Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Wednesday 12 Feb 2014

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

UK storms
1. 'RED WARNING' AND 100MPH WINDS IN WEST
Parts of southern England will get a month's worth of rain in the next few days as more storms batter hits the UK. The worst winds of the winter have struck in the West, with gusts of over 100mph and a Met Office 'red warning' issued for Wales and the North West. More than 1,000 homes are flooded and 16 severe flood warnings are in place.
Scottish independence
2. OSBORNE TO RULE OUT CURRENCY UNION
The BBC says “government sources” have revealed that George Osborne will this week rule out a formal currency union with an independent Scotland, a major blow to independence campaigners who have said they want to retain the pound. A spokesman for the SNP said Osborne was bullying Scotland.
3. CARNEY: INTEREST RATES TO STAY LOW
Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, has said the decision on when to raise interest rates will be determined by a range of indicators, rather than just jobs figures. Last year Carney said rates could rise if unemployment fell below 7%, but although that mark is set to be passed this spring the governor said rates would remain low.
Health & Science
4. NICE: PUT MILLIONS MORE ON NHS STATINS
UK drug regulator Nice says millions more patients should be given statins, drugs which lower cholesterol and protect against heart attacks and strokes. Currently, doctors are advised to give the drug to those with a 20% risk of heart disease but the new guidelines will say they should go as low as a 10% risk.
5. TONY BENN SERIOUSLY ILL IN HOSPITAL
Veteran Labour politician Tony Benn is said to be "fighting for his life" after being admitted to hospital at the weekend. The 88-year-old was an MP from 1950 to 2001 and renounced his peerage to remain in the Commons. The former cabinet minister is also well-known for his political diaries. The final volume was published last year.
6. BBC NAMES BRITISH SUICIDE BOMBER
The British man believed to have carried out a suicide bomb attack in Syria has been named as Abdul Waheed Majid, by the BBC. It claims the 41-year-old from Crawley in West Sussex was behind a truck bombing at a prison in Aleppo last week. The suicide attack is thought to be the first to have been carried out by a Briton in the conflict.
7. SKIERS SHARE GOLD MEDAL IN SOCHI
The first ever shared gold medal in the Winter Olympics has been awarded to downhill skiers Dominique Gisin and Tina Maze after they recorded identical times in the women's downhill event. Gisin from Switzerland and Slovenian Maze both completed the course in 1min 41.57sec. Britain's Chemmy Alcott finished 19th.
8. M2 CLOSED AS 15FT SINKHOLE INVESTIGATED
The M2 motorway is closed at Junction 5, near Sittingbourne in Kent, while “dozens” of engineers, assisted by fire crews, investigate a 15-foot sinkhole which has opened up in the central reservation. One expert suggested the hole, which is almost 17 feet in diameter, may have been caused by wet weather.
9. SHIA LABEOUF WEARS PAPER BAG IN GALLERY
Actor Shia LaBeouf has opened an art installation in LA in which he sits wearing a paper bag with ‘I am not famous any more’ written on it on his head in a small room while members of the public are ushered into his presence. La Beouf does not speak and one visitor said he seemed to have been crying.
Dance
10. HOT TICKET: PINA BAUSCH AT SADLER'S
A revival of late choreographer Pina Bausch's acclaimed dance piece, 1980, has opened at Sadler's Wells, London. Bausch's Tanztheater Wuppertal troupe perform her elegy to childhood, nostalgia and death combining dance, theatre, monologue and music. "Captivating," says The Guardian. Until 16 February.