Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Thursday 7 Feb 2013

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

Politics
1. U-TURN ON GOVE PLAN TO SCRAP GCSES
Education Secretary Michael Gove today announced a U-turn in the Commons over his plans to scrap GCSE exams in key subjects and replace them with an English Baccalaureate Certificate. The reversal was announced alongside plans for a new "core curriculum" for schools. Labour greeted the change as a "humiliating climbdown". Teachers are "delighted".
UK News
2. FIVE MORE HOSPITAL TRUSTS FACE INQUIRY
Five more NHS hospital trusts are to be investigated over high death rates in the wake of the public inquiry into failings at Mid Staffordshire. There have been at least 3,000 deaths above the average expected at the five trusts in the last two years. They are: Colchester, Tameside, Blackpool, East Lancashire and Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals.
UK News
3. BOE'S MARK CARNEY DEFENDS PAY PACKET
Mark Carney, the next governor of the Bank of England, has defended his £874,000 pay packet during an appearance at the Treasury Select Committee today. The 47-year-old Canadian banker said his salary was justified because the fact he was not taking a pension meant it was in line with that paid to the current governor, Sir Mervyn King.
Politics
4. HUHNE GAVE ME NO CHOICE - VICKY PRYCE
Vicky Pryce, former wife of the disgraced cabinet minister Chris Huhne, told Southwark Crown Court today that she had “no choice” but to take his speeding points. When he first asked her, she gave a "resounding no". Then she received a letter addressed to her as the "nominated driver" and "exploded". She said he told her: "You've got to sign this now."
Sport
5. AUSSIE SPORT ROCKED BY DRUGS PROBE
Australian sport has been rocked by the discovery that the use of banned drugs is widespread. A year-long investigation has found banned substances, sometimes supplied by organised crime, are widely condoned by coaches and support staff. Home affairs minister Jason Clare said the findings were "will disgust Australian sports fans".
Football
6. ENGLAND BEAT BRAZIL 2-1 AT WEMBLEY
England secured their first win over Brazil for 23 years in an international friendly at Wembley last night, played as part of the FA's 150th anniversary celebrations. England won 2-1. Wayne Rooney scored in the first half with his 33rd goal for England, while Frank Lampard scored in the second half to clinch victory.
Assange extradition
7. JEMIMA KHAN TURNS ON 'CULT-LIKE' ASSANGE
Journalist Jemima Khan yesterday attacked WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, saying he has gone from speaking truth to power to expecting "blinkered, cultish devotion". A long-time supporter of Assange, she wrote in the New Statesman that he should be in Sweden facing allegations of sexual misconduct made against him.
Film
8. CREATOR OF STAR WARS' YODA DIES AT 98
Stuart Freeborn, the British make-up artist renowned for his contributions to '2001: A Space Odyssey' and the Star Wars films, has died at the age of 98. His most famous creation was Yoda, whom he based on Albert Einstein and his own face. Star Wars creator George Lucas described him as a "make-up legend".
Business
9. NEWS CORP DOUBLES ITS PROFITS
Rupert Murdoch's News Corp has reported a more-than-doubling of its profits despite spending another $56m to cover costs related to the defunct News of the World and the inquiries into illegal telephone hacking and bribery of public officials. Net income for the three months to December came in at $2.38bn thanks to strong growth at Fox TV and other cable networks.
Games
10. HOT TICKET: DEAD SPACE REVISITED
The third installment of the popular Dead Space science fiction-horror survival videogame series is released in the UK this week. In 'Dead Space 3', players take on the role of Isaac Clarke as he attempts to kill the mutant-alien Necromorphs that threaten human colonies on a distant frozen planet. "Thrilling," says Gamespot.