Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Thursday 19 Jun 2014

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

ISIS
1. OBAMA TO BYPASS CONGRESS OVER IRAQ
Barack Obama yesterday told the leaders of both parties in Congress that he does not need their approval for any action in Iraq. Iraq has asked for US air strikes on the Isis jihadist militants. Meanwhile, a Kurdish intelligence officer has warned that British members of Isis could later be used to attack the UK.
2. MILIBAND: I’LL MAKE YOUNG JOBLESS TRAIN
Opposition leader Ed Miliband is to say in a speech today that he would take benefits away from young people unless they agree to training in key skills. Speaking at the Institute for Public Policy Research, he will say that his plans involve “big changes, not big spending” and won’t increase the welfare bill.
3. VIRGIN KEEPS WEST COAST RAIL FRANCHISE
Virgin is to be re-awarded the west coast mainline rail franchise to Glasgow, after pledging to raise capacity. The company is to invest £20m to modernise stations. It has promised an additional 5,500 standard-class seats every day and provide direct services from Blackpool and Shrewsbury to London.
4. MPS: WIPE CRIMINAL RECORDS AT AGE OF 18
An inquiry by a cross-party group of MPs and peers has recommended that youths should have their criminal records wiped clean when they reach the age of 18, if they have stopped breaking the law. Chairman Lord Carlile also said youth courts should be made more “accessible and understandable”.
Technology
5. FACEBOOK SUFFERS WORST CRASH IN YEARS
Facebook has suffered its worst outage for four years today, when it was unavailable for half an hour. The outage affected the website as well as the company's smartphone and tablet apps worldwide. Facebook apologised for "any inconvenience" after restoring the service. Founder Mark Zuckerberg had previously pledged that the site would ever crash.
Rolf Harris
6. ROLF HARRIS JURY CONSIDERS VERDICTS
The jury in the trial of entertainer Rolf Harris has retired to consider its verdict on 12 charges of indecent assault spanning three decades. During the six-week trial the 84-year-old admitted he had a "dark side" and that he had an affair with one of his accusers, but insisted he was innocent of the charges.
World Cup 2014
7. SPAIN KNOCKED OUT OF WORLD CUP BY CHILE
Spain’s dream of being the first nation since Brazil in 1962 to retain the football World Cup came to an abrupt end yesterday when they lost 2-0 to a fiercely attacking Chile in the famous Maracana stadium. Chile and the Netherlands will meet on Monday to decide who will finish at the top of Group B.
8. CAMERON CALLS FOR GLOBAL DEMENTIA PUSH
David Cameron will today call dementia “one of the greatest enemies of humanity” and call for a “bold, global push” to find effective treatments, speaking at a follow-up meeting to last year’s first G8 dementia summit. Forty million worldwide now have the disease, a number set to double ever 20 years.
9. GERMAN CAVER RESCUED AFTER 12 DAYS
A caver has finally been rescued after 12-days trapped at the bottom of Germany's deepest cave, a kilometre below ground. The operation to save Johann Westhauser involved 728 people from five countries. The 52-year-old suffered head and chest injuries in a rockfall on 8 June. He was airlifted to hospital after reaching the surface.
Theatre
10. HOT TICKET: FAMILY DRAMA KHANDAN
Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti's play Khandan has transferred to the Royal Court Theatre, London. A Punjabi immigrant widow's dreams of returning home are threatened by her son's plans to sell the family shop and invest in care homes for elderly Asians. "Wonderful," says the Arts Desk. Until 28 June.