This week's UK news: 18 October 2013
18 October 2013

Nobel prize winner returns

When Professor Peter Higgs won the Nobel prize for science, journalists from round the world wanted to talk to him. But he was nowhere to be found.

The 84-year-old physicist, whose work suggested that a tiny particle (the Higgs Boson) was vital to the creation of the universe had seen his theory proved by scientists at Cern in Switzerland last year. He wanted to avoid lots of attention when the Nobel prize was announced. So he went for lunch by himself in a nearby Scottish town.

Professor Higgs doesn't have a mobile phone or a computer, and doesn't use email. He found out that he had won the prize when a former neighbour congratulated him. He is now worried that he won't get to enjoy his life quietly for the next few weeks, and says he has no idea how he will spend the prize money.

Tiger cub drowns

London Zoo's newborn Sumatran tiger cub has drowned just three weeks after its birth.

The cub was the first tiger born at the zoo for 17 years.

Keepers think the tiger's mother carried her cub outside the den and to the pool in her enclosure, but nobody saw what happened. London Zoo's newborn Sumatran tiger cub has drowned, the zoo has confirmed.

London Zoo's Malcolm Fitzpatrick said: "We're heartbroken by what's happened. To go from the excitement of the birth to this in three weeks is just devastating."

The cub was born six months after the opening of the "tiger territory", designed to encourage the endangered sub-species of tiger to breed.

Meanwhile, zoo keepers in Edinburgh believe that their female panda is no longer pregnant and will not be giving birth.

Huge drop in part-time student numbers

The number of university students studying part time in England has dropped by 40 per cent in two years. Most of these students were on vocational courses and combining them with work.

Universities UK, which did the research, said pressures on employers and the economy were partly to blame. It also suggested that the tripling of tuition fees to GBP 9,000 had deterred many students.

Professor Sir Eric Thomas chair of the review, said: "The UK needs more graduates and relies heavily on part-time higher education to meet these fast changing skills needs in a fast changing world.

"While part-time and mature students are a great success story for the UK, something is going wrong. We cannot and must not give up on these students."

Big response to TV show about missing girl

Madeleine McCann was only three years old when she disappeared from her family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal. No trace of her has ever been found.

Six years later, London detectives asked to re-investigate the case presented new evidence on a TV programme called Crimewatch, asking people to call if they had any information based on what they had seen.

The programme suggested that Madeleine might have been taken from her apartment later than previously thought. Detectives believe the girl, who has a distinctive mark in her right eye, may have been taken after careful planning.

Detectives had almost a thousand phone calls and emails after the programme was shown. Several people thought they could identify a man who was seen carrying a small child, and gave the same name.


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