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The News Matrix: Saturday 27 April 2013

Badger cull protest enlists squatter help

Opponents of the badger cull have enlisted the help of members of the squatter and Traveller communities, threatening to set up camps on private land where badgers will be shot. Licences have been issued for the killing of 70 per cent of badgers in two cull zones in the West Country.

Fire at psychiatric hospital kills 38

A fire at a psychiatric hospital outside Moscow killed 38 people early yesterday morning, many of them patients who burned to death while under heavy sedation. The fire broke out around 1.30am yesterday at Psychiatric Clinic Number 14, in Ramenskiy, about 85 miles from Moscow.

Trio that used child as ‘sex slave’ jailed

Three men who abducted a troubled 13-year-old girl and used her as their sex slave have been jailed. Mohammed Sheikh, Hamza Ali and Suran Uddin took the girl from the streets of London to Ipswich, where she was passed between them “like a piece of meat” for four days.

Nation set to vote for centre-right parties

Iceland could return to power the parties that helped cause its economic collapse in the general election tomorrow. The Social Democratic Party have led a coalition with the Left-Green movement over the last four years but the centrist vote is split. MORE

UKIP holds key to Cameron leadership

Senior Tories believe David Cameron’s leadership of the party will be threatened once again if UKIP performs strongly in next week’s local elections. MPs denied that a formal leadership challenge before 2015 had been ruled out. One said: “If UKIP does well, all bets are off.” MORE

Boston bombers’ driver tells of ordeal

The Chinese driver who was taken hostage by the Boston bombers hours after police released their photographs has told of his ordeal. The car-jacking victim, known only as “Danny”, was forced at gunpoint to drive Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to an ATM. MORE

Hen party woman dies in M-way crash

A woman travelling to a hen party in a minibus has died following a crash with a lorry. Six people were seriously injured in the collision yesterday morning on the M62 near Pontefract, West Yorkshire. The driver of the heavy goods vehicle was arrested. MORE

No tomorrow for All Tomorrow’s Parties

The organisers of the popular All Tomorrow’s Parties have called time on the alternative music events. ATP founder Barry Hogan said: “You don’t want it dragging on forever like the Rolling Stones.” The first festival was curated by the indie band Belle and Sebastian in 1999.

Penis cut off during ‘break from reality’

The lawyer for a California woman charged with severing her husband’s penis has said she “had a break from reality”. Catherine Kieu claims that after a lifetime of trauma and abuse, she snapped one night in 2011, drugged her husband, cut off his penis and threw it in the rubbish.

Brydon and Coogan back for second ‘Trip’

Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan are to return with a new series of their cult comedy The Trip, this time based on an excursion to Italy, it was confirmed yesterday. Despite low viewing figures, the show developed cult status, earning two Baftas and recent critical acclaim in the US.

Diamond prize that was easy to swallow

A woman who won a charity prize offering a one-carat diamond worth $5,000 had to go to the doctor to recover the stone after she swallowed it. The diamond was in a lucky glass of champagne and Miriam Tucker foolishly drank the diamond as well.

Country singer George Jones dies

George Jones, the US country singer, died yesterday at the age of 81. The singer was taken to hospital with fever and irregular blood pressure, and died shortly afterwards. He had No 1 singles in five separate decades from the 1950s to the 1990s and is survived by four children.

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Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam