Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Monday 25 Jun 2012

1

CAMERON LAUNCHES WELFARE CLAMPDOWN

David Cameron today launched a proposed clampdown on Britain's "culture of entitlement". Among "difficult" reforms he wants to cut benefits for families with three or more children and an end to housing benefits for most under-25s. The PM believes families struggling to cope outside the welfare system have reason to be resentful of those who enjoy state benefits.

2

EGYPTIANS ELECT ISLAMIST PRESIDENT

Mohammed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood is the new president of Egypt after winning the country's first free election with 51.73% against 48.3% for former PM Ahmed Shafiq. Mursi called for national unity, but also said that "the revolution goes on". The White House urged modern Egypt's first Islamist leader to be "a pillar of world peace".

3

ENGLAND RETURN HOME DEFEATED

The England football squad team is heading home from Ukraine today after losing its Euro 2012 quarter-final with Italy on penalties, Ashley Young and Ashley Cole both missing their spot-kicks. "We tried our best," said England manager Roy Hodgson. Italy now face Germany in the semi-finals in Warsaw on Thursday.

4

LULZSEC HACKERS ADMIT GUILT

Two members of the computer hacking group Lulzsec have pleaded guilty to attacking websites, including those belonging to the CIA and the Pentagon as well as the Serious Organised Crime Squad, at Southwark Crown Court. Ryan Cleary, 19, and Jake Davis, 18, admitted targeting various websites but denied posting confidential data on the internet.

5

TAX AVOIDANCE 'WORTH 2P ON BASIC RATE'

The basic rate of tax could be cut by at least 2p if there was no tax avoidance, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander said yesterday, as the rest of the tax-paying population picks up the costs when the rich avoid their obligations. Schemes like comedian Jimmy Carr's K2 save the rich millions but "are paid for by everybody else."

6

WIMBLEDON: VENUS WILLIAMS KNOCKED OUT

US tennis champion Venus Williams was knocked out of the Wimbledon Championships today, after Russia's Elena Vesnina beat her 6-1, 6-3. Williams, who has won five Wimbledon titles, has been battling Sjogren's syndromean, an incurable disease that causes chronic fatigue.

7

SCIENTISTS 'HACK' INTO HAWKING'S BRAIN

Scientists from Stanford University are developing a machine to "hack into" physicist Stephen Hawking's brain, "by-passing his body" to allow him to communicate through brain waves as his condition with motor neurone disease deteriorates. Professor Philip Low hopes to demonstrate his "iBrain" machine at a conference in Cambridge in July.

8

TURKEY CALLS ON NATO OVER DOWNED JET

Turkey last night called a meeting of Nato member states to consult on its response to the shooting down of one of its warplanes by Syrian forces on Friday, invoking Article 4 of the Nato charter to underline the seriousness of the conflict with Syria. Turkey said the F-4 was in international airspace; Syria says it acted "according to the laws".

9

LONESOME GEORGE THE GIANT TORTOISE DIES

Lonesome George, a giant tortoise thought to be the last of his subspecies, has died. Scientists believe he was about 100 years old. For years environmentalists tried to get him to reproduce with females from a similar subspecies on the Galapagos Islands – but to no avail.

10

HOT TICKET: BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN ON TOUR

Bruce Springsteen is touring to promote his latest album, Wrecking Ball, now released in the UK. His gigs feature classic hits such as The River and Born to Run, alongside new tracks from the album about economic hardship and loss. "A virtuoso performer", says The Independent.

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