Ten Things You Need to Know Today: Wednesday 24 Nov 2010

Day X student protests

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. DAY X: POLICE SURROUND STUDENT PROTESTERS London police were today blocking in thousands of student protesters in an effort to contain any further violence after a police van was attacked in Whitehall. There were marches and sit-ins across the country with Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg, accused of breaking a pre-election promise on tuition fees, still the main target of their anger. Many schoolchildren - the generation that will be most affected by the tuition fee rise - joined today's protest. In pictures: Day X NEW ZEALAND MINE: ALL 29 PRESUMED DEADThe 29 miners trapped in the Pike River coal mine in New Zealand following a gas explosion last Friday are now believed to be dead following a second explosion at 3pm local time yesterday (2am GMT today). "It is our belief that no one has survived and everyone will have perished," police superintendent Gary Knowles told the media. "I've had to break the news to the families and they're extremely distraught." Prime Minister John Key called it a "national tragedy" and promised an inquiry. Were expectations raised too high by Chile rescue? Obama pardons thanksgiving turkeyUS president Barack Obama has pardoned a turkey in the annual eve-of-Thanksgiving Day ritual. In a reference to the midterm elections earlier this month in which his Democrats fared poorly, Obama said it felt good to be able to prevent at least one "shellacking" this November. Apple the turkey will live out its life at a farm in Virginia along with its understudy, Cider, who was on hand in case the star got stage fright. ENGLAND FAVOURITES AS ASHES SERIES BEGINS The first Ashes Test between England and Australia was due to start in Brisbane at midnight tonight UK time. England, led by captain Andrew Strauss, are firm favourites to retain the trophy. Australia have such poor recent form that Channel 9, the host broadcaster, is expecting a drop in audience figures from the last time England visited. In pictures: Battle for the Ashes SNOW, SLEET AND BLIZZARDS DUE TO START TONIGHT The promised Siberian winter is closing in. Snow, sleet and blizzards are due to arrive in Britain tonight, with Scotland, the north of England and the Midlands expected to be hit first. Anyone travelling in these regions by road or rail is advised to prepare for harsh conditions and severe delays. The snow is expected to spread south and east on Thursday. OBAMA PROMISES SOUTH KOREA US SUPPORTThe US will hold joint military exercises with South Korea in the next few days, in a show of strength designed to show North Korea that the US is right behind its ally. After yesterday's shelling of Yeonpyeong island, President Obama described North Korea as "a serious and ongoing threat that needs to be dealt with". It emerged today that two civilians died in the attack on Yeonpyeong as well as two South Korean marines. Christopher Walker: North Korea aggression exposes bitter divide ARSENAL SUFFER SHOCK DEFEAT IN EUROPEArsenal were beaten 2-0 by Portuguese minnows SC Braga in the Champions League last night and now need to win their final group game to qualify for the knockout stages. The shock defeat was the Gunners' fourth in six games. To make matters worse, captain Cesc Fabregas picked up another injury. Chelsea were also staring down the barrel after trailing 1-0 to MSK Zilina, but recovered to win 2-1 and go top in their group. Arsenal's season hangs in the balance JENNIFER GREY BEATS BRISTOL PALIN IN DANCING FINAL Sanity finally prevailed among the viewers of the US talent show Dancing with the Stars. Bristol Palin, daughter of would-be presidential candidate Sarah Palin, did not win the the final last night, despite a massive online campaign by her mother's political allies. Instead the winner was Jennifer Grey, the actress who starred opposite Patrick Swayze in the 1987 cult movie, Dirty Dancing. Double TV blow for Bristol and Sarah Palin GOVERNMENT PROMISES EDUCATION OVERHAUL Education Secretary Michael Gove today outlined radical plans to introduce new targets to ensure pupils get better results at primary and GCSE level, and new rules to improve teacher training. Secondary schools will have to ensure that at least 35 per cent of pupils gain five passes at GCSE, including maths and English. Labour's threshold was 30 per cent. IRISH BANKS TO BE NATIONALISEDMore details have emerged of Ireland's economic rescue by the EU and the IMF. The loan will amount to €85bn and will include a contribution of up to £10bn from Britain. More than half will be used to fund the government deficit, €20bn will provide a contingency fund, and €15bn-20bn will be used to recapitalise the banks. Allied Irish Banks will effectively be nationalised, while the government will take a majority stake in the Bank of Ireland.

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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.