Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Monday 21 Jun 2010
Missed the news over the weekend? Too worried about the upcoming emergency budget to dare pick up the papers? The First Post's catch-up service, posted at 8.0 am every Monday, is designed to help... EMERGENCY BUDGET TO RAISE $10 BILLION TAXES George Osborne's emergency budget, to be unveiled on Tuesday, aims to save billions in public spending cuts and raise $10bn in new taxes in a bid to reduce the national debt. Middle-income families will lose child benefits. Many public sector workers will see their salaries frozen. Capital gains tax could rise from 18 per cent to 40 per cent. Critics continue to say the draconian measures will hamper Britain's economic recovery and risk a double-dip recession. More... FABIO CAPELLO SNUBS ENGLAND SQUAD England manager Fabio Capello last night quashed a revolt by England players by refusing 'clear-the-air' talks demanded by defender John Terry. After drawing 0-0 with Algeria on Friday, England have to beat Slovenia this Wednesday to stay in the World Cup. The manager admitted to being dumbfounded by his players' insipid display against the Algerians. Reports from the England camp suggest the squad are fed up with his 'boot camp' style and disagree with his team choice and tactics. More... ISRAEL MAKES CONCESSIONS ON BLOCKADEIsraeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced that a long list of previously banned items, including building materials for specific domestic projects, will now be allowed into Gaza. But the naval blockade will remain in place to prevent "weapons and war materiel" getting through. Middle East peace envoy Tony Blair said the new concessions should make a "big difference". Pro-Palestinian groups claim the Israeli move is a deception and continue to demand that the blockade is lifted. CABINET MEMBER CHRIS HUHNE LEAVES HIS WIFE The Energy Secretary Chris Huhne, one of five Lib-Dems in the new coalition Cabinet, has confessed to a long-term affair with a 44-year-old divorcee. After the News of the World learned of the affair, Huhne announced: "I am in a serious relationship with Carina Trimingham and I am separating from my wife." Trimingham is campaigns director at the Electoral Reform Society - a subject close to Huhne's heart. Huhne, 55, had been married for 26 years to Vicky Pryce, with whom he has three children. OIL SPILL: BP DOCUMENT SUGGESTS HIGHER LEAK RATE US Congressman Ed Markey has released an undated internal BP document which shows the company has estimated that oil from the broken Maconda well could leak at the rate of 100,000 barrels a day if all preventative measures fail. Markey said the document raised "troubling questions" about what BP has known about the real threat from the flow of oil, which at one stage was estimated by the company at only 1,000 barrels a day. "BP was either lying or grossly incompetent," said Markey. His move follows White House criticism of BP's CEO Tony Hayward for attending the Isle of Wight Round the Island Race on Saturday. More... GRAEME MCDOWELL WINS US OPEN Northern Irishman Graeme McDowell (pictured above) became Europe's first US Open champion since Tony Jacklin in 1970 when he took his first major title at Pebble Beach, California yesterday. "It's so difficult to win a golf tournament, let alone a major. I'm just so thrilled to get over the line," said McDowell, 30, who came from three shots behind overnight to win. He beat Frenchman Gregory Havret by one shot and Ernie Els by two. Americans Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods tied fourth. Woods had lit up the tournament with a third-round 66, but then shot a sorry 75 in the final round. BROWN'S LAST ACT AS PM - A LETTER TO MANDELA Gordon Brown used his final hours in Downing Street, before leaving for Buckingham Palace where he tendered his resignation to the Queen, to write a letter to the "two people whom I most admire" - Nelson Mandela and his wife Graca Machel. "You have inspired me, and a whole generation, and I will never forget the change you made to millions of lives," he wrote. He then penned a second letter to Burma's imprisoned opposition leader, Aung San Suu Kyi. GP ADMITS HELPING HIS PATIENTS DIEDurham police are considering whether to reopen an investigation into a family doctor who was cleared of murdering three patients five years ago, but who admitted in the Daily Telegraph on Saturday to having hastened the deaths of people in his care. Dr Howard Martin said he had acted out of "Christian compassion". He made his admission after having been struck off the Medical Register on Friday for giving excessive morphine doses to 18 dying patients. Bereaved relatives have denounced Dr Martin's "arrogant cruelty". 'SMALL PEOPLE' MAKE THE MOST OF BP HANDOUTSPeople on the Gulf Mexico claiming compensation from BP include not only fishermen, but other "small people" - as the oil giant's chairman unfortunately referred to them last week - whose livelihoods depend on the fishermen's normal spending habits. According to an Observer report, the owners of the Mimosa Dancing Girls strip joint have filed a claim because the fishermen who made up their clientele can no longer afford to frequent the New Orleans club. ANOTHER CHILD ATTACKED BY A FOXA three-year-old boy was bitten on the arm by a fox in a school playground in Brighton on Saturday. He was released after treatment at the Royal Sussex county hospital. The attack came two weeks after twins Isabella and Lola Koupparis were victims of a suspected fox attack in their east London home, raising calls for a cull of urban foxes. Isabella was severely mauled and finally left hospital on Thursday. More... AFGHAN DEATH TOLL HITS 300 The British death toll in Afghanistan reached a new milestone yesterday when the 300th soldier died. The Royal Marine, from 40 Commando, died in hospital in Birmingham, with his family at his bedside, having been flown home from Helmand province on June 12. Prime Minister David Cameron, who used a Sunday Telegraph article to call on the public to give their full support to serving soldiers, called the Marine's death "desperately sad". But he again defended the Helmand mission, insisting the 10,000 troops could not come home until the country is ready to police itself.