Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Sunday 16 Feb 2014
The Week’s super-quick catch-up on the main news talking points, available from 8am daily
1. PM WARNS OF FURTHER FLOOD RISK
England and Wales is still in danger of further flooding, David Cameron has warned. The prime minister said: "Thankfully, it does appear that we will see less rain and wind over the next few days. However, after so much rain over recent weeks groundwater levels remain very high and in many places will continue to rise."
2. PLANES’ MAYDAYS DURING STORMS
Five aeroplanes unable to land at Heathrow and Gatwick airport during storms on Friday were forced to declare emergencies, with some dangerously close to running out of fuel. The Sunday Times says one flight circling London was tossed around like a “paper plane” by 60mph winds during the height of Friday’s storm. Aircraft were diverted to Manchester.
3. TERROR ALERT OVER RETURNING JIHADIS
Some 250 British-based jihadis who went to train and fight in Syria have returned home, sparking a fresh terror alert. The Sunday Times quotes senior security officials on the growing danger posed by “extremist tourists” who visit the war-torn region. Security services are closely monitoring the “returnees”, some of who fought in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
4. SALMOND TO PM: ‘STOP BULLYING US’
Alex Salmond has written to David Cameron accusing his ministers of “bullying” behaviour. Scotland’s first minister also told the prime minister that he must distance himself from a statement by a “senior coalition source” that a ‘yes’ vote might not guarantee Scottish independence if talks do not run smoothly. He describes the government’s stance as “arrogance".
5. JAMAICANS CALL FOR UK REPARATION
Jamaicans are leading calls from the Caribbean for Britain to pay slavery reparations. Descendants of slaves, some of whose ancestors worked for David Cameron’s distant family, are demanding an apology and billions of pounds in reparations. “I think it is fair for we to get a bit of compensation for what all our people been through,” said one.
6. MILIBAND ON CLIMATE CHANGE DISASTER
Denial of the link between climate change and recent extreme weather means Britain is sleepwalking towards disaster, says Ed Miliband. The Labour leader tells The Observer: "In 2012 we had the second wettest winter on record and this winter is a one in 250-year event. If you keep throwing the dice and you keep getting sixes then the dice are loaded. Something is going on."
7. WILL ‘SLAVE’ SWEEP THE BAFTAS?
The space thriller Gravity has 11 nominations at tonight’s Baftas but 12 Years A Slave is expected to be the night’s big winner. Among the stars attending the glittering ceremony in London will be Dame Judi Dench, Sandra Bullock, Tom Hanks and Leonardo DiCaprio. Prince William will also attend the ceremony, which will be hosted by Stephen Fry.
8. RUSSIAN SATELLITE WILL HIT EARTH
A Russian satellite is due to hit earth today. Fragments of the defunct Kosmos-1220 satellite will survive the re-entry into the planet’s atmosphere. Although it is likely to land somewhere in the Pacific Ocean, some say it could potentially fall anywhere on earth. In 1978, a similar satellite crashed in an unoccupied part of Canada, spreading radioactive debris.
9. MIRREN SLAMS TV ‘S FEMALE BODY COUNT
Dame Helen Mirren has criticised British television for the growing number of murdered women featured in dramas. She tells The Observer she has noticed a clear gender divide when it comes to corpses in British shows. "Most of those bodies are young women," she said. The actress also complained about the overall corpse count in dramas, describing it as “ridiculous”.
10. MOURINHO: THEY DIDN’T FAIL ME
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho says his side did not fail him when they lost to 2-0 Manchester City in yesterday’s FA Cup tie. Mourinho, who described Arsene Wenger as a “specialist in failure” earlier in the week, insisted: “I don’t say my team failed”. Arsenal host Liverpool in the same competition today, a week after losing 5-1 to the Anfield outfit in the league.