Labour pledges to support business
Ed Balls, the shadow Chancellor, and Chuka Umunna, the shadow Business Secretary, will today issue a positive, pro-business message when they address the annual conference of the British Chambers of Commerce in London. The two politicians will insist that the Labour Party will back enterprise and wealth creation if it triumphs at the general election.
Schools break rules by charging for trips
More than one in three parents with children aged over 11 have been required to pay for field trips that are compulsory parts of assessed courses, a survey reveals. Schools are apparently breaching guidelines by asking parents to cover the costs.
Merkel urges talks, not arms, on Ukraine
Angela Merkel made a heartfelt plea yesterday to find a diplomatic solution to the crisis in the Ukraine, as Barack Obama said the US would continue to mull sending arms to the Ukrainians. Both leaders attempted to put on a united front ahead of talks in Minsk tomorrow.
US private hospitals chain targets UK
A US hospital operator has hired British consultants to help it explore potential work in the UK following the general election. The Ohio-based Cleveland Clinic is said to be keen to exploit business opportunities if the NHS is opened up further to the private sector.
Wreckage of team’s lost plane found
The remains of a aeroplane that crashed in Chile more than 50 years ago as it carried members of a Chilean football team have been found by a group of mountaineers. One expedition member said the site would not be made public to avoid it being “defiled”.
Drone strike kills key Isis recruiter
The leading recruiter for Isis’s affiliate in Afghanistan was killed by a drone strike yesterday along with at least four other militants, officials said. It marked the first such attack on the extremist group in a volatile country where it has a small but growing following.
Putin visits Sisi to strengthen ties
President Vladimir Putin arrived in Cairo yesterday to meet his Egyptian counterpart, President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, with both eager to show they have options outside of the West to pursue their goals.
Briton arrested for ‘killing paedophile’
A British man has been arrested after allegedly killing a paedophile filming his daughter with an iPad. Kainth Davinder, 40, was arrested on Saturday after it was claimed he attacked Sandro Rottman, a German citizen, at an exclusive resort on the Costa del Sol.
DIY staff tied up with ‘Fifty Shades’ fans
B&Q staff have reportedly been told to prepare for an increase in demand for rope, cable ties and tape ahead of the release of Fifty Shades of Grey on Valentine’s Day this Saturday. A leaked memo warned staff at the hardware store that they may be flooded with “potentially sensitive questions” from customers.
Facebook blamed for jewellery theft
Social media posts about a jewellery inheritance apparently prompted a house burglary, police say. Three men wearing ski masks and wielding pistols reportedly kicked in the door of a home in Philadelphia at about 2.30am on Sunday and demanded jewellery and valuables from a 19-year-old living there.
Robot vacuum ‘eats’ woman’s hair
A woman called firefighters for help after a robot vacuum cleaner latched on to her hair while she was taking a nap on the floor at her house. An emergency crews was able to open the cleaner and free the 52-year-old woman after half an hour, said a spokesman for the fire department in Changwon, South Korea.
Suede handed NME’s Godlike Genius prize
Suede are to receive the Godlike Genius prize at the NME Awards, it was announced yesterday. The band helped to kick-start the Britpop movement of the 1990s and have had a career spanning more than 25 years. They will pick up the award at the O2 Academy in Brixton, south London, on 18 February.
Heartbreak turns gold for Sam Smith
The British soul singer Sam Smith thanked a former boyfriend for breaking his heart and providing the inspiration to write his album, which won four Grammy Awards on Sunday. The 22-year-old won the best new artist, best pop vocal album, record of the year and song of the year trophies.