Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Monday 18 Apr 2011

Tornado in North Carolina

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. AT LEAST 45 DEAD AFTER US STORMSTornadoes, torrential rain and hail the size of grapefruit have left at least 45 dead in the US as storms tracked a path of devastation from Oklahoma through the Southern states to Virginia and North Carolina (above), where the number of tornadoes was the highest recorded since 1984. Millions have been left homeless or without power. In pictures: Tornadoes hit US GOVERNMENT TO HELP MISRATA EVACUATIONThe British government has pledged to help evacuate 5,000 migrant workers trapped by fighting in the Libyan town of Misrata, held by rebel forces but under seige from troops loyal to leader Col Gaddafi. Andrew Mitchell, the international development secretary, has provided £1.5m to charter rescue ships and provide medical supplies. MARTIN AMIS BRANDS ROYALS 'PHILISTINES'Novelist Martin Amis describes the Royal family as 'Philistines' and complains that the Queen "doesn't listen" in an interview with the French magazine Le Nouvel Observateur for its Royal Wedding edition. He says that Prince Charles, although "charming", has a laugh "like a pig's snore", and that he himself would "prefer not to be English". CAMERON: AV ROW WON'T KILL COALITIONThe May 5 referendum on the UK voting system will not break the coalition, said David Cameron, despite angry exchanges between the partners in government. The PM wants to keep 'first past the post' system and said on Monday that AV would be a "backward step". But even though Nick Clegg supports change, he says they are both "absolutely committed" to maintaining the government. The Mole: Two good reasons for PM not to fire Vince Cable TWO BRITISH TOURISTS SHOT DEAD IN FLORIDAJames Cooper, 25, and James Kouzaris, 24, have been shot dead while on holiday on the Gulf Coast of Florida. A 16-year-old has been arrested and charged with two counts of murder. The men were found at 3am outside a welfare housing block in Sarasota, far from tourist haunts, and police are seeking a motive for the killing. Two British men shot dead in Florida SYRIAN REBELS IGNORE ASSAD'S PROMISE AND HIS THREATSyrian rebels defied security forces to continue demonstrations as the country marked Independence Day, gathering in the cities of Aleppo, Suweida, and Deraa where unrest started last month. They ignored both President Bashir al-Assad's promise to repeal the 47-year-old 'emergency law' and his threat to no longer "tolerate any attempt at sabotage". Iran helping Syria in brutal crackdown on protesters FINNISH NATIONALISTS THREATEN EU BAIL-OUTSEuropean bail-outs could be under threat after a nationalist party in Finland won almost 20 per cent of the vote in the country's general election. The 'True Finns' have won 39 seats in the 200-member parliament, and could now join the government. They oppose EU bail-outs and, as Finland's parliament gets to vote on European policy, they could effectively veto the scheme. FRANCE HALTS ITALIAN IMMIGRANT TRAINS AT BORDERFrance has stopped all Italian trains carrying north African immigrants at its border. Police in riot gear halted and rounded up hundreds of immigrants at the border post between Menton and Ventimiglia. France is furious at Italy for handing out temporary residence visas to refugees, allowing them to travel on to other EU countries. Clever Italian move puts strain on EU borders M1 MAY NOT REOPEN UNTIL NEXT WEEKEngineers are still working to reopen the M1 in north London after a bridge was seriously damaged by fire on Friday. Two lanes of the southbound carriageway were reopened on Monday evening but it is feared the entire seven-mile stretch of road between junctions 1 and 4 may not be fully open until next week, badly affecting people's Easter holiday plans. NICHOLAS CAGE 'DOES A SHEEN' IN NEW ORLEANSOscar-winning actor Nicholas Cage has been arrested in New Orleans following a drunken dispute with his wife in a tattoo parlour. Last week he was credited by Charlie Sheen for coming up with the term "goddess" for sexual companion. Cage's $11,000 bail was put up by Duane 'Dog' Chapman, star of the reality-TV show Dog the Bounty Hunter.

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Jack Bremer is a London-based reporter, attached to The Week.co.uk. He has reported regularly from the United States and France.