The UK economy grew by 0.7 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2013, a result hailed by David Cameron as hard evidence the government's economic plan is working. The new data shows that the British economy expanded by 1.9 per cent last year – the "fastest growth in a calendar year since 2007".
ROYAL ESTATE NEEDS £50M REPAIRS
The Public Accounts Committee has for the first time scrutinised the finances of the royal family and says the Royal Household and Treasury are not managing the funds well, with palaces allowed to deteriorate and spending not reduced enough during the recent recession - instead the royals are “spending above their means”.
US FOLK SINGER PETE SEEGER DEAD AT 94
Pete Seeger, the American folk singer and activist known for ‘If I Had a Hammer’ and ‘Turn, Turn, Turn!’, has died in a New York hospital after a short illness, at the age of 94. Seeger rose to fame with his group The Weavers in 1948, at the forefront of the folk revival, paving the way for later acts including Bob Dylan.
NSA HARVESTS DATA FROM ANGRY BIRDS
The latest revelations from the documents leaked by former US contractor Edward Snowden show that the American NSA and the UK’s GCHQ routinely harvested data from smartphone apps including the game Angry Birds to build up a picture of a user’s information, including location, politics and sexual orientation.
EGYPT'S EX-PRESIDENT PUT IN GLASS CAGE
Egypt's deposed president Mohammed Morsi was put in a soundproof glass cage during an appearance in a Cairo court today. The cage, previously unheard of in Egyptian courts, shows the "extraordinary measures that the new government is using to silence" the former president, the New York Times says.
UKRAINE PARLIAMENT DROPS PROTEST LAW
Ukraine’s parliament has voted in favour of President Yanukovych’s decision to repeal the country’s deeply-resented anti-protest laws. The vote came hours after prime minister Mykola Azarov resigned in a separate attempt to end to the deadly demonstrations that have spread across the country.
HAMILTON CRASHES AS F1 TESTS BEGIN
Lewis Hamilton escaped unhurt after crashing into a barrier on the first day of winter testing at Jerez as Formula 1 teams grappled with the sport's new rules and regulations. Mercedes unveiled their 2014 model at the Spanish circuit, but it lasted only four hours before the front wing came off, sending Hamilton into the barriers.
DOCTOR WHO: NEW OUTFIT FOR CAPALDI
Peter Capaldi, the latest actor to play The Doctor in the BBC sci-fi series, has revealed his costume: a dark blue Crombie coat with red lining, dark blue trousers, white shirt and black Dr Marten shoes. Capaldi said it was: “Simple, stark, and back to basics. No frills, no scarf, no messing, just 100% Rebel Time Lord.”
TARANTINO SUES GAWKER OVER SCRIPT
Film director Quentin Tarantino is suing the gossip site Gawker after it published a link to a leaked copy of his latest script The Hateful Eight. The link was still current yesterday despite requests from Tarantino’s lawyers that the site take it down. The director dropped plans to film the script after an actor’s agent leaked it.
HOT TICKET: TOMB RAIDER UPDATED
A new version of Tomb Raider will be released in the UK this week for new generation game consoles PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition draws on the rebooted 2013 Lara Croft origins story but with re-built graphics, new downloadable content and campaigns. "Stunning," says Game Informer.