Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Wednesday 17 Oct 2012

1

NARROW VICTORY FOR OBAMA IN 2ND DEBATE

After a disappointing performance in the first televised debate a fortnight ago, President Obama came out swinging last night - but Republican Mitt Romney put up a fight. Some commentators felt their aggressive stances and body-language helped neither candidate win over undecided voters. Instant polls gave Obama a narrow victory.

2

MAN CHARGED OVER PHOTOGRAPHER KIDNAP

Shajul Islam, the 26-year-old Briton detained at Heathrow by counter terrorism police, has been remanded in custody after being charged with the kidnap in Syria of Sunday Times photographer John Cantlie and Dutch journalist Jeroen Oerlemans in July. A woman arrested at the same time as Islam has been released without charge.

3

HILARY MANTEL WINS SECOND BOOKER PRIZE

Hilary Mantel has won the £50,000 Man Booker Prize for her Tudor-era historical novel 'Bring up the Bodies', the sequel to 'Wolf Hall' which won the prize in 2009. She is the first British author and the first woman to win the top literary prize twice. "This double accolade is uniquely deserved," said chairman of the judges Sir Peter Stothard.

4

CAMERON 'APPALLED' BY SERBIA VIOLENCE

Prime Minister David Cameron has called on Uefa to impose "tough sanctions" on Serbia after the violence that marred the Under-21 football match against England last night. Players and staff were pelted with missiles in Krusevac and there were allegations of racism. Serbia has angrily denied the allegations and accused Danny Rose, who was subjected to monkey chants, as "vulgar".

5

GARY MCKINNON CELEBRATES VICTORY

Pentagon computer hacker Gary McKinnon has welcomed Theresa May's decision to block his extradition to the US on human rights grounds. "I had no hopes for a future, no way of making plans, no thoughts of asking Lucy [his long-term girlfriend] to share my life, no thoughts of whether I could ever have children or get work," he told the Daily Mail.

6

NIKE DITCHES LANCE ARMSTRONG

Nike have finally cut their ties with tainted cyclist Lance Armstrong a week after a dossier of damning evidence about doping allegations was made public. The sportswear giant said there was now "seemingly insurmountable evidence that he participated in doping and misled Nike for more than a decade".

7

GOVT VETO ON PRINCE CHARLES' LETTERS

Attorney General Dominic Grieve last night vetoed the release to The Guardian of private letters written by Prince Charles to government departments between September 2004 and April 2005, declaring them "preparations for kingship". A court had ruled last month that the letters should be released. The Republic group called the veto "an affront to democracy".

8

UNEMPLOYMENT FALLS BY 50,000

Unemployment fell by 50,000 between June and August, according to the Office for National Statistics. The employment rate is now 7.9 per cent. Youth unemployment fell by 62,000, taking it below 1 million. Rob Carnell, an economist at ING, told The Times: “Once again, UK data has rebutted the claim that the UK is as bad as some of the eurozone’s struggling economies."

9

FREEZING WINTER IN STORE FOR UK

After a miserable summer Britain could be set to endure a freezing winter with temperatures plunging to as low as -18C. Forecasters believe that high pressure systems will block the warmer Atlantic air leading to a colder than normal winter with snow and ice causing widespread disruption.

10

HOT TICKET: SONY'S SWAN GAME

A new fantasy video game, 'The Unfinished Swan', has been released for Sony's PlayStation. This non-violent game allows players to reveal and explore an imaginary dream world with the aid of a paint gun, while chasing an escaped swan. "Spectacular", says IGN.

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