Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Saturday 31 May 2014

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

UK News
1. SURVEY: MILLIONS ‘WILL STICK WITH UKIP’
The vast majority of those who voted Ukip in the European elections will vote for the party again at the general election, suggests new research. The ComRes study found that 86% of those who voted for Nigel Farage’s party plan to do so again next year. The poll contradicts the belief expressed by many Tory ministers that Ukip’s success last week was the result of a one-off protest vote.
2. US: CHINA IS ‘DESTABILISING’ FORCE
US defence secretary Chuck Hagel says China is "destabilising" the South China Sea, reports the BBC. Hagel says China’s action threaten the region's long-term progress. Speaking at a three-day summit involving the US and south-east Asian countries, he said the US would "not look the other way" when nations ignored international rules.
Chilcot Inquiry
3. MAJOR: RELEASE FULL IRAQ LETTERS
Tony Blair should ask the Chilcot inquiry to publish his Iraq war correspondence in full, says Sir John Major. The former Tory prime minister, who was succeeded at Downing Street by Blair in 1997, said that releasing only the “gist and quotes” from Blair’s letters with George Bush would cause suspicions to “fester and maybe worsen”.
UK News
4. SURGEON: CYCLE HELMETS ARE ‘USELESS’
Cycle helmets are useless, claims a leading neurosurgeon. Henry Marsh told the Hay Festival that many of his patients who have been injured in bike accidents had worn helmets that were “too flimsy” to be of any use. He also mentioned a study which claimed that wearing a helmet puts cyclists at greater risk as drivers give three inches more room to cyclists without helmets.
5. POLICE CHIEF VOWS TO CLEAN UP
Bullying, scandals and getting “bladdered” on expenses must become things of the past in the force, says the Police Federation’s new leader. Steve White, elected last week as chair of the organisation which represents 125,000 officers, said of the force: “We have been in a fairly dire place for 18 months… we were quite close to being irrelevant.”
Meriam Ibrahim
6. CAMERON CONDEMNS MERIAM SENTENCE
David Cameron has asked the Sudanese government to lift the "barbaric" death sentence handed down to a Christian woman accused of abandoning Islam. The prime minister says he is “appalled” by the case of Meriam Ibrahim, who gave birth to a daughter while chained in her prison cell on Wednesday. "Religious freedom is an absolute, fundamental human right,” he said.
7. COW MANURE FETISH MAN JAILED
A Cornwall man with a fetish for cow manure has been jailed for five years after threatening to kill a family on a farm he had developed an obsession with. David Truscott repeatedly rolled around naked in liquid manure at the farm, a court was told. To quench his peculiar desire, he targeted the property over an eight-year period.
8. QUEEN JOKES WITH STEPHEN HAWKING
The Queen has asked Stephen Hawking if he still has “that American voice”. The exchange, which took place at a charity event in St James’ Palace, continued with Hawking replying: “Yes, it is copyrighted actually.” Professor Hawking, the author of A Brief History of Time, composes sentences by using his cheek to operate a cursor on a keyboard.
9. AIRLINER LANDS AFTER DOG POOPS
A US Airways flight was forced to make an emergency landing as passengers began to vomit after a dog had relieved itself in the aisle. The large dog, called Truffles, excreted in the middle of the aisle. As passengers gagged due to the smell, staff cleaned up the mess, running out of toilet paper in the process. Then the dog repeated the trick, sparking the emergency measure from the pilot.
10. WEMBLEY: ENGLAND BEAT PERU 3-0
England beat Peru 3-0 at Wembley as preparations for next month’s World Cup in Brazil continue. Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge gave the hosts the lead in the first half. After the break, Gary Cahill and Phil Jagielka added to the scoresheet. However, Peru created a number of opportunities, giving England manager Roy Hodgson plenty to think about.