Weekly News Summary

The News team will be back on Thursday with some local and national news stories. Tune in at 6pm! If you missed our previous show covering the continued UCU strike action and Royal Holloway’s hard line response then listen on our Mixcloud. To keep up to date with news throughout the week then follow us on twitter.

In National News:

Spy poisoning: Russia stockpiling nerve agent, says Johnson.
• Russia has been stockpiling the nerve agent used in the attack on an ex-spy and his daughter over the last decade, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson says.
• He also dismissed a suggestion by Russia’s EU ambassador that the agent might have come from a UK laboratory.
• Vladimir Chizhov had said the Porton Down lab in Wiltshire may have been the source of the substance.
• Sergei and Yulia Skripal remain critically ill in hospital after being exposed to the substance in Salisbury.

Sergei Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia, 33, are in a critical condition in hospital.

Hundreds of nurses ‘hit by student loan errors’.
• Hundreds of nursing students at 9 universities have been hit with errors in their student loan payments, the Royal College of Nursing says.
• The students have been told they were mistakenly overpaid between £600 and £5,0000 by the Student Loans Company and to expect no more payments this year.
• The letters came months after money was received and is leaving some students struggling to pay bills and rent.
• The Student Loans Company said it was aware of the issues.

In International News:

Trump attacks ‘biased’ Russia enquiry.
• Donald Trump has attacked special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the US presidential election he won in 2016.
• He tweeted that the inquiry was unfair – and reiterated there had been ‘no collusion’ between his election campaign and Russia.
• He added that it was dominated by ‘hardened Democrats’ and supporters of his defeated opponent Hillary Clinton.
• Mr Mueller, a highly regarded former head of the FBI, is a Republican.
• The president’s comments came a day after his lawyer, John Down, said it was time for the special counsel’s investigation to end.
• Initially, Mr Dowd said he was speaking for the president but later clarified he was ‘speaking for myself.’

Mr Trump’s latest tweet drew warnings from fellow Republicans about interfering with the investigation.

Trump sacks US Secretary of State.
• Sacked US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has warned of Russia’s ‘troubling behaviour and actions’ in a parting statement after being fired by President Trump.
• He failed to thank Mr. Trump or praise his policies.
• The former ExxonMobil chief had a series of public riffs with the White House after being appointed last year.
• Mr Trump officially fired Mr Tillerson via twitter, naming CIA Director Mike Pomepo as his replacement.
• Speaking to reporters outside the White House on Tuesday, Mr Trump said his differences with Mr Tillerson came down to personal ‘chemistry’.

Mr Tillerson in his ExxonMobil days (L) with Russian President Vladimir Putin (R).

CIA director Mike Pompeo has defended Donald Trump’s decision to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, saying the president understands the risks.
• Mr Trump “isn’t doing this for theatre, he is going there to solve a problem,” the spy chief told Fox News Sunday.
• The president has said the summit could produce the “greatest deal for the world”.
• But critics have warned that if the talks go poorly, the two nations will be in a worse position than before.
• No sitting US president has ever met a North Korean leader.

Russia election: Vladimir Putin wins by big margin.
• Vladimir Putin will lead Russia for another 6 years, after securing an expected victory in the presidential election.
• With most of the ballots counted, he had received about 76% of the vote, the central election commission said.
• The main opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, was barred from the race.
• Addressing a rally in Moscow after the early results were declared, Mr Putin said voters had ‘recognised the achievements of the last few years’.
• During polling day, independent election monitoring group Golos reported hundreds of irregularities, including:
– Voting papers found in some ballot boxes before polls opened.
– Observers were barred from entering some polling stations.
– Some people were bussed in amid suspicion of forced voting.
– Webcams at polling stations were obstructed by balloons and other obstacles.

Mr Putin has been either president or prime minister for almost 20 years.

Plane crash in Nepal.
• The flight, carrying 71 passengers and crew, crashed while landing at Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan airport.
• The crash killed at least 49 people.
• The cause of the crash remains unclear, and an investigation is under way.

It is the worst aviation disaster to hit Nepal in recent years.

In Royal Holloway News:

RH Occupy.
• It is now day 4 of the RH occupation of the principal’s office.
• This is during the middle of an unsolved dispute between UUK and the UCU union in which academics have engaged in strike action.
• This comes after proposed changes to the pension scheme in which academics could lose up to £10,000 per year in retirement.
• As a result of no resolution to the dispute, students have taken to occupying the office of the principle, Paul Layzell.
• There have been allegations of human rights violations to the freedom of movement and potentially breaching health and safety rules in regards to the closure of fire doors.

Weekly News Summary

On Thursday 8 March the news team will be back will a follow up on the UCU strikes. If you missed our episode on the strikes last month then you can catch up on our Mixcloud. You can also hear other episodes and podcasts so give it a listen! To get daily news updates, follow us on twitter.


In National News:

Scottish government warns employers over snow days pay docking.

  • Scottish ministers are considering action against employers for docking the wages of staff who could not make it to work because of the bad weather.
  • The public was advised not to travel during the worst of the snow last week.
  • Scottish Transport Minister Humza Yousad said he has been contacted by people who were facing disciplinary action or potential docking of wages.
  • He told the BBC that was not acceptable and he would look at the legal position.


Royal wedding: Windsor Castle invitation for public.

  • Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have opened up their wedding to over 1000 members of the public .
  • Those present at Windsor Castle will be able to watch the arrival and departure of the bride and groom, but not the ceremony itself.
  • Among those invited are charity workers, school children, royal household members and Windsor residents.
  • A statement from Kensington Palace said that they wanted “members of the public to feel part of the celebrations too.’
  • If you want you want to hear more about how the local council are planning to tackle Windsor’s homeless problem in the run up to the royal wedding then listen to our podcast on our Mixcloud.


The royal wedding is set for the 19 May.

Brexit: Theresa May urges EU to buy into ‘ambitious’ vision.

  • Theresa May has urged the EU to get on with discussing her ‘ambitious but practical’ vision for economic relations with the UK after Brexit.
  • She said she was confident of a deal while accepting the UK could not expect the same market access in some areas.
  • In the Prime Minister’s long-awaited speech on Brexit, she outlined more details of what she wants from the UK’s future trade arrangements with the EU.
  • Mrs May stated that Brexit can be win-win for both the UK and Europe.


Two men jailed for Leicester manslaughter assault:

  • Two men have been jailed for the manslaughter of a man found dead with a head injury following an assault.
  • Christopher Crane was jailed for 13 years with an additional four on licence, while Christopher Pendery was sentenced to 10 years.
  • Carl Pask, 47, was found dead in his flat, in Kimberley Road, Evington, Leicester, in March 2016 after his family reported him missing.
Christopher Crane (left) was handed 13 years in jail and Christopher Pendery was sentenced to 10 years.

In International News:


Italy election: Early exit polls point to hung parliament.

  • Voting has now closed in Italy, in one of the most uncertain elections in living memory.
  • The elections for the Italian parliament currently indicate that a hung parliament is likely with Silva Berlusconi’s centre right coalition winning the most seats, with the anti-establishment 5-star movement being in second place.
  • The election, which has been hugely divisive has mainly focused around immigration 
and the economy.

Florida high school re-opens after one of the worst mass shootings in the US.

  • The Florida high school at the centre of one of the worst mass shootings in the US is reopening, two weeks after a former student killed 17 people there.
  • Students and teachers were preparing for an emotional return to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
  • Armed guards were present and grief counsellors were on hand to help those returning to school, CBS reports.
  • It comes as Florida lawmakers proposed a package of gun control measures.
  • They envisaged raising the legal age to buy rifles from 18 to 21 and giving police more control to seize weapons from mentally ill people.
  • The school’s Building 12, the site of one of America’s worst recent mass shootings, will remain closed and cordoned off indefinitely.
  • In other gun law news, President Donald Trump has hailed a meeting with a top National Rifle Association (NRA) lobbyist a day after saying that lawmakers were ‘petrified’ of the organisation.
  • Shortly after the meeting on Thursday evening, Mr Cox tweeted that ‘POTUS and VPOTUS support the Second Amendment.’
  • The Second Amendment states that Americans have the right to bear arms.

Syria war: Residents flee Eastern Ghouta bombardments.

