Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Saturday 12 Mar 2016

1. George Osborne to slash disability benefit to cut taxes

George Osborne will cut benefits by £1bn to pave the way for tax cuts, claims the Daily Telegraph. More than 600,000 disabled people will lose a chunk of their benefits payments in a move that will save £1.2bn and allow the chancellor to cut taxes for the middle classes. Meanwhile, The Independent says the North of England is becoming a cultural wasteland due to austerity measures.

2. Clashes force Donald Trump to cancel Chicago rally

Donald Trump has cancelled a Chicago rally after protests against the presidential hopeful sparked violent clashes. Hundreds of protesters gathered at the University of Illinois at Chicago hours before the Republican frontrunner was due. Fighting broke out between supporters and protesters, who waved flags and chanted.

3. South Sudan 'allowed troops to rape women'

The South Sudanese government has allowed its soldiers and allied militias to rape women, murder suspected opponents and deliberately displace as many people as possible, according to the UN. The revelation comes six months after accounts emerged revealing the systematic abduction and abuse of thousands of women and girls during the conflict.

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4. Paris attackers named in Islamic State documents

The Paris terror attackers are listed on a cache of Islamic State documents, according to German media. Reports this morning claim the documents reveal the names and movements of people linked to the attacks in French capital. Among them are the attackers at the Bataclan theatre – Samy Amimour, Ismael Omar Mostefai and Fouad Mohamed Aggad – and suspected ringleader Abdelhamid Abaaoud.

5. Prog rock legend Keith Emerson dies at 71

Keith Emerson, co-founder and keyboardist of prog-rock band Emerson, Lake and Palmer, has died at the age of 71. The cause was a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, Santa Monica police confirmed. "We regret to announce that Keith Emerson died last night at his home in Santa Monica, Los Angeles," read a statement on the band's Facebook page.

6. Hillary Clinton apologises over Reagan Aids gaffe

Hillary Clinton has admitted she “misspoke” when she praised late former first lady Nancy Reagan for starting a "national conversation" on Aids. The White House hopeful was slammed by activists after praising Nancy and Ronald Reagan for their "low key advocacy" around Aids. "Because of both President and Mrs Reagan - in particular Mrs Reagan - we started a national conversation,” she said.

7. Maria Sharapova disputes meldonium warning report

Maria Sharapova has denied the claim that she was warned five times that the drug she was taking, meldonium, had been added to the banned list. The Russian tennis star, who faces a lengthy suspension, wrote on Facebook: “A report said that I had been warned five times about the upcoming ban on the medicine I was taking. That is not true and it never happened.”

8. Iranian 'racially abused' warden by calling him 'English'

An Iranian-born man has been prosecuted for racially abusing a parking warden by calling him “English”. Mohammed Akhlagi pushed traffic warden Robert St Paul in the back and swore at him during the exchange last summer. Akhlagi was sentenced to 100 hours of unpaid community work and £145 in costs. “You have been subjected to racial abuse and you know how upsetting it is,” the judge told him.

9. Rival channels may poach Great British Bake Off

Is the Great British Bake Off about to be poached by a rival channel? With only one series left in its contract to make the show, the BBC’s controller of television channels told the Daily Telegraph: “I’m sure [commercial rivals] would love Bake Off but it’s a big part of BBC One. I don’t take anything for granted, but I think the programme-makers like to be on BBC One.”

10. Eagles soar into the FA Cup semi-finals

Crystal Palace reached their first FA Cup semi-final in 21 years by beating Championship side Reading with two late goals last night. Everton host Chelsea today in the same competition. Meanwhile, Alan Shearer says Newcastle's appointment of Rafael Benitez is a "great coup" which gives the club a chance of Premier League survival.

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