Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Monday 30 Jul 2012

1

TOM DALEY MISSES OUT ON MEDAL

Divers Tom Daley and Pete Waterfield just missed out on a medal as they came fourth in the men's synchronised 10m platform at the Olympics. Earlier weightlifter Zoe Smith broke the British record in the clean and jerk and Heather Watson and Laura Robson progressed in the women's tennis singles. Rowers Kath Grainger and Anna Watkins set an Olympic record in the women's double sculls heats.

2

ALEPPO IS ‘NAIL IN ASSAD’S COFFIN’

US defence secretary Leon Panetta has said that Syrian president Bashar al-Assad’s assault on his country’s second city will be “a nail in his coffin” as heavy fighting continues there. Panetta, touring the middle east, said there was no doubt Assad’s regime was ending. The UN says 200,000 have fled Aleppo.

3

EBOLA SPREADS PANIC IN UGANDA

Ugandans have been warned not to touch each other as health workers struggle to contain an outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus which has killed 14 people this month. President Yoweri Museveni said the outbreak, which began in a town in western Uganda has now reached the capital Kampala where 20 health workers are in quarantine.

4

RBS FACES ‘HUGE FINE’ OVER LIBOR FIXING

RBS chief Stephen Hester has told The Guardian his bank faces damage to its reputation and a huge fine for its part in the interest rate-fixing scandal which engulfed Barclays bank earlier this year. He said: “RBS is one of the banks tied up in Libor. We'll have our day in that particular spotlight as well.”

5

APPLE AND SAMSUNG BACK IN COURT

The two tech firms who account for more than half of the world’s smart-phone sales are fighting yet another patent war in a California court today. Apple is suing Samsung for allegedly copying its groundbreaking iPhone, seeking $2.5bn damages. Samsung is countersuing and the two actions have been combined.

6

TORY ANGER OVER ‘LEFTIE’ CEREMONY

The Daily Mail claims that “several Tory cabinet ministers” had grave concerns about Danny Boyle’s opening ceremony for the Olympics, described by Aidan Burley MP as “leftie crap”. While Boris Johnson said that claim was “nonsense”, one Labour MP has praised the “progressive socialist sentiments” of the show.

7

PUSSY RIOT PLEAD NOT GUILTY

Members of an all-female Russian political punk band, Pussy Riot, have pleaded not guilty to charges of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred. The three women are in court today for singing an anti-Putin song in Moscow’s main cathedral in February. They accused the authorities of turning a civil case into a criminal one because of pressure from the church and "political elite".

8

TORIES WANT BORIS FOR LEADER

Boris Johnson has topped a poll asking who should be the next leader of the Conservative party. The survey, conducted by the Tory grassroots website Conservative Home, found that 32 per cent favour the London mayor, who is seen by many as having a good Olympics. Only 2 per cent want Chancellor George Osborne to succeed Cameron.

9

PAULA RADCLIFFE PULLS OUT OF GAMES

World-record holder Paula Radcliffe yesterday announced she will not compete in the marathon at this year’s games. The 38-year-old’s osteoarthritis in one foot flared up in June and has left her out of condition. She said: “As desperate as I was to be part of the [Games], I don’t want to be there below my best.”

10

HOT TICKET: RYLANCE BACK AT THE GLOBE

A revival of Shakespeare’s Richard III has opened at London’s Globe Theatre. Mark Rylance, former Globe artistic director and star of the West End hit Jerusalem, plays Shakespeare’s notoriously twisted villain in an “original practice” production with an all-male cast. “Refreshing, challenging, bold,” says the Telegraph.

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