Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Tuesday 12 Aug 2014

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

People
1. ROBIN WILLIAMS DIES IN SUSPECTED SUICIDE
The Oscar-winning actor and comedian Robin Williams has been found dead in an apparent suicide. Williams, who was 63, starred in Good Will Hunting, Mrs Doubtfire and Good Morning Vietnam. He was found at his home in northern California. "At this time, the Sheriff's Office Coroner Division suspects the death to be a suicide due to asphyxia," said police.
Islamic State
2. RAF PLANES JOIN IRAQ RELIEF EFFORT
RAF warplanes have flown northern Iraq as Britain joins the effort to help thousands of starving refugees trapped by Islamist militants on Mount Sinjar. The Tornado fighter bombers will be used to carry out surveillance to help Hercules cargo planes target where aid should be dropped. Around 20,000 people are thought to remain trapped.
Ukraine
3. RUSSIAN AID CONVOY HEADS TO UKRAINE
A huge aid convoy has left Moscow bound for eastern Ukraine, amid concerns Russia is preparing to invade the region. Ukraine officials have demanded that the 300 lorries, carrying food and medicine, pass through a government-controlled border post and are accompanied by Red Cross officials. The aid is for civilians trapped by fighting.
UK News
4. NO DAMAGES FOR PRISONERS OVER VOTE
The European Court of Human Rights has refused to grant damages to a group of prisoners despite finding that their rights had been breached as they were not allowed to vote. The British government has been told that it must grant some prisoners the vote, but it has failed to change the law. The latest case was brought by inmates in Scotland.
Ebola
5. WHO: UNTESTED EBOLA DRUGS 'ETHICAL'
The World Health Organization says it is ethical for untested drugs to be used on patients suffering from Ebola. Its decision comes after Liberia was given access to the drug zMapp, which has been used to treat Westerners who contracted the disease. The WHO said it was important to gather data on how the drugs perform.
Politics
6. LABOUR GAINS SEVEN-POINT POLL LEAD
Labour has a seven-point lead in the latest ICM poll. Ed Miliband’s party has overturned a narrow Tory advantage after a tough week for David Cameron. Labour has seen its support increase by five points over the last month to 38%, a share it last recorded in March. Support for the Conservatives has fallen by three points to 31%.
7. GAZA HOMES ‘UNINHABITABLE’ SAYS UN
Homes in Gaza are “uninhabitable” following “unprecedented” destruction, says the United Nations. Some 30,000 people in Beit Hanoun alone will need to be rehoused, while in Gaza City, which has a population of half a million, 20%-25% of the housing stock had been damaged, said a local official. A tenuous ceasefire is holding between Israel and Hamas.
8. 31 UK PUBS ARE CLOSING EACH WEEK
Pubs are now closing at a rate of 31 per week, according to the real ale group Camra. Campaigners are calling for urgent legislation to make it harder for pubs to be demolished or transformed into retail outlets. With 3% of pubs in the suburbs closing in the past six months, there are now 54,490 boozers left in Britain.
Sport
9. MO FARAH: I WAS AIRLIFTED TO HOSPITAL
Mo Farah was airlifted to hospital after collapsing at the end of a training run. The Olympic champion revealed: "I went for a run, came back and collapsed in the bathroom. I was in so much pain from my stomach. I had to be airlifted to the main hospital. They thought something was going on with my heart." He also collapsed at the end of the New York half-marathon in March.
Hot Ticket
10. HOT TICKET: BRIDGET CHRISTIE COMEDY
Bridget Christie's 2014 Edinburgh show, An Ungrateful Woman, has opened at The Stand. A follow-up to last year's award-winning show, A Bic For Her, the stand-up routine is a sharp comedic attack on modern misogyny. "Pretty much flawless," says The Daily Telegraph. Until 25 August.