News in brief



A baby orangutan left to die in a filthy cardboard box in the sun in Borneo is now strong and healthy enough to attend "pre-school" with other apes, a British charity has said.

Gito is shown in newly-released images swinging happily and confidently on a climbing frame along with other orphaned baby orangutans undergoing rehabilitation.

His healthy appearance is in stark contrast to the lifeless figure he cut when rescuers from East Sussex-based International Animal Rescue (IAR) found him some three months ago.


A new £1.3 million study aims to help doctors better pinpoint when to operate on heart disease patients.

The research will look at tracking more effectively when a heart is starting to fail, helping medics decide the best time to perform surgery while minimising the risk to patients' health.

Operating too early can put heart patients at unnecessary risk but intervening too late can mean heart muscle becomes irreversibly damaged.


A French police dog killed in a raid targeting the alleged mastermind of the Paris attacks is to be awarded the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross.

Diesel, a seven-year-old Belgian shepherd, died on November 18, five days after the Paris attacks which killed 130 people.

Within hours of the fatal raid, the phrase Je Suis Chien - inspired by the popular slogan Je Suis Charlie, used worldwide in solidarity after the Charlie Hebdo attacks earlier this year - had gone viral on social media.


An alliance of Scotland's seven cities said it is celebrating a successful 2015 after securing millions in investment and generating global interest in its activities.

The Scottish Cities Alliance was established to promote the country's economic potential and its Smart Cities programme was launched in October with the aim of making cities more efficient, greener and more attractive to investors from around the world.

Details of the projects that each city will take forward will be announced in the new year.