Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Friday 31 Jan 2014

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

Amanda Knox
1. KNOX: 'I'LL NEVER RETURN TO ITALY'
A defiant Amanda Knox has told US TV she will never return voluntarily to Italy to serve a 28-year sentence for the murder of British student Meredith Kercher. Meanwhile, lawyers for Knox's ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito have denied he was trying to flee the country when he was picked up by police near the border with Slovenia.
Shrien Dewani
2. SHRIEN DEWANI TO BE EXTRADITED TO SA
The alleged 'honeymoon killer' Shrien Dewani has lost his High Court bid to block his extradition to South Africa to await trial for the murder of his wife Anni. If Dewani's mental health means he is still unfit to plead within one year when in South Africa, he must be surrendered back to the UK, the court ruled.
3. CONSTANCE BRISCOE TRIAL COLLAPSES
The trial of part-time judge Constance Briscoe has collapsed after jurors were unable to reach a verdict. Briscoe is accused of lying to police investigating the former cabinet minister Chris Huhne, who got his wife to take speeding points for him. Briscoe denies three counts of intending to pervert the course of justice.
4. SIENNA MILLER EXPLAINS CRAIG MESSAGE
Actress Sienna Miller has told the phone-hacking trial it is possible she left a message on actor Daniel Craig's messaging service in 2005. Giving evidence by video link from New Orleans, Miller said she may have ended the phone message with the words 'I love you', but told the hearing she used the same language with family and friends.
Europe
5. HOLLANDE GRILLED ON ACTRESS AFFAIR
Francois Hollande has been asked about his alleged affair with French actress Julie Gayet at a press conference following the first UK-France summit at RAF Brize Norton. Hollande was asked if the revelations about his love life had turned France into a 'joke' and whether he wished Gayet was with him in Oxfordshire. He declined to answer the question.
Madeleine McCann
6. MADELEINE POLICE FOCUS ON RESORT STAFF
British police investigating the 2007 disappearance of Madeleine McCann, who was three years old at the time, have asked their Portuguese counterparts to search the homes and bank accounts of three suspects who were working at the Praia da Luz resort at the time and were behind a string of burglaries there.
7. ENGLAND'S ANDY FLOWER 'STEPS DOWN'
Andy Flower, the England technical director who presided over the disastrous 5-0 Ashes whitewash by Australia, is standing down. The 45-year-old Zimbabwean made the decision following talks with England and Wales Cricket Board managing director Paul Downton today. After losing the Ashes and then the one day series, England's cricketers have also surrendered to Australia in the Twenty20 format.
8. INJURED SCHUMACHER ‘RESPONDING’
Michael Schumacher, in the process of being woken from a medically-induced coma, is “responding to simple instructions”, doctors in France say. The seven-time F1 champion has been in a Grenoble hospital since a skiing accident on 29 December last year. It may take a long time to wake him.
9. BIEBER ‘HAD TAKEN XANAX AND MARIJUANA’
A toxicology report from Florida reveals singer Justin Bieber had taken the anti-anxiety drug Xanax and smoked marijuana before his arrest for drag racing in Miami last week. Meanwhile, Toronto’s crack-smoking mayor Rob Ford has defended his countryman, urging people to “think back to when you were 19”.
Film
10. HOT TICKET: WAR FILM LONE SURVIVOR
Military action drama Lone Survivor, starring Mark Wahlberg, opens in UK cinemas today. Based on a true story, it follows four Navy Seals in Afghanistan whose covert mission to kill a Taliban leader goes awry when they are spotted by goat-herds. "Authentic" and "affecting", says Empire.