One of the most controversial figures in British television, Sir Peter Bazalgette, whose Endemol production company is behind Big Brother, has been appointed chairman of the Arts Council. Labour MP Denis MacShane said: “It is very worrying that someone who has dumbed down, trivialised and sexualised mass TV viewing... has been put in charge of British culture.”
GADDAFI SPY CHIEF HANDED BACK TO LIBYA
Abdullah al-Senussi, the intelligence chief and right-hand man of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, has been extradited back to Libya from Mauritania. He fled after the uprising that toppled the Gaddafi regime last year and has been in custody in Mauritania since March. The move could shed more light on the Lockerbie bombing.
MICHELLE OBAMA STARS FOR DEMOCRATS
Michelle Obama earned chants of “Four more years!” when she addressed the Democratic convention last night with a very personal plea for her husband’s re-election. Without mentioning opponent Mitt Romney by name, she said: “For Barack, success isn’t about how much money you make, it’s about the difference you make in people’s lives.”
EMERGENCY TALKS OVER BELFAST RIOTS
Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson has condemned those involved in rioting in north Belfast in recent days. Emergency talks have been held today in a bid to end the sectarian violence in the city. Police have come under attack and have urged politicians to address the disputes over parades that have sparked the violence.
PARALYMPICS: ANOTHER GOLD FOR STOREY
British Paralympic cyclist Sarah Storey won her third gold medal of London 2012 and the tenth of her career in the C5 time trial at Brands Hatch today. Ex-Formula One driver Alex Zanardi, who lost his legs in 2001, won a gold in hand cycling. Last night David Weir claimed his second gold medal of the Paralympics with victory in the T54 1500m.
CAMERON TO ANNOUNCE HEATHROW TALKS
David Cameron is expected to announce plans for cross party talks on airport capacity this week and has refused to extend his pledge to oppose a third runway at Heathrow after the next election. Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, is against the idea and Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith has said he will quit over the issue.
BURGLAR SHOOTING: COUPLE BAILED
Andy Ferrie, 35, and his wife Tracey, 43, were remanded on police bail and released last night after being held for almost three days on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm to burglars they say broke into their Leicestershire farmhouse. Daniel Mansell, 33, today admitted burglary with intent to steal at Loughborough Magistrates.
NEW PLANNING MINISTER UNVEILED
The appointment of Nick Boles as planning minister in yesterday’s cabinet reshuffle is seen as a strong signal that David Cameron intends to bulldoze planning restrictions. Boles has a record of wanting to slash red tape to boost the economy, and refers to countryside campaigners as “latter-day Luddites” who want to “strangle developments”.
ONE DEAD AT CANADA POLITICAL RALLY
One person was killed and another critically wounded when a gunman opened fire at a victory rally held by Quebec's newly elected leader Pauline Marois in Montreal. A suspect wearing a dressing gown and believed to be about 50 years old shouted in French, "The English are waking up!" as he was arrested by police. Marois' party wants Quebec to secede from Canada.
HOT TICKET: PRIZE PHOTO SHOW
The work of British collage artist John Stezaker, who won the 2012 Deutsche Borse Prize with his quirky vintage Hollywood photo-montages, is on show at the Photographer’s Gallery, London until 9 September. “Marvellous”, says The Guardian.