Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Monday 14 Mar 2011

japan tsunami destruction debris

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. THIRD EXPLOSION FEARED AT JAPAN NUCLEAR PLANTEngineers are making a last-ditch attempt to stave off a meltdown at a third reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Sea water is being pumped into reactor 2 after a cooling system malfunctioned. Explosions at reactor 3 earlier today and reactor 1 on Saturday were preceded by similar cooling attempts. However, Japan's nuclear safety agency says that the reactor core in both of these is still intact. At least 10,000 people are feared dead as a result of Friday's earthquake and tsunami. Video: Japan tsunami filmed at street level What they are saying about Japan’s mangled landscape Japan nuclear accident could be second Chernobyl In pictures: Devastation in Japan LIBYAN REBELS LOSE ANOTHER TOWNBrega is the latest Libyan town to be retaken by Gaddafi's forces after heavy aerial bombardment and tank assaults. Having held a swath of eastern Libya, the rebels now hold little territory beyond Benghazi, Libya’s second city, which is expected to become the site of a long, drawn-out guerrilla war. Meanwhile western governments cannot decide whether to intervene on the rebels’ side. Robert Fox: Too late for intervention as Gaddafi pushes east EURO POLL SHOWS GLOOMEurope’s hope of a better future is faltering, as the financial crisis and spending cuts bite, according to a Guardian ICM poll of five leading EU countries. It finds trust in government at rock bottom and widespread fear of further economic decline. Despite short-term pessimism, the poll also shows a continent confident in its liberal values and still mostly committed to EU institutions such as the euro and the free movement of people between states. US OFFICIAL RESIGNS OVER MANNING REMARKSPJ Crowley, the official spokesman at the US state department, has fallen on his sword after calling the treatment of Bradley Manning, the alleged source of the WikiLeaks files, "counterproductive and stupid". Asked about the remarks at a press conference, President Obama defended the Pentagon’s handling of Manning's confinement at Quantico marine base in Virginia. Bradley Manning begs for better prison conditions   Saudi Arabia sends 1,000 troops into BahrainSaudi Arabia has sent 1,000 troops into neighbouring Bahrain to enforce a crackdown on anti-government protesters who yesterday repulsed efforts by police to clear the capital Manama's Pearl square. Bahrain's Shia Muslim majority is calling for reforms and equality with the Sunni minority which rules them. The Saudi forces have been invited by Bahrain and have been sent under the auspices of the Gulf Cooperation Council.   PHONE-HACKING: BBC MAKES NEW CLAIMS According to a BBC documentary, the News of the World phone-hacking scandal is even more extensive than previously thought. The programme claims that Alex Marunchak, formerly the paper's senior executive editor, commissioned a specialist snooper to target a former British army intelligence officer who had served in Northern Ireland and was in possession of secrets which were deemed so sensitive that they had been suppressed by a court order. ISRAEL TO EXPAND SETTLEMENTS AFTER MURDERSIsrael is responding to the murder of five members of a Jewish settler family by Palestinian militants with defiance. Just a day after the murders it approved a new West Bank settlement consisting of 500 housing units. The Fogel family were attacked with knives as they slept in their home in the isolated settlement of Itamar, deep in the West Bank. All five had their throats slit. Thousands of people attended their funeral in Jerusalem on Sunday. BURKER KING BOSS SNUBS UKWhen Burger King chief executive Bernardo Hees addressed a group of students in Chicago he only intended to praise the local food and women. Unfortunately he compared them unfavourably with those of England. At the University of Warwick, where he studied for an MBA, "the food is terrible and the women are not very attractive," he said. He has apologised. Police probed over 'false arrest' of studentThree police officers are being investigated for misconduct relating to the student demonstrations in London in December, according to the Guardian. The Independent Police Complaints Commission Commissioner said: "The investigation will look at an allegation that the officers conspired to falsely arrest a 20-year-old man. We will also look at how the young man sustained a broken tooth during his detention." It is thought that one of the officers may have been recorded by his own sound equipment. PROFESSOR BRIAN COX SLAPS DOWN HIS AUDIENCE Pop star-turned physicist Professor Brian Cox has said the BBC was wrong to back down against viewers who complained that the music on his new TV show Wonders of the Universe was too loud. Producers have now remixed the sound to make it quieter, but Cox told Radio 4: "We can sometimes be too responsive to the minority of people that complain... It should be a cinematic experience - it's a piece of film on television, not a lecture."

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