Concert Review: Kodaline

The O2 Apollo in Manchester was full of Kodaline fans of all ages on the 8th December. I think that’s the great thing about Kodaline’s music, they’re the kind of songs you can sing with your younger siblings and your parents alike. For those of you who have never heard a Kodaline song you probably have because they’re an underrated band that most people have heard of in some way. Do you watch Channel 4’s hit Gogglebox? Well the theme tune is Kodaline’s Brand New Day! I have to say that was a particular favourite during the show this weekend.


The open act was fellow Irish artist Áine Cahill whose vocals you could not fault. Her lyrics had a Lucy Spraggan kind of vibe. Her songs had a common theme of fake people and situations which sounds slightly bitter but her voice had the opposite effect and put you at ease. One of the stand out moments of her opening set was her mash up on Lana del Ray’s Young and Beautiful and Lady Gaga’s Paparazzi. You would think that those songs would clash but somehow, she found a way to combine them into a masterpiece. You can check out some of her original songs on her youtube channel, I’d recommend Blood Diamonds!


Do you ever worry that when you go to a gig they’ll only play their new album, which let’s be honest you can’t sing off by heart as well as you could with the old classics? Well that wasn’t a problem at all with Kodaline. The Irish band found the perfect balance between their old albums Coming Up For Air and In A Perfect World and their new songs. The reception of their new songs amongst the crowd on Friday suggests that they have a hit on the way! The band interacted throughout with the crowd and during their encore revealed that their new album is planned to drop in the new year. Keep an eye out people!


They opened with Ready to Change which could not have been a more perfect opener! It starts off slow to ease the crowd in and evolves into an all-round crowd pleaser. It had every member of the audience throwing their arms in the air and attempting to hit the high notes in the ohhhsssss. For me some of the stand out moments were Brother, The One and Honest. Even in those four songs there is such a mix in energy. The gig ranged from vibrant energetic performances which had the crowd singing back to the band at the top of their lungs to acoustic solo performances by lead singer Steve Garrigan. It was everything you could want in a gig.


I first discovered Kodaline because of a youtube channel called the Mahogany Sessions which I would recommend for all indie music lovers. The channel just has a knack for discovering the next big thing. They had performances by: fellow Irishman Hozier, JP Cooper, Jack Garratt, Birdy, Vance Joy, George Ezra, Bastille, James Bay and many more before they got big! Kodaline performed High Hopes and Big Bad World in their first Mahogany Sessions four years ago and blew my mind. Their live performance in Manchester topped their Mahogany Session which I did not think was possible. They’ve recently gone back to the channel to perform I Wouldn’t Be which is their latest single so give that a listen. I Wouldn’t Be is a very humbling track which has a slight Amber Run vibe to it. Don’t you hate it when artists just get a bit too big for their boots? Well this song shows that Kodaline have not let success go to their heads!


Make sure you follow all of Kodaline’s social media so you don’t miss the album drop and can keep up to date about upcoming gigs. I would 100% recommend seeing them. If you fancy really pushing the boat out, they’re doing the festival circuit again next summer so you can see them at Neighbourhood Weekender and TRNSMT Festival.

Weekly News Summary

This week the News Team covered: the Libyan slave trade, the royal wedding and the effect expansion of Royal Holloway is having on students and the local community. To hear this week’s show and any others that you might have missed listen to our Mixcloud. To keep up to date throughout the week follow us on Twitter.

In National News:

UK snow: Amber warning issued across large parts of country.
• The deepest snowfall in the UK on Sunday has been in Sennybridge, near Brecon in Wales, where up to 12 inches of snow has been recorded.
• Warnings have been extended for snow and high winds of up to 80mph in southern England.
• Electricity supplier SSE says up to 24,000 homes in Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Wiltshire are without power.
• Across the South West of England and Wales about 2,900 customers have been affected by power cuts.
• Delays to road, rail and air travel in the UK are expected for most of the day.

Brexit Updates.
• A cross-party group of pro-EU MPs says the promise of a ‘meaningful vote’ for Parliament on any Brexit deal should be enshrined in law.
• The All-Party Parliamentary Group on EU Relations supports the move, urging backbenchers to put ‘the national interest’ above party politics.
• On Friday, PM Theresa May agreed a deal with EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. The agreed 3 aspects of the ‘divorce bill’ are as follows:
1) The rights of EU citizens in the UK.
2) British citizens abroad.
3) The Irish border.
• If EU leaders agree to it at a European Council summit on Thursday, the next phase of negotiations can begin allowing discussions of transition deals and future trade.
• Brexit Secretary David Davis told Commons in November that MPs will be allowed a ‘take it or leave it’ vote on any final deal agreed between the two sides.
• Downing Street sources said the bill to leave the EU would amount to between £35bn and £39bn.
• However, former Brexit minister David Jones has criticised May’s deal, arguing that the UK could end up paying a ‘monstrous’ exit fee up to £100bn.
• The cabinet is expected to meet on 19 December to discuss its ‘end state’ plans for Brexit, 2 days before Parliament’s 2 week Christmas recess.

David Davis discussing Brexit.

Biggest rise in rail fares in 5 years.
• On January 2nd fares for UK rails will rise by 3.4% – the largest increased for 5 years.
• The RMT union general secretary said, “these fare increases are another kick in the teeth for British passengers who will still be left paying the highest fares in Europe.”
• The fare rise, which is shaped by the retail price index inflation figure will be the biggest since January 2013.

In International News:

Actress Zaira Wasim: ‘I was molested on flight.’
• An actress who starred in Bollywood’s biggest film, Dangal, says she was molested on a flight between Delhi and Mumbai.
• Zaira Wasim, 17, said a ‘middle-aged man’ repeatedly moved his foot up and down her neck and back while she was ‘half-asleep’.
• She took to Instagram to share the incident with almost 400,000 followers.
• She attempted to film the man’s behaviour but said it was too dark.
• The airline, Air Vistara, said it was carrying out a detailed investigation into the incident.
• Air Vistara explained on twitter that the staff on-board were not aware of the incident until it began descent to Mumbai but apologises for what Ms Wasim experienced.

Donald Trump recognises Jerusalem as the official capital of Israel.
• In a speech on the 6th December, President Trump claimed that previous presidents promised in their campaigns to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and failed.
• In his speech, the president announced he was ‘delivering on promise.’
• He believed this decision would be in the best interest of America’s interested and help the stalled Middle East peace process.
• However, tensions were high in the wake of Mr Trump’s announcement.
• His policy shift was hailed by Israel but condemned across the Arab and Islamic world, resulting in violence between Israeli and Palestinian forces.
• Protests have been relatively small scale so far and security was tightened on Friday as prayers were held in Jerusalem.

US Supreme Court approve Trump’s travel ban.
• The US Supreme Court has ruled President Donald Trump’s travel ban on six mainly Muslim countries can go into full effect, pending legal challenges.
• The travel ban effects travellers from Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen.
• Only liberal Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor voted to block the president’s order.
• Federal appeal courts in San Francisco, California, and Richmond, Virginia, will hear arguments this week on whether the latest iteration of the policy is lawful.

