Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Monday 29 Apr 2013

1

OBAMA: MORE GOLF THAN ECONOMICS

US President Barack Obama has spent almost 1,000 hours on holiday and playing golf since he took office in January 2009 but has spent less than half that amount of time, 474.4 hours, in meetings about the economy. The claim comes in a report from the Government Accountability Institute, based on analysis of the presidential diary and newspaper reports.

2

UNIVERSAL CREDIT LAUNCHES TODAY

The Coalition’s radical shake-up of the benefits system begins today with the new ‘universal credit’, which merges several benefits and tax credits into one, rolled out to a small number of claimants in Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester. There are concerns that the online-only process may not be ready for wider use.

3

DJ TO APPEAR AT ROYAL NURSE INQUEST

Australian radio presenter Mel Greig says she is determined to answer “any questions” at the UK inquest into the apparent suicide of nurse Jacintha Saldanha, who was found dead days after she transferred a phone call from Greig, pretending to be the Queen, to the Duchess of Cambridge’s ward.

4

N-WORD COMEDY ROW AT FOOTBALL AWARDS

Clark Carlisle, chairman of the Professional Footballers' Association, has apologised after comedian Reginald D Hunter shocked guests at the player of the year awards ceremony on Sunday night by using the N-word during his stand up routine. Carlisle said hiring Hunter, who is black, was a "gross error in judgment". Anti-racism group Kick It Out has also criticised the comedian.

5

CURIOUS INCIDENT WINS SEVEN OLIVIERS

Autism-themed play 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time' has won a record-equalling seven prizes at the Laurence Olivier Awards, including Best Play and Best Actor for Luke Treadaway. Helen Mirren won Best Actress for her portrayal of the Queen in Peter Morgan's play, 'The Audience'.

6

NORTH WALES CHILD ABUSE CLAIMS GROW

An investigation into claims of child abuse at children's homes in north Wales has uncovered "significant" evidence of "systemic and serious" sexual and physical abuse. There have been 140 claims of abuse between 1963 and 1992 and 76 new complainants have come forward. Police have been given the names of 84 suspected offenders.

7

BOSTON BOMBER 'SLAPPED' EX-GIRLFRIEND

A woman who is a former girlfriend of the late Tamerlan Tsarnaev, one of two brothers thought to have bombed the Boston marathon, says the boxer forced her to wear a hijab, slapped her and tried to convert her, both to Islam and to his “fanatical hatred” of America. Nadine Ascencao is 24.

8

SYRIAN PM SURVIVES BOMB ATTACK

Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Halaqi has survived a car bomb attack in the capital. The blast in western Mazzeh district targeted Mr Halaqi's convoy, state television said. There are reports of a number of casualties, but it is unclear whether the blast was a suicide bombing or a planted device. It is understood that Halaqi's bodyguard was killed in the attack.

9

PRAGUE BLAST INJURES 40

A powerful explosion in the centre of Prague has injured up to 40 people and left several others buried under rubble. The blast in a building on Divadelni Street, close to the National Theatre, was probably caused by natural gas, a police spokesman said. It was heard as far away as Prague Castle, over a mile away across the Vltava river.

10

HOT TICKET: CLASSIC HEIST GAME MONACO

Stealth heist video game ‘Monaco: What's Yours is Mine’ has been released in the UK. Described as a cross between ‘Pac-Man’ and ‘Oceans 11’, the game allows players to assemble a crack team of thieves to plan and execute robberies while evading guards and police. “Addictive”, says IGN.

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