Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Monday 20 May 2013

1

'SWIVEL-EYED LOONS': FELDMAN FACES BOARD

Lord Feldman, Tory party co-chairman and a personal friend of David Cameron's from Oxford days, will be quizzed by the party's board this evening over the allegation that he described Tory eurosceptics as "mad, swivel-eyed loons" in a private exchange with journalists on Wednesday. Feldman has strongly denied making the remark.

2

LABOUR THROWS PM GAY MARRIAGE 'LIFELINE'

The Labour leadership has moved to save the equal marriage bill which was facing defeat in the Commons. The Opposition is expected to withdraw its support from an amendment tabled by Tory opponents of gay marriage and table its own amendment calling for an immediate consultation on extending civil partnerships to heterosexual couples.

3

IRAQ CAR BOMBS, SHOOTINGS KILL 57

A string of car bombs and shootings have torn through Shia and Sunni areas of Iraq, killing at least 57 people and escalating fears of a return to widespread sectarian bloodletting. The attacks, some of which targeted market places and crowded bus stops during rush hour, are the latest in a recent spike in violence.

4

BRITON HELD IN LYON OVER 2 DEAD CHILDREN

A British man living in the French city of Lyon has arrived in court after allegedly confessing to the killing of his two children, aged five and ten. The man had been allowed to look after them unsupervised for the first time since divorcing their French mother. She reportedly found him covered in blood when she returned to her flat.

5

ROD STEWART AT NO 1 AFTER 34-YEAR GAP

'Time', a new album by Rod Stewart, has gone straight to number one – 34 years after he last topped the album chart with his Greatest Hits Vol 1 in 1979. Stewart says the process of producing his recent autobiography helped cure his 20-year-long writer's block. Daft Punk remain No 1 in the singles chart with 'Get Lucky'.

6

ARSENAL QUALIFY FOR EUROPE AFTER 1-0 WIN

Arsenal have qualified for the Champions League for the 16th season running after beating Newcastle 1-0 yesterday to finish fourth in the Premier League. Tottenham finished fifth and there is renewed speculation they will lose 'Welsh wizard' Gareth Bale to a club that can offer him Champions League exposure.

7

PM TELLS TAX HAVENS: WE NEED YOUR HELP

David Cameron is asking British overseas territories and crown dependencies with a reputation as tax havens to help clamp down on tax avoiders. He wants Jersey, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands and other shelters to reveal who owns and controls companies. The PM will raise tax-dodging in a meeting with Google boss Eric Schmidt.

8

STUART BROAD BOWLS OUT NEW ZEALAND

England romped to victory in the first cricket Test against New Zealand at Lord's on Sunday, dismissing the tourists for just 68 in their second innings to win by 170 runs. Stuart Broad did the damage, taking 7-44 as New Zealand were bowled out in just 22.3 overs. Earlier, England scored 213 in their second innings to set the tourists a target of 239.

9

BUSINESS LEADERS ATTACK EU NAYSAYERS

Anyone calling for Britain to leave the EU is "putting politics before economics", senior business leaders argue in a letter to The Independent. Virgin boss Richard Branson and the chairmen of BT, Deloitte and Lloyds are among those saying that EU membership is worth between £31bn and £92bn per year in income gains.

10

HOT TICKET: IBSEN'S PUBLIC ENEMY UPDATED

A new adaptation of Ibsen's classic 'Public Enemy' (aka 'Enemy of the People') by playwright David Harrower has opened at London's Young Vic. Nick Fletcher stars as a doctor whose career is destroyed after he exposes water pollution at a spa town. "A class act," says The Times. Until 8 June.

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