Abu Dhabi authorities revealed as buyers of $450m ‘Leonardo painting’.
• Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism have confirmed that they bought the $430m Salvator Mundi painting for the state’s new Louvre gallery.
• The 500-year-old painting of Christ is believed to be the work of Leonardo da Vinci.
• Salvator Mundi (Saviour of the World)’s $450m (£341m) price made it the most expensive art work ever sold at auction.

The image has been restored from the image on the left to the image on the right.

Catalan protest in Brussels over independence.
• Supporters of Catalonia gaining independence travelled more than 745 miles to Brussels to ask the European Union for support for Catalan independence.
• The protest was peaceful and requested the release of all their political prisoners.
• Organisers hoped 20,000 people would show up but the Belgian police counted around 45,000.
• Earlier in the week a Spanish judge withdrew the European arrest warrant for ousted Catalan President Carles Puigdemont and four other ex-ministers who had fled to Belgium.

In Entertainment News:

Max Clifford dies in hospital aged 74.
• Disgraced celebrity publicist Max Clifford has died in hospital, aged 74, after collapsing in prison.
• Clifford collapsed in his cell at Littlehey Prison in Cambridgeshire on Thursday and again on Friday, according to his daughter.
• He was taken to hospital where he suffered cardiac arrest.
• He had been serving an eight-year sentence for historical sex offences.
• The Ministry of Justice said as with all deaths in custody, there would be an investigation by the ombudsman.
• Clifford’s lawyer, John Szepietowski, said his death meant there were a number of unresolved legal issues.

Max Clifford had been serving an eight-year jail sentence for sex offences.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi- tributes to Carrie Fisher at LA premiere.
• The much-anticipated first screening of the franchise’s latest episode was dedicated to the late Carrie Fisher, who died last December aged 60.
• Fisher, playing General Leia, finished work on the movie before her death.

Stormzy named BBC Music’s artist of the year.
• The South London MC, whose debut album Gang Signs & Prayer was the first grime record to reach number one, beat Ed Sheeran and Lorde to the prize.

Stormy with his trophy.

Dustin Hoffman faces new sex abuse allegation from co-star.
• Kathryn Rossetter accused Hollywood actor Dustin Hoffman of a ‘horrific, demoralising and abusive experience’ while working on a 1984 Broadway production of Death Of A Salesman.
• She said Hoffman would regularly grope her. The actor would grab her breast and remove his hand before a photograph was taken, she alleged.
• Rossetter said she considered reporting Hoffman to Actors Equity but was cautioned by industry professionals that she may lose her job because of Hoffman’s power.
• Rossetter’s allegations come a month after author Anna Graham Hunter accused Hoffman of sexual misconduct.

Weekly News Summary

On Thursday 7th December the news team will be back for another episode of What A Week. Tune in to hear the latest news of the week and interviews with the local community to hear their opinions on Egham becoming ‘Holloway-ville’. To listen to any previous episodes catch up on our Mixcloud. To get quick news throughout the week follow us on twitter.

In Local News:

Changes to the South Western rail.

  • South Western rail have created a new timetable which is set to come into operation on December 9th 2018 which might have an impact on train services into London.
  • Under the proposals, Addlestone and Chertsey commuters would have to get on a half-hour train shuttle service to Virginia Water or Weybridge before connecting to a London Waterloo service.
  • In addition, the first train from Weybridge into London via Staines, which currently leaves at 6.32am, might also end if the plans go ahead.
  • The proposed timetable changes are part of SWR’s promise to deliver ‘new and better trains, more seats, improved service frequencies and quicker journey times.’

A man has been arrested in connection with a string of poppy appeal box thefts in Runnymede in the run up to Remembrance Day.
• Surrey Police has confirmed the man has been charged with three counts of theft in a statement that was posted on the Runnymede Beat Facebook page on Thursday (November 23).
• Collection boxes were stolen from businesses in Egham and Englefield Green, including a coffee shop and printing company. Following a court appearance on Thursday, the suspect is next due to appear before magistrates in Staines on December 19.

Credit: Western Mail.

In National News:

Royal Wedding Announced.
• Prince Harry is to marry his American actress girlfriend Meghan Markle.
• The prince, fifth in line to the throne, will marry Ms Markle in spring 2018 at St George’s Chapel, in the grounds of Windsor Castle.
• The couple will live at Nottingham Cottage in Kensington Palace, London.
• The couple, who have been dating since the summer of 2016, secretly got engaged earlier this month. Prince Charles said he was “thrilled” with his son’s news, which he announced on Twitter, adding that Ms Markle’s parents had given their blessing.

The couple announced their engagement on Monday.

New heart for eight- week-old Charlie Douthwaite.
• The youngest patient on the UK transplant waiting list, an eight-week old baby, has received a new heart.
• A Europe-wide appeal to help Charlie Douthwaite, who was born with half a heart, was launched last month.
• The youngster, underwent a nine-hour operation at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital.
• Doctors hope he will be well enough to leave hospital in the new year.

Further investigations into the Grenfell Tower fire.
• An investigation is to be carried out into whether the use of police helicopters during the Grenfell Tower fire led to more people dying.
• A resident, who lost relatives in the blaze, complained the presence of helicopters led to some people remaining inside the tower as they thought they would be rescued.
• The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said it would manage an inquiry, led by the Met.

A police helicopter flying above the burning 24-storey Grenfell Tower in west London CREDIT: JONATHAN BRADY/PA

Damian Green porn row: Police in ‘dangerous territory’.
• Brexit secretary David Davis has reportedly warned Downing Street not to sack Damian Green as he believes the accusations against Green are ‘a wrongful attempt’ by officers to bring him down.
• The accusations against Damian Green have come from a retired detective who alleges that Green had ‘thousands’ of pornographic images on his office computer.
• Green denies all these allegations.
• The ex-detectives who disclosed that legal pornography was found on Damian Green’s office computer are in ‘dangerous territory’ according to Sir Peter Fahy, ex-chief constable of Greater Manchester.
• Fahy argued it was vital police were ‘not involved in politics’.


In International News:

Afghan leader Ashraf Ghani apologises for headscarf remark.
• On Saturday 2nd December, Afghan president Ashraf Ghani responded to claims that some government officials have links to so-called Islamic State.
• In response he said people should provide evidence or wear a woman’s headscarf.
• This provoked criticism from those who viewed the remark as sexist.
• Mr Ghani later apologised to women who felt offended and said he had been misinterpreted.

Credit: REUTERS.

Russia-Trump: President hits out at FBI over Russia inquiry.
• Donald Trump lashed out at the FBI on Sunday, issuing a fresh denial that he asked former director James Comey to drop an investigation into the conduct of one of his top aides, Michael Flynn.
• Trump took to twitter to state that the FBI’s reputation was ‘in tatters’.
• The President denies that his team colluded with Russia to get him elected.

North Korea vs US race to war?
• White House national security adviser HR McMaster says the US is ‘in a race’ to address the threat from North Korea.
• McMaster told a defence forum that the potential for war is increasing every day but armed conflict is not the only solution.
• His comments came only 3 days after North Korea carried out its first ballistic missile test 2 months, the missile fell into Japanese waters.
• The test defies UN resolutions and has been globally condemned.

