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The latest news on The Telegraph from Business Insider

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    john kerry

    John Kerry has suffered his first gaffe as the new US secretary of state, inventing the nation of "Kyrzakhstan."

    In an embarrassing slip of the tongue, Mr Kerry last week praised US diplomats working to secure "democratic institutions" in the Central Asian country, which does not exist.

    The newly minted diplomat was referring to Kyrgyzstan, a poor, landlocked nation of 5.5 million, which he appeared to confuse with its resource-rich neighbour to the north, Kazakhstan.

    The State Department kindly omitted the error in the official transcript of Wednesday's speech, which Mr Kerry delivered on the eve of his first foreign trip as secretary of state.

    Mr Kerry's flub was all the more awkward, because Kyrgyzstan is a key ally in the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan and a major recipient of US aid, which totalled $41 million (£27 million) in 2011.

    Washington has actively promoted democratic development in the country since pro-democracy revolutions topped strongmen in 2005 and 2010, leading to free elections in 2011.

    A secretary at the Kyrgyz Embassy in London said nobody was available to comment.

    Mr Kerry is not the first top US official to be left tongue-tied by post-Soviet geography, much of which was split up into a myriad "-stan" countries following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

    In August 2008, then-President George W Bush mixed up Russia and its tiny southern neighbour Georgia, which were then at war, when he warned against possible efforts to depose "Russia's duly elected government."

    Mr Kerry arrived in London on Monday, where he was scheduled to meet with Prime Minister David Cameron, William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, and MI6 chief Foreign Secretary William Hague, and MI6 chief Sir John Sawers.

    Subsequent stops on the 10-day trip will include Germany, France, Italy, Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.

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    adele skyfall oscars 2013

    Adele says that she may be involved in a Beyoncé-style documentary or musical after winning an Oscar for best original song.

    Follow all the reaction to the Oscars with our live blog

    British singer Adele added an Oscar to her collection of Grammys and Brit awards last night, as she won in the best original song category for the Skyfall theme. However, according to a backstage interview, the singer has even bigger plans ahead.

    Adele joked about future projects which could land her potential Emmy and Tony awards, seeing her join the list of 'EGOT' stars - those who have won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony.

    "Maybe I'll do an HBO special like Beyoncé did!" Adele mused: "A Tony I'm not so sure, maybe someday I'll do a musical."

    Adele has won the first Oscar for a Bond film in 47 years, when Thunderball won in the special visual effects category. She explained backstage that the rumours that Skyfall was recorded in 10 minutes were untrue: instead it took two studio sessions. She said recording the Bond theme was "one of the proudest moments of my life".

    The song went on to become Adele's first to appear in the Billboard Hot 100 in the Top 10 during its first week.

    The Oscar continues a golden year for Adele. At the 2012 Grammys last February she won in all six categories for which she was nominated, and won two Brit awards shortly after. She later won two Ivor Novello Awards, for Songwriter of the Year and for her song Rolling in the Deep.

    Her second album, 21, saw Adele break chart records previously held by artists such as Whitney Houston, Judy Garland and Carole King. Notably, the album broke the record for the longest number one album by a woman in Billboard history, after 21 non-consecutive weeks at the top spot.

    In January it was revealed that 21 was the first since Michael Jackson's Thriller to be the best-selling release in America for two years running.

    In October Adele gave birth to her first son, after a pregnancy kept well away from the public eye.

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    helen hunt oscars wearing h&m

    Oscar-nominated actress Helen Hunt chose to wear an eco-friendly gown created by high-street favourite H&M to last night's ceremony, eschewing high-end couturiers.

    For us, the Oscars are all about the dreamy gowns created in the salons of the world’s finest couture houses.

    The fact that they are completely out of our fiscal and physical reach makes them all the more magical - after all, knowing we will probably never touch, let alone wear or own, a made-to-measure gown by the likes of Valentino or Dior, is what makes us want them more.

    IN PICTURES: Oscars 2013 red carpet hits and misses

    It was rather a surprise, then, to hear one of our favourite high street chains mentioned in the same breath as Prada and Oscar de la Renta as the stars paraded themselves for the waiting press prior to last night’s ceremony. It was even more of a surprise when that high street brand was H&M and not the more likely J.Crew or Topshop.

    Follow the Oscars Live

    It was all courtesy of Helen Hunt who told American cheeseball Ryan Seacrest that she had chosen the brand over its pricier counterparts "because it was the most beautiful dress I tried on and they partner with Global Green. It was a win-win-win." (Global Green is H&M’s unique garment recycling initiative which was launched earlier this week.)

    The midnight blue silk satin, strapless dress was accessorised with $700,000 of Martin Katz jewels, because lets be honest an H&M bangle stack would just have been a step too far in the attainability stakes. It’s not the first time H&M have made it onto the red carpet though – Michelle Williams sported a custom-made gown by the Swedish giant to last year’s BAFTAs.

    But before you run out to the nearest H&M thinking you can grab a piece of sartorial Oscars history, unfortunately Hunt’s dress was custom-made and won’t be available in stores. However, from April 4, H&M will be selling dresses in a “similar style” as part of their Conscious collection.

    IN PICTURES: The 25 best Oscars dresses of all time

    Hunt wasn’t alone in her championing of all things green, British actress and Bond Girl Naomie Harris climbed aboard the eco bus too. The 36-year-old wore a custom-made gown by the brilliantly named Michael Badger, a student at the Savannah College of Art and Design who was reportedly mentored by Vivienne Westwood throughout the design process. Harris tweeted last night that the mustard-coloured gown, which was created in collaboration with Greenpeace, “took 120 hours to make, dyed with camomile and golden rod, hand embroidered with vintage beads and chocolate wrappers!”

    Despite starting to sound a little Lady Gaga (“Tears of Belladonna, crushed heart of tiger orchidea, with a black veil of incense, pulverized apricot, and the combinative essences of saffron and honey drops…”), we applaud Naomie’s championing of both sustainable fashion and a young, promising designer - and maybe next Christmas we'll use all those Quality Street wrappers to make an Oscars-worthy gown too.

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    Andy Murray beat Novak Djokovic 2012 London Olympic semifinal

    The US Open and Olympic champion is the new owner of Cromlix House Hotel in Stirlingshire.

