The Rundown – 20.11.17

Nov 20 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

  • Labour is to demand that Prime Minister Theresa May withdraws her Brexit legislation amendment which would set the day of EU departure in law. Shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer will brand it a “gimmick” and warn that Labour will vote against it if it is not withdrawn by the government. It comes as MPs begin debating the crucial piece of legislation that will pave the way for Brexit.

  • Senior Russian politicians have dismissed accusations by Theresa May that Moscow has meddled in elections and carried out cyber-espionage. On Monday night, Mrs May accused Moscow of “planting fake stories” to “sow discord in the West”. She said Vladimir Putin’s government was trying to “undermine free societies”. Russian senators accused the UK’s PM of “making a fool of herself” with a “counterproductive” speech.

  • A TV producer has said she was groped by a government official during a visit to 10 Downing Street. Daisy Goodwin, who created the ITV series Victoria, told the Radio Times the man put his hand on her breast after a meeting to discuss a proposed TV show when David Cameron was PM. Ms Goodwin said she was “cross” at the time, but did not report the incident. Downing Street said it took allegations seriously and officials would look into a formal complaint, should one be made.

  • EU nationals who become British citizens do not lose the right to bring a foreign-born spouse to the UK, the European Court of Justice has ruled.

  • Residents have criticised a “crass and offensive” survey asking them to rate how important the Grenfell Tower tragedy was to them. The questionnaire sent out by a Kensington branch of the Conservative Party asked for people’s views on the fatal fire alongside issues such as parking and recycling. Labour MP David Lammy described the survey as “deeply troubling”.

  • Head teachers representing more than 5,000 schools across England are supporting a protest letter to the chancellor over “inadequate” funding. The letter, being delivered to Downing Street, warns of schools increasingly having to make “desperate requests to parents for ‘voluntary’ donations”. Heads are calling for an extra £1.7bn per year for schools.

 

World

  • Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has vowed to “find the culprits” responsible for buildings collapsing in a 7.3-magnitude earthquake on Sunday. He suggested that government-built buildings had collapsed while privately-built ones remained standing.

  • Australians have overwhelmingly voted in favour of legalising same-sex marriage in a historic poll. The non-binding postal vote showed 61.6% of people favour allowing same-sex couples to wed, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said.

  • The Grenfell Tower fire took the lives of 71 people, police have said, after recovering what they believe to be the last of the bodies.

  • For the first time in over 40 years, Congress is examining a US president’s authority to launch a nuclear attack. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing is titled Authority to Order the Use of Nuclear Weapons. The chairman of the panel accused President Trump last month of setting the US “on a path to World War III”.

  • Zimbabwe’s embattled leader Robert Mugabe has vowed to stay in power for several weeks, despite intensifying pressure on him to stand down. In a live TV address, Mr Mugabe said he would preside over the ruling party’s congress in December.

  • Jimmy Fallon made an emotional tribute to his late mother on Monday night’s episode of The Tonight Show. The comedian cancelled his NBC nightly programme for a week following the death of his mother Gloria Fallon, who passed away with her son by her side.
  • The founder of groundbreaking dating site Gaydar has died in his native South Africa. Henry Badenhorst, 51, died after falling from a tower block on Saturday, news website Buzzfeed reported. He died a decade after his co-founder and former partner Gary Frisch fell to his death in London.

  • A fire in a housing block in a southern district of the Chinese capital, Beijing, has killed 19 people and injured eight others, reports say. It took firefighters several hours to bring the overnight blaze under control. The cause is not yet known. However, Beijing police say they have detained a number of suspects.

 

Technology

  • Games publisher EA has changed a rule in its Star Wars Battlefront II video game after a huge backlash. During the game, players have to obtain credits – either by buying them or through long hours of game play – to unlock popular characters including Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader. Many players said it was unfair as the gaming required worked out at around 40 hours per character, unless they paid.