Slobodan Praljak suicide: War criminal ‘took cyanide’ in Hague court.
• Bosnian Croat war criminal Slobodan Praljak died after taking potassium cyanide in The Hague’s courtroom, Dutch prosecutors say.
• The court upheld Praljak’s 20-year term for war crimes in Bosnia in the 1990s.
• Seconds after hearing his appeal had been lost, the former general declared: ‘Slobodan Praljak is not a war criminal. I am rejecting the court ruling’ and drank the poison.
• The Dutch authorities are investigating how he smuggled poison into the court.

Credit: REUTERS.

Donald Trump retweets anti-Muslim videos.
• US President, Donald Trump, retweeted 3 inflammatory videos from a British far-right group.
• The first tweet belonged to the deputy leader of Britain First and claimed to show a Muslim migrant attacking a man on crutches. The other two videos had similar content.
• Responding to Mr. Trump’s posts, Theresa May’s spokesman said it was ‘wrong for the president to have done this.’
• A White House spokeswoman said, ‘these are real threats that we have to talk about.’
• Speaking on the Andrew Marr Show, former UKIP leader, Nigel Farage defended Donald Trump’s retweets by saying he can’t have known what he was doing.
• There have been calls to cancel Trump’s state visit as a result of the retweets.
• However, Prime Minister Theresa May has rejected these calls arguing that that ‘special relationship’ between Britain and the US was ‘in both our nations’ interests and should continue.

Weekly News Summary

This week we had a 2-hour special on What A Week with a range of entertainment stories, local news, Holloway insight and international news. If you missed it you can listen back on our Mixcloud. To keep up to date throughout the week follow us on twitter! If you’re a community member and want to be involved in the News show or want to be interviewed about the future student accommodation on Osbourne road email us for more information.

In National News:

Oxford Circus panic: Pair released after police questioning.
• Oxford Circus underground was evacuated on Friday night and the Met Police warned people on the streets in the area to go inside.
• This followed numerous 999 calls stating that shots had been heard inside the station which cause the police to initially treat the incident as potentially terrorism-related.
• This cause a mass stampede as people evacuated.
• Paramedics were called to treat the 16 injured in the evacuation.
• After 90 minutes the police operation stood down and confirmed that the incident was not terror-related.
• Two men – aged 21 and 40 – were questioned on Saturday after attending a police station voluntarily.
• The pair were released after questioning on Sunday 26th of November.

Five killed as stolen car crashes into tree in Leeds.
• Five people died in Leeds on Saturday evening after a stolen car crashed into a tree
• Three of the victims were boys under the age of eighteen, and two adult men also died
• Two people were pronounced dead at the scene and three died a short time later at hospital, the force added.
• Their families have been informed.

Ellis Thornton, 12, and his older brother Elliott were killed in the crash.

Ofstead to investigate the use of the hijab in primary school girls.
• Ofstead, the education standards foundation are set to question girls in primary schools who wear the hijab.
• According to Ofstead chief inspector, Amanda Spielman, the aim is to find out why the girls wear the hijab because creating an environment where Muslim children are expected to wear the headscarf ‘could be interpreted as sexualisation of young girls’.
• Harun Khan, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain said that the proposal sends a clear message to all British women who adopt this that they are second class citizens.
• Khan argues it suggest British Muslim women are free to wear the headscarf but the establishment would prefer that they not.

James Bulger killer Jon Venables recalled to prison.
• In 2001 James Bulger killers Jon Venables and Robert Thompson were released from secure children’s homes- with new identities- on life license, meaning they can be recalled at any time.
• Venables was first recalled in 2010.
• Venables has been recalled once again to prison suspected of having child abuse images on his computer.
• This is the second-time Jon Venables has been sent back to jail for the same suspected offence.
• The 35-year-old was recalled last week but has not yet been charged.

Jon Venables, aged 10, at the police station under arrest for the murder of James Bulger.

In International News:

Mount Agung: Bali volcano activity prompts ‘red warning’.
• Airlines have been issued a ‘red warning’ about the danger of volcanic ash in the skies close to Bali after Mount Agung emitted a thick plume of smoke reaching 4,000m (13,100 feet).
• It is the second major emission from the Indonesian island volcano this week, and flights have been disrupted.
• The red warning means an eruption is forecast to be imminent.
• Authorities have begun distributing mass in some areas as ash falls.
Terror attack on a Sinai mosque, Egypt.
• Friday 24th November, a Sinai mosque was bombed and killed over 300 people.
• The attack is the deadliest in Egypt’s modern history
• The immediate response from Cairo is dominated by mourning, fury and sorrow.

Mugabe steps down after 37 years.
• Ex-President of Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe officially resigned on Wednesday after being in power for 37 years.
• A statement was made, as a letter from ex-president announced the news, saying it was entirely voluntary.
• The announcement was made following a week of military action within the country, and the beginning of an impeachment hearing.
• Mugabe has been succeeded by his former vice-president Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa.
• Robert Mugabe is alleged to receive a payoff worth at least $10m in exchange for him having resigned as leader on the 21st November.
• A high ranking Zanu-PF party official detailed how Mugabe would receive an initial $5m cash payment, followed by his $150,000 salary paid until death, in addition to the immunity guaranteed to Mugabe and his family previously.
• Opposition leaders have criticised the move, arguing Mugabe must be held accountable to his actions while in office.
• Father Fidelis Mukonori, a Jesuit priest who helped negotiate his resignation, told the BBC that Mugabe would still provide ‘advice’ as an elder statesmen.
• The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu cut up his dog collar live on BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show in December 2007.
• On Sunday 26th of November 2017 he retired to the show to reinstate his collar as promised.

Archbishop of York put his dog collar back on after a decade.

Angela Merkel has struggled form a coalition, as the rising influence of extreme parties in Germany transforms the political landscape.
• Talks on forming a coalition government in Germany have collapsed, leaving Angela Merkel facing her biggest challenge in 12 years as chancellor.
• The free-market liberal FDP pulled out after four weeks of talks with Mrs Merkel’s CDU/CSU bloc and the Greens. FDP leader Christian Lindner said there was “no basis of trust” between them.
• President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Germany was facing an unprecedented situation and that he would hold talks with all parties.

In Sports News:

Oscar Pistorius jail term for killing Reeva Steenkamp more than doubled.
• Ex-Paralympian Oscar Pistorius’s jail sentence has been increased to 13 years and 5 months by a South African court. His previous sentence had been only 6 years.
• Pistorius is in jail for murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day in 2013.
• Pistorius claims he had mistaken his then girlfriend for a burglar.

Oscar Pistorius shot Reeva Steenkamp in 2013.

Dementia and football: Brain injury study to begin in January.
• A long-awaited study into the links between heading a football and brain damage will start in January, the Football Association has announced.
• The doctor who claimed former striker Jeff Astle died because of repeated head trauma is to lead the study.

Former Wimbledon champion Jana Novotna has died at the age of 49.
• The Women’s Tennis Association said Novotna, who had cancer, “died peacefully, surrounded by her family”.
• The Czech player had lost in the Wimbledon final in 1993 and 1997 before winning the Grand Slam tournament when she beat Nathalie Tauziat in 1998.

Weekly News Summary

On Thursday 23rd of November at 6pm the News Team will be back on air for another edition of What A Week! To catch up on last weeks episode visit our Mixcloud. Follow us on twitter to keep updated throughout the week!


