Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Wednesday 2 Jan 2013

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

fiscal cliff
1. FTSE HITS 6,000 ON US 'FISCAL CLIFF' DEAL
World stock markets have surged today on news overnight that Congress passed a last-minute compromise bill to avoid the US going over the 'fiscal cliff'. In London, the FTSE 100 has leapt over 100 points to 6007, a 1.8% rise, with bank shares leading the way. It is the first time the FTSE has hit the 6,000 mark since June 2011.
World News
2. PRINCE HARRY ‘A DRUNK OUT TO KILL AFGHANS’
Prince Harry, currently serving with the British Army in Afghanistan, is accused of being a "drunk", out to kill innocent Afghans. In a rare interview with the Daily Telegraph, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a former Afghan warlord designated a global terrorist by the US, said the prince "wants to hunt down Mujaheddin with his helicopter rockets without any shame".
3. BRITON DIES IN THAI BEACH BAR SHOOT-OUT
British tourist Stephen Ashton, 22, a junior stockbroker from Purley, South London, was shot dead while celebrating New Year's Eve at a beach bar on the island of Koh Phangan, Thailand, the Foreign Office confirmed last night. He is understood to have been hit in the upper body by a stray bullet fired in a fight between rival gangs at the bar.
4. ECONOMY: UK FACES 'HARD GRIND' IN 2013
Britain faces another year of the "hard grind" of squeezed wages, rising unemployment and close-to-zero growth, a majority of City economists polled by the Daily Telegraph said yesterday. Growth will undershoot the official 1.2% forecasts, while unemployment may hit 8.3%. The government was accused of hoping "something just turns up".
Sport
5. TRIBUTES TO CRICKET'S MARTIN-JENKINS
Tributes have poured in for Test Match Special commentator Christopher Martin-Jenkins who has died of cancer at the age of 67. BBC producer Adam Mountford said he was "one of the voices of the English summer". CMJ commentated on his first match for the BBC in 1972 and served as cricket correspondent for the Daily Telegraph and The Times.
6. WEAK UK TERROR LAWS ‘LET SUSPECT ABSCOND’
Ibrahim Magag, 28, a Somali terror suspect who went on the run on Boxing Day, was able to abscond because the coalition has "watered down" earlier anti-terror laws, former Labour minister Pat McFadden said yesterday. Replacing Control Orders with TPIMs (Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures) had "put the public at more risk".
Premier League
7. MAN UTD STAY CLEAR WITH 4-0 WIN AT WIGAN
Manchester United have kept their seven-point lead at the topf of the Premier League with a 4-0 victory over Wigan on New Year’s Day. Robin van Perise and Javier Hernandez both scored twice. Manchester City remain second after a 3-0 win over Stoke. Arsenal were disappointing, managing only a 1-1 draw with Southampton.
Asia Pacific
8. HONG KONG CHIEF HIT BY PROTESTS
Massed demonstrations against Hong Kong's controversial chief executive Leung Chun-Ying are evidence of the "widening political divisions" in the former British colony, says The Times. More than 130,000 people took to the streets yesterday to call on Leung - "a suave businessman with links to Beijing" - to resign over allegations he lied about illegal renovations to his luxury mansion.
People in the News
9. PLAYBOY'S HEFNER WEDS 'RUNAWAY' BRIDE
Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, 86, has finally married 26-year-old Crystal Harris more than a year after she cancelled their lavish wedding at short notice. Harris sold her £55,000 engagement ring, but appeared on the cover of Playboy a month later. She was married to Hefner on Christmas Day and says she's "thrilled" to be the new Mrs Hefner.
Film
10. HOT TICKET: TSUNAMI FILM ‘THE IMPOSSIBLE’
The tsunami disaster drama 'The Impossible' has opened in UK cinemas. Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor star in Juan Antonio Bayona’s retelling of the true story of a family’s struggle for survival after they were separated by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. "Astonishing," says Empire.