Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Monday 3 Dec 2012

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

1. KATE MIDDLETON IS PREGNANT
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their first child it has been announced. St James's Palace confirmed the news after the duchess was admitted to King Edward VII Hospital in central London with severe morning sickness earlier today. William and Kate were married in 2011.
Middle East
2. UK AND FRANCE CALL IN ISRAELI ENVOYS
Britain and France have both called in Israeli ambassadors to protest at the construction of 3,000 new homes in the Occupied Territories and East Jerusalem. The UK said the proposed construction casts doubt on Israel's stated commitment to achieving peace with the Palestinians.
3. 'MEGA MONDAY' FOR ONLINE RETAILERS
Spending online was expected to reach £10,000 every second today as Britain's retailers prepared for the biggest spending day of the year. Shoppers were due to use their end-of November pay packets to splash out £465 million in a day, with tablet computers such as the iPad Mini and Kindle Fire HD expected to be the hottest items.
Media
4. NEWS CORP LEG-UP FOR ROBERT THOMSON
Rupert Murdoch has announced the promotion of Robert Thomson, a former editor of The Times, to head up a new publishing company being carved out of News Corp. He will run Murdoch’s worldwide newspapers and the book publisher HarperCollins under a plan to divide the publishing interests from News Corp’s film and TV concerns.
Rugby
5. ENGLAND GET TOUGH RUGBY DRAW
England have been given a tough draw for the 2015 Rugby World Cup after finding themselves in a group with Australia and Wales. World Champions New Zealand must face Argentina and Tonga. Scotland were drawn with Samoa and South Africa and Ireland's group includes France and Italy.
6. TOLL MOUNTS AFTER TUNNEL COLLAPSE
Police confirmed early today that at least nine people died when the roof of a Japanese road tunnel at Sasago, 50 miles west of Tokyo, collapsed, crushing cars and starting fires. Several drivers and passengers were also missing as fires hampered rescue attempts. Survivors described escaping the three-mile tunnel on foot amid choking smoke and drivers heading the wrong way.
tax row
7. TAX CHEAT 'HITMEN' TO TRACK SPENDING
Taxpayers are to have their credit files checked in secret so that their spending can be cross-checked against their declared income in the latest tax evasion clampdown by Chancellor George Osborne. Revenue & Customs was due to unveil the results of a pilot programme which it says has been successful in discovering those who cheat by under-declaring income.
Religion
8. THE POPE PUTS HIS FAITH IN TWITTER
Pope Benedict XVI, head of the Catholic Church, already has a billion followers in the real world. Now he aims to attract even more online using a new Twitter account called @Pontifex. The Pope won't start sending Papal tweets until December 12, but his account was followed by more than 10,000 people within hours of its establishment today.
9. NO CONFIDENCE VOTE IN CHURCH SYNOD
The Bristol diocese of the Church of England has passed a vote of no confidence in the General Synod over its failure to secure reforms allowing women to become bishops. Fifty-one members voted for the resolution, with three against. Proposer the Rev Mat Ineson, a Kingsdown vicar, said: "The system has failed the people and urgently needs fixing".
Theatre
10. HOT TICKET: HOLIDAY HEART-WARMER MR TOM
A stage adaptation of Michelle Magorian's modern children's classic, 'Goodnight Mister Tom', has opened at the Phoenix Theatre, West End. It tells the story of an abused boy who is evacuated to the English countryside during World War II and finds friendship with a recluse. "Enchanting", says The Independent.