Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Monday 26 May 2014

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

Europe
1. FARAGE HAILS ‘HISTORIC’ VICTORY
Nigel Farage says he has achieved the “most extraordinary result in British politics for 100 years” as Ukip leads the vote in the European elections. Labour are in second place, a fraction ahead of the Tories. The Lib Dems are currently fifth behind the Green Party. Meanwhile, the French National front were winners across the channel.
World News
2. BLOODTHIRSTY BRITS TERRORISE SYRIA
The most bloodthirsty jihadists in Syria are British, a senior rebel commander has claimed. Brigadier-General Abdulellah al-Basheer says the British fighters are blamed for crucifixions and beheadings. Writing in The Times, he warned that British extremists could return to these shores to “continue on their pernicious path of destruction”.
3. DORSET SCHOOL TRAUMA OF US GUNMAN
Gunman Elliot Rodger’s experiences at a prep school in Sussex may have led to his shooting spree. Writing in his 141-page manifesto entitled “My Twisted World”, he chronicled the insecurity he felt as a child. He wrote that he was “forced” to wear knee-high socks at Dorset House school and “found the rules to be too strict”. He also documents “terrifying” experiences there.
4. UKRAINE PRESIDENT-ELECT SPEAKS OUT
The man set to win Ukraine’s presidential election says he wants to “end war and bring peace” to the country. Petro Poroshenko, a billionaire confectionary magnate, is expected to be confirmed winner when results are announced later. He said he would never recognise Russia’s “occupation” of Crimea. He plans to visit the eastern Donbass area.
5. SOME 30,000 BEES STOLEN LAST YEAR
Some 30,000 bees were among the 60,000 animals stolen last year, says the Daily Mirror. As well as 7,921 sheep and 1,135 dogs, other animals pilfered included boa constrictors, dragon lizards, alpacas and royal pythons. The most stolen dog breed was the Staffordshire bull terrier, with 93 of the variety pinched, according to a freedom of information request.
UK News
6. GOVE’S MOCKINGBIRD BAN ‘DEPRESSING’
Michael Gove’s move to drop classic works such as To Kill A Mockingbird from English GCSE studies will “grind children down”, says a teacher’s leader. The education secretary made the move because he wants teenagers to focus more on works by British writers. Experts are describing his new syllabus as “out of the 1940s” and “depressing”.
7. ‘GIVE UP AMBITION’ FOR OAP HAPPINESS
The only way to be happy in old age is to give up your ambition, claims Dame Joan Bakewell. The 81-year-old broadcaster and former older people’s tsar described old age as a “different country” in which people feel isolated, lonely and depressed. Speaking at the Hay Literary Festival, she called for a “commissioner for the old” to support the elderly.
8. COCA-COLA FITNESS DRIVE ‘IS OBSCENE’
The Coca-Cola project to fund a £20m anti-obesity drive has sparked a row, says the Daily Telegraph. Nutrition campaigners say the soft drink firm’s programme is an “obscene” bid to distract consumers from its own part in powering Britain’s obesity epidemic. The programme will including free coaching in tennis, basketball, rounders and other sports.
9. MAN UTD BRAND VALUE ‘HAS SLUMPED’
The value of the Manchester United brand has been hit by their disappointing season, says a leading consultancy. The study by Brand Finance says that United’s brand is worth $739m, down $98m on the year before. Despite the decrease, it is still the third most valuable football brand after Bayern Munich and Real Madrid.
Theatre
10. HOT TICKET: COCKNEY MUSICAL REVIVAL
A revival of Cockney musical Fings Ain't Wot They Used T'be starring Gary Kemp has opened at the Theatre Royal, Stratford East. In a fading Soho gambling den, the fates of a bent cop, gangsters, pimps and prostitutes intersect. "Witty and rollicking," says The Independent. Until 8 June.