The Rundown – 18.09.17

Sep 18 2017 BY Rachel Ayeh-Datey

It’s been a busy week. So much so that you probably haven’t had the time to catch up with everything going on in the world. Fortunately, (for you), we’ve got your back. Here’s what happened this week in the worlds of Politics, Technology, Sports, Music and World alongside a few other miscellaneous bits that caught our eye.

Politics

  • Theresa May will travel to Florence to make a speech on Brexit in a move likely to be seen as a bid to break the deadlock in negotiations. The prime minister will give the speech on 22 September, days before Brexit negotiations resume in Brussels.

  • The UK government will aim for a “bespoke” deal with the EU to protect the City of London after Brexit, Chancellor Philip Hammond has said. Financial services are the UK’s most important export to the EU, he said.

  • The inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire has opened, with its chairman promising it will provide answers to how the disaster could have happened in 21st century London. Sir Martin Moore-Bick said he would not shrink away from making recommendations that could lead to prosecutions.

  • “Historic” changes to the schools funding formula in England will make it fairer and more transparent, says Education Secretary Justine Greening. Changes announced last December sparked protests from parents concerned their schools were set to lose out. Ms Greening said she was increasing the basic level of funding schools would get per pupil – with a minimum level of £3,500 for primary schools by 2019-20.

  • The voluntary support given to food banks is “rather uplifting” and “shows what a compassionate country we are”, Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg has said. He told LBC radio the only reason for the rise in their use was “that people know that they are there”. The North East Somerset MP said the former Labour government had failed to inform people of their existence.

  • A watchdog is investigating whether the DUP’s Ian Paisley broke the MPs’ code of conduct over alleged “all expenses paid” holidays to Sri Lanka.

 

World

  • The body of a missing 19-year-old has been found inside a walk-in freezer at a hotel in a Chicago suburb. Kenneka Jenkins went out on Friday night to a party at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Rosemont, Illinois. Early on Sunday morning, hotel staff found the teenager – who was out to celebrate her new job at a nursing home – dead in the freezer.

  • The UK has called for urgent changes to international aid rules so that its aid budget can be used to help victims of natural disasters like Hurricane Irma. Under international rules, Anguilla, Turks and Caicos and the British Virgin Islands are considered too wealthy to qualify for assistance. But International Development Secretary Priti Patel said they should consider the impact of natural disasters.

  • UK unemployment fell by 75,000 in the three months to July, bringing the jobless rate down to 4.3% from 4.4% in the previous quarter. The rate remains at its lowest since 1975, but a squeeze on real incomes continues, according to the Office for National Statistics figures.

  • At least 60 people have been killed in two attacks in southern Iraq, police and health officials say. A suicide bomber detonated a vest and gunmen opened fire inside a restaurant near Nasiriya, capital of Dhiqar province, security sources said.

  • An “improvised explosive device” was detonated on a Tube train in south-west London during Friday’s rush hour, Scotland Yard has confirmed. The blast, at Parsons Green station on an eastbound District Line train from Wimbledon, is being treated as terrorism. Theresa May said UK terror threat level raised to critical, highest possible level, after this terror attack. Two days after the attack in Parsons Green, the Home secretary said that ‘good progress’ has been made in investigation, with threat level taken down from critical to severe.

  • North Korea has fired a ballistic missile across Japan, creating new tension in the region after its nuclear bomb test less than two weeks ago. The missile reached an altitude of about 770km (478 miles), travelling 3,700km before landing in the sea off Hokkaido, South Korea’s military says.

  • Australia has introduced laws aimed at preventing hate speech during a national debate on legalising same-sex marriage. The country is holding a two-month poll on whether to amend its Marriage Act to include same-sex couples.

 

Technology

  • YouTube star PewDiePie has apologised for using the “n-word” during a video live stream, saying he was an “idiot”. “It was something that I said in the heat of the moment,” he said in a YouTube post that has already racked up almost five million views.

  • When Apple chief Tim Cook declared the iPhone X “the biggest leap forward since the first iPhone” at his latest launch extravaganza, you couldn’t help but wonder if he was referring to its features or its price. With the top-end model costing £1,149, customers are paying a premium to swap their fingerprint sensor for a facial scanner and the ability to make an animated monkey or poo emoji copy their bemused looks.

