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The News Matrix: Tuesday 4 February 2014

Hacking reporter hits out at NOTW

A former News of the World reporter yesterday blamed his old employer for a “sticky keys defence” used when he was caught phone hacking. Dan Evans initially lied about trying to access the voicemail messages  of the designer Kelly Hoppen in 2009.

Executives on trial over financial crash

The trial of three of Anglo Irish Bank executives is set to begin, more than five years after it was bailed out by the Dublin government when it collapsed. Former chairman, Sean FitzPatrick and two others face charges related to alleged financial irregularities at the lender. MORE

Former director sorry for failure

Mark Thompson has apologised to MPs and licence-fee payers over a failed computer project during his time as Director-General of the BBC which led to £100m being wasted. “I want to apologise to you and the public,” he told the Commons’ Public Accounts Committee. MORE

Mandela’s family told of details of will

Nelson Mandela’s will was read to his family yesterday, detailing his $4.1m (£2.5m) estate, which has been left largely to his family with donations to the former South African President’s former schools and the African National Congress. Lawyers for Mandela, who died on 5 December, said that they hoped the will would put an end to feuding in his family. MORE

Parliament seeks suffragettes artist

The House of Commons is seeking to appoint an artist-in-residence to produce an artwork to commemorate the suffragettes’ struggle to win the vote for women. He or she will initially be paid £7,000, with a further undisclosed sum upon completion of the work. MORE

Swimmer Ian Thorpe in rehab

Ian Thorpe, the five-time Olympic swimming champion and BBC pundit during London 2012, is being treated for depression after he was found disorientated in a street in the early hours of yesterday. MORE

Chuckle brother’s surprise at DLT trial

One of the Chuckle Brothers told a court it was “a complete surprise” to hear claims that DJ Dave Lee Travis indecently assaulted a stage hand at a pantomime they were starring in. Paul Elliott, 66, said he could not recall any inappropriate behaviour by the former Radio 1 star. MORE

Yanukovych returns after sick leave

Protesters showed few signs of leaving the streets of Kiev yesterday, despite President Viktor Yanukovych returning after four days of leave. He must now appoint a prime minister to replace Mykola Azarov, who quit on 28 January. MORE

Online drink craze linked to deaths

An online drinking craze has been linked to the deaths of two teenagers. The trend – known as neknomination – involves young people filming themselves drinking alcohol in dangerous settings then nominating a friend to do it. MORE

Controversy over church’s fresco

Religion and politics rarely mix well, as has been proved in a recent case in Montenegro, where a fresco at a new church in the capital, Podgorica, has drawn criticism for depicting Yugoslavia’s former Communist leader Josip Broz Tito in the fires of hell with Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.

Pupils call for return of sacked teacher

Students are calling for a physics teacher to be reinstated after he was sacked for accidentally shooting a student during an experiment. Richard West was dismissed from St Peter’s Collegiate School in Wolverhampton last week. It is believed a pellet rebounded and struck a student on the leg last November.

Winter not over yet, says groundhog Phil

Punxsutawney Phil, the famed US groundhog, emerged from his burrow on Sunday with townsfolk hoping he would predict an early end to this year’s harsh US winter. But the rodent, who has apparently been predicting the length of winter since 1887, suggested everyone should button up for another few weeks.

Public cash will fund teachers’ IT training

Universities and IT companies will get public money to set up projects to train teachers in how to give lessons in computer coding, said the Department for Education. A £500,000 fund will be set up, with the Government matching money invested by businesses to train teachers in the computing curriculum.

Arctic Monkeys to headline festivals

Sheffield band Arctic Monkeys will be the headline act at the Reading and Leeds festivals this summer. The band, who have received acclaim and a new set of admirers for their fifth album AM, will perform on the main stage during the events which are staged over the bank holiday weekend in August.

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