Top news: Thatcher’s death, The Masters kick off and the popular royal name of Alexandra

The River’s Jack Hammond rounds up the top five stories from the past week’s news.

Baroness Thatcher Dies

Former Prime Minister Baroness Thatcher died ‘peacefully’ at the age of 87 after suffering a stroke while staying at the Ritz hotel in central London.

She will not have a state funeral but will be accorded the same status as Princess Diana and the Queen Mother.

The ceremony, with full military honours, will take place at London’s St Paul’s Cathedral on April 17.

Some celebrated the death of Baroness Thatcher at sometimes violent parties, with six cops injured in Bristol and other parties also held in Liverpool, Glasgow and Derry.

BBC will not play Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead

The BBC has defended its decision not to play in full on Radio 1’s Official Chart Show a song at the centre of an anti-Baroness Thatcher campaign.

A five second clip of Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead will be played in a news item on Sunday’s show.

BBC Radio 1 controller Ben Cooper said the move over the Wizard of Oz film track had been a difficult compromise.

He said he had to balance respect for someone who had just died with issues around freedom of speech.

The Masters begins

The golf Masters started on April 11 at Augusta National Golf Club, with players such as Tiger Woods and Rory McIlory taking part.

Chinese teenager Guan Tianlang has become the youngest player in Masters history as he teed off on Thursday.

Tiger Woods is back at world number one for the first time since October 2010 and is a favourite to win his fifth Green Jacket at the Masters this week.

Bookmakers cut odds on Alexandra royal baby name

Bookmakers have cut odds on the royal baby’s name being Alexandra after a large amount of bets were placed on it.

When Kate Middleton’s     pregnancy was announced, a flurry of bets were placed on various baby names, with the favourites being Frances and John.

Although the sex of Prince William and Kate’s baby has not been revealed, a slip-up from the Duchess of Cambridge in March suggests the couple are expecting a girl.

John Kerry visits Korea

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in South Korea on Friday on an unusual diplomatic journey, traveling directly into a region bracing for a possible North Korean missile test.

Kerry says America “will defend its allies” against North Korean threats of nuclear attack. Mr Kerry spoke on Friday alongside South Korea’s foreign minister, Yun Byung-se, who says the country’s door remains open to talks with the north.

Mr Kerry started his four days of talks in East Asia amid speculation that North Korea’s unpredictable regime would launch a mid-range missile designed to reach as far as the U.S. territory of Guam. Kerry also visited China and Japan.

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