Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Friday 8 Aug 2014

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

Islamic State
1. US LAUNCHES AIRSTRIKES IN IRAQ
The US has launched airstrikes against Islamic militants in northern Iraq, the Pentagon has confirmed. Aircraft attacked artillery being used against Kurdish forces by Islamic State (IS) fighters near the city of Irbil. Meanwhile RAF planes are to drop food and aid for refugees under threat from the militants.
Middle East
2. ROCKET FIRE AS GAZA CEASEFIRE EXPIRES
Several rockets were fired from Gaza at Israel as the latest ceasefire ended this morning. Hamas had rejected any extension of the three-day ceasefire, saying Israel has failed to meet its demands, including the re-opening of Gaza’s harbour to shipping. Israel, which had offered to extend the ceasefire, responded with airstrikes.
Oscar Pistorius
3. PISTORIUS VERDICT ON 11 SEPTEMBER
Oscar Pistorius, charged with murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine's Day last year, will discover his fate on 11 September when Judge Thokozile Masipa delivers her verdict. The defence summed up its case today, insisting that the shooting was "huge, unfortunate mistake" after he mistook her for an intruder.
4. TODDLERS ‘ARE AT RISK FROM EXTREMISM’
Toddlers are at risk from Islamic extremism, the Education Secretary has warned. Nicky Morgan will announce that nurseries will teach “fundamental British values” and that local authorities will strip the establishments of their funding if they are found to “promote extremist views”. Her announcement comes in the wake of the so-called ‘Trojan Horse’ plot in Birmingham.
5. MAN 'KILLED BY 'EXPLODING E-CIGARETTE'
An exploding e-cigarette was behind the death of a man in Merseyside, according to the fire brigade. The 62-year-old victim died after the device, which was being charged at the time, blew up and set fire to oxygen equipment causing a fire in a house in Wallasey. Nine fires involving e-cigarettes have been recorded on Merseyside this year.
Health & Science
6. BREAST CANCER ‘INJUSTICE’ SLAMMED
Thousands of women with advanced breast cancer will be denied routine access to a pioneering new treatment. The drug - Kadcyla - adds six months of life on average to women dying with an aggressive form of breast cancer. Its Swiss manufacturer described the decision not to fund it on the NHS as “an incredible injustice”.
7. ROW OVER ‘LOLITA’ STYLE DAHL COVER
The cover of a new edition of the Roald Dahl children’s novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, featuring a heavily made-up young girl, has been condemned as “creepy” and “inappropriately sexualised”. Critics say the image would be more suited to Lolita. Novelist Joanne Harris said: “Seriously, Penguin Books. Why not just get Rolf Harris to design the next one?”
UK News
8. BERTHA STORM HEADS FOR BRITAIN
The tropical storm currently sweeping across the Atlantic could bring a month’s rain to England in a matter of hours. Last night the storm, known as Bertha, turned around off the coast of New York and began to move towards Britain. There is a 40% chance it will cross the south-east of England on Sunday, bringing up to two inches of rain and gusts of more than 60mph.
Arsenal
9. ARSENAL AND CELTIC DISCOVER EURO FATE
Arsenal will play Turkish side Besiktas in the qualifying round of this year's Champions League, and reinstated Scottish league winners Celtic will play off against Maribor of Slovenia. Celtic were reprieved after Legia Warsaw, who beat them in the previous round, were disqualified for fielding an ineligible player.
Hot Ticket
10. HOT TICKET: GAP YEAR INBETWEENERS
British comedy sequel The Inbetweeners 2 has opened in UK cinemas. The Inbetweeners cast head to Australia, where old school friends Neil, Will and Simon discover that Jay's claims to a playboy lifestyle on his gap year have been exaggerated. "Hysterically funny," says the Daily Telegraph.