Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Tuesday 23 Oct 2012

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

Savile abuse claims
1. DG: IT WAS WRONG TO SHELVE NEWSNIGHT
The December 2011 Newsnight investigation into Jimmy Savile should not have been shelved, the BBC’s Director-General George Entwistle said today under questioning by the Commons Culture Committee. Even if an immediate transmission was not possible, there was enough “good journalistic material” to merit further investigation.
Badger cull
2. BADGER CULL DELAYED UNTIL 2013
Controversial plans to cull thousands of badgers have been delayed until next summer. Environment Secretary Owen Paterson told MPs that the cull should have started earlier this summer but was delayed by the Olympics and Paralympics. The RSPCA said: "We welcome this postponement, but this must not be a temporary reprieve, but must mark an end to all cull plans."
3. APPLE SET TO LAUNCH IPAD MINI
Apple was expected to launch the smaller version of its flagship tablet computer at an event in California today. Analysts have dubbed the device the 'iPad Mini' and expect it to have a 7.85 inch screen and cost around £200. Should Apple choose this price level, it would be a strong challenge to Amazon's Kindle range of tablets.
US election 2012
4. BARACK OBAMA WINS THIRD DEBATE
A CNN instant poll makes President Obama the winner of last night's third and final US presidential debate, focusing on foreign policy, ahead 48% to 40%. Obama jibed that Mitt Romney wanted a throwback to the Cold War policies of the 1980s, while Romney, referring to the assassination of Osama bin Laden, countered that "we can't kill our way out of this mess".
Phone hacking
5. FOUR SUE MIRROR FOR PHONE HACKING
Four people yesterday issued High Court claims against the Daily and Sunday Mirror and The People over phone hacking, solicitor Mark Lewis reported. The four are former England football manager Sven-Goran Eriksson, Coronation Street actress Shobna Gulati, Abbie Gibson, a Beckham family nanny, and Garry Flitcroft, the former captain of Blackburn Rovers football team.
Health & Science
6. AQUILA QUAKE: JAIL SENTENCES SLAMMED
Scientists have reacted with horror at an Italian court's decision to jail six Italian seismologists and a former government official for giving false reassurances to the people of L’Aquila before the 2009 earthquake that killed 309 people. Roger Musson of the British Geological Survey said the verdict will have "a chilling effect not just for seismologists but for science".
7. PUSSY RIOT WOMEN GO TO 'CRUELEST' GULAGS
The two women from the Russian punk band Pussy Riot convicted of "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred" are being sent to separate prison camps described as "the cruelest" in the gulag system, their lawyers reported yesterday. Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, will serve two years in Mordovia and Maria Alyokhina, 24, in the Perm region.
Lance Armstrong
8. ARMSTRONG TOLD TO REPAY $7.5M BONUS
Texas insurance company SCA Promotions will go to court to demand the return of $7.5m in bonuses from disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong, its lawyer Jeffrey Tillotson said last night. The company had covered a performance bonus after he won his sixth Tour de France in 2004. Tillotson will file court papers on 29 October unless Armstrong has returned the money.
9. BELUGA WHALE 'TALKS HUMAN'
A beluga whale called NOC learned to copy human speech patterns so convincingly that a diver conducting research once left the water asking "Who told me to get out?", scientists at the US National Marine Mammal Foundation in San Diego, California, revealed yesterday. Analysis of acoustic patterns suggested the whale was trying to "reach out" to his human captors.
Restaurants
10. HOT TICKET: PARIS COMES TO SLOANE SQ
Colbert, a new 'grand café' in the Parisian style from the team behind The Wolseley, The Delauney, and Brasserie Zedel, has opened in Sloane Square. It serves French classics such as croque monsieur, moules marinière and cassoulet, as well as all-day English breakfasts. "A brilliant coup," says The Independent.