Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Thursday 16 Sep 2010


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... 'I WASN't TORTURED,' ASHTIANI TELLS IRANIAN TV Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, the Iranian woman sentenced to death by stoning for adultery, has been forced to say on Iranian TV that it is untrue that she was tortured in prison, as her family have claimed. "I have not been tortured, at all. All these words are my own words," she said. Her son and lawyer have condemned what they called a "forced" interview. 'I was not tortured', Ashtiani tells Iran TV POPE warns uk against 'aggressive secularism' Pope Benedict XVI began his four-day visit to Britain today by meeting the Queen at Edinburgh's Holyroodhouse, where he told her he wanted to "extend the hand of friendship" to the entire UK. But he warned Britons against embracing "more aggressive forms of secularism". Later, the Pope joined the annual St Ninian's day parade, which was attended by around 125,000 people, including small groups of protestors. This evening he will celebrate an open air Mass in Glasgow. The Pope's UK visit in pictures Pope's aide calls Britain 'Third World' Public figures hit out at Pope visit POOR MUST ACCEPT CUTS, SAYS CLEGG On the eve of the Lib Dems' conference in Liverpool, party leader Nick Clegg has stuck his neck out by saying that radical benefits cuts are necessary and that the State must not "compensate the poor for their predicament". He writes in an article for the Times: "Welfare needs to become an engine of mobility, changing people's lives for the better." With evidence mounting that the coalition's programme of cuts will especially hurt the poor, Clegg can expect a rough ride in Liverpool. GOLDMAN SACHS HIT BY SEX DISCRIMINATION SUIT Three former female employees have launched a sex discrimination lawsuit against Goldman Sachs, claiming women are disadvantaged by the bank's testosterone-driven culture, which includes escort girls attending Christmas parties and press-up contests on the trading floor. The three women blame "unchecked gender bias" for the Wall Street bank's habit of underpaying and failing to promote women. They hope to turn their case into a class action suit, representing hundreds of women who have suffered. ARSENAL ANNIHILATE BRAGA 6-0 In a display of football described variously this morning as "an exhibition match", "sublime" and "overwhelming", Arsenal beat the Portuguese side Braga 6-0 last night to kick off their Champions League campaign. Captain Cesc Fabregas, who scored twice, has "taken on another dimension", according to manager Arsene Wenger. Chelsea also won their opening Champions League game with ease: the score away at MSN Zilina was 1-4. Fabregas masterminds Arsenal masterclass JACKSON FAMILY SUES CONCERT PROMOTER Michael Jackson's mother Katherine and his three children filed a lawsuit yesterday against AEG Live, the promoter of the London concerts he was rehearsing for when he died last June, claiming they must share the blame for his death. The civil suit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, accuses the company of "putting its desire for massive profits" over Jackson's health and safety. Kenny Ortega, director of the concerts, was also named as a defendant. Jackson's mother sues promoter over his death BBC licence fee frozen - and could be cut The BBC has offered to freeze the licence fee at £145.50 for the next two years, a move that would cut £144m from the Corporation's budget. But while agreeing to a freeze in 2011, the government has said a decision about 2012 would be deferred to a later date - a move that leaves the way open to a cut in the licence fee. FLINTOFF 'RETIREs FROM CRICKET' Andrew Flintoff is expected to announce his retirement from cricket later today. The all-rounder, who twice helped England to relieve Australia of the Ashes, retired from Test cricket last year, but had intended to continue as a one-day and Twenty20 cricketer. However, he has struggled to return to fitness following knee surgery last year and was unable to fulfil a planned comeback for Lancashire's 2nd team this summer. TRIDENT DECISION COULD BE DELAYED The government could delay until after the 2015 election a decision on Trident in order to avoid a nasty political row that would threaten the coalition, according to the BBC's political staff. The Conservatives strongly support the replacement of the four submarines, based on the Clyde, which carry Trident ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads. Their partners, the Lib Dems, are equally strongly opposed. ROMA ROW TO OVERSHADOW EU SUMMIT The issue of the Roma - gypsies - is not on the agenda for today's summit in Brussels of EU leaders, but it is expected to overshadow the meeting after the EU Justice Commissioner called France's handling of the deportations a "disgrace". President Sarkozy is furious that Viviane Reding compared the Roma's position under his administration with that of the Jews under Vichy France. As bad as Vichy France and the Jews'

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Jack Bremer is a London-based reporter, attached to The Week.co.uk. He has reported regularly from the United States and France.