Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Monday 23 Sep 2013

1. NAIROBI: BID TO END MALL SIEGE

Kenyan security forces are attempting to end a two-day siege in a Nairobi shopping mall where at least 62 people have been killed and more than 170 injured. Members of the Somali militant group al-Shabaab stormed the centre on Saturday and are thought to still have a small number of hostages under their control.

Nairobi Westgate attack: what do we know so far?

2. THIRD TERM FOR ANGELA MERKEL

German chancellor Angela Merkel will remain in office for a third term, but her conservative CSU-CDU party finished just short of an absolute majority with 41.5% of the vote. Her former coalition partner the FDP’s support collapsed to just 4.8% - so Merkel may instead have to seek a deal with the socialist SPD, who won 26%.

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Merkel's emphatic win confirms her as EU's 'pre-eminent' leader

3. LIBERACE FILM TAKES TOP EMMY AWARDS

Steven Soderbergh’s biopic of gay pianist Liberace, Behind the Candelabra, has won top honours at the Emmy awards, including best actor, for Michael Douglas, and best TV movie. Best actress went to Claire Danes for her turn in Homeland while Breaking Bad was named best drama and Modern Family best comedy.

Emmy Awards: Breaking Bad scores but Downton snubbed

4. APPLE SELLS 9M IPHONES IN TWO DAYS

Apple says it has broken its own sales record by selling 9m of its new 5S and 5C iPhones in the first weekend they became available. The strong sales were driven, in part, by the fact that China was among the countries receiving the first copies of the new devices. About 200m people have installed Apple's new iOS 7 mobile software, the company said.

Apple, Aston Martin and Rolex lead the coolest of the cool

5. MAN CHARGED OVER PC ‘HIT AND RUN’

A 25-year-old man, Gary Bromige, from South Norwood in London appeared in court in Battersea today, charged with causing the death by driving of Police Constable Andrew Duncan, after allegedly hitting him during a speed enforcement operation. Bromige is also charged with failing to stop at the scene.

6. BALLANCE MAKES ENGLAND ASHES SQUAD

Zimbabwean-born batsman Gary Ballance is the surprise inclusion in the England squad that will take on Australia in the Ashes this winter. Also selected are former Irish bowler Boyd Rankin and New Zealand-born all rounder Ben Stokes. Spinner Monty Panesar and opener Michael Carberry are also in the 17-man squad.

Ballance, Panesar and Rankin make England Ashes squad

7. LABOUR PLEDGES EXTRA CHILDCARE

Labour has said it would increase the bank levy rate to raise an extra £800m a year, shadow chancellor Ed Balls has said, spending the money on 25 extra hours of free childcare a week for working parents of three and four year olds in England. (The money would be provided to the other nations to use this way if desired.)

Ed Balls: 'I never knew McBride was up to no good'. WHAT?

8. ROLF HARRIS TO PLEAD NOT GUILTY

Rolf Harris has made his first appearance in court on child sex abuse charges - and indicated he will plead not guilty. The 83 year-old Australian entertainer, who faces six charges of indecently assaulting a 15 year-old girl in 1980 and 1981, appeared calm, but frail during his brief appearance at Westminster Magistrates Court.

9. '80 KILLED' IN PAKISTAN BOMBING

Choir members and children attending Sunday school were among at least 80 people killed by two suicide bombers outside a Protestant church in Peshawar in northwest Pakistan yesterday. The attack, one of the deadliest ever on Pakistan's Christian community, prompted widespread protests in several cities

Christian fury as bombs kill 80 worshippers in Pakistan

10. HOT TICKET: ACTOR KINNEAR TURNS WRITER

Actor Rory Kinnear’s playwriting debut, The Herd, has opened at the Bush Theatre, London. A family await the return of their disabled son for his 21st birthday as unexpected guests arrive and family tensions threaten to boil over. “Vivid and unsentimental,” says the Evening Standard. Until 26 October.

Rory Kinnear makes brilliant writing debut with 'The Herd'

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