Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Thursday 17 Apr 2014

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

World News
1. S KOREA: HOPES FADE FOR FERRY PASSENGERS
South Korean emergency services are searching for almost 300 passengers of a ferry which sank yesterday. Initial reports said more than 300 of the 470-plus passengers had been recovered but that figure has been downgraded to just 179. Strong currents and bad weather have hampered attempts to enter the submerged hull.
Ukraine
2. PUTIN WARNING AHEAD OF UKRAINE TALKS
Three pro-Russian separatists were killed by Ukrainian forces as they tried to take over a military base in the east of the country yesterday, throwing petrol bombs. The deaths come as crisis talks between Ukraine, Russia, the EU and the USA begin in Geneva. Vladimir Putin has said he hopes he doesn't have to exercise his "right" to send in troops.
3. EASTER GETAWAY TO BE BUSIEST ROADS DAY
Today is expected to be the busiest of the year so far on the country’s road network, while railways will be disrupted by engineering works. Over 16m cars are expected to be used over the Easter weekend, with Thursday the busiest day - and good weather will make this one of the busiest Easters in years.
4. MINI SUB COMPLETES 16-HOUR MH370 SEARCH
A US mini submarine, Bluefin-21, completed a 16-hour search for the black box flight recorders from the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 yesterday without revealing anything significant. The sub’s previous two attempts ended prematurely for technical reasons. Officials say the search could take months.
World News
5. IRAN: LAST-MINUTE REPRIEVE FOR KILLER
A convicted killer in Iran had a noose round his neck ready to be hanged when the mother of the man he had murdered decided to forgive him and he was spared. Identified only as ‘Balal’, the killer was supposed to have the chair he was standing on pushed away by his victim Abdollah Hosseinzadeh’s family.
6. BBC'S GEORGE ALAGIAH BATTLES CANCER
BBC newsreader George Alagiah has been diagnosed with bowel cancer. The presenter of the BBC's six and ten o'clock news bulletins will take a break from presenting while he undergoes treatment, said the corporation. The 58-year-old has worked at the BBC for 25 years and has reported on the conflicts in Rwanda and Kosovo.
7. CO-OP REVEALS LOSSES OF £2.5BN
The Co-operative Group has posted the worst results of its 150-year history, announcing losses of £2.5bn for 2013. Chief executive Richard Pennycook said 2013 had been a "disastrous" year for the group and the results should act as "a wake-up call". Most if the losses came from the troubled Co-operative Bank which lost £2.1bn.
UK News
8. LAMB TAKEAWAYS ‘CONTAIN OTHER MEAT’
A study by the Food Standards Agency has found that many lamb takeaways and curries in fact contain another, cheaper meat - beef, turkey or chicken. Out of 145 samples, 43 were mis-described and 25 were beef. Which? Magazine, meanwhile, tested 30 takeaways in Birmingham and found 16 had no lamb.
9. KIM HAIR POSTER ROW ESCALATED BY N KOREA
A minor diplomatic crisis is developing in Ealing, where a hairdresser, unaware the North Korean embassy was just two miles away, used a poster of dictator Kim Jong-un with the caption “Bad hair day?” to drum up trade. Now the Foreign Office says the embassy has written asking it to “end the provocation”.
Hot Ticket
10. HOT TICKET: TATE'S MATISSE CUT-OUTS
A major new exhibition of French modern master Henri Matisse opens at Tate Modern today. Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs surveys 120 of Matisse's colourful late-career cut paper works including The Snail and Blue Nudes. "Joyous and fascinating," says The Guardian. Until 7 September.