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The WeekThe Week

The Week V. 1213

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 Back to the backstop Theresa May travelled to Belfast and Brussels this week as part of her ongoing effort to salvage her Brexit deal. The purpose of the first trip was to offer fresh reassurance about the Government’s commitment to avoiding a hard border on the island of Ireland. The second trip was intended to seek late changes to the exit deal that might help her get it through Parliament. In a vote last week, MPs instructed her to replace with “alternative arrangements” its most contentious element: the backstop plan under which the UK would remain bound to the EU customs union unless a trade deal is reached that keeps the soft border in Ireland. Although the German leader Angela Merkel said the “riddle” of the Irish border could be solved…

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the week

America’s journalists are having a rough time at the moment (see page 16), but they can count themselves lucky in one respect. At least, unlike their British counterparts, they don’t have to constantly write about Brexit. This issue has, for understandable reasons, exerted a relentless grip on the UK’s news agenda, leaving the press desperate for other, more accessible stories to run. Hence the glee with which hacks seized on the recent cold snap. The media, which even at the best of times loves to discuss the weather and run dramatic photos of snowy landscapes, milked the opportunity for all it was worth. The Daily Express was particularly enthusiastic. “SNOWBOMB HELL UNLEASHED,” shrieked its front cover last Friday; “Met Office warns of ‘risk to life’ as Britain freezes.” The hype about…

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Controversy of the week The battle for Venezuela “No nation in the western hemisphere is worse-governed than Venezuela,” said The Times. Nicolás Maduro’s regime has presided over a decline of 40% in real incomes per head over the past five years; inflation runs at more than 1,000,000%. Venezuelans are malnourished and lack simple medicines. Maduro’s misrule is “sustained by repression and fraud” – last year’s presidential election was a “charade” – and has created a huge refugee crisis. Three million of the country’s 32 million people have emigrated. The US and most Latin American nations have recognised the opposition leader Juan Guaidó’s claim to be the head of state (constitutionally, as the head of the national assembly, he becomes interim president in the absence of a legitimate alternative). Last week, Britain joined…

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europe at a glance

Paris Police rapists: Two French police officers – both former members of an elite anti-gang unit – have been found guilty of raping a Canadian tourist at the headquarters of the Paris police in 2014, and sentenced to seven years in prison. The officers were out drinking with colleagues when they met their victim, Emily Spanton, in a bar, then invited her back to 36 Quai des Orfèvres (the French equivalent of Scotland Yard). There, they led her to a fifth-floor office, where they forced her to drink whisky and then raped her. Spanton testified that she had been raped by three men, and a third DNA sample was found on her underwear, but the third attacker has never been identified. Antoine Quirin and Nicolas Redouane claimed that Spanton had consented…

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the world at a glance

Washington DC State of the Union: President Trump used his State of the Union address this week to announce his second summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, to take place in Vietnam on 27-28 February. In the speech themed “Choosing Greatness”, he also reiterated his intention to build a wall on the US-Mexico border, and warned that “ridiculous partisan investigations” could damage the “economic miracle” being wrought in the US. Afterwards, Nancy Pelosi, the Democrat leader of the House, tweeted that: “It will take days to fact-check all the misrepresentations that [the president] made.” Separately, Trump faced renewed criticism of his work ethic, after leaked documents revealed that more than half his working day is taken up with unstructured “executive time”. The right-wing commentator Ann Coulter (who has grown disillusioned by…

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The birth of the 007 theme It’s hard to imagine a James Bond film without Bond’s signature theme; but Monty Norman didn’t write it for 007, says Adam Luck in The Mail on Sunday. In 1962, Cubby Broccoli asked Norman to write the score for Dr. No, and paid for him to fly to Jamaica, where it was being filmed, to find inspiration. There, he met Sean Connery, and watched Ursula Andress walking out of the sea, singing his song, Underneath the Mango Tree. “She looked unbelievable, but was singing poorly in this broad Germanic accent. In the end, my wife sang and it was dubbed.” The trip was productive, but a theme tune still eluded him – until he remembered a song he’d composed years earlier for a musical based…