Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Thursday 13 Dec 2012

1

NO 10 DENIES THREAT TO DAILY TELEGRAPH

Downing Street last night denied that the PM's spokesman Craig Oliver warned The Daily Telegraph against running a critical story on Culture Secretary Maria Miller's parliamentary expenses because of her role in enacting the Leveson proposals. The paper reported that he had contacted the editor to warn that she was "looking at Leveson at the moment".

2

CALL FOR FINUCANE PUBLIC INQUIRY

Shaun Woodward, a former Secretary of State for Northern Ireland under Labour, has called for a public inquiry into the 1989 death of Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane. His call comes after the Da Silva Report found that agents of the state had colluded with Loyalist terrorists to kill Finucane but that there was "no overarching state conspiracy".

3

JACINTHA SALDANHA LEFT THREE NOTES

Jacintha Saldanha, the nurse at the centre of the royal hoax call scandal, was found hanged with a scarf, the inquest into her apparent suicide was told today. She had left three separate notes. The Australian media watchdog has launched an inquiry into whether 2Day FM breached "broadcasting obligations" by recording and airing the hoax call.

4

EVIDENCE KREMLIN KILLED LITVINENKO

The Russian state was involved in the murder of former spy Alexander Litvinenko, documents released by the British government suggest.The evidence emerged during a legal review today, ahead of a formal inquest into his death. Litvinenko died in 2006 after ingesting polonium-210, allegedly during a meeting with ex-KGB contacts.

5

GOOGLE BOSS PROUD OF TAX AVOIDANCE

Google chairman Eric Schmidt told Bloomberg News yesterday that he is proud of the web giant's tax avoidance schemes, claiming it is doing nothing illegal, just using the rules to its advantage. "It's called capitalism…we are proudly capitalistic. I'm not confused about this," he said. In 2011, Google used a Bermuda shell company to avoid $2bn in taxes.

6

PLOT TO CASTRATE AND KILL BIEBER FOILED

New York police have arrested two men who planned to "castrate and murder" pop star Justin Bieber. According to the Daily Mirror, the suspects were hired by a convict called Dana Martin who is "obsessed with Bieber" and has a tattoo of the singer's face on his leg. Martin hired Mark Staake and Tanner Ruane to strangle Bieber and his bodyguard with a paisley tie and then castrate them.

7

SPORTS DIRECT EYES HOUSE OF FRASER

Mike Ashley's Sports Direct chain has reported a 25 per cent rise in profits thanks to the London Olympics and Paralympics, and there is growing speculation that the Newcastle United owner will launch a bid for the iconic House of Fraser department stores. According to website Drapers, Ashley is set to embark on a "spending spree".

8

CHELSEA CRUISE INTO WORLD CUP FINAL

Chelsea made their debut in the Club World Cup in Japan with an easy 3-1 win over Mexican side Monterrey to secure a place in Sunday's final. The goals came from Juan Mata, Fernando Torres and Monterrey's Darvin Chavez who put the ball into his own net. The Mexicans' consolation came in stoppage time. Chelsea face Corinthians in the final on Sunday.

9

HOT TICKET: PRIVATES BACK ON PARADE

A revival of Peter Nichols's musical farce 'Privates on Parade' has opened at the Noel Coward Theatre in London's West End. Simon Russell Beale stars as a cross-dressing army captain leading a troupe of military entertainers in late 1940s Singapore. "Gloriously entertaining", says The Daily Telegraph. Until 2 March.

10

NOROVIRUS OUTBREAK HITS 750,000 BRITONS

Three quarters of a million British people have been struck down by Norovirus in the worst outbreak of the 'winter vomiting bug' since records began. Hundreds of hospital wards and some schools have been closed. Even holidaymakers have not escaped, around 400 passengers on a P&O cruise ship in the Baltic are reported to have been struck down.

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