Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Tuesday 18 Dec 2012

1

SENATORS URGE BAN ON ASSAULT WEAPONS

Two US senators endorsed by the powerful National Rifle Association, Democrats Mark Warner and Joe Manchin, have switched sides in the gun debate and called for a ban on assault weapons as the first two of the 26 victims of the Sandy Hook school massacre were buried in Connecticut. Noah Pozner and Jack Pinto were both aged six.

2

QUEEN ATTENDS CABINET MEETING

The Queen became the first monarch since Queen Victoria to attend a cabinet meeting when she sat in as an observer at Number Ten today. Wearing a royal blue wool dress, she spent 30 minutes listening the the deliberations of David Cameron and his ministers before being presented with 60 place mats to thank her for decades of public service, reports The Telegraph.

3

PLEBGATE LEAK: MPS CONCERNED AT ARREST

MPs and police officers have expressed concern at the arrest of the policeman – a member of the Diplomatic Protection Squad – suspected of leaking details of the "plebgate" altercation with Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell in Downing Street in September. They say the arrest raises chilling questions about the ability of whistleblowers to go public.

4

BRADLEY WIGGINS SET TO BE KNIGHTED

Tour de France winner and Olympic gold medalist Bradley Wiggins will receive a knighthood in the New Year's Honours List, the Daily Telegraph claims, heading a list of four Olympians and Paralympians due for the highest honour. Yachtsman Ben Ainslie and wheelchair racer David Weir can also expect knighthoods, while cyclist Sarah Storey is due to be given a damehood.

5

TORIES HIT NEW LOW IN POPULUS POLL

The Tories have lost one sixth of their support in the past two months and are down to 29%, their lowest ranking since David Cameron became leader. UKIP have reached a record high of 10% as voters take a harder line against the European Union, according to a Times/Populus poll, with 34% saying Britain would be "better off" out of the EU.

6

INSTAGRAM DEMANDS RIGHTS TO PICTURES

Users of the wildly popular photo sharing site Instagram are up in arms about a change to its privacy policy allowing it to sell users’s pictures to advertisers without notifying them. When Facebook paid $1 billion for Instagram in April many commentators suggested they had spent too much. Now it seems, the social media giant is trying to claw back some of that cash with controversial changes to its terms, the BBC speculates.

7

'DESPERATE' THIEVING ON RISE IN YORKSHIRE

Young mothers are among the growing number of people in Rotherham stealing out of desperation, according to South Yorkshire Police. Crime in the town has increased by 28% in a year. "What we are seeing is a small number of individuals - particularly young mums - who are committing crimes to feed their children," said Chief Supt Jason Harwin.

8

ARSENAL WIN RELIEVES PRESSURE ON WENGER

Arsenal have bounced back from last week's humiliation by Bradford with a 5-2 victory over Reading that included a hat-trick from Santi Cazorla. The win means they leap-frog Everton and West Bromwich into fifth place in the Premier League, and are only two points behind Chelsea in third place, easing the pressure on manager Arsene Wenger.

9

LIFESPAN OF BRITONS KEEPS ON CLIMBING

Most Britons are living six years longer than current life expectancy projections, according to new figures from the Office of National Statistics. The official life expectancy for a baby born in England or Wales in 2010 is 79 years for a boy and 83 for a girl, but the figures show that most men are already living to 85 and women to 89.

10

HOT TICKET: WICKED PRISCILLA PRESLEY

A pantomime of the classic fairytale 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs', starring Elvis Presley's widow Priscilla, has opened at the New Wimbledon Theatre. Presley appears as the Wicked Queen alongside Harry Potter's Warwick Davis and comedian Jarred Christmas. "Magic", says The Times. Until 13 January.

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