Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Monday 3 Feb 2014

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

Hoffman death
1. ACTOR PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN DIES
Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman has died at the age of 46 in New York, apparently of a drug overdose. Actors including John Hurt and Tom Hanks have paid tribute. Hoffman, who won an Oscar for his portrayal of Truman Capote, revealed in 2012 he had been abusing prescription drugs and heroin after 20 years of sobriety.
Politics
2. GOVE: END 'BERLIN WALL' IN EDUCATION
Education secretary Michael Gove, accused of political motivation for his decision to remove a Labour peer from the top job at watchdog Ofsted, has been warned by Sir David Bell - a former Ofsted chief inspector - not to surround himself with yes men. In a speech in London Gove said he wanted to break down the 'Berlin Wall' between state and independent schools.
3. UKRAINE: PRESIDENT YANUKOVYCH RETURNS
Ukraine’s president, Viktor Yanukovych is back at work after four days of illness during which mass protests against his government - and his decision not to form closer links with the EU - continued unabated. Opposition leader Dmytro Bulatov is in Lithuania for medical treatment, saying he was abducted and tortured.
UK storms
4. FLOOD WARNINGS AS HIGH SEAS ROLL IN
Coastal towns in the South West have been flooded after being battered by massive waves, high tides and strong wind. With more rain is expected this week the Environment Agency has issued yet more flood warnings around the country. There have also been reports of thieves targeting areas affected by flooding in Somerset.
Nelson Mandela
5. MANDELA LEAVES ESTATE WORTH £2.5M
The executors of Nelson Mandela's will say he left an estate worth £2.5m (46m rand), including properties in Johannesburg and the Eastern Cape. The Mandela family trust will receive £83,000. Others to benefit include the ANC, his staff and several schools. He also left around £180,000 to each of his biological and step-children.
6. ROWLING: I GOT POTTER ROMANCE WRONG
Author JK Rowling has hinted she got the ending of her Harry Potter series wrong, making Ron and Hermione a couple for “very personal reasons, not … credibility” and adding: “If I’m absolutely honest, distance has given me some perspective.” She said Ron and Hermione would need counselling to stay together.
Tube strike
7. LONDON BUSES TO GO CASHLESS
Transport for London has announced its buses will go ‘cashless’ from this summer, with only chargeable Oyster cards or contactless debit cards accepted as payment. Criticism of the idea has been eased by a plan to allow ‘one more journey’ for Oyster users who find their card to be empty.
US
8. WOODY ALLEN HITS BACK AT ABUSE CLAIMS
Woody Allen has denied claims he abused his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow which were investigated without charge 20 years ago but resurfaced after Farrow wrote a letter to the New York Times describing “skilfully hidden” abuse. Allen’s publicist said the actor-director found the claims “untrue and disgraceful”.
9. PUBS TO OPEN LATE DURING WORLD CUP
David Cameron has called for pub opening hours to be relaxed so they can show games during the World Cup in Brazil this summer. The Home Office had rejected calls for serving hours to be extended, but No 10 has now confirmed that bars will be allowed to show England's opening game against Italy, which kicks off at 11pm on 14 June.
Theatre
10. HOT TICKET: BECKETT REVIVAL HAPPY DAYS
A revival of Samuel Beckett's absurdist classic Happy Days has opened at the Young Vic Theatre, London. Juliet Stevenson stars as a cheery chatterbox trapped in a sterile marriage, trying to remain hopeful as the world closes in around her. "Mesmerising," says the Daily Telegraph. Until 8 March.