The News Matrix: Tuesday 11 February 2014


Pupils ‘watching more online porn’

Children are using more sexually explicit language in conversations at school, a report suggests. In a poll for the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, 40 per cent of teachers said pupils had viewed pornography, and half noted a rise in explicit talk among children.  MORE

Zoo staff get death threats over giraffe

Officials at the Copenhagen Zoo in Denmark say they received death threats after the zoo killed a two-year-old giraffe and fed its remains to lions. They quoted one email as saying: “The children of the staff of Copenhagen Zoo should all be killed or should get cancer.”

Report: give PMQs  a better TV slot

Prime Minister’s Questions should be moved to an evening slot during TV’s prime time, a think tank has recommended. The Hansard Society has suggested sweeping reforms to the sessions, including the Prime Minister being faced with questions submitted by members of the public.

Two found guilty of aiding serial killer

The serial killer Joanna Dennehy was aided by two men during a two-week murder and stabbing spree, a jury found yesterday. Dennehy, 31, had already admitted killing three men and stabbing two others, but two of her accomplices – Gary Stretch and Leslie Layton – were yesterday found guilty of involvement in her killing spree in and around Peterborough. MORE

Facebook chief tops philanthropy list

Facebook founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg and his wife topped a list of the biggest US philanthropic donors in 2013, giving away nearly $1bn, the Chronicle of Philanthropy said. The top 50 US donors gave $7.7bn last year, up 4 per cent from the previous year.

‘Offspring’ contact Mandela will lawyer

The families of two women who have sought to be recognised as offspring of Nelson Mandela have contacted the executors of the will of the anti-apartheid leader, but are not seeking money, a lawyer said.

Hague warns of  new Srebrenica

William Hague has invoked the memory of the Srebrenica massacre of 1995 to warn of the dangers posed to civilians being allowed to flee Syria’s Old City of Homs. As delegates meet for another round of talks, the Foreign Secretary has called for the UN to “turn up the heat” on the Assad regime. MORE

Venus size illusion finally explained

Scientists can finally explain why, to the naked eye, the planet Venus appears to be so large compared with Jupiter, when the reverse can be seen through a telescope. Venus seems larger because its brightness is exaggerated by the brain, a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showed. MORE

Mythical return for Greek god statue

A rare bronze statue of the Greek god Apollo has mysteriously resurfaced in the Gaza Strip, only to be seized by police and vanish almost immediately from view. A fisherman says he scooped the 500kg god from the sea bed last August, and took it home on a donkey cart, unaware of the significance of his catch.

UK films ‘passed over at the Baftas’

British films are being overlooked at the Baftas, sitcom creator and film writer Andrew Collins has said. The British Academy Film Awards take place on Sunday. Collins, who co-wrote TV comedy Not Going Out has said: “It’s a travesty... that the bulk of the winners will inevitably be foreign. By which I mean American.”

Hundreds complain about commentary

More than 300 viewers have complained about the BBC’s commentary during the snowboarding final which brought Britain’s first medal  at the Sochi Olympics. Viewers heard Ed Leigh, Tim Warwood and Aimee Fuller  screaming and whooping as Jenny Jones gained a bronze. MORE

Do you know the way to San Jose?

On at least 150 flights, US  commercial air carriers have either landed at the wrong airport or started to land and realised their mistake in time, according to a search of government safety  databases and media reports since the early 1990s. A particular trouble spot is San Jose, California.

A walk-on part for Mantel portraitist

An amateur artist who won a television competition to paint a portrait of Hilary Mantel could end up as a character in her next book. Nick Lord’s painting of the Booker Prize winner has been unveiled at the British Library in central London. Mantel said her experience of sitting for a portrait would influence her next novel.