Vladimir Putin today signed a treaty bringing Crimea under the control of Moscow and delivered an impassioned speech to the Russian parliament, insisting the breakaway region had always been part of Russia and lambasting the West, who say the annexation is illegal. There were reports of gunfire near Ukranian military bases in the region.
CHINA BEGINS LAND SEARCH FOR MH370
China has begun to search its territory for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which vanished 10 days ago. Chinese investigators say there is nothing to link the 154 missing Chinese passengers to terrorism. In Beijing, families of the missing are threatening a hunger strike as their desperate wait for news continues.
STONES CANCEL GIG AFTER SCOTT SUICIDE
The Rolling Stones have cancelled the first show of their Australian tour, in Perth, after the apparent suicide of Mick Jagger’s fashion designer girlfriend, L’Wren Scott. Scott was found dead in her New York apartment by her assistant on Monday. Jagger is said to be “completely shocked and devastated” by the news.
FIFA CHIEF 'PAID £2M' AFTER QATAR VOTE
A Fifa vice-president was reportedly paid $2m by a Qatari company soon after the tiny Gulf state was awarded the 2012 World Cup it has been reported. Jack Warner from Trinidad, who resigned from Fifa under a cloud in 2011, was allegedly paid the money by a company run by disgraced Qatari football offical, Mohamed Bin Hammam.
MR TROTTER OF SOUTH LONDON WINS £108M
Mechanic Neil Trotter from Coulsdon in south London has been named as the winner of the £108m Euromillions jackpot on Friday. The 41-year-old amateur racing driver who runs a garage in Mitcham became the 745th richest person in the UK at a single stroke on Friday and is now worth more than Robbie Williams and George Michael.
MET ‘SHREDDED LORRY-LOAD OF PAPERS’
The Met Police shredded a “lorry-load” of papers from a top-secret inquiry into possible police corruption which began in 1993, so many it took two days, according to Mark Ellison QC, who led an inquiry into the investigation of the Stephen Lawrence murder. Ellison said he was unable to see files he needed.
LICENCE FEE: PLAN TO DECRIMINALISE
A proposal to end the criminal offence of failing to buy a TV license could be included in a bill before Parliament after a Tory MP gained the support of 150 members for the measure. Andrew Bridgen says he is concerned at the number of people brought into the criminal justice system for “such a minor offence”.
FIFTEEN KILLED IN AFGHAN SUICIDE BOMB
Fifteen civilians, including street vendors and shoppers, have been killed in a suicide bomb attack at a market in northern Afghanistan. A further 27 were injured when a three-wheeler motorcycle packed with explosives was detonated. No group has claimed responsibility. Security is tight in the run-up to elections.
EDDIE IZZARD URGES SCOTS ‘DON’T GO’
Comedian Eddie Izzard has announced a ‘Scotland, Please Don’t Go’ gig in Edinburgh on 4 April as part of a fundraising campaign for Better Together, the group opposing Scots independence. ‘No’ fundraising has been dwarfed by the ‘Yes’ campaign’s, which has benefited from millions given by lottery winners.
HOT TICKET: JOYCE STAGED IN RIVERRUN
A stage adaptation of James Joyce's modernist novel Finnegans Wake has opened at The Shed, National Theatre. Olwen Fouere's one-woman show presents Joyce's famously impenetrable text as a sound poem in which the multiple voices are conveyed by Ireland's River Liffey. "Electrifying," says The Times. Until 22 March.