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Russian don had severed arms in backpack

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A well-known history professor has been pulled from a river with a backpack containing severed arms in the Russian city of St Petersburg.

Oleg Sokolov, who works at St Petersburg State University, has been arrested on suspicion of killing a female student after he was found in the Moika River on Saturday.

Police later reportedly found the student’s body in his apartment.

Lawyer Alexander Pochuev said Sokolov, an expert in French revolutionary military history, had signed a statement of guilt, according to reports.

He was hospitalised with hypothermia on Saturday but taken to a police station for questioning on Sunday.

Reports said Sokolov had been given France’s Legion of Honour award for his work.

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Amanda Knox weeps on podcast and says she wants to hear Meredith Kercher’s voice again

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Amanda Knox broke down in tears and said she was ‘desperate’ to hear her ‘missing friend and roommate’ Meredith Kercher’s voice again on a recent episode of her true crime podcast. 

In 2009, she was convicted of brutally murdering Kercher in the home they shared in Perugia, Italy, while studying abroad. She was acquitted two years later and has since made a living through podcasts, selling books and documentaries about the killing. 

In a recent episode of her podcast, The Truth About Truth, Knox was interviewing the friends of murder victim Jennifer Levin – who was strangled to death by Robert Chambers in Central Park in 1996 – when she started crying. 

One of Jennifer’s friends was talking about how she wished she could speak to her again and Knox said quietly: ‘I’ve often thought the same thing about Meredith.’ 

Amanda Knox

Amanda Knox

Meredith Kercher

Meredith Kercher

In a new episode of her podcast, Amanda Knox cries for Meredith Kercher – who she was convicted and then acquitted of murdering – and said she ‘often’ wishes she could hear her voice again 

In a voice over afterwards, she added that the interview ‘brought to mind my own missing friend and roommate, and the desperation of wanting to hear her voice again.’ 

‘Not just because she knows the real truth, but because she deserves to be heard,’ she said. 

After hanging up, she said she ‘stayed in the seclusion of her vocal booth for quite a while’, crying. 

Knox’s husband, who was outside, was then heard asking her on tape if she was all right. 

She answered that she was ‘sad’ and said: ‘I have a lot of unanswered questions too, you know?’  

‘There are always unanswered questions when someone’s life is cut short.Things only they would know about what really happened at the moment of their death.

‘But unanswered questions are hard to bear. 

‘So over time, we tell ourselves larger stories that don’t so much fill in those crucial gaps as much as they try to make sense of the senseless at the broader level of society.’ 

Meredith's family have long said there has not been sufficient justice for her. They have also condemned Knox's continued efforts to talk about the case publicly as 'inappropriate'

Meredith's family have long said there has not been sufficient justice for her. They have also condemned Knox's continued efforts to talk about the case publicly as 'inappropriate'

Meredith’s family have long said there has not been sufficient justice for her. They have also condemned Knox’s continued efforts to talk about the case publicly as ‘inappropriate’

Knox is pictured in 2015 after being acquitted for the second time, by Italy's highest court

Knox is pictured in 2015 after being acquitted for the second time, by Italy's highest court

Raffaele Sollecito, Knox's boyfriend at the time, was also acquitted

Raffaele Sollecito, Knox's boyfriend at the time, was also acquitted

Knox is pictured (left) in 2015 after being acquitted for the second time, by Italy’s highest court. Raffaele Sollecito (right), Knox’s boyfriend at the time, was also acquitted 

It comes as she lends her support to people who she says are wrongfully convicted and have spent years behind bars. 

The only person who remains in prison for Kercher's murder is Rudy Guede.

The only person who remains in prison for Kercher's murder is Rudy Guede.

The only person who remains in prison for Kercher’s murder is Rudy Guede.

In an interview with Dr. Phil which will air on Tuesday, Knox gave the example of Rodney Reed – a death row inmate whose execution was halted this week – as the type of person who needs help and said while she only spent four years in prison, there are some who have been in jail for longer than she has been alive.

Kercher’s family has not yet reacted to the podcast.

They have long said they feel there has not been sufficient justice for their murdered daughter. 

In June this year, they labeled Knox ‘inappropriate’ for returning to Italy to attend a panel on the topic of trial by media, and said the visit was ‘painful’ for them.

The only person who remains in prison for Kercher’s murder is Rudy Guede. 

He took a fast track trial in Italy and was convicted in 2009. 

He was sentenced to 30 years in prison but it was automatically halved to 16 years as part of his submission to a fast-track, media-free trial. 

In 2016, he was shockingly allowed to have 36 hours of freedom as a reward for good behavior. 

Raffaele Sollecito, Knox’s boyfriend who was convicted alongside him, has also written a book about the murder and their subsequent legal woes.  

