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The News Matrix: Monday 26 May 2014

Chocolate boss claims presidency

A billionaire chocolate magnate claimed victory in Ukraine’s presidential election last night. According to exit polls, Petro Poroshenko took more than 55 per cent of the vote. He said his first priority was to end the “war and chaos” caused by  pro-Russian separatists.

Family speaks of yachtsman’s passion

Relatives of James Male, one of the Cheeki Rafiki crew members, have paid tribute to him after the search for the four men was called off. In a statement, the family of the 23-year-old said: “He loved being in the outdoors and on the water teaching new skills to people.”

Brother’s tribute to ‘murdered’ teacher

The brother of a British woman thought to have been murdered in Bali has spoken of his family’s “overwhelming grief”. Anne-Marie Drozdz, 49, was found last Thursday in her villa in Ubud. Gregory Drozdz said: “It has left us raw, bewildered and confused.”

Obama vows to end war ‘responsibly’

On a surprise visit to Afghanistan, President Barack Obama pledged yesterday to bring America’s longest war to a “responsible end” by the close of the year. He promised a decision soon on keeping a small contingent of troops to help protect gains made over nearly 13 years of combat.

Cherie: let’s hear it for the (average) girls

Average women need quotas to help them succeed in the workplace as often as their average male counterparts, according to Cherie Booth QC. The barrister  said it is vital to “accelerate” the careers of women.

American classics cut from syllabus

There was a backlash yesterday against the news that To Kill a Mockingbird and other works of American literature have been removed from GCSE syllabuses.  Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, has claimed pupils need to study more British writers. Syllabuses will now cover novels by authors such as Charles Dickens; poetry by the Romantics; and a Shakespeare play.

Man, 82, ‘shot wife then killed himself’

Two bodies have been found after an elderly man dialled 999 to say he had shot his wife and planned to shoot himself. Police in Boxted, Essex, found two bodies – believed to be Harold Ambrose, 82, and 77-year-old Wendy Ambrose – after receiving the call on Saturday morning.

Unpaid council tax tops UK debt fears

Council tax arrears are now the most common debt worry for people in England and Wales, according to new figures from Citizens Advice. Some 27,000 people went to Citizens Advice with a council tax arrears problem in the first three months of this year.

Hopes greenhouse app will bear fruit

A British company has launched the world’s first app-controlled greenhouse. Niwa is just 49cm wide but can grow fruit, vegetables and tropical plants. It does not require natural light or soil and is controlled through a free smartphone app.

Kidman: I had no control over ‘Grace’

Nicole Kidman said she had no control over her Grace Kelly biopic after damning reviews. Grace of Monaco, which stars Ms Kidman as the actress and Tim Roth as her husband, Prince Rainier, was panned by critics at the Cannes Film Festival.

Flushing out a little snake problem

A woman in the town of Narón went to hospital after a snake bit her as she was on the toilet. Iris Castroverde, 30, heard splashing in the bowl before the attack.

Games on: first special 50p struck

The first Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games 50p coin has been struck. The 20th Commonwealth Games will take place over 11 days in the city this July and August.

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