  • Closing down the places internet trolls gather can help to stop the spread of hateful comments on social media, suggests research. US scientists studied what happened on Reddit after it took action in 2015 to close down offensive chat forums. The ban led many people to close their Reddit accounts and those that stayed toned down their language, they found.

  • Three women who used to work at Google have filed a lawsuit against the technology giant, alleging it pays women less than men for comparable work. The suit says Google is aware of the situation, but has not moved to fix it. The firm is also under investigation by the US Department of Labour for wage discrimination.

     

Music

  • Selena Gomez has revealed that she had a kidney transplant operation this summer linked to her lupus. In an Instagram post, the singer says that her best friend Francia Raisa donated an organ to her and says she wanted to explain why fans hadn’t heard much from her despite having new music out.
  • Rihanna made a dramatic entrance to her New York Fashion Week show last night – on the back of a motorbike. The 29-year-old zoomed on to the runway .

  • DJ Khaled, Kendrick Lamar and Cardi B are the top nominees for this year’s BET Hip Hop Awards.

  • Teyana Taylor became the star of fashion week when she walked in streetwear brand GCDS’ show last week.  Next, she closed Philipp Plein’s show with a writhing-on-the-floor performance that rivalled her famous dance in Kanye West’s “Fade” music video.
  • Singer/Songwriter Sampha has been awarded the 2017 Hyundai Mercury Prize for his mournful and intimate album, Process. The singer, who for a long time was better known as a guest vocalist on other people’s records, beat Ed Sheeran and Stormzy to win the £25,000 prize.

 

Sports

  • Serena Williams and her partner Alexis Ohanian used social media to introduce their ‘Grand Slam-winning’ baby daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr to the world and documented the tennis star’s pregnancy.
  • Tennis star Maria Sharapova, who served a 15 month suspension for doping, has hit back at her critics, saying they “don’t have the facts”. The former world number one was suspended last year after she admitted taking the banned substance meldonium. She has been widely criticised. Fellow player Eugenie Bouchard said she should not have been allowed to return.

  • Rafael Nadal won his third US Open and 16th Grand Slam title with a one-sided victory over South Africa’s Kevin Anderson in New York. The world number one powered to a 6-3 6-3 6-4 victory in Sunday’s final at Flushing Meadows.

  • Everton produced a dreadful performance as they lost their Europa League opener against Atalanta in Italy.
  • The Football Association has sent a video to Fifa in a bid to prove that Dele Alli’s middle-finger gesture was aimed at England team-mate Kyle Walker and not an official or opponent.

 

Miscellaneous

  • Controversial tests taken by England’s seven-year-olds will be scrapped by 2023, but nine-year-olds will have to sit times table tests under new plans. Announcing the end to compulsory SATs, the government said children would instead have a “baseline” check in reception year, aged four or five.
  • The Bank of England has said that higher inflation and a pick up in growth could lead to a rate hike in “the coming months”. Members of the Bank’s nine-strong Monetary Policy Committee voted 7-2 to keep interest rates on hold at 0.25%.

  • The bid by 21st Century Fox to buy Sky will be referred to competition regulators in the “coming days”, Culture Secretary Karen Bradley has confirmed. The deal is facing a much fuller examination than initially expected. It will be assessed “on media plurality and genuine commitment to broadcasting standards grounds,” Ms Bradley said.

  • Controversial tests taken by England’s seven-year-olds will be scrapped by 2023, but nine-year-olds will have to sit times table tests under new plans. Announcing the end to compulsory SATs, the government said children would instead have a “baseline” check in reception year, aged four or five.

  • Broadcasters are failing to represent society, with a lack of diversity among staff, Ofcom has warned. The broadcasting watchdog says women, ethnic minority groups and disabled people are all under-represented. Its chief executive Sharon White said many of the “shocking” results will “concern the whole industry”.

  • Unions representing nurses and other NHS staff have written to the chancellor to demand a 3.9% pay rise and an extra £800 to make up for the “cut” they have seen in recent years. Fourteen unions have joined together to ask for the increase, saying pay has fallen by 15% since 2010 once inflation is taken into account.

  • A British man has died in Sri Lanka after being attacked by a crocodile, his employer has confirmed. Paul McClean, 24, from Thames Ditton in Surrey, was dragged into a river near Arugam Bay, witnesses have said.