In National News:

‘No others involved’ in Gaia Pope’s death

  • Miss Pope, who had severe epilepsy, went missing without her medication on the 7th November 2017.
  • On Thursday 16th November items of clothing she was wearing on the day of her disappearance were found close to where the remains were later found.
  • The body of 19-year-old Gaia Pope was found on Saturday in a field near Swanage.
  • Dorset Police are treating her death as ‘unexplained’ pending toxicology results.
  • Rosemary Dinch, 71; her 49-year-old son Paul Elsey; and 19-year-old grandson Nathan Elsey- were arrested on suspicion of murder as part of the investigation and released under investigation.
19-year-old Gaia Pope went missing on the 7th November.

Theresa May has launched her strongest attack on Russia yet, accusing Moscow of meddling in elections and carrying out cyber espionage

  • Addressing leading business figures at a banquet in London, the prime minister said Vladimir Putin’s government was trying to “undermine free societies”.
  • Mrs May said it was “planting fake stories” to “sow discord in the West”.
  • The Prime Minister claimed that Putin was undermining free societies through it’s annexation of the Crimea, conflict with Ukraine and election meddling.
  • But, she added, whilst the UK did not want “perpetual confrontation” with Russia, it would protect its interests.
  • Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is due to visit Russia next month.


Brexiteers claimed leaving the EU would divert £350m more funding every week to the NHS but is Brexit helping save the health service?

  • One in five European NHS doctors plan to quit a survey reveals.
  • Almost half of the health services’ 12,000 medics from the European Economic Area are considering moving abroad.
  • This comes as evidence emerges that Brexit may exacerbate problems of understaffing in the NHS.
  • In total 45% of respondents in the BMA survey said they were thinking about leaving Britain following the referendum in June with a further 29% unsure whether they would go.
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has promised more training places for home-grown doctors and nurses.

Anna Soubry blames death threats on ‘mutineers’ headline

  • Ex-Tory minister Anna Soubry says her office has received 13 death threats since the Daily Telegraph front page on Wednesday named her as one of 15 ‘Brexit mutineers’.
  • The story concerned Conservative MPs planning to rebel against the government’s bid to enshrine the precise date of Brexit in Law.
  • The pro-EU Remain supporter said the police took the threats seriously and had passed two cases to prosecutors.


In International News:

Iran-Iraq border earthquake is deadliest of 2017

  • On Sunday 12th of November a 7.3-magnitude earthquake hit the northern border region between Iran and Iraq.
  • The most recent figures reveal that more than 430 people have been killed and 7000 injured in Iran and Iraq.
  • Survivors are living outside or in make shift tents despite cold winter temperatures.
  • The President Hassan Rouhani has criticised the government for now building better public state housing.
  • On the 17th November 2017, United Nations agencies delivered medical supplies to the areas devastated by the earthquake. They have urged vigilance against the possible outbreaks of inctious and waterborne diseases.
Families in Kani Bardina village, Sulaymaniyah governorate, receive health check-ups and assistance from IOM Iraq Mobile Medical team, following an earthquake on the evening 12 November.

Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe vows to stay on despite party pressure

  • Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s decades-long grip on power in the southern African nation appear to be declining after the military seized control of state institutions earlier this week.
  • Earlier he was dismissed as leader of ruling Zanu-PF party.
  • He has been given an ultimatum to step down with 24 hours.
  • His sacked deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa is now Zanu-PF leader.
  • First Lady Grace Mugabe has been expelled from the party.
  • However, Mugabe is defying the intense pressure to resign.
  • In a live address on national TV the President declared that he will still preside over the Zanu-PF party congress next month.


Morocco food stampede kills 15 and wounds many

  • At least 15 people have been killed and several others wounded in a stampede in Morocco while food and aid was distributed.
  • The incident occurred in the town of Sid Boulaalam in Essaouira province while aided was being handed out by a local charity.
  • Some reports indicate that up to 40 were injured. Local media suggests the majority of the victims were women and the eldery.
  • Morocco’s interior ministry said that King Muhammed VI has instructed local authorities to help those affected.
  • The King will even personally cover the cost of medical expenses and funerals.


Long awaited marriage equality in Australia

  • Australians have overwhelmingly voted in favour of legalising same-sex marriage in a historic poll earlier this week.
  • More than 12.7 million people- about 79.5% of eligible voters- took part in the 8-week poll.
  • The Yes campaign argued that the vote was a debate about equality.
  • The No campaign focused on the definition of family, raising concerns about how issues like gender will be taught in schools.
  • Australia’s chief statistician David Kalisch said about 7.8 million people voted in support of same-sex marriage, with approximately 4.9 million against it.
The announcement prompted jubilant celebrations across Australia.

In Royal Holloway News:

Young Scientist Medal 2018

  • Dr Wenqing Liu from the Department of Electronic Engineering at Royal Holloway has been awarded the Young Scientist Medal for the year 2018 by the International Association of Advanced Materials.
  • The award recognizes her notable and outstanding contribution in the field of two-dimensional spintronic systems.

George Eliot Hall Residences Transaction

  • The newly constructed George Eliot Halls will be entering a period of residence transaction.
  • This means that the college partners will be released of their equity and it will be contracted to a third party for a defined period of time.
  • The college have yet to announce when this period will begin or who the third party will be.
  • To keep updated or share your opinion whether you’re a student or member of the local community tweet us @InsanityNews.

Save the bees

  • The decision by the Environment Secretary, Michael Gove that the UK government will support further restrictions across the EU on the use of neonicotinoids, is warmly welcomed by bee scientists at Royal Holloway, University of London.
  • Professor Mark Brown, Professor in Evolutionary Behaviour and Conservation in the School of Biological Sciences, said “That the government is making evidence-based decisions and following the precautionary principle is key to protecting our environment in the UK, as well as the broader European environment.”

Weekly News Update

This week the News Team covered: gun control in America following the Sutherland Springs shooting, the Paradise Papers revealing millions in tax evasion and the allegations of sexual assault in Parliament. To listen back to the news show visit our Mixcloud. To keep up to date throughout the week follow us on twitter!

In National News:

Health concerns for Nazanin Zaghari-Ratclifee, the British-Iranian woman serving a 5 year sentence in Iran:
• Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was arrested during a visit to Iran to visit family in April 2016, accused of trying to overthrow the regime, which she denies.
• Zaghari-Ratcliffe has seen a specialist after finding lumps in her breasts.
• Cabinet ministers Boris Johnson and Michael Gove have been accused of bungling the UK’s handling of the case.
• Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, has told her husband, Richard Ratcliffe, that he will try and find time to meet him ‘in the next few days.’
• This is following Environment Secretary Michael Gove informing the BBC he did not know why Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe was in Iran or what she was doing when she was arrested.
• The comments by the politicians have left Charity Thomas Reuters Foundation, who Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe has worked for, fearing they have doubled her sentence.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is serving a five-year sentence in Iran.

