Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Friday 11 May 2012

1

'UNDERWEAR BOMB' SPY WAS BRITISH

The undercover agent who foiled a Yemen-based al-Qaeda 'underwear bomb' plot was yesterday reported to have been a British man of Saudi origin, and UK intelligence was "heavily involved" in the operation. The US is investigating whether classified information has been leaked.

2

LEVESON: HUNT ASKED NEWS CORP FOR 'ADVICE'

Emails passed to the Leveson Inquiry suggest that Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt sought "private advice" from News Corporation over phone-hacking. The message from the company's PR chief to Rebekah Brooks said Hunt wanted guidance for himself and No 10. Hunt is under pressure over his conduct during News Corp's bid to take control of BSkyB.

3

JPMORGAN MAKES $2BN LOSS

JPMorgan, America's biggest bank, has reported a surprise trading loss of $2bn. CEO Jamie Dimon said the losses, made on a portfolio that was supposed to reduce the bank's risk on other investments, could easily get worse. "These were egregious mistakes," he said. "We have egg on our face, and we deserve any criticism we get."

4

'WORST' CIVIL SERVANTS WILL BE SACKED

The Coalition responded to the 24 hour civil service strike over pensions last night by leaking plans to "identify and dismiss" poorly performing government workers. Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude told the Telegraph that supervisors who "take tough decisions" over their colleagues would be rewarded.

5

UN CONDEMNS SYRIA BOMB ATTACKS

The UN Security Council last night condemned the "terrorist" car bomb attacks that killed at least 55 people and wounded almost 400 in the Syrian capital, Damascus, yesterday, while repeating its call for all sides, including the Assad government, to "immediately and comprehensively" implement a peace plan.

6

BROOKS DISCUSSED HACKING WITH CAMERON

Former Sun and News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks has told the Leveson Inquiry that she discussed hacking claims with David Cameron but said that he did not ask her about Andy Coulson, who became Cameron's spin doctor after he left News International. She said the PM used to end his texts 'LOL' until she told him it stood for 'laugh out loud'.

7

GROOMING 'WITHIN ASIAN CULTURAL NORMS'

Historian David Starkey risked controversy last night by saying that the Asian men jailed over the Rochdale child sex ring had been "acting within their own cultural norms". He said nobody had "explained" that in Britain women could not be treated like that, and called for teaching history to create a "common identity".

8

BOTOX TO BE OFFERED ON THE NHS

Botox injections, used by cosmetic surgeons to smooth wrinkles, are to become available on the NHS as a treatment for chronic migraine headaches because they relax tense muscles. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence yesterday approved the injections for use when other treatments have failed.

9

BREIVIK TRIAL HALTED AFTER ATTACK

The trial of Norwegian mass killer Anders Breivik was halted today when a relative of one of the victims threw a shoe at him and screamed: "Go to hell, you killed my brother". The shoe missed Breivik but hit lawyer Geir Lippestad. There was applause from the public gallery and judges suspended proceedings.

10

HOT TICKET: BURTON'S VAMPIRE COMEDY

Tim Burton's new film Dark Shadows opens in cinemas today. The fantasy comedy, based on a late 1960s gothic soap opera, stars Johnny Depp as a 200-year-old vampire who returns to his family home to reconnect with his descendants in the 1970s. "Tons of fun", says Empire.

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