Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Friday 18 Jul 2014

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

Flight MH17
1. QUESTIONS GROW OVER DOWNED JET
World leaders are demanding answers after a Malaysia Airlines flight was apparently blown out of the sky over Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board. The Ukrainian government and US intelligence believe a surface-to-air missile brought the plane down. Both sides in Ukraine's conflict have accused each other of shooting down the plane with a missile.
Middle East
2. ISRAEL BEGINS GROUND OP IN GAZA
The Israeli army has begun a ground offensive against Hamas militants in Gaza, escalating its ten-day-old military operation. Troops and tanks were sent into Gaza last night to deal "a significant blow to Hamas", Israel said. However, a Hamas spokesman warned Israel would "pay a high price" for its actions. Overnight, an Israeli soldier was killed and five were wounded.
3. SCHOOL PROBE FINDS ISLAMIST AGENDA
An inquiry into 25 schools in Birmingham investigated over an alleged "Trojan Horse" plot has found evidence there was an agenda to introduce "an intolerant and aggressive Islamist ethos" into some Birmingham schools. The report, compiled by former counter-terrorism chief Peter Clarke, was due to be officially released today.
4. 'MANY DEAD' IN BOKO HARAM ATTACK
Scores of people are feared dead in north-east Nigeria after Islamist gunmen from Boko Haram attacked the town of Damboa. The assault apparently took place on Thursday night and lasted for several hours. Much of the town was destroyed and is now said to be deserted with survivors fleeing to neighbouring towns in Borno province.
UK News
5. LLOYD-WEBBER: ‘I CONSIDERED SUICIDE’
Andrew Lloyd-Webber considered joining Dignitas during a bout of depression, he tells the Daily Telegraph. The West End impresario considered the move in the wake of a series of operations. He now considers that taking his own life would have been “stupid and ridiculous”. He adds that he will oppose plans to legalise assisted dying.
UK News
6. TEMPERATURES SOAR ABOVE 30C
Temperatures climbed beyond 30C in parts of the UK today as the heatwave continued. The Met Office issued an alert covering southern England and the Midlands and public officials say elderly people and those with long-term illnesses should take particular care. Earlier there were thousands of lightning strikes as storms swept the country.
7. JESSICA ENNIS-HILL HAS BABY BOY
Olympic heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis-Hill has given birth to a baby boy, named Reggie. She announced the new arrival on Twitter. Ennis-Hill who married Andy Hill last year was the poster-girl of the 2012 Olympics and hopes to defend her title in Rio in two years time. She is not competing in the Commonwealth Games which start next week.
8. BERLUSCONI WINS RUBY SEX CASE APPEAL
Silvio Berlusconi, the former prime minister of Italy, has had his conviction for sex with an underage prostitute overturned. A Milan court found that he had not, after all, paid to have sex with Karima El-Mahroug, a 17-year-old nightclub dancer known as "Ruby the Heartstealer". Berlusconi is performing community service for tax fraud.
Reshuffle 2014
9. MICHAEL GOVE ‘GOT STUCK IN THE LOO’
Oh dear, what can the matter be? The new chief whip got stuck in a lavatory. Michael Gove endured a tricky first day in the job, according to shadow Commons leader Angela Eagle. She told the House: "I'd like to welcome Mr Gove... he hasn't had the most auspicious of starts. Yesterday, he not only lost his first vote but he managed to get stuck in the toilet.”
Hot Ticket
10. HOT TICKET: PLANET OF THE APES SEQUEL
American science fiction film Dawn of the Planet of the Apes has opened in UK cinemas. The follow up to Rise of Planet of the Apes sees the fragile peace between evolved apes and human survivors of a deadly virus threatened by mutual mistrust and revenge. "Impressively un-stupid," says the Daily Telegraph.