Paradise Papers reveal UK millionaires ‘using offshore tax avoidance schemes’:
• More than 100 UK millionaires have been identified as tax dodgers after hiding their wealth using offshore schemes.
• The UK is under pressure to act over tax avoidance and offshore havens.
• Theresa May refuses to commit to public inquiry or open registers.
• Mrs May did however comment saying “we want people to pay the tax that is due”.
• Shadow Chancellor, John McDonell, described it as the “biggest tax scandal of this generation”.
• Jeremy Corbyn has suggested the Queen, among others, should apologise for using overseas tax havens if they were used to avoid taxation in the UK.
• The Labour leader was asked at the CBI conference whether the Queen should say sorry for making overseas investments.
• He said anyone putting money into tax havens for the purposes of avoidance should “not just apologise for it, recognise what it does to our society”.
• The BBC revealed that the Queen’s estate has used overseas tax havens.

The revolving door in politics:
• After surviving three decades in politics and serving under four Conservative prime ministers, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon resigned.
• Following the allegations of sexual assault, Julia Hartley-Brewer came forward with allegations of sexual harassment against Fallon.
• Fallon confirmed he was rebuked by journalist Julia Hartley-Brewer for touching her knee during a dinner in 2002.
• He also added that his behaviour may have been acceptable a decade ago but it no longer is.
• Gavin Williamson, MP for South Staffordshire, has since replaced Fallon.
• Priti Patel also resigned from her post as Secretary of State for International Development.
• Patel arranged a number of meetings with business and political figures, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, during a family holiday to Israel in August, without informing Downing Street.
• Patel has since said that she has been inundated with support from her family, friends and constituency since stepping down.
• Conservative MP for Portsmouth North Penny Mordaunt has since taken over Ms Patel’s post.

Priti Patel at her meeting with with Yair Lapid, the head of Yesh Atid.

In International News:

Is a resolution to the Catalan tensions in the horizon?
• Catalonia’s deposed leader Carles Puigdemont and four former advisers have turned themselves in to Belgian police, says a prosecutors’ spokesman.
• Mr Puigdemont fled to Belgium after Madrid imposed direct rule on Catalonia following an independence referendum. He has said he will not return to Spain unless he is guaranteed a fair trial.
• Mariano Rajoy, Spain’s Prime Minister, has said that next month’s regional elections in Catalonia will help end the “separatist havoc.”
• This address was at a campaign event in Catalonia during his first visit there since imposing direct rule on the region two weeks ago.
• The conflict was initiated by a disputed referendum held in Catalonia in October which has been banned by the Spanish courts.

Trump Russia: US ‘in peril over president’s stance:
• Donald Trump once again dismissed claims of Russian collusion in the 2016 Presidential Election as a “Democratic hit job” on Saturday, despite US intelligence across multiple federal agencies stating the contrary.
• The US president sparked uproar by suggesting he believed Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin when he said there had been no interference; when they discussed the allegations at an Asia-Pacific Summit.
• Two former US intelligence chiefs say Trump’s stance on Russian meddling in last year’s presidential election is putting the US at risk.

President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin talk at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Danang, Vietnam.

Iraq-Iran earthquake: Deadly tremor hits border region:
• A strong 7.3-magnitude earthquake has hit the northern border region between Iran and Iraq, killing at least 10 people.
• At least 6 people have died in western Iran and another 4 dead in Iraq.
• Iranian news channels IRINN says rescue teams have been despatched to western parts of the country.

How long is too long to wait for relief?
• Puerto Rico was struck by Hurricane Maria in late September.
• Nearly 7 weeks after the hurricane, more than 50% is still without power.
• In Vietnam 400,000 people continue to await emergency assistance following Typhoon Damrey making landfall on the 4th of November in the countries south-central region.
• A second storm is expected to make landfall within the next 48 hours, threatening the current efforts in the region to get emergency supplies to the worst hit areas.

A woman wades past buildings flooded by Typhoon Damrey in the town of Hoi An in Vietnam’s south-central coast region.

In Entertainment News:

More allegations of sexual harassment pour into Hollywood in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein allegations:
Steven Seagal:
• Arrested Development actress, Portia de Rossie, wife of US talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, posted a tweet on Wednesday night accusing actor and producer Steven Seagal of sexual harassment.
• She alleges that during a film audition Mr Seagal told her ‘how important it was to have chemistry off-screen’ before unzipping his trousers.
• Seagal’s manager has informed the press that the actor has no comment.
• Several other women have come forward to accuse the producer of inappropriate behaviour and harassment including the Good Wife actress Julianna Margulies, actress Eva LaRue and model Jenny McCarthy.
• Seagal is the latest person in Hollywood accused of sexual harassment in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein allegations.
Ed Westwick:
• Kristina Cohen accused him of sexually assaulting her three years ago.
• Following Cohen’s actions, Aurelie Wynn posted on Facebook, claiming she was raped by the actor at his home in August 2014.
• Ed Westwick has strongly denied claims he anybody and is cooperating with authorities to clear his name ‘as soon as possible.’
• Two BBC shows starring Ed Westwick have been put on hold in light of the allegations.

Ed Westwick took to twitter to respond to the allegations.

Weekly News Update

To keep up to date with all things news worthy follow us on twitter. You can also listen back to exclusive interviews and our fortnightly news show What a Week on our Mixcloud. Tune in this Thursday at 6pm to catch this week’s show, the first visualised radio episode for What a Week!

In Local News:

A thank you to 35 years of service:
• Surrey’s first black police officer has retired after 35-years of dedicated service.
• Chief Superintendent Victor Olisa joined the Surrey police force in 1982 and went on to become Head of Diversity at the Metropolitan Police.
• Born in Nigeria, Mr Olisa lived in Egham for three years whilst studying biochemistry at Royal Holloway before completing his 10-week police training course.

A step backwards in the name of truth:
• Lawyers have applied to the coroner to reopen the inquests of victims of the 1974 bombing of the Horse and Groom pub in Guildford.
• The bombings were connected to the IRA, and killed 5 people and injured 65
• Four people were wrongly convicted and served 15 years in prison before being released.
• The Surrey coroner’s office has said it will consider the request to continue the inquests.

The devoted Horse and Groom pub in North Street

In National News:

A problem in politics or ‘political smears’?
• Theresa May’s most senior minister has denied the claim that pornography was discovered on his computer during a raid of his Westminster office in 2008.
• First Secretary of State Damian Green tweeted saying the claims of ex-police chief Bob Quick are “from a tainted and untrustworthy source.”
• Mr Quick said he would take part in an inquiry and “stood” by the claim.
• These allegations have emerged at a time of particular concern for MPs.
• Both the Labour and Conservative party have been hit by fresh allegations of sexual harassment and assault, with the Conservative MP Charlie Elphicke suspended from the party, and Labour MP Clive Lewis facing new allegations of groping a party activist at the Labour Party conference.

Paradise Papers: Tax-haven secrets of the ultra-rich exposed:
• £10 million of the Queen’s private money was invested in offshore accounts, according to the leaked Paradise Papers.
• The documents show that the money was invested in funds in the Cayman islands and Bermuda.
• Many other famous figures have been shown by the paradise papers to have had offshore accounts, including Lord Ashcroft, a former conservative party deputy chairman.

