Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Wednesday 30 Mar 2011

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

george clooney

Our popular news catch-up service is posted Monday to Friday at 8.0am. You can rely on it to keep you up to date through the working day with the main news talking points.

LIBYAN DIPLOMATS EXPELLED FROM BRITAINThe British government has expelled five Libyan diplomats who it believes had been intimidating opponents of leader Muammar Gaddafi. The government said the five "could pose a threat to our security." Meanwhile in Libya, pro-Gaddafi troops have driven rebel fighters out of several strongholds in the east of the country, and the US military has admitted there are suggestions that rebel forces may include al-Qaeda fighters.
Libya: London warriors ignore Obama's caution

GEORGE CLOONEY LISTED AS BERLUSCONI WITNESSMovie star George Clooney (above) has been included in a court list of defence witnesses for Silvio Berlusconi when he goes on trial next week, accused of paying for sex with the underage prostitute Karima El Mahroug, aka Ruby the Heart Stealer. She claims that Clooney attended one of the PM’s private parties; Clooney says he met Berlusconi only once, seeking a donation to his charity.
Clooney, Ronaldo and the Berlusconi connection
 
REACTOR CORE MAY HAVE MELTED THROUGH VESSELWorkers at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan appear to have "lost the race" to save reactor two, according to Richard Lahey, who was head of safety research for boiling-water reactors at General Electric when the company installed the plant. New readings have showed a dramatic rise in radiation in the sea near the plant, where levels of iodene-131 at 3,355 times the legal limit.
Expert fears full nuclear meltdown at Fukushima

BP'S HAYWARD COULD FACE MANSLAUGHTER CHARGESBP shares slid 2.3 per cent to 466.2 pence at news that American prosecutors may charge former CEO Tony Hayward and other BP executives with manslaughter in the deaths of the 11 workers in the Gulf of Mexico rig explosion last year. Prosecutors say the blast was caused by decisions to put time and cost savings ahead of safety.

ITALY SENDS SHIPS TO COLLECT LAMPEDUSA REFUGEES Six ships are due to evacuate thousands of refugees from the tiny southern Italian island of Lampedusa to mainland Italy today. Around 20,000 Africans have arrived from Tunisia and Libya since the beginning of the year, and approximately 6,000 of them remain camped there, more than doubling Lampedusa’s normal population of around 5,000. Prime minister Silvio Berlusconi plans a visit today to see the "desperate" situation for himself. 
In pictures: Escape from Africa

'KILLER' whale tilikum performs againA killer whale that drowned its trainer at Orlando's SeaWorld last year has begun performing for the public at the theme park once again. Tilikum, who has also been implicated in the deaths of two other keepers, dragged his handler to her death in February last year. Since the attack, SeaWorld trainers have not been allowed in the water with any orcas at the park.
SeaWorld killer Tilikum performs in public again

PATIENTS WARNED OF 'MAD COW' RISKTwo hospitals have sent warning notices to patients who have undergone surgery that they were put at risk of contracting the fatal brain-wasting Creutzfeldt-Jakob 'mad cow' disease. Thirty-eight patients have been notified at an unnamed hospital in Wales, and 21 at Queen’s Hospital in Romford, Essex.
 
BIG SOCIETY GETS LITTLE BACKINGDavid Cameron's call for a Big Society is being ignored, according to a Hansard Society post-election poll. Thirty-five per cent described themselves as "unenthusiastic" about getting involved in community affairs. A further 26 per cent described themselves as "apathetic" or "alienated" from the political process.

LABOUR LEADER ED MILIBAND TO MARRYLabour leader Ed Miliband has announced that he is to marry his long-term partner Justine Thornton. The couple, who have two children will tie the knot in a ceremony in May. Miliband revealed that he had popped the question on Primrose Hill in London, but said that he would not have a best man. That decision could be seen as another poke in the eye for his brother David, who lost out to him in the Labour leadership vote.
Ed Miliband names the day – but not the best man

CUTS COULD AFFECT FRONT-LINE POLICINGFront line policing could suffer as a result of government cuts the chief inspector of constabulary, Sir Denis O'Connor, has warned in a report. He said forces in England and Wales faced a "big challenge" to implement cuts without losing front-line staff. More than 60 per cent of police and community support officers are said to work on the front line. Police are losing a fifth of their central funding over four years.