Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Friday 4 May 2012
LOCAL ELECTIONS: LABOUR WINS BIG
Labour has won more than 700 new seats in local elections and taken control of 30 councils. Labour got 38% of the vote, with the Conservatives on 31%. Ed Miliband's party made gains in the South and Midlands, but Tory Boris Johnson is expected to be re-elected as London mayor, despite his party's unpopularity.
FACEBOOK SETS VALUE AT $95 BILLION
Facebook has set the share price for its initial public offering (IPO) on 18 May at between $28 and $35 per share, valuing the company at between $85bn and $95bn. Those prices would yield founder Mark Zuckerman a $19 billion fortune in shares. The IPO will be the largest ever for an internet company.
DISSIDENT CHEN PHONES US CONGRESS
The diplomatic debacle surrounding the blind Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng took another twist yesterday when he phoned a US Congressional committee hearing on China from his hospital bed to ask for a meeting with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is in Beijing.
CHELSEA BID FOR BATTERSEA POWER STATION
Chelsea Football Club have made a bid to buy the derelict Battersea Power Station site and build a 60,000 seat stadium on the banks of the River Thames. The Blues announced today that they and property development partner Almacantar were hoping to acquire the 39 acres of land with a view to redeveloping the site should the club decide to relocate from Stamford Bridge.
JEREMY HUNT FACES SLEAZE PROBE
Culture secretary Jeremy Hunt, under fire for links to the Murdochs, was last night facing a sleaze probe after it emerged that he failed to declare in the Commons register of interests three "networking" events that were funded by media companies. Labour has called on the parliamentary standards commission to investigate.
RUSSIA THREAT TO MISSILE SHIELD
Russia warned yesterday that it is prepared to use "destructive force pre-emptively" if the US goes ahead with plans for a missile defence system based in central Europe. The threat came from chief of defence staff Gen Nikolai Makarov as talks in Moscow between Russia, the US and Nato headed for stalemate.
UNEMPLOYMENT TO DO 'PERMANENT DAMAGE'
The UK unemployment rate will rise from its current 8.3% to almost 9% by the end of this year, a rate which will do "permanent damage to the UK's productive capacity", the National Institute of Economic and Social Research said last night.
FALKLANDERS SLAM ARGENTINE VIDEO
Falkland Islanders have reacted angrily after Argentina released a video showing an Olympic athlete running around the island which includes the slogan: "To compete on English soil, we train on Argentine soil." Falklands legislator Ian Hansen said the video had been filmed without permission and called it "cheap and disrespectful propaganda".
BORDER CRISIS: MAY TO RELAX CONTROLS
Home secretary Theresa May is set to make a U-turn and relax passport controls following reports of lengthy queues at Heathrow airport. May signalled the move to "risk-based controls" during talks with airlines, despite having sacked the head of the UK Border Force for doing just that.
HOT TICKET: FRESH AMERICAN PIE
American Pie: Reunion, the fourth instalment in the comedy franchise, has opened in cinemas. Written and directed by Harold & Kumar team Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg, the film reassembles the original cast of oversexed teenagers as grown-ups at a high school reunion. "A nostalgic treat", says Film 4.