News & Politics
The Week

The Week V. 1241

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

in this issue

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

What happened Cross-party coalition call Jeremy Corbyn wrote to opposition leaders and Tory backbenchers opposed to a no-deal Brexit last week, calling on them to join Labour in a cross-party coalition to oust Boris Johnson in a no-confidence vote, and to form a “caretaker government” on a “strictly time-limited” basis. The alternative government, which he would lead, would seek “to prevent a deeply damaging no deal”, he said, by asking Brussels to extend Article 50. He would then call a general election in which Labour would campaign for a second referendum which included “an option to Remain”. But several opposition politicians, including Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson, said they would reject any plan that involved putting Corbyn in Downing Street. Swinson called instead for veteran Tory MP Ken Clarke, the Father of…

3 min.

Controversy of the week The Tory rebellion History does repeat itself, said The Guardian. Back in 1990, a savage speech by the softly-spoken former Tory chancellor Geoffrey Howe effectively brought down Margaret Thatcher. Now the savage criticism of the Government’s plans by another ex-Tory chancellor, Philip Hammond, threatens to do the same for Boris Johnson… and on “exactly the same issue”: Britain’s fractious relationship with Europe. It’s a “scandalous betrayal”, said Allister Heath in The Daily Telegraph. As chancellor, Hammond did all he could to block no-deal preparations and veto crucial Brexit spending plans. Now he is leading a tiny “caucus” of Tory MPs – including Rory Stewart and David Gauke – which, by seeking to neuter Johnson, risks handing Jeremy Corbyn the keys to No. 10, and letting Nigel Farage’s Brexit…

1 min.
spirit of the age

Women at a maternity unit in Cardiff are to be given virtual reality headsets, to ease their labour pains. For the trial, at University Hospital Wales, women will be invited to don a headset and offered a range of 360° simulations – of being on a white sand beach, watching the Northern Lights, wandering among penguins or roving on Mars. Virtual reality “distraction therapy” is already used by the NHS for pain management in some cases, and though the VR experiences last for only seven and a half minutes, the pain-relieving effects are said to last for up to 45. The student union bar at Dundee’s Abertay University is to stop selling alcohol, as today’s students tend to prefer coffee. Since 2015, the bar’s sales of alcohol have fallen by 66%.…

1 min.
bad week for

The Queen’s pharmacy, which was criticised for selling a homeopathic remedy that supposedly contains “essence” of the Berlin Wall. The potion, available from Ainsworths, is made from bits of Wall that have been ground into dust, mixed with lactose and then massively diluted. According to Dr Edzard Ernst, a critic of homeopathy, its manufacturers claim it contains a “vital force” that helps “break down walls” between people. Regional imbalance, after a report found that Londoners are on track to receive almost three times more in transport spending per person than residents of the north of England. French, with news that it is no longer the language of choice among A-level students. The most popular A-level language is now Spanish, which was taken by 8,625 students this year. The Independent Group for Change, the…

1 min.
drop in mmr vaccines

About one in seven five-year-olds about to start primary school are not fully protected against measles, mumps and rubella, due to a drop in the uptake of the MMR vaccine, Public Health England has warned. Some 30,000 children have not received the vaccine at all, and 90,000 have only had the first of two injections. Just 87% of children now get both jabs – well short of the 95% target – and the World Health Organisation has withdrawn the UK’s “measles-free” status due to outbreaks. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has urged the social media giants to do more to combat “anti-vaxx” misinformation online.…

1 min.
hs2 “go or no-go” review

The Government has launched a review into the costs and benefits of the HS2 rail link. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said a “go or no-go” decision on the £56bn plan, which has come in for heavy criticism, would be made by the end of the year. Phase one of the high-speed route from London to Birmingham is scheduled to open in 2026. Though billions have already been spent on it, Shapps refused to rule out scrapping the project. “Just because you’ve spent a lot of money on something does not mean you should plough more and more into it.”…