Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Thursday 1 Sep 2011

George Clooney Venice Film Festival

Our popular news catch-up service is posted Monday to Friday at 8.0am. You can rely on it to keep you up to date through the working day with the main news talking points. Rebels extend ultimatum on sirte surrender Rebels have extended the ultimatum for pro-Gaddafi forces in Sirte to surrender by one week to September 10, the BBC reports. The National Transitional Council believes it is making progress in talks with the loyalists. Meanwhile, rebels claim Colonel Gaddafi is holed up in the desert town of Bani Walid.  Will the curtain come down in Bani Walid? SYRIA'S TOP LAW OFFICER QUITS OVER EXECUTIONSSyria's attorney-general, Adnan Bakkour, claimed in a video recording posted last night to have resigned after witnessing the mass execution of 72 prisoners, including peaceful protesters, in Hama's central jail on July 31. He said 320 prisoners had been tortured to death since the uprising began. The al-Assad regime claims Bakkour has been kidnapped by gunmen. Incurable illness forces Venus out of US open Venus Williams has been forced to withdraw from the US Open after being diagnosed with an auto-immune disease called Sjogren's Syndrome. The illness is incurable, although the symptoms, which include fatigue and joint pain, can be treated. Williams had been due to play Sabine Lisicki in the tournament's second round. Auto-immune illness forces Venus Williams out of US Open GEORGE CLOONEY OPENS VENICE FILM FESTIVALGeorge Clooney opened the Venice Film Festival last night with a showing of his political thriller The Ides of March. In London, bookies puts the odds on A Dangerous Method, starring Keira Knightley, at 5/1 for the Golden Lion, followed, both at 6/1, by Gary Oldman as Smiley in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and The Ides of March. In pictures: 68th Venice Film Festival DAI greene wins gold at athletics championshipsBritain has won its first gold at the world athletics championships after Welshman Dai Greene won the 400m hurdles in Daegu. Greene kept his cool despite the athletes being called back to the blocks after a faulty start to win the race in 48.26 secs. Team GB is now fourth in the medals table. Bosses warned not to punish Twittering staff Workplace conciliation service Acas has warned bosses not to overreact when staff write something unprofessional on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. In newly published guidelines, Acas also warns employers against searching the internet for personal information on a job applicant as they could be accused of discrimination. Chinese Korans full of errors, say Iranians An attempt by Iran to save money by having Korans printed in China has backfired after officials complained that the books are littered with spelling mistakes, AP reports. A ban on Chinese Korans is now being discussed. ROSS SAYS BBC PAID HIM 'LESS THAN MARKET VALUE'Jonathan Ross, the presenter who quit the BBC under a cloud following the 'Sachsgate' affair and controversy over his £6m salary, told Radio 5 Live's Richard Bacon yesterday that he had been paid less than his market value. "I'm in show business and I was at the top of my game," he said. He launches a new show on ITV on Saturday. Jonathan Ross calls Mail ‘noxious’ and ‘insincere’   SARKOZY 'TOOK ILLEGAL CAMPAIGN CASH' President Nicolas Sarkozy has been accused by a French judge of taking illegal cash from Liliane Bettencourt, the L'Oreal heiress who is France's richest woman, for his 2007 election campaign. Isabelle Prévost-Desprez, a judge in Nantes, makes the claim in Sarko M'a Tuer, a book by two reporters published yesterday. US COMPANIES PROFITED FROM 'RENDITION' FLIGHTSDocuments filed in a New York court reveal that private US companies including Sportsflights and Richmor, aircraft brokers and operators, made profits flying terrorist suspects to secret foreign jails in the "extraordinary rendition" process, the Guardian reports. Torture victims may now be able to sue the companies for damages.

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