Yep , I simply could not get the routing to work. In fact it's now 1:00am and I've just removed the .htaccess and updated the route.json to accept index.php/news as a url
see here: http://126.96.36.199/framework-app/www/index.php/news/
In fact I would recommend that this additional route is added to the githubrepo as a falback. One less thing to break (being whatever is wrong with my setups)
I will return to the htaccess in a few days/weeks, because I'm eager to get stuck into code. I've been using symfony2 to access a Joomla 2.5 installation and I want to do the same with the JFramework. (I also use the deprecated Jplatform to access the same installation).
thanks for the response.