Culture Secretary Maria Miller has said "the gauntlet has been thrown down" to the press to show how it would regulate itself without the need for Parliament to legislate. Yesterday, Lord Justice Leveson called for a new independent press regulator to be backed up with a change in the law. Victims of the press, led by Steve Coogan, accused David Cameron of a betrayal for indicating legislation was unnecessary.
LABOUR WINS THREE BY-ELECTIONS
Labour won all three of yesterday's by-elections, increasing its vote in Croydon and Middlesbrough at the expense of the coalition parties and also holding Rotherham. UKIP came a distant second in Middlesbrough and Rotherham, causing party leader Nigel Farage to declare that UKIP is "the new second party in the North".
UN RECOGNISES PALESTINE AS 'STATE'
The UN General Assembly voted yesterday to upgrade the Palestinians to 'non-member observer state' status despite strong opposition from the US and Israel. Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas called the upgrade "a birth certificate of the reality of a State of Palestine", but the Israeli UN ambassador said it pushed the peace process "backwards".
WHOOPING COUGH: WORST FOR 20 YEARS
Three more babies died from whooping cough in October, bringing the total of deaths this year among babies aged under three months to 13. Eight thousand cases of whooping cough were confirmed in the first ten months of 2012 – ten times the figure for the last peak year, 2008, and the worst figure in 20 years.
SCOLARI INSULTS BRAZILIAN BANKERS
Brazil's football manager Luiz Felipe Scolari has insulted the country's bankers on his first day in the job by saying that any players in his squad who can’t take the pressure should "go and work in the Bank of Brazil". Bankers' union Contraf said that more than 1,000 financial sector employees leave their jobs for health reasons every month, adding: "We hope that he [Scolari] is not so out of date about football as he is about work in banks."
MORSI ALLIES TIGHTEN GRIP ON POWER
Allies of Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi have tightened their grip on power by ramming through a new national constitution before his enemies in the judiciary could dissolve the assembly that drafted it. The Islamist-dominated constituent assembly voted through the document to "pre-empt a probable ruling by the Supreme Constitutional Court on Sunday that the assembly was illegitimate and should be dissolved".
MAKERS OF 50 SHADES PORN MOVIE SUED
The makers of a porn movie inspired by 'Fifty Shade of Grey' have been sued by the Hollywood studio that owns the film rights to the books. Universal Studios has filed a copyright lawsuit against Los Angeles-based Smash Pictures, the company behind 'Fifty Shades of Grey: A XXX Adaptation'. Universal claims the adult film is a "rip-off, pure and simple".
TORY DONOR IN TALKS TO BUY INDEPENDENT
The Tory party donor and millionaire businessman David Rowland is in talks with Russian tycoon Alexander Lebedev for a takeover of the ailing Independent and Sunday Independent newspapers for £10m. The deal would split the Independent, daily circulation down to 80,000, from the Evening Standard, which the Lebedev family would keep.
MELTING POLAR ICE RAISES OCEANS 11 MM
Melting of polar ice sheets has added 11mm to global sea levels over the past two decades, the journal Science reports. More than 20 polar research teams combined forces to measure the ice in Greenland and Antarctica to produce the most definitive assessment so far. It means ice melt has caused about one-fifth of the rise in ocean levels since 1992.
HOT TICKET: GREAT EXPECTATIONS
A new film version of Charles Dickens's classic 'Great Expectations' opens in UK cinemas today. Jeremy Irvine stars as orphan Pip who is transformed into a gentleman with the aid of an unknown benefactor. Stars Ralph Fiennes as Magwitch and Helena Bonham Carter as Miss Havisham. "Roaring performances", says The Times.