Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Wednesday 11 Dec 2013

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

Nelson Mandela
1. NELSON MANDELA’S BODY TO LIE IN STATE
Each morning for three days from today, a guard of honour will take Nelson Mandela’s body through the streets of Pretoria to Union Buildings, the seat of government, where the public will be allowed to pay their respects. No photos of Mandela's glass-topped coffin will be permitted as it lies in state.
Ukraine
2. UKRAINE: POLICE MOVE ON DEMONSTRATORS
Thousands of riot police have torn down tents and are dismantling barricades as they move in on demonstrators camped in Kiev’s main square, after weeks of protests against a U-turn by president Viktor Yanukovych’s government, which pulled the country out of a deal to set up closer trade and other links with the EU.
People in the News
3. POPE IS TIME MAG'S PERSON OF YEAR
Pope Francis has been named as Time Magazine Person of the Year for 2013. The South American pontiff has been widely praised for trying to reform the Catholic church and is a hit on social media. It has also been revealed that he was the most talked about subject on Facebook this year.
Americas
4. URUGUAY LEGALISES MARIJUANA
After a final debate lasting 12 hours, Uruguayan senators have passed a bill legalising the growth, sale and recreational use of marijuana. Coming into force no sooner than April, the new laws will allow citizens over 18 to buy up to 40 grams of the drug each month. The government hopes to put drugs cartels out of business.
Health & Science
5. DEMENTIA FUNDING TO DOUBLE BY 2025
The government is seeking to double funding for dementia research by 2025, from the 2015 target of £66m. G8 health ministers are meeting in London today at a summit to discuss the disease. There are expected to be135m sufferers by 2050 - three times the current number. Care for victims cost £370bn worldwide in 2010.
6. LOSTPROPHETS LYRIC PAVING TO BE TORN UP
A Welsh council is to remove paving slabs inscribed with a lyric by the band Lostprophets "as soon as possible" from the centre of Pontypridd, the home town of lead singer Ian Watkins who admitted a string of sexual offences two weeks ago including the attempted rape of a baby and other child abuse crimes.
7. BRADLEY WIGGINS KNIGHTED AT PALACE
Bradley Wiggins, the Tour de France winner and Olympic gold medallist, has been knighted by the Queen at Buckingham Palace. He said he felt “inferior” to other honourees because he had only “won a bike race” and was more nervous than he was in the Olympic final. Singer PJ Harvey was also honoured, with an MBE.
8. US: CROSS-PARTY BUDGET DEAL REACHED
A cross-party budget deal for two years, which cuts the federal deficit by £23bn, has been reached by the US Congress. The plan will prevent another government shut-down when the current funding runs out on 15 January. Barack Obama said the agreement was “designed in a way that doesn’t hurt our economy”.
9. PETER SELLERS: ‘LOST’ FILMS TO BE SHOWN
Two 30-minute films, pastiches of government information movies starring Peter Sellers but not seen in public for 50 years, are to be screened at the Southend Film Festival. The comedy shorts were made when Sellers was trying to move from radio to film and were rescued from a skip outside a film company 1996.
Theatre
10. HOT TICKET: NT’S EMIL AND THE DETECTIVES
The National Theatre's new Christmas show is a stage adaptation of children’s classic Emil and the Detectives. Set in 1920s Berlin, it follows Emil’s attempts to track down a thief with the aid of a gang of streetwise kids. “Exhilarating,” says the Financial Times. Until 18 March.