Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Tuesday 12 Jun 2012
GAY LAW MAY SPLIT CHURCH FROM STATE
Church of England officials warned the Home Office last night that government plans to legalise gay marriage could lead to the greatest rupture between Church and State in 500 years. Bishops will "divorce" the Church from its role as religious marriage registrar to preserve the doctrine of marriage between "one man and one woman".
NEW SYRIA MASSACRE FEAR
There are fears that the Syrian government "may be organising another massacre" in rebel stronghold Haffa, where UN military observers have been denied access and hundreds have been killed. International mediator Kofi Annan said he was gravely concerned about violence in Haffa, including reports of mortar and tank attacks.
FALKLANDS CALLS REFERENDUM
The Falkland Islands government has called a referendum on its political status in the hope of sending a clear message to Argentina that the territory wants to stay British. The last time there was a poll, in the mid-1980s after the Falklands War, 94.5% of the population voted in favour of sticking with Britain.
PASTORAL OPENING FOR OLYMPIC GAMES
The opening ceremony for the London Olympics will feature sheep, cows, maypoles, a cricket match and a model of Glastonbury. There will also be clouds to provide rain if there is none on the night. The £27m ceremony, entitled Green and Pleasant, and inspired by Shakespeare's Tempest, will be directed by Danny Boyle.
MILIBAND AND MAJOR FACE LEVESON
Labour leader Ed Miliband told the Leveson Inquiry today that the Murdoch empire's dominance of the British media has fuelled its "arrogance". Earlier, former prime minister John Major said that Rupert Murdoch had asked him to change government policy on Europe in 1997 in return for the support of his newspapers.
UK PENSIONS AMONG 'WORST IN THE WORLD'
Britons with private pension plans have suffered bigger losses from their workplace pensions in the last 10 years than people in almost any other country in the developed world, the Organisation for Economic Development reported last night. Only Spain and America fared worse, "putting at risk adequate pensions" enabling comfortable retirement.
APPLE DITCHES GOOGLE MAPS
Apple yesterday announced that it was ditching Google Maps as it unveiled its latest mobile operating system, iOS6, at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco. It will run its own 3D mapping system instead, enabling it to "monetise" Apple users by more accurately tracking them for targeting by advertisers.
US CALLS FOR END TO BURMA VIOLENCE
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has urged an end to the violence in Burma's Rakhine state. At least seven people have been killed following the murder of a Buddhist woman last month, and critics have said the government is allowing the violence to continue.
DINGO DID TAKE BABY AZARIA
An Australian coroner today ruled that a dingo dog did snatch and kill eight-month-old baby Azaria Chamberlain from a campsite in 1980, resolving a case which has haunted the country ever since. Mother Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton was released from a sentence for murder after new evidence, but the cause of death had remained "open".
HOT TICKET: ALL IN THE BEST POSSIBLE TASTE
All in the Best Possible Taste, a sociological TV series by Grayson Perry, continues tonight at 10pm on Channel 4. The show, which sees the Turner Prize-winning artist embedding himself in different socio-economic 'tribes' across Britain, has won praise among critics. "Bliss", says The Independent.