Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Wednesday 13 Apr 2016


Whittingdale admits sex worker relationship

Culture Secretary John Whittingdale has denied that a relationship he had with a woman he discovered was a sex worker influenced decisions he took in office. The BBC says four newspapers knew about the story during the time the politician was in charge of reforming press regulation.


Panama Papers: Police raid Mossack Fonseca

Panama police have raided the headquarters of Mossack Fonseca, the law firm from which 11.5 million documents were leaked detailing the tax schemes of world leaders and the super-rich. Organised crime investigators say they are attempting to establish whether illicit activities, including money laundering, occurred.


Eurozone job woes send migrants to UK

New analysis by the Migration Observatory has found that a jobs crisis in the eurozone has encouraged more migrants from southern Europe to seek work in the UK, alongside their more established eastern European counterparts. The group says 24 per cent of the 700,000 EU nationals living in the UK are from Spain, Italy and Portugal.


Official referendum campaigns are chosen

The official campaigns for June's EU referendum have been chosen. Vote Leave, which is backed by Boris Johnson and Michael Gove, saw off the challenge from rival Grassroots Out, backed by Ukip leader Nigel Farage, and will argue for Brexit, while Britain Stronger in Europe will campaign to remain in the bloc.


Producer and reality star David Gest found dead

Record producer and reality TV star David Gest, who was once married to Liza Minnelli, has been found dead in a hotel in Canary Wharf, London, at the age of 62. He had quit Celebrity Big Brother early in January because of ill-health. Gest's name-dropping stories of uproarious behaviour with showbiz pals won him fans across the UK.


Stephen Hawking sets sights on Alpha Centauri

Professor Stephen Hawking has joined forces with billionaire Yuri Milner for a project that plans to send a probe to the Alpha Centauri star system, 25 trillion miles away, in as little as 20 years. The £70m project, called Breakthrough Starshot, will investigate the technologies required to send tiny spacecraft into space travelling at one-fifth of the speed of light.


Stalking victims face online harassment

One-third of British victims of stalkers are harassed online, according to a YouGov survey of 4,000 people. Nearly one-fifth of UK women and eight per cent of men say they have been stalked, with only around one-quarter reporting it to the police. Charities say technology firms could do more to help the victims.


Tesco shares fall despite return to profit

Shares in supermarket chain Tesco have fallen almost seven per cent after chief executive Dave Lewis warned that profit improvement would slow in the first half of this year. After recording a loss of more than £6bn last year, the retailer has posted profits of £162m for the past 12 months. But Lewis warned "recovery will not be in a straight line".


Octopus escapes through drain pipe to ocean

An octopus nicknamed Inky has escaped from an aquarium in New Zealand by squeezing through a narrow gap in his enclosure, crossing a dry floor and slipping down a six-inch wide drain pipe which leads to the sea. The manager of the National Aquarium in Napier complained the animal "didn't even leave us a message".


Briefing: Who will replace Ban Ki-moon at the UN?

The starting gun was fired yesterday in the race to become the next secretary general of the United Nations. For the first time, member states will get a chance to question the applicants in what the UN describes as "a job interview in front of the whole world". There are currently eight candidates vying to replace Ban Ki-moon, whose five-year tenure will finish at the end of the year, and there is growing pressure for a woman to be appointed to the top job for the first time.

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