet with just two current permanent residents, has been posted online, complete with “a bar, large 40x80 garage that has been used as a tyre shop, house, and 3 trailer houses”.

Emin’s bed sells for a tidy £2.2m

Tracey Emin’s provocative artwork My Bed has sold at auction for £2.2m. The 1998 piece, which features stained sheets, cigarette packets and discarded condoms, was expected to fetch up to £1.2m as part of Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art sale.

Missing criminal sets record straight

A convicted burglar who absconded from a South Yorkshire prison has told his local newspaper that police made a “mistake” in an appeal for information on his whereabouts. Darrell Burbeary told the paper that his “home roots” were in the Manor estate of Sheffield, not Healey.  MORE

Dispute over church pew turns nasty

Wayne Dodge, 52, has been ordered to complete an anger management course, pay a £320 fine and serve 30 days in jail after he punched and then hit a man with his car in a dispute over people sitting in his regular pew at his Mormon church in Plain City, Utah.