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.
- Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy says he is dissolving the Catalan parliament and calling regional elections over its push for independence. The prime minister said the unprecedented imposition of direct rule on Catalonia was essential to “recover normality” in the region. He is also firing Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont and his cabinet.
- The UK will not recognise the Catalan parliament’s declaration of independence, Downing Street says. Theresa May’s official spokesman said the declaration was based on a vote that had been declared illegal.
- Unpaid internships have been likened to a form of modern slavery during a Lords debate on whether to ban them. Lord Holmes asked how a country which “slammed the door on slavery in the 19th Century” could allow people to work for no financial return. Interns were “not owned by anyone” and could quit, said Lord Mitchell, but getting “no payments for their labours” could be equated with slavery.
- Billions of euros of British taxpayers’ money could remain locked into an EU bank for more than thirty years after Brexit, the UK has been warned. Alexander Stubb, vice president of the European Investment Bank – in which the UK is a 16% shareholder – said it would not be fully repaid until 2054. He described Brexit as a “travesty” but denied the move was a punishment.
- Ghana’s inspector general of police has ordered an investigation into the alleged rape of a four-year-old girl after national outrage over the case. The parents of the child said a local chief told them nothing could be done because the community gods deemed the suspect innocent. Many said the case demonstrated a culture that shielded sex attackers.
- Australian Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce and four other politicians were wrongly elected because they held dual citizenship, a court has ruled. The High Court of Australia decision means three of the politicians, including Mr Joyce, are disqualified from office. The others quit in July. Australia’s constitution prohibits dual citizens from being elected.
A row has erupted in Germany after a university lecturer told a Muslim woman she should remove her headscarf. Professor Gisela Müller-Brandeck-Bocquet has been accused of “discrimination” after asking everyone at the University of Würzburg lecture to take off their headwear. The professor argued this should include the Muslim woman, because the lecture hall was a secular space. But she says she did not insist that the headscarf be removed.
A third woman has come forward to accuse former US President George HW Bush of groping her. British-born novelist Christina Baker Kline said Mr Bush Senior “squeezed my butt hard” during an April 2014 photo.
Harvey Weinstein is taking legal action against his former company in an attempt to access personal files and emails. The film producer claims The Weinstein Company has denied his lawyer’s request for documents he will use to defend himself against allegations. Weinstein has been accused of rape, sexual assault and harassment by a number of actresses and employees.
Hotel booking sites are to be probed by the UK’s competition watchdog to see if consumers are being misled by them. The Competition and Markets Authority is concerned that rather than helping consumers, the sites might actually be making it more difficult for them. The CMA said it was “concerned about the clarity, accuracy and presentation of information on sites”.
Three has announced a £117 ($150) per month contract for the iPhone X. It’s been described as “extreme” and “crazy” on social media. The two-year deal, which includes unlimited data and talk time, is for the largest version of the device. The same contract with an iPhone 8 costs £44 per month, plus a £99 upfront fee.
Computer scientists have developed artificial intelligence that can outsmart the Captcha website security check system. Captcha challenges people to prove they are human by recognising combinations of letters and numbers that machines would struggle to complete correctly.
NHS trusts were left vulnerable in a major ransomware attack in May because cyber-security recommendations were not followed, a government report has said. More than a third of trusts in England were disrupted by the WannaCry ransomware, according to the National Audit Office (NAO). At least 6,900 NHS appointments were cancelled as a result of the attack.
- Adam Blampied, a prominent YouTube video blogger, has issued an apology for “manipulating” women into sending him images on social media.
- Iggy Azalea has denied she’s dating American footballer Odell Beckham Jr. The Fancy rapper was first linked to the New York Giants player back in May (17) when they featured in a group photo
Pop star George Michael has topped the UK album charts, 10 months after his death. An expanded version of his second solo album, Listen Without Prejudice Vol 1, beat Niall Horan and Pink to become the week’s best-selling record.
- Jason Derulo was the first guest host of BBC One’s new primetime music show Sounds Like Friday Night, which launched last Friday.
- Tamar Braxton is reportedly not only divorcing her husband of nine years, Vincent Herbert, she’s requesting full custody of their four-year-old son Logan. The couple have been together for 14 years.
- Cardi B and Offest from Migos got engaged last Friday night. The duo were performing to a packed crowd at Power 99’s Powerhouse in Philadelphia when he popped the question.
Tottenham striker Harry Kane has been ruled out of his side’s trip to Manchester United on Saturday with a hamstring injury. Kane scored twice as Spurs beat Liverpool 4-1 on Sunday, before being substituted in the 88th minute. The 24-year-old is the leading Premier League scorer this season with eight goals.
Arsenal Women and ex-England defender Alex Scott says she will retire from playing at the end of this season to concentrate on her broadcasting career. The 33-year-old has won nine league trophies and seven Women’s FA Cup titles in three spells with the club.
Tiger Woods has been sentenced to a year’s probation after pleading guilty to reckless driving. The professional golfer was arrested in May after officers found him slumped at the wheel of his parked Mercedes-Benz not far from his Florida home. A toxicology report found Woods had several legal medications in his system and marijuana’s active ingredient
- A hospital has backed down over plans for patients to recuperate in people’s homes as part of an Airbnb-style trial. Southend Hospital in Essex said it has “no intention… to support the pilot at this time”. The trial by healthcare start-up CareRooms involves 30 hospital patients staying in local residents’ spare rooms while waiting to be discharged.
Young people are facing long waiting times and unequal access to mental health services, a review by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has said. The commissioner said this could be “putting young people’s lives at risk”. The review found nearly 40% of specialist child and adolescent services in England needed improvement
Women in Scotland are the first in the UK to be allowed to take the abortion pill at home. Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer has written to all health boards to say the drug misoprostol can be taken by women outside of a clinical setting. The change brings Scotland in line with other countries such as Sweden and France.
Five British locations have bid to be named European Capital of Culture in 2023 – despite the fact the UK will have left the European Union by then. Dundee, Leeds, Nottingham and Milton Keynes are in the race, while Belfast and Londonderry have made a joint bid.