Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Saturday 12 Apr 2014

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

UK News
1. LIB DEM MP: ‘OUR PARTY IS POINTLESS’
The Liberal Democrats are pointless, says one of the party’s most senior MPs. Speaking to The Times, Jeremy Browne argues: “Every political party and every politician has to be able to answer the question: if you didn’t exist why would it be necessary to invent you? I’m not sure it would be necessary to invent an ill-defined moderating centrist party.”
2. SEX CASES: ATTORNEY GENERAL TO QUIZ CPS
The attorney general is demanding answers from the Crown Prosecution Services over a string of failed sex offence cases. Dominic Grieve is to discuss unsuccessful prosecutions against Nigel Evans MP and the actors Bill Roache and Michael Le Vell. In the wake of these cases, some Tories are demanding a higher threshold of evidence for sex offence cases.
UK News
3. CAMERON ‘FINDS PEACE’ IN CHURCH
David Cameron has made a rare public statement about his Christian faith. In his Easter message, the prime minister said his “moments of greatest peace” come in church, where he finds: “a little bit of peace and hopefully a bit of guidance”. He also referred to Jesus Christ as “our saviour”. In 2009, Cameron told Songs Of Praise: “I believe in God.”
4. MURDER CHARGES DROPPED AGAINST BABY
A court in Pakistan has withdrawn charges against a nine-month-old baby who was accused of attempted murder alongside 12 members of his family. As Muhammad Musa Khan appeared in court in Lahore for a second time on charges of planning a murder, threatening police and interfering in state affairs, the judge dismissed the case against him.
5. EUAN BLAIR ‘EYES LABOUR SAFE SEAT’
Is Tony Blair’s son Euan planning to stand for parliament? The Daily Mail claims the 29-year-old is targeting one of Labour’s safest seats for the next general election. He is believed to have his eye on Bootle, Merseyside, which is not far from his mother Cherie’s childhood home. However, a Labour source says it would be a “disaster” if the “heir to Blair” stood.
World News
6. CRIMEA COULD SPARK MARKET CHAOS
North Korea has denounced the idea of reunification with the South as the “daydream of a psychopath”. Pyongyang was reacting to a speech by South Korean president Park Geun-Hye calling for more cultural and economic exchanges. But a North Korean spokesman said better relations would only be possible if Park “keeps her disgusting mouth closed”.
7. DID MI5 COVER UP SMITH SEX ABUSE?
A cover-up involving the Liberal party, police and MI5 allowed Cyril Smith to carry out “industrial-scale” child abuse, claims a new book. Police received at least 144 complaints about the 29-stone politician but authorities blocked any prosecution, according to a new book. The book draws similarities between Smith, who died in 2010 aged 82, and broadcaster Jimmy Savile.
8. HOME OWNERSHIP SINKS TO 65%
Property ownership has fallen to its lowest level since 1987, according to official figures. In 2003, when home ownership in the UK peaked, 71% of Britons lived in homes they owned. However, last year the figure dropped to 65.2%. The number of people renting homes nearly doubled from 2.2m in 2002/03, to 3.9m last year.
Politics
9. OSBORNE SETS OUT TAX CRACKDOWN
George Osborne has revealed plans designed to clamp down on tax evasion by British residents who hide their money overseas. The chancellor wants to make it easier to jail tax evaders. Under the current law, tax officials must prove that someone intended to evade tax. Under the reforms, officials would only have to prove the money was taxable and undeclared.
10. FA CUP: WILL WENGER WALLOP WIGAN?
Arsenal face Wigan today in the first of the weekend’s FA Cup semi-finals. The Gunners will give late fitness checks to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Tomas Rosicky and Kieran Gibbs. Holders Wigan will be without Ben Watson, who scored the winner in last season’s final against Manchester City. Arsene Wenger is facing fresh pressure from some Gunners fans.