Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Thursday 13 Feb 2014

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

UK storms
1. THOUSANDS WITHOUT POWER AS STORMS COME
Weather alerts are in place for further strong winds, rain and icy conditions as tens of thousands of homes remain without power after yesterday’s severe weather caused transport disruption and the death of an elderly man in Wiltshire. The river Thames is expected to rise to its highest level in more than 60 years.
2. DLT CLEARED, BUT MAY FACE RETRIAL
DJ Dave Lee Travis has been cleared of 12 counts of indecent assault but could face a retrial after a jury failed to reach a verdict on two other charges against him. The broadcaster has been released on bail while prosecutors mull over a retrial. Speaking outside court he said he was "not delighted at all" by the outcome.
3. SUSPECT PACKAGES AT ARMY CAREERS OFFICES
Four letterbombs have been discovered at Army careers offices in Oxford, Brighton, Canterbury and Slough, triggering a major security alert. The explosive devices were crudely made, but were viable. The alert comes after similar packages were discovered in Aldershot on Wednesday and in Reading and Chatham on Tuesday.
Scots Independence
4. OSBORNE TO SCOTS: YOU CAN’T KEEP POUND
George Osborne has told Scots that they will not be able to keep the pound if they vote for independence, describing a currency union as unworkable. Labour and the Liberal Democrats have delivered a similar message. Osborne said he wants Scotland to keep hold of its “economic security” within the UK.
Afghanistan
5. US ANGRY AS TALIBAN SUSPECTS FREED
Sixty-five Afghan detainees have been released from Bagram detention centre outside Kabul amid protests from the US embassy. American diplomats said some of the freed prisoners were responsible for the deaths of Afghan civilians, as well as Afghan and coalition troops, but President Hamid Karzai's government insists there is not enough evidence to keep them behind bars.
6. LLOYDS BANK BACK IN PRE-TAX PROFIT
Part-nationalised Lloyds has declared it is once again a “normal bank” as it announces a return to profitability, with a full-year pre-tax profit last year of £415m - a turnaround from the £606m loss it recorded in the previous year. Chief exec Antonio Horta-Osorio will get a £1.7m deferred bonus in shares.
7. CHECHEN PRESIDENT TO SAVE DANISH GIRAFFE
Chechen president Ramzan Kadyrov has offered to adopt a giraffe called Marius, who faces death in Denmark. Earlier this week another giraffe, also called Marius, was put down at Copenhagen Zoo, and his namesake at Jyllands Park Zoo now faces a similar fate. However, Kadyrov, who has a personal zoo, has said he will step in to save the animal.
8. FATHER BEAT SON TO DEATH AT CRICKET
An 11-year-old boy, Luke Batty, was beaten to death with a cricket bat by his father in front of horrified parents and children at the end of a cricket training session in Melbourne, Australia, on Wednesday. The father was shot by police and died in hospital. His mother, Rosie Batty, blamed his mental health issues.
9. YARNOLD ON COURSE FOR SKELETON GLORY
British skeleton competitor Lizzy Yarnold set the pace in the first two rounds of the event at the Winter Olympics at Sochi. After day one of the competition she has as 0.44 lead over Noelle Pikus-Pace of the US. However, British speed skater Elise Christie was denied silver in the 500m final after being disqualified following a crash.
Arts & Life
10. HOT TICKET: RICHARD HAMILTON SHOW
A major retrospective of Richard Hamilton's art opens this week at Tate Modern and the ICA. It surveys the 60-year career of the leading British Pop artist and includes design, painting, photography and television. "A knockout," says the Daily Telegraph. 12 February-6 April ICA, 13 February-26 May, Tate Modern.