Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Monday 23 Aug 2010
Too upset by the heavy rain falling across Britain to check the breakfast news this morning? Too stunned by the welter of Premier League goals to read the Sunday papers? The First Post's catch-up service, posted at 8.0 am every Monday, is designed to help... CROWDS RALLY IN NYC MOSQUE DEBATE Police kept two big demonstrations apart in downtown Manhattan on Sunday - for and against the controversial plan to build a Muslim cultural centre two blocks from the site of the 9/11 al-Qaeda attack on the World Trade Center. Hundreds of opponents chanted "No Mosque" and one sign read: "Not all Muslims are terrorists, but all the terrorists were Muslim". Supporters chanted: "We don't care what bigots say, religious freedom is here to stay." WIKILEAKS FOUNDER IN RAPE FURORE Wikileaks founder Julian Assange claims to be the target of a smear campaign after Swedish papers reported on Saturday morning that he was to be charged with rape - hours before a 'correction' was released by the Swedish prosecution authority saying there no rape charge. The allegation, which was apparently leaked to the press by police, came as Wikileaks prepares to post a further 15,000 secret US military documents, to the fury of the Pentagon. Robert Fox reports... AUSTRALIAN ELECTION IN THE BALANCE Australia finds itself in a similar position to Britain back in May: neither the ruling Labor party nor the opposition conservatives have won an outright majority in the general election. Now, just as the Liberals found themselves holding the balance of power in the UK, the independents and greens have the power to decide the shape of Australia's next government. Labor PM Julia Gillard is claiming the right to attempt to form a governing coalition. Opposition leader Tony Abbott says the "savage swing" against Labor means it has "lost its legitimacy to govern". BARCLAYS - THE CASHLESS BANK A national systems crash at Barclays bank meant customers were unable to access their bank accounts online or withdraw money from cash machines on Saturday afternoon. The crash came a week after the bank signed a two-year deal with NCR Corp for the management and maintenance of its UK network of ATMs. DR KELLY'S 'TEXTBOOK SUICIDE'Amid growing concern over the suicide verdict in the death of the government weapons scientist Dr David Kelly, the pathologist who conducted his postmortem in 2003 has said it was a "textbook suicide". Dr Nicholas Hunt broke his silence to say he could find no evidence of foul play. Kelly's death was caused by bleeding from the cuts he made to his wrist, an overdose of painkillers and severe heart disease. He would welcome a formal inquest. More... X FACTOR ANGER AT 'AUTO TUNE' TECHNOLOGY Fans of The X Factor are accusing ITV of using 'auto tune' technology to artificially improve the quality of contestants' voices at the audition stage. Twitter and Facebook commenters say it means they cannot judge the actual voices of contestants like Shirlena Johnson, who gave a striking rendition of Duff's Mercy on Saturday, and Zimbabwean-born Gamu Nhengu, an early favourite for her version of Walking On Sunshine. TWO TOP TORIES IN 'BLAZING ROW' A furious Work and Pensions Secretary - and former Tory party leader - Iain Duncan Smith has accused Chancellor George Osborne and a senior civil servant at the Treasury, Clare Lombardelli, of trying to block his crusade to end the culture of welfare dependency. Lombardelli is said to have dismissed Duncan Smith's proposals as "unaffordable and impractical". According to the Mail on Sunday, Duncan Smith told the Chancellor to "show more respect". Osborne hit back: "If you come up with proposals that work, they will be treated with respect." IRAN UNVEILS DRONE BOMBER A series of unveilings in Iran has raised further fears in the West about the country's nuclear intentions. On Friday, Tehran announced that a new surface-to-surface missile, Qiam 1, with "unique tactical capabilities", had been successfully tested. On Saturday, the country's first energy-producing nuclear reactor was officially opened. And on Sunday, the first domestically produced drone bomber was unveiled by President Ahmadinejad. Dubbed 'Karrar' - or 'Attacker' - the drone has range of 1,000km and can carry four cruise missiles. SIX GOALS APIECE FOR NEWCASTLE, CHELSEA AND ARSENAL Three of the weekend's Premier League games ended 6-0. Newcastle trounced Aston Villa, Chelsea thrashed Wigan while Arsenal outgunned Blackpool, with Theo Walcott scoring a hat-trick. Meanwhile England manager Fabio Capello - who refused to take Walcott to the World Cup in June - has been attacked by BBC Match of the Day host Gary Lineker for failing to improve his English. "He said when he got the job he would get his English up to speed. It hasn't happened." HAITI WON'T HAVE A 'PRESIDENT JEAN' As predicted, Haiti's electoral authorities have disqualified the New York hip-hop artist Wyclef Jean from standing in the upcoming presidential election. Although Jean was born in Haiti, he has lived in the States since the age of nine and it is understood he failed to meet the residency requirements. Did you catch our new Sunday Papers run-down? Don't miss it, every Sunday.