Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Thursday 2 Aug 2012

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

1. KOFI ANNAN QUITS AS SYRIA ENVOY
Kofi Annan is to stand down as special envoy to Syria, the UN has announced. The news comes as fighting in the Arab country continues. Rebel fighters near Aleppo are reported to have attacked a key army base using a tank seized from the military. The United Nations confirmed yesterday that the regime has been using fighter jets against rebels.
2. MORE GOLDS FOR TEAM GB
Britain's canoeists took gold and silver in the slalom pairs event at Lee Valley when Tim Baillie and Etienne Stott edged out David Florence and Richard Hounslow. Peter Wilson then took GB's fourth gold of the games in the double trap shooting. Earlier the men's lightweight four had to settle for silver in the rowing when they were pipped by South Africa. Gemma Gibbons also claimed silver in judo.
Russia
3. PUTIN VISITS UK FOR SYRIA AND JUDO
Russian President Vladimir Putin is in the UK today, for the first time since the 2005 G8 summit. The judo black belt will watch his sport at the Olympic games and meet David Cameron at Downing Street to discuss the situation in Syria. His spokesman said he would not be offering any concessions on Russia's position.
Transport
4. CYCLIST DIES AS WIGGINS IS TRIUMPHANT
Bradley Wiggins, now Britain's greatest ever Olympian after taking gold in the cycling time trials, has called for bike helmets to be made compulsory after a 28-year-old cyclist was knocked off his bike and killed by an Olympic bus near the Games venue yesterday. A man was charged with dangerous driving.
UK business
5. GOVERNMENT MAY NATIONALISE RBS
The coalition is said to be considering nationalising RBS as it looks for a way to get banks lending to British businesses. The government already owns 82% of the banking group and could buy the remaining 18% for £5bn. The plan, thought to be the brainchild of Lib Dem ministers, does not have the backing of George Osborne.
6. MARKETS UNIMPRESSED BY EURO PLEDGE
European financial markets have been left disappointed by assurances from the European Central Bank over the future of the euro. President Mario Draghi said the bank would find ways to help struggling eurozone countries "over the coming weeks" and would do "whatever it takes". However details were sketchy and markets fell after the announcement.
iPhone 5
7. APPLE FANS ANGRY AT $800 IPHONE RUMOUR
Apple devotees reacted angrily today to a rumour that the new iPhone 5, due for release this year, will cost $800. Fans took to Twitter to brand the smartphone a "rip-off", while others suggested they would have high expectations for such an expensive gadget. "It better be waterproof, fireproof, crackproof, dirtproof, bulletproof," said one fan.
8. RAUSING: 'I DIDN'T WANT TO LET HER LEAVE'
Tetra Pak heir Hans Christian Rausing, has said he kept his wife's dead body at his house hidden under clothing and bin bags because he didn't want to "let her leave". He told a court yesterday that he knew it was "selfish". The two had battled drug addiction. Rausing was given a ten-month suspended sentence.
Film
9. HITCHCOCK FILM OUSTS CITIZEN KANE
Alfred Hitchcock's 1958 Vertigo, starring James Stewart and Kim Novak, has pushed Orson Welles's best-known film off the top spot in the BFI's greatest film poll for the first time in 50 years. The survey is conducted once a decade and Citizen Kane has held the top spot since the second poll as long ago as 1962.
Theatre
10. HOT TICKET: WEST END GETS OLYMPIC FEVER
Two Olympic-themed plays have opened at the West End’s Criterion Theatre to good reviews. In Taking Part a Congolese swimmer uses failure to his advantage, while in After the Party, two unemployed DJs try to profit from Olympic fever. “Consistently funny”, says The Daily Telegraph. Until 12 August.