Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Thursday 5 Dec 2013

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

weather warnings
1. TWO DEAD AS STORMS LASH UK
Two men have died as high winds lashed Scotland and parts of northern England today. The first victim was an HGV driver whose vehicle was blown over onto two cars. A second man died in Nottinghamshire when he was hit by a falling tree. About 100,000 homes are without power due to the storms.
2. RIGBY KILLING 'HUMANE' COURT HEARS
Michael Adebolajo told police in graphic detail how he killed Lee Rigby in the most humane way possible by cutting his jugular, a jury has heard. Adebolajo, who denies murdering Rigby, said in an interview heard by jurors today that "it was almost as if I was not in control of myself" during the attack on the fusilier on 22 May.
Autumn statement
3. AUTUMN STATEMENT: FUEL DUTY FREEZE
Chancellor George Osborne has told the country "Britain's economic plan is working but the job is not done". Making his Autumn Statement, Osborne delivered good news for the economy with a freeze in fuel duty as well as help for young people seeking work and for small businesses.
UK News
4. NAMED: MARINE WHO MURDERED AFGHAN
The Royal Marine convicted of murdering a Taliban prisoner in Afghanistan has been named as Sergeant Alexander Wayne Blackman. The 39-year-old, who faces life in prison, will be sentenced tomorrow. Two senior judges ruled he 'should be named' today after a year-long fight for him to remain anonymous.
5. BRITAIN WANTS EU MIGRATION CHANGE
Theresa May is to tell EU ministers in Brussels today that Britain would like a change to the rules which permit free movement to job seekers anywhere within the EU. She will ask why member countries should not be allowed to cap numbers of entrants. However, some countries have already vowed to defend the principle.
UK News
6. PEER ACCUSED OVER CHARITY FUNDS
Lord Bhatia, a crossbench peer, has been accused of misappropriating more than £600,000 belonging to a charity he headed, to fund his lifestyle. The Ethnic Minority Foundation (EMF) made the claim to the BBC’s Newsnight. Bhatia’s lawyers say the EMF has misled the BBC and owes him more than £250,000.
7. BIDEN HOLDS ‘DIRECT’ TALKS WITH CHINA
US vice president Joe Biden says he has held “very direct” talks with China about the ‘air defence identification zone’ it has attempted to impose over islands it claims but which are currently controlled by Japan. Biden told the press that the zone over the East China sea has “caused significant apprehension in the region”.
8. NURSE SUICIDE DJ QUITS RADIO STATION
Mel Greig, the Australian DJ whose prank call was blamed for the suicide of a nurse working at the hospital where the Duchess of Cambridge was being treated during her pregnancy has resigned. Greig's resignation follows the resolution of her legal dispute with the Australian radio station Southern Cross Austereo who she claimed had failed to maintain a safe workplace.
9. CRICKET AUSTRALIA ACCUSED OF RACISM
Cricket Australia’s Twitter account has been dubbed “racist” after it tweeted a picture of four Sikh men dressed as Teletubbies with the caption “Will the real Monty Panesar please stand up?” - a reference to a Sikh player. The image was replaced with an apology but there have been calls for disciplinary action.
Arts & Life
10. HOT TICKET: MENIER'S CANDIDE OPERETTA
A revival of Leonard Bernstein's operetta Candide has opened at the Menier Chocolate Factory, London. Based on Voltaire's satirical novella, it follows the innocent Candide's attempts to remain optimistic in a cruel and indifferent world. Starring Fra Fee. "Cerebral, silly and subversive," says The Times. Until 22 February.