The News Matrix: Friday 14 February 2014


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Setback for Gove over teachers’ hours

Michael Gove has suffered a major setback to his plans to drastically alter teachers’ contracts to allow them to work longer hours. The School Teachers Review Body, which rules on pay and conditions, said the clauses were “reasonable protection for teachers”. MORE

Balls says currency union not an option

Alex Salmond must reveal what currency an independent Scotland would use, because a deal to share the pound with the UK “is not going to happen”, the shadow chancellor Ed Balls has said. Mr Balls said he would not support a currency union if he became chancellor. MORE

Enrico Letta set to resign as premier

Prime Minister Enrico Letta plans to resign today after his Democratic Party backed a call for a new administration. Party leader Matteo Renzi, who had called for a change of government to cure Italy’s political “uncertainty”, is a main contender to take over as premier. MORE

At least three dead in Caracas clashes

At least three people were shot dead when peaceful protests in the capital, Caracas, turned into violent clashes between pro- and anti-government activists yesterday. The deaths followed two weeks of increasingly heated protests across Venezuela, the most widespread unrest since President Nicolas Maduro’s controversial election victory last year. MORE

Unite gets behind Miliband’s reforms

Unite, the biggest Labour-affiliated union, last night backed Ed Miliband’s plans for “historic reforms” of the link between the party and the unions. Mr Miliband wants to scrap the current system of electing the Labour leader and move to a one-member, one-vote system.

Shocking toll of domestic abuse

Almost one third of women say they have experienced rape, stalking or domestic violence since they were 16. Data from the Office for National Statistics revealed that 1.2 million women and 700,000 men had experienced domestic abuse in the past year.

Trump cancels plans for second golf course

Tycoon Donald Trump will not build a second golf course at his luxury Menie estate in Aberdeen. The decision to cancel the proposed second course has sparked fears the Menie development may never materialise.

Teacher gets apology for ‘targeted malice’

Humberside Police has apologised after officers destroyed a teacher’s career by telling his employers he was a “very dangerous paedophile”, even though he had never been convicted of child sexual offences. A judge criticised the former officers’ “targeted malice”. MORE

Children included in new euthanasia law

Parliament has passed a bill allowing euthanasia for terminally ill children of any age, making Belgium the first country in the world to do so. The bill must now be signed by the King, who is not expected to object. MORE

Termites inspire miniature robots

A group of miniature robots, acting independently but co-operating to collectively build the same structure, has been developed at Harvard University. Scientists were inspired by the team effort of termite colonies that build 8ft mud towers above their nests. MORE

Don’t photograph, eat, says top chef

A Michelin starred chef has appealed to diners to stop photographing their food because it infringes on his “intellectual property” rights. Gilles Goujon, who runs the three-star L’Auberge du Vieux Puits, near Narbonne, said it also spoiled the experience for others.

Marathon ‘Who’-fest for archive episodes

Doctor Who fans will be able to see back-to-back episodes of rediscovered archive shows at a marathon screening later this month. Devotees can see a dozen 25-minute episodes dating from the 1960s at the Prince Charles Cinema in London on Saturday week.

Snacks reined in for dieting stallions

Vienna’s famous dancing stallions are being put on a diet. The Spanish Riding School’s Lippizaners perform routines to music and are one of the city’s main tourist attractions. But the horses have been given too many winter snacks and a nutritionist is now forcing them to be reined in.

Hot Bacon buddy sells for £42.2m

A Francis Bacon masterpiece has become the most valuable piece of artwork ever sold by auction house Christie’s in Europe. The canvas of Bacon’s former lover and muse George Dyer sold for a record £42.2m. “George Dyer Talking” was bought by an anonymous buyer.

Sorry, you didn’t really get in to MIT

Massachusetts Institute of Technology apologised after telling some applicants they were accepted in error. An e-mail regarding financial aid was sent ending in “You are on this list because you are admitted to MIT”. An admissions counsellor told the Boston Globe it was an IT mistake.

Happy birthday Colin – 1.7m times

More than 1.7 million people have sent birthday wishes to Colin Cunningham, of Richmond, Michigan, who has a similar disorder to autism. He told his mother he had no friends to celebrate his 11th birthday with him on 9 March, which inspired her to start a Facebook page.

Lord Nelson letter goes to auction

A letter written by Lord Nelson while recuperating after losing his right arm is to be auctioned later this month. The letter was written in a shaky left-hand script, shortly after Nelson lost his arm in the Battle of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. It dates from 1798, and is valued at £4,000.