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Stunning socialite seen cavorting with Prince Andrew in THOSE photos at St Tropez nightclub

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Christy Von Aspen (above) 39, was pictured with Prince Andrew in St Tropez in 2007

Christy Von Aspen (above) 39, was pictured with Prince Andrew in St Tropez in 2007

Christy Von Aspen (above) 39, was pictured with Prince Andrew in St Tropez in 2007

The stunning socialite pictured with Prince Andrew in St Tropez turned her back on her party lifestyle to run a wellness centre in Monaco, Mail Online can reveal.

IT girl Christy Von Aspen cavorted with the Duke of York on the dance floor during a wild night out in 2007.

In the now notorious set of pictures the playboy prince – under pressure over his friendship with disgraced paedophile Jeffrey Epstein – grinned for the camera as he embraced the blonde interior designer, who then licked his face. 

Described as a ‘real party girl back then’, Ms Von Aspen was dating Prince Albert of Monaco’s right-hand man Bruno Philipponnat at the time – and got into ‘real trouble’ over the pictures, it is claimed.

But friends have told Mail Online she shunned partying after her night out with the Queen’s second son and now lives quietly running a health retreat in the principality.

Long-time associate Richard Gradner said: ‘These photos of her with Prince Andrew do not show Chris’s true character. 

The Duke of York enjoyed himself with Ms Von Aspen, a former socialite, during their encounter on the French Riviera 12 years ago

The Duke of York enjoyed himself with Ms Von Aspen, a former socialite, during their encounter on the French Riviera 12 years ago

The Duke of York enjoyed himself with Ms Von Aspen, a former socialite, during their encounter on the French Riviera 12 years ago

Ms Von Aspen, an American IT girl, was was working in the South of France as an interior designer at the time, playfully holds the Duke's mouth into a grin for the camera

Ms Von Aspen, an American IT girl, was was working in the South of France as an interior designer at the time, playfully holds the Duke's mouth into a grin for the camera

Ms Von Aspen, an American IT girl, was was working in the South of France as an interior designer at the time, playfully holds the Duke’s mouth into a grin for the camera

The blonde socialite who was then 27 and dating Prince Albert of Monaco's right-hand man Bruno Philipponnat at the time then licked the royal's face during their encounter

The blonde socialite who was then 27 and dating Prince Albert of Monaco's right-hand man Bruno Philipponnat at the time then licked the royal's face during their encounter

The blonde socialite who was then 27 and dating Prince Albert of Monaco’s right-hand man Bruno Philipponnat at the time then licked the royal’s face during their encounter

The prince was seen chatting to an unnamed blonde woman as Ms Von Aspen gyrated her hips in the direction of His Royal Highness during their wild night out

The prince was seen chatting to an unnamed blonde woman as Ms Von Aspen gyrated her hips in the direction of His Royal Highness during their wild night out

The prince was seen chatting to an unnamed blonde woman as Ms Von Aspen gyrated her hips in the direction of His Royal Highness during their wild night out

‘If she was into partying, she has cleaned up her act greatly since those days and taken a different path.

‘I would say she never partied more than anybody else,’ said Mr Gradner, who met her through mutual friends seven years ago when she spent time in South Africa.

He went on: ‘Certainly she would have gone to Monaco because that is where the people of influence go. 

‘She knew she could make a success of her business there. She asked for my help in marketing her work and with her website. I know she took people to a retreat in Italy too.’

Of that night out an onlooker who saw the pair said: ‘Chris was buzzed from drinking and had met Andrew before so she approached him.

Since her encounter with the Duke, Ms Von Aspen quit her job as an interior designer and turned her back on southern France's late night party seen to set up a holistic centre in Monaco

Since her encounter with the Duke, Ms Von Aspen quit her job as an interior designer and turned her back on southern France's late night party seen to set up a holistic centre in Monaco

Since her encounter with the Duke, Ms Von Aspen quit her job as an interior designer and turned her back on southern France’s late night party seen to set up a holistic centre in Monaco

‘She was a real reveller back then and went to all the celebrity parties in New York, LA, Saint-Tropez and Monaco. 

‘Chris later claimed she hooked up with Andrew and you can see in the pictures that he was having a great time with her.

‘He had a wild look in his eye – you can see that in the pictures too.’ 

During the same trip Andrew was pictured cosying up to Canadian model Pascale Bourbeau at a bash he attended alongside his eldest daughter Princess Beatrice.   

In a second set of pictures, he put his hand on Pascale’s rear as they stand close together at the home of billionaire fire extinguisher magnate Tony Murray.

A year later the royal was seen at yet another wild party, this time thrown by wine tycoon Claude Ott on the French Riviera – just weeks after his shamed pal Epstein was prosecuted for trafficking an underage girl and forcing her into prostitution. 

