Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Thursday 7 Jun 2012

1

EURO CRISIS: 'SPEED IS OF THE ESSENCE'

David Cameron says "speed is of the essence" in dealing with the eurozone crisis, adding: "Every day that the European economies are stagnant are days when opportunities are lost." But the Prime Minister, who held talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel today, said Germany could not be expected to solve the crisis on its own.

2

BRITAIN BRACED FOR MORE RAIN AND WIND

Hosepipe bans for millions of households could end after weeks of rain, the Environment Agency announced last night, saying the risk of drought was "considerably reduced" and reservoirs refilled. Britain is braced for more extreme weather with heavy rain and high winds expected this week.

3

UN MONITORS 'FIRED UPON' IN SYRIA

Scores of people, including at least 20 women and 20 children, are reported to have been killed in a massacre carried out by pro-government forces in Hama province, Syria, it has been claimed. Syrian authorities admitted finding "bodies" after attacking "terrorists". There have been reports that UN monitors trying to reach the site of the massacre were fired upon.

4

CHINA CUTS INTEREST RATES, BOE HOLDS STEADY

The Bank of England has held interest rates at 0.5% and left its £325bn quantitative easing programme unchanged despite pressure to try and stimulate the economy. Interest rates have now been unchanged for three-and-a-quarter years. In China the central bank cuts its interest rates in an attempt to avoid the effects of the global slowdown.

5

2,425 COMPLAINTS OVER BBC COVERAGE

The BBC last night admitted receiving 2,425 complaints over its coverage of the Diamond Jubilee, some of which was dubbed "inane" by critics. Creative director Alan Yentob said it was "fair to criticise" some aspects of the corporation's coverage, but director-general Mark Thompson praised the "outstanding journalism" in an email to staff.

6

UK GOVERNMENT BOYCOTTS EURO 2012

The British government is to boycott the Euro 2012 football championships in protest at the "selective justice" imposed on Yulia Tymoshenko, the former prime minister of Ukraine and opposition leader who was jailed for seven years last October after what her supporters described as a "show trial". There have also been allegations that she has been beaten while in custody.

7

FORCED MARRIAGE TO BE CRIMINAL OFFENCE

Arranging a forced marriage could become a criminal offence punishable by jail under moves to be unveiled by David Cameron and Home Secretary Theresa May today. Up to 8,000 children, almost all from southern Asia and one-in-five of them boys, are forced into marriage each year, which Cameron has called "little more than slavery".

8

FAR RIGHT MP ATTACKS FEMALE POLITICIANS

An MP and spokesman for Greece's far right Golden Dawn party assaulted two female politicians on live television this morning. Ilias Kasidiaris threw water over Rena Dourou, a deputy with the left-wing Syriza party after she said he would take the country back 500 years, and then slapped communist MP Liana Kanelli before fleeing the studio.

9

DEFIANT FRENCH LOWER RETIREMENT AGE

France's Socialist government, under new president Francois Hollande, yesterday cut the country's retirement age to 60 in defiance of the eurozone's deepening crisis and demands for austerity, citing "social justice". Workers starting at 18 will retire at 60 rather than 62. Hollande had promised the move during his election campaign.

10

HOT TICKET: HENRY MOORE COMES INDOORS

A new exhibition of Henry Moore's sculptures, Large Late Forms, has opened in London's Gagosian Gallery. The show features nine large-scale, late-career bronze sculptures, some of which are being shown indoors for the first time. "Revelatory," says The Evening Standard. Until 18 August.

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