    The hotel currently has 14 bedroom suites, a chapel, reception hall, two drawing rooms, conservatory, dining room, library and meeting rooms.

    It is set in 50 acres of woodlands and garden with a trout loch.

    Murray plans to transform the Victorian mansion, where brother Jamie married Colombian bride Alejandra Gutierrez in 2010, into a five-star venue and attract more visitors to the area.

    The tennis star said he was "pleased to be able to give something back" to his home town.

    The refurbished hotel is scheduled to reopen next spring ahead of the 2014 Ryder Cup, which is being staged a short drive away at Gleneagles.

    Murray said in a statement: "I am pleased to have acquired Cromlix House and look forward to securing its future as a successful business.

    "By re-establishing Cromlix as a leading luxury hotel at the heart of the Dunblane community we will be able to attract new visitors to the area, create a number of new jobs and focus on supporting other local businesses.

    "I'm pleased to be able to give something back to the community I grew up in."

    Its previous owners of more than 30 years, the Eden family, said they were happy the venue was staying in local hands.

    The hotel will boast a Chez Roux restaurant. Renowned chef Albert Roux, owner of Le Gavroche in London, is one of a group of industry experts consulted by Inverlochy Castle Management International (ICMI) which will manage Cromlix House on behalf of Murray.

    ICMI managing director Norbert Lieder said: "Our team of experts has experience in every aspect of the hospitality industry and specialise in working with independent properties and transforming them into luxurious destinations.

    "I am confident that, with Andy, we can create a very special hotel in his home community.

    "While we aim to create a destination that attracts visitors from around the world we are also determined to ensure it remains a venue of choice for local people."

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    nokia 105The Nokia 105 may not feature a multimega pixel camera or a touchscreen but its new Nokia 105 phone will cost a mere 15 euros (£13) before taxes.

    Speaking at the launch of the new Nokia phones at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, CEO Stephen Elop, says that Nokia hopes to capture an important part of the market.

    "We did this because regardless of what you spend on a mobile phone you always want, and you deserve, the very best experience," he said.

    According to Pekka Haverinen, the Nokia press spokesperson, the phone also has a very long battery life of up to 35 days on one charge.

    "You can talk from sunrise to sunset with one charge," he said.

    The Nokia 105, which has a colour screen and an FM radio, is expected to be in the stores before the end of March this year. The device is aimed at developing countries but could be popular in Britain as a back-up handset.

    The company unveiled two new Windows 8 smartphones, the Lumia 520 and the Lumia 720.

    The 520 is the company's cheapest Windows 8 handset and has a four-inch display, a 1GHz dual-core processor and 8GB of storage. The 720 is a mid-range device, offering a 4.3-inch display, 1GHz dual-core processor and 512MB RAM.

    Nokia was the world's third-largest maker of smartphones last year, according to research firm IDC, but most of its sales consist of older, simpler non-Windows smartphones - a dwindling market.

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    AfghanistanAn apparent drop in the number of insurgent attacks in Afghanistan that was cited by the Nato-led coalition as evidence of progress against the Taliban has been revealed as a clerical error.

    Coalition headquarters in Kabul admitted that attacks did not fall by seven per cent over the course of 2012 as originally reported, but remained at the same levels.

    The mistake was caused by staff failing to add figures from the Afghan security forces, a spokesman said.

    The slip will embarrass commanders and politicians who have repeatedly insisted there was a fall in attacks last year as proof that the 11-year-old campaign was succeeding and security was improving as troops withdraw ahead of 2014.

    "This was a record-keeping error that we recognised and have now corrected," a statement said.

    "Specifically, in the past we have reported that the year-over-year change in enemy-initiated attacks (EIA) from 2011 to 2012 had decreased by seven per cent.

    "After including this unilateral Afghan national security force data into our database, we have determined that there was no change in the total number of EIAs from 2011 to 2012."

    Enemy attacks is one of a host of statistics gathered by commanders trying to gauge the state of a campaign where progress is often patchy and uncertain. Barack Obama's surge of troops boosted security and the strength of the Kabul regime in Kandahar and Helmand. But security has fallen in other areas and, with the Taliban far from defeated, much of the country remains contested even as troops leave.

    Nasima Niazi, an MP from Helmand where British troops are withdrawing, said security had improved in the centre of the province, though she feared gains would reverse as troops and money left.

    One senior European diplomat told The Daily Telegraph security in the north of the country was "not good and it's getting worse".

    The coalition said in spite of the error "our assessment of the fundamentals of campaign progress has not changed. The enemy is increasingly separated from the population and the Afghan forces are currently in the lead for the vast majority of partnered operations."

    Separately, a suicide bomber wounded at least seven in the Afghan capital when he crawled under a bus ferrying Afghan soldiers to work and detonated his charges.

    Six soldiers and one civilian were hurt. Witnesses said the bomber wearing a black overcoat and carrying an umbrella against the snow walked towards the bus as soldiers boarded. He wriggled underneath then exploded, engulfing the bus in flames.

    Ahmad Shakib, a witness, told the AP news agency: "I thought to myself, 'What is this crazy man doing?' And then there was a blast and flames.

    "It was a very loud explosion. I still cannot really hear."

    The Taliban claimed responsibility for the blast.

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    Republican Senator Marco Rubio proves he is a hip hop fan as he shows off his knowledge of Lil Wayne and Tupac.

    Entertainment website TMZ asked the Florida Senator, a known hip hop fan, about rapper Lil Wayne's claim that he is "the new Tupac".

    The politician replied: "There is only one Tupac."

    "Tupac lived in a different time. These guys have some message in what they're saying, but I think they're largely entertainers," he added.

    "I think Tupac was more someone who was trying to inform us about what was going on, and he did it through entertainment."

    The Senator declined to comment on which member of hip hop collective the Wu-Tang Clan was his favourite, but said he remembered them being mentioned on comedian Dave Chappelle's show.

    TMZ spoke to Mr Rubio again later, with the Senator joking he was “the only member of the hip hop caucus in the south”.

    When asked about the current state of hip hop, Mr Rubio said: “I think Jay Z says stuff in his music, he’s kind of the industry standard … but the thing about Lil Wayne is that it’s all about how much money he’s made or how much he’s making.