  • China has overtaken the US to have the most supercomputers in the list of the world’s fastest 500 systems. The communist nation accounted for 202 of the globe’s highest performance machines, according to the latest Top500 survey.

  • Elections in 18 separate nations were influenced by online disinformation campaigns last year, suggests research. Independent watchdog Freedom House looked at how online discourse was influenced by governments, bots and paid opinion formers. In total, 30 governments were actively engaged in using social media to stifle dissent, said the report.

  • Consumer watchdog Which? has called on retailers to stop selling some popular toys it says have “proven” security issues. Those toys include Furby Connect, the i-Que robot, Cloudpets and Toy-fi Teddy. Which? found that there was no authentication required between the toys and the devices they could link with via Bluetooth.

 

Music

  • The FBI has reportedly launched an investigation into the judge who sent Meek Mill to jail. The rapper checked into prison last week after Pennsylvania judge Genece Brinkley handed him a sentence of two to four years behind bars for two arrests that violated his probation arising from a 2008 drug and gun bust.
  • Comedian Kevin Hart and rappers Big Sean and T.I. supported a planned rally set to take place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on Monday to protest Meek Mill’s imprisonment.
  • Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of hit hip-hop musical Hamilton, has spoken about the “frustrating” delay in bringing the show to London. The opening was put back by two weeks because of delays in restoring the Victoria Palace Theatre. That has meant thousands of ticket-holders have now been re-seated.

  • Shakira has been forced to postpone the European dates of her world tour until 2018 due to vocal issues.

 

Sports

  • The Football Association should accept England forward Eniola Aluko’s offer to help with its reforms, says sports minister Tracey Crouch. Former England manager Mark Sampson was found to have used discriminatory language to Aluko and team-mate Drew Spence following three inquiries. The FA has since apologised.

  • For the first time since 1958, four-time champions Italy will not appear at the World Cup.
  • The Queen awarded athlete Mo Farah a knighthood for services to athletics.
  • The final round of World Cup qualifying is taking place, and 28 countries are already assured of their places alongside hosts Russia at next summer’s 32-team tournament. Five-time winners Brazil are there, as are defending champions Germany, plus Argentina, Belgium, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Egypt, England, France, Iceland, Iran, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, Panama, Poland, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia and Uruguay.

 

Miscellaneous 

  • Boris Johnson’s father Stanley, former footballer Dennis Wise, boxer Amir Khan and Coronation Street’s Jennie McAlpine are going to the jungle for this year’s I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here.
  • Radhika Jones has been named as Vanity Fair’s next editor-in-chief. Jones – currently editorial director of the New York Times book department – will take over from Graydon Carter on 11 December. She is the first female editor at the magazine since Tina Brown, who was in charge of the Conde Nast title from 1984 to 1992.

  • The UK’s key inflation rate remained steady in October at a five-and-a-half-year high of 3%, official figures show. Higher food prices were offset by lower fuel costs, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said. The price of food and non-alcoholic drinks rose at an annual rate of 4.1%, the highest since September 2013.

  • A teacher is facing disciplinary action at his school after he referred to a transgender pupil as a girl, although the student identifies as a boy. Joshua Sutcliffe, a Christian pastor from Oxford, admitted he said “Well done girls” when addressing a group including the student. He described it as a “slip of the tongue”, but said he believed biological sex was defined at birth.

  • Drivers should have compulsory eye tests every 10 years, the Association of Optometrists has said. One in three optometrists say they have seen patients in the last month who continue to drive with vision below the legal standard, their association said. Motorists must read a number plate from 20m (65ft) in the practical driving test, but there is no follow-up check.

  • The star of Girls, Lena Dunham, has apologised for supporting a writer on the US TV series who has been accused of sexual assault. Los Angeles police are investigating the accusation made against Murray Miller by actress Aurora Perrineau. Ms Dunham initially said she was “confident” the accusation had been “misreported” but later said it was the wrong time to make such a statement.