Russian president Vladimir Putin has said the use of force in the Ukraine would be a "last resort" but has not ruled out sending troops into the east of the country and insisted that armed men in Crimea were pro-Russian "self-defence" forces. He described the overthrow of Ukranian president Viktor Yanukovych as an "anti-constitutional coup".
PM’S AIDE HELD FOR CHILD ABUSE IMAGERY
A senior adviser to David Cameron, 62-year-old Patrick Rock, was arrested last month on suspicion of an offence “relating to child abuse imagery”, it has emerged. The former adviser to Margaret Thatcher, who had worked on online child abuse policies, resigned on 12 February and was arrested the next day.
BROOKS DEATH THREATS OVER HACKING
The trial of Rebekah Brooks at the Old Bailey has heard that the former News of the World editor received death threats after it emerged that the phone of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler had been hacked. However, Brooks also received messages of support from Tony Blair and Piers Morgan after the story appeared in The Guardian in 2011.
COUNCIL TAX TO RISE IN ENGLAND THIS YEAR
Councils across England are planning a “slight rise” in council tax, according to a survey conducted by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy. The rise of 0.6% will see the average bill for a band D property increase by £8.47 to £1,464 in 2014-15. The southeast, outside London, will see a 0.8% rise.
SECOND PISTORIUS WITNESS HEARD 'FIGHT'
A second witness has told the trial of Oscar Pistorius that she heard "a fight" in the early hours of the morning that the Paralympian shot dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. Estelle Van Der Merwe told the court the row lasted about an hour before a succession of loud bangs. Pistorius denies intentionally killing Steenkamp.
SCOTS INDEPENDENCE: ‘YES’ VOTE POLLS DOWN
Ipsos Mori has updated its polling on the Scottish independence referendum, for the first time since December, and the ‘No’ campaign has slightly increased its advantage. The percentage of Scots expected to vote ‘Yes’ has dropped two points to 32% while the ‘No’ vote remains a majority with a consistent 57%.
VIRUS COMES BACK TO LIFE AFTER 30,000 YEARS
A virus found frozen deep within ancient Siberian permafrost has come back to life in a French laboratory after 30,000 years of inertia. The ancient pathogen, the largest virus ever found at 1.5 micrometres, is not dangerous to humans or animals but researchers believe the permafrost may hold others which are.
SINGAPORE IS NAMED MOST EXPENSIVE CITY
An annual cost-of-living survey has found Singapore to be the world’s most expensive city. The island city-state tops the Economist Intelligence Unit’s list of 131 ranked cities for 2014 due to a strong currency, expensive utilities and the high cost of running a car there. Tokyo led the field last year.
GOVE SENDS DAUGHTER TO STATE SCHOOL
Michael Gove will become the first Conservative Education Secretary to send one of his children to a state secondary school when his daughter starts at Grey Coat Hospital near Westminster later this year. The academy school is a Church of England comprehensive, with admission based on bands of ability, church attendance and languages.
HOT TICKET: KNIGHT OF THE BURNING PESTLE
A revival of experimental Jacobean comedy The Knight of the Burning Pestle has opened at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, London. A grocer and his wife decide to spice up the play they are watching by inserting their apprentice into the drama. "A delight," says the Evening Standard. Until 30 March.