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The News Matrix: Wednesday 22 January 2014

Staffing crisis could lead to ‘meltdown’

Jails are facing “meltdown” caused by a staffing crisis which could spark riots, the Prison Officers Association has said. Staff and inmates are at risk, assistant general secretary Glyn Travis said. The Ministry of Justice dismissed this claim as scaremongering. Mr Travis believes the cuts could end up costing the taxpayer more if serious disorder broke out.

Protests may be out of hand, Russia says

Russia admitted clashes between police and protesters could be spinning out of control in Kiev after months of violence on the streets. Anti-government protesters have demonstrated in their thousands  since the scuppering of a deal between Ukraine and the EU. MORE

Campaigners have convictions quashed

Twenty-nine campaigners have had convictions for ambushing a train in 2008 quashed because authorities failed to disclose an undercover policeman had driven them to the protest. Judges ruled there had been a failure to pass over information that would have allowed a fair trial. MORE

Rival sides meeting for first time today

After months of disagreements about who is invited, the Geneva II conference on the future of Syria is scheduled to begin today. Diplomats have stressed a political solution is the only way of ending the conflict with opposition and government officials meeting for the first time. MORE

Even the LA smog  is made in China

Like many things in Los Angeles, the city’s smog was made in China. Research shows pollution is largely a by-product of China’s booming manufacturing. But much of the damage has been caused by US companies outsourcing to China, where production is cheaper, and dirtier. MORE

Tory MP’s Nazi stag party idea ‘stupid’

Tory MP Aidan Burley was “stupid and offensive” to organise a Nazi-themed stag party, not anti-Semitic, said an internal party inquiry. Groom Mark Fournier was fined £1,200 by a French court for wearing SS uniform.

Plan to transform richest road in Paris

The front-running candidate in the race for Paris Mayor has announced plans to transform the richest avenue into a park, shopping mall and council estate if she wins the election in March. The Socialist candidate and Deputy Mayor, Anne Hidalgo, supports the proposal to redevelop Avenue Foch. MORE

Calls to ban leader of far-right party

Theresa May is under pressure to ban the leader of an extreme Hungarian nationalist party from entering Britain to host a rally in London this weekend. Gabor Vona is due to address “sympathisers” of Jobbik to drum up support among expatriate Hungarians ahead of the European elections. MORE

Donald Trump may run for President

Outspoken real estate billionaire Donald Trump says he may seek the Republican presidential nomination for 2016, claiming he wants to undo Barack Obama’s legacy. Trump had toyed with the idea of running in 2012 but pulled out months before the primary, saying he was not ready to leave the private sector.

New machine set to put end to migraines

A device that sends magnetic pulses through the skull to combat severe headaches has received qualified approval from The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence for the treatment and prevention of migraine. The body said it can now be used by NHS patients under the care of specialist clinicians.

Airline pulls ‘racist’ ad from television

Japan’s largest carrier All Nippon Airways said it was pulling a TV advert featuring a Japanese actor in a large false nose and blonde wig after it was criticised for having racist overtones. The ad, in English with Japanese subtitles, promotes ANA’s international flight schedule from Tokyo’s Haneda Airport.

‘Password’ no longer tops password list

The number sequence “123456” has been named the worst password of 2013, according to new research compiled from files containing millions of stolen passwords posted online last year. The word “password”, which previously held the top spot, slipped to number two on the list, according to SplashData.

Scandal mayor in ‘slurring’ video

A new video of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has emerged that shows him swearing in what appears to be a Jamaican accent and slurring his words. In the video posted on YouTube yesterday, he is shown in a fast food restaurant rambling and talking about police surveillance. Mr Ford said in November that he had stopped drinking.

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