Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Tuesday 4 Feb 2014

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

1. HOFFMAN: NYPD FINDS 70 BAGS OF HEROIN
Police have found around 70 bags of heroin at the home of the late actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, according to some US media reports. The 46-year-old Oscar winner was found dead with a syringe in his arm on Sunday. Lights on the marquees along Broadway are to be dimmed in his honour on Wednesday.
South and Central Asia
2. PAKISTAN: TALIBAN PEACE TALKS DELAYED
Preliminary peace talks between the Pakistan Taliban and the government scheduled for today have been delayed. Government negotiators announced that they were seeking clarification from Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, which has been waging an insurgency in the north of the country since 2007. The Taliban expressed disappointment.
3. CHARLES VISITS FLOODED SOMERSET
Prince Charles has met farmers, villagers and members of the emergency services during a visit to flood-hit Somerset. The Prince, who has donated £50,000 to the stricken area, arrived in Muchelney by boat. His visit comes amid growing anger from locals who say they have been let down by the Environment Agency, which admitted failures yesterday.
4. BP BOSS AGAINST SCOTS INDEPENDENCE
Bob Dudley, the head of oil firm BP, has entered the debate over Scottish independence, warning that there were "big uncertainties" for the company over the vote. He said there were concerns over which currency an independent Scotland would adopt and added: "My personal view is that Great Britain is great and it ought to stay together."
UK News
5. RAPE CASE WOMAN FALLS TO DEATH
A woman fell to her death yesterday in Rochdale from the roof of a car park after a man she had accused of rape was acquitted by a jury on Friday. Greater Manchester Police said she was “angry and upset” and described her death as “terribly sad”. The IPCC is investigating.
Health & Science
6. WHO WARNS OF ‘TIDAL WAVE’ OF CANCER
The World Health Organisation has said the planet faces a “tidal wave” of cancers, with the number of cases likely to rise from 14 million to 24 million every year by 2035. The WHO says half could be prevented and says there is a “real need” to focus on prevention by tackling smoking, obesity and drinking.
7. GOVERNMENT BANS EXTRA-CHEAP ALCOHOL
The government is to outlaw extra-cheap alcohol by banning 'deep discounting' in supermarkets. Alcohol can no longer be sold below the cost of duty plus VAT. It means that a 440ml can of beer will cost at least 50p, bottles of wine cannot be sold for less than £2.24 and spirits will cost at least £10.16. The change will come into force on 6 April.
Business
8. FACEBOOK REACHES TENTH BIRTHDAY
Social network giant Facebook celebrates ten years today, during which time it grew from a Harvard dorm-room project to boast 1.2 billion monthly users. Last week, Mark Zuckerberg’s social site posted record revenues of £1.5bn. However, some experts believe the site is at its peak, and use may wane.
9. MICROSOFT NAMES NEW CHIEF EXECUTIVE
Technology giant Microsoft has announced Satya Nadella as the successor to chief executive Steve Ballmer, who will leave the role later this year. Bill Gates will also step down as chairman of the company and take up a new role as technology adviser. Nadella, 44, who has been with the company for 22 years, will become Microsoft's third chief executive.
Music
10. HOT TICKET: TAYLOR SWIFT RED IN LONDON
American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift's Red tour is currently in London. The multi Grammy-award-winning Swift is known for her narrative country-pop crossover hits such as Love Story and You Belong to Me. "A consummate crowd pleaser," says the Guardian. O2 Arena tonight and 10-11 Feb.