Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Monday 16 Apr 2012

1

BRITAIN FACES WORST DROUGHT SINCE 1976

More than half of Britain is now officially in drought as the country faces its most severe water shortage since 1976, the Environment Agency warns today after shortages were declared in counties across the Midlands and South West. More than 35 million are living in drought areas and face a summer of severe restrictions.

2

TALIBAN ATTACKS: ALL GUNMEN KILLED

The fighting in Kabul, where the Taliban yesterday launched coordinated attacks to start their "spring offensive", finally came to an end this morning, according to city officials, when the last of 17 gunmen was killed. The attacks have called into question western plans to withdraw their forces.

3

BREIVIK: I KILLED 77 IN SELF-DEFENCE

Anders Behring Breivik has said he was acting in self-defence when he killed 77 people in bomb and gun attacks in Norway last year. Breivik was speaking at his trial, which began in Oslo today. He pleaded not guilty, saying: "I acknowledge the acts, but not criminal guilt."

4

PIPPA MIDDLETON IN PARIS GUN EPISODE

Prince William's sister-in-law Pippa Middleton last night faced questioning by Paris police after the driver of an Audi car in which she was riding was photographed waiving a pistol at a photographer, whose picture of the incident is published in The Sun today. The man with the gun could face jail.

5

REFEREE SORRY FOR CHELSEA 'GOAL'

A refereeing blunder which gave Chelsea a goal they should never have been allowed in yesterday's FA Cup tie with Tottenham has brought renewed calls for goal-line camera technology. Referee Martin Atkinson apologised to Spurs after the match for awarding the goal which helped Chelsea towards a 5-1 victory.

6

'DISMAL' ECONOMIC PROSPECTS FOR UK

"Dismal" economic growth of just 0.4% in Britain for the rest of this year was predicted yesterday by the Ernst and Young Item Club, half the 0.8% rate forecast by the Office for Budget Responsibility. Unemployment is expected to approach 9.3%, with nearly three million people out of work.

7

OLYMPIC SPONSORS TARGETED IN POLL

The public will be asked to vote for the "worst" Olympic sponsors by a pressure group called Greenwash Gold 2012. The top targets are Dow Chemical, which is producing the wrap for the Olympic stadium, Rio Tinto, which is making the Olympic medals, and BP, the London Games' official sustainability partner.

8

OLIVIER AWARDS FOR MATILDA STARS

The four young stars who share the title role in Matilda the Musical stole the show at the Olivier Awards last night after being named joint best actresses. Ten-year-old Eleanor Worthington Cox is the youngest ever winner; Cleo Demetriou is also 10, while Kerry Ingram and Sophia Kiely are both 12.

9

COALITION MPS URGE CHARITY U-TURN

Two-thirds of 71 Coalition backbench MPs polled yesterday want Chancellor George Osborne to drop plans to cap tax relief on charity donations. Hopes of a U-turn increased after the Tory Party's own treasurer, the millionaire Lord Fink, told The Sunday Times that Osborne's proposed cap was a mistake.

10

HOT TICKET: DINE AT NUMBER 10

The new London Soho restaurant, 10 Greek St, is getting rave reviews. Co-owned by Cameron Emirali, formerly of Wapping Food, and Luke Wilson from The Ambassador, it serves seasonal dishes such as hare with polenta, Welsh lamb and Dorset crab, in a modern, minimalist setting. "A diamond," says The Observer.

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