Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Tuesday 25 Mar 2014

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

Flight MH370
1. MH370 HUNT PAUSED AS RELATIVES PROTEST
Angry relatives of passengers on board flight MH370 have clashed with police outside Malaysia's embassy in Beijing, China. They are angry at the way Malaysia Airlines has handled the search for the plane, now assumed lost in the Indian Ocean. Australian rescue teams this morning called off the search for debris from the jet, missing for 18 days, as weather conditions deteriorated.
2. UK INFLATION RATE FALLS TO 1.7%
The UK inflation rate fell to a four-year low of 1.7% last month, thanks in part to lower petrol prices. The Consumer Price Index fell 0.2% from 1.9% in January, meaning it has been below the Bank of England target rate of 2% for two months. Inflation measured by the Retail Prices Index (RPI) fell to 2.7% in February from 2.8% the month before.
Royal Mail
3. ROYAL MAIL TO CUT 1,600 JOBS
Recently-privatised Royal Mail has announced it will cut 1,600 jobs as part of a plan to cut costs for 2014-15 by £25m. Most of the jobs cut will be managerial, many at the company’s head office. The firm said the cuts would be 1,300 net, as it was also creating 300 new or enhanced roles, and would not hit frontline staff.
Oscar Pistorius
4. COURT HEARS INTIMATE PISTORIUS TEXTS
More text messages between Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp, the girlfriend he shot dead in 2013, have been read out at his murder trial in Pretoria. The intimate exchanges painted a picture of a loving, devoted couple, in contrast with messages read to the court yesterday, which suggested Steenkamp was scared of the Paralympian.
5. WASHINGTON MUD-SLIDE: 176 MISSING
Relatives of 176 people believed to be missing after a huge mudslide 55 miles north of Seattle at the weekend have begun searching for their loved ones using chainsaws and bare hands. At least 14 have died but officials are hoping the 176 figure has been exaggerated and some of the ‘missing’ are not buried.
World News
6. LAWYERS BOYCOTT EGYPT TRIAL
Lawyers in Egypt have boycotted the mass trial of 683 suspected Islamists charged with murder and inciting violence, in protest at 528 death sentences passed down on Muslim Brotherhood members on Monday. They were sentenced to death for their part in a mob attack that left a policeman dead after President Mohammed Morsi was removed by the Egyptian military.
Ukraine
7. RUSSIA AND UKRAINE HOLD FIRST TALKS
Russia and its neighbour Ukraine have held their first high-level summit since the Crimea crisis broke out, with Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov meeting his counterpart, Andriy Deshchytsia. Meanwhile Western leaders have expelled Russia from the G8 group of nations and called off a summit meeting involving Russia to be held in Sochi in June.
8. ANT MCPARTLIN 'ATTACKED' OUTSIDE PUB
Television presenter Ant McPartlin, one half of Ant and Dec, was attacked by a group of youths who pushed his mother to the floor outside a pub in west London. The incident took place as he ate dinner with relatives at a gastropub in Chiswick. The 38-year-old was allegedly assaulted when he went outside to ask the youths to stop filming him.
9. NO MAKE-UP SELFIES HELP WRONG CHARITY
Unicef has identified £18,625 in mistaken donations from people joining the #nomakeupselfie craze but texting the wrong word (‘DONATE’ instead of ‘BEAT’). The donors had intended to help Cancer Research. Other users have accidentally enquired about adopting a polar bear by texting ‘BEAR’ to the WWF.
Hot Ticket
10. HOT TICKET: WILLIAM KENT AT V+A
A major new exhibition celebrating the work of 18th century British designer William Kent has opened at the Victoria and Albert Museum. William Kent: Designing Georgian Britain surveys Kent's remarkable body of work, from architectural drawings to furniture and landscape designs. "Phenomenal," says the Daily Telegraph. Until 13 July.