Met Police open investigates against actor Kevin Spacey:
• Met Police have announced they’ve opened an investigation into Kevin Spacey, following Sexual Assault allegations made against him during his time as artistic director of the Old Vic Theatre in London.
• Entertainment company Netflix has also severed ties with Kevin Spacey, star of its House of Cards show, amid a number of sex assault allegations against him.
• The company has also said it would not release Spacey’s film about writer Gore Vidal.

Netflix is set to hold talks with the producers of House of Cards to see if the show can continue without Spacey

In International News:

Texas church shooting leaves at least 26 dead:

  • At least 26 people have died after a mass shooting at a church in Texas in the United States on Sunday 5th
  • A gunman opened fire during a service at first Baptist church in Sutherland Springs and is reported to have been killed in the aftermath.
  • It is the worst mass shooting in the history of Texas.
  • The shooting comes just a month after a gunman in Las Vegas opened fire on an outdoor music festival, killing 58 people and wounding hundreds in the deadliest mass shooting in recent US history.

Typhoon Damrey descends on southern Vietnam:
• At least 27 people have been killed by Typhoon Damrey in Vietnam.
• This typhoon has wreaked havoc on southern and central Vietnam leaving 27 people dead and over 20 missing.
• Weather experts say it is the most destructive storm in decades to hit the area.

With wind speeds up to 90km/h the storm made many roads impassable or dangerous

Weekly News Update

This week the News Team covered: the Americanisation of Black History Month; climate change and Storm Brian; the allegations against Harvey Weinstein and finished with fake news. To listen to the show you can visit our Mixcloud where you can hear interviews on the Austrian elections that we ran out of time to discuss on air. Follow us on twitter to keep updated throughout the week!

In National News:

Heathrow security threat
• Heathrow Airport says it has launched an internal investigation after a USB stick containing security information was reportedly found on the street.
• The USB stick reportedly contained 76 folders with maps, videos and documents, including details of measures used to protect the Queen.
• Some files disclosed the types of ID needed to access restricted areas, a timetable of security patrols and maps pinpointing CCTV cameras.
• One document highlighted recent terror attacks and talked about the type of threat the airport could face.
• The statement from the airport said Heathrow’s “top priority” was the safety and security of passengers and staff.

Has society become desensitised to sexual harassment in the workplace?
• Half of British Women and a fifth of men have been sexually harassed at work, a BBC survey says.
• The ComRes poll for BBC Radio 5 live spoke to more than 2000 people and was commissioned in response to the recent allegations made against Harvey Weinstein.
• The results of the survey show that more than a quarter of the people questioned had suffered harassment in the form of inappropriate jokes and nearly one in seven had suffered inappropriate touching.

Gina Miller named UK’s most influential black person
• Businesswoman Gina Miller has been named as Britain’s most influential black person.
• The 52-year-old led the successful Brexit legal challenge which ruled parliament had to vote on whether Theresa May could trigger Article 50.
• Ms Miller topped the 2018 Powerlist of 100 people, which recognises those of African and African Caribbean heritage.
• British Vogue editor Edward Enninful and grime artist Stormzy have also been included in this year’s list.
• Those named were decided by an independent panel – including former High Court judge Dame Linda Dobbs and former Apprentice winner Tim Campbell. They rated nominees on their “ability to change lives and alter events”.

Gina Miller outside the high court in central London.

Drivers of older, more polluting vehicles will have to pay almost twice as much to drive in central London.
• Mayor Sadiq Khan’s £10 T-Charge, which mainly applies to diesel and petrol vehicles registered before 2006, has come into force. It covers the same area as the existing congestion charge zone, bumping up the cost to £21.50 for those affected. Opponents said the scheme would “disproportionately penalise London’s poorest drivers”.
• The measure is the latest attempt by Mr Khan to improve air quality in the capital and according to the mayor’s office, will affect 34,000 motorists a month.

In International News:

Catalonia independence: Huge pro-Spain rally in Barcelona
• Spain poised to strip Catalan Government of powers after their push for independence.
• The Senate in Madrid are set to vote on imposing direct rule after the catalan government refuse to leave the drive for independence.
• The Catalan parliament will meet in Barcelona where it will consider a declaration of independence.
• A major rally calling for Spanish unity is starting in Barcelona a day after Catalonia was stripped of its autonomy for declaring independence.
• Many of those protesting in the region’s largest city brought signs calling for sacked Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont to be jailed.
• Mr Puigdemont was dismissed as Spain’s central government took control of Catalan institutions.
• Downing Street has announced that the UK will not recognise Catalan’s declaration of independence as their vote for independence has been declared illegal by Spanish courts.
• In contrast, the Scottish government has said they respect Catalan’s position and that they should have the right to determine their own future.

Demonstrators were keen to reflect not all Catalonia backed independence.

New Zealand’s youngest female Prime Minister
• Jacinda Ardern has become New Zealand’s youngest female Prime Minister after forming a centre left coalition government between the Labour Party, of which she is the leader, and New Zealand First.
• The coalition will also be supported by the green party.
• In the elections held in September, in which Labour came second, no party was able to secure a majority.
• This will be Labour’s first time in government since November 2008

Two most-wanted Isil militants in south-east Asia killed in Philippines

  • Muslim Extremist and Separatist rebels in the Philippines have taken a significant blow in their fight, this week when their leader Isnilon Hapilon died.
  • Omar Maute, leader of the Isil-linked Maute group, was also killed during a final push to retake the southern Muslim city of Marawi, which has been besieged by Islamist militants since May.

Can advances in technology save animals?
• A drone company has announced they are watching over endangered wildlife in game reserves in Southern Africa.
• In 2015 poachers killed 20,000 African elephants and 1,300 rhinos. Poachers tend to operate at night, making it hard to catch them.
• However, the drones are equipped to see in the dark, allowing the company to remain vigilant.
• So far, the company have proved that having drones hovering over areas reduces poaching massively, and in some cases – altogether.

In Sports News:

Antony Joshua remains undefeated following Takam victory
• The British WBA and IBF heavyweight champion built on his April win over Wladimir Klitschko by stopping Takam in 10 rounds.
• Following his success in the fight Joshua targeted Deontay Wilder and Joseph Parker.
• “I want the other two belts out there, whether it’s Wilder first or Parker.”

Anthony Joshua stopped Carlos Takam in the 10th round to defend his WBA and IBF world heavyweight titles.

Fifa has shown it does not care about the women’s game by naming a little-known striker on its female player-of-the-year shortlist, World Cup-winner Megan Rapinoe says.
• The nominees are US midfielder Carli Lloyd, Dutch forward Lieke Martens and Venezuelan Deyna Castellanos, 18, who does not play in a professional league.
• “The award just doesn’t hold a lot of weight when you’ve got someone on the list I’ve never heard of,” said USA’s Rapinoe, who has 127 caps and won 2012 Olympic gold and the 2015 World Cup.

Weekly News Update

To be part of the Insanity News community follow us on twitter, @InsanityNews and join the conversation! Next week’s What A Week will air Thursday 26th at 6pm. We’ll hear what the public think of: the Austrian elections, the allegations of sexual assault and harassment against Harvey Weinstein, the extreme weather conditions sweeping the globe and Black History Month.


In National News:

How are the government tackling the increasing number of acid attack?

