Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Wednesday 9 May 2012

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

Lords reform
1. QUEEN'S SPEECH: LORDS REFORM GOES AHEAD
The Coalition's legislative programme for the next year has been announced in the Queen's Speech. Plans to reform the House of Lords, speed up adoption, separate the retail operations of banks from their investment arms, exempt the UK from future eurozone bailouts and make parental leave more flexible were all included.
Crime
2. GROOMING: NINE JAILED FOR CHILD SEX
Nine men, all of Asian descent, who were convicted of being part of a child exploitation gang have been sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court to prison terms ranging from four to 19 years. The men gave food, drink and drugs to dozens of white girls as young as 13 in exchange for sex. Offences included rape and sex with a child.
Underwear bomber
3. UNDERWEAR BOMBER AN AGENT FOR CIA
The suicide bomber in the foiled 'underwear bomb plot' was an agent working for the CIA. The man was recruited by the Saudi intelligence services and had infiltrated the Yemen-based al-Qaeda subsidiary which made the bomb. The agent is now safely back in Saudi Arabia.
Queen's Speech
4. CAMERON TEXTED SUPPORT FOR BROOKS
David Cameron privately sent Rebekah Brooks a text message that she would "get through" her troubles the week before she resigned as chief executive of News International - at the same time as his government was publicly condemning the hacking of Milly Dowler's phone by the News of the World. The revelations come in an updated biography of the PM.
5. MARKETS FALL AS GREEK LEFT DEFIES BAIL-OUT
Stock markets fell yesterday as Alexis Tsipras, leader of Greece's left wing Syriza party, which came second in Sunday's vote, announced attempts to form a ruling coalition based on tearing up the terms of the EU/IMF bail-out deal. He has three days to form a government.
6. SPY CASE: DNA SCREENING FOR SECRET AGENTS
MI6 agents may be asked to give samples of DNA in a mass screening as part of a new bid to solve the mystery of the death of "spy in the bag" Gareth Williams. The move follows comments from the coroner at his inquest that the involvement of another spy was "a legitimate line of inquiry".
7. GOOGLE'S DRIVERLESS CAR GETS ROAD LICENCE
Nevada yesterday granted Google the first licence to operate a car without a driver, a "self-driven car", on a road in America. The company sent a Toyota Prius modified with video cameras, radar sensors and a laser-detector down Las Vegas' fabled strip to celebrate.
8. TRAVOLTA SUED IN 'GAY SEX ASSAULT' CLAIM
John Travolta is being sued for $2 million by a masseur, identified as John Doe, who claims that the star of films including Saturday Night Fever and Pulp Fiction assaulted him sexually during a massage session, Reuters reports from court documents. Travolta said the claim was "complete fiction".
9. HUGE INCREASE IN PACIFIC PLASTIC PATCH
The quantity of plastic rubbish in 'garbage patches' in the north-east Pacific Ocean is 100 times bigger today than 40 years ago, say scientists. The increase has led to a boom in the population of the insect Halobates sericeus, a relative of the pond skater.
10. HOT TICKET: PICASSO'S MASTER PRINTS
A new exhibition of Pablo Picasso's Vollard Suite has opened at the British Museum. The set of 100 etchings, produced in the 1930s, features images of Picasso's young mistress Marie-Thérèse Walter combined with themes from classical sculpture and mythology. "One of the art events of the year", says The Guardian. Until 2 September.