  • Residents are reported to be fleeing the rebel-held Eastern Ghouta enclave in Syria as the situation there was described as “beyond critical”.
  • Syria’s military appears to be advancing on several fronts as it tries to retake the enclave just to the east of the capital, Damascus.
  • Government forces have now taken 25% of the area, UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitors say.
  • A UN aid convoy planned for Sunday has not been able to enter the enclave.
  • The fighting since 18 February has left more than 600 people dead, many of them children.
  • A The UN Security Council demanded on Saturday that all parties cease fighting for 30 days “without delay”. But the Syrian government’s ally Russia said the truce would begin only once they had agreed how to implement it.
  • The UN said it had failed to obtain permission from Syrian officials to allow 40 trucks carrying humanitarian supplies to enter the key town of Douma.
  • At least 541 people have been killed by government air and artillery strikes since hostilities escalated eight days ago, according to a medical charity.


In Business News:

Spotify to share stock.

  • Spotify the world’s biggest music streaming service, has filed paperwork to start trading its shares publicly on the New York Stock Exchange.
  • The firm said it expects to sell at prices that could value the firm at more than $24bn.

Toys R Us enters administration.

  • In business news this week Toys R Us has gone into administration, putting 3,000 UK jobs at risk.
  • Administrators have been appointed to begin ‘an orderly wind-down’ of the UK’s biggest toy retailer following the failure to find a buyer. They said that all 105 Toys R Us stores will remain open until further notice.
  • Joint administrator Simon Thomas said: ‘Whilst this process is likely to affect many Toys R Us staff, whether some or all of the stores will close remains to be decided.’
  • Toys R Us has been facing a £15m tax bill. However, poor sales have made it unlikely that the payment will be paid.

In Sporting News:

The British sports legend, Sir Roger Bannister has died aged 88. 

  • The long distance endurance runner was world famous for his record breaking of the 
four minute mile.
  • Furthermore, Bannister won gold at the 1954 commonwealth games in the same event, 
and then went on to become a leading neurologist.
  • In 2014 bannister revealed he had the neurological disorder, Parkinson’s disease which 
was diagnosed in 2011.
  • IAAF president Lord Coe, who ran a mile world record of 3:47.33 in 1981, said: “This is 
a day of intense sadness both for our nation and for all of us in athletics.
  • A statement from his family said: “Sir Roger Bannister, died peacefully in Oxford on 3 March, aged 88, surrounded by his family who were as loved by him, as he was loved 
by them.
Bannister broke the record for the 4 minute mile. He ran time of three minutes 59.4 seconds at Iffley Road sports ground in Oxford on 6 May, 1954.

‘Is Homelessness Ever Voluntary?’

In January of this year, council leader Simon Dudley revealed another side to the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead (RBWM). In an open letter, addressed to Anthony Stansfeld, Police and Crime Commissioner of Thames Valley Police, Cllr Dudley outlined his concerns over ‘policing response to anti-social behaviour, including aggressive begging and intimidation in Windsor.’ Cllr Dudley encouraged the Thames Valley Police to enforce The Vagrancy Act of 1824 and the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

The letter and acts referenced called for the forcible removal of Windsor’s homeless community in the run up to the Royal Wedding.

To hear more about the social and political response to Cllr Dudley’s comments, listen to the latest Insanity podcast here:

Weekly News Summary

The fortnightly news show What A Week will be back on Thursday 22nd of February with a special episode focusing on homelessness in Windsor. We will be hearing from local politicians, homeless charities and members of the homeless community who would suffer under Councillor Simon Dudley’s proposals to remove the homeless in the run up to the royal wedding. To get involved and keep updated on the news team activities follow us on twitter.

In other news, Insanity Radio have an exciting weekend ahead as we celebrate our 20th birthday. To keep up to date with all of the events follow us on social media. If you’re interested in a career in media or networking with industry professionals then come down to our training day on Saturday 24th of February. The event is welcome to all, you do not need to be a member of the station!

In National News:

UKIP members vote to sack embattled leader Henry Bolton.
• UKIP members have voted to sack leader Henry Bolton after controversy over racist messages sent by his partner.
• Bolton was leader for less than five months before 63% of the party voted to back a no confidence motion at an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) in Birmingham.
• The former army officer has faced calls to quit after it emerged his partner Jo Marney sent racist messages about Meghan Markle in January.
• Gerard Batten will take over as interim leader and there will be a leadership election within 90 days.

Interim Party Chairman Paul Oakden with ballot boxes ready to be counted, during the UKIP EGM to decide on leader Henry Bolton’s future with the party.

Earthquake felt across much of England and Wales.
• A minor earthquake with 4.4 magnitude has affected parts of Wales and England.
• The quake was felt over all of Wakes, most of western England, as far east as London and as far north as the southern edge of the Lake District, the British Geological Survey (BGS) said.
• The epicentre was approximately 20km north-north-east of Swansea and at a depth of 7.4km, it added.
• There have been no reports of serious damage or injuries.

British man charged with terror offences.
• A British man has been charged with 3 terror-related offences linked to his involvement with the terror group of the so-called Islamic State.
• 27-year-old Aidan James was arrested in Liverpool Airport on Wednesday on his return to the UK on 14 February.
• The father-of-one from Formby, Merseyside, had been fighting alongside the YPG Kurdish militia.
• His charges include preparing an act of terrorism and attending training for such acts in Syria.
• He was remanded in custody and will appear at the Old Bailey for a plea hearing on 1 March.

Aidan James was arrested upon arrival in the UK at Liverpool Airport 14 February.

In International News:

Florida school shooting: Students demand tighter gun controls.
• On 14 February former student Nikolas Cruz opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
• 17 people died in the attack. For more information on who the victims were click here.
• It is the deadliest school shooting since 26 people were killed in the Sandy Hook Massacre of 2012.
• Local media reported that Mr Cruz bought his gun, an AR-15, legally.
• 159 people were killed in American mass shootings in the 1990s, but 350 people have died from mass shootings in the last seven years alone.
• The attack has re-ignited long-running debates about tougher firearm restrictions in the US.
• Students and their parents – as well as politicians – took part in a rall on Saturday in Fort Lauderdale, close to Parkland.
• Protesters at the event chanted ‘shame on you’, referring to US lawmakers and President Donald Trump.

A beloved football coach. A swimmer who had just won a college scholarship. A freshman soccer player. A geography teacher shot while trying to barricade the door.

Cyril Ramaphosa elected as South Africa’s new president.
• A senior party official confirmed that South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) formally asked President Jacob Zuma to resign.
• The decision to “recall” him “urgently” followed marathon talks of the ANC’s top leadership body.
• Mr Zuma, who had been in power since 2009, had been dogged by corruption allegations.
• Mr Zuma, 75, agreed to step down, but only in the next three to six months, the official added.
• However, Mr Zuma resigned sooner than he initially declared.
• 15 February 2018 Cyril Ramaphosa, one of South Africa’s wealthiest politicians and leader of the ANC, was sworn in as president.

Russia-Trump inquiry: Russian foreign minister dismissed FBI charges.
• 13 Russians have been charged with interfering in the 2016 US presidential election following an on-going FBI investigation.
• The defendants’ crimes involved creating false American personas online in order to attract different groups on social media platforms like Twitter and influence their decisions when voting.
• Posts were made to denigrate candidates for both the Democratic and Republican parties.
• The group’s actions had reportedly begun as early as 2014.
• Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has also said that there was no ‘knowing participant’ in the Russians’ actions from America itself.
• Russian foreign minister has dismissed as ‘blather’ the charges levelled by the FBI special counsel.
• Sergei Lavrov said at a major security conference in Germany he would not comment further until he saw ‘facts.’

Yevgeny Prigozhin, known as “Putin’s chef”, has also denied election tampering.

In Sports News:

Team GB goes for gold at the Winter Olympics.
• Lizzy Yarnold retained her skeleton title and Laura Deas claimed bronze in Pyeongchang on Great Britain’s most successful day at a Winter Olympics.
• Yarnold went into the final run 0.02 seconds behind leader Janine Flock, but a poor finish from the Austrian saw her drop out of the medal places.
• Deas, from Wrexham, jumped into bronze and Germany’s Jacqueline Loelling took silver, 0.45 seconds behind Yarnold as she set a track record to become Britain’s most decorated Winter Olympian.
• The British team have now matched their record medal tally of four, set in Sochi four years ago and in France in 1924.

Lizzy Yarnold celebrating retaining gold at the Winter Olympics.

Weekly News Summary

This week’s episode of What A Week focused on the proposed UCU strike action and the impact it will have at Royal Holloway. If you want to know what the strike is about, how it could impact students and staff alike then make sure you listen back to the show. The show also explained how you could help prevent the strikes going ahead. For those students who are worried about the implementations on your studies we spoke to the Students Union President and Royal Holloway’s UCU contact, Professor Jeff Franks about this.
We also covered how students could get their fees back for lost hours if the strikes do go ahead! If this is something that you are interested in campaigning for listen to the Mixcloud to find out how and work with your SU to fight for this. To join the conversation on the UCU Strike action tweet us or email [email protected]

In National News:

Government response to pardoning the suffragettes.
• Giving pardons to women who were jailed while fighting for the right to vote would be “complicated”, the home secretary has said.
• Amber Rudd said she would “take a look” but giving legal pardons for offences such as arson wasn’t “straightforward”.
• Jeremy Corbyn said suffragettes would have their criminal records overturned and given an “official apology” under a Labour government.
• Events were held on Tuesday to commemorate the 100 years anniversary of some women getting the vote in the UK.

Emmeline Pankhurst was trending on twitter following the 100th anniversary of some women receiving the vote.

MPs and peers could be recalled for expelled for harassment.
• MPs found to have bullied or harassed their staff will have to write a letter of apology and undergo training under new proposals.
• Graver offences could result in suspension or a forced public vote on their future.
• Green MP Caroline Lucas, who sat on the cross-party committee, rejected claims that this was unnecessary because MPs should already be aware of how to behave.

Warning hundreds of fire deaths may be linked to skin creams.
• Hand and face creams containing paraffin may be a dangerous fire risk as the substance can soak into bedding and clothes, acting as an accelator for fire.
• Tests have shown that even after washing the clothes the emollient residue left by the paraffin cream can still be a fire hazard.
• Last year the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) asked all manufactures of skin creams that contain paraffin to carry a fire-risk warning test.
• However, it was discovered that just 7 out of 32 manufactures investigations complied with the safety regulations.

Islamic State ‘Beatles’ pair from UK ‘should face trial.’
• The family members of the victims of recently captured I.S. fighters have said that they want them to face trial.
• Diane Foley, whose husband, James, was executed by the group that the I.S. members belonged to, has said that while the men being sentenced to prison will not bring her husband back it, it will protect more people from losing their loved ones.
• The I.S. fighters in question are Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh, who were both detained by Syrian Democratic Forces in the middle of last month.
• Both men were raised in West London before travelling to Syria with the intention of joining I.S., with their accents leading to them being dubbed as a part of the ‘Beatles’ gang in the terror group.

Alexanda Kotey, left, and El Shafee Elsheikh were the last two members of the cell at large.

In International News:

Charities warned after Oxfam Haiti prostitute claims.
• Charities doing overseas aid work will lose funding if they fail to cooperate over safeguarding issues, warned the international development secretary.
• Oxfam workers were accussed of using prostitutes in Haiti following the 2010 earthquake.
• The charity has said it was ‘dismayed by what happened’ and would fully cooperate with authorities.
• In response to the claims, the UK-based charity has said it has already set up a whistleblowing hotline to prevent sexual abuse and misconduct.
• MP Penny Mordaunt said she was writing to all British charities that receive UK aid to insist they detail the steps they are taking to ensure safeguarding policies are fully in place.
• Mordaunt said it is her ‘absolute priority’ to keep the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people safe from harm.

Penny Mordaunt said it was “despicable” that sexual exploitation and abuse existed in the aid sector.

Zimbabwe’s opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai ‘critically ill’.
• Zimbabwe’s main opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai is critically ill in a South African hospital, reports say.
• Local media quoted family sources as saying the 65-year-old former prime minister – who is being treated for colon cancer – is suffering from weight loss, exhaustion and muscle thinning.
• This has raised concerns about the party’s political future, and its chances of taking on the ruling Zanu-PF party in the presidential elections expected within 6 months.
• Mr Tsvangirai’s illness has divided the MDC, with a power vacuum forming among party officials who hope to succeed the former trade union activist.

Germany coalition: SPD’s Schulz gives up cabinet role to save deal.
• The leader of Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD), Martin Schulz, has abandoned a plan to serve as foreign minister in a new coalition government.
• A deal to govern with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives still has to be put to a vote of SPD members.
• Mr Schulz, facing criticism inside the SPD, said he did not want debate about his role to jeopardise a new coalition.
• German media report that SPD members in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia were especially opposed to Mr Schulz – formerly European Parliament president – becoming foreign minister.
• Tensions are also reported between him and Sigmar Gabriel, an SPD colleague who is currently foreign minister.
• There has been more than 4 months of coalition negotiations – a German post-war record – since inconclusive elections in September.

Russia jet carrying 71 people crashes after Moscow take-off.
• A Russian airliner has crashed after leaving Moscow’s Domodedovo airport, killing all 65 passengers and 6 crew on board.
• The Saratov Airlines jet vanished minutes after take-off and crashed near the village of Argunovo, about 80km (50 miles) south-east of Moscow.
• The cause of crash is unclear. Investigators and emergency crews are working at the snow-covered site.
• The Antonov An-148 was en route to the city of Orsk in the Ural mountains.
• President Vladimir Putin has expressed his condolences to the victims’ families and announced an inquiry into the cause of the crash.

Wreckage was found in a snowy field south-east of Moscow.

In Business News:

Tesco faces Britain’s largest ever equal pay claim.
• Tesco is facing Britain’s largest ever equal pay claim and a possible bill running to £4bn.
• Thousands of women who work in Tesco stores could receive back pay totalling £20,000 if the legal challenge demanding parity with men who work in the company’s warehouses is successful.
• Lawyers say hourly-paid female store staff earn less than men even though the value of work is comparable.
• Tesco said it worked hard to ensure all staff were paid ‘fairly and equally’.
• The most common rate for women is £8 an hour whereas for men the hourly rate can be as high as £11 an hour.

Leigh Day (the law firm acting on behalf of Tesco) has already been approached by over 1,000 employees and ex-employees of the supermarket about the issue.

Carillion Developments.
• The government has announced plans to offer support to the contractors of recently bankrupted construction firm Carillion, primarily in the form of backed loans, allowing smaller firms with limited assets more access to cash liquidity while the fallout from the firms collapse continues.
• The recent measures were announced as part of a £100m support package for Small to medium enterprises effected by the collapse, business secretary Greg Clark announced.

Weekly News Summary

On this week’s What A Week we covered the NSS survey and Dylan Farrow’s allegations of sexual assault against Woody Allen. If you missed the show, you can listen back on our Mixcloud. To keep update through the rest of the week follow us on twitter.

On Friday 26th some members of the station took part in the Big Sleep Out event to raise awareness and funds for Four Walls, a local homeless charity. We met our £200 goal. On behalf of the news team and Insanity Radio we’d also like to thank everyone who supported and donated to our justgiving page! The news team will also be airing a podcast covering homeless in Windsor on the 22nd of February so make sure you keep updated on our social media for more information. If you would like to get involved please email [email protected]

All the money raised will be used by the Four Walls charity to continue their hard work with the homeless.

In National News:

Donald Trump ‘not aware’ of any royal wedding invite.
• Donald Trump has said he is not aware of any invitation to attend Prince harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding.
• When Piers Morgan said whether he had received an invite for the 19 May wedding, the US president said ‘not that I know of’.
• American actress Ms Markle was a Hillary Clinton supporter in the 2016 US election, and has referred to Mr Trump as ‘divisive’ and a ‘misogynist’.
• When asked if he would like to attend the wedding at Windsor Castle, the president replied: ‘I want them to be happy, I really want them to be happy.’ He also said ‘they look like a lovely couple.’

The US president described the recently engaged couple as a ‘lovely looking couple’.

Questions over future funding for the NHS.
• Theresa May has called for discussions about the future of NHS funding to remain private after Boris Johnson publicly called for more money after Brexit.
• Before Tuesday’s cabinet meeting, it was widely reported that the foreign secretary would pitch for a £100m a week ‘Brexit dividend’ for the NHS.
• No. 10 said May chaired a discussion on post-Brexit funding options but made it clear that conversations should be private.

The Presidents Club.
Financial Times journalist, Madison Marriage, went undercover at a Presidents Club charity dinner.
• The reporter worked as a hostess at the annual men-only dinner.
• The only women at the dinner were hired hostesses who had to sign a 5 page non-disclosure agreement.
• The event raised more than £2 million.
• The charity auction offered a range of prices including a course of plastic surgery to ‘add spice to your wife’ and naming a character in comedian David Walliam’s upcoming children’s book.
• Walliams, who hosted the event, has since withdrawn his prize after several bookshops announced their decision to pull his bestsellers from their shelves in response to th sexual harassment scandal.
• However, charities and hospitals are refusing donations in awake of the scandal.
• David Meller helped to organise the dinner. He has now quit his role at the Department for Education.
• Children and Families Minister Naghim Zahawi has been reprimanded for attending the male-only gala.
• Mr Zahawi left the fundraiser early but his presence in any capacity has brought him under fire due to the event’s dress code and non-disclosure agreements for waitresses.
• The Presidents Club has said it’s closing following the allegations.
• The club announced it was investigating and the organisers were ‘appalled by the allegations of bad behaviour.’

Comedian host, David Williams, took to twitter to describe his outrage over the allegations of harassment at the event.

Male BBC employees volunteer to close the gender pay gap.
• Many leading male presenters in the BBC have agreed to take a pay cut over recent gender pay gap issues within the broadcasting company
• Jeremy Vine, John Humphrys, Huw Edwards, Jon Sopel, Nick Robinson and Nicky Campbell have all agreed to reduce their salaries
• This is directly following the resignation of Carrie Gracie, BBC China Editor, in protest against unequal pay between male and female editors in the BBC.
• Gracie is still awaiting a grievance report from the BBC which they stated would be complete by Christmas.
• Humphrys has said that his pay cut is ‘fair’ and that he feels that it was ‘entirely proper’ for him to take a pay cut.
• Humphrys has voluntarily taken 3 pay cuts. It has been reported his pay will be reduced to around £300,000.
• Last year the BBC disclosed Humphrys was paid between £600,000- £649,000.

Left-right: Nicky Campbell, Huw Edwards, Jon Sopel, Jeremy Vine, Nick Robinson and John Humphrys.

15-year old boy from Leeds detained after a dangerous driving incident.
• A 15-year-old boy in Leeds has been detained after causing the deaths of 5 people due to dangerous driving
• After stealing a Renault Clio, the young man (who cannot named due to his age) took the lives of his victims, 4 of whom were under the age of 16
• The boy reached speeds of 88 miles per hour whilst driving in the residential area of Meanwood
• The boy was apprehended after crashing the car into a tree, with local police describing the scene as ‘complete carnage’
• The boy has been sentenced to a detention of 4 and a half years

In International News:

Kabul attack: Taliban kill 95 ambulance bomb in Afghan capital.
• A suicide bombing has killed at least 95 people and injured 158 others in the centre of Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul, officials say.
• Attackers drove an ambulance laden with explosives past a police checkpoint in a secure zone, home to government offices and foreign embassies.
• The target is believed to have been an interior ministry building, but many people were hit while walking by.
• The Taliban have said they carried out the tattack, the deadliest for months.

Steve Wynn: US casino mogul quits as Republican finance chair.
• US casino mogul Steve Wynn has resigned as finance chair of the Republican National Committee (RNC) amid sexual harassment allegations.
• A Wall Street Journal report on Friday alleged that the 76-year-old billionaire harassed massage therapists and forced one staff member to have sex with him.
• Mr Wynn has denied wrongdoing, calling the stories ‘preposterous’.
• RNC chair Ronna McDaniel told US media she had accepted his resignation.
• Mr Wynn has blamed his ex-wife, whom he is fighting in court, for the ‘slander’.

Steve Wynn is a major figure in the casino world.

South Korea’s deadliest fire for nearly a decade.
• A fire at a hospital in in the city of Miryang, South Korea, which is about 270km south-east of Seoul, killed at least 37 people and left more than 70 injured on Friday.
• There is speculation that the fire started in the emergency room at Sejong Hospital.
• There were 200 patients in the building at the time in addition to the nursing home that is adjacent to the building.
• It is considered to be South Korea’s deadliest fire in nearly a decade.
• Death toll is expected to rise even higher.

In Entertainment News:

Russia bans ‘The Death of Stalin’.
• Officers of the Russian police in Moscow have investigated a cinema screening the satirical film ‘The Death of Stalin’, .
• The Russian culture ministry had banned the film from cinemas after the Culture minister Vladimir Medinsky labelled the film as ‘an insulting mockery of the Soviet past’.
• The Death of Stalin currently sits at 97% on the film review-site Rotten Tomatoes.

The Grammys.
• For those of us in the UK, the show will be aired on 4Music at 7pm tomorrow.
• Canadian star Drake is set to boycott the show. He refused to submit his music for consideration after the Grammys relegated him to the rap categories last year.
• The Canadian star said he felt ‘alienated’ by organisers ‘putting me in that category, cause it’s the only place you can figure out where to put me.’
• Drake furthered his statements arguing, ‘maybe because I’ve rapped in the past or because I’m black, I can’t figure out why.’
• The #TimesUp movement will also be reflected.
• Halsey, Kelly Clarkson, Cyndi Lauper, Dua Lipa, Rita Ora and others plan to wear white roses to the ceremony to support the #TimesUp movement.
• Popstar Kesha will also be performing Praying- a song that addresses her relationship with producer Dr Luke, who she claims, verbally, physically and sexually assaulted her (charges he denies.)

Kesha will be performing her single, Praying, at the awards.

Weekly News Summary

The fortnightly news show What A Week will be back on the 25th of January at 6pm so make sure you tune in! In the mean time keep up to date by following our Twitter and Mixcloud.

In National News:

UKIP leader Henry Bolton hit by ruling body ‘no confidence’ vote.
• UKIP’s ruling national executive committee (NEC) has unanimously backed a vote of no confidence in party leader Henry Bolton.
• Mr Bolton has faced repeated calls to quit over offensive texts sent by his former girlfriend. To hear more on this story, see last week’s news summary.
• But he has said he will defy the committee and continue as leader, as a contest would finish the party.
• Party members will now be given a vote on whether the former Army officer should remain in post.
• The committee does not have the power to remove him – that can only be done by a vote of the part’s membership.

Brownhills stabbing: Victim named as Mylee Billingham.
• An eight-year-old girl who was stabbed to death has been named as Mylee Billingham.
• West Midlands Police said she died in hospital shortly after being found seriously injured in Valley View in Brownhills, near Walsall, at 21:15 GMT on Saturday.
• A post mortem examination is scheduled to take place tomorrow.
• A 54-year-old man has been arrested is in a critical condition in hospital with a stab wound to the stomach.
• West Midlands Police said they were treating the stabbing as a ‘domestic incident’ and would be questioning the man in due course.

Police have arrested a 54-year-old man on suspicion of murdering the eight-year-old.

New Brexit figures.
• Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has told the Guardian that the Vote Leave campaign’s claim that the UK sends £350m a week to the EU was a “gross underestimate”, and that in reality the figure is much higher.
• Johnson said the UK’s contribution was already £362m a week and would rise to £438m by the end of the post-Brexit transition period.
• The original claim was widely criticised because £350m per week is an approximate sum for the UK’s “gross contribution” to Brussels.
• It doesn’t take account of the country’s rebate of £75m a week which means that the true amount leaving the Treasury is significantly lower.

In International News:

Anglo-French relations.
• Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has discussed with President Macron of France the possibility of a new 22 mile bridge across the channel, in order to enhance post-brexit transport links between the two countries, at an Anglo-French summit on Thursday.
• However, the plan has received criticism for being pricey and unnecessary, with Conservative MP for Dover Charlie Elphicke tweeting “Boris is right – We must invest in infrastructure to keep trade flowing between Britain and France. Let’s start by dualling the A2 to Dover, building the Lower Thames Crossing and lorry parks on the M20”.
• French President Emmanuel Macron has suggested that the UK could be part of a special trade deal with the EU post-Brexit.
• However, this came with a stark warning that the UK could not ‘cherry pick’ the elements of the European Union that it liked.

New Treaty regarding Calais migrants.
• The UK and France have signed a new treaty regarding Calais migrants.
• French President Emmanuel Macron met with Prime Minister Theresa May at Sandhurst military academy to give a more efficient and humane approach to the Calais migrants.
• The Sandhurst Treaty would shorten processing time from 6 months to on month for adults and 25 days for children.

Zimbabwe opposition figure Roy Bennett dies in US helicopter crash.
• Roy Bennett, a prominent Zimbabwean opposition figure, has been killed with his wife in a helicopter crash in the US state of New Mexico.
• Regarded as having a “passion for political change”, Bennett had a strong following within Zimbabwe, campaigning against both former leader Robert Mugabe and leaders of his former political party for being too close to the Mugabe regime.

Roy Bennett, a former coffee farmer, was a thorn in the side of President Robert Mugabe.

More troubles for Trumps Whitehouse as the Senate fails to agree on a new budget.
• This has pushed many federal services to shutdown following a failure to achieve 60 votes amid a bitter dispute over immigration and border securitu.
• The last time this happened was in 2013 when federal employees were forced to take leave of absence.
• The 16-day closure cost the US Government around $2bn.

Myanmr Rohingya Crisis.
• Bangladesh says it has agreed a timeframe with Myanmar for repatriating hundreds of thousands of Rohingya who fled an army crackdown last year.
• Over 650,000 Rohingya have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh since violence erupted in August last year.
• A spokesperson from the UN High Commission for Refugees said Myanmar needed to address the underlying causes of the crisis and that refugees should only return when they feel it is safe to do so.

The plight of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya people is said to be the world’s fastest growing refugee crisis.

In Sport News:

Investigation into sexual harassment in USA Gymnastics.
• Olympic Champion Simone Biles has released a statement accusing former Team USA gymnastics sports doctor Larry Nassar of abusing her.
• Nassar was involved with the national gymnastics programme from the 1980s until July 2015 when he was fired by USA Gymnastics.
• More than 130 women have filed civil lawsuits against him alleging abuse.
• The 54-year-old was sentenced to 60 years in jail in December for three counts relating to child sex abuse images on his computer.
• USA gymnastics has announced it will no longer use the national team training centre where former team doctor Larry Nassar carried out abuse of athletes.
• The Karolyi Ranch in Texas was named by several of 130 plus women as a place they were abused by the 54-year-old.

Biles won four gold medals at the Rio Olympics in 2016.

North Korea to send orchestra to Winter Olympics.
• North Korea announced last week that it would send a delegation to the Games in the South – easing months of tensions.
• Relations have been strained between the two Koreas over the North’s missile tests and nuclear programme.
• North Korea has participated in several Olympic Games before, but never in South Korea. It boycotted the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul.
• Japan has told an international meeting that they should be wary of North Korea’s recent ‘charm offensive’ as they hope to join the Winter Olympics.
• North Korea has agreed to send a 140-member orchestra, a 230-strong cheerleading team and are set to form a women’s ice hockey team, for the Winter Olympic Games in South Korea next month.
• Talks between the two countries has allegedly started to ease tensions but Japan have urged them not to let their guards down.

England cricketer Ben Stokes has been charged with affray over an incident outside a Bristol nightclub.
• The disturbance in September left a man with a fractured eye socket and police sent their findings to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in November.
• Stokes missed the Ashes series, with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) saying he would not be considered for England “until further notice”.
• The 26-year-old has been charged along with two men from Bristol.

Weekly News Summary

The fortnightly news show What A Week will be back on the 25th of January at 6pm so make sure you tune in! In the mean time keep up to date by following our Twitter and Mixcloud.

In National News:

Pressure on UKIP leader over girlfriend’s Meghan Markle’s text.
• UKIP leader Henry Bolton is under pressure to resign after his girlfriend was suspended by the party for apparently making racist remarks about Meghan Markle.
• Jo Marney apologised in the Mail on Sunday for saying Prince Harry’s fiancée would ‘taint’ the Royal Family and black people were ugly.
• Party members are urging Mr Bolton to step aside ‘quickly’ and ‘quietly’.
• Ms Marney, a 25-year-old model, claimed her texts, published by the paper, were taken out of context.
• Former UKIP leadership candidate Suzanne Evans told BBC News it was ‘scandal after scandal with Mr Bolton.’
• Party chairman, Paul Oakden, declined to give his own views on Mr Bolton’s situation, but said the party needs to be ‘behind our leader 100% in taking that battle (for Brexit) forward.’
• If Mr Bolton were to quit this would leave UKIP seeking its fifth leader in 18 months.

Party members are calling for Mr Bolton to step down.

Is England’s dental service ‘second class’?
• The record of hospital operations to remove children’s teeth has increased to almost 43,000 in 2016-17.
• This is an increase of around 2000 from the previous year.
• Dentists in England have criticised the government concerning this statistic, with the British Dental Association saying that England had a ‘second class’ dental service in comparison with Scotland and Wales.

Cabinet reshuffle: Justine Greening resigns from government.
• Justine Greening has reigned from the government after refusing a job as work and pensions secretary in Theresa May’s cabinet reshuffle.
• BBC political editor Laura Kuenssbery said the PM was ‘disappointed’ the ex-education secretary had quit.
• She has been replaced by Damian Hinds, while Esther McVey has been promoted to be the new work and pensions secretary.
• Ms Greening’s resignation comes less than a month after she launched the government’s social mobility strategy.
• In her resignation statement she said: ‘Social mobility matters to me and our country more than a ministerial career.’

Ms Greening has announced that she will still continue to work in politics to improve social mobility despite her resignation.

In International News:

Hawaii told to fix its alert system after false missile alarm.
• The US state of Hawaii has been told it did not have ‘reasonable’ safeguards in place to prevent the false missile alert that caused panic on Saturday.
• Ajit Pai, chairman of America’s media regulator, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), said the error was ‘absolutely unacceptable’.
• Pai argued that the 38-minute delay in issuing the correction made it worse.
• Residents and visitors to Hawaii were shocked to receive the false alert of an incoming ballistic missile, sent to their mobile phones early on Saturday morning.
• Apologising afterwards, Hawaii’s Governor David Ige said a member of staff had pressed the wrong button, releasing the alert which also broadcast on TV and radio stations.
• The alert system is in place because of the potential proximity of Hawaii to North Korean missiles.

Hawaii has been urged to evaluate its missile threat system.

African nations demand Donald Trump apologises.
• Donald Trump has been branded a shocking and shameful racist after it was reported he had described African nations, as well as Haiti and El Salvador as ‘sh*tholes’ and questioned why so many of their citizens had ever been permitted to enter America.
• US diplomats around the world were summoned for formal reproach, amid global shock that such crude remarks could ever be made in a semi-public meeting by the president of America.
• The 55-nation African Union said the remarks were ‘clearly racist’.
• The democratic senator Dick Durbin has accused Trump of using racist and offensive language to describe African countries, which the US president denies.

China professor accused in #MeToo campaign is sacked.
• A Chinese university has fired a professor accused of sexual misconduct after a former student named him in a #MeToo campaign.
• Beihand Univeristy in Beijing said an investigation had established that Chen Xiaowu had sexually harassed students.
• The former student, Luo Xixi, shared her story on China’s version of Twitter, Weibo, earlier this month.
• Her account went viral and was seen as China’s first widely-shared #MeToo moment.
• Ms Luo, who now lives in the US, previously told the BBC that the #MeToo movement in the West had given her a ‘lot of courage’.
• In her post, she said that Mr Chen had tried to force himself on her 13 years ago, after luring her to his sister’s house.
• He relented after she burst into tears she said.
• She had contacted other women who also said they had been harassed by him, and gathered evidence- including audio recordings- before taking the case to the university and sharing the case online.

On New Years Day, China finally had its first #MeToo moment.

In Entertainment News:

Dua Lipa makes Brit Awards history.
• Dua Lipa leads the charge at this year’s Brit Awards with 5 nominations, including best album.
• The pop star, whose single New Rules was one of last year’s breakout hits, is also up for best female, best video, best single and breakthrough.
• The 22-year-old also makes Brits history. Until now, no female artist has ever received five nominations in a single year.
• Ed Sheeran also fared well, with 4 nominations. J Hus and Rag’n’Bone Man scored 3 apiece.
• One notable absence from this year’s shortlist was Sam Smith. His album, The Thrill of It All, was the 3rd biggest seller of 2017 but received no nominations.
• However, its November release date means that the album will be eligible again next year.

Dua Lipa is the first female artist to received five nominations in a single year.

Time’s Up: Golden Globes 2018.
• At the 75th Golden Globes many performers who walked this year’s red carpet made it a point to wear black in solidarity with the brave victims who’ve come forth with allegations of sexual misconduct.
• The initiative was connected to the Time’s Up movement which was backed by hundreds of members of the industry.
• To further their statements, many actresses brought an activist as their date.
• Meryl Streep brought Jen Poo, Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance.

Several celebrities wore black to support the Time’s Up movement.

Weekly News Summary

The fortnightly news show What A Week will be back in two weeks. To find out more about when the show will air and what topics will be broadcast follow us on twitter. If you want to be part of the Insanity news team find more information on how to join the Insanity community here. To listen back to any previous shows visit our Mixcloud.

In National News:


PM Theresa May defends record ahead of cabinet reshuffle.

  • The prime minister has defended her record and set out her plans for the coming year, as she prepares to reshuffle her cabinet.
  • Earlier this week, health secretary Jeremy Hunt and the PM came under criticism due to the NHS handling of the winter crisis.
  • Both apologised for the strains the NHS has faced this winter with May claiming ‘nothing is perfect.’
  • Theresa May confirmed a cabinet reshuffle was imminent, but refused to give any detail.
  • She is expected to replace Damian Green, who was sacked as first secretary of state in December, but keep key figures such as Chancellor Philip Hammond and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.


PM Theresa May took to twitter to respond to criticism over the NHS winter crisis.

Worboys case: Release of taxi rapist triggers parole review.

  • Prime Minister Theresa May has announced that the way parole is considered is to be reviewed following the decision to release serial sex attacker John Worboys.
  • Victims of black-cab rapist John Worboys feel ‘betrayed’ by the decision to release him, a solicitor has announced.
  • Mrs May has also revealed that she knew one of Worboy’s victims.
  • Justice secretary, David Lidington, acknowledged that Worboys’ release ‘must have reawakened the most appalling memories’.
  • Lidington has said there is a ‘strong case’ to review the system in order to make sure that victims have the option to be kept informed about cases.
  • Worboys was convicted in 2009 of 19 offences and is suspected of attacking more than 100 women.
  • He served 10 years in jail. When sentenced, he was given an indeterminate sentence of imprisonment for public protection (IPP) and told he would not be released until parole officials were convinced he did not pose a threat to women.
  • After a hearing about his case in November, the Parole Board decided to approve his release with ‘stringent’ licence conditions.


Worboys was jailed in 2009.

Does the gender wage gap still exist?

  • In April last year it was announced that UK companies with 250 or more employees would have to publish their gender pay gaps under a new legal requirement.
  • The move is part of attempts to fight workplace discrimination.
  • April 2018 is the final deadline for companies to release the data.
  • 527 firms have published their figures so far.
  • Recent figures have shown that the gender pay gap still exists in certain firms.
  • Companies with more than a 15% gender pay gap include Ladbrokes, easyJet and Virgin money.
  • For easyJet, the mean hourly rate for women was 52% lower than for men, while the figure stood at 15% for Ladbrokes and 33% lower at Virgin Money.
  • All three firms have announced that men and women in the same roles are paid the same and claimed the gender pay gap was due to having more men in higher-paid positions.
  • At easyJet, just 6% of its pilots- who earn an average salary of £92,400- are women, while females make up 69% of its cabin crew, earning £24,800 on average.
  • The firm said it was actively seeking to recruit more female pilots, with a target of 20% of new entrant pilots being women by 2020.
Ladbrokes, Easyjet and Virgin Money are among the major companies to reveal gender pay gaps of more than 15% in favour of men for mean hourly pay.


In International News:


Fire and Fury: Trump allies dismiss ‘fantasy book’.

  • Senior Trump administration officials have rallied around the president following the release of a book that raised doubts over his mental health.
  • Michael Wolff’s book Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House paints a damaging portrait of the US president.
  • Despite allegedly calling Trump a moron in 2017, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has hit back at the book and claims that he does not question the President’s mental health.
  • CIA chief Mike Pompeo told Fox News the portrayal was ‘pure fantasy’, while policy adviser Stephen Miller told CNN Mr Trump was a ‘political genius’.
  • Donald Trump has also fought back on twitter arguing that President Reagan also faced questions over his mental health.
  • Although some observers saw the comparison to Reagan as unhelpful given he was later diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
  • PM Theresa may dismissed concerns about Mr Trumps mental health, saying she saw someone ‘who is committed to ensuring that he is taking decisions in the best interests of the United States.’


Donald Trump took to twitter to respond to Fire and Fury.

Germany coalition: Merkel courts SPD in pivotal talks.

  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she is hopeful that fresh coalition talks aimed at ending the country’s political stalemate can succeed.
  • More than 3 months after a general election, Germany is still without a new government.
  • The 5 day talks will include Mrs Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) its sister party the Christian Social Union (CSU), and the Social Democrats (SPD).
  • Many see this as her last chance to form a stable coalition government.
  • European Union allies, such as France, see Germany as a pillar of stability in the bloc and will be hoping Mrs Merkel succeeds.
  • According to one opinion poll on Sunday, 1 in 3 voters thought Sunday’s talks would fail, although 54% said a revived ‘grand coalition’ of the big parties would be positive for Germany.


In Entertainment News:


Golden Globes: Actress Evan Rachel Wood urges stars to ‘circle predators’.

  • US actress Evan Rachel Wood has suggested stars at the Golden Globes should ‘make a circle’ around sexual predators to identify them to others.
  • Sexual harassment in Hollywood is expected to be a focus at the event.
  • The Westworld star is one of several celebrities backing calls for guests to wear black at the ceremony on Sunday to show solidarity with victims.
  • Evan said victims could choose not to be in the circle, adding ‘Brothers and sisters can circle in solidarity.’
  • In November 2016, the actress revealed she had been raped twice.
  • In an open letter on Twitter, the 30-year-old said she’d been attacked by a ‘significant other’ and a bar owner.
Evan said she expected there would be “some circles this weekend” and that some predators “won’t bother showing up in the first place out of fear”.

Ed Westwick removed from BBC Agatha Christie drama Ordeal by Innocence.

  • The corporation made the decision after a number of sexual assault allegations were made against the actor.
  • The TV drama had already been shot, but Westwick will now be replaced by Christian Cooke- who it’s understood will shoot the new footage this month.
  • In November, Westwick vehemently denied allegation of rape made by 2 women.
  • The BBC removed Ordeal by Innocence from its Christmas schedule, and filming of White Gold, another series starring Westwick, was paused.

The Weekly News Summary

The fortnightly news show What A Week will be back after the holidays. If you want to listen to any of our previous shows in the meantime listen on our Mixcloud. To keep up to date throughout the festive period follow us on twitter. Happy New Year from the Insanity Radio News Team!

In National News:

Labour ‘staking out centre ground’, says Jeremy Corbyn.
• Labour is ‘staking out the centre ground in British politics’, Jeremy Corbyn has said in a new year message.
• Mr Corbyn said the prospect of a ‘new Britain’ was ‘closer than ever’ and he was leading a ‘government in waiting’.
• Labour defied predictions of a landslide defeat in the 2017 general election to secure a hung parliament.
• The result saw Prime Minister Theresa May lose her Commons majority, but the Conservatives remain the largest party.
• Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, used this to attack a ‘failed system’ of governance and ‘stagnant economy’ of wealth disparity run by a ‘self-serving elite’.

1,123 people named on the 2018 honours list.
• There are 1,123 people named on the main honours list issued by the Cabinet Office, with 70% recognised for work in their communities in a voluntary or paid capacity,
• Officials said future lists would see honours for ‘inspirational action’ by people following the Grenfell Tower fire and the terror attacks in London and Manchester.
• With one of the highest honours, Helen Sharman joins the Order of St Michael and St George- 26 years after becoming the first British astronaut with her journey to the Soviet Mir Space Station.
• Beatles drummer Ringo Starr and Bee Gees singer Barry Gibb received a knighthood for services to music.
• Darcey Bussell, Strictly Come Dancing judge and former ballerina will be made a dame.
• Children’s author Michael Morpurgo and former deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg have been knighted too.
• England women’s cricket captain Heather Knight has been awarded an OBE after this year’s world cup win.
• Grime artist Wiley- Richard Cowie- has been awarded an MBE.
• Actor Hugh Laurie was granted a CBE.
• To see the full list of those recognised on the 2018 honours list click here.

Dr Helen Sharman received the highest honour in the 2018 list.

