Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Saturday 9 Aug 2014

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

World News
1. US DROPS FOOD TO STRANDED IRAQIS
The US has dropped food and water to stranded Iraqis for the second day running. The aid drop came hours after the US launched fresh air strikes against fighters from the Islamic State (IS). Thousands of Iraqis are hiding in mountains from jihadists. The US is pressing Iraqi leaders to form a unity government capable of dealing with the crisis.
2. FARAGE POISED FOR THANET SOUTH SEAT
Nigel Farage is tipped to announce that he will stand as an MP in Thanet South. The Ukip leader is believed to be preparing to take part in a hustings in the constituency at the end of August. The MEP was born in Kent and lives nearby. Polling suggests that Ukip are in a strong position to win the seat after the current Tory MP announced that she was standing down.
3. US AND UN CONDEMN NEW GAZA FIGHTING
Both the UN and US have condemned the renewed violence between Israel and Gaza. White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the parties should work towards a "sustainable ceasefire". The UN said more suffering for civilians was "intolerable". Meanwhile, Britain is sending a team of NHS experts to help victims wounded in Gaza.
UK News
4. 60% CHANCE BERTHA WILL HIT THE UK
Bertha has been downgraded from the status of hurricane and tropical storm but could still cause considerable damage if it strikes Britain this weekend. There is a 60% chance that Bertha, which left thousands of homes in the Caribbean without power, will reach Britain tomorrow. It is likely to bring rainfall of 50mm in a few hours and gusts of 60mph.
5. SCOTS TV DEBATE ‘BOOSTS NO CAMPAIGN’
The televised debate between Alistair Darling and Alex Salmond has caused a surge in support for the ‘no’ campaign, according to a new poll. The study from Survation, carried out on Wednesday and Thursday, found that opposition to separation has soared to 50% for the first time since the firm began asking the question, with only 37% now planning to vote ‘yes’.
6. EXPERTS WARN AGAINST ‘HIPPY CRACK’
Councils across England and Wales are warning about the dangers of inhaling laughing gas. Nitrous oxide, sometimes dubbed ‘hippy crack’, is an increasingly popular recreational drug, inhaled via a balloon. Health experts are warning its abuse can lead to oxygen deprivation, which can result in loss of blood pressure, fainting and even heart attacks.
7. GANDHI STATUE ‘AN AFFRONT TO WOMEN’
A proposed statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Parliament Square would be “an affront to women”, says the founder of the Indo-British Heritage Trust. Kusoom Vadgama says Gandhi was “obsessed with sex and it has all been hush-hushed for all these years”. She said it is “absolutely disgusting” that the independence leader used to sleep with naked teenage girls as a test of his celibacy.
8. 'BILL WOULD HAVE SACKED HILLARY’ CLAIM
Hillary Clinton is so incompetent that even her own husband would have fired her, says her most likely Republican challenger in 2016. Rand Paul attacked Mrs Clinton over her failure to prevent terrorists from killing America’s ambassador to Libya. He says she should have been fired as US secretary of state, adding: “Bill Clinton would have canned Hillary Clinton probably.”
9. CONTROVERSY OVER DRINK GUIDANCE PLAN
Do not drink alcohol two days running – that is the advice the government’s health quango is set to issue. Public Health England will say that a ‘one day on, one day off’ rule should be followed. Critics say the guidance is “nannying” and “completely unrealistic”. A GP tells the Daily Mail that not drinking on alternate days is “not something most doctors would recognise as a helpful strategy”.
10. ‘OCD’ HAND CLEANER PROMPTS PROTESTS
High street chain Paperchase has withdrawn a hand cleaner called OCD after complaints from mental health charities and OCD sufferers. The hand sanitiser's name was branded “disgusting” and “offensive” on Twitter. The charity Mind’s Time To Change said the product name causes “real harm”, while Rethink Mental Illness called it “extremely crass”.