News round-up: The week's top stories (24-30 Sep)

Weekly news round-up

Monday, October 1, 2018

From a new inquiry opening into the contaminated blood scandal, to the sighting of a Beluga whale in the Thames, 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 24th September


Inquiry into contaminated blood scandal to open

An inquiry has now opened into the contaminated blood scandal, widely referred to as the worst-ever NHS treatment disaster.

The probe will look into the thousands of people in the 1970s and 1980s that were given blood products infected with hepatitis viruses and HIV, and is expected to last at least two-and-a-half years.

The daughter of one of the victims of the scandal claimed that "secret liver function tests" were carried out on her father as a 15-year-old boy in an interview with talkRADIO about the inquiry.


Three hundred new words added to the official Scrabble dictionary

Hitting the headlines was the news that Scrabble players can now earn points with 'OK' and 'ew', after the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary was updated to include three hundred new words.

Other additions include 'emoji', 'facepalm' and 'twerk'.


Tuesday 25th September


Keir Starmer refuses to rule out extending Article 50

At the Labour party conference, Sir Keir Starmer refused to rule out extending Article 50, contradicting previous statements he had made publicly.

He told The Guardian in March this year: "Article 50 was triggered a year ago…and I don’t think there is any realistic prospect of it being revoked. Therefore we will be leaving the EU in March 2019".

Las November, he claimed: "There’s no dispute that Britain will leave the European Union in March 2019. Labour voted to trigger Article 50 and we did so knowing that we would leave the EU within two years".


Beluga whale spotted in the River Thames

A rare Beluga whale was spotted swimming in the Thames near Gravesend in Kent.

The whale was first spotted by ecologist and ornithologist Dave Andrews, with the last recorded sighting of a Beluga whale in the UK taking place three years ago off the coast of Northumberland.


Wednesday 26th September


Salisbury Novichok suspect’s ‘real identity’ revealed

WATCH: Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee calls the suspects 'a couple of jokers'

A website called Bellingcat claimed to have discovered the real identity of one of the Salisbury suspects.

On Wednesday, it posted that it had "established conclusively" that one of the lead suspects in the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal, who went by the name of Ruslan Boshirov, was actually a highly decorated Russian officer called Colonel Anatoliy Chepiga who had been made a Hero of the Russian Federation, a medal typically awarded by the Russian president.


Bill Cosby's Hollywood Walk of Fame star to remain despite sexual assault conviction

Despite being labelled a "sexually violent predator" by a judge in Pennsylvania, comedian Bill Cosby's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame will remain.

Cosby, aged 81, was sentenced to three to 10 years behind bars for drugging and sexually assaulting a woman.

The star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame was unveiled in November 1977.


Royal Mail urges campaigners to stop posting empty crisp packets without envelopes

Royal Mail has been forced to ask people posting empty Walkers crisp packets to put them in envelopes first, following the launch of a campaign against plastic waste.

The campaign against the non-reusable packaging has caused delays for Royal Mail, as they have all had to be sorted by hand.


Thursday 27th September 


Brussels to name a square after murdered MP Jo Cox

A square in the centre of Brussels will be named in honour of murdered MP Jo Cox.

Jeremy Corbyn attended the official inauguration of 'Place Jo Cox' alongside her relatives.

The city decided to name the square after the former Labour MP for Batley and Spen in a bid to have more streets and public places named after women.


Friday 28th September


PR executive suspended for announcing beer company would give free beer to Trump supporters

A PR executive who sent a press release stating that free beer for Trump supporters would be available in BrewDog bars across the UK for a week has reportedly been suspended. 

Scottish beer company BrewDog claimed they "did not know anything" about the planned promotion, after being challenged on Twitter. 


Politics’ Professor about Kavanaugh case: Dr Ford is ‘a woman who is making a difference’

Professor Scott Lucas has said that Dr Christine Blasey Ford, who has testified she was sexually assaulted by US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, is making “a bigger difference” and making a contribution “far beyond one Supreme Court choice”.

Brett Kavanaugh has denied allegations that he sexually assaulted Christine Blasey Ford when they were both high school students and told Congress that Democrats were engaged in "a calculated and orchestrated political hit".


Saturday 29th September 


Conservatives accidentally leak conference attendees' personal details through party conference app

Users of the Conservative party conference app had their personal information made publicly available after a glitch in the software was revealed.

The CPC 2018 app allowed anyone to log in as a politician, delegate or journalist attending the Birmingham event simply using their email address, which gave them access to telephone numbers and other personal details, including that of cabinet ministers.


Sunday 30th September


Jeremy Hunt compares the EU to the Soviet Union in keynote speech

In his keynote speech at the Conservative party conference on Sunday, Jeremy Hunt compared the EU to the Soviet Union.

The foreign secretary's speech has since attracted criticism from numerous European politicians and diplomats.


Peter Tatchell likens Lib Dems to the BNP for singing song about 'homophobic' election campaign

Prominent gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell has compared the Liberal Democrats to “the BNP or the EDL” over the fact that their Glee Club sang a song at conference about the 1983 Bermondsey by-election.

Lyrics included: “Tatchell went, and Tilley came and said that he was straight”.

Speaking to John Nicolson on talkRADIO, Tatchell said: “It’s not something you’d expect from a mainstream political party.

"Male liberal candidates went around on the doorsteps wearing lapel stickers saying ‘I’ve been kissed by Peter Tatchell’ to plant the fact that I was gay and to stir homophobia."