  • The Home Office has suggested that people who are caught carrying acid in public twice should face a mandatory 6-month prison sentence.
  • 408 attacks were carried out between November 2016 and April 2017, of which around 21% were carried out by under 18s.
  • Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary, pledged to ban the sale of acid to anyone younger than 18 at the Conservative Conference at the beginning of the month.

Ophelia disrupts Irish schooling

  • Winds of more than 70mph and heavy rain hit Scotland and England as remnants of Hurricane Ophelia hit the UK earlier this week.
  • All schools in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland were closed at the beginning of the week.
  • Three were killed in the storm.

Storm Brian: Gale-force winds and high seas hit the UK coast

  • Storm Brian hit the UK on Saturday reaching gusts of 80mph in some areas.
  • There are red and amber flood warnings in much of northern England and people are urged to ‘take immediate action.’
  • There are also flood warnings in the South West and Wales, while the south of England and London are under yellow wind warnings.
  • The storm comes only days after Hurricane Ophelia.

‘No one puts fire safety in the corner’

  • A fire safety video released by Kent’s Fire and Rescue Service has gone viral after featuring a parody of the film Dirty Dancing.
  • Fire fighters say they want people to have the time of their lives every week by checking their smoke alarms regularly.
Watch the video here.

In International News:

Former presidents have voiced concerns over the current political climate in the US

  • Barack Obama urged Americans to reject the politics of ‘division’ and ‘fear’, while George W. Bush criticised ‘bullying and prejudice’ in public life.
  • Although neither mentioned President Trump by name the comments have been seen by some as a veiled rebuke of Donald Trump’s leadership.

Anger over Donald Trump’s UK crime tweet

  • US President has been accused of fuelling hate crime.
  • In a tweet Trump claimed a rise in crime rates in the UK is linked to ‘radical Islamic terror’ although the figures refer to all crimes.
  • Ex-Labour leader Ed Miliband responded to the tweet calling Trump ‘a moron’.

WHO cancels Robert Mugabe goodwill ambassador role

  • The World Health Organisation has revoked Robert Mugabe’s Goodwill Ambassadorship.
  • Critics recently indicated that Zimbabwe’s healthcare system collapsed under Mugabe’s 30-year rule, with staff often going without pay and medicines being in short supply.
  • The Head of WHO, Mr Tedros, said this decision was made in collaboration with the Zimbabwean government.

In Sports News:

Colin Kaepernick has filed a lawsuit against NFL team owners he believes are conspiring not to hire him because of his protests against racial injustice

  • Kaepernick, 29, has been without a team since he opted out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers in March.
  • He first protested by sitting during the national anthem in August 2016, before opting to kneel instead.
  • Other players followed suit, and criticism from President Donald Trump this September saw the protests spread.

The Football Association is to investigate England women’s coach Lee Kendall’s alleged ‘unacceptable behaviour towards Eni Aluko’

  • The announcement comes a day after the FA apologised to striker Aluko for racially discriminatory remarks by former England boss Mark Sampson.
  • Nigeria-born Aluko accused goalkeeping coach Kendall of speaking to her in a fake Caribbean accent.

The Weekly News Update

To keep up to date with all things news worthy follow us on twitter, @InsanityNews. You can also listen to our fortnightly news show What A Week Thursdays 6pm! If you missed this week’s show you can listen back on our Mixcloud. For quick news updates on the go; tune in at 12pm and 7pm daily for our bulletins.

In National News

What Would ‘no Brexit deal’ Look Like?

  • Transport Secretary Chris Grayling announced that British farmers would produce more food themselves in the event of a no trade deal post Brexit.
  • Grayling’s comments are a response to industry claims that a no-Brexit deal could result in an average 22% tariff on all EU food bought by British retailers.
  • However, Grayling argues that a no-Brexit deal would force the British market to rethink.
  • It would force self-sustainability as supermarkets would buy more from home, benefitting British farmers.
  • This poses the risk of internal competitiveness and domestic producers could increase prices of household items.
  • Elsewhere, Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond called the EU’s Brexit negotiators ‘the enemy’ which he has since described as ‘a poor choice of words.’
  • Earlier this week, Hammond was also criticised by a former chancellor for trying to sabotage negotiation talks.

Government Criticised over Universal Credit System.

  • The Government continues to face criticism from both Labour and Conservative MP’s with regards to the Universal Credit system.
  • The system aims to replace a series of current in and out of work benefits with a single benefits payment.
  • Controversy surrounds the rollout due to a series of errors and flaws. This includes a delay of up to 6 weeks for people moved onto the new system, resulting inability to pay rent and afford food.
  • Pressure on the Government has increased as Labour announces it has secured a vote on Universal Credit. A sizeable group of Conservative MP’s have indicated they will defy the Party and vote alongside Labour.

There’s a Storm Ahead:

  • The Met Office has announced an amber wind warning as 90 mph winds head towards the UK and North Ireland as category 3 Hurricane Ophelia approaches.
  • The peak of the winds will be on Monday between 3pm and 10pm, particularly affecting western parts of the UK.
  • The high temperatures over the weekend and the beginning of the forthcoming week are a result of Hurricane Ophelia forcing the warm air towards the UK.
  • The Republic of Ireland’s Met Office has issued a red warning for Wexford, Galway, Mayo, Clare, Cork, Kerry, Limerick and Waterford.
Hurricane Ophelia news
Hurricane Ophelia approaching the UK CREDIT: EPA/NASA

In International News:

Austria Set To Elect The World’s Youngest Leader.

  • Sebastian Kurz served as Europe’s youngest-ever foreign minister, aged just 27.
  • Now aged 31, Mr Kurz is the leader of Austria’s conservative People’s Party, who are set to win the country’s general election.
  • Projections suggest they are set to win more than 31% but it is unclear which party will finish second.
  • Mr Kurz has focused his campaign on immigrant issues. He pledges to: shut down migrant routes to Europe, cap benefit payments to refugees, and bar immigrant benefits until they have lived in Austria for 5 years.
  • If Mr Kurz succeeds in the election he will be the world’s youngest national leader.

Trump Denounces Iran Nuclear Deal.

  • President Trump has announced he will not certify the Iran nuclear deal, alongside a review into the effectiveness of such a deal.
  • This has drawn significant criticism globally, with other countries pointing to the fact that an independent committee has found no evidence that Iran is attempting to bypass the conditions of the agreement.
  • The EU has stated that the US is not the only signatory to the Iran deal, and that they will continue to uphold the agreement in full.
Donald Trump news
Donald Trump’s speech on Iran included misleading and false claims. CREDIT: REX/Shutterstock/Rex/Shutterstock

Most Fatal Wildfires In Californian History Continue To Blaze.

  • Wildfires in California means the number of deceased continues to rise.
  • With 40 people dead and hundreds still missing, the six days of wildfires in the American state has been called ‘one of its greatest tragedies.’
  • Over 10,000 fire firefighters, 880 fire engines, 134 bulldozers and 14 helicopters continue to battle the 16 remaining blazes.
  • The fires spread so quickly and are so difficult to control because of the following reasons:
  • California had its hottest summer on record with less than 25% rainfall. This dried out vegetation, making it more  susceptible to wildfire.
  • The ‘Diablo Winds’ provided winds up to 70 mph which spread the flames faster than firefighters could tackle them.
  • California’s growing population meant that homes and other structures are increasingly built in ‘very high severity’ zones that are close to areas of woodland.

