Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Wednesday 12 Dec 2012

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

UK News
1. CAMERON ‘SORRY’ FOR FINUCANE MURDER
David Cameron has apologised to the family of Pat Finucane. He said the February 1989 murder of the Belfast lawyer followed "unacceptable" and "shocking levels of collusion" between British security forces and Loyalist terrorists. However, the PM said there was no over-arching conspiracy to use Loyalists to help target Republicans.
2. TIMES EDITOR STANDS DOWN OVER NEWS SAGA
James Harding, Editor of The Times, has stepped down. According to the rival Daily Telegraph, his departure was requested by his bosses and follows a disagreement over the Times’s handling of the phone hacking and police bribery scandal at News International. Accounts just released show Rebekah Brooks received £10.8m in compensation when she resigned as NI’s chief executive last year.
North Korea
3. DEFIANT NORTH KOREA LAUNCHES ROCKET
North Korea last night successfully launched its long range rocket in defiance of international warnings and the UN. The rocket, launched at 00:49 GMT, appeared to follow its planned trajectory, with stages falling in expected areas. North Korea says a satellite has been put in orbit, but South Korea, Japan and US says it's a disguised weapons test.
Syria
4. US RECOGNISES SYRIAN OPPOSITION
President Obama said yesterday that the US has formally recognised Syria's opposition rebel coalition as the "legitimate representative" of the Syrian people. The move follows the lead taken by France and Britain, but Obama warned that the US would not support extremist elements within the opposition coalition. Officials said arms would be supplied only to further a "political solution".
Arsenal
5. BRADFORD BOOT ARSENAL OUT OF CUP
League Two Bradford City ousted Premier League Arsenal from the League Cup yesterday with a penalty shoot-out victory in front of an ecstatic home crowd. They won 3-2 on spot kicks to go on to the semi-finals when Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen missed a penalty. Arsenal have now won only once in their last six matches.
UK News
6. JACINTHA SALDANHA ‘HANGED HERSELF’
The suicide of Jacintha Saldanha, the King Edward VII hospital nurse who put through the hoax phone call to Kate Middleton’s room, was by hanging, according to latest reports. It transpires that she never told her family about the incident. Details of yesterday’s post-mortem will be given once the inquest into her death opens tomorrow.
Politics
7. UKIP TO EXPLOIT TORY GAY MARRIAGE SPLIT
UKIP leader Nigel Farage has pledged to exploit divisions within the Conservative party over the issue of gay marriage and "go after" disillusioned Tories who are quitting Conservative associations in their droves, according to The Guardian. The Church of England and Church in Wales will be exempt from the proposed legislation by being forbidden by law to offer same-sex marriages.
8. THE WORLD'S MOST DESIRABLE WOMAN
Actress Jennifer Lawrence, star of the Hunger Games and the recently released comedy Silver Linings Playback, has been voted the world's most desirable woman. The 22-year-old won the accolade in a global poll released by online men's magazine AskMen.com, whose editor said: "There's a sense that she's a little more authentic than other actors."
Music
9. SITAR MAESTRO RAVI SHANKAR DIES AT 92
Ravi Shankar, the Indian sitar maestro whose friendship with the Beatles brought him worldwide recognition, has died in San Diego aged 92 after failing to recover fully from surgery. Beatle George Harrison once called Shankar "the godfather of world music". Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called him a "national treasure".
Games
10. HOT TICKET: RETURN TO BALDUR'S GATE
A remake of the popular 1990s sword and sorcery role-playing game, 'Baldur's Gate', has been released for Windows and iPad. In the new Enhanced Edition, players return to the Forgotten Realms to fight enemy hordes and foil conspiracies, with new side-quests, improved graphics and touch-screen functions. "Engrossing", says Eurogamer.