Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Tuesday 8 Jul 2014

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

1. BRITISH MEN ADMIT SYRIA TERROR CHARGES
Two British men who travelled to Syria to join al-Qaeda affiliated fighters in the country's civil war have admitted terrorism charges at Woolwich Crown Court. Nahin Ahmed and Yusuf Sarwar, both 22, spent eight months in Syria and were arrested at Heathrow Airport when they returned in January. They admitted charges as their trial was due to start.
Child Abuse Inquiry
2. BUTLER-SLOSS HEADS CHILD ABUSE PROBE
Retired judge Elizabeth Butler-Sloss is to head a review into claims of historical child sex abuse in public bodies and important institutions. Yesterday Theresa May launched another probe into allegations the Home Office failed to act over abuse in the 1980s. There have been claims an "elite" of at least 20 senior political figures abused children over "decades".
3. ISRAEL MOBILISES TROOPS AROUND GAZA
Israel has carried out more air strikes on the Gaza strip, hurting at least 15 Palestinians. Troops have also been mobilised along the Gaza border and some reserves called up in case of a ground invasion. Hamas earlier fired dozens of rockets on Israel, saying it was responding to "Zionist aggression" prompted by the murder of three Israeli teenagers.
Middle East
4. FEARS OF POWER GRAB IN AFGHANISTAN
Afghanistan presidential hopeful Abdullah Abdullah has dismissed preliminary election results giving a lead to his rival, Ashraf Ghani, and declared victory himself. He also claimed that US Secretary of State John Kerry would visit Afghanistan on Friday. Kerry earlier warned against a power grab in the country.
5. MIKAEEL MOTHER APPEARS IN COURT
The mother of three-year-old Mikaeel Kular has appeared in court charged with his murder. Rosdeep Adekoya is accused of beating her son and putting his body in a suitcase before burying it in woodland in Kirkaldy, Fife. The 34-year-old, who claimed her son had disappeared from home when he went missing in January, did not enter a plea.
UK News
6. EX-MI6 BOSS: ISLAMIST THREAT OVERSTATED
Sir Richard Dearlove, who was chief of MI6 at the time of the Iraq invasion, told an audience in London last night that the terror threat to the West posed by fighters in Syria and Iraq has been blown out of proportion by government and media. He said giving publicity to extremists is counter-productive.
Health & Science
7. ALZHEIMER’S: ‘MAJOR STEP’ TOWARDS TEST
UK scientists have made a “major step forward” in the race to develop a blood test to predict the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Research on more than 1,000 subjects has identified a set of proteins in the blood whose presence can predict the onset of the dementia condition with 87 per cent accuracy.
Madeleine McCann
8. LIBEL TRIAL TAKES MCCANNS TO PORTUGAL
Kate and Gerry McCann, whose daughter Madeleine has been missing since a holiday in Praia da Luz in 2007, are back in Portugal as they fight a libel trial against former police chief Goncalo Amaral. He made claims in a book about her disappearance which included suggesting they hid her body themselves.
9. NORTHERN IRELAND GAY CAKE ROW
A Christian bakery in Northern Ireland that refused to make a cake featuring Sesame Street characters Bert and Ernie and a pro-gay marriage message could face a discrimination court case. Ashers Baking Company declined the order, which also featured a logo of the pressure group QueerSpace, because it "was at odds with our beliefs".
Theatre
10. HOT TICKET: THE CRUCIBLE AT OLD VIC
A revival of Arthur Miller's The Crucible starring Richard Armitage has opened at the Old Vic, London. Miller's political allegory fictionalises the Salem witch trials through a story of a spurned mistress who punishes her married lover with accusations of witchcraft. "Unmissable," says The Independent. Until 13 September.