Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Wednesday 27 Jun 2012
BARCLAY'S BOSS DIAMOND GIVES UP BONUS
Barclay's boss Bob Diamond is to give up his bonus after the bank was hit with fines of £290m for manipulating interest rates. Diamond, the bank's chief executive, apologised after Barclay's was fined £59.5m by the Financial Services Authority and ordered to pay $360m to the US authorities. He said that he and other executives would forgo their bonuses.
QUEEN SHAKES HANDS WITH IRA COMMANDER
The Queen today shook hands with the former IRA commander Martin McGuinness, now Northern Ireland's Deputy First Minister, in a meeting in Belfast organised by Co-operation Ireland. Hailed as a defining moment in Anglo-Irish history, the gesture came 33 years after the IRA murdered the Queen's cousin Lord Mountbatten.
SYRIA: GUNMEN STORM TV STATION
At least seven people have been killed in Syria after gunmen stormed a pro-government TV station and opened fire on staff. Earlier, Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad told his newly appointed cabinet that the country was in "a state of war" and that all efforts had to be directed to "winning", amid reports of heavy fighting in Damascus.
CABINET APPROVES LORDS REFORM PLANS
Nick Clegg will today announce the Coalition's plans for reforming the House of Lords, with the Government proposing to hold elections in 2015 that will eventually lead to an 80 per cent elected Upper House of 450 members by 2025. Labour has indicated that it will line up with up to 80 Tory rebel MPs in opposing a limit on debate time of the plans.
SCREENWRITER NORA EPHRON DIES AT 71
Nora Ephron, the Hollywood screenwriter who earned Oscar nominations for a string of box office hits including Sleepless in Seattle and When Harry Met Sally, died last night from complications with leukaemia. She was 71. She had been married three times, writing the bestseller Heartburn after divorcing Watergate journalist Carl Bernstein.
FRY AND MURRAY SUPPORT JOKE TWEETER
Comedians Stephen Fry and Al Murray turned up at the High Court today to support Paul Chambers, the man convicted of sending a "menacing tweet" as he appealed against his conviction. Chambers was fined and left with a criminal record in 2010 after sending a tweet that joked about blowing up Robin Hood airport.
HOT TICKET – PLAYING WITH SUPERHEROS
The latest in the Lego game series, Lego Batman 2: DC Superheroes, has topped the UK game charts within a week of being released. The game allows gamers to play as classic Batman and DC Comics characters (Superman, Wonderwoman etc) while combating the Joker and evil henchmen (Riddler, Lex Luthor). "Gaming alchemy", says The Guardian.
JERSEY THREATENS INDEPENDENCE
Jersey, home to schemes at the heart of the backlash against tax avoidance by the rich, should prepare to declare independence from Britain and break the "thrall of Whitehall" rather than submit to a regulatory clampdown of its biggest industry, Sir Philip Bailache, the island's assistant chief minister, told the Guardian yesterday. "We get a raw deal," he said.
WATSON WINS AGAIN AT WIMBLEDON
Heather Watson has become the first British woman to reach the third round at Wimbledon for ten years after beating American Jamie Lee Hampton 6-1, 6-4. It is also the first time the 20-year-old has made it that far at a Grand Slam. Last night Scottish fourth seed Andy Murray made short work of Russian Nikolay Davydenko.
SPICE GIRLS LAUNCH WEST END MUSICAL
The Spice Girls reunited yesterday to launch Viva Forever!, a new West End musical, to open in December, based on their hit songs, written by Jennifer Saunders and produced by Judy Craymer of Mama Mia! Victoria Beckham, Melanie Brown, Emma Bunton, Melanie Chisholm and Geri Halliwell said they would "introduce Girl Power to a whole new generation."