Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Friday 18 Mar 2016

1. Osborne faces Tory revolt on disability cuts

George Osborne is facing a Tory rebellion which could block his plans to cut benefits for hundreds of thousands of disabled people. One prominent backbencher warned the Chancellor has "zero chance" of getting the measure through parliament. Cabinet minister Nicky Morgan says the personal independence payment cuts were just "a suggestion".

How Osborne got himself in a pickle on disability benefit cuts

2. Putin: We can be back in Syria within hours

Russian air strikes in Syria "opened a road to peace", says President Vladimir Putin, as he warned his forces could return to the country. Speaking to military leaders in the Kremlin, he said: "If there's a need, Russia literally within several hours can increase its presence in the region to the size required for the unfolding situation and use the whole arsenal of possibilities we have at our disposal."

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

3. Rail passengers to be helped with compensation claims

Passengers are to be given more help to claim money back when their train is delayed. The Office of Rail and Road, responding to a "super-complaint" by the consumer group Which?, says 80 per cent of passengers do not ask for compensation. It promises a new website, a nationwide publicity campaign and better staff training to try and change this.

4. Paris suspect Abdeslam captured alive in Brussels

Salah Abdeslam, the prime suspect in November’s terrorist attacks on Paris, has been captured alive during an anti-terror raid in Brussels. He was shot and wounded in the operation in Molenbeek soon after it was confirmed his fingerprints had been found in a flat raided by police earlier in the week. Belgian PM Charles Michel left an EU summit in Brussels after news of the raid.

US warns of Europe Christmas terror

5. North Korea 'fires ballistic missile into sea'

North Korea has fired a ballistic missile into the sea, claim officials from South Korea and the US. The missile flew about 500 miles before falling into the water, according to reports. North Korea has not commented on the allegation. US President Barack Obama earlier imposed new sanctions on Pyongyang, after its recent "illicit" nuclear test and satellite launch.

6. Why Ben Nevis mountain just got higher

Experts have revealed that Britain's highest mountain, Ben Nevis, is taller than previously thought. According to a calculation using new technology, it stands at 4,413ft rather than 4,409ft, the height recorded in the 1940s. "What is amazing is how close the surveyors in 1949 were," Ordnance Survey consultant Mark Greaves said.

7. EU leaders agree migrant position proposal

EU leaders have agreed a joint position on a plan to send thousands of migrants back to Turkey. The proposals will be put to the country for approval this morning. The deal on the table, described as a "one in, one out" policy, would see migrants who arrive in Greece and do not qualify for asylum being sent back to Turkey.

Islamic State targets vulnerable refugee children for recruitment

8. Oldham is most deprived town in England

Oldham is the most deprived town in England. The Office for National Statistics found that the area of Greater Manchester contained the highest proportion of deprived areas after studying factors including income, health, crime and houseing. West Bromwich, in the West Midlands, came second in the list, while Guildford, in Surrey, was the least deprived town.

9. Don Cossack triumphs in the Cheltenham Gold Cup

Favourite Don Cossack, ridden by jockey Bryan Cooper, has won the Cheltenham Gold Cup holding off Djakadem and Ruby Walsh. An all-Irish 1-2-3 was finished off by Don Poli after English hope Cue Card fell with three fences to go. It was a first Gold Cup triumph for trainer Gordon Elliott, but Willie Mullins had to be content with a sixth runner-up.

10. Liverpool vs Borussia Dortmund, Man City face PSG

Liverpool have been drawn against Jurgen Klopp's former team Borussia Dortmund in the quarter finals of the Europa League, after the Reds knocked out Manchester United on Thursday night. In the Champions League last eight, Abu Dhabi-owned Manchester City were paired with Paris Saint-Germain, who have Qatari backing.

Liverpool face Dortmund and Man City draw PSG in Europe

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.