Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Sunday 16 Mar 2014

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

Flight MH370
1. DID PILOT HIJACK MALAYSIA FLIGHT?
The pilot of the missing Malaysian Airlines plane was an “obsessive” supporter of Malaysia’s opposition leader who was jailed just hours before the flight left Kuala Lumpur on March 8, says the Mail On Sunday. The revelation has sparked speculation that the pilot might have hijacked the flight in protest.
NHS
2. NHS SELLS BILLION PATIENT RECORDS
The NHS has sold one billion patient records to a marketing firm that works for drug giants, says the Sunday Times. Although names and addresses have been stripped from the database, it does include the age, postcode district and other information about the patients. A government body says there is a “small risk” patients could be identified.
Budget 2014
3. OSBORNE: ‘PEOPLE LIKE 40P RATE’
George Osborne has argued that middle class people like paying the higher 40p tax rate because it makes them feel they are successful, claims the Mail On Sunday. The chancellor is said to have told a 1922 Committee meeting: “Let's not forget there are advantages in more people paying tax at 40p. It means they feel they are a success.”
4. CRIMEA REFERENDUM POLLS OPEN
The polling stations have opened as Crimea votes on whether to rejoin Russia or stay with Ukraine. The referendum, which is backed by Moscow, is considered “illegal” by Kiev and the West. A US-drafted UN document criticising the vote was vetoed by Russia. Some 1.5m voters are expected to cast their ballots.
5. CAMERON DEMANDS EU REFORMS
David Cameron wants to prevent Britain being “sucked into a United States of Europe”. Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, the prime minister says he is renegotiating Britain’s membership of the EU, including demands for reform to immigration, human rights and trade laws. He warns that support for the EU is “wafer thin”.
6. RUGBY: O’DRISCOLL BOWS OUT ON HIGH
Brian O’Driscoll celebrated the perfect finale to his international career as Ireland clinched the Six Nations title with a 22-20 victory over France. “It's great to finish on a high in my last game in this magnificent jersey,” he said. It was Ireland’s second win in France for 42 years and it confirmed the country’s second Six Nations title.
World News
7. SAUDI ARABIA BANS 50 BABY NAMES
Saudi Arabia has released a list of 50 given names that it is banning in an effort to stop the inappropriate naming of children. Names have been banned for being foreign, blasphemous or relating to royalty. Alice and Linda are on the list, as well as Amir (Prince) and Jibreel (Gabriel).
8. IT’S GOOD NIGHT FROM RONNIE CORBETT
Ronnie Corbett has retired from showbusiness, says the Sunday Mirror. The veteran comedian made the decision after a “worrying” health scare, which prompted days of tests in hospital. His wife Anne announced: “He won’t be doing any more TV – he’s 83. He won’t be like Bruce Forsyth.”
9. TONY BENN’S SON INHERITS TITLE
Tony Benn’s eldest son has inherited the title that his father renounced, becoming the 3rd Viscount of Stansgate. However, the new peer will not be eligible to sit in the House of Lords due to reforms made by Tony Blair’s government in 1999, reports The Observer. Tony Benn had renounced the peerage title in 1963.
10. BLUES SEE RED AS TITLE TILT TWISTS
The title race experienced another twist yesterday as Chelsea lost 1-0 to Aston Villa. The Blues were reduced to nine men after Willian and Ramires were sent off. Manager Jose Mourinho was also shown red. Manchester City made up ground with a win at Hull. Today, Manchester United face Liverpool, with Arsenal at Spurs.