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The News Matrix: Thursday 13 February 2014


Serial killer sang ‘Oops I Did it Again’

Two men have been found guilty of helping a serial killer cover her tracks. Gary Stretch and Leslie Layton both faced a number of charges after helping Joanna Dennehy dispose of the bodies of three men she killed in Peterborough. After Dennehy, 31, killed her third victim she sang the Britney Spears song “Oops I Did it Again”. MORE

Hundreds of officers fail new fitness tests

Hundreds of officers have failed fitness tests since they became compulsory in September. More than one in 50 candidates did not make the grade. The three constabularies where the highest percentage of officers failed were Suffolk, Gwent and Wiltshire.

Muslim exodus is ‘ethnic cleansing’

Amnesty International warned yesterday that the exodus of thousands of Muslims from the country amounts to “ethnic cleansing”. They said that the sectarian bloodshed now underway, despite the presence of thousands of peacekeepers, is a “tragedy of historic proportions.”

All you need is love, Welby tells faithful

The Archbishop of Canterbury has urged Anglicans to overcome fears about the introduction of women bishops and divisions over gay people. Justin Welby said there needed to be a “massive” cultural change within the Church of England to build love between opposing groups.

Fears for safety of men held in Homs

There is growing concern about the fate of scores of men in the Syrian city of Homs. As many as 190 are being detained by the Syrian security forces after being detained during a ceasefire that has allowed civilians to leave the city. MORE

Scarlett’s choice backed by Rankin

Scarlett Johansson’s decision to continue her contract with Soda- Stream and step down from work with Oxfam has been supported by photographer Rankin. MORE

Gove urged not to remove Ofsted chair

The chief schools inspector urged Michael Gove not to remove Baroness Sally Morgan from her post as chair of Ofsted. Sir Michael Wilshaw told MPs he was consulted by the Education Secretary before he made the decision. “I did say to [Mr Gove] that I wanted her to continue in the post,” he said. MORE

Fan charged after hurling dog at ref

In a cruel display of bad sportsmanship, a football fan in southern Spain has been arrested for throwing a dog at a referee after disagreeing with his decision to award a foul. The perpetrator, who seized the animal from a fellow fan, is facing charges of animal cruelty; the dog’s condition is unknown.

Ayckbourn to attempt a musical

Sir Alan Ayckbourn, regarded as Britain’s most prolific living playwright, is to direct a musical adaptation of his play The Boy Who Fell into a Book. Despite his self-proclaimed “abysmal track record” for musicals, he has said he feels more confident, thanks to his new team of composers and writers. MORE

Top chefs to teach on new cookery cruiser

A cookery club run by top chefs will be a feature on a new British cruise liner starting voyages next year. TV chef James Martin will join pâtissier Eric Lanlard to run cookery classes on P&O Cruises’ 3,600-passenger Britannia. The ship’s restaurants will have creations by Marco Pierre White, Atul Kochhar and Olly Smith.

Sailor’s forgotten letter is discovered

A 1916 letter from a First World War sailor has finally reached its destination. The letter was found behind a fireplace in Kirkwall, Orkney. Addressed to the serviceman’s family in Wales, it was never posted. Staff at Orkney Library tracked down Mary Hodge in Chester who recognised the writer as her grandfather.