Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Sunday 9 Mar 2014

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

World News
1. MALAYSIA PROBES STOLEN PASSPORTS
Officials investigating the missing Malaysia Airlines flight say terrorism is possible explanation as they probe the identity of four passengers on the flight. It emerged yesterday that two passengers boarded the Boeing 777-200 with stolen European passports. Malaysian investigators have met counterparts from the FBI. The plane vanished in the early hours of Saturday morning.
World News
2. LANDMINES AND GUNFIRE IN CRIMEA
Russian forces have laid landmines in Crimea and fired warning shots at a European observer mission. The escalation of the crisis comes as the US warns Russia that any moves to annex Crimea would close the door to diplomacy. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says Moscow is open to “honest, equal” dialogue over the crisis.
3. CO-OP TO REIGNITE BONUS ANGER
The Co-op is to spark new anger over executive pay by awarding senior staff with huge pay and bonus deals. The beleaguered group, which is reeling from a series of scandals and preparing to lay off up to 5,000 employees, plans to pay its chief executive more than £3.5m in the first year of his job, while significantly boosting the salaries and bonuses of other senior staff.
4. HENRY VIII BED WAS ‘LEFT IN CAR PARK’
Was a four-poster bed thrown out into a hotel car park the bed in which Henry VIII was conceived, asks the Sunday Times. Jonathan Foyle of World Monuments Fund Britain describes the bed as “the most important piece of furniture [in England]”. It was nearly lost when builders left it in a hotel car park. If the link is proved correct, the bed could be worth up to £20m.
Health & Science
5. 'LYDIA' SET FOR GREAT WHITE FIRST
A great white shark called Lydia looks set to become the first of its species to be recorded crossing the Atlantic. Scientists tagged Lydia off Florida. She is now near the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, 1,000 miles off the coast of western Europe.
6. FREE VOTE DUE ON ASSISTED SUICIDE
Legal assisted suicide moved a step closer as the government says it will allow a free vote on the issue. The Sunday Telegraph reports that Conservative and Liberal Democrat MPs, including ministers, will be allowed a free vote when proposed legislation on the issue comes before the Commons in the next few months.
7. DID UKIP CONSIDER BNP PACT?
Senior Ukip members considered forming a pact with the BNP, according to a new book. In Revolt on the Right, the authors claim that two member’s of the party’s national executive were in favour of a 2008 proposal from the BNP to form an alliance. At the time, Nigel Farage told reporters the idea had been unanimously rejected.
Media
8. WILL THE BBC SCRAP LICENCE FEE?
A panel reviewing the future of the BBC is considering a plan to scrap the licence fee and switch to a subscription service from 2020, says the Sunday Times. The plan has been recommended by leading figures in finance and academics. If agreed, it would be the most fundamental change to the BBC since its creation in 1922.
9. TORY: FEMALE MPS ‘WHINGEING IMBECILES’
A Tory election agent has resigned after calling female MPs “whingeing imbeciles” and saying feminists “need a good slap round the face”. Stewart Green’s outbursts were made on Facebook. Meanwhile, a Ukip candidate has forwarded an email comparing the mother of murdered Stephen Lawrence with an ape.
10. ARSENAL REACH FA CUP SEMI-FINALS
Arsenal marched into the FA Cup semi-final with a 4-1 victory over Everton yesterday. Olivier Giroud scored twice but it was Mesut Özil who was the architect of the win. The Gunners’ north London neighbours Spurs fared less well, losing 4-0 to Chelsea in the Premier League. The Blues are now seven points clear at the top of the table.