Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Wednesday 10 Apr 2013

1

PARTY LEADERS SHARE THATCHER MEMORIES

David Cameron called Lady Thatcher "an extraordinary leader and an extraordinary woman" at this afternoon’s special session of Parliament. Labour leader Ed Miliband said he admired her willingness to take on the established orthodoxies, but said she left mining communities "angry and abandoned". Several Labour MPs stayed away.

2

OSBORNE SEEKS TAX CHEAT DEAL

George Osborne yesterday signed an EU 'information exchange agreement' with France, Germany, Italy and Spain in the latest effort to crack down on tax evasion. The deal means that banks within the G5 will be forced to reveal financial information on foreign clients, which can then be passed on to be used by the tax authorities in their home countries.

3

IVF PIONEER ROBERT EDWARDS DIES AT 87

Prof Sir Robert Edwards, the scientist whose work led to the birth of the world's first 'test-tube baby', Louise Brown, in 1978, has died at 87. Edwards co-founded the Bourn Hall clinic with his fellow IVF pioneer, the late Patrick Steptoe. One of Edwards's first students, Prof Martin Johnson, called him "a remarkable man who changed the lives of so many people".

4

ARMY INTERPRETERS 'NEED ASYLUM'

British soldiers have added their voice to the campaign to grant the Army's Afghan interpreters automatic asylum in Britain. One soldier told BBC Radio that the interpreters risked their lives alongside him and played a vital role in communicating with the local population. Now they fear being left under Taliban control when western forces leave in 2014.

5

N KOREA MAY TEST MISSILE AT 'ANY TIME'

A North Korean defector has revealed that the regime's army was "deeply split" over whether to support Kim Jong-un as leader. The situation may have encouraged the young leader's warlike rhetoric in recent weeks. The news came as a US official said Pyongyang may test fire its mobile ballistic missiles "at any time".

6

HOMOEOPATHY ON NHS 'MAD' WASTE OF CASH

Professor John Beddington, who retired as chief scientific adviser to the government last week, last night declared that the use of homeopathic medicine by the NHS was "mad", and criticised the government for ignoring his advice and allowing up to £12 million a year of taxpayers' money to be spent of remedies with "no scientific basis".

7

BUGGING ROW OVER ACTRESS ASHLEY JUDD

A new bugging scandal has erupted in Washington after a secret tape-recording emerged which reveals Republican Senator Mitch McConnell discussing with his staff how to discredit Hollywood actress Ashley Judd, who until recently was expected to challenge him for his seat. They proposed casting her as "emotionally unbalanced", based on her struggle with depression in the 1990s.

8

£1.1M TRAVELLERS CAMP APPROVED

Britain's first purpose-built camp for New Age travellers will be built at a "woodland beauty spot" in Devon at a cost to taxpayers of more than £1 million. The site at Haldon Hill near Exeter, which has been used illegally by travellers for the past 12 years, will be transformed into a site with 15 pitches, each with hard standing, water and electricity.

9

$1BN CUBIST ART GIFT TO NEW YORK MUSEUM

A record donation of 78 cubist works of art worth at least $1 billion, including 33 major paintings by Picasso and 17 by Braque, was made yesterday to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The gift comes from Leonard Lauder, 80, an heir to the Estee Lauder cosmetics empire, and was amassed over 37 years. The complete collection will go on show in 2014.

10

HOT TICKET: PERFECT COMEDY AT YOUNG VIC

A new comedy inspired by classical actor Edward Petherbridge suffering a stroke while rehearsing for the role of King Lear has opened at London's Young Vic theatre. "Exquisite," says The Guardian. "Like watching a masterclass on King Lear under the influence of LSD," says the Daily Telegraph. Until 27 April.

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