    “That’s silly stuff that you probably wouldn’t have seen from Tupac. Tupac actually grew up, every year that went by his music got deeper and more introspective.

    “Dear Momma, his song, is in the Library of Congress. They keep certain recordings to save them for posterity.

    “It’s one of the most influential songs ever. It tells the story of the struggles a single mom growing up raising her son but it spoke to millions of people who went through that experience.

    “Lil Wayne isn’t putting anything out there l like that. He may, and he could, he obviously has talent but that’s not the direction he’s decided to go.”

    Footage courtesy of TMZ.com

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    Police are investigating after a video emerged of an eight-year-old girl driving a car at 60mph on a snowy road as her parents look on from the passenger seats.

    Police in St Petersburg have begun an investigation after Dmitry and Lena Mikulchik filmed their eight-year-old daughter Karina driving their Audi on what appears to be a public road.

    This video posted online shows Karina passing another vehicle and reaching speeds of 100 km/h (60mph) as music blares out in the background.

    Barely tall enough to see over the steering wheel, the girl can be heard telling her parents: "A child of eight can drive a car."

    Meanwhile her father, who is watching the speedometer, proudly remarks "one hundred kilometers per hour," as Karina accelerates.

    Despite the speed and the snowy conditions, neither Karina nor her parents appear to be wearing seatbelts.

    The footage has gone viral on the internet attracting nearly 500,000 views in three days. Some viewers critise the parents, with one calling Dmitry the "worst father in the world," but others praise the couple for allowing their daughter to learn to drive early.

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    Playing video games on the NintendoWii can help surgeons improve hand-eye coordination and should be used to enhance their training, according to a new study.

    A group of postgraduate surgeons at the University of Rome were put on a month-long programme of gaming using the Nintendo’s Wii console.

    Researchers then compared their performance with doctors who had not spent an hour a day playing games.

    Those that had been playing with the Wii scored significantly higher as a group in simulated tasks designed to test the skills needed for laparascopy, or keyhole surgery.

    The authors of the report, writing in the scientific journal PLOS One, said that using the Wii could become a "helpful, inexpensive and entertaining part of the training of young laparoscopists in addition to a standard surgical education based on simulators and the operating room."

    The study follows on from others that have used video games in an attempt to hone surgeons’ skills.

    In 2007, a study by New York’s Beth Israel Medical Center found that doctors who regularly played video games made 37 per cent fewer mistakes and were 27 quicker in tests.

    The authors of the new study believe that Wii, with its three-dimensional game play, is particularly suited to the skills of keyhole surgery because "compared to open surgery, laparoscopy presents different difficulties such as limited motion range of instruments [and] loss of depth perception."

    The study used three games — Wii Tennis, Wii Table Tennis and a balloon warfare game called High Altitude Battle — chosen for their "high demands of eye-hand coordination, movement precision, depth perception and 3D visualisation."

    They admitted that academic institutions may have some resistance to the introduction of video games consoles into their training.

    The authors concluded the report by saying they hoped the consoles "may be adopted in lower-budget institutions or at home by younger surgeons to optimise their training on simulators before performing real procedures."

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    china

    One of Asia’s most notorious drug kingpins has reportedly been executed in China for the massacre of 13 Chinese sailors - with his final moments being broadcast live on national television.

    On Friday afternoon - nearly one year after he was captured following an international manhunt - 44-year-old Naw Kham was paraded before the cameras alongside three accomplices also convicted of the 2011 Mekong river massacre in Thailand .

    At 2.19pm local time the stony-faced men were bundled into vans by black-clad security forces in the southwestern city of Kunming. By 2.55pm, they were dead, killed by lethal injection.

    “Execution implemented,” read an online post from Yunnan province’s Public Security Bureau.

    The lead-up to the executions received rolling coverage on China’s state-run CCTV news channel with live analysis from a top Beijing law professor and China’s anti-drug tsar, Liu Yuejin.

    “We can see that Naw Kham fears death,” Renmin University criminologist Han Yusheng, told the channel.

    “Although he is a cold-blooded murderer, he is still terrified knowing his final day has arrived.”

    Liu Yuejin, head of China’s anti-drug unit, told CCTV: “Naw Kham is apparently a Buddhist. But his life has been dedicated to shooting, crime and murder. He is, by nature, a brutal killer with no regard for life.”

    The coverage also featured a chilling face-to-face interview with the death-row drug lord, apparently recorded on February 27.

    “I haven’t been able to sleep for two days. I have been thinking too much. I miss my mum,” Naw Kham said. “I don't want my children to be like me. I want them to study and work properly. I am afraid of death. I want to live. I don't want to die. I have children. I am afraid.”

    Naw Kham was one of southeast Asia’s most notorious drug lords - an elusive gangster who was compared to Osama bin Laden and who allegedly commanded an armed militia of some 100 men in the Golden Triangle region between Burma, Thailand and Laos.

    He became a household name in China after being blamed for the slaughter of 13 Chinese sailors during an ambush on the Mekong River in October 2011.

    The incident triggered a massive international manhunt with Chinese security forces at one point considering deploying a drone to eliminate Mr Naw. In the end, they opted to take him alive.

    “Some analysts had even said the hunt for Naw Kham could be as difficult as the hunt for bin Laden,” the Global Times reported this week.

    Following a painstaking investigation, Naw was finally caught in Laos on April 25 last year and extradited to China.

    In September, he and three accomplices – named as Hsang Kham, Yi Lai and Zha Xika – were convicted of the massacre. They were later sentenced to death.

    The decision to broadcast some of the convicted traffickers’ final moments sparked controversy online. Liu Xiaoyuan, a Chinese lawyer, said “parading” the prisoners on live television was both an “ethical and legal violation.”

    But state media insisted the prisoners’ rights had been “fully respected”. “The men's personal belongings will be transferred to their family members,” reported the Global Times.

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    kid ipadHow to ensure that your child does not run up unexpected bills while playing games on your Apple or Android device.

    A five-year-old boy has run up a £1,700 ($2,550) bill in just ten minutes while playing on his parents' iPad.

    Danny Kitchen asked for the passcode for the device so that he could download a game, Zombie v Ninja, from the Apple store. But after downloading the free app Danny found his way into the game's online store and innocently ordered dozens of costly add-ons - totaling £1,710.43.

