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The WeekThe Week

The Week V. 1215

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


9 min.
the main stories… …and how they were covered

What happened The breakaway group Britain witnessed the most significant party split in a generation on Monday when seven MPs resigned en bloc from Labour. The seven politicians, who include Chuka Umunna and Luciana Berger, quit over the culture of “bullying and bigotry” within Labour, and over the leadership’s reluctance to back another EU referendum. The party, they said, had been “hijacked by the machine politics of the hard-left” and become “institutionally anti-Semitic”. The breakaway group – who were subsequently joined by an eighth Labour MP and three Tory MPs – will sit in the Commons as independents. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said he was “disappointed” by the departures, but his deputy Tom Watson went further, describing it as a “wake-up call” for a party that had succumbed to a “virulent form of…

1 min.
the week

According to The Sunday Times, the Duchess of Sussex supports a campaign by academics and students to “decolonise the curriculum”. She wants to see a greater concentration on black and female thinkers. When told on a visit to City University in London that most British professors are white men she reportedly said: “Oh my God.” Similarly, the Office for Students is recommending that undergraduate courses decolonise the curriculum by addressing the way in which its values “perpetuate white westernised hegemony and position anything non-European and non-white as inferior”. To Melanie Phillips, writing in The Times, this is “Marxist gibberish”. How idiotic to dethrone “the greatest and most influential thinkers in Western culture simply because they were white men”, and to inflate the worth and influence of lesser thinkers “simply because…

6 min.

Controversy of the week The Isis bride Seen from one angle, the short life of Shamima Begum is “the saddest story”, said Philip Collins in The Times. Aged only 19, she has “suffered the unspeakable tragedy” of seeing two young children die of illness and malnutrition. She has fled “a brutal battlefield”; her husband has been captured by enemy soldiers; last week, she gave birth to a third child in a refugee camp. “Yet it is all but impossible to feel sorry for her.” Begum is one of three girls who left Bethnal Green in east London in 2015 to join Islamic State in Syria. And when discovered by a Times journalist in the Al-Hol refugee camp in eastern Syria last week, she had clearly “not yet reached a state of repentance”.…

4 min.
europe at a glance

Munich, Germany Cracks showing: The fracturing alliance between the US and Europe – and in particular between the US and Germany – was laid bare at last weekend’s Munich security conference. Held annually since 1963, the gathering of world leaders and security officials has traditionally worked to strengthen the alliance. However, Chancellor Angela Merkel won an ovation for a speech in which she decried US unilateralism, attacked its policies on Iran, Syria and Afghanistan, and mocked its trade protectionism. The same audience then listened in silence to US vice-president Mike Pence as he lauded President Trump and implied that if Europeans do not follow the US in withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal, they are de facto anti-Semites who may be complicit in “another Holocaust”. Analysts say the event marked a…

7 min.
the world at a glance

Chicago, Illinois Doubts over assault: Police in Chicago want to re-interview a well-known TV actor, Jussie Smollett (pictured), following claims that he staged a hate-crime assault on himself. Smollett, 36, a gay actor from the TV drama Empire, reported that he had been assaulted on 29 January by two masked men who screamed homophobic and racist abuse. Police arrested two Nigerian brothers they identified from surveillance footage; one was Smollett’s personal trainer and the other a TV extra who had appeared on Empire. Sources told CBS in Chicago that Smollett allegedly paid the pair $3,500 to stage the attack – a claim he strongly denies. Washington DC Treason claim: President Trump has accused Andrew McCabe, the former acting chief of the FBI, and Rod Rosenstein, his own deputy attorney general, of “treason” over…

3 min.

Attenborough’s first break David Attenborough didn’t even get an interview when, in 1950, he applied for a job with BBC Radio, says Gideon Rachman in the FT. But soon after, he received a letter from a different BBC department. “It said something like, ‘We’ve got this new thing called television. Would you be interested?’” Within months, he was producing programmes on everything from politics to knitting. “Then I discovered that someone from the zoo was going on an expedition to collect animals, and I thought, ‘Great – let’s try that!’” The result was his first wildlife documentary, Zoo Quest. “The quality of those films we made in the 1950s now looks terrible. But nobody in Britain then had seen an armadillo. Nobody!... All you had to be was marginally competent.” Moira Stuart’s…