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The News Matrix: Wednesday 30 April 2014

Banks to experience ‘financial doomsday’

Britain’s eight leading banks and building societies will experience a simulated financial doomsday scenario by the Bank of England to gauge their readiness for a steep contraction in gross domestic product. Barclays, the Co-op, HSBC, Lloyds, Nationwide, Royal Bank of Scotland, Santander UK and Standard Chartered are all involved.

Court says Knox delivered fatal blow

The Florence appeals court that reinstated the conviction against Amanda Knox in Meredith Kercher’s 2007 murder said yesterday that Knox herself delivered the fatal blow, and that the overwhelming physical evidence precluded any need to determine a clear motive.

GDP growth continues apace

Britain’s recovering economy is nearing its pre-recession peak, Office of National Statistics data shows. The economy increased by 0.8 per cent in the three months to March, the fifth consecutive period of GDP growth and the longest upward trend since the financial crisis. MORE

Moscow warns over ‘Cold War tactics’

Moscow said yesterday new sanctions imposed on the country by the US and EU amounted to a lowering of an “Iron Curtain”. It warned in response that American astronauts on the International Space Station could be hurt and the sanctions amounted to Cold War tactics. MORE

C-section approved for psychotic woman

A High Court judge gave doctors the go-ahead to perform a caesarean section on a mentally ill woman who is 36 weeks pregnant. Mr Justice Hayden ruled that the woman, who has a schizophrenia-like psychotic disorder, could lawfully be sedated and restrained, following a hearing at the Court of Protection in London.

Obama defends his foreign policy

President Barack Obama has vigorously defended his foreign policy, arguing that his cautious approach to global problems has avoided the type of missteps that contributed to a “disastrous” decade of war for the US. His comments came at the end of a week-long Asia trip. MORE

Susanna Reid sees viewing figures halve

TV presenter Susanna Reid (left) drew just over half of the audience of her old BBC colleagues when she launched ITV’s new breakfast show, Good Morning Britain, according to viewing figures.

Naked man Tasered during strip search

A police officer has been acquitted of assault and misconduct after Tasering a naked man who threw a pair of underpants at him during a strip search at a Wiltshire police station. Pc Lee Birch discharged his weapon into the bare chest of Daniel Dove in a cell in December 2012.

Basketball team owner gets life ban

The owner of the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team has been banned from the National Basketball Association (NBA) for life and fined $2.5m (£1.5m) after a recording emerged of him making racist remarks. MORE

Original cast returns for Episode VII

The cast of next instalment in the Star Wars franchise has been announced. Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill will all return for Star Wars: Episode VII, which is due to open in December next year. MORE

Doing the dishes to become legal duty

Spanish teenagers prone to laziness may soon have to think twice after a new draft law says that they will be legally obliged to leave their bedrooms to help at home and maintain the upkeep of the family residence.

Cancer teenager’s fund hits £3m mark

The terminally ill teenager Stephen Sutton who aimed to raise £10,000 for the Teenage Cancer Trust has broken through the £3m milestone. From his hospital bed, the 19-year-old has thanked all those who helped make it happen.

Threlfall is the new Noah

Actor David Threlfall – Frank Gallagher in TV’s Shameless – is to star as Noah in a new BBC drama. Filming of the biblical epic The Ark began this week in Morocco. Threlfall, who recently starred as Tommy Cooper in ITV’s biopic about the comedian, said: “The story jumped off the page at me from the first reading.”

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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