Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Tuesday 17 Dec 2013

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

London Airports
1. AIRPORT OPTIONS SET OUT BY COMMISSION
The Airports Commission, headed by businessman Sir Howard Davies has laid out the options for UK airport expansion. It has not ruled out the so-called ‘Boris Island’ airport in the Thames Estuary but its favoured options are: adding a third Heathrow runway, lengthening an existing one - or making a new runway at Gatwick.
2. LIVING STANDARDS ‘STOP RISING IN UK’
Research by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has found people born in the 1960s and 70s will not be richer than their parents at retirement, unless they inherit money, suggesting an end to the constant trend for rising living standards and incomes which has prevailed since WWII. They are also less likely to own a house.
3. SNOWDEN WANTS ASYLUM IN BRAZIL
NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has told Brazil he will help it investigate allegations of mass surveillance in the country in return for asylum. The American is currently living and working in Russia, although there have been suggestions the NSA might consider an amnesty if he returns the classified documents he stole from the agency.
4. AFTER 325 YEARS, WOMAN HEADS LLOYD’S
Insurance market Lloyd’s of London has appointed the first female chief executive in its 325-year history. Fifty-year-old Inga Beale will take over from Richard Ward in January. She has thirty years’ experience in the sector and is currently chief executive at the insurer Canopius, after four years at the head of Zurich Insurance.
Politics
5. HALF OF LORDS ‘CLOCK IN FOR CASH’
Lord Hanningfield, jailed in 2011 for falsely claiming parliamentary expenses, has claimed that “half” of peers ‘clock-in’ to claim a daily allowance by spending a token amount of time in the house. A newspaper has revealed that Hanningfield regularly spends less than 40 minutes in the Lords but claims his full expenses.
6. SIX US TROOPS KILLED IN AFGHAN AIR CRASH
Six American soldiers from the US-led Nato International Security Assistance Force Service have died in a helicopter crash in Southern Afghanistan. Nato has confirmed that an investigation into the cause of the crash is underway but initial reports “indicate there was no enemy activity in the area at the time of the crash".
People
7. MET POLICE: SAS NOT PART OF DIANA DEATH
London’s Met Police say there is “no credible evidence” that the SAS was involved in the 1997 death of Princess Diana and her lover Dodi Al Fayed in a Paris car crash. The Met received material supposedly supporting a conspiracy theory in August but said after a “scoping exercise” there was no grounds for investigation.
UK News
8. WET AND WINDY XMAS FOR MOST OF UK
European forecasters are predicting a wet, blustery Christmas Day for most of the UK next week, with those hoping for a white Christmas disappointed. The conditions are unsettled, meaning forecasts may shift as Christmas Day approaches, but very low pressure over the UK is likely to ensure stormy weather.
9. BEYONCE SETS NEW ITUNES SALES RECORD
Beyonce’s unheralded new album, a collection of 14 songs launched without publicity last week online only, has set a new iTunes record, becoming the fastest-selling album on the platform. Apple say it shifted 830,000 copies in just three days as fans downloaded it - with 617,000 of those sales alone in the US.
Arts & Life
10. HOT TICKET: BOURNE SWAN LAKE REVIVED
A revival of Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake has opened at Sadler's Wells, London. This modern re-interpretation of the classical Russian ballet about a prince who falls in love with a swan replaces the traditional female swan ensemble with male dancers. "Fresh and vigorous," says The Times. Until 26 January.