Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Sunday 23 Mar 2014

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

UK News
1. POLL: TORIES CLOSE IN ON MILIBAND'S LABOUR
Senior party figures have urged Ed Miliband to stop speaking like a “Hampstead academic” as a new poll puts the Tories just one point behind Labour. The Conservatives are on 36% in the Sunday Times poll, which was conducted in the wake of the Budget. George Osborne’s personal ratings are also on the up, from 14% to 29%.
Flight MH370
2. ‘INCREASING HOPE’ IN JET SEARCH
The Australian prime minister says there is “increasing hope” of discovering what happened to the missing Malaysia Airlines jet. Tony Abbott says there are a number of credible leads” for investigators. Among “significant” developments mentioned by Abbott are the satellite images of debris in the southern Indian Ocean.
3. TARGET THE QUEEN, AL QAEDA ORDERS
Al-Qaeda is urging terrorists returning to the UK from Syria to bomb sporting events attended by the Queen. Wimbledon fortnight, the FA Cup final and the Derby have all been suggested as potential targets for “lone wolf” jihadists to attack to cause “maximum carnage”. Up to 250 British jihadists have returned to the UK after fighting in Syria.
Ukraine
4. HAGUE ATTACKS ‘BULLYING’ PUTIN
William Hague has attacked “bullying” Vladimir Putin over his “outrageous land grab”. Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, Hague says the build up of troops along the Russian border is the biggest threat to European stability this century. Russian troops have taken control of one of the last big military bases in Crimea from the Ukrainians.
5. GP SERVICES ‘FACE EXTINCTION’
Family doctor services are under threat of extinction due to a “toxic mix” of rising demand and decreasing funds, says the head of the Royal College of GPs. The royal college's president, Dr Maureen Baker, said: "It is imploding faster than people realise." She has urged the government to address the “huge and historic imbalance in funding”.
World News
6. MICHELLE ENTERS INTERNET DEBATE
Access to the internet should be a universal right says Michelle Obama, in a rare intervention into global politics. The US first lady spoke out during a visit to China. China blocks access to internet sites deemed sensitive, with Twitter and Facebook among those blocked. Her remarks may have been aimed at Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has imposed restrictions on Twitter.
7. GUIDANCE ALLOWS ‘ISLAMIC WILLS’
Islamic law is to be effectively enshrined in the British legal system for the first time, claims the Sunday Telegraph. New guidelines are to be issued for solicitors on drawing up “Sharia compliant” wills. The guidance, issued by The Law Society, will allow high street lawyers to draw up Islamic wills that deny women an equal share of inheritances.
8. SOLDIER SURVIVED 17 EXPLOSIONS
A British solider who survived 17 explosions during his 21-year army career has won an award for gallantry. Patrick Hyde’s most recent brush with death came during a patrol in Helmand. The 37-year-old said: “They call me the bomb magnet because I’ve been blown up so many times. There was one in Iraq, 15 in Afghanistan, then this one.”
9. MACHINE REPLACES VILLAGE STORE
A huge vending machine has been installed in a village after no one could be found to run the local shop. The machine, in the Derbyshire village of Clifton, sells 80 products including eggs, milk, shampoo and shower gel. Clifton lost its general store 10 years ago. After no one was found to reopen it, a nearby engineer installed the machine in the local pub’s car park.
10. WENGER’S 1000TH GAME NIGHTMARE
Arsene Wenger says his 1000th game in charge of Arsenal was a “nightmare”. The Gunners were thumped 6-0 by Chelsea. To add to their misery, they were reduced to 10 men when Kieran Gibbs was mistakenly dismissed for a handball committed by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. There were wins for Liverpool and Manchester City, to keep up the pressure on leaders Chelsea.