The News Matrix: Thursday 26 February 2015


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The Independent Online

British support for staying in EU grows

Support for Britain’s membership of the European Union is increasing, according to a poll. A record-breaking 45 per cent of Britons would vote to keep the country in the EU if a referendum was held today, up from 42 per cent last month, the survey from YouGov found.

Miliband vows to slash tuition costs

A Labour government would slash university tuition fees from a maximum of £9,000 to £6,000 a year to attract younger voters, Ed Miliband will pledge today. He will say young people have been betrayed by the Coalition and that a better deal for them would be good for society as a whole.

Prince warns of planet in crisis

Prince Charles has warned that global warming is “already causing ecosystem collapse, loss of habitation, poverty, starvation, migration and conflict”. Speaking at an event at the Royal Society in London yesterday, he said: “Actions which are good for the planet are also good for human health.”

Licence fee ‘harder and harder to justify’

The BBC’s current licence fee model of funding is becoming “harder and harder to justify”, MPs have said. In a new report on the future of the corporation, the Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee called for the BBC Trust, which has “failed to meet expectations”, to be abolished.

Computer teaches itself to play games

Scientists have created an “intelligent” machine that is able to play video games without any prior instructions. The software is called Deep Q-network and has learnt to play classic games such as Space Invaders. The new program represents a breakthrough in artificial intelligence.

Dummy US warship in naval wargame

A mocked-up version of a US warship came under attack from Iranian missiles and a swarm of speedboats yesterday in a wargame designed to prepare for possible battle in the Straits of Hormuz. Hard-liners hoped to send a defiant message to the US regardless of the outcome of nuclear talks.

Police identify men in ‘racist chant’ case

Seven men sought by transport police investigating racist chanting at St Pancras International in London after Chelsea’s Champions League match against Paris St Germain have been identified. Police had released images of the men taken the day after a man suffered alleged racist abuse on the Paris Metro before the game.

Germans fear new Greek bailout terms

German officials expressed fears over Greece’s determination to meet the terms of its bailout extension after its energy minister Panagiotis Lafazanis reportedly told a newspaper that privatisation of the country’s power utility would be halted, as final binding bids had not yet been submitted.

Chef’s father hits out at ‘lying’ witnesses

The father of a missing chef has said it is “dreadful” that people may have been lying to police investigating her disappearance. Peter Lawrence commented as police in York began a detailed search of an alley at the back of Claudia Lawrence’s home. He said: “It’s obviously absolutely dreadful that anyone would do that.”

Lady Gaga to join US horror TV series

Singer Lady Gaga is to join the cast of US television series American Horror Story this autumn. The 28-year-old Grammy winner, who previously starred in the 2013 film Machete Kills, earned favourable reviews for her performance honouring The Sound of Music at Sunday’s Oscars ceremony.

Pupils hunger for blockbuster fiction

Young people prefer fiction that has been adapted into blockbuster films, such as the Hunger Games series, rather than traditional favourites by authors such as Roald Dahl, a nationwide survey has found. More than 500,000 pupils at 2,200 schools were polled for the annual “What Kids Are Reading” report.

Where the Maurice Sendak museum is...

The late author of the children’s classic Where The Wild Things Are is to have a museum set up in his honour. Maurice Sendak died three years ago in Ridgefield, Connecticut. “He loved the community and the legacy of supporting all the arts was and is important to him and all those around him,” said a local spokesman.

Black hole is the size of 12 million Suns

A giant black hole 12 million times larger than the Sun and powering “the brightest lighthouse in the distant universe” has been discovered. The new object, named SDSS J0100+2802, is 12.8 billion light years from Earth and was formed 900 million years after  the Big Bang that gave birth to  the universe.