The Rundown – 5.02.18

Feb 5 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

  • Theresa May is coming under increasing pressure to set out where she stands on Britain’s future trade agreements. Speaking at the end of a trade visit to China, the PM said Britain would not face a choice between a free trade deal with the EU after Brexit and striking deals with the rest of the world. It comes as she has faced criticism from Eurosceptic Tory MPs that she is heading for a “Brexit in name only”.

  • There is speculation the government is considering axing up to 2,000 marines and the Royal Navy’s two specialist landing ships in a security review. But a Commons Defence Select Committee report said such cuts would be “militarily illiterate”.
  • Prime Minister Theresa May is set to announce a crackdown on the intimidation of political candidates. Later this week, she will say “it cannot be acceptable” for anyone to face threats over their political view. A 2017 report by the Committee on Standards in Public Life found women, ethnic minority and gay candidates were more likely to be targeted. Mrs May will also consider creating a new offence to protect those in politics and their families.

  • A senior Conservative MP has accused ministers of being “vague” and “divided” over Brexit. Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, arch Brexiteer Bernard Jenkin singled out the chancellor for criticism, urging him to back the PM to deliver a “clean” EU exit. He insisted Theresa May should stick to her present policy despite the Treasury having its own “house view”. It comes ahead of key ministerial meetings on the UK-EU relationship.

  • A children’s charity has criticised the government for failing to implement proposals to make young people safer online – 10 years after they were made in a government-commissioned report. The NSPCC says 11 of the 38 proposals were ignored and seven were partially implemented – four are now out of date. It says a mandatory code to regulate social media and tackle online grooming is now required.

 

 

World

  • UK police investigating Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein are looking at allegations of sexual assault against two more women, it has emerged. The alleged offences, reported to police in October and November, took place in the Republic of Ireland in 1991, Westminster in 2011 and abroad in 2010, the Metropolitan Police said. These bring the number of women making accusations to the Met to nine.

  • The UK is increasing its support for a global education fund for developing countries by 50% to £75m per year. International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt is making the announcement at a global conference in Senegal, as part of a new emphasis on targeting aid at education projects.

  • US House speaker Paul Ryan has come under fire after citing a school worker who was $1.50 (£1) a week better off because of recent tax cuts. Mr Ryan deleted a tweet about a school secretary who, he said, was “pleasantly surprised” by the increase. The post was widely derided with many social media users saying $1.50 was not a significant pay hike.

  • China has urged the US to drop its “Cold War mentality” after Washington said it planned to diversify its nuclear armoury with smaller bombs. “The country that owns the world’s largest nuclear arsenal, should take the initiative to follow the trend instead of going against it,” China’s defence ministry said on Sunday. The US military believes its nukes are seen as too big to be used and wants to develop low-yield bombs. Russia has already condemned the plan.

  • Italian police have arrested a gunman suspected of carrying out a drive-by shooting spree that targeted African immigrants. At least six people were wounded in the central town of Macerata. The suspect, named locally as Luca Traini, 28, had an Italian flag wrapped around his neck when he was detained.

 

Technology

  • Digital currency Bitcoin has fallen 30% this week, leaving it on track for its worst week since April 2013. On Friday the price fell below $7,910 on the Bitstamp exchange, a 12% fall on the day before, but recovered slightly. But although it is far short of the $19,000 it reached in November 2017, it is still way above the $1,000 level at which it started trading last year. The fall comes amid a number of recent incidents that appear to have shaken faith in cryptocurrencies.

  • YouTube says it is developing new policies to deal with video-makers who damage the reputation of the website. Chief executive Susan Wojcicki said “egregious” behaviour by video bloggers caused “significant harm” to the entire community of video-makers. The site has been under closer scrutiny after video blogger Logan Paul made a video which showed a dead body in a “suicide forest”.

  • Sony’s chief executive Kazuo Hirai is stepping down and handing the reins over to finance chief Kenichiro Yoshida. Mr Yoshida, Sony’s chief financial officer, is to take over control of the Japanese electronics giant from 1 April. Mr Hirai will remain at Sony as chairman.

 

Music

  • The Spice Girls have confirmed they are planning to work on new projects, after meeting for the first time since 2012. It comes after Victoria Beckham, Geri Horner, Emma Bunton, Melanie Brown and Melanie Chisholm were pictured together at Horner’s house in Hertfordshire. Mel C told BBC Radio 2 they had been talking about “opportunities and ideas” but there was “nothing set in stone”.

  • Dennis Edwards, who performed as lead singer for the Motown group the Temptations, has died at aged 74. He died in Chicago, his family told CBS News. They did not disclose the cause of death. Edwards joined the Temptations in 1968 and had a number of hits including two Grammy award-winning songs, Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone and Cloud Nine.

  • Lady Gaga has cancelled the last 10 dates of the European leg of her world tour due to “severe pain”. In a statement posted on Twitter, the pop star apologised to fans and said she was “devastated”, but needed to put “myself and my well-being” first. The Grammy award-winning singer has fibromyalgia, a long-term condition which can cause pain all over the body. Shows in London and Manchester are among those affected.

 

Sports

  • Novak Djokovic says he has had a “small medical intervention” on a persistent elbow injury and is “on the good road now to full recovery”. The former world number one returned after six months out when he played at the Australian Open in January.

  • Manchester City named only six substitutes for Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Burnley as they have run out of players, says manager Pep Guardiola. City have spent £418m on their squad since Guardiola arrived in 2016, but seven senior players are out injured. The manager recently called on referees to protect players after Leroy Sane was injured in an FA Cup win at Cardiff.

  • Great Britain trail 2-1 in their Davis Cup World Group tie in Spain after Jamie Murray and Dominic Inglot were beaten in the doubles by Pablo Carreno Busta and Feliciano Lopez. Murray and Inglot were second best throughout, losing 6-4 6-4 7-6 (7-4). Britain must win both reverse singles rubbers on Sunday to be victorious in the tie on clay in Marbella.

 

Miscellaneous

 

  • A review is being launched into airlines’ seating policies, the Civil Aviation Authority says. It will examine whether companies are deliberately splitting up groups of passengers so they pay to sit together. Airlines allocate seating via computer algorithms. The CAA said it wanted to make sure the practices were “fair and transparent”.

  • The US reality TV star Kylie Jenner confirmed on Sunday that she has given birth to a baby girl. The 20-year-old was rumoured to be expecting a child, but had remained quiet about her pregnancy. Jenner announced on Instagram on Sunday that she had given birth on 1 February. She apologised for keeping her followers and fans in the dark.

  • Police in the US state of Florida have arrested a man they say made threats to kidnap the singer Lana Del Rey. The man was carrying a knife when he was arrested near the Amway Center in Orlando where the singer had been due to perform, officials said.

  • Drag queen Courtney Act has been crowned winner of Celebrity Big Brother. The RuPaul’s Drag Race star was the huge favourite going into the final and beat rival Ann Widdecombe into second place.

  • Actress Uma Thurman has detailed long hinted-at allegations against film producer Harvey Weinstein. In a New York Times article, she says Weinstein pushed her down and “tried to expose himself” at the producer’s hotel room in London during the 1990s, before she managed to “wriggle away”.