Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Friday 22 Aug 2014

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

Islamic State
1. ISLAMIC STATE IS ‘BIGGEST THREAT TO USA’
US defence secretary Chuck Hagel warned last night that the Sunni militant group Islamic State, based in Syria and Iraq, is an "imminent threat … beyond anything we’ve seen". Senior general Martin Dempsey said IS would have to be fought in Syria as well as Iraq. The group had placed a $132m ransom on executed journalist James Foley.
2. ... BUT UK RULES OUT ASSAD ALLIANCE
Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has ruled out a "poisonous" alliance with Syrian president Bashar al-Assad in the fight against Islamic State militants. The UK government has called for Assad to be deposed because of his actions during the Syrian civil and Hammond said that having a shared enemy in IS did not make them allies.
3. RUSSIAN AID CONVOY 'INVADES' UKRAINE
A Russian aid convoy made up of more than 100 lorries has entered Ukraine without clearance, prompting allegations of an "invasion". Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko has accused Russia of a "flagrant violation of international law". The Red Cross says it has nothing to do with the convoy, but Russia has warned against reprisals.
4. HAMAS EXECUTES 18 ISRAELI 'INFORMERS'
Hamas has executed 18 "informers" suspected of collaborating with Israel, a day after three of its senior commanders were killed by air strikes in Gaza. Eleven were executed at a police station and a futher seven were shot outside a mosque after noon prayers. Rocket fire from Gaza and Israeli air strikes continued on Friday.
5. MH17 BODIES FLOWN BACK TO MALAYSIA
The remains of 20 Malaysian victims of flight MH17, thought to have been shot down over the Ukraine on 17 July by pro-Russian rebels, have been returned to Kuala Lumpur as the nation holds a day of mourning. Malaysian soldiers escorted the coffins from the airport, watched by relatives of the victims.
6. CO-OP BANK REPORTS LOSS OF £75.8M
The troubled Co-operative Bank has reported losses of £75.8m for the first two quarters of 2014, compared to a much larger loss of £845m in the same period in 2013. Chief executive Niall Booker said he was “encouraged” by the figures and added the bank has “improved governance, particularly at board level”.
NHS
7. GMC TO TOUGHEN UP SANCTIONS FOR MEDICS
The General Medical Council is considering imposing tougher sanctions on doctors who make mistakes in care for patients, including forcing them to apologise and harsher penalties for doctors who fail to raise concerns about a colleague’s malpractice. The proposals are now under consultation.
8. 'COCKSURE' WALSALL BOOTLEGGER JAILED
A 25-year-old man has been jailed for 33 months after being caught recording Fast and Furious 6 from the back of a cinema in Walsall. His recording, uploaded to the internet was downloaded 700,000 times. Philip Danks, who continued to distribute the film after his arrest, was described as "bold, arrogant and cocksure" by the judge.
9. MILEY CYRUS GIG BAN FOR IMMORALITY
US singer Miley Cyrus has been banned from playing a concert in the Dominican Republic because she often “undertakes acts that go against morals and customs, which are punishable by Dominican law”. Cyrus has not commented on the ban. Tickets have been on sale for the gig since July.
Hot Ticket
10. HOT TICKET: DRAMA TWO DAYS, ONE NIGHT
A new French-language drama from the Dardenne's brothers, Two Days, One Night, opens in UK cinemas today. Marion Cotillard stars as a woman who tries to save her job by convincing her colleagues to give up their bonuses. "Outstanding," says The Guardian.