Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Monday 17 Dec 2012

1

OBAMA VOWS: 'THESE TRAGEDIES MUST END'

President Obama promised to use all his powers to prevent repeats of the Sandy Hook primary school massacre of 20 children and seven adults when he attended an inter-faith service at the site in Connecticut last night. "These tragedies have to end,"he said."And to end them we must change." A gun control bill will be launched in Congress this week, but its chances of success are deemed low.

2

BRADLEY WIGGINS WINS BBC TROPHY

Cyclist Bradley Wiggins, 32, was presented with the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award last night. The winner of the Tour de France and a gold medal at the London Olympics beat heptathlete Jessica Ennis and US Open winner Andy Murray into second and third places. The award was presented by the Duchess of Cambridge.

3

OFFICER ARRESTED OVER 'PLEBGATE' LEAK

A police constable with the diplomatic protection group SO6 has been arrested on suspicion of misconduct in a public office, the Met Police said last night. The officer is accused of leaking the police log recording the Downing Street "plebs" row which led to the resignation of Conservative Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell.

4

HARDLINE JAPANESE PM RETURNS TO POWER

Shinzo Abe, the conservative nationalist leader of the Japanese Liberal Democratic party, will return to the prime minister's office on Boxing Day after his party won a landslide victory in yesterday's general election. Ousted three years ago, he promises to take a tough line with Chinese territorial claims and North Korea's nuclear ambitions.

5

'NO MANDATE' FOR GAY MARRIAGE, SAY MPS

Fifty-eight dissenting MPs and peers, including 35 Conservatives, have signed a letter in today's Daily Telegraph opposing the government's plans to legalise same-sex marriage, claiming that the government "does not have a mandate to redefine marriage". The letter says that at the last election"none of the three main parties stood on a platform to redefine marriage".

6

X-FACTOR WINNER TOP OF THE CHARTS

X Factor winner James Arthur, 24, went straight to the top of the UK singles chart yesterday with his debut single, Impossible. His cover of Shontelle's 2010 track sold 490,000 copies and has become the fastest-selling single of the year. On Strictly Come Dancing, Lisa Riley was voted off and will miss next weekend's grand finale.

7

'I'M ENGAGED' SAYS SILVIO BERLUSCONI

Former Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi, 76, who is facing charges of paying an underage girl for sex, says he has become engaged to 27-year-old Francesca Pascale, seen on his arm since he announced that he would run for office again next year. She makes him "feel less lonely". But Berlusconi has yet to reach divorce terms with his current wife, Veronica Lario.

8

CRICKET: ENGLAND WIN SERIES

Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell both scored centuries as England drew the final Test in Nagpur to secure their first series win in India for 28 years. England lost only one wicket all day (Trott, caught for 143) and declared on 352-4 with the game safe. For Indian fans all the talk today was about whether the great Sachin Tendulkar would announce his retirement.

9

PALESTINIANS: TONY BLAIR IS ‘USELESS’

A leading Palestinian official has said Tony Blair’s role at the Office of the Quartet Representative in Jerusalem is "useless, useless, useless". Mohammed Shtayyeh, an aide to the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said the Quartet's work "took us to nowhere".

10

HOT TICKET: MAGICAL NUTCRACKER

The English National Ballet's Christmas production of 'The Nutcracker' has opened at the London Coliseum. The romantic fairy tale, set to a Tchaikovsky score, tells the story of a girl whose toys come to life when she falls asleep under a Christmas tree. "Magic, fairy dust and wonderment,"says the Daily Telegraph. Runs until 5th January.

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