Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Thursday 14 Mar 2013

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

1. NHS STAFF 'GAGGING CLAUSES' BANNED
The government yesterday banned "gagging clauses" in NHS severance agreements in England and Wales as the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt declared that "the era of gagging NHS staff from raising their real worries about patient care" must end. The move follows the Mid Staffordshire hospital scandal.
Pope Francis
2. POPE GETS BOUQUETS AND BRICKBATS
Pope Francis began his first full day as leader of the Catholic Church meeting schoolchildren and ordinary Romans before celebrating Mass in the Sistine Chapel with his cardinals. He has received goodwill messages from around the world – but also criticism for failing to confront the brutal military junta that ruled Argentina 30 years ago.
3. MIRROR JOURNALISTS HELD BY POLICE
Four Mirror Group journalists or former journalists have been arrested by police in connection with an alleged phone hacking conspiracy thought to involve the Sunday Mirror. The paper was the main rival to the News of the World, closed by Rupert Murdoch in 2011 after a wave of phone hacking revelations.
4. DEFIANT PM TO 'DEAL WITH' CHEAP BOOZE
A defiant David Cameron told MPs that he will "deal with" cheap alcohol being sold in supermarkets, despite being taunted in the Commons over the climbdown over the 45p per unit minimum price. Labour leader Ed Miliband asked: "Could the Prime Minister tell us, is there anything he COULD organise in a brewery?"
Technology
5. RATTLED APPLE ATTACKS SAMSUNG
A senior Apple executive has attacked rival smartphone company Samsung a day before the launch of the South Korean company’s new Galaxy S4 handset in New York. Marketing chief Phil Schiller's criticism of the Android operating system that powers the new phone suggests Apple is worried by Samsung's growing market share.
6. PRESS WATCHDOG TO BE PUT TO VOTE
David Cameron has accused Labour and the Liberal Democrats of posturing after the collapse of cross-party talks on proposed reforms to press regulation. The PM said he would put Conservative proposals for a royal charter to introduce a new press regulator to a vote in the House of Commons on Monday.
Pryce-Huhne
7. VICKY PRYCE 'VERY FRAIL' IN HOLLOWAY
Vicky Pryce, imprisoned in Holloway, is "very frail", her brother George Courmouzis said yesterday, adding that he was "worried" about conditions at the north London women's prison. He said that by the time of the second trial which convicted her of perverting the course of justice, she was "broken and her defences were down".
Music
8. BOWIE'S WIFE HINTS HE'S PLANNING TOUR
Iman, David Bowie's supermodel businesswoman wife, yesterday dropped a hint that he is preparing to go on tour for the first time since 2004 to promote his surprise comeback album 'The Next Day'. She told Grazia magazine that she and his 12-year-old daughter would be unable to join him as "we are stuck" because of school.
9. FERDINAND BACK IN ENGLAND SQUAD
Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has been recalled to the England squad almost two years after his last cap. The 34-year-old was controversially left out of Euro 2012 by manager Roy Hodgson for "footballing reasons" amid speculation about a fall-out with John Terry. But he is back in favour after showing excellent form for his club.
Theatre
10. HOT TICKET: SOUTH AFRICAN MISS JULIE
Yael Farber's South African adaptation of August Strindberg's classic play 'Miss Julie' has opened at the Riverside Studios. In 'Mies Julie', the action moves to contemporary South Africa where the daughter of a Boer farmer provokes a disastrous sexual encounter with the family servant. "Thrilling", says The Daily Telegraph. Until 19 May.