Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Saturday 17 Nov 2012

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

1. JOHN PRESCOTT FAILS IN PCC BID
John Prescott has failed in his bid to elected as a Police and Crime Commissioner after voters in Humberside chose Conservative candidate Michael Grove. Earlier, the former deputy prime minister had told reporters to 'b***** off' when he was asked how confident he was feeling. Fewer than 15% of voters turned out in the 41 areas electing police and crime commissioners.
2. ISRAEL POISED FOR GAZA GROUND OPERATION
Israeli air strikes have targeted the headquarters of Hamas after terrorists fired a rocket at Jerusalem on Friday. With Israel putting 75,000 reservists on stand-by, a ground invasion of Gaza is becoming increasingly likely. An Israeli officer has told The Times that troops have been ordered to prepare “to the highest state of readiness”.
3. SEVERE WINTER 'WITHIN WEEKS'
The coldest winter for at least 100 years is set to hit Britain within weeks, predicts The Daily Express. A forecaster for Exacta Weather predicts "unusually heavy snowfall" in the south in December, with “potentially dangerous” blizzards causing transport gridlock. Temperatures could fall as low as -20C in rural areas.
4. PENSIONER GUILTY OF CLEGG ANTHRAX HOAX
A 72-year-old woman who claimed to be a nun sent white powder to deputy prime minister Nick Clegg, together with menacing messages accusing him of "devil worshipping" and being a "freemason". Ruth Augustus, who was spared jail after being convicted of hoaxes yesterday, also sent menacing packages to Baroness Scotland and Tory MP Edward Leigh.
5. YOUNG DRIVERS MAY FACE PASSENGER BAN
Novice drivers may be banned from carrying anyone but family members as passengers - or even banned from carrying any passengers at all - under proposals being considered by the government. Minister of transport Patrick McLoughlin told The Daily Telegraph that young drivers feel "peer pressure" from friends to drive fast.
6. DLT: WE USED TO CALL IT A CUDDLE
Dave Lee Travis has denied any wrongdoing following his arrest on Thursday by detectives investigating the Jimmy Saville saga. Travis insisted the allegations against him are "nothing to do with children", adding: "In the old days it was called 'putting your arm around somebody and giving them a cuddle'."
7. COALITION'S GREEN DEAL 'IN TATTERS'
The government's Green Deal, which encourages home owners to take out a loan to make their property more energy-efficient, is "in tatters" after the climate change minister admitted that not a single household has registered for it. Home owners have been able to register for the deal since October 1. Labour describes the situation as a "shambles".
8. TONY BLAIR PRAISES HIS LATE FATHER
Tony Blair has paid tribute to his father Leo, who died yesterday, saying he was "privileged to have him as a Dad". Blair snr, then the chairman of the Durham Conservative Association, had his dreams of entering parliament dashed when he suffered a stroke at the age of 40, when Blair jnr was 11 years of age.
9. ANCIENT GREEK FOR PRIMARY SCHOOLS
All children will be taught a foreign language while at primary school under government reforms. For the first time, it will be compulsory for seven year olds to study a foreign language. Schools will chose from a list of seven languages: Latin, ancient Greek, Mandarin, French, German, Spanish, and Italian. The government says the reform will help people compete in the "global jobs market".
10. WENGER 'FED UP' WITH PLAYER SALES
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has told Gunners fans that he too is frustrated the club has lost so many star players. "You think I'm not fed up with it? he said, "I want them as well to stay". The Gunners face local rivals Tottenham in the lunchtime kick-off on Saturday. Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas hailed under-fire Wenger as "one of the greatest ever" managers.