Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Friday 13 Apr 2012

1

NORTH KOREA ROCKET CRASHES INTO SEA

Under the gaze of the international community, North Korea's provocative rocket launch has failed. Within minutes of take-off, it exploded and crashed into the sea. The Koreans still insist the aim was to launch a satellite into orbit – but the West saw it as a disguised attempt to test long-range missile technology banned by the UN.

2

TREASURY 'WILL STICK TO CHARITY TAX CAP'

The Government will stick to its controversial plan to cap tax relief on charitable donations, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander told the BBC last night, citing "very good reasons" for the move. But Tory back-benchers and Business Secretary Vince Cable joined the call for a re-think.

3

CAMERON: SUSPEND BURMA SANCTIONS

David Cameron has called for sanctions against Burma to be suspended to reward recent moves towards democratic reform. The prime minister was speaking during a visit to country's opposition icon Aung San Suu Kyi at her home in Rangoon. Suu Kyi said: "I believe President Thein Sein is genuine about democratic reforms."

4

BBC SPORT A NATIONAL DISGRACE SAYS FOX

A former senior BBC executive has attacked the corporation's failure to win the rights to cover major sports events, saying it's a national disgrace and licence fee payers deserve better. Writing in The Times, Sir Paul Fox mourns the loss of cricket and football coverage and notes that tomorrow's Grand National is the last on BBC.

5

SYRIA: UN TO MONITOR FRAGILE CEASEFIRE

The UN is to send monitors to Syria to observe the ceasefire that passed its first day without major violations, although the Assad regime did not withdraw its forces from population centres as required. Special envoy Kofi Annan said he was "encouraged" even if Assad had not complied with his six-point plan.

6

GUS O'DONNELL TIPPED FOR BANK OF ENGLAND

The former Cabinet Secretary Lord O'Donnell, who as Sir Gus O'Donnell and Britain's senior Mandarin was known by his initials GOD, emerged last night as a surprise contender to take over from Sir Mervyn King as Governor of the Bank of England, retiring in June 2013. The job carries a salary of £300,000.

7

GOOGLE ANNOUNCES 60% PROFITS SURGE

Internet giant Google yesterday reported a surge in profits and announced an effective doubling of its shares with a new class of non-voting stock. Net income in the first quarter this year jumped 60% to $2.89bn on the strength of its Android phone platform. CEO Larry Page denied planning a "big acquisition".

8

STOLEN CEZANNE FOUND IN SERBIA

The Paul Cezanne Impressionist masterpiece Boy in a Red Waistcoat, worth an estimated £70 million, has been recovered in Serbia four years after it was among paintings stolen at gunpoint from a lakeside villa in Zurich, Switzerland, in one of the biggest art thefts ever. Three men were arrested.

9

BAHRAIN GP WILL GO AHEAD, SAYS FIA

Motor racing's governing body the FIA last night defied pressure from racing teams and confirmed that the Bahrain Grand Prix will go ahead on 22 April despite continuing political protest. Former Scotland Yard assistant commissioner John Yates is advising the royal family, which is closely tied to the race.

10

HOT TICKET: CABIN IN THE WOODS

US horror comedy The Cabin in the Woods opens at UK cinemas today. Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator Joss Whedon and scriptwriter Drew Goddard play with the clichés of the horror genre in a story of college friends who uncover a monstrous secret in the basement of a holiday cabin. "Breathlessly entertaining", says Time Out.

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