The News Matrix: Monday 23 February 2015


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UK to fund world’s biggest telescope

Experts are to build a new telescope that they hope will provide the best chance of finding an alien civilisation and help scientists learn about the birth of the universe. The UK will be one of several countries next month to announce funding for the Square Kilometre Array, the world’s largest scientific instrument.

Whale caught in fishing line freed

A 45-ton humpback whale entangled with a fishing line in Hawaii’s waters for more than a week is free. The Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary said the crew used a pole equipped with a knife to saw the line free. Several hundred feet of line was cut away.

‘Basic errors’ led to hundreds of deaths

“Basic errors” such as failing to monitor patients or to remove hanging risks led to hundreds of avoidable deaths in psychiatric units, prisons and police cells between 2010 and 2013, a report from the Equality and Human Rights Commission says.

Ali’s gloves in Liston fight sold for $1m

The boxing gloves Muhammad Ali wore when he struck the controversial “phantom punch” that knocked out Sonny Liston have fetched close to $1m (£650,000) at auction in New York. Ali (then Cassius Clay) struck Liston two minutes into the fight in 1965.

Bank employees rob their own branch

Staff at a branch of Afghanistan’s central bank in Kandahar province may have got away with nearly £1m when they robbed their own bank. Investigators were waiting to gain access before confirming the total missing, a local official said.

Bomb attack kills two at peace rally

Kiev blamed Russia for a bomb attack at a rally in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second city, that left two people dead. Authorities said that four people have been arrested over the attack, which has fuelled fears that violence is spreading. It came after Ukraine and Russian-backed rebels exchanged prisoners.

Labour’s promise on child protection

A “revolution” of child protection systems is needed to end a culture of drift, fudges and excuses, Yvette Cooper, the shadow Home Secretary, will say as she unveils measures to pursue offenders today. Labour is pledging to establish a child protection unit should it be in government after the election.

Clegg: thousands in jail unnecessarily

Thousands of people are being jailed unnecessarily, Nick Clegg will say today as he promises to press for early interventions to stop vulnerable people going to prison if the Liberal Democrats remain in government. He will dismiss the claim “prison works” as a mere “slogan”.

Cigarette tax to plug huge budget deficit

Smokers will have to pay extra for cigarettes because of a new sales tax aimed at plugging Egypt’s gaping budget deficit. The move will put an extra seven cents on cheaper cigarettes and 20 cents on more expensive brands. One in four Egyptian adults smokes, according to the World Health Organisation. AP

Sea gives up treasure for lifeboatman

A Dorset lifeboatman who lost his wedding ring six years ago during an emergency call has been reunited with it after it was found at low tide. Mark Thorne was helping to launch the lifeboat in Weymouth Harbour when the ring was lost. It was found by his friend Steve Woolford while out for a walk.

Letters to Agatha Christie published

Agatha Christie’s devotion to her fans has been highlighted in a series of touching letters she collected over the years. The crime writer hoarded hundreds of messages from her readers, including one from PG Wodehouse  published for the first time to mark the 125th anniversary of her birthday.

Goulding breaks streaming record

Ellie Goulding’s “Love Me Like  You Do” has notched up a third  week at number one in the singles chart and broken the all-time streaming record. The track, featured in Fifty Shades Of Grey,  sold more than 118,000 copies this week and set a new UK audio streaming record by clocking up  2.58 million listens.