Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Saturday 16 Aug 2014

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

1. CLIFF: MORE COME FORWARD TO POLICE
More people have come forward to police following the raid on Sir Cliff Richard’s home, claim reports this morning. As the singer prepares to fly home within days to be quizzed by detectives, South Yorkshire Police said “a number of people” have contacted them to “provide information”. The force suggests this vindicates their decision to work with the media over the raid.
2. IS ‘MASSACRE 80 AND KIDNAP CHILDREN’
Islamic State fighters in northern Iraq have massacred at least 80 men from the Yazidi faith and abducted women and children, say reports. The IS militants arrived in a village on Friday afternoon. According to reports they told men to convert to Islam or die. Men who refused were gathered and shot dead, while women and children were taken to an IS stronghold.
3. GOVT POSTPONES HORSEMEAT REPORT
Publication of the official report into the horsemeat scandal has been postponed until at least the autumn. Sources have told The Guardian that the government has postponed the report, which is expected to highlight the impact of spending cuts on frontline enforcement and inspection in the food industry, as it is concerned it will frighten the public.
4. UK ECONOMY ‘DOING BETTER THAN THOUGHT’
The UK economy grew even more this year than previously thought - outstripping all other major countries, the Office for National Statistics claims. The ONS says the economy grew by 0.8% between April and June. It revised up its estimate for how fast it had grown over the last year to 3.2% – from 3.1%. The economy is now growing at the highest level since the end of 2007.
5. JONATHAN ROSS TO RETURN TO RADIO 2
Jonathan Ross will return to present on Radio 2, six years after the ‘Sachsgate’ scandal. Ross was suspended after he and Russell Brand left a string of rude answerphone messages for actor Andrew Sachs regarding his granddaughter. The BBC says Ross’s return to Radio 2 will be a “one-off”. Sachs’s wife has described the news as “a slap in the face”.
Scots Independence
6. VOTE ‘NO’, AUSSIE PM TELLS SCOTLAND
Scottish independence would be a blow against freedom and justice, says the Australian prime minister in the most direct intervention by a foreign leader in the independence debate. Tony Abbott tells The Times the “people who would like to see the break-up of the United Kingdom are not the friends of justice, the friends of freedom”.
7. CALLOW: AIDS ‘HAD SILVER LINING’
The outbreak of Aids in the 1980s had a silver lining, says actor Simon Callow. He says that the “most significant advance” for gay rights in Britain came as a result of the virus. The actor, one of the first in showbusiness to come out as gay, said the tragic spread of Aids encouraged more people to be open about their sexuality.
8. RUSSIA ASSURES USA OVER AID CONVOY
Moscow has “guaranteed” that no military personnel are in the humanitarian convoy waiting at the border to Ukraine, amid fears that the project is a ‘Trojan horse’ to allow Russia to set up a permanent presence in the rebel-held territory. Ukraine insists it must carry out a full inspection. Its border guards arrived at the convoy but had not cleared it to pass by Saturday morning.
9. WILL ASTEROID WIPE US OUT IN 2800?
A huge asteroid has a one-in-300 chance of wiping out life on Earth – but not until 2800. Researchers at the University of Tennessee are studying Asteroid 1950 DA, which could strike earth on 16 March, 2880. It has a diameter of one kilometre and is travelling at nine miles a second relative to the Earth. It would hit at 38,000 miles per hour.
Premier League
10. ‘LET IT FLY,’ VAN GAAL TELLS ROONEY
The Premier League season gets underway today with Manchester United facing Swansea, and Arsenal hosting Crystal Palace. Louis van Gaal has told new United captain Wayne Rooney to “let it fly” this season, as the club aims to bounce back from last year’s flop. Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has complained the season has started too soon after the end of the World Cup.