Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Thursday 1 Aug 2013

1. WOMEN JOURNALISTS GET BOMB THREATS

Police are investigating after a number of bomb threats against women journalists were made on Twitter. Guardian columnist Hadley Freeman, Independent columnist Grace Dent and Europe editor of Time magazine Catherine Mayer all received an anonymous tweet stating: "A bomb has been placed outside your home."

Criado-Perez trolls: after rape threats come bomb threats

2. QUEEN HAD SPEECH PLANNED FOR WWIII

Senior civil servants drafted a Queen's speech in readiness for all-out nuclear war with Russia during the 1980s, it has emerged. The address, which urged "our brave country" to "prepare itself to survive against great odds", was prepared during a secret Whitehall exercise codenamed Wintex-Cimex 83 and released by the National Archives today.

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'Let us pray': the World War III speech the Queen never made

3. DANIEL PELKA: SOCIAL SERVICES BLAMED

The grandmother of Daniel Pelka, the four-year-old starved and beaten to death by his mother and her partner, has said social services must bear some of the blame for his death. Jolenta Luczak's comments came as Coventry's Safeguarding Children Board announced a serious case review into the murder.

RIP Daniel Pelka, aged four: starved and beaten to death

4. BANK OF ENGLAND HOLDS INTEREST RATES

The Bank of England has kept interest rates at 0.5% after the second meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee under new governor Mark Carney. It also said there would be no change to the £375bn quantitative easing programme. The MPC added that it would elaborate on its plans for "forward guidance" on interest rates for investors next week.

5. SNOWDEN GIVEN ASYLUM IN RUSSIA

Whistleblower Edward Snowden has been given "temporary asylum" in Russia, allowing him to live in the country for a year, according a lawyer representing him in Moscow. The US fugitive, who leaked documents about National Security Agency surveillance operations, has finally left the Moscow airport where he had been stranded since 23 June.

Edward Snowden joins Twitter with jokes aplenty

6. US SOCIALITE EXPECTS SIMON COWELL'S BABY

Simon Cowell, 53, is expecting his first child with the wife of one of his friends, it has been reported. US Weekly said New York socialite Lauren Silverman, 36, who is married to real estate executive Andrew Silverman, was about "ten weeks pregnant" following a relationship with the music mogul. Silverman has filed for divorce.

Simon Cowell baby: not so much a birth, more a crisis

7. ZIMBABWE ELECTION A FARCE – TSVANGIRAI

Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has denounced yesterday’s presidential election in Zimbabwe as a farce after Robert Mugabe's ruling Zanu-PF claimed victory four days before the poll results were due. There have been allegations that some MDC voters were barred from polling stations. "In our view this election is null and void,” said Tsvangirai.

British Gas to launch 'Free Power Saturdays' in UK

8. THIRTY NEW PEERS FOR HOUSE OF LORDS

Thirty new peers are to join the House of Lords. There will be 14 new Tory Lords including journalist Danny Finkelstein and JCB boss Anthony Bamford. Doreen Lawrence is one of five new Labour peers, while the Lib Dems nominated ten, including Ministry of Sound founder James Palumbo and ex-cop Brian Paddick. Jenny Jones becomes the Lords' first Green member.

30 new peers: who said the House of Lords was history?

9. ASHES: CLARKE MAKES TON AFTER UMPIRE ROW

The first day of the third Ashes Test was overshadowed by the decision review system after Australian batsman Usman Khawaja was controversially given out caught behind by the third umpire, though he did not appear to touch the ball. Michael Clarke became the first Australian to make a hundred in the series as he helped Australia past 250 with three wickets down.

10. HOT TICKET: BOLSHOI BALLET'S SWAN LAKE

The Bolshoi Ballet has opened a three-week season at the Royal Opera House with ‘Swan Lake'. The ballet depicts Prince Siegfried's love for a princess turned into a swan by a sorcerer's curse, with music by Tchaikovsky. "Dazzling," says the Daily Telegraph. Until 15 August.

Bolshoi Ballet leaves dramas behind for 'dazzling' Swan Lake

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