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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.

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Day In a Page

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor
She's dark, sarcastic, and bashes life in Nowheresville ... so how did Kacey Musgraves become country music's hottest new star?

Kacey Musgraves: Nashville's hottest new star

The singer has two Grammys for her first album under her belt and her celebrity fans include Willie Nelson, Ryan Adams and Katy Perry
American soldier-poet Brian Turner reveals the enduring turmoil that inspired his memoir

Soldier-poet Brian Turner on his new memoir

James Kidd meets the prize-winning writer, whose new memoir takes him back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
Aston Villa vs Hull match preview: Villa were not surprised that Ron Vlaar was a World Cup star

Villa were not surprised that Vlaar was a World Cup star

Andi Weimann reveals just how good his Dutch teammate really is
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef ekes out his holiday in Italy with divine, simple salads

Bill Granger's simple Italian salads

Our chef presents his own version of Italian dishes, taking in the flavours and produce that inspired him while he was in the country
The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

If supporters begin to close bank accounts, switch broadband suppliers or shun satellite sales, their voices will be heard. It’s time for revolution