Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Wednesday 31 Aug 2011


Our popular news catch-up service is posted Monday to Friday at 8.0am. You can rely on it to keep you up to date through the working day with the main news talking points. GADDAFI's son 'negotiates surrender'The rebel commander in Tripoli, Abdulhakim Bilhaj, has told the Times that one of Colonel Gaddafi's sons, Saadi, contacted him last night to ask for a guarantee of safety and that he be spared the death sentence if he gives himself up. He asked for the same terms for his father. Bilhaj said he would only guarantee protection and a fair trial and is waiting for Saadi's reply. Robert Fox: Libya success does NOT mean it will work again Would Algeria help hide Gaddafi from rebels? coalition 'on common ground' on banking reform Business secretary Vince Cable has insisted that the Lib Dems and their Conservative coalition partners are "on common ground" on banking reform. Cable had earlier told the Times that banks are being "disingenuous" in using economic difficulties to argue against reform. A commission will publish its proposals for banking reform on September 12, but Conservatives are thought to favour delaying their introduction. Bank reforms: no excuse for delay Obama declares major disaster in New York President Barack Obama has declared the floods caused by Tropical Storm Irene in New York and North Carolina a 'major disaster', allowing the states to use federal money in their clean up. Thousands of Britons remain stranded in America following Hurricane Irene, which grounded 9,000 passenger planes. Irene: a media storm of hype - or a lucky escape? BEYONCE PREGNANCY BREAKS TWITTER RECORDTwitter logged a record 8,868 tweets a second after singer Beyonce showed off her ‘baby bump' at the MTV awards and confirmed her pregnancy, the company reported last night. The volume beat the previous record of 7,196 during the Women's World Cup final, while the Royal Wedding in April logged 3,966 per second. In pictures: MTV Music Video Awards Boy charged after Notting Hill knife attackA 16-year-old boy has been charged with grievous bodily harm and possession of an offensive weapon after a stabbing at the Notting Hill Carnival on Monday. The victim, 20-year-old Rio Andre, was knifed after stepping in to break up a fight. A man holding a knife was dramatically photographed running away from the scene. Waterstones ends '3 for 2' books offer at last Waterstones is ending its decade-old '3 for 2' books offer today, in a change of strategy following the appointment of independent bookseller John Daunt as managing director. The Bookseller claims that new special offers, which could see all promotional books priced £5, are expected to start in September. DICK CHENEY SINGS BLAIR'S PRAISES IN NEW BOOKPresident Bush's hard-line VP Dick Cheney has lavished praise on Tony Blair in his new book, In My Time. Cheney has "tremendous respect" for Blair whose speeches on the Iraq war were "some of the most eloquent I have been privileged to hear". Cheney reveals that he lobbied Tories including Iain Duncan Smith to support Blair on Iraq. EQUAL PAY FOR WOMEN EXECS STILL 100 YEARS AWAYIt will take another 98 years for women executives to reach equal pay with men at the current rate, the Chartered Management Institute reports. Men are paid on average an extra £10,546, although women saw pay rises of 2.8 per cent this year compared to men's 2.3 per cent, and women are now securing equal or higher starting salaries. POLICE SEND HUHNE REPORT TO PROSECUTORSEssex Police have submitted a second report to the Crown Prosecution Service on claims that Lib-Dem energy secretary Chris Huhne tried to evade punishment for speeding in 2003 by asking his estranged wife to take penalty points for him. Prosecutors had asked for further investigation after police offered an initial report in July. BRITAIN'S COLDEST SUMMER IN 18 YEARSIt really has been Britain's most miserable summer in years. The Met Office released figures last night showing that the average temperature has been 13.9 C (57F), the coldest in 18 years. As for rainfall, it wasn't as wet as it seemed: it broke records here and there, but overall the summer has been the wettest only since 2009.

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