Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Monday 15 Mar 2010

Poor old David Beckham

Slept through the Today programme? Never read the Sunday papers? Didn't know Labour was planning to abolish the House of Lords? The First Post's Monday morning service, posted at 8.0 am, is designed to help... DRINK DRIVING LIMIT COULD BE REDUCEDTransport secretary Lord Adonis has told the Sunday Times there is a "strong case" to reduce the legal alcohol limit for drivers from 80mg per 100ml of blood to 50mg. The new rules would mean drinking one pint of beer or a large glass of wine would put an average-sized man over the legal limit. The change cannot take place until after the election and the Tories have said they are not convinced of the need. BULGER MOTHER DEMANDS SACKINGDenise Fergus, the mother of murdered toddler James Bulger, has called for England's Children's Commissioner Maggie Atkinson to be sacked after she said her son's 10-year-old killers should never have faced trial as they were too young. However, Baroness Butler-Sloss, the judge who granted anonymity to the killers on their release in 2001, said she was sympathetic to the view that children under 12 should not be tried for their crimes. More… LABOUR INTERVENES IN BRITISH AIRWAYS STRIKE The British Airways cabin crew strike, planned for the weekends of March 20 and March 27, has been condemned by Transport Secretary Lord Adonis as "totally unjustified" on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show. Meanwhile, Gordon Brown has called Tony Woodley, the head of the Unite union to explore ways to prevent a walk-out, as the Conservative Party attempts to make an issue of Labour's links to the unions and the disruption the strike will cause passengers so close to Easter. BRITONS JAILED FOR KISSING IN DUBAIA British couple have been sentenced to a month in jail and deportation by a Dubai court for kissing in a public place. An Emirati woman dining at a beachfront restaurant one night in November called police, accusing Ayman Najafi, 24, and Charlotte Adams, 25, of kissing each other passionately. The couple's explanation that they had simply kissed each other on the cheek as a greeting was rejected by the judge. They are currently waiting for the result of an appeal. LABOUR PLANS TO ABOLISH LORDSThe Labour party's general election manifesto will contain proposals to replace the House of Lords with a wholly elected second chamber. The Sunday Telegraph claims the new body would most likely be called the 'Senate' and be elected by proportional representation. Members of the Senate will have to be UK residents and pay full tax, removing the likes of the Tory Lord Ashcroft. BECKHAM OUT OF WORLD CUPDavid Beckham will almost certainly miss this summer's World Cup after rupturing his left Achilles tendon during a Serie A game for his team AC Milan. The injury is a blow to England manager Fabio Capello who will now be unable to call on the experience of the former national captain – even if he has not always been a first choice in recent years. It could be five or six months before the 34-year-old returns to football. More... SARKOZY FACES BIG DEFEAT IN ELECTIONSPresident Nicolas Sarkozy's UMP party is facing big losses in regional French elections. With most results in, the Socialists won between 28-30 per cent in the first round of voting while the UMP got 26-27 per cent. With smaller left-wing parties now eliminated, the Socialists are likely to pick up more support and clean up in next Sunday's run-off vote. Soaring unemployment is blamed for the UMP's poor showing. 'PUSHOVER' CHERYL COLE SNUBS ASHLEYCheryl Cole stayed out of sight in the living room of her £3m mansion as her cheating husband Ashley spent 20 minutes packing his things before being asked to leave by his mother-in-law Joan. Ashley had apparently been bragging to friends that he would be able to win his wife back, but a friend of Cheryl told the Sunday Mirror: "Cheryl was furious that he just turned up and was even more angry when he thought they would be able to talk. She's sick to death of being labelled a pushover." 'JIHAD JAMIE' UNDERMINES RACIAL PROFILING Racial profiling to identify Islamist terrorists has been criticised after a second white American woman was arrested in connection with a plot to kill Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks. Jamie Paulin-Ramirez, a 31-year-old nursing student from Colorado, was arrested in Ireland although she was later released without charge. A second white American woman, Colleen LaRose, has been in custody since October. IVF RAFFLE A human egg is the prize in a raffle being run to promote a tie-up between two IVF clinics, the Bridge Centre in London and the Genetics and IVF Institute in Virginia. Although the treatment offered by the American clinic, which allows prospective parents to select an egg donor by physical and emotional attributes, is illegal in this country, the winner will travel to the US to take up her £13,000 prize.

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Tim Edwards is a former managing editor of The Week.co.uk.