Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Sunday 9 Feb 2014

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

1. MINISTER QUITS OVER ILLEGAL CLEANER
Immigration minister Mark Harper has quit the government after it emerged his cleaner did not have permission to work in the UK. David Cameron accepted Harper’s resignation “with regret”, adding that there is “no suggestion” the MP for the Forest of Dean had “knowingly employed an illegal immigrant”. James Brokenshire is the new immigration minister.
2. SURREY BOY DIES IN FLOOD ACCIDENT
A seven year old boy died in a flood-related tragedy yesterday. It is believed that Zane Gbangbola was overcome by fumes from a water pump being used to empty his parents’ home in Chertsey, Surrey. Nearly 200 flood warnings are in place in the UK, including three in the south-west which involve risk to life. There are almost 300 flood alerts.
3. BARCLAYS DETAIL SOLD TO BROKERS
Confidential details of up to 27,000 Barclays Bank customers have been stolen and sold, reports the Mail On Sunday. Investigations have been launched after the newspaper reported that a database of information was sold to “unscrupulous brokers”. Barclays said it had contacted regulators and would help authorities in “pursuing the perpetrator”.
4. CLEGG: LET’S REFORM DRUG LAWS
Nick Clegg has entered the debate about drug law reform, declaring: “It you are anti-drugs, you should be pro-reform.” Writing in The Observer, he argues that prohibition has seen cocaine use triple in less than 20 years. He adds that he wants an end to "the tradition where politicians only talk about drugs reform when they have left office because they fear the political consequences".
5. SYRIA MORTARS SHATTER CEASEFIRE
Efforts to bring much-needed aid to Homs have been halted after mortar attacks shattered the ceasefire yesterday. The centre of Homs has been blockaded for over a year by forces loyal to president Bashar al-Assad, denying its people basic supplies. A three-day ceasefire was supposed to allow women and children to escape and food to enter the area.
6. DYSON’S £5M FOR DOMESTIC ROBOTS
Sir James Dyson wants to create a “new generation” of robots that will be able to tackle every menial household task, reports the Sunday Times. Dyson will announce £5m for a new robotics laboratory at Imperial College London to fulfil his vision of robots that can perform tasks from cleaning, to putting out dustbins and spotting intruders.
7. FLAPPY MAN: I CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE
The chart-topping app Flappy Bird may be removed from sale as its creator announces: “I cannot take this anymore.” Don Nguyen announced on Twitter last night: “I am sorry ‘Flappy Bird’ users, 22 hours from now, I will take ‘Flappy Bird’ down.” It has been estimated that the game has been downloaded more than 50m times. Nguyen says its success has ruined “my simple life”.
8. BBC: NO MORE ALL-MALE PANELS
The head of the BBC’s television output has promised viewers he will not commission any more all-male comedy panel shows. Danny Cohen tells The Observer: “We’re not going to have any more panel shows with no women on them. It’s not acceptable.” The announcement follows recommendations from the BBC Trust last year.
9. CAN VITAMIN C HALT CANCER?
High doses of Vitamin C can keep cancer at bay, suggests new research from the USA. Delivered via injection, the vitamin has the potential to be a safe, effective and low-cost treatment for ovarian and other cancers, say scientists. However, pharmaceutical companies are unlikely to hold trials, as vitamins cannot be patented.
10. CHELSEA TOP AS GUNNERS THRASHED
Arsenal and Manchester City both slipped in the title race yesterday. The Gunners were thrashed 5-1 by an absolutely rampant Liverpool in the midday kick-off. Later, City squandered the chance to go top when they were held 0-0 by Norwich. Chelsea, who beat Newcastle United 3-0, are the new Premier League leaders.