Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Monday 17 Sep 2012

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

UK News
1. TOMLINSON DEATH: PC HARWOOD SACKED
Pc Simon Harwood was today sacked by the Met Police after being found guilty of gross misconduct at the G20 protests in April 2009 when newsvendor Ian Tomlinson dropped dead minutes after being hit and pushed to the ground by Harwood. The panel declined to discuss whether his actions caused Tomlinson's death.
2. STOP GIVING AWAY UK MONEY, SAYS TOP TORY
Lord Ashcroft, a former Tory party fund-raiser and now an adviser to the PM, says the government should "turn off the golden taps" and stop "flooding the developing word with our money". He addressed his remarks to Justine Greening, the new Development Secretary, saying it was pointless trying to "curry favour with Guardian-type readers".
Kate photos
3. WILLIAM PRESSES CRIMINAL CHARGES
Lawyers for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were today lodging a criminal complaint to French prosecutors against the photographer who took topless pictures of the duchess and seeking an injunction to have Closer magazine withdrawn from shelves. Meanwhile, the Italian magazine Chi went ahead with its threat to publish 26 pages of photos.
Islam film row
4. IRAN RENEWS 'FATWA' AGAINST RUSHDIE
Iran yesterday exploited the escalating Muslim anger over a film insulting the Prophet Mohammad to renew its "fatwa" death threat against author Salman Rushdie over his novel The Satanic Verses, raising the reward for his 'execution' by $500,000 to $3.3m. The call from Ayatollah Hassan Sanei came as Rushdie published a memoir of his time in hiding.
5. JOHN MAJOR SEES 'GREEN SHOOTS'
Former prime minister Sir John Major yesterday predicted that the "green shoots of recovery" are on the way for the British economy, which had passed the "darkest moment" of the recession. He told the BBC's Andrew Marr that the fall in unemployment and the rise in the stock market suggested the worst was over.
Health & Science
6. THREE-PARENT BABIES COULD BE LEGALISED
A public consultation has opened on whether it should be legal to allow the creation through IVF of babies from three people. The technique could be used by parents to avoid having a baby afflicted with ‘mitochondrial’ diseases which are passed down from mother to child. A donor woman would provide healthy mitochondrial DNA. If it is decided that the technique is ethical, the government could legalise the treatment next year.
7. ISLAND PATROL: CHINA CLAIMS SUCCESS
China yesterday claimed that its patrol of six war ships sent to the islands at the centre of the territorial dispute with Japan had succeeded in showing Beijing's jurisdiction. The statement followed the spread of anti-Japanese protests to dozens of cities in China. US defence secretary Leon Panetta, who is in Tokyo, warned that "a misjudgement could result in violence."
Music
8. MANCHESTER IS UK PIRACY CAPITAL
Manchester has been named as the piracy capital of the UK. Statistics gathered by Musicmetric show that there were more illegal downloads in the north-western city per person than anywhere else. Nottingham and Southampton were second and third. The most pirated artists in the first half of 2012 were Ed Sheeran, followed by Rizzle Kicks and Rihanna.
UK News
9. DEEP-FRIED MARS BARS OK WITH MARS
Mars has come out in support of the Scottish tradition of deep-frying Mars bars in batter. Earlier this month, Mars demanded that a Scottish fish and chip shop carry a disclaimer stating the fried treat was not "authorised". Now the Mars president says: "We are very proud of our association in Scotland although I haven't had one myself".
Theatre
10. HOT TICKET: PRYCE A BRILLIANT LEAR
A new production of Shakespeare's great tragedy 'King Lear' has opened at London's Almeida theatre. Jonathan Pryce stars in the title role of Lear, an ageing king who foolishly surrenders his power to ungrateful daughters and descends into madness. "Pryce is simply brilliant", says The Times. Until 3 November.