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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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Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
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Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker