Education Correspondent Duncan Kenyon reports on the findings of a survey of research quality in UK universities.Written by Duncan Kenyon on 28th December 2014
Redbrick on the week
Breivik down for 21 years Norwegian terrorist Anders Behring Breivik was sentenced to 21 years in jail after he was ruled sane to be imprisoned
Breivik down for 21 years
Norwegian terrorist Anders Behring Breivik was sentenced to 21 years in jail after he was ruled sane to be imprisoned. He had wished to be found sane so that his Islamophobic and anti-multicultural ideology would not be considered lunacy. Breivik killed 8 people with a bomb in Oslo before shooting dead 69 youths at a camp on Utoya island last July. The 21 year term was the maximum the Oslo court could hand down but Breivik can be held indefinitely if considered a risk to society. Norway’s justice system does not allow for life terms or death penalties. Breivik said he wished to apologise ‘to all militant nationalists that I wasn't able to execute more.’
Astronaut Armstrong dies at 82
Neil Armstrong, the astronaut who as the first man to step on the moon has died at the age of 82. Armstrong, along with fellow astronaut Buzz Aldrin, became the first human to step on the moon in July 1969. Armstrong broadcast a historic statement back to Earth 'That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.' Armstrong underwent a heart-bypass surgery earlier this month to relieve blocked coronary arteries. Last November Armstrong received the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest US civilian award. President Obama hailed Armstrong as 'a great American hero'. His family hailed him saying 'He served his Nation proudly, as a navy fighter pilot, test pilot, and astronaut'.
Harry in the nude
Prince Harry ignited controversy as pictures of him playing 'strip billiards' with a group of women invited to his hotel suite in Vegas last weekend. Palace sources remarked that Prince Harry was simply “letting off steam” on a break between royal duties and his army service. The pictures were initially published on gossip website TMZ and on Friday The Sun was the first newspaper in Britain to publish the photos despite Palace efforts to prevent it. The story descended into a post-Leveson debate as to whether it was in public interest for The Sun to publish them. The Sun defended themselves saying 'The photos have potential implications for the Prince's image representing Britain around the world.'
Asil Nadir jailed
Polly Peck tycoon Asil Nadir was jailed for 10 years after being found guilty for stealing nearly £29million from his Polly Peck business more than 20 years ago. Nadir has been wanted since 1990 since his business collapsed after a Serious Fraud Office investigation with debts of £550million. When he was first due to stand trial in 1993 he fled to his native northern Cyprus and stayed there for 17 years. He returned voluntarily in order to clear his name but the 71 year old now faces 10 years in jail although the judge said he would eligible for release after five years. Nadir said he was 'most disappointed' with the decision and will be appealing.
GCSE results fall
GCSE results fell for the first time in the exam’s 24-year history on Thursday, prompting a furious backlash from teachers. Up to 10,000 pupils are believed to have missed out on C grades in English — considered a good pass — as results registered their only annual decline since 1988. Head teachers, local authorities and union leaders said grade boundaries had been ‘very substantially’ raised at the last minute. Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, said: ‘You cannot have a situation where exam passes continue rising forever and ever without … grades either falling or steadying.’
Iran hosts NAM summit
Iran has defied Western isolation by hosting and opening the Non-Aligned Movement meeting in Tehran, hosting 120 nations. The NAM is a group of states considering themselves not aligned formally with or against any major power bloc. The summit will be attended by high profile figures such as U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Egypt's new president, Mohammad Morsi. Ban Ki-moon’s attendance comes despite calls of a boycott from Israel and the USA. Moon’s spokesperson said, 'With respect to the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Secretary-General will use the opportunity to convey the clear concerns and expectations of the international community on the issues for which cooperation and progress are urgent for both regional stability and the welfare of the Iranian people.'
Burma ends press censorship
The authoritarian government of Burma made a groundbreaking move in abolishing parts of their media censorship, in place since a military coup in 1962. Under the new laws, journalists will no longer have to submit their work to state censors before publication as they have for the past 50 years. Despite remaining concerns that sections of the press are still restrained and that the authorities can crack down on journalists, it has been cautiously welcomed by states in the West. Burma's reporters had long been regarded as among the most restricted in the world. Burmese activists attributed the change to a fear by the country’s leaders that they may face an Arab Spring style revolution.
Lance Armstrong stripped of titles
Cycling icon Lance Armstrong has been stripped of his record seven Tour de France wins and handed a lifetime ban by the United States Anti-Doping Agency after he decided not to fight drug charges he battled throughout his career. Despite dropping his opposition, Armstrong still denied the charges but said 'enough is enough'. World Anti-doping Agency chief John Fahey said Armstrong's decision not to contest the allegations added up to nothing more than an admission of guilt. While the USADA had the authority to remove the titles, the International Cycling Union can challenge the decision and take it to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Armstrong’s agent said the USADA were 'completely out of bounds'.