Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Tuesday 11 Dec 2012

1

CLEGG VOWS TO BLOCK SNOOPING BILL

Deputy PM Nick Clegg said last night that he would block the draft Communications Data Bill, the 'snooping' bill designed to give the police and intelligence services new powers to monitor email and the internet. He said the proposals needed a "fundamental rethink" to get right "the balance between security and liberty".

2

ANTI GAY MARRIAGE OPINION 'IGNORED'

The coalition has been accused of running a "sham" consultation on same sex marriage by discounting the views of half a million people who oppose the idea. MPs at today's debate will be told that more than half of 228,000 respondents in a "listening exercise" approved legalising gay marriage, but opponents including 100 Tory MPs claimed petitions with 500,000 against the move were ignored.

3

STEPHEN HAWKING WINS £1.8M PRIZE

Stephen Hawking, the bestselling theoretical physicist, has won a £1.8m prize funded by the Russian internet magnate Yury Milner. The Special Fundamental Physics Prize marks a "lifetime of achievements". Hawking, 70, told The Guardian that he would spend the money on helping an autistic grandchild, and buying a holiday home.

4

KATE NURSE SUICIDE: HUSBAND SPEAKS OUT

Benedict Barboza, the husband of Jacintha Saldanha, who committed suicide after putting through a prank call to the ward where Kate Middleton was being treated, said yesterday he was "struggling to come to terms" with her death. The King Edward VII hospital has set up a memorial fund in her name, but the family has received no counselling.

5

ITALIAN ECONOMY HURT BY MONTI DECISION

Italy's borrowing costs rose and share prices fell after Mario Monti announced he was stepping down as prime minister following the withdrawal of support by former PM Silvio Berlusconi. European leaders and a senior Catholic have urged Monti to stand for election in February, when Berlusconi has vowed to attempt a comeback.

6

POLICE CAR TORCHED IN BELFAST RIOTS

An unmarked police car was attacked and set on fire last night by a gang of 15 masked men in east Belfast as riots over the striking of the Union flag continued. The windows were smashed and a petrol bomb thrown in while an officer was still inside. Police are treating the attack as attempted murder.

7

CENSUS SHOWS RISE IN FOREIGN-BORN

The 2011 census shows that the number of people living in England and Wales has risen by 7% to 56.1m since 2001. The number of residents born outside the country has risen almost 3m to 7.5m, just over 13%, and 'white British' people have become a minority in London for the first time. The Christian population also fell 13% to 59%.

8

UK CENSOR TAKES AIM AT 'TORTURE PORN'

The British film censor has decided to get tough with so-called 'torture porn' movies such as 'The Human Centipede II', because the public is worried about the effect they're having on "vulnerable viewers". The Guardian reports the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) is to "tighten its policy" on films that delight in "sexual or sadistic violence" by issuing new guidelines in six weeks' time.

9

MANDELA'S 'SPARKLE' FADING SAYS WIFE

Nelson Mandela's "sparkle" is fading his wife has said after it was disclosed the former South African president is suffering from a recurring lung infection. The 94-year-old, who has spent three days in a Pretoria military hospital after being admitted on the weekend for "tests consistent with his age", is responding to treatment for the infection, The Daily Telegraph says.

10

HOT TICKET: SLEEPING BEAUTY REVAMPED

A new production of the Tchaikovsky ballet 'Sleeping Beauty' has opened at Sadler's Wells, London. Matthew Bourne's production updates the classic fairy tale of a girl cursed to sleep for 100 years as a vampire story. "Wonderfully deviant", says The Guardian. Until 26 January.

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