Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Wednesday 19 Feb 2014

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

hacking trial
1. BROOKS TRIAL: TONY BLAIR OFFERED 'ADVICE'
The trial of Rebakah Brooks has been told that she took advice on the phone-hacking scandal from former prime minister Tony Blair six days before her arrest. In an email to James Murdoch, head of News International, Brooks claimed she had spoken to Blair and called him an "unofficial adviser". She also said he told her to "tough up" and take sleeping pills.
Ukraine
2. EU THREATENS UKRAINE WITH SANCTIONS
EU leaders are considering sanctions against Ukraine after at least 26 people were killed as riot police launched attacks on protesters in Kiev's main square. President Viktor Yanukovych blamed opposition leaders and Russia spoke of an attempted coup after the worst day of violence since protests began in November last year.
Europe
3. ALPS MURDER PROBE: SECOND MAN HELD
A second man has been arrested by French police investigating the murder of the al-Hilli family from Surrey. Prosecutor Eric Maillaud said today the two men being held may have been involved in arms trafficking. However, there was no evidence yet of either man being directly linked to the September 2012 murders.
4. CAMERON: BENEFIT CUTS OFFER NEW HOPE
David Cameron has said the Coalition’s welfare reforms offer “new hope and new responsibility” to people and are part of his “moral mission” in an article for the Daily Telegraph in which he addressed remarks made by the Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols, who said benefit cuts are leaving people “destitute”.
5. BABY GIRL FOUND IN BRADFORD STREET DIES
A two-year-old girl found unconscious in the street in Bradford has died. The girl was taken with a 36-year-old woman, also unconscious, to hospital after they were found in the city’s Delamere Street on Tuesday morning. The woman is receiving treatment for serious injuries. Police say they are not looking for anybody else.
Scottish independence
6. SCOTS GOVERNMENT TO ISSUE OWN BONDS
George Osborne has confirmed the Scottish Government is to be given the power to issue its own bonds, calling it a “historic day” for Scotland. It will be an additional source of financing when its new borrowing powers are implemented in 2015. The SNP called the powers “nothing new” and called for independence.
Politics
7. UNEMPLOYMENT GOES UP AND DOWN
The number of people out of work fell by 125,000 to 2.34 million in the final three months of the year, according to the Office of National Statistics, however the unemployment rate inched up to 7.2%. The first figure compares the third and fourth quarters of 2013, while the per centage figure is month-on-month.
8. MIRANDA LOSES DETENTION BATTLE
The High Court has ruled that the detention of David Miranda, the partner of journalist Glenn Greenwald, at Heathrow airport under anti-terror laws was lawful. Miranda, who was held for nine hours, said his detention was a breach of human rights. Judges said it was a "proportionate measure" and in the interests of national security.
9. TEAM GB LOSE CURLING SEMI-FINAL
Team GB's women's curling team must play off against Switzerland for the Olympic bronze medal after losing to Canada in losing their semi-final in Sochi. Canada took an early 3-0 lead against Eve Muirhead's team and held on to win 6-4. The bronze play-off takes place on Thursday. The men's team are playing Sweden for a place in the final.
Theatre
10. HOT TICKET: LETTS'S SUPERIOR DONUTS
The first UK production of Tracy Letts's play, Superior Donuts, has opened at the Southwark Playhouse, London. In this black comedy-drama, from the writer of August Osage County, an ambitious young employee tries to inspire his ageing boss to revive his run-down doughnut store. "Beautifully judged," says The Independent. Until 8 March.