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Lions survive Hong Kong heat to easily beat Barbarians

The British Lions have begun their 2013 tour with a warm-up thrashing of the Barbarians at Hong Kong Stadium. Credit: David Davies/PA Wire
The 59-8 victory saw the tourists, who are now bound for Australia, wrack up a host of tries, including two scores for Alex Cuthbert. Credit: David Davies/PA Wire
The match was interrupted at regular intervals for the teams to receive drink in the sweltering heat.

Read: Jonny Wilkinson misses out on Lions tour

Giant rubber duck floats in front of Hong Kong skyline

The rubber duck is the creation of Dutch conceptual artist, Florentijn Hofman.
The rubber duck is the creation of Dutch conceptual artist, Florentijn Hofman. Credit: REUTERS/Bobby Yip

A giant rubber duck sculpture, created by a Dutch conceptual artist, caught the attention of people in Hong Kong today as it floated in front of the city's skyline.

The artist's work floated near Ocean Terminal at Hong Kong's Victoria Harbour.
The artist's work floated near Ocean Terminal at Hong Kong's Victoria Harbour. Credit: REUTERS/Bobby Yip

Florentijn Hofman's 16.5 metre-high creation made its first public appearance at Hong Kong's Victoria Harbour and will be exhibited at the Ocean Terminal for a month.

The inflatable sculpture measures 16.5 metres in height.
The inflatable sculpture measures 16.5 metres in height. Credit: REUTERS/Bobby Yip

Read: Giant duck sails down the Thames in London

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Hundreds gather for huge pillow fight

Hundreds of people dressed in costumes and pyjamas took part in a pillow fight in Hong Kong, joining other cities around the world to celebrate International Pillow Fight Day.

Crowds cheered in an open plaza in Hong Kong's central financial district as the pillow fighter organiser, Tom Grundy, started the fight, saying; "You can take our freedom, but you cannot take our pillows."

'Cultural and social factors' behind maths skills gap

A study has found that England's most able youngsters, make less progress in maths, than their peers abroad.

Overall English children are behind in their maths knowledge Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Compared to 12 other countries, including Singapore, Japan and Russia, researchers have called for more focus on children's maths skills from an early age.

The report said "cultural and social factors" could be behind strong scores in East Asian countries, with education more highly valued, from higher salaries to heavy investment.

Labour: 'Michael Gove has the wrong priorities'

Shadow schools minister Kevin Brennan has accused Michael Gove of having the "wrong priorities".

A report out today has highlighted a knowledge gap between English and East Asian pupils in maths.

This report shows Michael Gove has the wrong priorities. It says we need to provide more support in basic skills at primary level, but this Government has cut support for catch-up tuition in English and maths, resulting in a 40% drop in the number of pupils getting this help.

– Kevin Brennan, Shadow schools minister

Government: We are 'clearing up Labour's mess'

A report has found that even the brightest pupils in England are falling behind in maths, from the age of 10.

Education Minister Elizabeth Truss said the report was a "damning indictment of Labour's record on education."

This Government is clearing up Labour's mess. Our reforms - tougher discipline, more rigorous exams, more freedom for headteachers, a more demanding curriculum and higher quality teaching - will drive up standards so our pupils have a first-class education that matches the best in the world.

– Elizabeth Truss, Education Minister

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England's brightest fall behind in maths from age of 10

England's cleverest pupils match peers from leading East Asian countries in maths until the age of 10, but are two years behind by the age of 16.

New research has found that even the brightest youngsters are behind pupils in nations such as Hong Kong and Taiwan, suggesting more needs to be done to keep them apace.

Pupils keep pace until the age of 10 Credit: David Jones/PA Wire

The Institute of Education, University of London used results from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) and the Trends in Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS).

It concluded that the gap widens between the ages of ten and 16.

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