Ms Von Aspen, who spends time in Monaco and the US, has filled her Instagram page with pictures of her looking tanned, happy and healthy

Ms Von Aspen, who spends time in Monaco and the US, has filled her Instagram page with pictures of her looking tanned, happy and healthy

Ms Von Aspen, who spends time in Monaco and the US, has filled her Instagram page with pictures of her looking tanned, happy and healthy

In a film from the 2008 soiree, the prince appears worse for wear, his hair dishevelled with a hint of sweat and jacket abandoned.

Dressed in all white, with his shirt untucked, he is seen heading to the dance floor with two women as techno blares out before he settles down talking to several glamorous female guests, getting in close to chat because of the loud music. He was seen dancing at close quarters with a Libyan model named Nadia Boejna. 

That night he was also filmed chatting with Polish-born socialite Beata Bohman – who went on to make headlines when she was arrested for shoplifting an $11,000 fur-lined scarf in New York. 

Later, he headed to a marina at Murray’s mansion and got on a boat accompanied by ‘five or six women’ while Beatrice, now 31, left separately, according to a witness.

A friend of Ms Von Aspen told Mail Online that the now-notorious photos of that night out do not accurately reflect how the 39-year-old health and fitness expert lives her life today

A friend of Ms Von Aspen told Mail Online that the now-notorious photos of that night out do not accurately reflect how the 39-year-old health and fitness expert lives her life today

A friend of Ms Von Aspen told Mail Online that the now-notorious photos of that night out do not accurately reflect how the 39-year-old health and fitness expert lives her life today 

A former Saint-Tropez reveler revealed: ‘These were really crazy years for Andrew.

‘He was clearly having a full-blown midlife crisis. He would have been 47 or 48 at the time, divorced from Sarah Ferguson, and basking in the attention he got from young women. 

‘These were private parties held at mansions so I guess he felt he could let his guard down.

‘Things can get quite loose in Saint-Tropez. There were lots of beautiful young women looking for rich men.

‘People would often go off to the toilets to do drugs or for oral sex.

‘That was the best time to party in Saint-Tropez. Social media hadn’t really taken off and most people didn’t have cameras on their phone yet so people could just go and have fun.

‘Lots of the girls gravitated towards Andrew – royalty has that effect on the kind of women who flock to Saint-Tropez.’

Andrew’s partying days have come under increased scrutiny recently due to his controversial relationship with Epstein, who killed himself aged 66 in a New York jail cell in August after being arrested on federal sex trafficking charges.

Following Epstein’s death, the Prince released a statement denying he ever saw or suspected any criminal behaviour by the wealthy financier.

Andrew was seen with Canadian socialite Pascale Bourbeau during the same trip in St Tropez in July 2007

Andrew was seen with Canadian socialite Pascale Bourbeau during the same trip in St Tropez in July 2007

The prince put his hand on Ms Bourbeau's rear at the party hosted by billionaire Tony Murray

The prince put his hand on Ms Bourbeau's rear at the party hosted by billionaire Tony Murray

Andrew was seen with Canadian socialite Pascale Bourbeau during the same trip at another  party in Saint-Tropez in July 2007, this time hosted by fire extinguisher tycoon Tony Murray

The playboy Prince Andrew, whose nickname is Randy Andy, was seen chatting to German supermodel Heidi Klum at a New York Hookers and Pimps-themed Halloween party in 2000

The playboy Prince Andrew, whose nickname is Randy Andy, was seen chatting to German supermodel Heidi Klum at a New York Hookers and Pimps-themed Halloween party in 2000

The playboy Prince Andrew, whose nickname is Randy Andy, was seen chatting to German supermodel Heidi Klum at a New York Hookers and Pimps-themed Halloween party in 2000

At the same party Ghislaine Maxwell - who allegedly helped procure young women for the billionaire US financier Epstein - had her arm around the prince during the evening

At the same party Ghislaine Maxwell - who allegedly helped procure young women for the billionaire US financier Epstein - had her arm around the prince during the evening

At the same party Ghislaine Maxwell – who allegedly helped procure young women for the billionaire US financier Epstein – had her arm around the prince during the evening

However, he has faced a barrage of claims, including from Virginia Roberts who accuse the Duke of York of sleeping with her when she was 17.

Andrew agreed to do his ‘car crash’ BBC interview in a failed attempt to repair his reputation and set the record straight.

In the excruciating 50-minute long interview with Emily Maitlis, the royal made a series of bizarre claims in which he tried to distance himself from Ms Roberts’ claims in which he claimed a medical condition meant he couldn’t sweat after being shot at during The Falklands.

