The BBC Trust has moved quickly to appoint a permanent new Director General, announcing this morning that it will be Tony Hall, a previous director of news at the BBC who has spent the past 11 years neing chief executive of the Royal Opera House. He joined the Lords in 2010 as a crossbench peer, taking the formal title Baron Hall of Birkenhead.
PEOPLE OF GAZA TRY TO 'RETURN TO NORMAL'
Palestinians living in Gaza were attempting to return to normal life today after a ceasefire between the Israelis and Hamas, brokered in Cairo, came into effect at 9pm local time yesterday. Despite overnight arrests by the Israeli forces of "terror operatives" in the West Bank, the Gaza ceasefire was still holding at mid-day today.
PARTS OF ENGLAND FACE MORE FLOODING
The South West and the Midlands are bracing for heavy rain today after flooding yesterday caused schools to be closed and transport services disrupted because of impassable roads. With torrential rain forecast later today, there are more than 80 flood warnings in place. Scotland is also expecting heavy rain and string winds.
CAMERON PLEDGES NO REBATE DEAL
David Cameron last night told MPs that he would refuse to trade Britain’s annual EU rebate for the budget freeze he will demand at the Brussels summit beginning today. The EU must set a budget for the seven years 2014 -2020. Cameron has been urged to use the British veto against budget increases demanded by many of the EU’s 27 member states.
OLD STONES RE-UNITE FOR LONDON CONCERTS
The Rolling Stones have announced the return of former members Bill Wyman and Mick Taylor for next week’s '50 and Counting' concerts in London. Wyman, now 76, was the band’s original bass player and Taylor took over guitar for five years following Brian Jones’s death in 1969. It will be the first time in more than 20 years that they have all performed together.
MICHAEL GOVE LAMPOONS LEVESON
Education Secretary Michael Gove lampooned Lord Justice Leveson and questioned his “commitment to truth telling” in a speech at the annual Spectator magazine political awards last night. Gove is a former journalist and his speech reflected fears that Leveson will recommend statutory controls limiting the “precious freedom” of the press.
SPURS FANS ATTACKED IN ROME
Up to ten Tottenham Hotspur fans have been injured in Rome, one critically, after coming under attack from fans of Lazio, who they play in the Europa League tonight. The fans were set upon in the early hours of Thursday in a city centre bar. Lazio's 'Ultra' hooligans have links to facism, while Spurs have traditionally drawn support from the Jewish community.
SCHOFIELD AND ITV SETTLE WITH MCALPINE
Phillip Schofield and his employer ITV today agreed to pay Lord McAlpine £125,000 in damages after the television presenter handed David Cameron a list of alleged paedophiles on the This Morning programme earlier this month. The list, which contained the Tory peer's name, was partially visible to viewers. The BBC has already agreed to pay McAlpine £185,000 in the wake of the botched Newsnight programme falsely linking him to child abuse. McAlpine's lawyer Andrew Reid said the This Morning incident "embarrassed the Prime Minister and destroyed the reputation of my client".
DORRIES VOTED OFF ‘I’M A CELEBRITY’
Conservative MP Nadine Dorries last night become the first person to be evicted from ITV's reality show ‘I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!’ She had lasted 12 days in the Australian jungle after becoming the first sitting MP to join the show, losing the Tory whip because she had abandoned her Commons duties. She said: “It has been a fascinating experience”.
HOT TICKET: ROM-COM SILVER LININGS
American romantic comedy ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ has opened at UK cinemas. Bradley Cooper of ‘Hangover’ fame stars as a recently released mental patient who tries to get his wife back with the help of his new but equally damaged friend played by Jennifer ‘Hunger Games’ Lawrence. “Crazy good,” says Rolling Stone magazine.