    His mother knew nothing about the spending until she saw a series of emails from iTunes the following day listing what he had bought.

    The term "freemium" was coined to describe the practice of offering a free app that then has expensive enhancements.

    These “in-app purchases” might include virtual credits for buying items in the game, special abilities for game characters, additional levels not accessible in the free version of the game, or the ability to skip a level that might be challenging. Some games charge as much as £70 per purchase.

    Fortunately, it's possible to turn off in-app purchases. Here's how to do it.

    Google Android
    Open the Google Play Store app and choose 'Menu' and then 'Settings'. Under 'User Controls' you'll find an option to 'Set or Change PIN'. Tap this and Android will ask you for a PIN. Type your chosen PIN, tap OK and then re-enter the PIN to confirm. Then tick the box next to 'Use PIN for purchases'.

    Once you've done that, anyone who wants to make an in-app purchase on your device will need to know the PIN. That should keep your bills secure from little fingers.

    Apple iOS
    The Restrictions menu in Apple iOS lets you control all kinds of things. You can send a password for in-app purchases or turn them off altogether. It's possible to prevent apps being deleted or installed and control access to age-restricted content.

    To prevent in-app purchases in iOS, open 'Settings' then choose 'General' and 'Restrictions'. Then tap 'Enable Restrictions', choose a PIN and enter it a second time to confirm. Now you can set any restrictions from the menu below. In the 'Allowed Content' menu, slide 'In app purchases' to 'Off'.

    AmazonKindle Fire
    The Kindle Fire is an Android-powered tablet but the operating system has been modified by Amazon so the process for restricting in-app purchases is a little different. Start by opening the Amazon Appstore app. Choose 'Menu' and then 'Settings'. Then tap 'Parental Controls', choose 'Enable Parental Controls' and enter your Amazon password. If you'd prefer to choose a PIN, then tick the 'Use PIN' box.

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    january jones pregnantJanuary Jones, the Mad Men star, thinks that you should eat your placenta to beat the baby blues. But why are we so consumed with celebrity notions on motherhood, wonders Sally Peck?

    January Jones: actress, model, parenting guru? The woman best known for playing Betty Draper on Mad Men has revealed her secret for staving off postpartum blues and fatigue: eat your placenta.

    In an interview with Glamour magazine, the mother-of-one repeats her advice to pregnant women that they have their placentas dehydrated and turned into capsules. This is, she says, a “very civilised thing which can help women with depression and fatigue”. It's a big thing in Hollywood at the moment. The practice is, Jones assures readers, “not gross or witchcrafty”.

    It may not be “witchcrafty”, but is it necessary?

    Placentophagy is the act of mammals eating the placenta of their young after childbirth. Advocates believe that eating the placenta prevents postpartum depression, improves breast milk supply,and increases energy. The placenta contains high levels of prostaglandin, which stimulates the shrinking of the uterus, and small amounts of oxytocin, the lovely hormone which eases the stress of birth and stimulates breastfeeding.

    There is, however, no scientific evidence that eating the placenta provides these hormonal effects in the mother.

    One argument often cited by supporters of the practice is that “most mammals” (though, notably, not camels – hurrah for the hump!) eat their placentas, supposedly to disguise the fact that they’ve given birth, thereby warding off predators.

    I don’t buy this “most mammals” argument. It’s overused. And it’s nuts. My labrador, Mathilde, has gorgeous, glossy black fur, perfect proportions, and the best temperament of anyone I have ever met. She is, in short, a fine specimen of a mammal.

    She also eats the excrement of others. When she frolics in the Sussex Downs, she snacks on sheep turds. When she speeds around the parks of London, she often picks up packages that look distinctly human in origin.

    According to a “How to raise your cat” book I had as a girl, male cats eat kittens they, themselves, have sired.

    When rumours were rampant that Tom Cruise, that expert in childbirth, was planning to eat the placenta after his now ex-wife, Katie Holmes, gave birth to their daughter, Suri, Maggie Blott, a consultant obstetrician, told the BBC : "Animals eat their placenta to get nutrition - but when people are already well-nourished, there is no benefit, there is no reason to do it."

    Mammals do not always have the right answers. Nor do celebrities.

    Celebrities are people, just like you and me. I wouldn’t take advice from a random woman on the street who presented no particular credentials proving her parenting expertise, so why would I listen to January Jones?

    The Beckham kids make it into ad campaigns, and onto the pages of tabloids on a daily basis. Peaches Geldof keeps us abreast of her expanding mid-section through her twitter account . There must be an enormous appetite for this: People magazine has a whole section of its website called Celebrity Babies, in which today we can keep up-to-date on Tabitha and Loretta (of Parker-Broderick fame) and their “adorable twin style”, ogle Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck’s “close-knit clan”, note that Lou Samuel (daughter of Heidi Klum and Seal) is now wearing lipstick… at the age of THREE, and emulate Josh Duhamel (who is he??) in his habit of having “’full conversations’ with his unborn child”. C-list celebrities (for example, Six from Blossom ) blog on the site about their experience as parents (top line: “Love is… slobbery baby kisses.”).

    January Jones and I gave birth at around the same time to our first children. I suppose the point of these celebrity parenting sites is that people like me can look at images of Jones and enjoy the fact that we're both on this parenting path together - a sort of cyber Ya-Ya Sisterhood.

    Except that we're not on the same journey. I read, on these celebrity gossip sites, that Jones was able to return to work after six weeks. Is it possible that – just perhaps – her ability to ward off postpartum depression and fatigue might have been helped along not by placenta pills but more by the fact that, as a successful actress, she had the means to pay for help? Marvelling over the arrival of your first-born is a hell of a lot more enjoyable when there is someone else to cook, clean, go grocery shopping, do the midnight, 2am, 4am and 6am feeds and, generally, provide the support you need so that you can get a bit of rest.

    Producing another human involves a lot of substances in and out. With this pregnancy, I’ve had multiple, dramatic, and highly unattractive daily nosebleeds. They tend to come on in meetings or on the tube. The last time I gave birth, I lost nearly a litre of blood. I do not want any of those making a round-trip journey, thank you. And I certainly won’t be doing it because a celebrity told me to.

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    James Holmes and lawyerAttorneys for the Colorado cinema shooting suspect James Holmes said for the first time in court papers made public Friday that they are considering entering a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity on behalf of their client.

