News round-up: The week's top stories

News round-up: The week's top stories

Monday, September 17, 2018

From the Serena Williams cartoon controversy to a revealing interview with the Novichok poisoning suspects, the last week has been an eventful one.

In case you missed any of it, here's our guide to the top news stories from the last seven days.

Monday 10th September


Landlords told to remove Grenfell-style cladding from buildings or face fines

Following the Grenfell tragedy, Communities Secretary James Brokenshire has written to around 60 building owners and property developers to tell them they may face enforcement action if unsafe cladding is not removed from their properties.

Buildings with aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding could face financial penalties as well as being restricted in accessing government schemes if they don't comply. 


Tuesday 11th September


South Yorkshire Police criticised for asking people to report 'non-crime' hate incidents

South Yorkshire Police announced that they are now encouraging members of the community to report "non hate-crime" incidents, including "offensive or insulting comments, online, in  person or in writing".

The scheme drew widespread criticism online, and talkRADIO presenter Julia Hartley-Brewer dubbed the scheme the "hurty feelings helpline" during an interview with South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Dr Alan Billings.


Putin’s ex-bodyguard challenges opposition leader to a duel

Vladimir Putin's former bodyguard and current chief of the National Guard challenged opposition leader Alexei Navalny to a duel in a bizarre video.

In the seven-minute clip, which was posted on the National Guard's official YouTube channel, Vikto Zolotov criticised Mr Navalny for his investigation into corruption at the National Guard, claiming he would make a "good juicy beefsteak" out of the opposition leader.


Wednesday 12th September


Fifty MPs hold meeting on ousting Theresa May

In a confidence-boosting move for Theresa May, 50 Conservative MPs gathered to discuss ways of unseating her during a meeting of the European Research Group (ERG).

Meeting attendee, Michael Fabricant MP, was quick to dismiss rumours of a big leadership challenge being discussed, and said only "five to six" people discussed it, while the others "sat in uncomfortable silence".


Serena Williams cartoon uses 'racist iconography' says Black British Business Awards chair

A cartoon depicting Serena Williams having a tantrum on the tennis court that appeared in the Herald Sun newspaper sparked nationwide debate over whether or not it was racist.

Chair of the Black British Business Awards, Melanie Eusebe, clashed with talkRADIO's Julia Hartley-Brewer after saying the cartoon featured "racist iconography".

Cartoonist Mark Knight defended his drawing, but ended up closing down his Twitter account following the public backlash.


Ian Bone to the Rees-Mogg children: 'Your daddy is a totally horrible person'

A protestor outside Jacob Rees-Mogg's home targeted the politician's children, telling them their "daddy was a horrible person".

The protestor was identified as veteran anarchist Ian Bone, who was condemned by politicians and public figures alike after footage of the protest was widely circulated.


Thursday 13th September


Novichok suspects appear on Russia Today: 'We visited Salisbury as tourists'

The two Russian men suspected of carrying out the poisoning of Sergei Skripal gave their first interview to the state-funded news outlet, Russia Today, in which they claim they visited Salisbury as "tourists".

In the video, they say they visited Salisbury to look at the cathedral, and quoted a series of facts about it - including the height of its spire.

The pair contacted Russia Today's editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan to arrange the interview, after Vladimir Putin encouraged them to reach out to the media. Simonyan asked the men while they were always together, leading Dan Wootton to clash on air with a former Kremlin adviser over 'jokes' about them being gay.


Theresa May holds cabinet meeting on no-deal Brexit plans

Theresa May brought together her cabinet to discuss what would happen in the case of a no-deal Brexit.

Brexit minister Chris Heaton-Harris was optimistic about the meeting and said it would "mitigate all risk" of the UK leaving the EU without a deal.


Donald Trump rejects official Puerto Rico hurricane death toll

The US President took to his favourite social media platform Twitter to contest how many people died in hurricane Maria last year.

Official reports claimed the death toll was around 1,300 but Trump wrote online that it was "anywhere from six to 18 deaths".

"This was done by the Democrats in order to make me look as bad as possible," he wrote.


Friday 14th September


Prison officers stage nationwide walk-out

Members of the Prison Officers' Association went on strike to protest against increasingly violent conditions at work.

The protest was called off at lunchtime, and staff were docked half a day's pay.


Channel 5 confirms plans to axe Big Brother

Channel 5's decision to axe Big Brother came as a shock to reality fans.

The show first aired on Channel 4 from 2000 to 2010, and was relaunched by Channel 5 in 2011.

This year's series will be the last. 


Justin Welby under fire after Church of England's zero-hour contracts revealed

The Archbishop of Canterbury landed himself in hot water after slating zero-hour contracts during a speech at the TUC Congress event in Manchester.

After calling them "the reincarnation of ancient evil", it emerged that two Church of England cathedrals were advertising zero-hours contract jobs, including a porter at Gloucester Cathedral, and a refectory assistant at Norwich Cathedral.


Sunday 16th September


Cordons in Salisbury after two fall sick in restaurant

Already on high alert, the town of Salisbury was once again thrown into panic after two people fell ill after eating at a local restaurant.

A witness told the BBC that the man and woman who were taken ill were "two Russians", and an ambulance crew at the site decided the symptoms were consistent with Novichok poisoning.

It later transpired Novichok was not the cause of pair's mystery illness, although they currently remain in hospital.