Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Friday 26 Oct 2012

1

UK OIL EXEC SHOT DEAD IN BRUSSELS

Belgian police are hunting two men after a British executive for oil giant ExxonMobil was shot dead "assassination style" in a street in Brussels. Nicholas Mockford, 60, was approached by two men in crash helmets as he approached his car and shot three times in front of his second wife, a Belgian national. The killing took place at 10pm on 14 October, but was not reported until yesterday.

2

ASH TREE CULL PROPOSED

Imports of ash trees to Britain will be banned from Monday in an attempt to arrest the spread of ash dieback, which is caused by the fungus Chalara fraxinea, and has killed up to 90 per cent of ash trees in Denmark. This week it was found for the first time in wild trees in England. The Forestry Commission is considering 'culling' all ash trees within a 20km radius of infected sites.

3

GOVE ACCUSED OF TEACHER 'MUDDLE'

Unions have accused Education Secretary Michael Gove of "muddled thinking" after he announced that aspiring state school teachers will face tougher entry tests to "raise standards". Teachers' unions pointed out that in July the government said that academies would be able to employ "brilliant people who have not got qualified teaching status".

4

CONRAD BLACK: PAXMAN IS AN 'ASSHOLE'

Disgraced former Daily Telegraph owner Conrad Black has taken another swipe at Jeremy Paxman, saying he likes the BBC Newsnight anchor, but that he is an "asshole". Black was appearing as a guest on an episode of Have I Got News For You, which will be broadcast tonight. When Black suggested that regular panellist Ian Hislop was telling lies, the Private Eye editor replied: “The Black calling the kettle a crook.”

5

MALALA'S FATHER HAILS 'MIRACLE' RECOVERY

Ziauddin Yousafzai, the father of Malala, the Pakistani schoolgirl shot by the Taliban for 'promoting secularism', has said he had been told to prepare for her funeral after the attack and her recovery was a "miracle". He was talking after visiting his daughter at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. He said Malala is walking and talking again, adding: "She is improving with encouraging speed and we are very happy."

6

NYPD MAN PLOTTED TO COOK AND EAT WOMEN

New York City policeman Gilberto Valle, 28, was arrested yesterday for an alleged plot to kidnap women, rape and torture them and then cook and eat their body parts. He is being held in custody following a tip-off from his ex-wife which led to police discovering his plans on his home computer. He was using police records to track and contact potential victims.

7

SAVILE: 'HOUSEHOLD NAMES' FACE ARREST

Police investigating allegations of sexual abuse by Jimmy Savile will make arrests within days, the Daily Mail reports. Savile is believed to have had accomplices and up to 12 of the people police are planning to arrest are reportedly household names. Last night, Scotland Yard confirmed that the number of possible sexual abuse victims of Savile, over 40 years, has risen to 300.

8

HURRICANE SANDY HEADS FOR NYC

Hurricane Sandy has killed around 20 people in Cuba, Haiti and Jamaica as it bears down on the Bahamas today with winds of up to 106 mph. There are fears it could cause a "perfect storm" off the east coast of America's mid-Atlantic states, including New York, inflicting at least $1bn in damage when it collides with Arctic winds.

9

BERLUSCONI GIVEN FOUR YEARS JAIL IN ITALY

Former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi has been sentenced to four years in prison by a Milan court after being convicted of tax fraud. The 76-year-old, who announced earlier this week that he would not stand in forthcoming elections, will appeal. The case involved the purchase of rights to show US films on Berlusconi's TV networks.

10

HOT TICKET: BOND IS BACK IN SKYFALL

British agent James Bond returns to UK cinemas today with the release of 'Skyfall', directed by Sam Mendes. Marking the 50th anniversary of the Bond films, it sees Daniel Craig's Bond come back from the dead to save MI6 boss M (Judi Dench) from creepy cyber-terrorist Javier Bardem. "One of 007's best", says The Times.

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