Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Wednesday 17 Jul 2013

1

CONCORDIA CAPTAIN WANTS JAIL DEAL

The captain accused of causing the deaths of 32 people after his cruise ship, the Costa Concordia, ran aground on the Italian coast last year wants to cut a deal over his sentence. As Francesco Schettino's trial for manslaughter resumed today, lawyers said he would plead guilty in return for a sentence of three years and five months.

2

SCHOOL MEAL KILLS 21 CHILDREN IN INDIA

At least 21 children under the age of 12 have died and dozens more are seriously ill after eating a tainted school meal in India's eastern state of Bihar. An investigation has been launched into the tragedy which occurred at a government school in the village of Marakh in Saran district. Families of each of the dead have been offered £2,230 in compensation.

3

MET OFFICE ISSUES HEATWAVE WARNING

The Met Office has issued a little used "amber alert" as temperatures continue to soar in London and the South East. Elderly and other vulnerable people are most at risk as the country continues to swelter under temperatures of up to 32C. The heatwave is now the longest spell of hot weather Britain has experienced since 2006.

4

GLEE STAR DIED FROM HEROIN OVERDOSE

Cory Monteith, the star of hit TV musical comedy Glee, died from a combined heroin and alcohol overdose, a coroner in British Columbia has found. The 31-year-old Canadian actor, who played Finn Hudson in the hit series, was found dead in a Vancouver hotel room on Saturday. The coroner's office described his death as "a most tragic accident".

5

HEATHROW UNVEILS THIRD RUNWAY PLANS

Heathrow Airport has unveiled three options for an extra runway which it says could be built by 2029 and allow 260,000 more aircraft movements a year. The airport says a new runway to the north, north-west or south-west of the existing airport, would be a far cheaper option than building an entirely new hub airport.

6

N KOREA SHIP SEIZED WITH WEAPONS LOAD

A North Korean sea captain has attempted to kill himself after his vessel was found carrying weaponry, hidden in tonnes of brown sugar, through the Panama Canal. Missile parts, fighter jets and other weapons had been loaded in Cuba and were bound for North Korea. Cuba claims it was "obsolete defensive weaponry" being sent for repair.

7

QUEEN'S COUSIN 'NOT OVER EXCITED BY BABY'

Mary Rhodes, an 88-year-old cousin of the Queen, responded "Everybody has babies" when asked by CNN about the impending royal birth. "It's lovely, but I won't get wildly excited by it," she added. Pressed by interviewer Christiane Amanpour, Rhodes said she hoped Kate and William's first-born would enjoy a "jolly, happy, ordinary child's life".

8

TALIBAN 'REGRETS' SHOOTING GIRL

A senior Taliban commander says he wishes the attempted assassination of Pakistani schoolgirl and activist Malala Yousafzai had "never happened". In an open letter to the 16-year-old, Adnan Rashid described her shooting as "shocking" and urged her to return to Pakistan. However, Rashid stopped short of apologising for the attack.

9

MAN UTD TURN DOWN CHELSEA ROONEY BID

Manchester United have insisted that they will not sell unsettled striker Wayne Rooney, and last night turned down a bid from Chelsea for the player. The England striker says he is "angry and confused" at Old Trafford after being relegated to second-choice striker. Chelsea are thought to have offered £10m in cash plus a player.

10

HOT TICKET: REVIVAL OF THE AMERICAN PLAN

A revival of 'The American Plan' has transferred from Bath to the St James Theatre, London. On a Catskill Mountains holiday in the 1960s, a domineering mother fights for control of her daughter who has fallen for a mysterious young man. Stars Diana Quick. "Exquisitely judged," says The Guardian. Until 10 August.

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