Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Sunday 5 Sep 2010

Taliban; Afghanistan

Our popular news catch-up service, which until this week ran only on Monday mornings, is now daily. You can rely on it to keep you up to date with the main news talking points... IRAN ‘PAYS TALIBAN to KILL US TROOPS’ The Sunday Times claims Iran is financing Taliban attacks in Afghanistan, paying bonuses for the killing of US troops. Five Iranian companies in Kabul finance the extremists, according to information passed to the paper by Afghan intelligence services, giving them cash to buy weapons and helping pay Taliban fighters about £145 a month, more than any Afghan soldier. The money is transferred through Afghanistan’s unregulated Islamic banking system allowing the companies to "cover their tracks". ROONEY: ANOTHER PROSTITUTE SCANDAL Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney allegedly paid a prostitute £1,000-a-night for sex while his wife Coleen was pregnant with their son. Two Sunday tabloids say Rooney slept with Jennifer Thompson, 21, several times last year. Rooney, who admitted having sex with a prostitute in 2004, told the Mirror: "My life is in ruins… I’ve been so stupid. Coleen won’t forgive me this time." Rooney in new prostitute scandal... Rooney scandal could ruin Capello's England plans... BLAIR FACES DUBLIN PROTESTSFour men were arrested when Dubliners pelted former prime minister Tony Blair with shoes and eggs as as he arrived at a city centre book store on Saturday to sign copies of his memoir, A Journey. The anti-war demonstrators chanted “Hey hey Tony hey, how many kids have you killed today?” IRANIAN WOMAN ‘TO BE LASHED’ Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, the Iranian woman under a sentence of death for adultery, is now being threatened with 99 lashes after the Times newspaper ran a photograph purporting to show Ashtiani without a headscarf. Her son Sajad Ghaderzadeh told the Observer she will be punished even though the photo was of a different woman and the Times has apologised for the error. X-FACTOR IS X-RATED Saturday’s edition of The X-Factor turned ugly as teenage duo Ablisa (Abbey Johnstone and Lisa Parker) came to blows at the end of their tuneless audition. Criticised by new judge Natalie Imbruglia, Lisa snapped "Who are you!", an act of insubordination that so infuriated partner Abbey that she punched Lisa in the face and stormed off stage. Ablisa did not make it through to the next round. PAKISTAN CRICKET IN NEW SCANDAL A fourth Pakistan cricketer is under suspicion of accepting money to fix matches, according to fresh claims in today’s News of the World. The paper doesn’t name the player but says he is under investigation by the International Cricket Council (ICC) over allegations he helped fix matches, a graver charge than the one of ‘spot fixing’ made in last week’s NoW against captain Salman Butt and bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir. HAGUE AND MYERS’ BAHRAIN STOPOVERWilliam Hague lavished gifts on his 25-year-old special adviser Chris Myers, including a silk scarf, claims the Mail on Sunday, which also says that in January Myers accompanied the soon-to-be Foreign Secretary on a fact-finding mission to Afghanistan and spent two nights with him in a Bahrain hotel - at taxpayers’ expense - on the way home. They had separate rooms. ZUMA TO BE A FATHER... AGAIN South Africa's polygamous president, Jacob Zuma, is expecting his 22nd child after it was revealed that his latest fiancee is pregnant. Bongiwe Gloria Ngema will give birth in early 2011, shortly after she becomes Zuma’s fourth wife. Under Zulu law the 68-year-old president can father as many children as he wants with as many wives. Nipper 21 arrived only last month BRITISH WOMEN ‘THE UGLIEST’ Britain has come top of a poll to find the world’s least attractive women. Twenty two per cent of readers of website Real Holiday Reports voted Britain’s females the ugliest on the planet, way ahead of America (16.7 per cent) and Germany (15.7 per cent) in second and third spots. Britain’s females were condemned for being fat, tattooed drunks with no idea of how to dress. BECKHAMS ‘SET TO QUIT BRITAIN’‘Beckingham Palace’ is reportedly on the market as David and Victoria Beckham look to make Los Angeles their permanent home. They bought the mansion in Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire in 1999 for £2.5m and, after considerable refurbishments, are thought to be asking £18m. According to a friend, they feel LA is their ‘spiritual home’ and wish to raise their children there.

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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.