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In the papers today: 14.02.08. This is for the lovers

Happy Valentine’s Day to Kate Moss, says north London neighbourhood St John’s Wood, which loves the ‘beefed-up police presence’ that comes with having a supermodel in the area.

‘There are a lot of dimly lit, narrow streets around here,’ says Alan Lydon, 55, in the Independent . ‘But now we’ve got clusters of paparazzi everywhere and all the flashing lights keep our streets well lit.’

Apart from this neighbourhood love-in, however, there’s nary a mention of St Valentine in the papers today, apart from a warning in the Associated Free Press that office romantics should avoid sending e-cards, on the off-chance it ‘results in a sexual harassment claim’. The FBI also issued a warning about e-love notes, saying they may contain the Storm Worm virus. And who says romance is dead?

Well, Mervyn King, governor of the Bank of England, for one. Under the headline ‘House values likely to fall’, the Financial Times has printed another doomsday prophecy for the housing market. The bloom seems to be officially off the rose, with house prices expected to dip ‘in real terms for as long as the next four years,’ Norma Cohen reports.

Beijing is feeling like a jilted lover as well, after Stephen Spielberg’s withdrawal from his role as ‘artistic adviser’ to the Beijing Olympics this summer. The break-up is making headlines in every country, except China. ‘The state-controlled media pointedly ignored the story,’ reports the Guardian . It’s been a bad few months for Beijing, with news last week that the British Olympic Association’s athletes’ contract had to be re-written, after a clause was found barring athletes from discussing ‘politically sensitive’ issues.

All in all, the only place feeling the love today seems to be Newcastle-under-Lyme, which has benefited to the tune of £2.8 million by being ‘mistaken’ for Newcastle upon Tyne by a group of civil servants in Whitehall. ‘Even the two places’ different policy over hyphens – a regular question in pub quizzes and Trivial Pursuit – failed to alert the London civil servants to their muddle,’ the Guardian reports. But even this love affair is officially over, with the department now ‘taking steps’ to ensure this prince-and-the-pauper mix-up doesn’t happen again.

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