The Rundown – 31.07.17

Jul 31 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

  • The Conservative Party has been “wrong” on gay rights in the past – but can be proud of the role it has played in recent years, Theresa May has said. Speaking to website Pinknews to mark 50 years since the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in England and Wales, the PM said she and the party had both “come a long way”.
  • A new immigration system will be in place by March 2019 when the free movement of people between the EU and the UK ends, a minister has said. Immigration Minister Brandon Lewis was speaking as the government commissioned a “detailed assessment” of the costs and benefits of EU migrants. That report is expected in September 2018, six months before Brexit.

  • A leading member of UKIP has resigned from the party’s front bench for the second time, saying he is worried about the direction the party is taking. Patrick O’Flynn, who is standing down as economics spokesman, claims the “centrist approach” advocated by him and others “is falling by the wayside”.

  • Commanders from British armed forces have opposed any ban on transgender people serving in the military. It comes after Donald Trump said that transgender people would not be allowed in the US military due to “tremendous” medical costs and disruption. But British officials have supported people serving in the Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force.

  • The White House has not yet decided how it will implement the president’s ban on transgender people serving in the US military. Mr Trump’s surprise Twitter announcement on Wednesday has been met with criticism from rights groups. Spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the administration would work alongside the Pentagon to decide how to proceed.

World

  • Grenfell Tower will be covered in a protective wrap to help with forensic investigations, the site manager has said. Michael Lockwood told a public meeting on Wednesday that the charred building would be covered in August.

  • A mum who suffocated her two-year-old daughter after sending the toddler’s father “one last picture” of her has been jailed for a minimum of 16 years. Cody-Anne Jackson killed Macey Hogan after texting her ex a message reading: “Sorry, just thought you deserved one last picture and memory of her.”

  • Fireworks and bottles were hurled at riot police and mattresses set on fire at a protest in Dalston, east London over the death of Rashan Charles. The 20-year-old was chased by officers in the borough on 22nd July. The planned protest began on Friday afternoon. By the evening, dozens of people, some masked, were still lining the streets and shattered glass littered the road. Bins, mattresses and debris were used to block the street and at one stage a small fire was started.

  • Opportunities were missed to spot the radicalisation of two teenage British Muslim brothers who died fighting in Syria in 2014, a report has found. Agencies had insufficient knowledge and understanding of minority and faith groups, a serious case review said. Abdullah and Jaffar Deghayes were in a child protection plan before 2010, the report by a senior social worker said.

  • A woman with dementia who went missing in Florida was found by a police dog in a matter of minutes, having bottled her scent in advance. Citrus County Sheriff’s Office said the anonymous woman had used a specialist scent preservation kit. It can hold a person’s scent for up to seven years.

  • Nine Nigerian soldiers and a civilian have been killed during an operation to free 10 people abducted by militant Islam group Boko Haram, the army says. The abducted group of geologists and surveyors were rescued during the battle, it added. They were in a convoy that was ambushed as it was returning to north-eastern Maiduguri city on Tuesday. At least 20,00 people have been killed and thousands more abducted since Boko Haram launched its insurgency in 2009.

Music

  • Ed Sheeran has picked up his first nomination for the Mercury Prize, recognising the overwhelming success of his third album ÷ (Divide). But he faces strong competition from grime artists Stormzy and J Hus and rapper Loyle Carner, who each receive nominations for their debut albums. Their nominations come a year after Skepta took home the £25,000 prize, beating bookies’ favourite David Bowie. Former winners The xx and Alt-J also make the 12-strong shortlist.

  • Justin Bieber has apologised to his fans after cancelling the remaining dates of his Purpose World Tour because of “unforeseen circumstances”. The move affects 14 dates in Asia and North America which were coming up over the next three months.

  • MTV has announced its nominations for this year’s Video Music Awards (VMAs), with Kendrick Lamar scoring eight nods for the video to his track Humble. It’s up for the coveted video of the year prize, won in previous years by the likes of Beyonce for Formation, Taylor Swift for Bad Blood and Miley Cyrus for Wrecking Ball.

  • Madonna and her adopted twin daughters have accepted undisclosed damages from Associated Newspapers over a “serious invasion of privacy”. The singer adopted four-year-old twins Stella and Estere in February. At the time she asked the media to “respect our privacy during this transitional time.” Madonna brought the case at London’s High Court over a MailOnline article that caused her “considerable personal distress”, her solicitor said.

