Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Wednesday 20 Aug 2014

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

Islamic State
1. WEST APPALLED BY BEHEADING VIDEO
Western nations have expressed outrage over a "barbaric" video which apparently shows an IS (Islamic State) fighter beheading US journalist James Foley, missing in Syria since 2012. The executioner, speaking with an English accent, says the killing is revenge for US air strikes in Iraq. Another US journalist, Steven Sotloff, appears in the video.
Gaza
2. HAMAS LEADER’S WIFE AND CHILD KILLED
An Israeli rocket strike which apparently targeted Mohammed Deif, the leader of Hamas’s armed wing, has killed his wife and child, after a ceasefire between the two sides broke down hours before it was due to end. Israel said Hamas had fired 50 rockets on Tuesday night and another 20 this morning.
3. BANK OF ENGLAND SPLIT ON INTEREST RATES
Two members of the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee voted for a rise in interest rates earlier this month, it has emerged. The nine-member panel has kept interest rates at the historic low of 0.5% since March 2009 but this month's meeting was the first since July 2011 that the committee has been split on the issue.
US
4. US ATTORNEY GENERAL VISITS FERGUSON
US attorney general Eric Holder was today due to visit the town of Ferguson, Missouri to check on a federal investigation into the killing of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown by police. Protests, sometimes violent, have continued in the US town for almost two weeks and the National Guard has been deployed.
5. LANDSLIDES KILL 27 IN JAPAN AFTER RAINS
At least 27 people have been killed, with 10 still unaccounted for, after a month’s rain fell in 24 hours and triggered a series of huge landslides in Japan, burying houses in mud and rocks.. Officials warn that Hiroshima prefecture may be at risk of further landslides. Some reports say a rescue worker was also killed.
6. LORD RENNARD LET BACK IN TO LIB DEMS
Lord Rennard, former chief executive of the Lib Dems, has been readmitted to his party after it dropped disciplinary proceedings against him for alleged inappropriate behaviour towards women. Susan Gaszczak, a party activist who made allegations, said the Lib Dems “obviously [have] no moral compass”.
UK News
7. NEW DOMESTIC ABUSE LAW CONSIDERED
Home secretary Theresa May is investigating the possibility of creating a new law against domestic abuse. At present laws cover coercive and controlling behaviour but do not apply specifically to personal relationships. Last year ministers told police they could consider psychological control to be abuse.
8. INDIAN YOGA GURU DIES AGED 95
Indian yoga guru BKS Iyengar, credited with popularising the ancient practice worldwide, has died at the age of 95 in the city of Pune. His devotees included cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, author Aldous Huxley and violinist Yehudi Menuhin. Iyengar yoga is now taught in more than 70 countries and the guru's books have been translated into 13 languages.
Ebola
9. WEST ACCUSED OVER EBOLA 'EMERGENCY'
The West has been accused of doing "almost zero" to help West African countries affected by the worst-ever outbreak of the Ebola virus. Brice de la Vigne of Medicins sans Frontiers warned that time was running to help the region. Other healthcare workers say the situation is no longer a health crisis but a "humanitarian emergency".
Hot Ticket
10. HOT TICKET: EXHIBIT B IN EDINBURGH
Exhibit B, a performance art installation, has opened at the Playfair Library Hall in Edinburgh. Actors present themselves as statues, performing the roles of indigenous people brought back from European empires and exhibited in human zoos, alongside exotic artefacts and other colonial plunder. "Remarkable," says The Times. Until 25 August.