Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Tuesday 15 Feb 2011

Silvio Berlusconi

Our popular news catch-up service is posted Monday to Friday at 8.00 am. You can rely on it to keep you up to date through the working day with the main news talking points. Berlusconi to stand trial on underage sex charge Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi will stand trial in April on charges that he paid for sex with an underage prostitute and abused his power by seeking her release after she was picked up police on another occasion. Berlusconi and the woman in question, Karima El Mahroug, deny the allegations, although El Mahroug admits to accepting a 'gift' of €7,000 after attending a party at his mansion. Silvio Berlusconi sent for trial over ‘Ruby’ charges Thousands of Italians urge Silvio Berlusconi to quit Silvio Berlusconi: caught between the law and Mafia PROTESTeRS KILLED IN BAHRAINTwo protesters have been killed in clashes between police and demonstrators calling for political reform in Bahrain. The strategically important Gulf state, home of the US Navy's Fifth Fleet, is the latest in the region to be hit by anti-government demonstrations. Bahrain's main Shia Muslim opposition party has walked out of parliament in support of the protests. King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, a Sunni, has pledged to push ahead with reforms in the mainly Shia state. MOD APOLOGY AFTER EMAIL SACKINGSThe Ministry of Defence has apologised after 38 soldiers, each with more than 20 years service behind them, were sacked by email. The army says it has apologised to the men for the distress cause by an abrupt termination message advising them to "start planning your resettlement", received by one officer on the Afghan front line. BECKHAM LOSES U.S. LIBEL CASELA Galaxy star David Beckham had his libel case against US magazine In Touch thrown out of court yesterday. Although he could prove he had been elsewhere at the time the magazine alleged he slept with a prostitute, Irma Nici, in 2007, a judge ruled he had no chance of proving the publisher, Bauer, knew the story was bogus. Judge throws out Beckham call-girl libel case LEAK REVEALS ENERGY FIRMS SPY ON ACTIVISTSDocuments leaked to the Guardian show three large energy firms including E.ON and Scottish Power paid a private security firm to spy on green campaigners. In the papers, the firm's boss, Rebecca Todd, reports on activists' emails and gives advice to an agent on how to attend campaign meetings and ingratiate himself with protesters. EGYPTIAN MILITARY REFORM CONSTITUTIONFears that the Egyptian military would refuse to hand over power after taking control of the nation in the wake of Hosni Mubarak's departure appear to fading. The military council that is running the country announced that work on reforming the country's constitution would be completed in 10 days. It also said on Tuesday that the amended constitution would be put to a popular referendum. OMBUDSMAN: NHS IS FAILING ELDERLYA report by the health service ombudsman has accused the NHS of "failing to meet even the most basic standards of care" for elderly people. Presented to parliament today, the report adds: "It is incomprehensible how staff are still neglecting fundamental aspects of care for older people, including food, water and cleanliness." BAFTA-WINNING FIRTH DOES CLEGG A FAVOURKing's Speech star Colin Firth, who won the Bafta for Best Actor on Sunday and now hopes for an Oscar, yesterday used his high profile to back the 'Yes' campaign for the Alternative Vote referendum. Firth said: "The referendum is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to change our clapped-out politics for good. I'll be voting yes." King Colin does the double In pictures: the Baftas KELLY BROOK's full frontal 'art'British model and actress Kelly Brook has ditched her usually wholesome image to pose nude for a series of startling images for a new Paris-based art magazine, Exhibition. She appears with lipstick smeared over her breasts in the photographs, which apparently celebrate make-up in a "feminist, industrial and political sense". downing street has a new mouserIf the rodent population of Downing Street was hoping David Cameron's vision of the Big Society extended to them, they have a nasty surprise in store after the prime minister unveiled his latest member of staff, Larry, a four-year-old cat with a "very strong predatory drive". The former stray who was living at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, has been appointed after rats were spotted outside Number 10.

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is a London-based freelance journalist who has also worked in marketing. His interests include archaeology and opera.