Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Monday 12 Nov 2012

1

...BBC HEAD OF NEWS BOADEN 'STEPS ASIDE'

Helen Boaden, head of news at the BBC, and her deputy, Steve Mitchell, have "stepped aside" according to a BBC report. Lord Patten, chairman of the BBC Trust, is under fire from MPs for agreeing a severance package for Director General George Entwistle that includes a full year's salary of £450,000 when only half that sum was necessary under the terms of his contract.

2

SYRIAN CLERIC TO HEAD OPPOSITION

Moaz al-Khatib, a leading Damascus cleric who fled Syria for Cairo in July after several spells in prison, was chosen at a meeting in Qatar yesterday to head a new coalition to oppose dictator Bashar al-Assad's government. The former Sunni Muslim imam of the Umayyad mosque is considered a moderate. He called on the West to "fulfill its pledges" over the Syrian crisis.

3

OSBORNE TO SCRAP 3P RISE IN PETROL DUTY

Chancellor George Osborne is under renewed pressure to scrap plans to raise petrol duty by 3p a gallon in the New Year. Tory mutineers are threatening to join Labour in a vote today calling for a three-month freeze on the increase. Rebel leader Robert Halfon MP said "the government is in strong listening mode."

4

SKYFALL BREAKS US BOX OFFICE RECORD

The latest James Bond film 'Skyfall', starring Daniel Craig, made $87.8 million over its first weekend at the US box office, a record for the Bond franchise. However, Hollywood.com says it has a long way to go before it catches up with 'Thunderball', starring Sean Connery. In today's money, the 1965 film eventually took $508m.

5

STARBUCKS & GOOGLE FACE MPs OVER TAX

Executives from Starbucks, Google and Amazon have been grilled by MPs today on how they avoid paying corporation tax in Britain. The Commons Public Accounts Committee is reacting to allegations that the multinationals have managed to pay little or no tax on massive UK earnings by being registered in "offshore" countries.

6

TAYLOR SWIFT SCOOPS MTV AWARDS

Taylor Swift, the 22-year-old American country singer, scooped three awards at the MTV Europe Music Awards (EMAs) in Germany last night, winning for Best Female Act, Best Live Act and Best Look. Korean pop sensation Psy received the biggest reaction of the night when he played his breakout hit Gangnam Style, complete with dozens of lookalike dancers.

7

ABU QATADA TO BE RELEASED

Radical Muslim cleric Abu Qatada has won his appeal against deportation to Jordan and will be released from Long Lartin prison in Worcestershire tomorrow. Home Secretary Theresa May has been given assurances by Jordan that no evidence gained through torture would be used against him, but the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (Siac) heard evidence suggesting he could not expect a fair trial there.

8

GEN PETRAEUS AFFAIR: SECOND WOMAN NAMED

The FBI investigation into General David Petraeus's extramarital affair, which triggered his resignation on Friday as CIA chief, is reported to have been prompted by harassing emails from his mistress Paula Broadwell to a second woman, Jill Kelley, 37. Broadwell allegedly warned her to "stay away from my guy". Kelley reported the threats to the FBI.

9

TIM DAVIE WALKS OUT OF SKY INTERVIEW...

Tim Davie, the acting director general of the BBC, appeared to walk out of an interview with Sky News on Monday after he was repeatedly asked if former boss George Entwistle was at fault over the Newsnight scandal that cost him his job. Davie, conducting his first round of media interviews, told Dermot Murnaghan he had "a lot do do" before ending the interview.

10

HOT TICKET: ALAN BENNETT'S PEOPLE

Alan Bennett's new play 'People', directed by Nicholas Hytner, has opened at the National Theatre to strong reviews. Frances de la Tour stars as the owner of a decaying stately home she can no longer afford, who is courted by property developers, the porn industry and the National Trust. "Wonderfully funny," says The Times.

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