The News Matrix: Thursday 22 January 2015


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Efforts to get women into sciences failing

Government efforts to entice female students into science and engineering courses have failed. Data from university admissions service Ucas reveals 87 per cent of new computer science undergraduates and 85 per cent of new engineering students are male.

More women turn away from tradition

Increasing numbers of Saudi women are choosing to stay single into their thirties. They are caught between the kingdom’s push for greater women’s rights and laws that give men final say over their lives. Women traditionally marry in their early twenties.

‘We can’t stop jihadis crossing into Syria’

The flow of foreign jihadis into Syria cannot be stopped, Turkey’s Prime Minister has said. Thousands of jihadis have so far crossed the 510-mile border, which Ahmet Davutoglu said was impossible to fully monitor, rejecting criticism of his country’s policy toward Isis.

Calls for an end to feudal land laws

MPs have proposed that manorial rights dating back to the feudal era should be considered for abolition. Last year thousands of homeowners received letters informing them that powers held in their local areas by a lord of the manor were being asserted for the first time.

UN needs $1bn  more to fight Ebola

United Nations agencies need a final $1bn (£661m) to fight West Africa’s deadly Ebola epidemic as experts move to a new phase involving a massive detective operation to trace remaining cases, the UN has said.

MPs condemn delay in releasing report

MPs have condemned the decision to delay the publication of the report on the inquiry into the Iraq war until after the general election. Sir John Chilcot insisted he cannot finish his work before the election because he must be “fair” to all those involved. The Lib Dem foreign affairs spokesman said there was a risk the public would assume the report was being “sexed down”.

Commuters stabbed in bus attack

More than a dozen Israelis were the victims of a stabbing attack by a Palestinian during rush hour in Tel Aviv yesterday. The suspect, Hamza Matrouk, 23, was shot and apprehended. He said he wanted to avenge the deaths of Palestinians in last year’s Gaza war.

Peer in £600,000 election pledge

A Liberal Democrat Peer who was forced out of the party is to give £600,000 to Labour and Lib Dem MPs fighting the Tories in marginal seats. Matthew Oakeshott plans to donate £30,000 each to 15 Liberal Democrat candidates and £10,000 to 30 Labour MPs in marginal seats.

‘Stop calling 999 to moan about snow’

People in Norway have been told to stop calling the police to complain about the snowy weather. “People just have to accept that they live in Norway and  it will snow,” a police spokesman said. The police said people calling to complain about their difficulties getting to work “would not be prioritised”.

It’s the end of the world as we know it...

Hollywood actor Rob Lowe is to star in a new series, Apocalypse Slough, which imagines the end of the world from the perspective of characters in the Berkshire town. The 10-part comedy-drama – which will also feature Pauline Quirke – will be broadcast on Sky1.

Convict let out early after name mix-up

An Austrian convict was released from prison four months early after the prison service mistook him for another prisoner of the same name. The 36-year-old man had served two months of a six-month sentence when he was released instead of a 22-year-old who had just completed his 10-month sentence.

Forgotten lottery ticket nets €73m

A lucky Frenchman found a winning lottery ticket worth €73m (£56m) that he had forgotten about, just three weeks before the deadline to claim. The man from north-eastern France hit lucky in early December but had got so used to not winning, he had stopped checking his numbers.

Damon’s trip down the rabbit hole

Blur frontman Damon Albarn has co-written a musical based on Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. The production, to be staged at the National Theatre, follows Ally, 12, who escapes bullies into a virtual world. Rufus Norris, who will direct, said it is “full of infectious and exuberant songs”.