Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Tuesday 21 May 2013

1

OKLAHOMA TWISTER: 24 CONFIRMED DEAD

The official death toll from the massive tornado that hit the southern suburbs of Oklahoma City yesterday has been revised down to 24. Seven of the dead are believed to be children. Early reports suggested as many as 91 people may have died when the twister flattened houses, schools and churches.

2

WE'D NEVER SNEER, PM TELLS ACTIVISTS

David Cameron has written to Tory party activists to praise their "duty, decency and civic pride" and say that no one serving at Downing Street ever "sneered" at them. The PM was reacting to weekend reports that a senior Tory had described eurosceptic activists as "mad, swivel-eyed loons". Party co-chairman Lord Feldman has denied being the source.

3

TIM COOK TO DEFEND APPLE TAX CHARGE

Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, was due to appear before US senators later today to defend the tech giant against claims that it has avoided paying billions of dollars in tax. Senators have questioned offshore arrangements involving subsidiaries that exist "nowhere" for tax purposes. One Senate source called them "iCompanies – i for imaginary, invisible".

4

GAY MARRIAGE BILL SURVIVES TORY PROTEST

Parliament will continue to debate the gay marriage bill after a deal between Labour and David Cameron yesterday saved it from being "wrecked" by Tory backbenchers. But more than 100 Tory MPs voted against Cameron's wishes on another amendment, a sign of "how mutinous the party has become", according to The Times.

5

SCOTS CAN AFFORD TO GO SOLO - SALMOND

Scotland can "more than afford" to become independent because it has a lot more going for it than North Sea oil, First Minister Alex Salmond said today. It also has a strong food and drinks trade and tourism. It is Westminster that has held the Scots back, he said, as successive UK governments have mismanaged its economy, costing jobs and depressing growth.

6

DOORS KEYBOARDIST RAY MANZAREK DIES

Ray Manzarek, whose keyboard playing helped give The Doors one of the most distinctive sounds of the 1960s, has died in a German cancer clinic at the age of 74. Manzarek formed the band with singer Jim Morrison in 1965 after a chance meeting in Venice Beach, LA. Hits included 'Light My Fire' and 'Riders on the Storm'.

7

GEORGE MICHAEL 'FELL OUT OF CAR' AT 70MPH

Singer George Michael fell from the passenger seat of his Range Rover on to the northbound carriageway of the M1 motorway while the vehicle was traveling at 70mph, an eyewitness has claimed. The star is being kept in hospital for observation after he was airlifted from the scene of the accident last week with a head injury.

8

NORMAN TEBBIT: PM HAS 'F***ED UP'

Norman Tebbit has attacked David Cameron over his push to legalise gay marriage, saying the Prime Minister and his Cabinet have "f***ed up". The 82-year-old former Conservative party chairman said new marriage laws could affect the royal succession and even prompt sisters and brothers to marry in an effort to avoid inheritance tax.

9

JOSE MOURINHO FREE TO REJOIN CHELSEA

Real Madrid confirmed last night that Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho is leaving the club after three seasons by mutual consent. The parting – with no compensation having to be paid by club or manager - paves the way for Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich to reappoint Mourinho to manage the west London club.

10

HOT TICKET: SANCTUM SEQUEL LAUNCHED

Swedish sci-fi action video game 'Sanctum 2' has been released in the UK. In the sequel to 'Sanctum', players take on the role of elite soldiers who must protect a human colony from hordes of hostile aliens by building and defending strategic towers. "A genuine joy," says Forbes.

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