Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Saturday 19 Jul 2014

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

World News
1. RELATIVES ACCUSE ‘RUSSIAN GANGSTERS’
The families of some of the 10 British victims of Flight MH17 have accused “Russian gangsters” of killing their loved ones in an “act of war”. The relatives are also demanding that the airline and aviation authorities explain why the plane was allowed to fly over a war zone. It is believed that rebels shot down the airliner after mistaking it for a Ukrainian military transport plane.
Torjan Horse
2. PUPILS TAUGHT CHRISTIANS ARE LIARS
Pupils were taught that all Christians are liars and attempts were made to introduce Sharia law in classrooms as part of the alleged 'Trojan Horse' plot in Birmingham schools, an inquiry has found. The inquiry, commissioned by Birmingham City Council, found evidence of religious extremism in 13 schools and "an intolerant and aggressive Islamist ethos".
3. MORE STORMS AFTER 70,000 BOLTS
A plume of hot air moving up from Spain is set to spark even more spectacular thunderstorms today as it combines with cold air coming off the Atlantic. The Met Office has recorded 17,000 cloud-to-ground strikes in the UK over 24 hours. But such bolts typically make up only 25% of the total number, suggesting as many as 70,000 bolts could have occurred in total.
4. OBAMA WARNS ISRAEL ON GAZA
Barack Obama has warned Israel against escalation in Gaza. Speaking to prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday, the US president expressed his support for Israel's right to defend itself against terrorism but added that he was "deeply concerned" about civilian losses, with the Palestinian death toll now over 300.
5. MILIBAND: NO MORE ‘TAX AND SPEND’
Ed Miliband will promise today that there will be no return to the ‘tax and spend’ policies of past Labour administrations. Speaking at the party's national policy forum, the Labour leader is expected to tell activists that higher spending would not solve the UK's economic problems. However, he will say that a Labour government would freeze energy prices and improve the minimum wage.
6. AUTHOR ATTACKS GANDHI ON CASTE
A Booker prize-winning author has accused Mahatma Gandhi of discrimination and called for institutions bearing his name to be renamed. Arundhati Roy said: "It is time to unveil a few truths about a person whose doctrine of nonviolence was based on the acceptance of a most brutal social hierarchy ever known, the caste system … Do we really need to name our universities after him?"
7. ASSISTED DYING DEBATED IN LORDS
Legalising assisting dying would mean "less suffering not more deaths", said a leading campaigner yesterday. Lord Falconer, who is backing a private member's bill to legalise the practice for some terminally ill patients, said a "limited" change was needed to the law to give people choice on their deaths. The bill passed its second reading in the Lords on Friday without a vote.
8. TESCO TO BUILD SOME 4,000 HOMES
Tesco will build thousands of homes on land previously earmarked for supermarkets. The retail chain owns vast areas of undeveloped land across the UK and has decided to use it to build 4,000 properties. The chain has recently shifted its focus from vast out-of-town supermarkets to smaller convenience stores and online retail.
9. BERLUSCONI CLEARED OF SEX CHARGE
Silvio Berlusconi has been acquitted of paying for sex with a teenage prostitute by an appeals court. The Milan court overturned a guilty verdict and seven-year jail sentence handed down by a lower tribunal last year. The former Italian PM is currently serving community service at a facility for Alzheimer's patients after being convicted of tax fraud in a separate case.
10. ROWLING REVEALS GAILBRAITH FUTURE
JK Rowling’s crime novels will eventually outnumber her Harry Potter titles, she has revealed. The bestselling author, who writes the crime novels under the pseudonym Robert Gailbraith, said the crimes series is "pretty open ended" and that the Gailbraith books would eventually outnumber the seven Harry Potter novels she wrote.