Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Sunday 13 Jul 2014

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

1. TORY MPS ‘RAPED BOYS’ AT LONDON FLATS
Two men are claiming that they were raped as children by MPs in one of London’s most exclusive blocks of flats. The men, who came forward separately, say when they were 11 and 13 they were first taken to parties at Dolphin Square, where they were plied with alcohol and attacked by two Tory MPs, one an ex-cabinet minister.
World News
2. ISRAEL WARNS OF ‘SIGNIFICANT ATTACK’
Israel has told residents in northern Gaza to leave “for their own safety” ahead of a “significant attack” which will “increase the amount of casualties”. Israel says it has struck 200 targets in Gaza over the past 24 hours, including 53 underground rocket launchers. Palestinian terrorists fired around 90 rockets into Israel yesterday.
UK News
3. BLAIR FACES SUMMONS OVER IRA LETTERS
Tony Blair may be summoned before parliament to explain secret deals he made with Sinn Fein to assure IRA suspects “on the run” that they were not wanted by the police, says the Sunday Telegraph. The former PM has been accused of avoiding a Commons select committee investigation, claiming he is too busy with commitments in the Middle East.
4. DESMOND TUTU BACKS ASSISTED DYING
Desmond Tutu is backing the right of the terminally ill to end their lives in dignity. Writing in the Observer, the retired Anglican archbishop says laws preventing people being helped to end their lives are an affront to those affected and their families. He condemns the “disgraceful” treatment of Nelson Mandela, who was kept alive through numerous painful hospitalisations.
5. BENEFITS: MINISTERS MULL THERAPY RULE
The government is considering cutting benefits for claimants who refuse treatment for depression. Senior ministers believe current rules, under which authorities cannot force claimants to have treatment, should be reviewed in order to reduce the “huge” numbers of people who are declared unfit for work due to mental health problems.
6. PIZZA EXPRESS SOLD TO CHINESE FIRM
Pizza Express will be sold to a Chinese firm for £900m, in what is believed to be the largest transaction in the European restaurant sector in five years. Owner Gondola Group has agreed the sale with Chinese private equity firm Hony Capital which mostly invests in consumer, manufacturing and healthcare sectors. Pizza Express has 22 outlets in China.
7. CHERYL COLE SHUTS IRISH ‘TAX’ FIRM
Cheryl Cole has closed down a £2.5m Irish company which has apparently helped her avoid paying hundreds of thousands of pounds in UK tax. Tara Entertainments Ltd was seen as a way of paying a lower rate of tax on her international earnings than would be owed in Britain. The pop star put the company into voluntary liquidation during the last two months.
8. SYNOD READIES FOR WOMEN BISHOP VOTE
The Church of England is preparing for a vote on whether to introduce women bishops. Members of the General Synod will decide tomorrow if the Church will allow female bishops. If the vote goes in favour of the proposal, it will bring to an end decades of wrangling. The most previous attempt, in November 2012, failed by just six votes.
9. OLYMPIAN IAN THORPE ‘TO COME OUT’
Five-time Olympic swimming champion Ian Thorpe is expected to reveal he is gay during a TV interview. In a clip from the interview, due to be shown on Australia’s Ten Network tonight, Michael Parkinson asks the swimmer: "You've always said that you're not gay. Is all of that true?" An Australian newspaper reports that Thorpe “bravely reveals he is gay”.
10. ONE BILLION TO WATCH WORLD CUP
More than a billion television viewers are expected to tune-in for this evening’s World Cup final. Argentina will face Germany in the showdown. A German victory make them the first European team to win the tournament in South America, while an Argentina triumph would end the 28-year wait for World Cup glory since they beat West Germany in 1986.