Terror Attack in Somalia

  • A bomb attack in the Somali capital Mogadishu on Saturday is now known to have killed at least 230 people.
  • It is the deadliest terror attack in the area since the Islamist al-Shabab group launched its insurgency in 2007.
  • It is not clear who staged the bombing, but Mogadishu is a target for al-Shabab militants battling against the government.
Civilians evacuating from Somalian explosion news
Civilians evacuate from the scene of the Somalian explosion CREDIT: REUTERS/FEISAL OMAR

In Entertainment News:

UK and New York Police Are Investigating a Number of Sexual Assault Allegations Involving Producer Harvey Weinstein.

  • The Metropolitan Police say he is accused of assaulting three women in separate incidents in London between the late 1980s and 2015. However, no arrests have been made.
  • The Hollywood film producer has ‘unequivocally denied’ any allegations of non-consensual sex.
  • More than twelve women – among them actresses Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, Rose McGowan and Cara Delevingne – have made accusations against him.
  • Weinstein has received more than 300 Oscar nominations and won 81.
  • Yet, on Saturday 14th October, the organisation behind the Oscars voted to expel Weinstein.
  • Weinstein’s wife, Georgina Chapman, has announced she has left the movie mogul following growing ‘unforgivable’ claims of sexual assault.
Harvey Weinstein and wife Georgina Chapman news
Harvey Weinstein and his fashion designer wife Georgina Chapman CREDIT: DANNY MOLOSHOK/REUTERS

General Election 8th June

On the 18th April 2017 Theresa May announced a snap election. On the 8th of June polls opened to the British public, allowing them to select a party to led us into the future of a nation away from the European Union.

May believed that the Conservative Party were in a position of strength that would win them a majority. Thus, she believed that she would have a better hand for negotiating a Brexit deal. However, the election resulted in a hung parliament, whereby no party received a majority. The Conservatives were the largest party but failed to achieve the 326 seats required for a majority government. The Conservatives lost 13 seats. Labour gained 30 seats. SNP lost 21 seats. The Liberal Democrats gained 4 seats. The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) gained 2.


Notable Events of the Election Results:

  • Paul Nuttell stepped down as UKIP leader after the Party failed to win any seats.
  • Alex Salmond, who served as First Minister of Scotland from 2007 to 2014 lost his seat to the Conservative candidate.
  • Former Liberal Democrat leader nick Clegg lost his seat in Sheffield Hallam to the Labour candidate.
  • After a third recount, it was announced that labour had taken the Kensington seat from the Tories for the first time since the creation of the constituency in 1974.


What Happened After the Results were Announced?

Theresa May visited Buckingham Palace at 12:30 BST on the 9th of June to request permission to form a minority government. After prominent parties stayed true to their pre-election statements of not forming coalitions with the Conservatives, Theresa May turned to the DUP.


Any Questions:

More than 1600 people requested tickets to the BBC’s Any Questions scheduled on the 9th of June. However, only 300 were able to get tickets. The panel consisted of Jon Ashworth (Labour MP for Leicester South), Brandon Lewis (MP for Great Yarmouth), Tim Montgomerie (writer for The Times and creator of the ConservativeHome website) and Polly Toynbee (columnist for The Guardian and supporter of the labour Party).


Noteworthy Moments:

  • Brandon Lewis supported Theresa May’s decision to call for a snap election and even deemed it ‘necessary.’ He showed full support for May’s administration but also displayed hesitancy towards a DUP coalition.
  • Conservative Tim Montgomerie denounced Theresa May and her ‘failed vision’ of a new Conservative Party. Montgomerie stated that the Prime Minister and her advisers had made a mistake in calling the snap election without a manifesto. The political activist even went as far as to call for her to step down. Most memorable of the event was Montgomerie’s prediction for another election in the near future.
  • Jon Ashworth called the post-election Conservatives ‘weak and unstable’. Ashworth also stressed his concerns about the potential of a Conservative-DUP coalition. Ashworth stated that the uncertainty of this coalition was worrying but more importantly that the DUP did not represent the people of his constituency in Leicester South. Ashworth announced that at least with the 2010 Cameron-Clegg coalition the British public knew ‘what they were getting’ as the Liberal Democrat candidates had campaigned in his constituency and across the UK with a manifesto. However, Ashworth emphasised that DUP did not.
  • Polly Toynee commended Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn for his success in gaining seats and in the party’s appeal to youths, despite the demonization in the press.


To hear the opinions of the Labour, Liberal Democrat and Green Party candidates listen on the Insanity Radio News Mixcloud.
Disclaimer: All candidates from the Runnymede and Weybridge Constituency were invited to the Big Debate on Friday 26th May and to an interview with Insanity Radio afterwards. However, the Conservative candidate was unable to stay for the interview and the UKIP candidate could not attend either.

A Conversation with Sir Ben Kingsley

Tuesday 6th, Royal Holloway were fortunate enough to host a conversation with Oscar, Grammy, BAFTA and Golden Globe winner, Sir Ben Kingsley. His talent and popularity was shown in both the waiting list for the event and the number of individuals who brought books and films for Sir Ben to autograph at the meet and greet afterwards.

Despite, his overwhelming success with the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) and later within the film industry, Kingsley maintained an air of humbleness. Frequently, Sir Ben thanked his early work with the RSC for all the opportunities it provided him with. He then stayed to meet fans and answer any questions he had.

Kingsley’s acting career is immensely diverse; ranging from Shakespeare’s Twelfth night, the psychological thriller Shutter Island, Marvel’s Iron Man 3, his lead role in Gandhi and many more. However, the event hosted by Professor Robert Eaglestone and Professor Barry Langford, both members of Royal Holloway’s Holocaust Research Institute, focused on Kingsley’s involvement in the representation of the Holocaust. The night looked at his roles as Otto Frank in Anne Frank: The Whole Story and as Itzhak Stern in Schindler’s List, amongst others.

The Debate Over Representing the Holocaust

There is significant debate regarding whether it is moral or appropriate to attempt to portray the Holocaust on film. It is possible to accurately depict the horrors experienced? Will it desensitise us to human atrocities? How will Holocaust survivors feel about their stories being retold?

Originally, I too was amongst these skeptics. However, the Conversion with Ben Kingsley event began to reform my opinions. Perhaps with the right production, cast and research it would be possible, and an important tool in reminding forthcoming generations how important remembering the Holocaust is.
For me, the most harrowing part of the evening came from an anecdote Sir Ben told. Whilst filming Anne Frank: The Whole Story, a close friend of Otto Frank surprised Kingsley on set. After watching some of the filming his visitor commended Sir Ben Kingsley for bringing his dear friend to life. It was with the utmost sympathy, respect and caution that Kingsley approached his roles within Holocaust media.

In particular, his close relationship with Holocaust survivor and Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal, allowed him to provide an authentic, emotional and personal portrayal in Murderers Among Us: The Simon Wiesenthal Story.

Overall, the event was eye-opening and incredibly engaging. I heard nothing but praise for the actor and the event at the reception afterwards.

For further information on upcoming events look on Royal Holloway Holocaust Research Institute’s website or the Royal Holloway events page.