Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Friday 31 Aug 2012

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

1. ABRAMOVICH WINS 'BATTLE OF OLIGARCHS'
Roman Abramovich has won a legal battle against fellow Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky. Berezovsky sued Abaramovich for £3bn, accusing the Chelsea FC owner of forcing him to sell shares in Russian oil company Sibneft for a fraction of their worth. But the London Commercial Court found in Abramovich's favour, calling Berezovsky an "unreliable witness".
Paralympics
2. PARALYMPICS: BRITONS WIN SILVER AND BRONZE
The British Paralympics team added a silver and a bronze to their medal tally today, with Aileen McGlynn and Helen Scott securing second place in the tandem and Aled Davies coming third in the F42/F44 shot put. Yesterday Britain won their first gold medals - in the women's 3km C5 individual pursuit and the men's S7 100m backstroke.
Politics
3. ASHDOWN BACKS CLEGG AS LIB DEM LEADER
Paddy Ashdown, the former Liberal Democrat leader, yesterday intervened in the revolt against Deputy PM Nick Clegg’s leadership with an appeal for party members to avoid "short-term personal manoeuvring" and to stand by Clegg. His appeal, in The Guardian, followed Lib Dem peer Lord Oakeshott’s call for a new leader before the next election.
World business
4. WORLD'S RICHEST WOMAN ANGERS AUSTRALIA
Gina Rinehart, the world's richest woman, has angered her fellow Australians by telling them to "spend less time drinking, or smoking and socialising, and more time working" if they want to be rich like her. Australian trade union leader Ged Kearney said Reinhart's comments were "an insult to millions of working Australians who didn't have the head start of inheriting a fortune from their father".
5. SQUATTERS TO FACE JAIL AS LAW CHANGES
Squatters in residential buildings face jail sentences of six months and fines of £5,000 from Saturday when a new law ending “squatters’ rights” takes effect in England and Wales. The government claims the law “will slam the door on squatters once and for all” to protect home owners and landlords.
US election 2012
6. ROMNEY TO ‘RESTORE PROMISE OF AMERICA’
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said he would "restore the promise of America" in his speech to the Republican convention in Florida last night, which launched his campaign to unseat President Obama. He spoke for the first time about being a Mormon, and his record at Bain Capital. The New York Times accused him of “the reinvention of history.”
Africa
7. MINISTER INTERVENES IN SA MINE MURDERS ROW
South African justice minister Jeff Radebe has demanded prosecutors explain why they have used an Apartheid-era law to charge 270 miners with the murder of 34 of their colleagues who were shot dead by police at a protest at the Marikana platinum mine. The decision to charge the miners under the "common purpose" doctrine has been described as "shameful" by a legal expert.
8. SUMMER IS WETTEST IN 100 YEARS
This summer was yesterday declared by the Met Office to be the wettest in Britain in 100 years, and the second wettest since records began, even though there were still two potentially wet days to come in August. There was 366.8mm of rain during June, July and August, compared to 384.4mm in 1912. April to June was the wettest spring ever.
9. THOUSANDS EVACUATED FROM SPAIN WILDFIRES
Thousands of people, including 300 British expats, have been evacuated from towns in Spain's Costa del Sol, as a huge wildfire threatens to engulf popular resorts such as Marbella. More than 250 firefighters are tackling the flames, along with 17 aircraft. One person, an elderly man, has died so far.
Film
10. HOT TICKET: MEDITATE ON SAMSARA
Ron Fricke’s film Samsara has opened in UK cinemas. The follow-up to his 1992 hit documentary Baraka, Samsara takes its title from the Sanskrit word for ‘wheel of life’. The wordless, non-narrative film, described as ‘a guided meditation’, is a visual journey through 25 countries set to music. “Sheer spectacle”, says Empire.