Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Sunday 17 Aug 2014

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

1. UNDERCLASS RISE COSTS UK £30BN
The rise of a new underclass is costing Britain £30bn, says The Sunday Times. Four times more families than previously thought have been classified as problem families, says new research. The government's adviser on the issue, Louise Casey, tells the paper these families are "off the barometer" with the number of problems they have.
2. CAMERON: ISLAMIC STATE ‘A THREAT TO UK’
Britain is under threat from the Islamic State group and could face a “poisonous” terrorist state on the shores of the Mediterranean, warns David Cameron. In a letter to the Sunday Telegraph, he said a “firm security response” is needed against IS. He said the West is in a “generational struggle” against “extremist ideology” which he expects will continue for the rest of his political lifetime.
3. UK ENERGY BILLS SOARING BY 21%
Britain's household energy bills have soared by 21% in three years and are now rising faster than in most countries in the developed world, reports The Independent. According to research carried out by the House of Commons Library, only Ireland has seen a larger hike than the UK. Last year, the Energy Department claimed UK fuel prices were “fairly average”.
4. CLIFF AUTHOR: ‘NO ONE MENTIONED ABUSE’
Sir Cliff Richard’s official biographer says he interviewed 350 people for his book about the singer and not a single one mentioned any rumours of sexual abuse. The news comes as criticism mounts over how the South Yorkshire Police handled its raid of Sir Cliff’s home. Former attorney general Dominic Grieve said it was “very questionable” and “odd” that the search was filmed by the BBC.
5. CARNEY: ‘WE’RE HALFWAY TO RECOVERY’
Britain is “more than halfway” to full recovery after the financial crisis, says Mark Carney. Speaking to The Sunday Times, the governor of the Bank of England said: “The expansion is proceeding, momentum is more assured; the very fact we have had consistent quarters of growth in line with, or slightly better than, our forecasts shows that.”
6. POLICE PROBING CONTAINER DEATH
Police are questioning some of the survivors found inside the shipping container at a port, as they investigate what led to the death of one man. Thirty-five people, all believed to be from the Indian subcontinent, were discovered yesterday after a freighter arrived at Tilbury Docks from Belgium. Police believe those found to be the victims of “people trafficking”.
7. CHURCH ATTACKS PM’S FOREIGN POLICY
The Church of England has attacked David Cameron’s “incoherent” Middle East policy. In a letter to the PM, seen by The Observer, the bishop of Leeds Nicholas Baines says the approach to the region is determined by “the loudest media voice at any particular time”. Written with the support of the archbishop of Canterbury, his letter calls for more help for Iraqi Christians.
8. BORIS WOULD WALK IT IN UXBRIDGE
Boris Johnson would romp home if he were to be selected as the Conservative’s candidate in Uxbridge and South Ruislip, according to a new poll. The Tories’ margin of victory would more than double if the London mayor stood in the seat, according to a poll of 1,000 constituents by Lord Ashcroft, a Tory donor and former party vice-chairman.
9. SEAGULLS WIN CORNWALL BATTLE
A town council in Cornwall has conceded defeat to the seagulls that sweep down to snatch peoples’ ice creams and sandwiches, reports the Sunday Telegraph. St Ives town council has tried a series of measures including loud noises, hawks and interference with nests, but none have worked and it has now said people will have to “learn to live” with the birds.
10. VAN GAAL: UNITED ‘SMASHED’ BY DEFEAT
Louis van Gaal says his players’ confidence was “smashed” by Manchester United’s 2-1 home defeat to Swansea City yesterday. Arsenal are top of the Premier League despite an unconvincing performance against Crystal Palace. The Gunners won with a stoppage time winner from Aaron Ramsey. Liverpool host Southampton today, with Manchester City travelling to Newcastle.