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The News Matrix: Monday 15 October 2012

'Robin Hood' mayor escapes jail term

Mary Ella Hixon, 91, has been spared prison after stealing $200,000 from the Alabama town where she was mayor for three decades. She gave the cash away.

'Part-time' MPs may face a pay cut

Cutting salaries of "part-time" MPs who have other jobs is among proposals being considered in a review of Westminster pay and pensions to be put out to public consultation.

Man once ate pandas, says expert

A Chinese scientist says that humans used to eat pandas. Wei Guangbiao, head of the Institute of Three Gorges Paleoanthropology in Chongqing, says excavated panda fossils showed the bears "were once slashed to death by man". MORE

Protest interrupts St Paul's service

A year after the Occupy protests, four women from the movement chained themselves to the pulpit of St Paul's Cathedral during evensong yesterday. The women shouted a list of grievances against the cathedral and quotations from the Bible.

'Unacceptable' to use cells for mental cases

It is "unacceptable" for officers to use police cells as holding facilities, according to the man leading an independent inquiry into how the Metropolitan Police deals with mental health incidents. "The cells being used as places of safety are unacceptable," Lord (Victor) Adebowale told i. "My job is to ensure that [the police] response is improved." MORE

Monti pays tribute to Thatcher's impact

Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti has hailed Margaret Thatcher's decade-long overhaul of the British economy. Talking to i, the technocrat premier said Mrs Thatcher had made "profound changes to British society" in her three periods of office. MORE

Two die as tourist vessel capsizes

Two British women were trapped beneath an upturned catamaran off Cape Town for more than three hours before being rescued, in a tragedy that claimed two lives, including Peter Hyett, 64, from Wales. The boat was carrying 41 tourists when it capsized. MORE

Five Marines face murder charge

The Ministry of Defence has charged five Royal Marines with murdering a Taliban fighter in Afghanistan. The Royal Military Police had arrested nine marines over what has been described as "an engagement with an insurgent". Four were released without charge. MORE

Israeli air strike kills top al-Qai'da pair

Two Gaza militants killed by Israel on Saturday were the senior al-Qai'da affiliates in the Palestinian enclave, sources said yesterday. Hisham al-Saedni and Ashraf al-Sabah, who were killed by an air strikee, were ultra-conservative Salafi Islamists. MORE

The number's up for Johnny Ball

Former Think of a Number presenter Johnny Ball, 74, last night suffered the dubious honour of becoming the first competitor to be voted off this year's Strictly Come Dancing, after a dance-off against Richard Arnold.

Police in Savile case head to Broadmoor

Detectives investigating child abuse allegations against Jimmy Savile will visit the high-security Broadmoor psychiatric hospital in Berkshire today. Scotland Yard will probe the Department of Health's decision to appoint Savile as the head of a task force that oversaw Broadmoor's work in 1988. MORE

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Day In a Page

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home