Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Friday 18 Mar 2011

Muammar Gaddafi

Our popular news catch-up service is posted Monday to Friday at 8.00 am. You can rely on it to keep you up to date through the working day with the main news talking points. Gaddafi declares immediate ceasefire The Libyan government today declared an immediate ceasefire within hours of prime minster David Cameron telling the House of Commons that British Tornadoes and Typhoons could be in action tomorrow in order to prevent Col. Gaddafi launching a "bloodbath" in Benghazi. There was unanimous party support for military action when Cameron addressed the Commons this morning. Gaddafi ceasefire won’t halt plans to depose him Libya resolution is David Cameron's defining moment as he chairs first war cabinet CRACKDOWN ON SHIA PROTESTERS IN BAHRAINAmid further violent demonstrations in Bahrain, security forces have taken control of the main hospital and allegedly denied treatment to wounded Shia protesters. Seven opposition figures have been rounded up in raids, including the leading Shia dissident Hassan Mushaima. In Britain, there is growing anger at King Hamad's invitation to the upcoming royal wedding. Outrage at royal weddding invite for Bahrain king WHAT IF DIANA FAKED HER OWN DEATH?What if Princess Diana never died - but faked her own death and went to live in small-town America under a new identity? That's the theme of a new novel out this month - not from a pulp fiction writer but from the respected novelist Monica Ali, whose Brick Lane was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. "I began thinking, what if..." Ali tells the Daily Mail. NEW FEARS OF RADIATION DISASTERHelicopter crews and teams of police officers in water cannon trucks are battling intense radiation at the crippled Fukushima power station in Japan in a desperate attempt to douse overheating fuel rods with tonnes of water. Authorities have drafted in extra workers as fears grow that spent fuel rods could overheat, which could release huge amounts of radiation into the air. LIVERPOOL, MAN CITY, RANGERS OUT OF EUROPAA first start from the Premier League's most expensive English footballer, Andy Carroll, failed to bring a goal for Liverpool against Portuguese side Braga last night. The game ended 0-0 and the Reds went out of the Europa League. Manchester City and Glasgow Rangers were also dumped out of the league. Man City's Mario Balotelli was red-carded in the game against Dinamo Kiev. Carroll squanders chances in Liverpool’s Europa flop ARISTIDE RETURNS TO HAITIJean-Bertrand Aristide, the leftist former president of Haiti, is returning to Port-au-Prince after seven years of exile, defying Barack Obama's concerns that his presence could jeopardise the country's presidential election on Sunday. Aristide has left his base in South Africa, accompanied by Hollywood actor and campaigner Danny Glover, and is due home at mid-day Friday. Charlie Sheen #winning against Sarah PalinIndependents in the United States say they would rather vote for '#winning' Hollywood oddity Charlie Sheen than Sarah Palin in the 2012 presidential elections by a margin of 41 per cent to 36 per cent. However, the former Alaska governor, who failed in her vice-presidential bid in 2008, should not be too disheartened. When all voters are taken into account, Palin beats Sheen by 49 per cent to 29.     KATE MIDDLETON DRESS SELLS FOR £65,000A see-through dress worn by Kate Middleton at a St Andrews University fashion show attended by Prince William in 2002 has been sold at auction for £65,000. According to the Guardian, the knitted dress was bought for six times its estimated price by 'Nick from Jersey', whose spokesman said: "He thinks it's an iconic piece and is very happy with the purchase." US MILITARY TO MANIPULATE INTERNETThe US military is developing software that will let it secretly manipulate social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter by using fake online personas to influence internet conversations and spread pro-American propaganda. The Guardian reports that a Californian corporation has been awarded a contract to develop technology that will allow one US serviceman or woman to control up to 10 separate identities based all over the world. Nasa's Messenger probe reaches mercury Nasa's Messenger probe has become the first spacecraft to enter orbit around Mercury - the closest planet to the sun. The probe carries a ceramic shield to protect it from the searing heat. Sean Solomon of the Carnegie Institution of Washington said: "We'll be looking at the composition of the planet and how it ended up so dense." Messenger will also take high quality images of Mercury.

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