The News Matrix: Wednesday 18 February 2015


Click to follow
The Independent Online

Arts being ‘squeezed out’ of schools

The number of specialist arts teachers in state schools has fallen by 11 per cent in a few years, the Warwick Commission on the Future of Cultural Value found. The number of drama teachers is down 8 per cent, while art and design teachers have suffered a 6 per cent cut in hours.

Right to get rid of Gaddafi, says PM

Britain was right to help oust Gaddafi from Libya and will not abandon the country during its current turmoil, David Cameron  has said. He defended the decision  to assist revolutionaries in 2011, despite the country’s current descent into chaos.

Boy and girl, 16, held on terror charges

A 16-year-old boy and girl have been arrested by counter terrorism police on suspicion of a terror charge. The teenagers, both college students who have not been identified, were arrested on Monday in Tameside, Manchester, by the North West Counter Terrorism Unit.

Former Labour chief quits to help Ukip

A former chair of Labour’s ruling National Executive Committee has left the party in order to support Ukip in the general election. Harriet Yeo has become the most senior Labour figure to quit the party in favour of Ukip. Ed Miliband’s refusal to offer a referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU, prompted Ms Yeo’s resignation, The Daily Telegraph reported.

Acquittal call in Strauss-Kahn case

A French prosecutor asked a court yesterday to acquit former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn of a pimping charge for his role in what investigating magistrates said was an organised sex ring using prostitutes. Mr Strauss-Kahn denies the charge.

Potential Ebola victim returns to UK

A British Red Cross worker was being brought back to the UK last night after potentially being exposed to Ebola in Sierra Leone. The unnamed female worker did not have symptoms and her risk of developing the infection remained low, Public Health England said.

UN calls for an end to fighting in east

The United Nations Security Council yesterday called on all parties in eastern Ukraine to stop fighting and implement a European-brokered peace deal, as the ceasefire unravelled. Pro-Russian rebels were battling street to street in Debaltseve last night.

Former teacher, 91, jailed for sex attacks

A former PE teacher, aged 91, has been jailed at Birmingham Crown Court for nine years for a string of sadistic sex attacks on 14 boys. Marcus Marcussen, from Rochford in Worcestershire, committed the offences between 1957 and 1978.

Carnival float accident kills 16

At least 16 people were killed and 78 injured yesterday when a singer on a carnival float hit an overhead power line in Port-au-Prince, setting off a stampede by bystanders. The tragedy prompted the government to cancel the last day of carnival.

Robins with the blues sing all night

Robins are up all night singing because city lights convince them there is no end to the day, an expert has said. Blue light from neon signs is likely to be especially disruptive to the robins’ body clocks, Dr David Dominone told the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting.

Go to Florida, urges New York tourist site

A tourist office in snowbound Ithaca, New York state, is waving a white flag on winter and advising visitors to check out the Florida Keys instead. Referring to “this ridiculously stupid winter”, its website suggests visiting warmer climes this week and returning to New York “when things thaw out”.

Council’s parking spaces too small

A retired architect has discovered that his council has been painting undersized parking bays, leaving motorists more at risk of being fined. Stan Green, of Newbury, West Berkshire, said that the overwhelming majority of spaces fell short of a Government guideline of 2.4 metres by 4.8 metres.

Pharrell is Happy to sign four-book deal

US publisher Putnam Books for Young Readers have announced that the Grammy award-winning musician Pharrell Williams has signed up for four picture books – starting with a celebration of childhood inspired by his hit song “Happy”, to be published in September.

Limpets’ teeth are Nature’s strongest

Scientists believe they have found the strongest natural material known to humans – the teeth of the humble limpet. Researchers at the University of Portsmouth found that the teeth of the snail-like creatures were stronger than what was previously thought to be the strongest biological material, the silk of a spider.