Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Tuesday 14 Jan 2014

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

Francois Hollande
1. HOLLANDE DEFLECTS ACTRESS QUESTIONS
French president Francois Hollande has deflected a question about reports he is having an affair with actress Julie Gayet. Asked if his partner, Valerie Trierweiler is still France's first lady, Hollande said "private affairs are dealt with in private, with due respect to all parties. Therefore this is not the place to go into this."
Politics
2. MILIBAND: I CAN SAVE THE MIDDLE CLASSES
Ed Miliband says that middle class families are facing a "crisis of confidence" over falling living standards, with the economic possibilities of previous generations now being "undermined". The Labour leader told the Telegraph his policies would help "millions of middle-class families who never dreamt that life would be such a struggle".
NHS
3. A&E SPENDING ON LOCUMS SOARS
Spending on locum doctors has risen by 60% in three years, reaching £83m last year, as hospitals try to plug staffing gaps in A&E units. Locum doctors can cost four times as much as permanent staff, and Labour said the rise was linked to the "disastrous" NHS reorganisation. The government said retaining A&E doctors is a "longstanding problem".
fracking
4. FRACKING: IMPROVE YOUR OFFER, PM TOLD
The PM has been warned that local politicians will not support fracking unless local communities are given a bigger share of the spoils. Unimpressed with the offer on business rates made yesterday, local councillors and three cross-party Lancashire MPs say giving 1% of fracking revenue to local communities "doesn't go nearly far enough".
5. DAVE LEE TRAVIS' TOTP 'ASSAULT'
DJ Dave Lee Travis indecently assaulted a 19-year-old woman during a recording of Top Of The Pops, a court has heard. The 68-year-old carried out a series of assaults which were "sexual in nature" while working as a disc jockey, acting in pantomimes and even at the opening of a hospital radio station, London's Southwark Crown Court was told.
Pope Francis
6. POPE DENOUNCES ABORTION AS 'HORRIFIC'
Pope Francis has linked the "horrific" practice of abortion to society's "throwaway culture" in a speech that has been described as his strongest comment on the issue to date. The pontiff's remarks will play well with Catholic conservatives who have been critical of his decision to focus on social issues.
Australian Open
7. MURRAY WINS ON GRAND SLAM RETURN
Andy Murray cruised into the second round of the Australian Open with a 6-1, 6-1, 6-3 win over Japanese opponent Go Soeda that took less than 90 minutes. The Wimbledon champion seemed back to his best in his first Grand Slam match since undergoing back surgery in September last year, and appeared unaffected by the extreme 40C heat.
UK News
8. AFGHAN ATHEIST GRANTED UK ASYLUM
A young Afghan man, who became an atheist after coming to Britain as a teenager, has been granted asylum in the UK after his lawyers argued that his life would be under threat if he had to return to Kabul. His lawyers believe it is the first time a person has been granted asylum in the UK on the basis of their atheism.
9. RONALDO: I DID CONSIDER UTD RETURN
Cristiano Ronaldo said he contemplated a return to the premier league last summer, and that Rio Ferdinand had "tried to change my mind to go back to Manchester". The Real Madrid forward was speaking after winning the Ballon d'Or, the prize for Fifa's world player of the year, which he has missed out on every year since 2008.
Dance
10. HOT TICKET: PIRATE BALLET LE CORSAIRE
The English National Ballet's touring production of Le Corsaire has opened at the Coliseum, London. The 19th century ballet, inspired by a Byron poem, tells the story of a pirate whose love for a harem girl stirs unrest in his crew. "A romp," says the Financial Times. Until 19 January.