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The WeekThe Week

The Week V. 1190

The Week covers the Best of the British and Foreign Media. With its non partisan reporting, The Week gives the reader an insight into all the the news, people, arts, drama, property, books and how the international media has reported it. This concise guide allows the reader to be up to date and have a wealth of knowledge to allow them to discuss all these key topics with their friends and peers.

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51 Issues


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the main stories… …and how they were covered

What happened Chaos in the prisons The Ministry of Justice took emergency control of HM Prison Birmingham this week following a damning inspection of the privately-run facility. Inspectors found chronic levels of drug-taking, self-harm and violence among inmates, and squalid conditions: cells were infested with rats and cockroaches; the floors of communal areas were stained with old blood and vomit. Staff at the jail, which has been run since 2011 by the contractor G4S, were locking themselves in their offices for safety, and sleeping on the job. Peter Clarke, the chief inspector of prisons for England and Wales, said he had never seen anything like it, revealing that he had been forced to retreat from one of the wings because of the intoxicating effect of the drug fumes. A new governor and extra…

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the week

The writer J.B. Priestley was a gruff northerner and legendary grumbler. His bugbears were many and various, and included conifers, afternoons (“they seem to hang about with no purpose”), motorways and dogs (“like drunken men, pestering you, pawing you”). But as his secretary recounts in a new memoir, his gloomy disposition in later years owed much to living through the Second World War: “the War had left a great melancholy in him. He referred to it often, grieving for the loss of life… feeling the immense tragedy and waste.” Nowadays we have no such excuse for gloom. As Max Hastings wrote recently in The Times, we should be grateful, most of us, to have escaped living through the War. Old men used sometimes to talk nonsense about what “wartime fun” they…

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Controversy of the week A president at bay Will Donald Trump stand for re-election? Suddenly that seems far from certain, said Jonathan Chait in New York magazine. Until now no news event, however shaming, has dented his standing with supporters. But the conviction this week of his 2016 campaign manager, Paul Manafort, on eight counts of fraud; and the guilty plea to crimes involving the president entered by Michael Cohen, until recently Trump’s personal attorney, have changed that. Trump came to office by successfully casting his opponents, indeed the entire Washington establishment, “as a corrupt oligarchy enriching itself at the public expense”. Seeing as he’d vowed to “drain the swamp”, many excused his “gross bullying racism”. But one by one, erstwhile members of his inner circle – his former national security adviser…

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spirit of the age

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra concertgoers will soon be able to have “real-time” programme notes delivered to their smart-phones during the performance. Having allayed concerns about the light of screens during trials, the RPO believes that 10% of its ticket-buyers will sign up for the EnCue app, to receive commentary “at the exact moment the action is happening onstage”. Sales of “dumb phones” – basic handsets that are not connected to the internet, and allow the user only to make calls and send texts – are on the rise as a growing number of consumers seek some respite from the digital world. Sales of the phones increased by as much as 5% last year. By contrast, those of smartphones rose only 2%.…

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good week for:

The Church of England, which has experienced a surge in the number of young people training to be priests. The latest figures for 2018 show that 169 candidates under the age of 32 have been recommended for training, compared with 128 in 2016. The Church badly needs new, young recruits, because a quarter of its paid clergy are over 60. Magritte, the Belgian surrealist, after a street in Brussels was named “Ceci n’est pas une rue” (this is not a street) in honour of his painting The Treachery of Images, aka Ceci n’est pas une pipe.…

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bad week for:

Anish Kapoor, after one of his artworks was slightly damaged when a man fell into it. Descent into Limbo is a very dark, two-and-a-half-metre-deep hole in the centre of the floor inside a concrete block. The visitor may have mistaken it for a black circle painted on the floor of the Serralves museum in Porto, Portugal. Kevin Spacey, with reports that his latest movie – made before sexual assault allegations against him began to emerge last year – took only $126 at the box office on its opening night in the US. In other words, about 14 people in total paid to see Billionaire Boys Club (in which Spacey appears in a small supporting role) in the ten cinemas in which it was showing. Jamie Oliver, who was accused of cultural appropriation…