Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Thursday 3 May 2012

1

BROOKS AND COULSON CALLED TO LEVESON

Former News of the World editors Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson are to appear before the Leveson Inquiry next week. Coulson, David Cameron's former spin doctor, will appear on Thursday and Brooks, who was News International chief executive, a day later. In the US the News Corp board of directors last night declared "full confidence" in Rupert Murdoch.

2

BLIND DISSIDENT PLEADS FOR US HELP

Blind Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng appealed to President Obama last night to give him refuge in America, saying "please do everything to get our family out", and asking for a seat on visiting Secretary of State Hilary Clinton's plane. He says he gave up refuge in the US embassy only in response to threats against his family.

3

KING RENEWS CALL FOR BANK REFORMS

Sir Mervyn King, governor of the Bank of England, last night renewed calls for reform of the banking industry at a BBC lecture, saying money from banks' shareholders should be "on the line". He said the BoE was not to blame for the financial crisis and in an interview with the BBC today backed government cuts.

4

US RELEASES BIN LADEN'S PAPERS

Papers from Osama Bin Laden's hideout in Pakistan have been posted online by the US, a year after he was killed. They include a list of 170 al-Qaeda members from 2002, with notes recording their fates. Other documents reveal Bin Laden was concerned about attacks on Muslim targets.

5

SWAN'S REIGN OF TERROR ENDS

The three-year reign of terror of Britain's most aggressive swan is over. 'Mr Asbo' and his mate have been moved from their territory on the River Cam, where the male has become notorious for his attacks on boaters, to a secret location 60 miles away after Natural England agreed to issue an emergency licence.

6

BORIS LEADS KEN INTO LONDON ELECTION

London mayor Boris Johnson went into today's showdown at the polls with his Labour challenger Ken Livingstone with a three point lead for the first round of voting, and a 52 to 48 per cent second-round advantage. His re-election would go against the grain, with Conservatives expected to lose hundreds of council seats in local elections.

7

BAA RELEASES HEATHROW DELAY DATA

A quarter of all non-European passengers at Heathrow Terminal 5 had to wait more than 45 minutes to clear passport control in April, it has emerged. BAA said the worst delays happened on Monday, when passengers at Terminal 4 had to wait three hours. It is the first time BAA has had to release data.

8

MUNCH 'SCREAM' SOLD FOR $120M

Edvard Munch's iconic masterpiece The Scream sold at a Sotheby's auction in New York for $120m yesterday. It was one of four the Norwegian artist painted, and the last in private ownership, and was sold by the son of a friend of the artist. The highest price ever for a painting is $250m for Paul Cezanne's The Card Players, sold in 2011.

9

BLAIR TO 'RE-ENGAGE' IN BRITISH POLITICS

Former prime minister Tony Blair has hired a new "media manager" to repair his reputation, it was revealed last night amid speculation that he is planning to "re-engage" in British politics, starting with a joint appearance with current Labour leader Ed Miliband in July. The new hire is Rachel Grant, a former Whitehall press officer.

10

HOT TICKET: DA VINCI'S ANATOMY

Leonardo da Vinci: Anatomist, an exhibition of anatomical studies by the Italian Renaissance master, opens this week at The Queens Gallery, Buckingham Palace. The exhibition shows 87 pages from Leonardo's notebooks featuring studies of human corpses, dogs, frogs, horses and monkeys. "A marvel not to be missed," says The Times. From 4 May – 7 October.

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