Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Friday 19 Aug 2011

US shares traders stock exchange

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. Markets RECOVER EARLY LOSSES Volatility on the world's stock exchanges continued on Friday, but the markets steadied in the afternoon after a morning of heavy losses. Fears over the global economic slowdown and eurozone debt crisis drove shares down early in the day, but prices later recovered. US stocks on the Dow Jones dropped in early trading but quickly recovered. Market panic: have you got the balls to buy? Governments to blame for crashing markets SUICIDE BOMBERS STORM UK COMPOUND IN KABULTaliban suicide bombers armed with RPGs and machine guns raided the British Council compound in Kabul this morning, killing eight Afghan police and one foreigner. The last of the gunmen was killed after a long seige. The attack is believed to mark the anniversary of Afghanistan's independence from British rule in 1919. In pictures: British Council in Kabul attacked SYRIA: VIOLENT CRACKDOWN ON PROTESTS CONTINUESAt least four people are reported to have been killed and many more injured as forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad opened fire on anti-government protesters. Activists reported gunfire in parts of southern Deraa province, the city of Homs and the capital Damascus. Assad had earlier told the United Nations that armed operations against civilians had halted. UNIVERSITIES TO SHUT OUT 90,000 STUDENTS Universities will turn down two of every three qualified sixth-formers chasing the remaining 46,000 places available this year through the clearing system following record A-level results and the rush to beat rising tuition costs. Ucas said 136,500 were applying, compared to 52,000 for the same number of openings as last year. RIOTS: UK PRISON POPULATION HITS RECORD HIGH The prison population in England and Wales has risen to a record high as courts hand out custodial sentences to those involved in last week's riots. The number of people behind bars has risen to 86,654 this week, up 723 over the last seven days. But a mother of two who was jailed for accepting a pair of shorts, looted by a friend, has been freed on appeal. WHAT IF JAMES MURDOCH NEEDS A BREATHER?Reuters last night quoted "high ranking insiders" at News Corp as saying that executives are making plans in case James Murdoch has "to take a breather" from the pressures of the phone hacking scandal. One source said: "Everyone is thinking about what will happen if he has to step aside." An official spokesman said it was "absolutely not true". News Corp denies James might ‘take a breather’ BERCOW 'NOT CHUFFED' AS WIFE JOINS BIG BROTHERSally Bercow, wife of Commons Speaker John Bercow, admitted yesterday that he was "not exactly chuffed" as she entered the Big Brother house for the new series of the reality TV show. But she went ahead to "stick two fingers up to the Establishment" and to raise £100,000 for charity. "I hope he doesn't divorce me over it," she said. Celebrity Big Brother: lord have mercy on our souls NORTHERN IRISH WOMEN MURDERED IN TURKEY Two women from Northern Ireland have been murdered while on holiday in Turkey. They were stabbed to death on Thursday night in the city of Izmir. A 17-year-old Turkish boy, believed to be the boyfriend of one of the women's daughters, has been arrested and has apparently confessed to the attack. NO FOOTBALL IN SPAIN AS PLAYERS GO ON STRIKE Spain's footballers have gone on strike meaning that the La Liga season will not start as scheduled this weekend. The players' union is demanding a larger emergency fund for its members whose clubs can't pay them because of financial problems. It says 200 of its members are owed around £45m in unpaid wages. Cesc Fabregas can put his feet up KATE MOSS IN PLANNING ROW OVER HISTORIC HOUSENewly married supermodel Kate Moss has run into trouble with plans to improve the £8m mansion she bought in Highgate, north London, which once belonged to poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Local councillors objected to her digging a basement gym and spa below the Grade II listed building and to fitting "tacky" TV dishes and CCTV cameras.

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