The Rundown – 22.01.18

Jan 22 2018 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

  • The government will stop workers’ pensions being put at risk from “executives who try to line their own pockets”, the prime minister has said. In the Observer, Theresa May said a government white paper would set out “tough new rules” for company bosses. It comes as construction firm Carillion’s collapse could leave a pension scheme deficit of £900m, potentially affecting 27,500 workers.

  • People with dementia and autism could get blue badge parking permits in England under new government proposals. It is hoped that providing the permits for those with hidden disabilities will create equality between the treatment of physical and mental health. The Department for Transport said at the moment only certain councils were recognising hidden disabilities.

  • Prime Minister Theresa May and President Donald Trump will meet at the World Economic Forum in Davos next week, Downing Street has confirmed. It comes after Mr Trump cancelled plans to open the new $1bn (£720m) US Embassy in London next month. The White House said Mr Trump “looks forward” to strengthening the countries’ “special relationship”.

  • French President Emmanuel Macron has suggested the UK could get a special trade deal with the EU after Brexit. But he warned that Britain would not have full access to the single market without accepting its rules. Speaking to Andrew Marr, he warned – as Brussels has already done – that the UK could not “cherry-pick” the elements it liked. A deal might fall somewhere between the single market and a trade agreement, he said.

  • Recriminations have begun over the failure of the US Senate to pass a new budget and prevent the shutdown of many federal services. A bill to fund the federal government for the coming weeks did not receive the required 60 votes by the deadline of midnight on Friday. President Trump accused the Democrats of putting politics above the interests of the American people. The Democrats blame him for rejecting bipartisan compromise proposals.

  • The government is creating a new Office for Product Safety and Standards to help manage large-scale product recalls and identify risks to consumers. It comes after several fires, including Grenfell Tower, linked to faulty fridge freezers and tumble dryers. The Commons’ Business Committee said last week there was a “strong case” for a national product safety authority.

 

World

  • A year after millions of women and men demonstrated in cities around the globe in an extraordinary rebuke of Donald Trump, crowds returned to the streets on Saturday. Tens of thousands turned out in Washington, New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and hundreds of other cities across the US and the world.
  • Pope Francis, who is on a visit to Peru, has spoken out about violence against women in Latin America. Speaking at a Mass in the northern city of Trujillo, the Pope called the violence “a plague” that needed to be combated across the region. According to the UN, half of the 25 countries with the largest number of murders of women are in Latin America.

  • A 12-hour siege of a luxury hotel by gunmen in the Afghan capital has come to an end, security forces say. Six civilians, including a foreign woman, died at the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul, along with three attackers, the interior ministry said. Some 160 people were rescued after Afghan troops fought through the night to regain control of the building.

  • Fifteen Syrian refugees – some of them children – have been found frozen to death while trying to cross the mountainous border into Lebanon. Thirteen bodies were found on Friday and two more were discovered on Saturday after the area was hit by a fierce snowstorm.

  • Two American and two Canadian citizens kidnapped in Nigeria on Wednesday have been freed, police say. The group, who were ambushed in a forested area north of the capital Abuja, were found during a joint military and police operation. Two of their police escorts were killed during an exchange of fire with the abductors. Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, with foreigners and high-profile Nigerians frequently targeted.

 

Technology

  • Facebook has announced it will prioritise news sources deemed to be more trustworthy on its News Feed. The firm said the social network community would determine which outlets are reliable via the use of user surveys. Founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said news content would soon make up around 4% of what appeared in people’s News Feeds – down from 5% before. The move is the latest attempt by the company to quell the spread of so-called fake news and propaganda on the network.

  • Up to 40,000 people were caught out by hackers who stole credit card details from the site of phone maker OnePlus. The company stopped taking card payments via its site earlier this week after learning about the attack. An investigation has revealed that attackers stole data by exploiting a loophole in its payment system between mid-November 2017 and 11 January.

  • Google has released a fix for a bug in Chromecast and Android devices which could temporarily knock out home wi-fi networks. The problem emerges when Chromecast and Google Home devices wake from their low power “sleep” state. When waking, the devices can transmit more than 100,000 packets of data, quickly overwhelming home routers. Router makers have also produced patches to help their devices cope with similar massive data surges.

  • Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick will become a billionaire, after investors agreed to take a large stake in the ride-hailing firm. A consortium led by Japan’s Softbank is buying a chunk of the company from existing shareholders as well as new Uber shares in a $9.3bn (£6.7bn) deal. Mr Kalanick, who stepped down as chief  executive in June, is selling $1.4bn worth of stocks, it is widely reported.

