10 things you need to know this Monday
The First Post’s super-quick catch-up on the post-weekend talking points
Never read the Sunday papers? Slept through the Today programme? Forgot to tape Strictly Come Dancing? Not sure what month it is? The First Post's new Monday morning service, posted at 8am, is designed to help...
BNP ON THE BBC
As more politicians put pressure on the BBC the cancel the appearance of BNP leader Nick Griffin on Question Time this Thursday, the ultra-right party has used its website to attack two of the other panelists. Writer Bonnie Greer is described as a "black history fabricator" and Baroness Warsi, the Conservative spokeswoman for community cohesion, as a "product of Tory affirmative action".
The parents of "balloon boy" Falcon Heene could face conspiracy charges after Colorado police said it appeared the runaway helium balloon drama was all a hoax. Richard and Mayumi Heene, who claimed six-year-old Falcon had been carried away inside the weather balloon, were reality TV veterans with "a taste for fame", it transpires.
Royal Mail is to hold last-minute talks today with the Communication Workers Union (CWU) in an effort to avert Thursday's strike. It is also planning to recruit a temporary army of 30,000 people to help deliver post if the strike goes ahead. Business secretary Lord Mandelson said: "This is a matter of life and death for the future of the Royal Mail".
The Royal Bank of Scotland, rescued last October by taxpayers who now hold a 70 per cent stake in the bank, is planning to award huge bonuses to its investment banking division staff at the end of the year. The average payout could be £240,000, with some getting a lot more, if the bank has its way. But the UK Financial Investments body will have to approve the payments.
Simon Cowell reduced fellow X Factor judge Cheryl Cole - aka 'the nation's sweetheart' - to tears on Saturday night when he berated her for giving contender Lloyd Daniels an inappropriate song to sing. Daniels had a stab at the Leona Lewis track Bleeding Love but fell well short of the mark. When Cowell told Daniels it was his mentor's fault, she burst into tears.
Sir Salman Rushdie begins each day by reading up on himself in the media, according to American actress Pia Glenn who gave a tell-all interview to the Mail on Sunday about her fling with the novelist earlier this year. "I'd wake up next to him and he'd be sitting up in bed, scrolling through stories and reviews about himself on his iPhone," she said. "He set up a Google alert to tell him when there was anything new."
KLAUS CAVES IN
Czech president Vaclav Klaus has conceded defeat on the Lisbon treaty, disappointing Eurosceptics in the British Conservative party who hoped he might withhold his signature until they come to power. Klaus told the Czech paper Lidove Noviny on Saturday that, as much as he disapproved of the treaty, "The train has already travelled so fast and so far that I guess it will not be possible to stop it or turn it around."
Dubliners packed the streets on Saturday for the funeral of Boyzone singer Stephen Gately. Ronan Keating sang the hymn In This Life and, with the rest of the band, acted as a pallbearer. Mourners were angry at a column in Friday's Daily Mail in which Jan Moir wrote that "there was nothing natural about Stephen Gately's death" and that the circumstances were "more than a little sleazy". Stephen Fry led an online campaign which led to thousands of approaches to the Press Complaints Commission. More...DUCK POND STAND
Sir Peter Viggers, responsible for the most notorious of all the claims that came to light in the Daily Telegraph's expose of Commons expenses earlier this year - £1,645 for the cost of a floating 'duck house' - is one of the MPs refusing to repay their claims. To make matters worse, the Mail on Sunday discovered that Viggers has sold the Gosport constituency house where the duck pond - among other 'improvements' - was installed, making a £350,000 profit over seven years.
Britain has provided the Formula One champion for the second successive year. Jenson Button, driving for Brawn, started the Brazilian Grand Prix in 14th place but drove a superb race to come fifth, enough to make him the championship victor. Brawn also takes the constructors' championship in their debut season. Button is now favourite to become BBC Sports Personality of the Year later this year. More... ·