Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Sunday 27 Jul 2014

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

1. CLEGG: STRIP RUSSIA OF 2018 WORLD CUP
Russia should lose the right to host the 2018 World Cup after pro-Russian separatist rebels shot down an airliner over eastern Ukraine, says Nick Clegg. In an interview with The Sunday Times, the deputy prime minister said it is now "unthinkable" that Russia should host the football event. Fifa says the 2018 tournament could be “a force for good”.
2. ISRAEL SAYS IT WILL RESUME OPERATION
Israel says it is resuming military operations in Gaza after Hamas militants fired 25 rockets into Israel. Earlier, Israel has agreed to a UN request for a 24-hour ceasefire in Gaza to prolong yesterday’s truce. Meanwhile, the Sunday Telegraph says Hamas is negotiating an arms deal with North Korea for missiles and other equipment.
3. KEN CLARKE: CAMERON IS LOSING FOCUS
David Cameron's government is at risk of being dominated by “hysterical high-pressure campaigning” and losing sight of important long-term issues, says Kenneth Clarke. Speaking to the Sunday Telegraph, the former chancellor warns that the party’s focus on Europe and immigration could cost it seats at next year’s general election.
4. PUTIN FACES LEGAL ACTION OVER MH17
Vladimir Putin is facing a multi-million pound legal action over his alleged role in the MH17 crash. The Sunday Telegraph reveals that British lawyers have flown to Ukraine to prepare a class action against the Russian president on behalf of grieving relatives. Politicians would be powerless to stop the legal action, which would further damage relations between Putin and the West.
5. ED MILIBAND BRINGS IN AUTISM EXPERT
Ed Miliband has turned to one of the world’s leading experts on autism to help boost his “political empathy”, reports The Sunday Times. Simon Baron-Cohen, a Cambridge academic and the cousin of ‘Ali G’ comic Sacha Baron-Cohen, inspired the leader’s speech in which he admitted to having an image problem. Miliband made several references to “empathy”, a key theme in Baron-Cohen’s work.
6. HAS OBAMA ‘CHECKED OUT’ OF OFFICE?
Has Barack Obama already emotionally checked out of the White House? US publications including the Los Angeles Times and New York Times, are reporting that the US president is arranging a move to a gated community in California and spending more time eating at trendy restaurants and partying at late-night celebrity bashes.
7. ‘INDUSTRIAL FRAUD’ IN MAYOR’S VICTORY
There was “industrial-scale fraud” behind the victory of Luftur Rahman, the extremist-linked mayor of Tower Hamlets, according to his Labour Party rival. John Biggs, narrowly-defeated in May’s controversial election, said his team had seen ballot papers at the count where a vote for him had been amended to become a vote for a different candidate.
8. FANS PUSH BUSH TO DELETE ROLF HARRIS
Kate Bush is being pressured to erase contributions by Rolf Harris from her songs. The disgraced child abuser collaborated with Bush in 1982 and 2005. Now, fans are demanding that Bush wipes Harris’ presence from any re-releases of the songs he appears on. One said they would like to be able to listen to Bush’s music “without having to spend time with a sex offender”.
9. PERFECT ‘TEABAG’ TIME IS REVEALED
The perfect time to leave your teabag in a cup is 25 seconds, according to a taste expert. Martin Isark, who drank 400 cups of tea in 48 hours to reach his conclusion, says if the bag is left in any less than that the brew will lack flavor, but if it is left in any longer there will be “too much tannin, giving your tea a horrible stewed taste”.
10. TOUR LEADER HAILS ANTI-DOPING GROUPS
Vincenzo Nibali has praised cycling’s anti-doping agencies as he stands on the brink of victory at the Tour De France. The Italian, who has a lead of seven minutes 52 seconds over Frenchman Jean-Christophe Peraud going into today’s final stage, said: "If there had not been all these controls, targeted controls, the biological passport, maybe I would not be here.”