    But they said they can't make their decision about their defense of Holmes until the judge rules on their motion challenging the constitutionality of the state's insanity defense law.

    The attorneys say the law is unfair to defendants who invoke it because it requires the disclosure of potentially incriminating information, such as mental health records, while those who plainly plead not guilty are not required to turn over any evidence.

    Prosecutors have not announced whether they will pursue the death penalty, but they have 60 days from when a defendant enters a plea to do so. Holmes's hearing is March 12.

    A legal expert said the maneuvering may be part of a defense strategy to make sure prosecutors never get their hands on a notebook that was purportedly sent by Holmes to his psychiatrist and included descriptions of a possible attack.

    The notebook was the subject of court hearings in the months after the July shooting. Under state law, the notebook was protected because it was part of a doctor-patient relationship that Holmes had with the psychiatrist.

    "That's why there's a big issue there, there's information that the prosecution may not be entitled to unless they plead not guilty by reason of insanity," said Karen Steinhauser, a Denver criminal defense attorney and law professor who is a former prosecutor.

    Representatives for the prosecution and the defense didn't immediately return phone calls Friday. The judge has ordered attorneys not to speak publicly about the case.

    Under state law, defendants who plead not guilty by reason of insanity must reveal to prosecutors mental health records as well as psychiatric evaluations that may include details of the crime for which they're accused.

    While the law has not been challenged before in cases involving the death penalty, determining whether it violates a defendant's constitutional right against self-incrimination directly impacts their decisions about Holmes' defense, his attorneys argue.

    Steinhauser said the defense had to file their motion challenging the insanity defense law before the plea is entered because they could not raise issues with the statute afterward. They could still, however, raises other trial-related issues later.

    Steinhauser said the judge can rule on the matter, which likely will be appealed to higher courts and possibly delay Holmes' arraignment.

    Holmes' attorneys have said their client is mentally ill and had sought the help of a psychiatrist at the University of Colorado, Denver, where he was a neuroscience graduate student.

    Holmes faces multiple charges of first-degree murder and attempted murder in the shootings at an Aurora theater during a midnight showing of the latest Batman moving, "The Dark Knight Rises."

    Holmes in January was ordered to stand trial following two and a half days of testimony from police and federal agents who provided excruciating details about the attack. Holmes had been expected to enter a plea following that hearing but, but defense attorneys requested a delay, saying they would not be ready until March.

    Legal experts say there may be few options for Holmes. If, as many anticipate, he enters the plea of not guilty by insanity, he would undergo lengthy evaluations at a state psychiatric hospital before trial.

    If the case goes to trial and he's found not guilty by reason of insanity, Holmes could conceivably be released from a psychiatric facility someday if he is deemed to have recovered, but that is considered an unlikely possibility. A guilty plea or conviction could mean life in prison or the death penalty.

    SEE ALSO: James Holmes' Lawyers Hardly Spoke During His Hearing But Made These Two Revealing Statements

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    pulpA British independent film has become the first film to have its premiere on the Xbox 360 games console.

    Instead of being released to the cinema, Pulp, a film set in the world of comic book publishing, will be released today on Xbox LIVE .

    Adam Hamdy, Pulp's co-director, said: "Microsoft might not seem like the obvious partner for an indie comedy, but the film industry has changed. Xbox 360 can instantly distribute Pulp to millions of UK customers, and publicise the release in ways that simply aren’t possible traditionally."

    The film has already enjoyed some success on the film festival circuit but Hamdy said there are fewer opportunities for getting a small budget film to an audience. The costs of marketing a new film mean that distributors are less inclined to take risks.

    Hamdy said: "At the top end of the indie film business the UK is still pretty healthy, but it's the middle tier and the lower budget tier that's struggling. Where they would have been released straight to DVD, the opportunities for doing that have really declined."

    The film, which features John Thomson, star of Cold Feet and The Fast Show, is about a comic book publisher who becomes mixed up with a gang of criminals who are using comics in a money laundering operation.

    Pav Bhardwaj, Xbox LIVE product manager, said: "It's a great fit," he said. "The film is really well aligned with our audience. All our audience like that sort and types of film and it's great to support British talent."

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    Bolshoi TheatreThe top ballet dancer who recently played "Ivan the Terrible" at the famed Bolshoi Theatre has confessed to masterminding the acid attack on the theatre's ballet chief, police in Moscow said today.

    Pavel Dmitrichenko, a soloist with the troupe, was one of the trio arrested over the attack, in which Mr Filin, 42, had a jar of sulphuric acid thrown in his face by a single assailant near his home in Moscow on January 17.

    Mr Dmitrichenko, 29, who comes from a ballet family, and two men who police believe to be his accomplices have confessed to masterminding and carrying out the attack, police said in a statement.

    Russian television ran police footage showing a bleary-eyed Mr Dmitrichenko saying, "I organised that attack but not to the extent that it occurred."

    The Associated Press said it had not verified if the confession had been made under duress.

    Svetlana Kokotova of the Moscow police said that officers believe that Mr Dmitrichenko harbored "personal enmity based on his professional activity."

    The Bolshoi Theater did not return calls and emails seeking comment Wednesday morning.

    The other two arrested men were Sergei Zarutsky, a 35-year-old who allegedly carried out the attack, and Andrei Lipatov, the driver who is thought to have delivered him to the scene.

    A law enforcement source told the RIA Novosti news agency there was evidence to suggest Mr Dmitrichenko was the "zakazchik"– the word Russians use for the person who orders a contract hit or violent assault.

    "At the moment the investigation has evidence that the attack was ordered by Mr Dmitrichenko, the motives are being elaborated," said the source.

    Mr Filin was left with severe chemical burns to his eyes and face after the assault and has undergone several operations. He is currently being treated at a clinic in Germany.

    Earlier on Tuesday, police had announced their seizure of Mr Lipatov in Stupinio district south of Moscow. They also confirmed they had searched an apartment belonging to Mr Dmitrichenko's mother, which is reportedly in the same building where Mr Filin lives on Moscow's Troitskaya Street.

    Towards the evening, events moved rapidly and police said they had also detained Mr Zarutsky and Mr Dmitrichenko.

