The News Matrix: Wednesday 24 September 2014


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Minimum wage rise can’t beat inflation

As the adult hourly minimum wage rises from £6.31 to £6.50 today, research from the Resolution Foundation shows that 1.2 million workers are being paid the statutory rate in 2014 – twice as many as when the wage was introduced in 1999. Matthew Whitaker, chief economist at the think-tank, said the recession had meant that the minimum wage no longer rose faster than inflation.

Unsolved deaths unit closed down

The Historical Enquiries Team – the specialist police unit that was set up in 2005 to review more than 3,000 unsolved deaths from the Northern Ireland Troubles – will be shut down in 2015 after the Police Service of Northern Ireland was asked to make a £50m budget cut.

New deal lets 10,000 US troops stay on

Afghanistan’s new President, Ashraf Ghani, has signed a long-awaited security pact that will allow 10,000 US troops to remain in the country past the end of year. A second agreement, allowing Nato troops to stay in the country, was also signed during the ceremony.

Smoking mums may make sons infertile

Mothers who smoke during their pregnancy could affect the future fertility of their sons, after research on mice showed that male pups had fewer sperm. Researchers at the University of Belfast say men now in their 30s and 40s are more likely to have mothers who smoked.

Intruder’s tour of White House

Omar Gonzalez, 42, who breached security at the White House this month, raced through several rooms on the main floor, penetrating farther into the building than previously disclosed. Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz has said an alarm had been muted.

Eruption fears halt recovery of bodies

Increased seismic activity has raised concerns of further eruptions at a Japanese volcano where 36 people were killed last week. This has forced rescuers to suspend plans to try to recover at least two dozen bodies near the summit of Mount Ontake.

Minimum alcohol price recommended

Research from Sheffield University has found that introducing a minimum alcohol price would be 50 times more effective than the ban on discounted alcohol introduced in April. It says a minimum unit of 45p would reduce harmful drinkers’ annual consumption by 3.7%.

Probe over delays in tackling teacher

A 10-month gap in questioning a deputy head suspected of buying videos of naked boys is being investigated. Martin Goldberg was found dead on 10 September, after being quizzed by police the day before.

Missing Brit suspect linked to sex crime

Jesse Matthew, the man arrested in connection with the disappearance of Hannah Graham, a British student at the University of Virginia, has been linked by forensic evidence to the murder of Morgan Harrington in 2009 and a violent sexual assault in 2005 in nearby Fairfax City.