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News Digest: Schizophrenic who killed health worker will never be freed

By Staff Reporters

A paranoid schizophrenic who stabbed a healthcare assistant to death because he did not want to go to a no-smoking unit with no wi-fi will never be released, a judge said.

Ryan Matthews (62) was already a double killer serving a life sentence when he brutally stabbed grandmother Sharon Wall twice in the back at Gloucester's Wotton Lawn Hospital in July.

He killed Mrs Wall by attacking her with a Sainsbury's kitchen knife he managed to smuggle into the hospital as she made her morning rounds alone.

Sentencing Matthews to a whole-life order, Mr Justice Davis, at Bristol Crown Court, told Mrs Wall's family, who were in the public gallery: "Obviously that man will never be released."

Plane crash searchers detect 'ping'

Underwater ping-like sounds have been heard in an area where searchers are scouring the Java Sea for the crashed AirAsia plane, but it was unclear if they were coming from the black boxes, an official said.

The signals were picked up intermittently but no metal was detected at the location, said Suryadi B Supriyadi, the National Search and Rescue Agency's operational director.

A day earlier, photos and video confirmed that part of the plane's tail had been found on the seabed - the first major wreckage seen since Flight 8501 went down on December 28 with 162 passengers and crew on board.

The cockpit voice and flight data recorders are located in the rear, but Supriyadi said the pings were heard about half a mile from the site of the tail.

Officials were hopeful that the black boxes remained in the plane after the impact.

1,000 hurt worshipping Jesus statue

A man died in Manila and nearly 1,000 people were injured in a raucous Catholic procession attracting up to a million Filipinos in a prelude to a much larger turnout expected during next week's visit by Pope Francis.

Crowds jammed Manila's streets and jostled to get closer to the wooden Black Nazarene, a statue of Jesus Christ carrying a cross that the faithful believe has miraculous power to cure ailments and provide good health and fortune. Manila vice-mayor Francisco Moreno said one volunteer accompanying the statue died of a heart attack. Gwen Pang, secretary general of the Philippine Red Cross, said workers treated 986 people for cuts, bruises and dizziness.

Mr Moreno said any emergencies will help the Red Cross prepare for the papal visit, when 20 field hospitals will be established in the capital.

Transsexuals banned from driving in new 'safety' rules

Transsexuals, transvestites and others with sexual "disorders" have been banned from driving under new road safety regulations.

The new rules have been criticised by rights activists, who see them as unconstitutional and part of Russia's crackdown on the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community.

Human Rights First called it an "alarming violation of the rights of the transgender community" and "just another example of the Russian regime's methodical roll-back of basic human rights for its citizens".

Blogger gets first 50 lashes after Islam insult conviction

A blogger convicted of insulting Islam has been flogged 50 times in the Red Sea city of Jeddah as authorities started carrying out his sentence, which includes 1,000 lashes, a witness said.

Raif Badawi was flogged after Friday prayers outside a mosque, the witness said. His feet and hands were bound but his face was visible. He remained silent during the lashings.

Badawi was sentenced last May to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes. He had criticised Saudi Arabia's powerful clerics on a blog he founded.

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