    Mr Dmitrichenko, who joined the Bolshoi in 2002, has danced several major parts in recent years, including Ivan the Terrible in the ballet of the same name and the villain in "Swan Lake."

    Bolshoi Theater spokeswoman Katerina Novikova said on Tuesday management was not aware of a conflict between him and Mr Filin. Channel One state television reported, however, that Mr Dmitrichenko's girlfriend, also a Bolshoi soloist, was known to have been at odds with Mr Filin.

    Asked if he knew who carried out the attack, Mr Filin said last month: "My heart knows who did it, and in the depths of my soul I have an answer to that question." However, he admitted this was only "an idea" and refused to name the person publicly.

    The Bolshoi Theatre has been at the heart of cultural life in Russia since the early 19th century, and its known for its passionate behind the scenes conflicts.

    Police earlier questioned Mr Filin's family and members of the ballet troupe. One of those interviewed was Nikolai Tsiskaridze, a principal dancer who had an abrasive relationship with Mr Filin and who criticised the Bolshoi's management over the recent reconstruction of the theatre's main building saying it made it look like "a Turkish hotel".

    The general director of the Bolshoi said last month that Mr Tsiskaridze should shoulder some of the blame for what happened to Mr Filin because of the antagonistic atmosphere he had created. The dancer denied any involvement in the attack, which he called a tragedy, and said he was the victim of a campaign to discredit him.

    Mr Dmitrichenko had supported Mr Tsiskaridze in some of his criticisms of the theatre's management. He was due to perform at the theatre in Sleeping Beauty on March 16. He is reportedly married with a daughter.

    With agencies

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  • 03/07/13--12:21: Barclays May Cut 40,000 Jobs
  • BarclaysCapital

    Barclays chief executive Antony Jenkins has suggested that up to 40,000 jobs could be cut at the bank as customers switch to automated banking, according to reports.

    In meetings with shareholders of the bank, Mr Jenkins has said that he saw a future in which the bank employed 100,000 staff, Sky News has reported. Barclays currently hires roughly 140,000 people.

    It is understood that Mr Jenkins has discussed with investors the possibility of Barclays will become a self-service-oriented company, thereby allowing the remaining staff to focus on delivering "added value" to its customers.

    However, one insider at the bank told Sky News that Mr Jenkins was not setting any formal targets and his comments should be regarded as "blue-sky thinking about the long-term future".

    His comments come just a month after Barclays announced it was cutting 3,700 jobs in a major overhaul of the bank and £1.7bn cost cuts as part of Project Transform, a radical bid to restore the bank's tattered reputation.

    Mr Jenkins said the cuts showed his plans for change at the bank were not mere “window dressing or PR” as he pointed to the financial cost of exiting controversial businesses.

    The bank confirmed it would shut its controversial structured capital markets (SCM) unit, responsible for giving tax advice to the bank’s wealthy clients, while all speculative trading in agricultural commodities would be ended.

    In a Strategic Review released at the end of last year, the bank said the changes were an attempt to make a clean break with the past.

    The review says: "The behaviours which made headlines during the year stemmed from a period of 20 years in banking in which the sector became too aggressive, too focused on the short-term, and too disconnected from the needs of customers and clients, and wider society."

    It adds: "Barclays is changing."

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    corgi

    A corgi has been sacked from the West End play The Audience for refusing to obey the command of Dame Helen Mirren, playing the Queen.

    It is the hit West End show that is delighting critics and the public alike.

    But behind the scenes of The Audience, which stars Dame Helen Mirren as the Queen, it has not all been running as smoothly as it appears on stage, with producers forced to sack one of the cast just days before opening night.

    Lizzy, an appropriately regally-named corgi, had to go because of its refusal to obey the commands of its co-star, Dame Helen.

    The play is a fictionalised account of the Queen’s relationships with her prime ministers over her 61-year reign and Lizzy featured in a scene, set at Balmoral, in which Harold Wilson visits.

    The seven-year-old animal had been happy to enter stage right on a lead at the start of its scene and then to be escorted off stage left. However, at the end of the scene, Lizzy was supposed to run back across the stage – this time without a lead – when called by Dame Helen.

    Instead it stayed in the wings and refused to go on, leaving its corgi co-star Rocky, five, to end the scene on its own. Despite the best efforts of cast and crew, it happened on 16 consecutive preview performance nights.

    So, 10 days ago, faced with the looming prospect of press night, the decision was taken to sack Lizzy.

    Its place was taken by Coco, who made a faultless West End debut in the Saturday matinee after just 20 minutes of rehearsal.

    Stephen Daldry, the play’s director, said Lizzy’s first three performances had gone smoothly, before the run of refusals.

    “She was excited the first three times, and then I think she decided she didn’t want to be an actress any more. She decided to retire from the British stage.

    “Now she’s back home, a resting actress, resting by the fire.”

    Des Jordan, 42, of Animal Actors, the agency which provided the dogs, suggested the production had been hit by a notorious problem in theatre – an ageing diva who grew jealous of the younger co-star.

    He explained that as the dogs ran offstage, he would be waiting in the wings with a handful of treats for them to eat.

    “Because Lizzy was older, she was not as fast as Rocky, so he was first to the treats,” he said. “There may have been a bit of jealousy involved.”

    Mr Jordan said that Coco had exhibited no diva tendencies thus far, possibly because the five-year-old was the same age as Rocky.

    The corgis, he added, stayed at his home off-duty, enjoying regular walks in the park.

    At the Gielgud Theatre, London, they have their own air-conditioned dressing room, with dog beds and an ever-changing rider of doggy toys so they never get bored.

    Mr Jordan adds: “I look after them better than my own children. I have to.

    “They are doing an important job and no one would be happy if anything happened to them.”

    Lizzy is in Gloucestershire with Mary Davey, who owns all three of the dogs. She said: “Lizzy is a lovely, friendly dog who is now enjoying her treats.”

    Daldry, who has also directed the Oscar- nominated films Billy Elliot and The Hours, added: “People seem to think corgis nip and yap, but all the ones we have worked with — including dear old Lizzy – have been gorgeous.”

    The audience and critics, too, have warmed to the canine stars. Their arrival on stage is being greeted by a chorus of “aahs” from the stalls, while many of the reviews have also remarked on the “lovely” corgis.

