The cross-party Treasury Committee has expressed its “considerable concern” at plans outlined in the budget to allow HMRC to recover tax debts over £1,000 by seizing them directly from the debtor’s bank accounts, without permission. The committee is concerned HMRC may make mistakes.
MET POLICE ‘SHOULD LOSE ANTI-TERROR ROLE’
A select committee wants major changes to counter-terrorism, including stripping London’s Met Police of their role overseeing and leading investigations, and handing it to the recently-formed National Crime Agency. The MPs said the change would allow the Met to focus on the basics of policing London.
‘SKULL CRACKER’ ROBBER CHARGED AGAIN
Michael Wheatley - nicknamed ‘The Skull Cracker’ after a string of armed robberies in which he struck victims, including a 73-year-old woman, with an imitation pistol - has been charged with carrying out a robbery in Sunbury-on-Thames while he was on the run after escaping jail earlier this week.
APPLE IN TALKS TO BUY BEATS HEADPHONES
Tech giant Apple is in talks with Beats Electronics, the firms which makes headphones and provided music streaming, the Financial Times reports. Apple may pay as much as £1.9bn for the company, which would be its biggest ever acquisition. Beats was founded by music producer Jimmy Iovine.
BERLUSCONI STARTS COMMUNITY SERVICE
Silivo Berlusconi, media tycoon and former Italian PM, is due to start his year-long community service at a care home in Milan. He must work four hours a week with elderly and dementia patients after his four-year sentence for tax fraud was commuted. Managers at the home say he will not get special treatment.
N KOREA STATE MEDIA CALLS OBAMA ‘MONKEY’
North Korea’s state news agency, KCNA, has made its most racist statement yet about US president Barack Obama. In two pieces which it pointedly did not translate into English, Obama was described as a “wicked black monkey” a “crossbreed with unclear blood” and as having “the figure of a monkey”.
ABU HAMZA TELLS OF LOVE FOR BIN LADEN
Egypt-born British terror suspect Abu Hamza, extradited to New York, yesterday told a court of his personal love for Osama Bin Laden, while distancing himself from Al Qaeda. Hamza broke down in tears when talking of the massacre of Muslims in Bosnia and told the court he had lost his hands in an accident.
BLIND WOMAN FILMS ABUSE FOR POLICE
A blind woman who became the subject of daily abuse including being sworn at and threatened with mugging after moving to Stevenage can now walk safely down the street after she wore a body camera so that police could identify the perpetrators. Siobhan Meade said the abuse “nearly destroyed” her life.
METALLICA TO HEADLINE GLASTONBURY
Heavy Metal stalwarts Metallica are to headline the Glastonbury Festival, playing the Pyramid Stage on the Saturday night of the weekend event. It is the first time a metal band have headlined - and the first time Metallica have played at the festival. Drummer Lars Ulrich said he felt “ecstatic”.
HOT TICKET: MUSICAL COMEDY FRANK
Musical comedy drama Frank opens in UK cinemas today. Domhnall Gleeson stars as an aspiring singer-songwriter who begins to question his choices after joining a band led by an eccentric frontman (Michael Fassbender) who wears a papier-mache head. “Weird and wonderful,” says Variety.