  • TalkTalk has been named as the most complained-about broadband firm in the UK, according to the latest report from regulator Ofcom. The watchdog received nearly 250 complaints a day about communications services from July to September 2017. The Post Office came out worst for landline services and Vodafone received most complaints from mobile users.

  • Amazon has raised the price of monthly Prime memberships in the US by $2 to $12.99 (£9.40), in a bid to push more people to an annual plan. The annual cost of Prime, which includes two-day shipping and video streaming, was unchanged at $99. Amazon said the change does not affect the UK or other countries. Amazon has focused on boosting Prime subscribers, which its chief financial officer has called its “most important customer base”.

 

Music

  • Ed Sheeran has announced he’s engaged to his long-time girlfriend Cherry Seaborn. Posting on Instagram he said they are both “very happy and in love”, joking that their cats are happy for them too. The couple met in school although they only got together in 2015, spending most of 2016 travelling the world during his year off from music. Cherry is a hockey star and helped England U21’s win the bronze medal at the 2012 European Championships.

  • Stormzy has announced that he has signed a deal between his #MERKY label and Atlantic Records. The grime MC released his debut album ‘Gang Signs & Prayer‘ on his label last year, with it distributed by Warner’s ADA. It reached Number One on the Official UK Albums Chart, and finished at Number 10 on the year-end chart.
  • Drake dropped this first new music since the March 2017 More Life playlist, releasing two new songs — God’s Plan and Diplomatic Immunity — under the title Scary Hours. He announced the songs barely an hour before they dropped.
  • The Cranberries lead singer Dolores O’Riordan died suddenly at the age of 46, leaving fans in shock. The Irish musician, originally from Limerick, led the band to international success in the 1990s with singles including Linger and Zombie.

 

Sports

  • The Brazilian World Cup winner Ronaldinho has retired from football, his brother and agent Roberto Assis has confirmed. The 37-year-old, who also won the Champions League and Ballon d’Or in a glittering career, has not played for a professional team since leaving Fluminense in 2015.
  • Manchester United midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan has agreed to join Arsenal, with Alexis Sanchez set to move in the opposite direction in a straight swap. Armenia international Mkhitaryan, 28, will have a medical on Sunday and Monday, while Chile forward Sanchez, 29, will have his on Sunday. The length of Mkhitaryan’s contract, and his salary, is undisclosed.

  • Everton midfielder James McCarthy will miss the rest of the season after suffering a double leg fracture in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with West Brom. The 27-year-old was taken off on a stretcher after a tackle on Albion’s Salomon Rondon in the second half. “It’s a tibia and fibula fracture compounded. A very nasty injury,” said Everton boss Sam Allardyce.

  • Police have begun an enquiry after a Southport player was attacked during Saturday’s National League North home match with Stockport. Southport substitute Jacques Kpohomou was kicked when a group of spectators went on to the pitch. It is not clear whether the spectators were fans of either side.

  • Angelique Kerber produced a superb performance to beat Maria Sharapova and confirm herself as a title contender at the Australian Open. The German 21st seed won 6-1 6-3 in the much-anticipated night-session clash between the only two former champions left in the draw. She needed just 64 minutes to see off Sharapova, breaking serve five times.

  • Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic both reached round four of the Australian Open with straight-set wins – although the Serb suffered an injury scare.

 

Miscellaneous

  • Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West have named their new-born daughter, delivered by surrogate on Monday, Chicago West. Kim Kardashian West said that not carrying the child herself was “so hard”, but that the couple had an instant connection with her.

  • Comedian and TV presenter Alan Carr has got married to his long-term boyfriend Paul Drayton in Los Angeles. The 41-year-old’s publicist confirmed the couple had tied the knot at a “small, private ceremony” last week. The host of Channel 4’s Chatty Man had been in a relationship with party planner Drayton for about 10 years.

  • Thousands of UK nationals have bought fake degrees from a multi-million pound “diploma mill” in Pakistan, a BBC Radio 4’s File on Four programme investigation has found. Buyers include NHS consultants, nurses and a large defence contractor. One British buyer spent almost £500,000 on bogus documents.

  • A project to get more disadvantaged youngsters in the UK to apply to leading universities is being applied to schools in South Africa’s townships. The Brilliant Club is an award-winning scheme that puts PhD students into schools in the UK, with the aim of teaching new skills, raising aspirations and making university seem a more attainable goal. In South Africa, operating as AccessEd, it has completed a pilot year in 16 schools and two youth centres, with pupils aged about 13 to 15.