    Indeed, despite the problems created by Lizzy, the producers are planning to expand the play’s animal cast, with the addition of a dapple grey pony named Emily.

    It will feature in a new scene, being created by the play’s writer, Peter Morgan — who also wrote for Dame Helen in the film, The Queen.

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    President George W. Bush prepares to fly to Iraq in June 2003

    Top aides of George W Bush have revealed that Tony Blair did not place conditions on British support for the US mission to overthrow Saddam Hussein and rejected claims that weapons intelligence was fixed.

    Just how close were Tony Blair and George Bush and what assurances did the prime minister give the president about British support for the US mission to overthrow Saddam Hussein?

    The Chilcot inquiry that is investigating how and why Mr Blair led the country to war is not expected to deliver its findings before the autumn. But The Sunday Telegraph can today throw remarkable fresh light on the countdown to conflict.

    In a world still reeling from the Sept 2001 terror attacks on the US, the primary justification for the overthrow of Saddam were intelligence claims detailing the dangers posed by the stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons that he was said to have retained after the first Gulf war in 1991.

    To bolster public opinion for the case for war, the US and Britain released increasingly alarming intelligence briefings in late-2002 and early 2003. In the British Government’s so-called September dossier, Mr Blair boldly laid out what became known as the “45-minute claim” in the foreword - that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction (WMD) ready for use within 45 minutes of issuing an order.

    But Mr Blair had also persuaded Mr Bush, against the wishes of hardline hawks in Washington, to work at the United Nations to push for the return of weapons inspectors to Iraq as the British prime minster also tried to build an international coalition to head off critics in his Labour party ranks.

    Iraq reluctantly allowed the inspectors back in Sept 2002 under the leadership of Hans Blix. But in March 2003, even as Dr Blix said that his team needed more time to complete their work and Security Council members France and Russia said they would veto any UN resolution authorising military action, the US and Britain finalised preparations to oust Saddam by force.

    So what was the story behind the march to war? There were reports last week that the Chilcot inquiry will challenge the official version of events leading up to the invasion and the team is understood to have had access to key secret communications between Mr Blair and Mr Bush.

    Those documents remain classified, at the insistence of officials in Downing Street and Washington, on grounds of national security.

    But over recent months, The Sunday Telegraph has spoken to high-ranking insiders in the Bush administration. They provided unprecedented insight on the decisions that took the world to war - and an uncompromising defence of them.

    The most pressing question for many in Britain has long been when Mr Blair committed to deploy British troops to support any US-led military operation and whether he attached any conditions to that pledge.

    Pivotal to resolving this enduring is the one-to-one time that Mr Blair spent with Mr Bush during a two night stay at the president’s 1,600-acre ranch in Texas, Crawford, in early April 2002, nearly 12 months before the eventual invasion.

    A subsequent Cabinet Office memo recorded that Mr Blair said he would support military action “provided that certain conditions were met” -including building an international coalition and public opinion, pursuing the Middle East peace process and exhausting options to eliminate Iraqi WMD through the UN.

    But this newspaper can disclose that among the president’s closest aides, there was no impression that Mr Blair had laid down any “conditions” for British support.

    Stephen Hadley, the then deputy national security adviser, was among the high-powered Bush team assembled at the so-called Western White House that weekend.

    “Mr Blair said that if it came to it, then at the end of the day, he would be with us if we had to move militarily against Saddam Hussein,” he said in an interview in the Washington offices of the international consulting firm that he set up with Condoleezza Rice, whom he succeeded in 2005 as national security adviser.

    “It was very reassuring for the president to have our closest ally with us. We appreciated that it took a lot of courage for Tony Blair to say that, as Britain was not as uniformly behind the prime minister as America was behind George Bush.”

    Indeed, Mr Blair concluded the visit with a robust speech at the presidential library of Mr Bush’s father. If Saddam refused to co-operate fully, regime change would follow, he insisted. His tone delighted his hosts, not least his first reference to “regime change” in Iraq - a policy that American neo-conservatives had long championed.

    Then in late July, Mr Blair wrote a letter to Mr Bush making the case for pursuing Saddam via the “international route”. But the letter began with the assurance from the prime minister to Mr Bush that “whatever you decide to do, I’m with you”, according to a senior British official who saw the contents [Christopher Meyer, the British ambassador to Washington].

    For the Bush camp, the message conveyed was just as at Crawford. “Mr Blair was saying to the President: 'I will see this through with you’, to a diplomatic resolution hopefully, to a military resolution if that is required,” said Mr Hadley. “’I am with you to see this through to the end’, that is how we read the British position.”

    A second crucial question is why so many governments and intelligence services, even those of countries such as Germany and Egypt which did not support military action, believed that Saddam possessed WMD. Or was the intelligence knowingly fixed and hyped, as foes of the invasion claimed in criticism that later coalesced around the mantras of “Bush lied, people died” and “Tony Blair, war criminal”?

    Some former CIA officials have claimed that intelligence indicating that Saddam had actually disposed of his WMD arsenal was deliberately ignored by the administration. But among the president’s confidants, that charge is brusquely rejected.

    “All Saddam had to do was account for the missing weapons, but he wouldn’t do it,” said Andrew Card, then White House chief of staff. “He could have ended this at any stage, but he would not be honest.”

    Mr Hadley also said that it was Saddam’s own subterfuge, fuelled by his desire to mislead his enemies in Tehran, that ultimately drove the invasion.

    “What none of us thought - and this was a failure of imagination, not a failure of intelligence -- was that he had had WMD and did destroy them, but that he didn’t want to tell the world as he was afraid that his arch-enemy Iran would take advantage of it,” he said. “That was our miscalculation. “

    John Bolton, a lightning rod for liberal flak in his the role as the undersecretary of state for arms control and international security, was just as adamant. “There was no doubt in anybody’s minds that Saddam had these weapons,” he said. “It was not just the US saying this. It was the intelligence services of many countries.”

    And if they had known that Saddam did not possess WMD? Their critics, of course, insist that they knew that all along, but the leading proponents of war contend that it was time to topple Saddam. UN containment sanctions were under pressure and he would have rebuilt his arsenal if they crumbled.