  • One of the members of WSTRN has been jailed for four and a half years for violent disorderAkelle Shemai Charles and his brother Naeem Neil Phillip-Charles were sentenced to a total of eight years at Isleworth Crown Court. Police say five men wearing motorcycle helmets kicked down the door of a flat in London in January 2016. The two occupants, a man in his 40s and a woman in her 60s, were then threatened by the men.

Technology

  • Cyber-thieves have made at least $25m (£19m) from ransomware in the last two years, suggests research by Google. The search giant created thousands of virtual victims of ransomware to expose the payment ecosystem surrounding the malware type. Most of the money was made in 2016 as gangs realised how lucrative it was, revealed a talk at Black Hat.

  • The provider of best mobile coverage in the UK is influenced by geography as well as the operator, a study suggests. No one provider dominated, with EE coming out best in England, Vodafone the overall winner in Northern Ireland and Three in Scotland and Wales. The study, from mobile network performance firm RootMetrics, also suggests that England has the highest amount of 4G while Wales trails behind.

  • The security industry needs to worry less about technology and more about people, said Facebook’s security boss. Alex Stamos scolded the security industry in the opening keynote of the 2017 Black Hat conference. He said there was too much focus on technically complex “stunt” hacks and not enough on finding ways to help the mass of people stay safe.

  • A US judge has ordered Apple to pay more than half a billion dollars to a university after the tech firm failed to abide by an earlier court ruling. Apple was sued in 2014 for allegedly using a technology developed by a professor and his students in its iPhone chips without the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s permission. Apple was ordered to pay about $234m (£179m) when it lost the patent case. That sum has now been more than doubled because it continued to use the tech.

Sports

  • Forward Wayne Rooney said he has always wanted to play for Everton in Europe, as they prepare for their Europa League third qualifying round first-leg tie. Everton face Slovakian side MFK Ruzomberok at Goodison Park on Thursday. England international Rooney, 31, is set to make his first competitive start since rejoining this month after 13 years at Manchester United.

  • Football risks “being left in the dark ages” unless more is done to tackle homophobia in the game, ex-Wales rugby star Gareth Thomas has said. Thomas came out as gay in 2009 after hiding his sexuality for years. He admitted it almost drove him to suicide after his wife Jemma left him when he told her the truth. Thomas said unless homophobia in football was “policed as stringently as racism is policed, then it will always be a problem”.

  • Novak Djokovic’s enforced break through injury will help the 12-time Grand Slam winner recover his best form, says former Wimbledon champion Pat Cash. Former world number one Djokovic, 30, will not play again in 2017 because of an elbow injury. Cash said he could now “mentally refresh, get his enthusiasm back, and start back again strongly”.

  • Republic of Ireland boss Martin O’Neill and James McClean have been reprimanded for comments made after June’s World Cup qualifier with Austria in Dublin. The Republic had a late goal disallowed and a penalty claim turned down. O’Neill described Spanish referee David Fernandez Borbalan as poor, while winger McClean called him “Austria’s 12th man” after the 1-1 draw.

Miscellaneous

  •  A £750,000 diamond ring, missing from the British Museum for six years, has only now been registered as lost. Thought to have been bequeathed to the museum by an anonymous donor, the Cartier ring was reported missing to the police in 2011. The loss was revealed with the publication of museum’s annual accounts where its cost has been written off.

  • Two of the country’s estate agent chains have posted slumping profits in the face of a slowing housing market. London-focused estate agent Foxtons saw profits plunge 64% in the first six months of this year. Another estate agent, Countrywide, also saw profits tumble, also saw profits tumble, by 98% in its case. The firm said it would not pay a dividend.

  • There is an increased risk of “unprecedented” winter downpours such as those that caused extensive flooding in 2014, the UK Met Office says. Their study suggests there’s now a one in three chance of monthly rainfall records being broken in England and Wales in winter. The estimate reflects natural variability plus changes in the UK climate as a result of global warming.

  • The government’s £3bn clean air strategy does not go “far enough or fast enough”, campaigners have said. Moves including banning the sale of new diesel and petrol cars from 2040 and £255m for councils to tackle air pollution locally have been welcomed. Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said the government was determined to deliver a “green revolution”.