10 things you need to know this Monday
The First Post’s super-quick catch-up on the post-weekend talking points
Slept through the Today programme? Never read the Sunday papers? Missed Andrew Marr? Not sure whether Copenhagen finished already? The First Post's new Monday morning service, posted at 8.0 am, is designed to help...
BRITISH AIRWAYS CHRISTMAS STRIKEThousands of people's Christmas holiday plans are in jeopardy as British Airways cabin crew belonging to the Unite union voted today to strike over proposed job cuts and changes to working practices demanded by chief executive Willie Walsh. Their action will begin on December 22, the Tuesday before Christmas and run until January 2. Walsh, who says the job cuts are necessary to help the carrier deal with huge losses sustained during the recession, said the industrial action was "cynical" and betrayed "a lack of concern for our customers, our business and other employees".
SILVIO BERLUSCONI STRUCK IN THE FACEThe Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was still in hospital this morning after being struck in the face by a man holding a small replica of Milan's cathedral in his hand. Berlusconi, 73, who was signing autographs after attending a political rally in front of the Duomo in Milan, was left with a broken nose and two broken teeth. A 42-year-old man with a history of mental illness has been charged with assault. Berlusconi, whose various personal and legal scandals have polarised Italian society in recent months, underwent a CT scan in the San Raffaele hospital but has not yet required surgery.ACCENTURE DROPS TIGER WOODSThe management consultancy firm Accenture has ended its sponsorship of the world's number one golfer Tiger Woods "after careful consideration and analysis", saying he is "no longer the right representative". The decision followed Tiger's announcement on Friday that he is to quit golf for an indefinite break and try to patch up his marriage following a string of scandalous revelations regarding mistresses. He gave no hint as to when he might return to the sport. More...COPENHAGEN TALKS SUSPENDEDThe Copenhagen climate change summit was in disarray this morning after the African delegation accused the host nation of trying to "kill" the Kyoto protocol. Negotiations were suspended and, according to the Guardian, observers say it is increasingly unlikely that an ambitious deal can now be negotiated by Friday when President Barack Obama is due to arrive in town. The collapse of the talks followed a weekend of protests in Copenhagen. In Pictures...ABU DHABI BAILS OUT DUBAI WITH $10BNDubai's neighbour Abu Dhabi has stepped in at the 11th hour to allow the state-owned Dubai World group to repay its $4.1bn Islamic debt, which matures today. It gave $10bn in total, with the extra $6bn available to prop up Dubai World until the end of April 2010. World markets were shaken in November when it was revealed that Dubai had asked creditors to restructure nearly half of its $59bn debt.
PARTIES SET FOR SNAP ELECTIONWith a YouGov poll showing the Tory lead over Labour down from 13 points to nine, the Sunday Times claimed Gordon Brown is thinking of holding a snap election on March 25, instead of waiting until May. The temptation is to get the general election out of the way before the April Budget, when the Government will be bound to reveal the true extent of the spending cuts necessary to begin closing the £178bn national deficit. David Cameron told Sky News the Conservatives were ready for an early election too. The Mole...ANGRY OBAMA ATTACKS WALL ST 'FAT CATS' On the eve of today's White House meeting with the bosses of America's leading banks, President Barack Obama revealed his increasing frustration in an interview for last night's CBS show 60 Minutes, saying: "I did not run for office to be helping out a bunch of fat cat bankers on Wall Street. They're still puzzled why is it that people are mad at the banks. Well, let's see. You guys are drawing down $10, $20 million bonuses after America went through the worst economic year that it's gone through in - in decades, and you guys caused the problem. And we've got 10 per cent unemployment." Ed Yingling, head of the American Bankers Association, has since said the bankers will present Obama with "new ideas" on increasing lending.
BROWN OVERNIGHTS IN AFGHANISTAN After visiting British troops in Helmand province at the weekend, Gordon Brown is to unveil a plan to beat the Taliban's tactic of laying roadside bombs in Afghanistan. It will involve spending £10m to buy 400 robot mine detectors and the establishment of a special intelligence network to identify where the devices are made and deployed. Brown was the first visiting British PM to spend the night in Afghanistan, sleeping in "basic quarters" at the Nato HQ at Kandahar air base.FAR EAST BID TO BUY MAN UTD A consortium of six Far East billionaire businessmen has put together a bid worth £1bn for Manchester United, according to the News of the World. The consortium, based in Bangkok, wants to buy out the American Glazer family who are under pressure to service their mounting debts. "Roman Abramovich's investment in Chelsea will be nothing compared to this," a source in Bangkok told the NoW. "If the Glazers are ready to sell, the money is absolutely on the table."GEORDIE JOE WINS THE X FACTOR Eighteen-year-old Joe McElderry, favourite to win ITV's talent show, The X Factor, duly did so in last night's final, taking two-thirds of the 10m-plus votes cast. Stacey Solomon was voted out on Saturday leaving McElderry and Olly Murs to fight it out. The winner's song, The Climb, a cover of the Miley Cyrus single from Hannah Montana: The Movie, was immediately released as a single and will be favourite in the race for Christmas number one. Meanwhile, tabloid reports say Joe's 'mentor', fellow Geordie Cheryl Cole, wants to leave the judging panel to have a baby, and that Robbie Williams is in line to become a judge next year. ·
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