Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Saturday 2 Aug 2014

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

1. HAMAS: ISRAELI SOLDIER MAY BE DEAD
Hamas has denied holding Israeli soldier Hadar Goldin and says he may have been killed. The group's military wing says that it has “lost contact” with militants operating in the region of southern Gaza where Israel claims the soldier was captured. Meanwhile, deputy prime minister says Israel must open talks with Hamas, saying “military action has repeatedly failed”.
2. TORIES SLAMMED FOR COASTAL FOCUS
The Tories are under fire for their focus on coastal constituencies. Critics are asking why David Cameron and George Osborne make so many visits to seaside towns and why £2m was set aside for Eastbourne’s fire-ravaged pier. Many coastal towns are being targeted by both Labour and Ukip. Police say the Eastbourne blaze is being treated as suspicious.
3. OBAMA: THE US TORTURED SOME FOLKS
Barack Obama says the US "tortured some folks" in the immediate aftermath of the September 11 attacks. The US president said in the wake of the attacks the US did “a whole lot of things that were right” but also “some things that were wrong” that were “contrary to our values”. He was speaking about a senate investigation into CIA interrogation procedures under George W Bush.
4. WILLIAMS: ISLAM ‘BOOSTS BRITISH VALUES’
Islam helps to boost British values, says a former Archbishop of Canterbury. In a speech yesterday, Rowan Williams said that the Muslim faith has restored traditional British values such as shared responsibility and a sense of duty. Muslims, he argued, have brought back “open, honest and difficult public discussion” in one of their “greatest gifts” to Britain.
5. WARNING OVERHEARD IN WAITROSE
Waitrose has issued its second profit warning in just three years. The upmarket retail chain has written to its staff, saying it has made an “unprecedented investment” in schemes such as free coffee and newspapers, which will have an “impact on profit next month”. Meanwhile, discount retailer Aldi is catching up, controlling 4.8% of the market to Waitrose’s 4.9%.
6. BRITAIN SUSPENDS ITS TRIPOLI EMBASSY
Operations at the British embassy in Libya are to be temporarily suspended as violence worsens in the country, which has been gripped by instability since 2011. The Foreign Office has urged Britons to leave Libya immediately. Ambassador Michael Aron described the situation as "very sad" and said staff would return to the embassy "as soon as security allows".
7. ROLF HARRIS ‘SPAT AT’ IN PRISON
Rolf Harris has been spat at during a prison scuffle. The 84-year-old, who is serving a jail sentence for sex abuse, was targeted during an incident at HMP Bullingdon in Oxfordshire. A source told Sky News that there was a scuffle when the disgraced entertainer was nearby. "Someone did aim a spit at him, but he was not spat on, and was not physically hurt," the source said.
8. GLIDER ENJOYS DOUBLE DEATH DODGE
A 70-year-old glider pilot had two lucky escapes during a flight over Cambridgeshire. Andrew Preston was forced to parachute back to ground after a mid-air crash with a second glider. He then landed in a wheat field directly in the path of a combine harvester. Preston, who describes himself as an “adrenaline junkie”, managed to move out of the way of the vehicle.
9. RUSSELL BRAND FACED ASSAULT CLAIM
Police were asked to investigate an allegation of assault a masseuse made against Russell Brand. The entertainer’s girlfriend, Jemima Khan, booked a massage for Brand as a birthday present. The Hungarian masseuse claims that Brand pushed her during an altercation at Khan’s £15m Oxfordshire home. Brand denied the allegation and the police did not proceed to a full investigation.
10. BOLT LIGHTS UP GLASGOW GAMES
Usain Bolt finally competed at the Commonwealth Games last night, helping Jamaica reach this evening’s 4x100m final. After the race, he again denied a report in The Times that he had described the tournament as “a bit s**t”. Meanwhile, diver Tom Daley won silver in the men's synchronised 10m platform final, alongside partner James Denny.