Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Monday 4 Jan 2016

1. Security services examine IS execution video

British intelligence agencies are trying to identify the man and small boy with British accents who feature in a new propaganda video from Islamic State (IS) in which five men appear to be executed as British spies. Voice-print analysis will be used to look for a match with fighters known to have travelled from the UK to Syria or Iraq.

Voice-print analysis to identify 'new Jihadi John' in IS video

2. E-cigarettes could be available on NHS

E-cigarettes could be prescribed on the NHS after the UK medicines regulator approved use of the e-Voke, produced by British American Tobacco. Public Health England says e-cigarettes are far less harmful than tobacco and help smokers quit, however, other groups, including the British Medical Association, warn that the dangers of e-cigarettes are not yet understood.

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3. Migrant crisis: Sweden introduces border checks

Sweden has reintroduced border checks for visitors from Denmark in an attempt to reduce the number of migrants it receives. Travellers using the Oresund road and rail bridge between the two countries, which used to allow free entry and exit to Sweden, have been affected. The move has prompted Denmark to tighten its border controls with Germany.

Refugee crisis: Calais Jungle children 'have nowhere to sleep'

4. Cameron: I'll build 13,000 new homes on public land

David Cameron is announcing today that the Government is to build 13,000 new homes, directly commissioning them to be constructed on public land, rather than leaving property developers to assume the responsibility. Downing Street says the move is a "radical new policy shift". Forty per cent are to be affordable starter homes.

London house prices: study predicts a 2.5% rise for 2020, but a 1% fall in 2021

5. Refugee agencies: UK migrant response 'inadequate'

A group of 27 charities including the British Refugee Council, Oxfam and Amnesty International has written to David Cameron, calling the UK's response to the migrant crisis in the Mediterannean "clearly inadequate … too slow, too low and too narrow" and insisting the country should take a "proportionate" share of migrants.

6. Saudi Arabia cuts diplomatic ties with Iran over Nimr

Saudi Arabia has severed diplomatic ties and cancelled flights to Iran after its embassy in Tehran was attacked. The embassy was stormed during two days of protests after Saudi Arabia executed a prominent Shia cleric, Nimr al-Nimr for alleged terrorism offences. Saudi allies including Bahrain and Sudan have also cut ties with Iran, and the UAE has downgraded its team.

John Kerry urges Saudis and Iran to stay calm

7. Charlie Hebdo marks anniversary with God cover

French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo will mark the anniversary of a massacre at its office by Islamist extremists with a special edition on Wednesday. The cover, by cartoonist Riss who was injured in the shootings, features a bearded God figure with a Kalashnikov, and is captioned: "One year on, the assassin is still on the run."

8. Five-year-olds 'eat own body weight in sugar'

Some British children are eating their own body weight in sugar every year, Public Health England has warned. Some children between four and 10 were found to eat 22kg of sugar a year. A new Government campaign, Change4Life, urges parents to make healthier food choices and includes a free app which provides sugar content from barcodes.

9. Cameron pledges £40m to reinforce flood defences

David Cameron has pledged an extra £40m to reinforce the UK's flood defences after admitting they had been "overwhelmed" by record rainfall which left swathes of northern England and Scotland under water during the Christmas holidays. There are more than 30 flood warnings in place across Scotland as bad weather continues to batter the north of the UK.

Cameron pledges £40m to bolster 'overwhelmed' flood defences

10. Sport in 2016 - nine dates for the diary

With the Rio Olympics, Euro 2016 and the Ryder Cup among the many events to look forward to this year, 2016 promises to be a sporting year to remember. Here are The Week's nine key dates for your diary.

Sport in 2016 – nine key dates for your diary

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