Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Wednesday 22 Jan 2014

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

Syria
1. SYRIA TALKS EXPOSE 'DEEP RIFTS'
The start of the Syria peace conference in Geneva has exposed deep rifts over the future of the country and its president Bashar al-Assad. As the conference got under way there were "some extraordinarily ill-tempered scenes", reports the BBC, with neither the Syrian regime nor the opposition indicating that any compromise was in sight.
Politics
2. UK JOB SURGE IS 'BIGGEST ON RECORD'
A surge in the number of people in work is the largest quarterly increase in employment since records began, the Department for Work and Pensions says. The number of people in a job rose 280,000 in the last three months and there are now a record-breaking 30.15 million people in work – an increase of 1.3 million since 2010.
Ukraine
3. THREE DEAD IN UKRAINIAN PROTESTS
At least three protesters have died and hundreds have been injured after violent clashes with police in Kiev, reports Reuters. Two people have died from gunshot wounds and a third died after reportedly falling off a building during the clashes. Police are attempting to clear the protest camp in the capital but have been met with fierce resistance from protesters.
Sport
4. COLLYMORE ACCUSES TWITTER OVER ABUSE
Football pundit and former Liverpool player Stan Collymore has accused Twitter of not doing enough to combat abusive messages after he received racist and threatening Tweets on the site. Collymore was targeted by ‘trolls’ after he suggested on Saturday that Liverpool’s Luis Suarez had dived to earn a penalty.
Politics
5. NAZI STAG PARTY MP ‘NOT A BAD MAN’
Tory MP Aiden Burley, who was sacked as a parliamentary private secretary after he organised a Nazi-themed stag party in a French ski resort in 2011, is “not a bad man” but “caused deep offence”, an internal investigation has found. The report was delayed while the French authorities decided not to take action.
World News
6. AUSTRALIA TO CULL GREAT WHITE SHARKS
A cull of Great White Sharks is set to begin in Australia in response to a growing number of fatal attacks over the past three years. The country's new conservative government approved the cull yesterday, granting Western Australia an exemption from 1999 legislation that lists the great white as an endangered species.
Rob Ford
7. TORONTO MAYOR HAD ‘DRUNK A LITTLE BIT’
The controversial and un-sackable mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford, has admitted drinking “a little bit” despite a previous claim to have quit alcohol, after a new video emerged of him in a fast food restaurant, slurring his words and pretending to be Jamaican. Last year he admitted he had smoked crack cocaine.
Australian Open
8. ANDY MURRAY LOSES TO ROGER FEDERER
Andy Murray is out of the Australian Open after losing his quarter final to a resurgent Roger Federer. The Swiss won 6-3, 6-4, 6-7 (6-8), 6-3 to set up a semi-final clash with old foe Rafa Nadal. Murray's game was error-strewn and despite saving two match points in the third set tiebreak was beaten in just under three-and-a-half hours.
9. DIAMOND WORTH TENS OF MILLIONS FOUND
An “exceptional” blue diamond said to be worth tens of millions of dollars has been found at the Cullinan mine near Pretoria, South Africa, weighing 29.6 carats. According to one expert, such diamonds sell at $2m per carat. Another expert told Sky News the stone would ‘only’ fetch between $15m and $20m.
Theatre
10. HOT TICKET: FOOTBALL DRAMA THE PASS
John Donnelly's new comedy drama about homophobia in football, The Pass, has opened at the Royal Court Theatre, London. The play follows the career of a rising football star who conceals his sexuality to ensure his success. Stars Russell Tovey. "Witty" and "gripping", says The Independent. Until 1 March.