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The News Matrix: Friday 1 February 2013

MTV gong means a big day for Ebony

An unsigned singer has won MTV's search for this year's next big music star. Ebony Day, 19, below, only turned to music after being confined to her home for much of her education due to food allergies. Last year's winner, Conor Maynard, scored a number one album and four top 10 singles.

The bells toll for Notre Dame

Nine new bronze bells are making their way to Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. The enormous bells, named after saints, will be on display until 25 February, when they will be hoisted into the twin towers to replace older bells which had become discordant. The €2m bell-casting project was funded by donations.

Birds wash up on UK shores covered in oil

Hundreds of seabirds have washed up along England's south-west coast covered in palm oil. They were coated in a "PVA glue-type" substance with their feathers matted together. Traditional techniques for removing oil from the birds failed, but a combination of vegetable oil and margarine was working better.

Chocolate makers fined for price-fixing

Eleven chocolate makers including Kraft and Nestlé have been fined a total of €60m (£51m) by German anti-trust authorities for colluding to rig the price of sweets. The offences, committed between 2004 and 2008, included agreeing on how much to raise the cost of chocolate bars when the cost of raw materials went up.

Black Forest farm fire kills 86 camels

A fire at a camel farm in the Black Forest region has killed 86 animals and caused up to €2m (£1.7m) in damage. The fire broke out early yesterday morning, and the farm's owner was only able to save five camels as the rest perished in their stalls. It took 100 firefighters to bring the blaze under control.

Money woes drive rise in will disputes

The number of family feuds over disputed wills that result in cases before the High Court has soared as financial pressures and changing relationships drive a boom in legacy litigation. Figures obtained by i show a 700 per cent increase over the past five years in the number of such cases. page 23

Bali smuggler loses bid for legal funding

Lindsay Sandiford, the Briton facing execution for smuggling drugs, has lost her High Court battle over the Government's refusal to fund her appeal. Two judges ruled that her case must be dismissed. MORE

Girl wins right to keep her name

A 15-year-old girl has won the right legally to use the name given to her by her mother. Iceland has strict rules on names, but it was deemed that the teenager could finally use the moniker "Blaer Bjarkardottir". The name Blaer, meaning "light breeze", was not originally deemed a proper feminine name.

'Woeful' watchdog castigated by MPs

The system to root out police wrongdoing is being undermined by poor-quality investigations by the 'woeful' Independent Police Complaints Commission, which is unable to get to the bottom of serious cases of corruption and misconduct, according to a damning report by MPs. MORE

French troops rout militants in north

Islamist militants in Mali are "in disarray" following three weeks of air strikes by the French in the north of the country, France's Defence Minister has claimed. Jean-Yves Le Drian said there had been a "turning-point", and that jihadists have now scattered.

International anger over strike by Israel

The international community has reacted furiously to Israel's military strike on a target in Syria. Russia accused Jerusalem of a "gross violation of the UN charter", while Syria threatened a "surprise" retaliation attack. Hezbollah described it as an act of "barbaric aggression". MORE

China 'hacking us', says New York Times

Chinese hackers repeatedly infiltrated New York Times computers as a story was being prepared on the hidden family wealth of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, the newspaper has claimed. Hackers had "at least three back doors into machines" and knew all employees' passwords. MORE

Hunt's A&E decision signals shake-up

Jeremy Hunt fudged a key decision on the future of a London A&E department yesterday – but signalled a potential revolution in the provision of emergency services across England. The Health Secretary wrong-footed critics when he announced the partial downgrading of the A&E unit at Lewisham hospital, south London, to help rescue a neighbouring trust from bankruptcy.

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Day In a Page

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit