News round-up: The week's top stories (8-14 Oct)

Weekly news round-up

Monday, October 15, 2018

In the news last week, the identity of the second Skripal suspect was unveiled, the gay cake saga came to an end and Sajid Javid announced that doctors will be able to prescribe cannabis products from November.

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


Monday 8th October


Creator of Father Ted given harassment warning amid ‘transphobia’ Twitter row

The writer behind hit comedy shows Father Ted and the IT Crowd, Graham Linehan, has been given a verbal harassment warning for comments he made to a transgender activist on Twitter.

West Yorkshire Police spoke to the writer to tell him to cease contacting Stephanie Hayden, a trans woman, who reported Linehan for "transphobia".

Although not a conviction or a caution, the warning will appear on enhanced criminal records checks.


Tuesday 9th October


Bellingcat reveal identity of second Skripal suspect

Bellingcat founder Eliot Higgins and investigative journalist Christo Grozev revealed how they identified the second Salisbury suspect in a meeting at the House of Commons.

The citizen journalism website reported that the man who called himself Alexander Petrov was actually Dr Alexander Yevgenyevich Mishkin, a trained military doctor with Russia's intelligence service, GRU.

During a press conference after the meeting, a man claiming to be a journalist disrupted proceedings by accusing Bellingcat of "propaganda" before being escorted away by police.


£20 million scheme announced to get rough sleepers off the streets

A £20 million scheme has been announced by the government in an effort to tackle the issue of homelessness.

The Private Rented Sector Access Fund is part of the £100 million Rough Sleeping Strategy announced by Theresa May in August.


Wednesday 10th October


Theresa May urges MPs to 'put the national interest first'

In her first appearance at the Commons since her speech at Salzburg, Theresa May was forced to defend her decision to "honour" the result of the referendum.

After facing opposition from Kenneth Clarke MP during Prime Minister's Questions, she responded by urging MPs to "put the national interest first".


Christian bakery owners win appeal against 'gay cake' discrimination ruling

WATCH: Peter Lynas from the Northern Ireland Evangelical Alliance discusses the ruling

The Christian owners of a bakery who refused to make a cake decorated with the words "Support Gay Marriage" won an appeal at the UK's highest court over a finding that they discriminated against a customer.

The legal action was originally brought against family-run Ashers bakery in Belfast by gay rights activist Gareth Lee, who won his case initially in the county court and then at the Northern Ireland Court of Appeal.

Gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell supported the ruling, telling talkRADIO's Matthew Wright: "It’s a victory for freedom of expression.

"Not only can Ashers [bakery] not be legally forced to aid the promotion of same-sex marriage, gay bakers can’t be compelled by law to decorate cakes with slogans against gay marriage."


Joe Biden: US's interest in UK 'diminished' because of Brexit

Former US Vice President Joe Biden appeared at Chatham House to deliver a talk on transatlantic relations between the US and UK.

Mr Biden, who who served under the Obama administration, said US interests in the UK had "diminished" as a result of Brexit.

He admitted that if he was able to vote in the referendum, he would have voted to remain.


Thursday 11th October


Doctors able to prescribe cannabis products to patients from November

The home secretary, Sajid Javid, announced that doctors will be able to prescribe cannabis products to patients from November 1.

The new rules will apply to England, Wales and Scotland and follows several high-profile cases where young epilepsy sufferers appear to have been helped by cannabis oil.


One charge dropped against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein

One of the six sexual assault charges against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein has been dropped.

A New York judge agreed to dismiss allegations by Lucia Evans that Mr Weinstein sexually assaulted her during a meeting at his office in 2004.

Mr Weinstein's lawyer Benjamin Brafman claimed in court that he believed Ms Evans lied to the grand jury.


Musician Kanye West meets with Donald Trump at Oval Office

Musician Kanye West met with Donald Trump for lunch for a discussion about criminal justice reform, manufacturing jobs, and gang violence in West's hometown of Chicago.

After the meeting, West said he felt like "superman" and described Trump as a father figure.


Friday 12th October


Patisserie Valerie finance chief arrested on suspicion of fraud

The former finance chief of food chain Patisserie Valerie has been arrested on suspicion of fraud.

Chris Marsh was suspended from the company after it said it had discovered a "black hole" in its accounts, only days before the arrest was made.

The café chain’s parent company, Patisserie Holdings, said in an announcement on Friday that Mr Marsh, who was suspended from his role earlier this week, has since been released.


Britain's Beer Alliance warns of pub closures if beer duty is raised

Britain's Beer Alliance has warned more than one in 10 London pubs could close within five years if Philip Hammond raises beer duty in the Autumn Budget.

The BBA has now started the 'Long Live the Local' campaign calling for the chancellor to cut beer duty.


Saturday 13th October


'Woman definition' campaigner projects dictionary definition of woman onto London buildings

WATCH: Posie Parker talks about her woman definition poster with Matthew Wright

A light projection appeared in London on the National Gallery, the Royal Opera House and the BBC, with the dictionary definition of ‘woman’.

The stunt was carried out by Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull, aka Posie Parker, the same activist who arranged for a poster displaying the definition to be put up in Liverpool.

She claimed the reason for the BBC building being involved was a recent announcement by the broadcasting giant that staff should use non-binary pronouns whilst at work.