Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Tuesday 3 Jun 2014

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

1. OBAMA: EUROPEAN SECURITY 'SACROSANCT'
Barack Obama has announced a $1bn boost for US military deployments in Europe while on a visit to Poland today. He said the security of US allies in Europe was "sacrosanct". During his visit to Europe he will meet Nato leaders, discuss the Ukraine crisis and commemorate the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings alongside Russia's Vladimir Putin.
2. CLEGG AND CABLE GO FOR A PINT TOGETHER
Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg and Vince Cable, who denies trying to unseat him, attempted a show of unity today as they went for a drink together in a London pub. The pair pulled their own pints at the Queen's Head in Piccadilly before sitting down to drink them as TV crews and reporters, refused entry to the bar, attempted to interview them through a window.
Syria
3. ‘SHOW-OF-FORCE’ ELECTION IN SYRIA
Syrians go to the polls today for an election described by Sky News as being “not about democracy, but rather a show of force” by dictator Bashar al-Assad. For the first time in the country’s history there are three candidates for the top job - but Assad’s rivals, carefully vetted by him, stand no chance.
Technology
4. CYBER ATTACK ‘WILL HIT IN A FORTNIGHT’
Computer users have been urged to back up important files and make sure their operating systems and anti-virus software are up-to-date after the UK’s NCA (National Crime Agency) warned of a major cyber attack within a fortnight, allegedly co-ordinated by a 30-year-old Russian, Evgeniy Bogachev.
5. EUROPE WARNS UK AS HOUSE PRICES SOAR
The European Commission has offered its annual fiscal advice to the UK, and is suggesting the government should alter council tax banding to raise taxes on higher-value properties, build more new homes and adjust its flagship Help to Buy scheme. It described the existing council tax banding as “regressive”. House prices have now risen above their pre-crisis peak, says Nationwide.
6. CHILDREN INJURED IN SCHOOL BUS CRASH
Twenty children were taken to hospital after a head-on crash between two school buses in Stanley, in County Durham, this morning. The crash happened at around 8.20am. Around 50 children and two adults were involved, and 28 people were hurt. One pupil and a bus driver were airlifted to hospital with serious injuries.
7. THREE PERSON BABIES IN TWO YEARS
Scientists are only two years away from creating babies using three people, if the techniques are made legal. By using eggs from two women and sperm from one man, deadly mitochondrial diseases like muscular dystrophy, can be avoided. The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority says that more tests should be allowed.
Ebola
8. UK FIRM PULLS STAFF OUT OF SIERRA LEONE
A British firm, London Mining, has pulled all non-essential staff out of Sierra Leone in reaction to an outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus there, while maintaining production. There have been around 50 suspected Ebola cases in the country, and five deaths. Neighbouring Guinea and Liberia were hit first.
Health & Science
9. TELESCOPE FINDS ‘GODZILLA OF EARTHS’
A huge exo-planet - one which orbits a sun other than our own - found by Nasa’s Kepler telescope is so big it has given rise to a new classification, ‘mega-planet’. Kepler-10c is around 17 times the mass of Earth, but with a similar hard crust. It had been thought any planet so big would have a gaseous surface.
Opera
10. HOT TICKET: POULENC AT ROYAL OPERA
Robert Carsen's production of Francis Poulenc's French-language opera Dialogues des Carmelites has opened at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden. A young girl joins the Carmelite nuns but faces martyrdom in the worsening terror of the French Revolution. "Poignantly beautiful," says The Times. Until 11 June.