News & Politics
The Week

The Week V. 1285

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 Independence Day? Pubs, restaurants, art galleries, cinemas, hotels and hairdressers can reopen in England from 4 July, in the latest relaxation of the lockdown rules announced by the Prime Minister this week. Boris Johnson said people should still remain two metres apart where possible, but that under a new “one-metre plus policy”, this distance could be halved where mitigation measures are in place – such as face masks or screens. All indoor hospitality will be limited to table service. Two households will be able to meet in any setting, indoors or out, provided that they maintain social distancing – so family members who live apart will not be able to hug. People will also be able to stay with friends in second homes and holiday lets. The Prime Minister said the…

2 min.

Controversy of the week Trouble at No. 10 “Well, that’s one puzzle solved,” said Michael Deacon in The Daily Telegraph. Two months ago, the Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, announced plans for a Covid-19 tracking app, allowing smartphones to communicate and alert those who had been in contact with infected people. He said it would be launched in mid-May and be “absolutely essential” to fighting the virus. Yet as the weeks went by, “the Government’s message kept mysteriously changing”. May came and went, and then we were told it was merely “the cherry on the cake” of a “world-beating” tracing system, and would appear some time later. Finally, all was revealed last week: the app didn’t work and had been scrapped. Germany, Italy and Denmark have all successfully built tracing apps on a…

1 min.
spirit of the age

Deprived of their luxury holidays abroad, wealthy Britons have been installing private pools at home during lockdown. Specialist companies say that enquiries about their pools, which cost at least £90,000, are up as much as threefold. They also report a surge of buyers looking for restaurant-quality outdoor kitchens. These can cost £60,000; some have underfloor heating. Sales of sweet treats and tea have shot up during lockdown, Waitrose reports. Searches for scones are up 510% on the same period last year, while searches for iced cupcakes are up 300% and biscuits 379%. Sales of loose leaf teas are up 10%, with tea pots up by 32%, while at John Lewis, sales of cake stands are up by 67%.…

1 min.
good week for

Game of Thrones fans, after George R.R. Martin revealed that he is making progress on the long-awaited sixth book in his A Song of Ice and Fire series, set in the kingdom of Westeros, and hopes to finish it next year. The novelist, 71, said he had been getting on well with his book in isolation in a mountain cabin. E-scooters, which could soon become ubiquitous in England. Although they are currently illegal on British roads, ministers are drawing up plans to allow e-scooter rental schemes, to help people get to work without using either public transport or cars. Theresa May, with news that despite her ignominious exit from Downing Street, she is in demand on the global lecture circuit. On leaving office, May said she wanted to do “a bit more…

1 min.
bad week for

Thrift, after Boris Johnson ordered that his official plane be painted in the colours of the Union Jack, at a cost to the taxpayer of £900,000. The RAF Voyager jet, which is also used by members of the Royal family, was previously grey. Downing Street said the “national branding” would help promote Britain abroad; Tory MPs described the expenditure as a “PR disaster”. Facebook, as Ben and Jerry’s joined a growing list of firms that are pulling their advertising from the social media giant, in response to its alleged failure to combat racist and hateful content. The North Face is among the other big brands to have signed up to the Stop Hate for Profit boycott, scheduled for July.…

1 min.
mps urge travel refunds

A cross-party group of MPs has asked the Government to “urgently intervene” to force airlines and holiday companies to pay refunds for cancelled trips. In a letter to the Department for Transport, the 30 MPs wrote that many people who were already “facing financial problems of their own” were “struggling to get the money they are owed”. Many customers have been offered vouchers, but fear they could end up with nothing if the business goes bust. MPs say companies are “openly breaking the law by refusing refunds or failing to offer one within the required period”.…