Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Wednesday 13 Mar 2013

1

KEEP PATIENTS OUT OF HOSPITALS, GPS WARN

Hospitals can be dangerous places and patients should be kept away from them unless it's absolutely necessary, GPs' leaders have argued in a letter to The Times. All non-urgent care should be shifted from hospitals into the community, says the NHS Alliance. The Times calls it an extraordinary attack on NHS standards of care.

2

ORDER! ORDER! HUHNE ‘MOCKED IN PRISON’

Chris Huhne was approached by so many inmates demanding money on his first day in Wandsworth, that he had to be moved to the segregation block, according to reports from prison visitors. "Someone found out he had loads of money,” said a woman visiting her boyfriend. A prison warder apparently called the former MP to breakfast by shouting “Order! Order!”

3

ALCOHOL PRICING: MILIBAND TAUNTS PM

David Cameron was mocked in the Commons today for his U-turn on alcohol pricing as Ed Miliband exploited Cabinet splits to portray a Government that was “falling apart”. With doctors crying foul over the ditching of plans to set a minimum price for alcohol, the Labour leader seized on reports of Cabinet unrest and on the Tory backbenches.

4

SNOW MOVES NORTH SPREADING CHAOS

Snow was forecast to move north to cover most of England and Scotland last night and today, leaving most of the country covered in snow or ice, or both. The RAC said it was a "nightmare weather scenario" and travel conditions are expected to reach news levels of chaos. Some flights and all Eurostar trains were cancelled yesterday.

5

QUEEN CANCELS ALL ENGAGEMENTS

Buckingham Palace last night announced that the Queen was cancelling all engagements for the rest of the week because she has still not fought off the gastroenteritis that first struck more than ten days ago. Amid speculation about her health in some media, the Palace insisted: "The Queen continues to make a good recovery".

6

'ONLY NATIONAL FORCE WOULD STOP SAVILE'

Greater Manchester Police Chief Sir Peter Fahy has said that only a national police force could prevent a Jimmy Savile-type sex abuse case from happening again. It was hard to achieve "consistent national standards" with 43 police forces. "While localism has many strengths," he said, "it does make it more difficult when cases cross boundaries."

7

JORGE MARIO BERGOGLIO IS NEW POPE

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina has been elected the Catholic Church's new Pope, a choice that took many Catholics - including the Archbishop of Westminister - by surprise. Bergoglio, who was the runner-up and main challenger to Cardinal Ratzinger at the 2005 conclave, will be known as Pope Francis I. Bergoglio is said to be extremely popular in Argentina. The 76-year-old is renowned for taking the bus to work and refusing to use a chauffeur.

8

NEW YORK COP GUILTY OF 'CANNIBAL' PLOT

New York City police officer Gilberto Valle, the 'cannibal cop', has been found guilty of plotting to murder his wife, and cook and eat other women. The jury accepted prosecution arguments that he had "left the world of fantasy" and had begun to implement his plan by tracking and contacting women he proposed to eat.

9

DAILY AND SUNDAY TELEGRAPHS MERGE

There will no longer be separate Daily and Sunday Telegraph newspapers as the two are merged "into one unified operation, serving digital and print products on a 24/7 basis". Eighty editorial jobs will be cut. Chief executive Murdoch MacLennan said: "We must move now to complete our transition to a digital business".

10

HOT TICKET: 'WRITTEN ON SKIN' A TRIUMPH

George Benjamin's new opera 'Written on Skin' has opened at the Royal Opera House. The opera, with libretto by Martin Crimp, is based on a French legend about a ruthless landowner who commissions a book about his life with disastrous consequences. "A triumph", says The Guardian. Until 22 March.

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