Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Thursday 21 Oct 2010

European deputy Licia Ronzulli votes in favour of maternity leave reform

Our popular news catch-up service is posted Monday to Friday at 8.0 am, and on weekends at 11.0 am. You can rely on it to keep you up to date with the main news talking points... OSBORNE: TOP 10 PER CENT HIT HARDEST Chancellor George Osborne has been defending Wednesday's comprehensive spending review, claiming that taken in conjunction with Budget measures earlier this year, the top 10 per cent of earners would be hit hardest by the austerity measures. Labour called yesterday's £81bn cuts "a reckless gamble" and said the redundancy bill for the 490,000 public sector workers due to lose their jobs would be £8bn. The Mole: Osborne's game of brinkmanship MYSTERY OVER BEYONCE PREGNANCYBeyonce Knowles is pregnant with her first child on the eve of a new world tour, according to US Weekly. One friend told the magazine that the singer, married to rapper Jay-Z, realises "this is a gift from God and she's so happy". But her mother, Tina Knowles, has gone on the Ellen DeGeneres talk show to say the report is not true. Bill Clinton lost nuclear weapon codes Bill Clinton lost the codes needed to launch the United States' nuclear missiles on at least one occasion during his presidency, according to his former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. General Hugh Shelton wrote in his new memoir, Without Hesitation: The Odyssey of an American Warrior: "At one point the codes were actually missing for months... That's a big deal - a gargantuan deal." How many times did Clinton lose the nuclear codes? SURVEY EXPOSES STUPID KIDSA study of 2,000 British children has revealed a stunning lack of general knowledge. Many believe that the Spanish Armada is a national dish, that the Battle of Waterloo took place at the south London railway terminal, and that Horatio Nelson once captained the French football team. One in six believes Sir Walter Raleigh invented the Chopper bicycle. 'GLEE' GIRLS IN TROUBLE OVER PHOTOSHOOTAn American parents' group has complained after two of the actresses who play high school girls in the hit TV show Glee posed in provocative outfits for GQ magazine. Lea Michele posed in her underwear, sucking a lollipop, while Dianna Agron wore a revealing cheerleader outfit. The Parents Television Council described the spread as one that "borders on paedophilia". Glee GQ photos 'border on paedophilia' EUROPE BACKS 20 WEEKS MATERNITY DEALOn the day Chancellor George Osborne announced a further £7bn cuts in welfare benefits, members of the European parliament voted for the introduction of a new deal for expectant mothers that would cost British businesses £2.5bn a year if it becomes law. MEPs want maternity leave to be raised to 20 weeks on full pay. Currently in Britain, expectant mothers are entitled to six weeks at 90 per cent pay, followed by 33 weeks at a flat rate of £125. ROONEY SAGA: FERGUSON MEETs GILLManchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was due to meet the club's chief executive David Gill this morning to discuss the Wayne Rooney affair - and has vowed to resolve the situation "within 24 hours". This follows a statement from the striker in which he said he wished to leave the club because he had received no promises of adequate investment in new players. Wayne Rooney: still just a 'piece of meat' to Fergie Transfer Talk: Rooney explains himself PENTHOUSE FOUNDER GUCCIONE DIESPenthouse magazine founder Bob Guccione has died in Texas at the age of 79 after suffering from lung cancer and squandering an estimated $400m fortune on poor investments in gambling and movies. He launched the girlie magazine in 1965 as a rival to Hugh Hefner's Playboy. In 1984 he published unauthorised nude photos of Vanessa Williams, the first black girl to win Miss America. The issue sold a record 6m copies - but Williams had to relinquish her crown. 20-YEAR-OLD GIRL MADE POLICE CHIEFThe Mexican border town of Praxedis G. Guerrero, at the centre of the violent war between rival drug cartels, has appointed 20-year-old Marisol Valles chief of police. The criminology student and mother of a baby boy will take charge of a force of 13 officers. Mayor Lose Luis Guerrero admitted: "She was the only person to accept the position". mp's wife charged with stealing kittenChristine Hemming, the wife of Liberal Democrat MP John Hemming, has appeared in court charged with burgling the house of her husband's lover and stealing a kitten. The cat went missing from the home of Emily Cox, Hemming's former researcher with whom he fathered a child in 2005, on September 29 this year. Christine was bailed to appear before magistrates again on December 16. Today, John said: "There is a reward for the safe return of the kitten. Her brother Twinkle is pining for her."

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up
To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us
Jack Bremer is a London-based reporter, attached to The Week.co.uk. He has reported regularly from the United States and France.