    As under-secretary of defence for policy, Doug Feith was often portrayed as chief ideologue at the Pentagon. “You have to understand how 9/11 changed thinking in America,” he said. “We did not say that Saddam was responsible for 9/11, but we did know that he had links to some to al Qaeda operatives, that he was a state supporter of terror

    “He applauded the 9/11 attacks, he had deployed WMD against his own people and would not account for the WMD that he had had had.”

    Ari Fleischer, who as Mr Bush’s spokesman was the face of the Administration and announced to the world that the “shock and awe” air operation had begun on March 20, 2003, has a different take.

    “I don’t believe that George Bush would have gone to war if we concluded that Saddam Hussein did not have WMD,” he said.

    Mr Fleischer is also rare in expressing some regrets. “We were certain that he had WMD,” he said. “This remains one of the most painful aspects for me. Painful because we got it wrong and we were leading the world to war for a reason that turned out to be false with great consequences -- not least the loss of lives and the thousands of injuries.”

    Other members of Bush’s team acknowledge mistakes in how the post-war situation was handled, but feel no remorse about the decision to end Saddam’s reign. “I have no regrets that we removed Saddam, absolutely none,” said Mr Bolton. “There were many of us who believed that we should have finished him off in 1991 in the first Gulf war. It was brilliant military campaign and a huge success. I’d have no hesitation in doing it the same way again.”

    These were of course not views held by many in Britain, and certainly not by many in Mr Blair’s Labour party. So did the Bush team ever doubt he would be with them?

    As late as March 9, 2003 - 10 years ago yesterday - Mr Bush placed a call from the Oval office to the secure line at Chequers. The US president quickly cut to the chase. If Mr Blair needed to bail out of military action to save his government ahead of a parliamentary vote, then the president would understand.

    Mr Blair’s response was just as straight-forward as he rejected the offer of an escape clause. “I’m with you,” he twice assured the President, according to confidantes of the two men.

    Beginning at Crawford 11 months earlier, it was one of several key moment when Mr Blair chose to commit his country to fight alongside the US to overthrow Saddam.

    “It was a very Churchillian moment,” said Mr Hadley of the Blair response. “However he’s regarded in the UK, that’s why he’s so highly regarded in the US, for that moment of political courage that we, at least, admire.”

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    Red wineDrugs that could help people to live to 150, based on a compound found in red wine, are being developed by scientists.

    The drugs are synthetic versions of resveratrol, found in the skin and seeds of grapes, an organic chemical long thought to have a beneficial effect on health.

    Both resveratrol and the artificial versions of it are believed to have an anti-ageing effect, by boosting activity of a protein called SIRT1. However, the human-made versions are much stronger.

    Now three of them are in human trials. GSK, the pharmaceutical firm, is testing them on people with particular medical conditions, namely Type II diabetes and psoriasis, a serious skin condition.

    David Sinclair, professor of genetics at Harvard University, said ageing might not actually be an "irreversible affliction".

    He explained that increasing SIRT1 activity improved how well our cells operated, making them less sluggish. In previous experiments, mice, bees and flies given the SIRT1-boosting compounds lived longer.

    Writing in the journal Science, Prof Sinclair claimed to have performed experiments which showed these resveratrol-based compounds were having a direct effect on health. Some scientists have argued that the effect was not real, but experimental artifice.

    Despite the controversy, there have already been promising results in some trials with implications for cancer, cardiovascular disease and heart failure, Type II diabetes, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, fatty liver disease, cataracts, osteoporosis, muscle wasting, sleep disorders and inflammatory diseases such as psoriasis, arthritis and colitis.

    Current trials look at how the compounds might help treat these age-related disease.

    But Prof Sinclair believed that in time they would also be examined for their preventative effect. Just as statins are used today to prevent heart disease and strokes, so these compounds could be used to slow a wide-range of diseases.

    He said: “Now we are looking at whether there are benefits for those who are already healthy.

    "Things there are also looking promising. We're finding that ageing isn't the irreversible affliction that we thought it was.

    "Some of us could live to 150, but we won't get there without more research."

    Prof Sinclair is a consultant and inventor on patents licensed to Sirtris, the GSK company running the trials.

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    Martin Sorrell

    Sir Martin Sorrell's position at advertising company WPP has been thrown into doubt after investors warned they will push for his departure unless he takes a pay cut.

    The board of thee world’s largest advertising agency has been in talks with the group’s largest shareholders over a planned reduction to Sorrell’s pay, reports The Sunday Times .

    Phil Lader, the WPP chairman, has held several rounds of talks with the top shareholders in the company but so far he has offered only a modest reduction to Sorrell’s controversial pay arrangements, sources said.

    The Sunday Times reports that the proposed cuts are not nearly deep enough to allay concerns over excessive executive rewards at the ad giant, according to leading WPP investor.

    Several of the investors have warned that they are prepared to push for Sir Martin’s departure if they do not get their way.

    Sir Martin earned £13m last year, as his base salary jumped by nearly a third £1.3m. He also received £459,000 of benefits and just over £5m under WPP’s short-term bonus schemes, pushing his 2011 pay up by nearly 60pc to £6.77m. Contributions to Sir Martin’s pension jumped 46pc to £585,000.

    On top of this, Sir Martin received a windfall of almost £5.6m-worth of shares under the company’s long-term bonus scheme, the Leadership Equity Acquisitions Plan.

    The WPP board was accused of being "either incompetent or arrogant" and Sir Martin admitted that WPP "misjudged the mood of shareholders" when 60pc of investors voted against his £13m pay package in June.

    A second pay revolt could jeopardise Sorrell’s future at WPP, which the 68-year-old has transformed over the past three decades from a wire basket maker to the world’s biggest ad company.

    “If there’s another rebellion this summer, it would be a clear signal that shareholders are looking at life beyond Sorrell,” one large investor told The Sunday Times.

    Mr Lader, a former deputy chief of staff to Bill Clinton, the former American president, is said to have just weeks to design a final pay package that is acceptable to both shareholders and Sir Martin.

    The media giant, which operates in 107 countries, will release its annual report in May.

    By contrast, Sorrell’s supporters argue that he is the most effective and hardest working executive in the ad industry, but that his pay has failed to keep pace with WPP’s more generous American rivals. Before last year, Sorrell had not enjoyed a pay rise for a decade, they said.

    Despite the anger over the chief executive’s pay, fewer than 2pc of investors voted against his re-election to the board last year.

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