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News in Brief: 23/9/2014

Children's development, Phones 4U collapse, hate crime and panda's failed pregnancy

EDUCATION: Half of children in England have not attained their expected level of development when they move from reception to their first year of school, new figures suggest.

Only 52 per cent of five-year-olds in England have reached a “good” level of development, the data published today shows.

And as few as 28 per cent of children have reached this level in some parts of the country, experts from University College London’s Institute of Health Equity said. Professor Sir Michael Marmot, director of the Institute, said the figures show that we “continue to fail our children.”

 

TELEPHONES: Network-operator EE announced yesterday that it will buy 58 Phones 4u stores in a deal saving more than 350 jobs at the collapsed mobile phone retailer.

EE’s agreement with administrator PricewaterhouseCoopers comes after Vodafone said on Friday it would buy 140 Phones 4u stores, safeguarding 887 jobs.

The collapse of Phones 4u, which went into administration last week following EE’s decision not to renew its contract, affected 5,600 workers at 560 Phones 4u stores and a further 160 concession outlets.

 

CRIME: Over a third of hate crime victims know the people who are abusing them, a study found yesterday.

Out of almost 1,500 victims taking part in a two-year study on hate crime and its impact, 34 per cent knew their abuser as an acquaintance, neighbour, friend, work colleague, family member or carer.

University of Leicester researchers described this as a “huge shock to us” as many people would think the threat would more likely come from a stranger.

 

PANDAS: Britain’s only female giant panda is no longer pregnant, Edinburgh Zoo announced yesterday.

The zoo said there was no evidence Tian Tian had had a miscarriage and that “late reabsorption of the foetus” could have taken place.

It said that all data gathered since the animal conceived in April suggested she was pregnant and likely carry to full term, but “sadly this did not happen.”

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