Drunk tanks may become norm, NHS boss warns ‘selfish’ revellers.
• Bristol launched the UK’s first drunk tank 3 years ago in a partnership between the police, ambulance and local hospital,
• Known officially as an alcohol recovery centre, it is a state-of-the-art medical facility contained in a 60ft-long converted articulated lorry. The vehicles have beds, seats, 2 showers, medical drips, oxygen, blood testing equipment and a pump system for the worst-affected revellers.
• It is staffed by paramedics who provide basic treatment, although those who need it can still be sent to A&E.
• There are now around 16 mobile units- also known as booze buses- across the UK, according to a recent survey, and a number of cities operate them all year round, including Newcastle, Cardiff, Manchester and Bristol.
• Head of the NHS, Simon Stevens, said he would be closely monitoring how the mobile units cope on New Year’s Eve before deciding whether they should become a regular feature.
• It is estimated 15% of attendances at A&E are due to alcohol consumption. This rises to about 70% on Friday and Saturday nights and Stevens hopes the drunk tanks will reduce this figure.
• Dr Katherine Henderson, a consultant in emergency medicine from Guy’s and St Thomas’s Hospitals, has criticised the announcement.
• Henderson believes it might be better to have a conversation about people drinking less on a night out instead.
• Henderson told the BBC “You’re saying ‘there’s a safety net for you’, rather than saying ‘how are you going to get yourself and your friends home safely’?”
• In North Ireland, Belfast operates an NHS-run unit and an SOS bus, which helps anyone who is vulnerable.
• In Scotland, there are no drunk tanks in operation and the government said they had no plans to introduce them.

In International News:

North Korea: South seizes second ship in oil supply row.
• South Korean authorities have seized a second ship suspected of supplying oil to North Korea in violation of international sanctions, officials say.
• The Panama-flagged tanker, which is named Koti, is being held at a port near the western city of Pyeongtaek.
• South Korea has already impounded a Hong Kong-registered ship it suspects of secretly transferring 600 tonnes of refined oil to a North Korean vessel.
• The UN imposed sanctions on the North in response to its weapons programme.
• The latest vessel seized, which has mostly Chinese and Burmese crew, is a 5,100-tonne oil carrier, South Korean news agency Yonhap reported.
• South Korea revealed on Friday that it was holding the Hong Kong-registered Lighthouse Winmore.
• That ship entered Yeosu port in South Korea on 11 October to load up with refined oil and left for Taiwan 4 days later.
• But instead of going to Taiwan it transferred the oil to a North Korean ship and 3 other vessels in international waters on 19 October, South Korean officials were quoted as saying.
• The Lighthouse Winmore was seized when it returned to Yeosu in November and remains in South Korea.

The UN imposed sanctions following North Korean weapons tests.

Iran protests: ‘Iron fist’ threatened if unrest continues.
• Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have warned anti-government protesters they will face the nation’s ‘iron first’ if political unrest continues.
• Protests have been taking place across the country since Thursday and were originally over living standards and raising food prices.
• However, the protests have developed into a broader anti-government protest.
• The Revolutionary Guards commander said the protests had degenerated into people chanting political slogans and burning public property.
• The protests are the biggest show of dissent since huge pro-reform rallies in 2009.
• There are reports of two deaths in Dorud, after apparently being shot.
• There were calls for the removal or death of Iran’s Supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in the cities of Khoramabad, Zanjan and Ahvaz.

Bosnia war crimes: Former female fighter Azra Bašić gets 14 years.
• Azra Bašić, who was known as “the mistress of life and death”, has been sentenced to 14 years in prison by a Bosnian court for war crimes carried out in the 1990s.
• She was found guilty of crimes during the Balkan war, including the torture of ethnic-Serb civilians.
• The most serious of her offences was the murder of a restrained prisoner whom she stabbed in the neck, the judge at the Bosnian court said.
• Bašić had been living in the US under an alias for almost 20 years before her arrest in 2011. Friends there said she was ‘big-hearted’ and ‘a very nice lady.’
• Azra Bašić was extradited from the US in 2016 and found guilty of war crimes she committed in April 1992 on Wednesday.
• The sentence is the most severe to be handed to a woman involved in the conflict.
• Biljana Plavšic, the former president of the autonomous Serb region of Republika Srpska, remains the most famous female war criminal of the former Yugoslavia.
• Plavšić, 87, was sentenced to 11 years in prison in 2003 after pleading guilty at the UN tribunal in The Hague.

Bašić was extradited from the US in 2016.

In Sport News:

Andy Murray will be happy to be playing at ’30 in the world level.’
• Former world number one Andy Murray says he doesn’t mind if he is playing at ‘30 in the world level’ as he prepares to return from 6 months out.
• The 30-year-old British tennis player has dropped to 16th in the world having taken time out of the game since July with a hip injury.
• Murray is set to make his return at the Brisbane International as he prepares for the Australian Open in January.
• Murray has told the press, ‘I just want to enjoy playing again. I’ve really missed it the last 6 months or so.’

Murray is set to return after 6 months out.

Ashes: England coach Trevor Bayliss denies ball-tampering claims in fourth Test.
• The England coach Trevor Bayliss has dismissed suggestions that England tampered with the ball in the fourth Ashes Test against Australia in Melbourne.
• Australian television broadcast footage claimed to show England cricketer, James Anderson, digging his thumb nail into the ball during Australia’s second innings.
• Umpires Kumar Dharmasena and S Ravi spoke with England captain Joe Root, but they were satisfied that nothing improper had taken place and the ball was not changed.

Weekly News Summary

The fortnightly news show What A Week will be back after the holidays. If you want to listen to any of our previous shows in the meantime listen on our Mixcloud. To keep up to date throughout the festive period follow us on twitter. Merry Christmas from the Insanity Radio News Team!

In National News:

Wagamama apology for ‘don’t be sick’ staff notice.

  • Restaurant chain Wagamama has apologised has apologised after a manager warned workers they face disciplinary action for calling in sick over Christmas.
  • A manager pinned a note to a rota at the North Finchley, London, restaurant saying it was the responsibility of ill staff to find colleagues to cover shifts.
  • Wagamama said the manager ‘feared team member shortages’ and regrettably decided to take this highly unusual approach’, which is not company policy.
  • A spokesman for the Unite Hospitality union said: ‘To threaten workers with disciplinary action for being sick is not just morally reprehensible, it may be unlawful under the Health and Safety Act and Equality Act as its discriminates against those with long-term physical or mental health conditions.’
The rota was put up at the Wagamama branch in North Finchley.

UK ‘Christmas terror plot’: Police searches resume.

  • Four people have been arrested in terror raids across South Yorkshire and Derbyshire, and an army bomb disposal unit was called to a house in Chesterfield.
  • Police have said that a cordoned area has been set up and nearby homes are being evacuated.
  • A 31-year-old man was arrested after the bomb squad cordoned off a street in Chesterfield.
  • 3 other men aged 22, 36, and 41 were arrested in the Burngreave and Meersbrook areas of Sheffield.
  • Assistant Chief Constable of Derbyshire’s police, Bill McWilliam, said: “We of course understand that police activity of this nature can be unsettling…However, please be reassured, the arrest we wanted to make has been made… Our advice remains to be vigilant, which is not different to our day-to-day advice in the current climate, but continue to go about your business as usual.”


In International News:

Russian presidential vote: Navalny ‘nominated to run’ against Putin.

  • Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny says he has gathered enough nominations to challenge Vladmir Putin in March’s presidential election.
  • His supporters met in 20 cities across the country to secure the signatures.
  • Mr Navalny is still unlikely to run as election officials ruled him ineligible because of a corruption conviction which he says is politically motivated.
  • He told his supporters that he would call a boycott of the election if he were not allowed to stand.
  • Mr Putin has accused the opposition of hoping for a ‘coup’ but he insisted that would not be allowed to happen.


Tunisia bans UAE Emirates airline from landing in Tunis.

  • Tunisia has banned Emirates airline from landing in the capital Tunis after a number of Tunisian women were prevented from boarding its flights.
  • The move comes amid widespread anger in Tunisia, with rights groups condemning ‘racist and discriminatory’ measures.
  • The transport ministry said the measure would stay in place until Emirates was able to ‘operate flights in accordance with law and international agreements.’
  • On Friday the Tunisian government said it had asked the UAE ambassador to clarify what was happening and had been told that the measures had been temporary and had already been lifted.


Zimbabwe takeover leader Chiwenga named Mnangagwa’s deputy.

