Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Sunday 19 Aug 2012

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

Assange extradition
1. ASSANGE MAKES DEFIANT BALCONY SPEECH
Julian Assange appeared on a balcony at the Ecuadorean embassy in London today to speak to the world's media. He demanded that Barack Obama "do the right thing" and drop the US's "witch-hunt" of WikiLeaks. He did not, as some had expected, say that he would be willing to travel to Sweden to face sexual misdemeanour charges if the US complied.
2. UK INTELLIGENCE 'HELPS SYRIAN REBELS'
British intelligence has been assisting the Syrian rebels, reports The Sunday Times. Intelligence from a British base in Cyprus has helped the rebels to launch attacks on regime forces, including an ambush on a column of 40 tanks. A Syrian opposition official says the British authorities “know about and approve 100%” of the intelligence assistance.
3. NEW HONOURS RULE HITS OLYMPIC HEROES
Team GB athletes who won medals at the London 2012 Olympics will not be automatically eligible for honours from the Queen, reports The Independent On Sunday. The Prime Minister has ruled that there must be additional reasons to award MBEs or other honours to medal-winners. For instance, an athlete should be shown to have "given back" to their sport or to society.
4. TORY MPS URGE RAIL FARE U-TURN
Conservative and Liberal Democrat MPs are urging chancellor George Osborne to reverse his rail-fare hike, amid fears that the 'tax on commuting' could lead to dozens of MPs losing their seats in marginal constituencies. MPs in commuter seats have been inundated with furious complaints from constituents since the fare hikes were announced.
5. MOORS MOTHER WINNIE DIES
The mother of one of the Moors murder victims has died, days after hopes were raised that she would discover the whereabouts of her son's remains. A confidante of Ian Brady claimed to have been handed a letter by the killer, revealing where Winnie Johnson's son Keith Bennett was buried. Johnson, speaking to The Sun on her death bed, said she would like to “stab" Brady.
6. IDS: BBC IS 'PEEING OVER' INDUSTRY
Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith has made a formal complaint against the BBC, criticising its "carping and moaning" and accusing Newsnight economics editor Stephanie Flanders of displaying a pro-Labour bias and "peeing all over British industry". The BBC has strongly defended the corporation's "impartial, fair and balanced" coverage.
7. ENGLAND'S HOTTEST WEEKEND OF 2012
Parts of England are enjoying the hottest weekend of 2012, with temperatures of 32.4C (90.3F) recorded in Cavendish, Suffolk, and 31.5C (88.7F) in Cambridge. However, conditions were much cooler in Cornwall, and there was rain in the north and west of England. Cooler temperatures and heavy rain are forecast for the country next week.
8. PRINCE PHILIP TO MISS BALMORAL SERVICE
Prince Philip will miss the Royal Family's visit to the Sunday service at a church near Balmoral after spending a fourth night in the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary hospital. The 91-year-old, who is being treated for a bladder infection, has had three stays in hospital this year. Doctors have told him to rest, and he has not received any visitors.
9. POLICE TO BRING NEW BLAKELOCK CHARGE
Metropolitan Police detectives are to charge a man with the murder of PC Keith Blakelock 27 years after the killing, reports The Sunday Telegraph. The man was under 18 at the time of the murder, which took place during riots in Tottenham. Three men, including Winston Silcott, were convicted of the murder in 1987, but later released on appeal.
10. CITY KICK-OFF TITLE DEFENCE
Champions Manchester City begin their Premier League campaign today in a 4pm clash with Southampton. The pick of yesterday's results was West Bromwich Albion's 3-0 defeat of Liverpool, in Brendan Rodgers' first league tie in charge of the reds. Elsewhere, Arsenal drew 0-0 with Sunderland and Fulham crushed Norwich City 5-0.