Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Friday 7 Mar 2014

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

Ukraine
1. OBAMA URGES PUTIN TO ACCEPT CRIMEA DEAL
In a one-hour phone call, Barack Obama has urged Vladimir Putin to accept a diplomatic solution to the Ukraine crisis. After a summit yesterday, EU leaders yesterday joined Obama in condemning a proposed referendum in Crimea on seceding to Russia as illegal. They warned sanctions may follow.
Stephen Lawrence
2. NEVILLE LAWRENCE WARY OF INQUIRY
The father of murdered black teenager Stephen Lawrence, Neville, said last night he would be wary of the integrity of an inquiry into undercover policing, ordered by Theresa May in response to a review into the investigation of Stephens’s death which found a Met Police officer went undercover to spy on his family.
Oscar Pistorius
3. PISTORIUS 'FIRED GUN IN ANGER'
The trial of Oscar Pistorius has heard from his ex-girlfriend, Samantha Taylor, who said that he once fired a gun through the sun-roof of his car soon after getting angry with a police officer. Another witness, security guard Pieter Baba, told how he encountered Pistorius carrying the body of Reeva Steenkamp out of his house after he shot her last year.
Law
4. LAWYERS STAGE LEGAL AID WALKOUT
Thousands of lawyers in England and Wales, opposed to legal aid cuts, have staged a second walkout. Barristers attended a protest in London dressed in wigs and gowns where an effigy of Justice Secretary Chris Grayling was paraded. Trials at major crown courts in London, Manchester, Birmingham and other cities have been affected.
5. NETWORK RAIL: LEVEL CROSSING APOLOGY
The chief executive of Network Rail, Mark Carne, yesterday offered a “full and unreserved apology” to families bereaved by accidents at level crossings, accepting the firm had failed to ensure public safety - and had not dealt sensitively with families of those killed. MPs yesterday published a critical report on the subject.
6. OPPOSITION LEADER FACES JAIL IN MALAYSIA
Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has been sentenced to five years in jail after a court overturned his acquittal on charges of sodomy. Anwar was accused of having sex with a male aide in 2008, but cleared him of the charges in 2012. The government later appealed against his acquittal.
7. BIRMINGHAM CITY OWNER YEUNG JAILED
The owner of Birmingham City Football Club, Hong Kong businessman Carson Yeung has been jailed for six years for money laundering. The 54-year-old was convicted of five charges relating to HK$720m (£55m) which passed through his accounts between 2001 and 2007. The club says the sentence will not affect its day-to-day operations.
8. WORST TREE LOSS SINCE 1987 THIS WINTER
The sever weather which hit the UK with storm after storm this winter caused the worse tree loss since 1987 in some areas, the National Trust says, after surveying more than 50 of its sites. At Killerton Estate in Devon, more than 500 trees were brought down - 20 of them significant to the estate’s landscaping
9. BREIVIK MEMORIAL TO BE GAPING HOLE
A slice of a headland near the island of Utoeya in Norway, where right-wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik massacred 69 of his 77 victims in July 2011, is to be removed, creating a striking memorial. Swedish artist Jonas Dahlberg, says the void will represent the “abrupt and permanent” loss of young lives.
Film
10. HOT TICKET: GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL OPENS
Wes Anderson's new star-studded comedy-drama, Grand Budapest Hotel, opens in UK cinemas today. Ralph Fiennes stars as the concierge of a luxury hotel who is framed for the murder of a wealthy guest and teams up with the lobby boy to prove his innocence. "Wonderful," says the Daily Telegraph.