Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Friday 12 Jul 2013
OSBORNE: VOTE TORY FOR NO TAX RISES
Chancellor George Osborne fired the starting pistol for the 2015 general election by promising that the Tories will not need to raise taxes after the election to fill the £25bn hole in Britain's public finances. Instead, he plans more spending and welfare cuts. He also promised an announcement this autumn on tax breaks for married couples.
IRELAND VOTES FOR LIFE-SAVING ABORTION
Ireland's MPs yesterday voted 127-31 to legalise abortion in cases where the expectant mother's life is at risk or there's a danger she will take her own life. Opponents say the bill will lead to widespread abortions. Backers wish it went further and allowed terminations in cases of rape and foetal abnormality.
MILITARY FUNERAL FOR FUSILIER LEE RIGBY
Fusilier Lee Rigby, brutally killed outside Woolwich barracks in May, received a full military funeral this morning at Bury Parish Church in Greater Manchester. His body had been guarded overnight by members of his regiment, the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. The funeral was attended by the Prime Minister and the Mayor of London.
PRESENTER ALAN WHICKER DIES AT 87
Broadcaster and journalist Alan Whicker has died at the age of 87 at his home in Jersey from bronchial pneumonia. The globe-trotting host of the long-running TV series 'Whicker's World', which ran from 1959 to 1990, cultivated the image of an Englishman abroad. He was known for his neatly trimmed moustache and always wore a blazer and tie.
SNOWDEN 'ASKS FOR ASYLUM IN RUSSIA'
Fugitive spy Edward Snowden has reportedly applied for asylum in Russia, after meeting with human rights activists and lawyers at Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow, where he has been holed up since landing in the country last month. Snowden still wants to head to one of the Latin American countries that have offered him refuge but wants to arrange safe passage while in Russia.
ASHES: AGAR STRIKES TO REMOVE COOK
Australian wonderkid Ashton Agar struck again on the third day of the first Test at Trent Bridge as he claimed the crucial wicket of England captain Alastair Cook as his first international scalp. At tea the match was finely poised with England on 230-6, with Stuart Broad and Ian Bell at the crease, and a lead of 165.
BAN PACKED LUNCHES, HEAD TEACHERS URGED
Head teachers in England are being urged to ban packed lunches because they are far less nutritious than school dinners. A report found the take-up of school meals is only 43%, despite improvements following Jamie Oliver's campaign, while only 1% of packed lunches meet the nutritional standards that now apply to school food.
SAM MENDES AGREES TO SECOND BOND FILM
Sam Mendes has agreed to direct a second Bond film following the commercial and critical success of 'Skyfall'. He and screenwriter John Logan have already developed an "extraordinary" follow-up story, according to producer Barbara Broccoli, who said: "We always start off by saying 'What is the world afraid of?'"
BRAZIL OUTRAGED BY POSH MARACANA PLAN
Brazilians have reacted with anger at a proposed ban on football fans appearing shirtless, banging drums and waving bamboo flagpoles at Rio de Janeiro's Maracana stadium following a $450m upgrade for next year's World Cup final. Fans have accused the stadium's new administration of "gentrification" and "declaring war against the people".
HOT TICKET: MONSTER EPIC 'PACIFIC RIM'
Guillermo del Toro's science fiction epic 'Pacific Rim' opens in UK cinemas today. In the near future humans must use robots to combat giant monsters that rise from a crevasse beneath the Pacific Ocean and attack earth. Stars Idris Elba of 'The Wire' and 'Luther'. "Miraculous," says the Daily Telegraph.