He also said he couldn’t have had sex with Ms Roberts in March 2001 because that night he was at Pizza Express in Woking celebrating Beatrice’s 18th birthday.

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Ex-Speaker John Bercow signs up to corporate public speaking agency

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John Bercow has signed up to a celebrity public speaking agency amid a row over whether he pulled out of a BBC interview because the programme-makers wanted to ask him about bullying allegations made against him. 

Mr Bercow is now listed on the JLA agency’s website as available for bookings – alongside the likes of Joanna Lumley, Sir Ian Botham and Jerry Springer – after he quit his Commons Speaker role at the end of October. 

The website boasts that Mr Bercow ‘built a reputation as a reformer’ during his decade in the chair and that he will be able to ‘share his insights on the future of our politics’ during talks. 

He is also described as a ‘seasoned raconteur with countless stories from the corridors of power’. 

It came as a former producer claimed Mr Bercow had demanded written confirmation that the BBC’s Hardtalk episode would not ask about his alleged behaviour towards House of Commons staff. 

Ruaridh Arrow said that the BBC World television programme refused to give in to his demands and the appearance – due to take place within the last few weeks – never took place.

The revelation came after Mr Bercow, who quit as Speaker on October 31,  was booked to appear on Sky News on election night on December 12.

In a tweet, Mr Arrow suggested the channel ask him ‘why he pulled out of our @BBCHARDtalk interview when we refused his demand to give an assurance IN WRITING that we wouldn’t ask him about bullying allegations against him’. 

The revelation came after Mr Bercow, who quit as Speaker on October 31, was booked to appear on Sky News on election night on December 12

The revelation came after Mr Bercow, who quit as Speaker on October 31, was booked to appear on Sky News on election night on December 12

The revelation came after Mr Bercow, who quit as Speaker on October 31, was booked to appear on Sky News on election night on December 12

The former Speaker demanded written confirmation that the BBC's Hardtalk episode would not ask about his alleged behaviour towards House of Commons staff, a former producer claimed.

The former Speaker demanded written confirmation that the BBC's Hardtalk episode would not ask about his alleged behaviour towards House of Commons staff, a former producer claimed.

The former Speaker demanded written confirmation that the BBC’s Hardtalk episode would not ask about his alleged behaviour towards House of Commons staff, a former producer claimed.

He added: ‘Bercow pulled out hours before broadcast which I believe was designed to force us into a position where we had to submit to his demands. 

‘Proud to work with strong colleagues and a programme like @BBCHardtalk which steadfastly refuses to take questions off the table.’

Jeremy Lee, Mr Bercow’s new representative, told MailOnline: ‘I wanted to know the line of questioning before we agreed to a Hardtalk interview. 

‘In the end we decided that John Bercow would not appear on the programme at this time, but offered for him to do so around the time his memoirs are published in the new year – with no limitations whatsoever on the questions asked.’

Mr Bercow was unveiled last night as a guest on Sky’s election night coverage.

John Ryley, the head of Sky News, said: ‘John will bring his own authority, and no little wit to a night of high drama.’ 

The 56-year-old stepped down from the helm after 10 years in the job at the end of last month and uttered the words ‘order, order’, after closing proceedings for the final time. 

Mr Bercow has previously been accused of bullying staff – claims he has repeatedly denied. 

Previous allegations include Angus Sinclair, Mr Bercow’s former private secretary, accusing the Speaker of physically intimidating, demeaning and mimicking him before he took ‘compulsory early retirement’ in 2010.

Mr Bercow has also been accused of bullying Mr Sinclair’s successor, Kate Emms, out of her job.

Former official David Leakey, who was Parliament’s Black Rod, has accused him of creating a climate of ‘fear and intimidation’. 

He denies all the claims against him. 

What are the claims of bullying and bad behaviour made against John Bercow? 

John Bercow has been hit by a number of bullying claims, all of which he denies. Here are the allegations:  

Andrew Sinclair, the former Speaker’s Secretary:

Said he left his post in 2010 after he was subjected to angry outbursts, foul- mouthed tirades and mimicry by John Bercow.

He said was ‘gagged’ and stopped from speaking out about his time in the role as part of an £86,000 early retirement payoff. 

David Leakey, former Black Rod:

Mr Leakey, who retired last year, said staff were ‘terrified’ of the Speaker.

Kate Emms, John Bercow’s former private secretary:

She took a job as Mr Bercow’s private secretary in May 2010 but left her role less than a year later in February 2011 amid claims she was bullied by the Speaker.

Her colleagues alleged that this was because of the behaviour of Mr Bercow after she told staff that she suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Colleagues told Newsnight that she was undermined by Mr Bercow in a range of ways – and he seemed to shout at her a lot. 

 

 

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