  • Zimbabwe’s new President Emmerson Mnangagwa has appointed Constantino Chiwenga as one of his deputies.
  • Chiwenga was involved in the military takeover that led to the overthrow of ex-president Robert Mugabe.
  • Chiwenga recently retired as army chief, prompting speculation that he would receive a political post.
  • The appointment is seen as a first step towards becoming vice-president.
  • Like Mr Mnangagwa, Mr Chiwenga used to be one of Mr Mugabe’s right-hand men, playing a central role in the seizure of white-owned farms and a brutal crackdown on the opposition after elections in 2008.
  • But he is said to be committed to rescuing Zimbabwe’s economy, which he believes is in such a dire state that it threatens national security.
Mr Chiwenga retired as head of the armed forces this week.


UN Security Council has voted to impose stricter sanctions on North Korea.

  • The United Nations Security Council has voted unanimously to impose tougher sanctions on North Korea in response to its recent ballistic missile tests.
  • The US-drafted resolution includes measures to reduce the nation’s petrol imports by up to 90%.
  • North Korea already currently faces sanctions from the UN, the EU and the US.


San Francisco: Man arrested over ‘Christmas terror plan’.

  • The FBI has arrested former marine Everitt Aaron Jameson, 25, due to suspicions that he was planning a terror attack on San Francisco.
  • It is alleged that he was planning to attack the popular tourist Pier 39 area.
  • Mr Jameson allegedly named the Pier 39 area as a target due to its popularity. He was also familiar with the area and knew it was heavily crowded.
  • On December 18th Mr Jameson apparently hesitated, telling an agent: ‘I don’t think I can do this after all. I’ve reconsidered.’
  • A search warrant for his home was issued where firearms and documents relating to the planned attack are said to have been found when the authorities searched his house.
  • The FBI criminal complaint says that the Muslim convert’s letter made reference to Donald Trump’s decision to designate Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
  • The FBI explained that Mr Jameson came to their attention in September after he began expressing ‘radical jihadi beliefs’ and support of so-called Islamic State through social media use.
The 25-year-old had unknowingly been communicating with undercover FBI agents.

Ramaphosa vows to fight South African corruption.

  • South Africa’s ruling political party, the African National Congress, has elected Cyril Ramaphosa to be the party’s new leader, after a long voting process.
  • Ramaphosa replaces current President Jacob Zuma as the party’s leader. Zuma’s ex-wife, former cabinet minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, ran against Ramaphosa to be leader.
  • Ramaphosa has pledged to fight corruption and pursue a policy of ‘radical economic transformation.’
  • Closing the party’s conference, he said tackling unemployment and poverty should also be key party policies.
  • The next South African general election will be in 2019, and Ramaphosa is in a strong position to become president.


In Sports News:

Justin Gatlin: Sprinter ‘shocked’ by allegations about coach and athletics agent.

  • US World-Champion sprinter Justin Gatlin has said he is “shocked and surprised” after doping allegations were made against his coach and an agent.
  • Dennis Mitchell and Robert Wagner are under investigation by anti-doping officials, but both men deny the allegations against them.
  • Gatlin says that he fired Mitchell, who was his coach, as soon as he found out about the allegations, and has said that he has never used performance enhancing drugs.
Gatlin won gold at the 2017 World Championships, beating Christian Coleman and Usain Bolt.

In Entertainment News:

Channel 4 has paid tribute to Googlebox star Leon Bernicoff, who has died aged 83, ahead of its Christmas special.

  • The retired teacher died in hospital on Saturday after a short illness.
  • His widow June Bernicoff, who joined the show with her husband in 2013, thanked the public for their support.
  • The Christmas special which aired on Sunday was dedicate to Leon’s memory.
  • The Bernicoffs, from Liverpool, were the first couple to join the reality TV show’s cast when it launched in 2013.
  • Leon leaves behind his wife June, two daughters, sons-in-law and grandchildren who have all been overwhelmed by the support they have received.
  • Tributes have contributed to flood in for the reality TV star from famous faces, fellow cast members and previous pupils.

Weekly News Summary

The fortnightly news show What A Week will be back after the holidays. If you want to listen to any of our previous shows in the meantime listen on our Mixcloud. To keep up to date throughout the festive period follow us on twitter.

In National News:

UK embassy work found dead in Lebanon.
• Rebecca Dykes who worked at the UK embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, was found on the side of a motorway on Saturday.
• Dykes had been strangled according to information the police gave to the BBC.
• Ms Dykes had been working in Beirut as the programme and policy manager for the Department for International Development since January 2017.
• Local police have announced a second post-mortem will be carried out later.

Dykes had been working in Beirut since January 2017.


Birmingham crash: 6 dead in ‘horrific’ accident.
• Three vehicles were involved in an accident on Belgrave Middleway, near Edgbaston, at about 01:00 GMT.
• Three men in one car died at the scene and a fourth is critically injured in hospital.
• The driver of a taxi and his two passengers were also killed.
• West Midlands Police are investigating how the crash happened.


Salford house fire: Vigil held for killed siblings.
• Siblings Demi Pearson, 15, Brandon, 8, Lacie, 7, and Lia, 3, died following a fire at their home in Salford on Monday.
• Their mother Michelle Pearson, 35, who was also in the house at the time, remains in a coma.
• Zak Bolland, 23, Courtney Bierley, 20, both of Worsley, and David Worral, 25, of no fixed address, appeared in court charged with murdering the four children.
• All three were also accused of arson and the attempted murders of the children’s mother Michelle and two 16-year olds who managed to escape the blaze.
• Hundreds of people have attended a vigil for the four children.
• An appeal to raise funds for the children’s funerals has raised more than £16,000.

Four siblings died as a result of the fire in Salford and the mother remains in a coma.

In International News:

Deadly attack on Methodist church in Pakistan.
• A suicide bomb and gun attack on a Methodist church in Pakistan has killed at least eight people, officials say.
• Militants stormed the church, which was packed with worshippers at the time, in the city of Quetta, some 65km from the Afghan border.
• The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
• Two suicide bombers were stopped at the church entrance, Sarfraz Bugti, the Balochistan region’s home minister, said.
• Had the bombers reached any further there could have been hundreds more casualties, according to Bugti.
• One of the men detonated his bomb vest and the other was stopped in a gunfight with the police.
• A search operation is under way for two more attacks who fled the scene.

Several children were caught up in the attack at the Methodist church.

CIA ‘helped stop Russia terror attack’.
• Information provided by the CIA helped Russian security services foil an attack on St Petersburg’s Kazan cathedral, the Kremlin says.
• The attack was allegedly planned to take place on Saturday, according to officials.
• Russia’s security service stated on Friday that it had detained 7 members of Islamic State supporters and seized a significant amount of explosives, weapons and extremist literature.
• In a phone call, President Vladmir Putin thanked Donald Trump for the CIA’s intervention and asked Trump to pass his thanks to the CIA director, the Kremlin said.
• Mr Putin told the US President that Russia’s special services would hand over information on terror threats to their US counterparts.
• Also in America, US intelligence agencies, including the CIA, believe that Russia tried to sway last year’s US presidential election in favour of Mr Trump- claims rejected by the Republican party.
• A special council is investigating whether anyone from the Trump campaign colluded.

Barry Sherman: family disputes reports on mystery double death in Canada.
• The family of a Canadian billionaire and his wife have hit back at reports surrounding their recent deaths.
• Police are treating the deaths of Barry Sherman, 75, and his wife Honey, whose bodies were found in their Toronto home on Friday, as ‘suspicious’ but no suspects are being sought.
• Canadian media, citing police sources, have suggested the case is a possible murder-suicide.
• But a family statement has responded saying the no-one close to the couple believed this.

Pharmaceutical giant Barry Sherman and his wife Honey were renowned for their charity fundraising.

In Sports News:

Sir Mo Farah crowned BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2017.
• World 10,000m champion, Sir Mo Farah was titled BBC Sports Personality of the Year on Sunday night.
• Farah is the first long-distance runner to win the Sports Personality award since Paula Radcliffe in 2002.
• Farah was one of 12 contenders for the award this year. He had previously been shortlisted 5 times before and prior to his recent victory, his previous highest finish was in third in 2011.
• Motorcyclist Jonathon Rea placed second and Para-athlete Jonnie Peacock placed third.
• Farah took the prize with 83,524 votes, 2,957 more than second-placed Rea, while Peacock took third place with 73,429, just 18 votes more than boxer Antony Joshua.
• Jessica Ennis-Hill won the Lifetime Achievement award.
• England women cricketers were named Team of the Year.
• Benke Blomvist, Stephen Maguire and Christian Malcolm were named Coaches of the Year.

Vote breakdown for BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2017.