Sir Bradley Wiggins, knighted in the New Year Honours, called it an incredible accolade but said he "never saw myself as a Sir" and "probably never will". Team GB cycling coach David Brailsford is also knighted, while paralympic cyclist Sarah Storey is made a dame. Jessica Ennis and Mo Farah must “make do” with CBEs.
SIR BRADLEY WIGGINS BUT NO DAME JESSICA
ABDUCTED GIRL AND MOTHER REUNITED
Atiya Anjum-Wilkinson, a six-year-old Manchester girl abducted three years ago and taken to Pakistan by her father, was finally reunited with her mother, Gemma Wilkinson, last night. Atiya was flown to Britain after being found in a village in eastern Pakistan. Gemma said she was overwhelmed to see her daughter again.
FISCAL CLIFFHANGER: ‘MODEST OPTIMISM’
A deal to free Americans earning under $250,000 a year of upcoming tax rises was proposed at the White House yesterday in a bid to avert the 1 January 'fiscal cliff'. Senate leaders Harry Reid (Dem) and Mitch McConnell (Rep) agreed to work on the proposal. President Obama was only "modestly confident" they could shape a deal acceptable to Congress.
NEW DELHI GANG RAPE VICTIM DIES
Doctors in Singapore have lost the battle to save a 23-year-old Indian woman gang-raped on a moving bus in New Delhi. She died early today having suffered severe organ damage when her assailants inserted an iron rod into her body. The attack has led to protests over police insensitivity towards rape victims in India.
HOAX DJS ‘UNLIKELY TO BE PROSECUTED’
The two Australian DJs who made the prank call following which nurse Jacintha Saldanha was found dead are “unlikely” to be prosecuted in Britain. Prosecutors say the file is not closed, but police in Sydney say they have not been asked by Scotland Yard for any further information and therefore do not expect the pair to face charges.
NOROVIRUS CASES MAY HAVE PASSED 1M
The current outbreak of norovirus, the winter vomiting bug, may have passed the 1 million mark, according to the Health Protection Agency, which believes there are actually 288 cases for every one reported. With laboratory-confirmed cases having reached 3,538, that would mean 1.01 million cases in total so far this winter.
CRICKET’S TONY GREIG DIES AT 66
Former England cricket captain Tony Greig has been killed by a heart attack in Sydney at the age of 66. The 6ft 6in South Africa-born player made his England debut against Australia in 1972. He scored a massive 3,599 runs before he was stripped of the captaincy in 1977 for helping Kerry Packer set up World Series Cricket.
BERLUSCONI TO PAY EX-WIFE €3M A MONTH
Silvio Berlusconi has agreed to a divorce deal under which he will pay his ex-wife Veronica Lario €3 million a month. She left him in 2009 following the public scandal over his friendship with 18-year-old aspiring model Noemi Letizia. Berlusconi, who hopes to return as PM next year, is now engaged to marry Francesca Pascale, 28.
PRESIDENT PUTIN BANS US ADOPTIONS
Russian President Vladimir Putin has been accused of playing politics with children’s lives by signing into law a ban on Americans adopting Russian orphans. The ban is seen as a tit-for-tat measure in response to the US Magnitsky Act, recently introduced in an effort to blacklist Russians accused of human rights abuses.
TOM AND KATIE FALL SHORT AT BOX OFFICE
2012 has not ended well at the box office for former husband and wife Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. Her return to Broadway in 'Dead Accounts’ is to be cut short on 6 January after lukewarm reviews and poor takings. His film ‘Jack Reacher', released on 21 December, failed by a long way to topple ‘The Hobbit’ from US No 1.