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Perfect scores see Caroline Flack claim Strictly crown

TV presenter Caroline Flack and her partner Pasha Kovalev have delivered a set of unbeatable performances to win BBC's Strictly Come Dancing 2014.

Flack and Kovalev secured three perfect 40 scores for dances which included the cha cha cha and Charleston.

Pasha Kovalev and Caroline Flack were hailed as "absolutely phenomenal" by the Strictly judges on their way to the 2014 title. Credit: Guy Levy/BBC/PA Wire

The former Xtra Factor host jumped for joy upon lifting the glitterball trophy and said winning was the "best feeling in the whole world".

"This has been the best experience of my whole life," she added.

Nigel Farage's personal rating falls sharply in new poll

Nigel Farage's personal approval rating has slipped markedly in a new poll that puts the Ukip leader's popularity below David Cameron.

His net approval rating - the percentage of voters who approve of his performance minus those who disapprove - fell to -17%, eight points lower than a fortnight ago.

The Prime Minister was on -11%, with Ed Miliband on -28% and Nick Clegg on -48%.

Nigel Farage's popularity has waned over the past fortnight. Credit: Empics Entertainment/EMPICS Entertainment

Since the last Opinium poll Mr Farage has faced criticism for comments about breastfeeding in which he suggested that mothers could "sit in the corner" in restaurants while feeding babies to avoid offending people.

The party has also been hit by the resignation of would-be MP Kerry Smith over a leaked recording of him making derogatory comments.

The Opinium poll for the Observer also had bad news for the Liberal Democrats, who slipped to just 6% support, compared to 16% for Ukip.

The survey put Labour on 36% support, seven points ahead of the Conservatives.


Second man arrested on suspicion of off-duty PC's murder

A second man has been arrested on suspicion of murdering off-duty police constable Neil Doyle in Liverpool city centre, Merseyside Police has said.

A 30-year-old man from Huyton has been arrested and taken to a police station to be interviewed by detectives.

A 28-year-old man, also from Huyton, who was arrested last night after handing himself into police is still being questioned.

Off-duty PC killed in attack was set to go on honeymoon

The newlywed wife of a police officer who was killed in an assault in Liverpool city centre while off duty has issued a tribute to him.

Neil was very well loved by all of his family, friends and colleagues and it is a great loss to us all.

We are finding it extremely difficult to come to terms with what has happened and need time to be left to grieve.

– PC Neil Doyle's wife Sarah Doyle

The couple got married in July and were due to go on their honeymoon next month.

Police believe three men were involved in the attack on PC Neil Doyle and two of his colleagues in the early hours of Friday and have appealed for witnesses.

A 28-year-old man from Huyton has been arrested on suspicion of murder after handing himself in to a police station.

Lockerbie victim's father criticises prosecutor's comments

The father of one of the victims of the Lockerbie bombing has hit out at comments from Scotland's leading prosecutor that suggested there were no problems with the conviction of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi.

Jim Swire, whose 23-year-old daughter Flora died in the attack, has campaigned for the case to be re-examined, claiming there is evidence that Megrahi was not responsible.

Dr Swire told Sky News:

For the Lord Advocate to say there isn't a shred of evidence to suggest that the trial was anything other than what it should have been is analogous with the late Mandy Rice-Davies when she says 'he would say that, wouldn't he'.

Twenty six years ago is a long time and I suppose he means people currently in his Crown Office don't believe there is anything wrong with the evidence. But I think if you open your eyes and look you cannot fail to see that there is a problem.

More importantly than that, Scotland's own Criminal Cases Review Commission years ago found six reasons why this case should be revisited and reviewed. So for the Lord Advocate now to say there isn't a shred of evidence flies in the face of what the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission actually told the world years ago.

– Jim Swire

US: 'North Korea could help us by admitting responsibility'

The United States has dismissed North Korea's offer to help with a joint investigation into hacking of Sony Pictures.

"If the North Korean government wants to help, they can admit their culpability and compensate Sony for the damages this attack caused," National Security Council spokesman Mark Stroh said.

A poster at the premiere of The Interview in Los Angeles. Credit: Reuters

"As the FBI made clear, we are confident the North Korean government is responsible for this destructive attack. We stand by this conclusion."

"The Government of North Korea has a long history of denying responsibility for destructive and provocative actions," he said.


Russia describes new US sanctions as 'useless'

Vladimir Putin speaking in the Crimean city of Sevastopol. Credit: Reuters

The Russian government has dismissed the latest round of US sanctions aimed at the country as "useless".

On Friday President Obama approved new restrictions on Crimea, the area that Russia annexed from Ukraine in a move widely condemned as illegal.

In a statement today the Kremlin compared the White House's move to the severing of US diplomatic ties with Cuba, a move which has recently been reversed by Mr Obama.

"The White House took half a century to admit that blockading Cuba with sanctions was useless: well, we can wait too," the Russian foreign ministry said.

MP says Hartlepool move for Ched Evans 'entirely wrong'

Hartlepool's Labour MP has said Hartlepool United's potential signing of Ched Evans is "entirely wrong", describing the player as "a pariah".

Iain Wright said he was outraged at the prospect of Evans signing for the League Two club.

I really hope we don't. I love my club, I love Hartlepool United. There's a reason why no other team in the Football League wants to sign him - he is a pariah.

I was at the match today. There were lots of young lads there supporting Hartlepool United. I just think it sends out such a wrong message to young men in terms of it being OK for a rapist to play football. It's entirely wrong.

– Labour MP Iain Wright

Hartlepool boss says he wants to sign Ched Evans

Ched Evans is looking to return to football after being released from jail. Credit: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

The boss of League Two club Hartlepool United has reportedly said he wants to sign convicted rapist Ched Evans.

Ronnie Moore said there was a "possibility" of Evans signing, saying he has "served his time" after his release from jail in October.

Speaking after his side's game against Oxford today, Moore said:

If it could happen for me, I would want it to happen. There is no doubt about that. He is a proven goalscorer. He has served his time for me and the boy wants to play football.

I know what will happen now, everybody will me groaning and you see what happened at Sheffield United

You keep pushing the lad away. He made a mistake and maybe he hasn't made the apology in the right way and there is a case pending on the appeal.

On the football matters, if he gets on the park he will go a long way to getting us out of trouble, that's for sure. It is a possibility, I would leave it at that for now.

– Ronnie Moore
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