While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, March 2 edition

Martha L. Ruiz, Brian Cullinan and actor Ryan Gosling attend the 89th Annual Academy Awards.
Martha L. Ruiz, Brian Cullinan and actor Ryan Gosling attend the 89th Annual Academy Awards.PHOTO: AFP

PwC accountants blamed for Oscar blunder will not work ceremony again

The organisers of the Academy Awards said that the two PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) accountants behind the mix up that saw La La Land incorrectly named best picture before Moonlight was declared the real winner, will not work the Oscars ceremony again.

A spokesman for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences said PwC accountants Brian Cullinan and Martha Ruiz will no longer tabulate Oscar votes and hand out envelopes containing winners' names at Hollywood's most prestigious awards ceremony.

No decision has been announced by the organisation on whether it will continue its partnership with PwC, which has handled the Oscar tabulation process for 83 years.

PwC had earlier taken full responsibility for the gaffe that stunned the Dolby Theatre crowd in Hollywood and a television audience worldwide.

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Oldest fossils point to life on Earth four billion years ago

The oldest fossils ever found are "direct evidence" of life on Earth 3.8 to 4.3 billion years ago, researchers reported on Wednesday in the journal Nature.

Even at the lower end of the spectrum, "the microfossils we discovered are about 300 million years older" than any runners-up, said Dominic Papineau, a professor at University College London who made the discovery.

The fact that life kick-started not long after Earth formed suggests it could also emerge on watery worlds outside our Solar System at comparable stages of formation, the scientists said.

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French artist rocked by his week inside boulder

A French artist emerged "a little stunned" from a week entombed inside a 12-tonne rock and thanked it for having made him feel "so welcome".

Abraham Poincheval, 44, had difficulty walking as he was helped from the stone onto a chair before being taken away for a medical examination.

He had carved out a hole inside the rock in his own image, just big enough for him to sit up in, with a niche to hold supplies of water, soup and dried meat.

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Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe, 93, flies to Singapore for 'medical review'

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, who celebrated his 93rd birthday last week, flew to Singapore on Wednesday for a "scheduled medical review", his spokesman said.

Mugabe appeared frail at his birthday party on Saturday, when he stood for more than an hour to deliver his speech, but he paused for lengthy periods and mumbled at times.

"The President left this morning for Singapore for a scheduled medical review," his press secretary George Charamba told the state-run Herald newspaper. "We expect him back in the country early next week."

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Tennis: Federer beaten by world 116 Donskoy in Dubai

Sluggish Roger Federer rued a “crazy” failure to bury three match points in falling to a shock three-set defeat to Russian world number 116 Evgeny Donskoy in Dubai.

Former world number one Federer, 35, who lifted his 18th Grand Slam title at the Australian Open in January, had match points in the second-set tiebreak and also led 5-1 in the third-set breaker.

But qualifier Donskoy, 26, battled back to stun the third seed and set up a quarter-final clash against Lucas Pouille of France with a thrilling 3-6, 7-6 (9/7), 7-6 (7/5) victory.

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