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The News Matrix: Tuesday 26 February 2013

Socialite's ex found guilty of blackmail

Tamara Ecclestone's former fiancé faces jail after being found guilty of blackmailing the socialite for £200,000. Derek Rose, 33, told the Formula 1 supremo's daughter that he had been offered hundreds of thousands of pounds to sell his story to the tabloids, despite no newspaper having made such an offer.

Kerry's bid to reaffirm 'special relationship'

John Kerry enjoyed breakfast with David Cameron yesterday as the new US Secretary of State spoke of his determination to reaffirm the "special relationship". But there remains a difference of opinion between the US and the UK on the issue of arming Syrian rebels. MORE

Horse is found in Ikea meatballs

A batch of Ikea meatballs have been withdrawn from sale after horse meat was found by Czech authorities. The meatballs were labelled as beef and pork. Ikea said meatballs would still be available in its stores and only one batch was being withdrawn as a precaution. MORE

Children let down by poor packed lunches

Parents are sending their children to school without proper packed lunches, a survey of school, youth and health workers has found. In some cases, children have to make do with cold chips or a packet of biscuits. More than eight out of ten of those surveyed said they had seen children going without enough to eat, while 68 per cent said it was a growing trend.

'Vulcan' top name for new Pluto moons

An online vote to name Pluto's two newest moons is over. The winner is Vulcan, a name suggested by William Shatner, Captain Kirk in the Star Trek series. In second place was Cerberus, the guard-dog to the underworld.

Two arrested over acid attack

Detectives have made two arrests in connection with an acid attack which left a shop assistant partially blinded. A 28-year-old man and a 21-year-old woman were arrested on suspicion of being involved in causing grievous bodily harm to Victoria's Secret worker Naomi Oni, 21. MORE

Rebels reject first offer of talks

Rebels in Syria have rejected the regime's first offer of talks, claiming they will not negotiate until President al-Assad leaves. Walid al-Moallem, Syrian foreign minister, said his government is ready for dialogue with "anyone who's willing". But the Free Syrian Army said: "We will not negotiate with a criminal." MORE

Depardieu cosies up to Kadyrov

Gerard Depardieu, below, who won Russian residency after fleeing France's high taxes, has made friends with Chechnya's Kremlin-backed leader, Ramzan Kadyrov. Mr Kadyrov wined and dined the actor before they embraced each other in fits of laughter. Depardieu was made an honorary citizen of Chechnya. MORE

Mitchell translates autism memoir

Booker Prize-nominated author David Mitchell has co-translated an acclaimed book about how autistic children respond to the people around them. The Reason I Jump was written by Japanese writer Naoki Higishida, who has autism and wrote the book when he was 13 years old. Mitchell's son is autistic. MORE

Frostbite thwarts Sir Ranulph's expedition

Sir Ranulph Fiennes has abandoned his bid to become the first person to cross Antarctica in winter after contracting severe frostbite during training. The explorer had used his bare hands to attempt to fix a ski binding in temperatures of -30C. Last night, his evacuation was being hampered by blizzards. MORE

Man jailed for attacks on two women

A man who knocked two women unconscious in two random attacks has been jailed for four years. Michael Ayoade, 35, from east London, was caught on CCTV punching a 16-year-old girl in the head and attacking a student at a Tube station.

Giant goldfish threaten Lake Tahoe

Giant goldfish have mysteriously found their way into Lake Tahoe, the second-deepest lake in the US, alarming researchers and raising questions about the invasive species' long-term effects. Goldfish weighing as much as 4lbs and measuring up to 1.5ft long have recently been caught in Tahoe.

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Day In a Page

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
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home