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The News Matrix: Wednesday 19 February 2014

Opposition leader turns himself in

The hardline opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez surrendered to security forces on Tuesday to face charges of fomenting unrest against President Nicolas Maduro's government during which four people have died. The economist made a defiant speech to an opposition rally. MORE

Pussy Riot members arrested in Sochi

Two members of the anti-government punk rock group, Pussy Riot, were briefly detained in Sochi yesterday, accused, the Russian authorities said, of stealing a handbag. Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova were later photographed in the Olympics host city wearing their trademark balaclavas.

Forces have 20 war pregnancies a year

In the past decade only 20 servicewomen per year were sent home from Afghanistan or Iraq on the grounds that they were pregnant. Officials are understood to regard this as too small an issue to warrant introducing compulsory pregnancy tests. MORE

Poundland reveals expansion plans

The discount chain Poundland has announced it aspires to have more UK stores than Sainsbury's and Starbucks. It has also revealed plans to join the stock market with a value of around £700m. The firm's management said it wants 1,000 stores across the UK. MORE

Inmate killed in detention centre riot

One asylum-seeker died and 77 were injured during a night of violence allegedly involving locals and police at an Australian detention centre. Asylum-seekers said gangs of police and villagers stormed the centre, wielding guns, knives and machetes, and "hunted them down". MORE

Pending ban on synthetic lingerie

New regulations in Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan are imposing a ban on synthetic lingerie beginning this summer. The ban is aimed at protecting consumers from poor-quality materials. The new ban will go into effect in July, but several female protesters have been arrested in Kazakhstan. MORE

PM denies being an extra-terrestrial

New Zealand's Prime Minister John Key recently denied claims that he is a shape-shifting alien, after a freedom of information request was filed to disclaim the rumours. Mr Key went on to hold a press conference in which he told reporters he had seen both a doctor and a vet to set things straight.

One in six GPs sent patient to food bank

One in six family doctors has been asked to refer a patient to a food bank in the past year a survey of 522 GPs has found. Food poverty in the UK has been described as an emerging "public health emergency" by academics, and evidence from GP surgeries is matched by hospital diagnoses of malnutrition.

Insurers fail to rule out rise in premiums

Insurance chiefs have refused to rule out dearer premiums as a result of the floods. Homeowners in areas of high flood risk were disappointed yesterday when the Association of British Insurers said no decision had yet been made on potential added costs to consumers. Asked if premiums would rise, the ABI's head of property, Aidan Kerr, said it was still "too early to say".

Two cows rescued – but still go to abattoir

A pair of cows had to be rescued after an accident left them upside down en route to an abattoir. The trailer ended up on its roof following a crash in Althorne, Essex. The road was closed and the RSPCA and Essex Police were called in to help. Essex Fire and Rescue Service said the cows were freed and put on another trailer.

Pinocchio returns after 63 years

A book borrowed 63 years ago has been returned during a fines amnesty. The Adventures of Pinocchio had a return date of New Year's Eve 1950. Librarian Joanna Grindle of Rugby Library, in Warwickshire, said: "We wanted to use the amnesty to welcome people back. We hope the borrower is enjoying our services again."

Posh: US welcomes successful women

Victoria Beckham has said she loved living in the US as it is more accepting of successful women. The fashion designer, now residing in the UK again, said: "Living in America for six years was the happiest I think I've ever been." She said it felt more acceptable for women to enjoy successful careers in the US.

Man arrested over al-Hilli killings

Police arrested a 48-year-old man yesterday – the first French arrest linked to the grisly shooting deaths of Saad al-Hilli and his family in the French Alps nearly 18 months ago. MORE

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Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible
Look what's mushrooming now! Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector

Look what's mushrooming now!

Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector
Neil Findlay is more a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

More a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

The vilification of the potential Scottish Labour leader Neil Findlay shows how one-note politics is today, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Tenderstem broccoli omelette; Fried eggs with Mexican-style tomato and chilli sauce; Pan-fried cavolo nero with soft-boiled egg

Oeuf quake

Bill Granger's cracking egg recipes
Terry Venables: Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back

Terry Venables column

Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back
Michael Calvin: Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Those at the top are allowing the same issues to go unchallenged, says Michael Calvin