Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Thursday 5 Jan 2012

The Week’s super-quick catch-up on the main news talking points, available from 8am daily

Assisted suicide
1. COMMISSION BACKS ASSISTED SUICIDES
Doctors should be allowed to help terminally ill patients kill themselves if they have less than a year to live, a report will argue today. The report from The Commission on Assisted Dying - which includes prominent medics and peers - calls for the “inadequate and incoherent” law against assisted suicide to be scrapped.
Diane Abbott row
2. DIANE ABBOTT IN TWITTER RACE STORM
Labour MP Diane Abbott has apologised for a comment she made on Twitter after the Stephen Lawrence case that led to allegations of racism. Abbott remarked that "white people love playing 'divide & rule'" on the site. She initially claimed that the generalisation had been taken out of context.
US election 2012
3. ROMNEY EYES NEW HAMPSHIRE
Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum have arrived in New Hampshire to campaign ahead of next week's primary. Romney - who is expected to win it - joked he was "fresh from my landslide victory" in Iowa, where he won by just a tenth of a percentage point. He has received the endorsement of John McCain.
MILIBAND MALAISE
4. FORMER ALLY LASHES MILIBAND
Labour leader Ed Miliband has "no strategy, no narrative and little energy" says former ally Lord Glasman. Writing in the New Statesman, the academic - who served as a policy adviser to the Labour leader - also declared Miliband had “flickered rather than shone, nudged not led” and showed "no signs of winning".
Raunch culture
5. BAKEWELL SLAMS LADY GAGA
Veteran broadcaster Dame Joan Bakewell has criticised the “over-sexualisation” of pop stars such as Lady Gaga. The 78-year-old expressed concern over the effect such gratuitous portrayals of sex and nudity could have on children, fearing it could compromise their eventual sex lives.
6. DOWNTON SETS NEW RECORD
The Downton Abbey Christmas special was the most recorded programme ever using Sky+ and other "timeshift" technology, newly released figures have shown. Although it came fourth in initial Christmas Day ratings, an extra 3.5 million viewers watched it after the broadcast, making it the most-watched programme of the season.
Racism in sport
7. LIVERPOOL 'HYPOCRITICAL' OVER SUAREZ
Lord Ouseley, the chairman of football's anti-racism campaign, Kick It Out, has labelled Liverpool "hypocritical" over the Luis Suarez race row. The player belatedly apologised for calling Patrice Evra a "negro", but insisted: "I never, ever used this word in a derogatory way." Ouseley said: "Liverpool need to take a hard look at themselves."
Business
8. KODAK FACING BANKRUPTCY?
Kodak is rumoured to be on the brink of bankruptcy after falling victim to the age of digital photography. Once the master of the photographic industry and responsible for 90% of the world's film sales, the company has failed to adjust to the modern era. The Wall Street Journal claims it is preparing for bankruptcy proceedings.
Premier League
9. MAN UTD BEATEN 3-0 BY NEWCASTLE
Manchester City's lead at the top of the Premier League was solidified last night after second-placed Manchester United lost 3-0 at Newcastle. A stoppage-time own goal from Phil Jones followed wonder strikes from Demba Ba and Yohan Cabaye to consign the visitors to defeat. Sir Alex Ferguson said prior to the match that his team could be affected by the strong winds.
10. HOT TICKET: GUNS AND BICYCLE PUMPS
The comic Spaghetti Western Orchestra performs Ennio Morricone’s classics tonight. Hum along to The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and Once Upon a Time in the West played with sometimes unconventional instruments including bicycle pumps and nail clippers. Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank until 11 January.