Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Wednesday 15 Dec 2010

Scarlett Johansson

Our popular news catch-up service is posted Monday to Friday at 8.0 am. You can rely on it to keep you up to date through the working day with the main news talking points. Swedes appeal against ASSANGE bail Despite being granted bail by a London judge who agreed he was not a flight risk, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange remained in Wandsworth Prison last night following an appeal by Swedish prosecutors seeking his extradition for alleged sexual crimes. The appeal will be heard within 48 hours. Meanwhile, Assange's supporters have to raise £200,000 to be paid into court before he can be released. Assange attended US embassy party in Iceland SAVINGS ACCOUNTS 'A WASTE OF TIME'With inflation running at 3.3 per cent according to yesterday's new figures, there is no point keeping cash in savings accounts because the return will never be worth it given current interest rates, financial adviser Darius McDermott tells the Daily Telegraph. "Most savings accounts are just a waste of time," he says. Shares are the only option today, he argues, in spite of the risk. SCARLETT JOHANSSON ENDS HER TWO-YEAR MARRIAGEScarlett Johansson (above), star of Lost in Translation, The Girl with the Pearl Earring and Vicky Cristina Barcelona, has announced that her two-year marriage to actor Ryan Reynolds is over. They are parting amicably after living apart. Johansson, 26, was voted GQ magazine's 'Babe of the Year' for 2010 while Reynolds, who stars in next year's release, Green Lantern, was voted People magazine's 'Sexiest Man Alive'. Why Scarlett Johansson gave up on marriage '30 DEAD' IN AUSTRALIAN SHIPWRECK As many as 30 people are thought to have drowned after a boat carrying suspected asylum seekers crashed into the rocks on the Australian territory of Christmas Island, where the country has a detention centre. Islanders threw lifejackets and ropes, but said they were unable to help more because of rough seas. The boat smashed to pieces. ARMED ROBBER HITS LAS VEGAS CASINOAn armed man has stolen $1.5m in chips from the craps table at the Bellagio casino in Las Vegas before escaping on a motorbike. It is unclear what he plans to do next - because the chips can only be cashed in at the same casino. "Casino chips are not like cash - at some point they must be redeemed," said a spokesman for MGM Resorts, owners of the Bellagio. RIOTS IN ROME AS BERLUSCONI CLINGS ONThousands of demonstrators fought riot police on the Corso, the main street through central Rome, after Silvio Berlusconi narrowly survived two confidence votes. Dogged by sex scandals, the prime minister faced a rebellion led by Gianfranco Fini, once his closest ally. He survived the no-confidence motions by 162-135 in the Senate and by 314-311 in the Chamber of Deputies to cling on to power. BUS DRIVER QUITS AFTER 'KILLING' SNOWMANThe Illinois bus driver at the centre of an internet storm after he purposefully drove his vehicle into to the wrong lane to crush a snowman, has resigned. Video taken of the incident on the University of Illinois campus - titled 'Insane Bus Driver Brutally Murders Snowman' - received thousands of hits, prompting the driver to quit. A counter-campaign to reinstate the driver is gaining support on Facebook. ‘Insane Bus Driver’ resigns over snowman ‘murder’ UK unemployment rises Unemployment in the UK rose by 35,000 in the three months to October to reach a total of 2.5 million, according to the Office for National Statistics. The surprise rise brings unemployment in the UK to 7.9 per cent. The worst hit areas were the West Midlands, where unemployment rose by 0.5 per cent, and the East Midlands, where it increased by 0.8 per cent. LIB DEMS SINK LOWER IN POLLSSupport for the Lib Dems is at its lowest since pollster Ipsos MORI began surveying the party's fortunes 19 years ago. The new poll for the Guardian shows Labour on 39 per cent, unchanged on last month, the Conservatives up two points at 38 per cent, and the Lib Dems down three at 11 per cent. Energy secretary Chris Huhne admitted his party faced "two years of immense unpopularity" having agreed to form a coalition with Tories, given all the compromises that entails. Lib Dem tells republican constituent to 'get a life' THE KING'S SPEECH LEADS GOLDEN GLOBE NOMINATIONSBritish film The King's Speech leads the field with seven nominations for the 68th Golden Globe awards, to be held in January. Colin Firth, who plays King George VI, is up for best actor and Helena Bonham Carter, who plays his wife, is nominated for best supporting actress. David Fincher's The Social Network and David O Russell's The Fighter both earned six nominations. All three films are in the running for best drama picture.

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Jack Bremer is a London-based reporter, attached to The Week.co.uk. He has reported regularly from the United States and France.