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The News Matrix: Monday 9 September 2013

Pope claims arms trade ‘fuels wars’

Pope Francis has denounced arms proliferation and the illegal weapons trade, saying the desire to make profits possibly fuels wars. Francis told the crowd in St Peter’s Square  yesterday that he wonders “if this war here or there is really a war, or is it a commercial war…”

British couple drown off Sicily

A British man and his girlfriend are thought to have drowned while on holiday in Sicily. Andrew Sturgess, 34, and Carmen Spiridon, 25, died after getting into difficulty in the sea at Tre Fontane beach in the village of Campobello di Mazara in the south-west of the Italian island.

Setback for Clegg as key Lib Dem quits

Nick Clegg suffered a huge setback yesterday when former Coalition Liberal Democrat education minister Sarah Teather accused him of backing Conservative policies on welfare and immigration as she announced she is quitting Parliament at the next election. MORE

Miss World moved after protests

The 63rd Miss World pageant opened yesterday after protests by Muslim hard-liners confined the event to Indonesia’s predominantly Hindu resort island of Bali. Following days of protests, the government announced it was moving the final round from the capital, Jakarta.

Author to rewrite ‘Merchant of Venice’

Howard Jacobson is to rewrite Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice to tackle its anti-Semitism. He is one of several writers commissioned to redo the Bard’s plays to mark the 400th  anniversary of his death. MORE

Patten fights for his career in BBC row

BBC Trust chairman Lord Patten and the corporation’s former director-general, Mark Thompson, will fight for their reputations today after each accused the other of misleading parliament over severance pay to BBC employees. The two men  will appear before the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee amid calls for the BBC Trust to be scrapped. MORE

Opposition leader contests election

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny faced off against a Kremlin ally yesterday in a Moscow mayoral election with high stakes. He is unlikely to beat Putin ally Sergei Sobyanin but a good showing would be worrying for the establishment.

Artificial nose can detect blood poison

Scientists have developed an  artificial nose that can smell  blood-poisoning bacteria. It has the  potential to save lives because it can trace the bugs in 24 hours instead of the usual 72. Researchers believe it could prevent sepsis.

Fowl play? ‘Spy’ stork becomes lunch

Sometimes a bird just can’t catch a break. An innocent stork who was detained by police in Egypt on suspicion of spying has been found dead following its release. Reports from an Egyptian wildlife organisation suggest that it was killed and eaten by villagers.

‘Lost’ Pavarotti album tops charts

Luciano Pavarotti’s first ever recording has topped the classical artist album charts, six years after his death. The album features a recently unearthed aria that the legendary opera singer recorded 50 years ago. His widow, Nicoletta Mantovani, has re-mastered it for release.

Peking duck has gone all crispy

A 60-foot-tall duck has been given an urgent blast of hot air after widespread ridicule of its wrinkled appearance and droopy beak. The inflatable duck, a copy of one designed by the Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman, was on show at the Beijing International Expo.

Foxes? In Kuwait  they have lions

A runaway lion found roaming an upmarket suburb of Kuwait was lured into a car by a member of the public, who then called police. The incident has raised concerns about wild animals being kept as pets in the wealthy Gulf Arab state. Police are seeking the lion’s owner.

Becks ‘had a crush’ on Cherie Blair

David Beckham had a secret crush on Cherie Blair, a former England teammate has revealed. Beckham, 38, made the surprising confession while on international duty several years ago. The revelation was made public by former footballer Danny Murphy, live on TalkSport radio.

Sturgeon makes surprise return

Anglers have been told to watch out for sturgeon, a rare breed of fish, after two boys caught one near Pembroke Dock in the south of Wales last month. The fish, which can grow to over 2.5 metres, hasn’t been spotted off the UK coast for nine years. Experts believe others may arrive soon.

Immigrant spices up his border crossing

An immigrant suspected of entering the US illegally attempted to make his journey in a shipment of red chilli. US border officials working at a New Mexico checkpoint said the 35-year-old man was found “highly intoxicated” with a bottle of tequila beside him.

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Day In a Page

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
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