Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Friday 6 Dec 2013

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

1. DATE SET FOR MANDELA FUNERAL
Nelson Mandela, the ‘father’ of modern South Africa,will be buried in Qunu, the village where he was born, on 15 December, it has been announced. Word that the 95-year-old had died caused crowds to gather outside his Johannesburg home. Desmond Tutu said Mandela had “taught a divided nation to come together”. He added: “God was so good … by giving us Nelson Mandela.”
2. MARINE GETS LIFE FOR AFGHAN MURDER
Royal Marine Alexander Blackman has been sentenced to life with a minimum ten-year tariff, for the murder of a wounded Afghan insurgent in Helmand Province in 2011. The moment the 39-year-old shot the fighter with his 9mm pistol was captured by a camera mounted in another British soldier's helmet.
3. DEFENCES CUT TIDAL SURGE DAMAGE
Britain's flood defences and flood warnings that led to thousands of people leaving their homes in the face of record-breaking high tides along the east coast have saved lives and property, according to the Environment Agency and police. Two people died yesterday in fierce storms, but overnight flooding from coastal surges was not as bad as expected.
4. NHS ENGLAND IS ‘RATIONING’ OPERATIONS
A research group has said the NHS in England appears to be rationing access to non-emergency operations, including knee, hip and cataract ops. Though the population continues to age, numbers of these operations have levelled off since 2010, suggesting patients are not getting the treatment they need.
5. JCB ANNOUNCES 2,500 NEW JOBS
Industrial vehicle manufacturer JCB has announced it will build two new factories - and close an existing one - as part of a £150m expansion which will create 2,500 new jobs. The new factories will be at Uttoxeter, replacing one at Rugeley, and at Cheadle. Chancellor George Osborne visited JCB world headquarters today.
6. LEE RIGBY WAS ‘FIRST SOLDIER WE SAW’
The two men accused of the murder and attempted decapitation of fusilier Lee Rigby in the street near his Woolwich barracks told police he was chosen because he was “the soldier that we spotted first” on the day, a court has heard. Michael Adebolajo also said Rigby was “like the non-Muslim version of myself”.
7. FRENCH TROOPS TO ENTER C.A.R.
French president Francois Hollande said last night we would “act immediately, in other words, this evening” after the UN voted that French troops should join an African Union peacekeeping force in the Central African Republic (CAR). The CAR PM, Nicolas Tiangaye warned the numbers might not be sufficient.
8. QANTAS CREDIT RATING CUT TO ‘JUNK’
Australian airline Qantas has had its credit rating cut to ‘junk’ by US agency S&P (Standard and Poor’s) after it yesterday issued a surprise profit warning and announced 1,000 job cuts. It expects to have lost £165m from July to December this year. S&P blamed the “intense competition in the airline industry”.
9. SURFER SURPRISED BY SHARK BITE
A surfer in New South Wales who went to hospital after finding mysterious cuts on his hand and leg was surprised to be told he had been bitten by a shark. The 26-year-old was surfing near Shelly Beach on Australia’s east coast when he felt something hit his hand. He did not see a shark and didn’t know he had been bitten.
Film
10. HOT TICKET: BEAT BIO KILL YOUR DARLINGS
Beat generation biopic Kill Your Darlings opens in UK cinemas today. Daniel Radcliffe stars as a young Allen Ginsberg at Columbia University who becomes infatuated with a charismatic fellow student, meets other fledgling Beats, and gets caught up in a murder that will change their lives. "Intoxicating," says Empire.