Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Monday 16 Aug 2010

Polling station

Too shocked at the prospect of a Liberal being in charge of the country to have found the energy to read the Sunday papers? Too excited by the start of the new Premier League season to care about the news? The First Post's catch-up service, posted at 8.0 am every Monday, is designed to help... NICK CLEGG'S IN CHARGE - OR IS HE? Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg is in charge for two weeks while David Cameron takes his family on holiday in Cornwall. Or is he? The Guardian reports that Clegg's hopes of becoming the first Liberal to run the country since Lloyd George in the 1920s have been dashed by Cameron's insistence that he will remain in "overall charge" while Clegg merely "picks up some events". This will come as a relief to Mail readers who were warned yesterday that Clegg is a man of "absurd opinions" and "probably the most left-wing person ever to hold such high office" in Britain - and that Cameron should not to be out of touch with Downing Street for long. BAA AND UNITE SEEK TO AVERT AIRPORT STRIKE Talks between BAA and Unite are due to begin later today at ACAS in an attempt to avert a strike that could close six UK airports - Heathrow, Stansted, Southampton, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen - later this month. Unite wants BAA to increase its pay offer to security staff, engineers and firefighters from a "measly" 1.5 per cent. BAA says it hopes to "quickly conclude an agreement, in the interests of the travelling public, our airlines and our staff". GADDAFIS 'TO HELP MEGRAHI CELEBRATE' Saif Gaddafi, son of the Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, is expected to be among the guests at celebrations in Tripoli this Friday to mark the 12-month anniversary of the release from jail of Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, the only man ever convicted of the 1988 Lockerbie bombing. The Libyan leader himself may also attend, having ordered prayers to be said for Gordon Brown and Kenny MacAskill, the Scottish justice minister who took the controversial decision to free Megrahi on compassionate grounds. (Brown claims he played no part in the release, but respected MacAskill's decision.) The Mole... NEXT ENGLAND MANAGER 'WILL BE ENGLISH' The Football Association has let it be known that the next England manager will be English. The pledge comes in the wake of criticism of Fabio Capello's "chaotic handling" of a question last week about the future of David Beckham. Capello said the England winger was "probably too old" to play again for his country - but it transpired he had never mentioned this to Beckham. "We are working on the basis that Fabio will be with us until 2012," the FA's Adrian Bevington told BBC 5 live. "The view beyond that, based on the discussions I've been involved in, is that we should have an English manager after that." UN BOSS URGES MORE SUPPORT FOR PAKISTAN The UN general-secretary Ban Ki-moon, visiting Pakistan, has urged the world to speed up its charity effort on behalf of the 20m people affected by the recent flooding. Aid has been slow, some say because of Pakistan's reputation as a haven for terrorists. The first case of cholera has been confirmed and there are fears that tens of thousands could contract the disease. An estimated 6m victims of the floods have still not been reached by relief operations. PETRAEUS WARNS AGAINST PREMATURE WITHDRAWAL President Obama's new military chief in Afghanistan, Gen David Petraeus, has said he will not be bound by the president's pledge to begin withdrawing US troops next July. Speaking on Meet the Press from Kabul, he said conditions might make it impossible for him to recommend a reduction in forces. This would be bad news for Obama, who will want have the withdrawal in place before he prepares for re-election in 2012. Lessons from Gorbachev... CHELSEA STORM BACK WITH 6-0 VICTORY Chelsea, Premier League champions last season, started their new campaign with an authoritative 6-0 victory over West Brom on Saturday. Didier Drogba, who achieved little at the World Cup playing for the Ivory Coast, scored a hat-trick. Blackpool, one of the new teams to join the league, cruised to a 4-0 victory over Wigan. On Sunday, Arsenal just managed to hold Liverpool to a 1-1 draw. OBAMA UNDER FIRE OVER NEW YORK MOSQUE President Obama has been forced to backtrack after seemingly lending his support on Friday to the controversial plan to build a mosque in Manhattan two blocks from where the World Trade Center stood before it was destroyed by al-Qaeda terrorists on 9/11. Obama said: "As a citizen, and as president, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country." On Saturday, under pressure from Republicans and the media, he stressed that he was supporting the right to build the mosque, not the wisdom of locating it so close to Ground Zero. More... MICHAEL HOWARD BACKS KELLY INQUEST The former Tory party leader and one-time Home Secretary Michael Howard has joined the calls for a full inquest into the death of government weapons scientist Dr David Kelly in 2003. This follows the publication of a letter to the Times last week in which a group of medical experts said it was "extremely unlikely" that Kelly would have suffered a fatal haemorrhage as the result of cutting the ulnar artery in his wrist. Howard said a full inquest was now "entirely appropriate". An opinion poll for the Daily Mail shows 80 per cent of the public want an inquest. DRAGON'S DEN 'RETHINK' The popular BBC2 series Dragon's Den is in line for a shake-up, according to a report in the News of the Word, with some of the millionaire 'dragons' who sit in judgment of budding entrepreneurs at risk of losing their jobs. The paper says Peter Jones and Duncan Bannatyne are likely to survive, but that James Caan, Theo Paphitis and Deborah Meaden could all be replaced by younger models. Internet tycoon James Simpson, 28-year-old boyfriend of Sophie Anderton, is seen as the ideal new dragon.  

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