Record-breakers in the news today

Former England striker Michael Owen has today announced he will retire from football at the end of the season.

The 33-year-old, who scored 40 goals in 89 internationals, played for Liverpool, Real Madrid, Newcastle United and Manchester United and Stoke during his career.

Owen still holds the record for the youngest hat-trick scorer in the football Premier League after scoring three goals for Liverpool against Sheffield Wednesday on 14 February 1998 at the age of just 18 years 62 days.

Today marks the 10th anniversary of the US-led campaign in Iraq that toppled Saddam Hussein.

The conflict began on 20 March 2003 and, although major combat operations ceased on 2 May 2003, it was not formally ended until President Obama declared it over in speech on 31 August 2010.

However, forming a new Iraqi government proved extremely difficult, with the nation eventually breaking the record for the longest period for a country without a government on 1 October 2010.

It had held parliamentary elections on 7 March 2010 and did not form a government until 21 December 2010 after a total of 289 days.

While it took 249 days for Iraq's politicians to settle on a draft government agreement, the administration had to wait another 40 days before taking office.

A mystery portrait donated to a British heritage charity as part of a mixed lot of paintings has been identified as a work by Rembrandt van Rijn - worth more than $30 million.

The picture, dated 1635, shows the then 29-year-old artist in a black velvet cape and hat decorated with outsized ostrich feathers. It was given to the National Trust in 2010, along with four other artworks.

The Dutch master's pocket-sized portrait Jacob III de Cheyn (1632) holds the record for most stolen painting having been pinched (and recovered) from museum galleries no less than four times.

It was once found on the back of a bicycle, and once underneath a graveyard bench.

It has been returned anonymously each time and, as a result, no one has ever been charged with theft. Rembrandt's portrait of a tranquil young man is so well known that thieves would find it nearly impossible to sell.

Finally, a new $1.2billion mega-casino has opened its doors in the Philippines' Manilla Bay.

The Solaire Resort and Casino boasts an 18,000-square-meter gaming floor which includes nearly 300 tables for baccarat, blackjack, craps, money wheel, pontoon and roulette, as well as 1,200 slot machines and a 6,000-square-meter VIP gaming salon.

The world's largest casino however remains the 51,100-m² (550,000-ft²) gambling area in the Venetian Macau, a casino-hotel resort owned by the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, which opened in Macau, China on 27 August 2007.

Guests can play on 3,400 slot machines or at 870 gaming tables, whilst staying in one of 3,000 suites or shopping amongst 92,900 m² (1 million ft²) of retail space.