Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Thursday 3 Apr 2014

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

1. AIR POLLUTION: 999 CALLS ON THE RISE
Emergency services say 999 calls are on the rise as the UK endures a third day of air pollution, triggered by Saharan dust and exacerbated by European and UK emissions. The elderly, asthmatics and those with lung and heart conditions have been warned not to take brisk exercise. The smog is at its worst in London, East Anglia, the Midlands and north Wales.
Politics
2. MARIA MILLER APOLOGISES TO MPS
Culture Secretary Maria Miller has been forced to apologise to MPs and pay back almost £6,000 after failing to fully co-operate with an inquiry into her expenses claims. Although she was cleared of deliberately submitting false claims the Commons Committee on Standards said her attitude to the inquiry breached MPs' code of conduct.
eu debate
3. FARAGE BEATS CLEGG IN TV DEBATE - AGAIN
Instant polling suggests Nigel Farage of Ukip beat the Lib Dems’ Nick Clegg by an even larger margin in last night’s TV debate on Europe than in the pair’s first TV discussion. Clegg accused Farage of peddling “dangerous fantasies” - and was in turn told he was “wilfully lying”.
Nigella Lawson
4. NIGELLA MAY NEED BLOOD TESTS TO GET US VISA
TV chef Nigella Lawson has been banned from entering the US after admitting during a court case last year that she had uised cocaine and cannabis. Lawson was prevented from boarding a flight from London to Los Angeles on Sunday. Lawyers say she could now be forced to undergo a medical, including blood tests, if she is to obtain a US visa.
5. HILLSBOROUGH JURY HEARS FIRST ‘PORTRAITS’
Jurors at the new inquests into the Hillsborough disaster were warned to expect upsetting and poignant testimony today as the first ‘pen portraits’ of the 96 victims are read aloud by relatives or legal representatives. The widow of one victim, Patrick John, told how the disaster had "robbed" her five children on their father.
US
6. MULTIPLE SHOOTING AT US ARMY BASE
A soldier at the US Army’s Fort Hood base in Texas, the scene of a mass shooting in 2009, has shot dead three people and taken his own life. Another 16 were injured. The soldier was under psychiatric review for possible post-traumatic stress disorder. Barack Obama said he was “heartbroken” by the news.
7. GLASGOW FLATS TO BE BLOWN UP FOR GAMES
The Glasgow skyline will be changed forever during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games, when five of the city's famous Red Road tower blocks are blown up as part of the event. Five of the six remaining blocks, built during the 1960s, will come down in just 15 seconds. The demolition work is part of a wider regeneration project.
Health
8. KETAMINE ‘EXCITING’ DEPRESSION TREATMENT
UK doctors say Ketamine - a drug often described as a “horse tranquiliser” and used illegally as a party drug - presents an “exciting” and “dramatic” treatment for depression. Low doses caused symptoms of depression present in some trial subjects for years to disappear within hours. More research is required.
Syria
9. ONE MILLION SYRIAN REFUGEES IN LEBANON
The UN refugee agency says a "bleak milestone" has been reached in the Middle East after the number of Syrian refugees in Lebanon passed the one million mark. More than 600,000 Syrians have crossed the border into Lebanon in the past 12 months and refugees now make up a quarter of Lebanon's resident population.
Hot Ticket
10. HOT TICKET: DARK VANILLA JUNGLE
Philip Ridley's Edinburgh Festival hit Dark Vanilla Jungle has transferred to the Soho Theatre, London. Game of Thrones' Gemma Whelan plays a teenage girl, abandoned by her parents and groomed as a gangland sex slave. "Brilliantly harrowing," says the Evening Standard. Until 13 April.