Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Tuesday 20 May 2014

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

1. CAMERON CONSIDERS HELP TO BUY CHANGES
David Cameron may make changes to the Government's Help to Buy scheme after official figures showed that house prices across the UK rose 8% in year to March, and those in London jumped by 17%. Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has expressed concern and the PM said he would lower the Help to Buy ceiling from £600,000 if requested to do so.
Oscar Pistorius
2. PISTORIUS FACES MENTAL HEALTH TESTS
Oscar Pistorius must undergo 30 days of psychiatric tests to determine whether he was criminally responsible for the shooting of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp last year. The murder trial of the South African Paralympian was halted in order for the tests to be carried out after a psychiatrist diagnosed 'generalised anxiety disorder'.
3. BRITON GUILTY OF SYRIA TERROR OFFENCES
A 31-year-old father of two from Portsmouth has become the first person in the UK to be convicted of terror offences connected to the civil war in Syria, after being found guilty of attending a jihadist training camp in the country. Mashudur Choudhury's conviction, after a trial at Kingston Crown Court, follows police appeals to dissuade Britons from joining the conflict.
Thailand
4. THAI ARMY IMPOSES MARTIAL LAW
The Thai military has announced that it is imposing martial law "to preserve law and order". The surprise announcement comes amid a political crisis in the country and months of rising tensions between the government and the opposition. Although the military insists the move is not a coup, it has been granted wide-ranging powers to enforce its decision.
5. SEARCH FOR ATLANTIC SAILORS RESUMES
The US Coastguard has resumed the hunt for four British sailors whose yacht got into difficulties in the Atlantic Ocean last week. An online petition gathered 150,000 signatures after the search was called off on Sunday, just two days after contact with the boat was lost. Friends and families of the experienced sailors believe they could be on a life raft.
People
6. IS IOWA PIG CASTRATOR HEIR TO PALIN?
A senate candidate from Iowa is being described as the heir to Sarah Palin after releasing a campaign video in which she boasts of castrating pigs. Joni Ernst opens her bid for the national stage saying: “I grew up castrating hogs on an Iowa farm, so when I get to Washington, I’ll know how to cut pork.” The Harley Davidson-riding senator describes herself as “Mom, Farm Girl, Soldier”.
Abu Hamza
7. THERESA MAY HAILS HAMZA VERDICT
Theresa May has welcomed the verdict of the New York court which found radical cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri guilty on terror charges. The home secretary said she was pleased Hamza "has finally faced justice" after using "every opportunity, over many years, to frustrate and delay the extradition process". He will be sentenced in September.
8. EU TO SCRAP ‘BEST BEFORE’ LABELS
The European Union is set to scrap 'best before' labels on rice, dry pasta, hard cheeses, jams and coffee to reduce the 100m tons of food wasted across the continent each year. “The labels have nothing to do with safety but with quality,” said Dutch agriculture minister Sharon Dijksma. “We think citizens can make sure themselves if, for instance, rice is still usable.”
9. WORLD-RECORD DIVORCE SETTLEMENT
The owner of Monaco football club will have to pay a world-record divorce settlement of more than £2.6bn to his ex-wife. Dmitry Rybolovlev, 47, has been ordered to pay Elena Rybolovleva more than 4bn Swiss francs. This constitutes around half of the Russian oligarch’s entire fortune. The ruling follows an epic six-year legal scrap.
Music
10. HOT TICKET: PRINCE'S UK ARENA TOUR
American funk-pop star Prince is touring multiple UK arenas for the first time in almost two decades. With back-up trio 3rd Eye Girl he performs classic 80s hits including Purple Rain and Little Red Corvette, along with tracks from his forthcoming album. "Magical," says The Times. Until 23 May.