Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Thursday 7 Mar 2013

1

'RIGHT-WING PLOT' TO UNSEAT COALITION

The Times claims there is a right-wing plot among senior Conservatives to "unseat" the coalition and possibly challenge David Cameron's leadership before the 2015 general election. David Davis, Liam Fox, John Redwood and Chris Grayling are all named as attendees at a private dinner. Grayling is said to have warned the group that it would be "madness" to challenge Cameron.

2

UN OBSERVERS SEIZED BY SYRIAN REBELS

Twenty Filipino UN observers have been seized in the Golan Heights on the Syria-Israel border by a group of Syrian rebels calling themselves Martyrs of Yarmouk. The group told the BBC they had taken the observers to stop Syrian troops from shelling them. The UN representatives are reported to be unarmed.

3

TOO MUCH PROCESSED MEAT A KILLER

Over-indulgence in processed meat such as sausages, ham and bacon is to blame for one in 30 deaths, according to new European-wide research. Deaths from cancer and heart disease have been linked to the high concentration of fats in processed meat. Researchers say 20g a day is a safe maximum – equivalent to one small rasher of bacon.

4

VICKY PRYCE GUILTY OVER SPEEDING POINTS

Vicky Pryce, former wife of disgraced Cabinet minister Chris Huhne, has been found guilty of perverting the course of justice by taking speeding points in 2003 on his behalf. She and Huhne, guilty of the same offence, will be sentenced at a later date. Both face possible jail terms. The jury was not persuaded by her defence of "marital coercion".

5

MAN HELD AFTER GIRL STABBED TO DEATH

A 16-year-old girl stabbed to death on a crowded bus as she made her way to school in Birmingham this morning has been named as Christina Edkins. Police have arrested a 22-year-old man on suspicion of murder. The attack happened at around 7.30am on the top deck of the number 9 bus as it turned onto the Hagley Road near Fiveways.

6

CALL TO CULL HALF OF UK DEER POPULATION

Around half of the UK's exploding deer population needs to be shot every year to stop the devastation of woodlands and birdlife, a group of scientists from the University of East Anglia says in a study published today in the Journal of Wildlife Management. The deer population has reached 1.5 million, the highest number since the last Ice Age.

7

AUTHORS DEMAND LIBEL LAW REFORM

Some of Britain's top authors and playwrights, including Stephen Fry, Sir Tom Stoppard, William Boyd and Margaret Drabble, last night called on all party leaders to implement a libel bill easing draconian 170-year-old laws which have made London the "libel capital of the world". The bill, launched three years ago, has languished since the Leveson inquiry began.

8

MAN UTD 'READY TO SELL WAYNE ROONEY'

Manchester United are ready to sell striker Wayne Rooney for £20m, press reports claim today. The figure is half what the club would have expected a year ago. The speculation follows the decision of manager Alex Ferguson to drop Rooney from his starting line-up against Real Madrid on Tuesday. Rooney has two years left on his contract.

9

'WOODSTOCK GUITARIST' ALVIN LEE DIES

Alvin Lee, the British-born blues-rock guitarist who played a legendary 11-minute solo with his band Ten Years After at the 1969 Woodstock Festival, has died at the age of 68. Lee never achieved the fame of 60s peers such as Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix, but his "epic" playing was a big influence on other guitarists including Slash from Guns N' Roses.

10

HOT TICKET: MAJESTIC HELEN MIRREN

Helen Mirren is reprising her Oscar-winning role as the Queen in 'The Audience' at the Gielgud Theatre, West End. The play, by 'The Queen' writer Peter Morgan, goes behind closed doors to imagine the Queen's weekly meetings with 12 prime ministers across the course of her reign. "Hugely enjoyable," says The Independent.

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