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The WeekThe Week

The Week V. 1198

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 May’s Brexit impasse Theresa May headed to Brussels on Wednesday for what had been billed as a decisive Brexit summit, with the UK and the EU still deadlocked over the issue of the Irish border. Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, said he saw “no grounds for optimism” that the two sides could agree the terms of a “backstop” to ensure that there is no hard border in Ireland after Brexit. In the absence of a deal allowing frictionless trade, the EU wants Northern Ireland to stay in the EU customs union and its single market for goods; the UK has rejected that, since it would create a border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK. On Sunday, former Brexit secretary David Davis urged the Cabinet to…

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the week

Some are ready to die for their religious beliefs; others, as we know too well, to kill for them. But to kill yourself, and possibly others, on behalf of a political theorem designed to take the heat and hatred out of politics? Surely not. Yet that’s precisely what 56-year-old New Yorker Paul Rosenfeld was set on doing last week before the FBI arrested him. By detonating a 200lb bomb on election day on the National Mall in Washington, he hoped to draw the world’s attention to sortition: the system, favoured by the ancient Athenians, of choosing political representatives by lot. In short, democracy by lottery. Rosenfeld, of course, may have been deranged, but there is nothing deranged about the idea of sortition. We only think there is because we assume elections…

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Controversy of the week A Tory welfare nightmare When two former prime ministers from different parties say you are facing a “poll tax moment”, you know you’ve a crisis on your hands, said James Kirkup in The Daily Telegraph. People took to the streets after Margaret Thatcher introduced the hated poll tax, and they’ll do so again, warned Sir John Major and Gordon Brown last week, if the Tories don’t do more to rescue their core welfare policy. Universal credit (UC) is the brainchild of Iain Duncan Smith, who launched it in 2013 when he was works and pensions secretary. IDS wanted to bring “fairness and simplicity” to the social security system by amalgamating six different benefits (jobseeker’s and work allowances, income support, housing benefit, working tax credit and child tax credit)…

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spirit of the age

The student union at the University of Kent has issued new guidelines – designed to ensure that the campus is a safe and inclusive space – stating which costumes students can, and cannot, wear to fancy dress parties. Among those they are told to avoid are cowboys, Crusaders, Nazis, priests and nuns, Islamic State bombers, Native Americans and disgraced celebrities such as Harvey Weinstein. Deemed acceptable are cave people, medics, aliens, the United Nations, and Ancient Greeks and Romans. The Wellcome Collection museum has apologised for adopting the term “womxn” to refer to women and gender-nonconforming people. Its critics had pointed out that nobody calls men “mxn”.…

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good week for:

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who announced that they are expecting their first child. Harry and Meghan are said to have told their families the news last week, but to have delayed making it public so as not to overshadow the wedding of Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank (see page 20). The baby, who will be seventh in line to the throne, is due in the spring. Potheads, after Canada became the second country in the world, after Uruguay, to legalise cannabis for recreational use. In promising the reform, PM Justin Trudeau said one of its aims was to divert the money flowing to criminals. The country’s retail pot market is predicted to be worth C$6bn by 2020, and hundreds of businesses, from stock market-listed producers to café owners, are…

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bullying in parliament

An independent inquiry into bullying in the House of Commons has found a “pervasive” culture of harassment, in which MPs enjoy a “godlike status”, and abuse is “tolerated and concealed”. Female staffers in particular experience “frequent inappropriate touching” and are “abused in vulgar, gender-related terms”, Dame Laura Cox, a retired High Court judge, said in her report. Cox also expressed doubts that the senior House administration, including John Bercow, the Speaker (who himself has been accused of bullying), would make the changes required. Bercow (pictured) faced multiple calls to resign in the wake of the inquiry, but he reportedly plans to hang on until next summer.…