Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Monday 1 Oct 2012

1

ED BALLS PLANS STAMP DUTY HOLIDAY

Shadow chancellor Ed Balls will call for 100,000 new affordable homes to be built and a two-year stamp duty holiday for first-time buyers at the Labour conference in Manchester today in a plan to kick start the economy. He argues that the £3-4bn needed to fund the move could come from the sale of the 4G mobile spectrum.

2

EUROPE STUN US TO WIN RYDER CUP

Europe's golfers produced a record-breaking final day comeback to win the Ryder Cup at an astonished Medinah club in Chicago yesterday, as Europe made up a four-point overnight deficit. With the United States requiring only four points from the 12 on offer, Europe secured eight and a half to clinch a historic 14½-13½ win.

3

AFGHANISTAN: US DEATH TOLL HITS 2,000

A checkpoint shooting in eastern Afghanistan in which a US soldier died has taken the US military's death toll in the war to 2,000, Washington reported last night. Since the war began, 433 British soldiers have died. The Pentagon has also recorded 17,644 wounded in Afghanistan, while the numbers of insurgents who have died is unknown.

4

ADELE CONFIRMS BOND THEME SONG

Adele has confirmed that she is recording the theme tune for the forthcoming James Bond film 'Skyfall'. After months of speculation, the singer tweeted a picture of the sheet music with the movie title above her name. Skyfall, the 23rd Bond film, is due for release on 26 October 2012.

5

HISTORIAN ERIC HOBSBAWM DIES AGED 95

Historian Eric Hobsbawn has died at the age of 95. Born to Jewish parents in Egypt in 1917 Hobsbawm was raised Europe before moving to England in 1933 to escape the Nazis. He was a passionate socialist and intellectual. His most famous work was The Age of Extremes a history of the 20th Century.

6

MEGAN TEACHER: ‘I DID NOTHING WRONG’

Teacher Jeremy Forrest, in jail in Bordeaux after being caught on the run with schoolgirl Megan Stammers, 15, of Eastbourne, believes he has done nothing wrong, his lawyer Daniel Lalanne said last night. The 30-year-old thinks that “his only crime is to have fallen in love with a 15-year-old, without any recourse to violence or manipulation”. He will not contest extradition to Britain at a hearing on Tuesday.

7

FRENCH PROTEST AUSTERITY

Thousands took to the streets of Paris yesterday to protest against the “politics of austerity” in France and Europe, warning that their support for Socialist President Francois Hollande did not mean they would “shut up”. The French prime minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, defended the eurozone and accused the protesters of risking aggravating the economic crisis.

8

KIDNAPPED BRITON RESCUED IN AMAZON

Kathryn Cox, a 28-year-old British tourist kidnapped by a criminal gang in a remote corner of Ecuador while on a canoeing trip in the Amazon, was freed yesterday along with her Australian companion Fiona Wilde, 32, following a military operation involving “land, air and river patrols”. The Foreign Office confirmed that she was safely back in the capital, Quito.

9

GANGNAM STYLE GOES TOP OF UK CHARTS

Rapper Psy yesterday became the first South Korean pop star to make it to the top of the UK singles chart with his song Gangnam Style, the track which became a global phenomenon when the video featuring his horse-riding dance became YouTube's most "liked" of all time. Gangnam Style knocked The Script's Hall of Fame off top spot.

10

HOT TICKET: BRYDON’S WEST END DEBUT

Trevor Nunn’s revival of Alan Ayckbourn’s behind-the-stage comedy A Chorus of Disapproval has opened at the Harold Pinter Theatre London. Making his West End debut, Rob Brydon stars as the hapless director of an amateur theatre company production, thrown into disarray by a lothario leading man. “Blissful” says The Times. Until 5 January.

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