Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Thursday 14 Jan 2016

1. Suicide bombings and gunfire in Jakarta

At least seven people have been killed in a series of bomb blasts in Indonesia's capital, Jakarta. The attacks, which seem to be ongoing, targeted locations including a shopping centre close to UN offices and a cinema. A witness said three suicide bombers blew themselves up one by one in a city centre Starbucks.

Jakarta terrorist attacks were 'planned in Syria by IS militant'

2. Grayling: staying in the EU 'disastrous' for UK

Cabinet minister Chris Grayling has said staying in the EU under the current terms of membership would be "disastrous" for the UK, in an article for the Daily Telegraph. David Cameron has asked ministers not to campaign for either side until he has finished his reform negotiations - but was said to be "relaxed" about Grayling's article.

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Remain-voting City lobby group calls for 'dramatic Brexit U-turn'

3. Met to double armed officers on patrol

London's Metropolitan Police Service is to double the number of armed officers on patrol in the capital, in reaction to the Paris attacks. A total of 600 extra officers will be trained in firearms use so patrols can be doubled. Tactics have also been changed: in the event of a terrorist incident, police will spend less time negotiating and use force instead.

4. Two children die in avalance in French Alps

Two children and an adult on a skiing holiday died yesterday in an avalanche in the Alps. Two other children and a teacher were seriously injured. There will now be an investigation to establish why the injured teacher led the school party onto a piste which had been closed after heavy snowfall at the Deux Alpes resort.

Three dead as avalanche hits school trip

5. David Bowie 'privately cremated in NYC'

Singer David Bowie's body has been privately cremated in New York City, without even family or friends present, reports say. The "deeply private star" had not wanted a funeral service, according to The Guardian. Meanwhile, sales of his final album, Blackstar, reached 43,000 in the UK in the 24 hours after news of his death.

David Bowie: five ways he changed the world

6. Enployers have right to monitor private messages

Employers have the right to monitor their staff's personal email and social media messages during working hours, the European Court of Human Rights has ruled. The judges' decision came after a case was brought by a Romanian engineer who was fired in 2007 for using a company Yahoo Messenger account to chat with his fiancee.

Bosses can read employees' private messages at work

7. Actor Alan Rickman dies aged 69

The family of British actor Alan Rickman have confirmed his death from cancer at the age 69. His breakthrough role came in 1988 when he played Bruce Willis's adversary Hans Gruber in Die Hard. He played another baddie, the Sheriff of Nottingham, in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves in 1991 and was known to a younger audience as Professor Snape in the Harry Potter films.

Alan Rickman dies aged 69 from cancer

8. Cast of Friends to reunite for comedy special

The cast of Friends, the hit US sitcom which ran from 1994 to 2004, are to reunite for a two-hour special next month. It is hoped Matthew Perry, Matt LeBlanc, David Schwimmer, Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox and Lisa Kudrow will all take part - and NBC said it aims to have them all in the "same room at the same time".

Friends reunited for one-off special: ten best moments from the show

9. Prince William surprises school pupils at lunch

The Duke of Cambridge made a surprise stop at a school in Hertfordshire for a lunch of roast chicken, which he ate surrounded by nervous year 11 pupils. The Prince was flying a helicopter for the East Anglian Air Ambulance. The school's grounds are often used as a landing site by the service. Pupils took photos of the Prince.

10. Briefing: will the Anglican Church split over homosexuality?

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, is meeting with all 38 national Primates of the Anglican Church this week in a "last throw of the dice" to avoid a permanent split in the Church of England. Church leaders from six African countries are expected to walk out of the talks if, in the words of Ugandan Archbishop Stanley Ntagali, "discipline and godly order is not restored". At the same time, western Anglicans accuse their church of treating gay people as a problem to be solved, rather than human beings.

Church of England takes 'step towards gay marriage'

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