News & Politics
The Week

The Week V. 1287

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 Beijing’s takeover Tensions between Britain and China intensified this week when Beijing complained of “gross interference” in its domestic affairs over its treatment of Hong Kong. Liu Xiaoming, the Chinese ambassador to London, condemned in particular Britain’s offer of new visa rights and, ultimately, British citizenship to up to three million Hong Kong residents, a proposal made in response to China’s imposition last week of a draconian new security law, which penalises almost all political dissent in the former British colony. Boris Johnson described the law as a “clear and serious” breach of the 1997 treaty that returned Hong Kong to Chinese rule. The ambassador also said that Britain would have to “bear all the consequences” if it treated China as a “hostile country”, and reversed its decision to allow the…

2 min.

Controversy of the week Whacking the mole In recent months, Boris Johnson has repeatedly said that the Government is ready to play “whack-a-mole”, shutting down any area that sees a Covid-19 outbreak. Last week, Leicester “got whacked”, said The Economist. “As the rest of the country reopened”, the East Midlands city of 340,000 people closed down. Elsewhere, Bradford, Wrexham, Barnsley and Rochdale were also pushing close to 50 weekly new infections per 100,000 people; and localised outbreaks have forced the closure of a meat processing factory in south Wales and an A&E department in the PM’s own constituency in west London. “We are living through a national crisis,” said Paul Johnson in The Times, but also “a series of local crises”. There are discernible patterns. Death rates are higher in more deprived,…

1 min.
spirit of the age

Estate agents in England say they are considering replacing the term “master bedroom” with “principal” bedroom to avoid connotations of sexism and slavery. The executive chairman of Wetherell estate agent in Mayfair said he would make the change because young buyers “find any form of sexism or racism deeply offensive”. Campaigners in Wales are demanding legal protection for traditional Welsh house names. They warn that age-old names like Pen Lon (top of the lane) and Cae Mawr (big field) are being lost as homeowners adopt names that are easier for English speakers to pronounce, or (in the case of holiday lets) more appealing to tourists, such as Gingerbread Cottage, Living the Dream and Surf’s Up.…

1 min.
good week for:

Analogue radio, which was granted a reprieve. Several FM and AM commercial radio licences, including Classic FM’s, had been due to expire in the next few years; but now Ofcom will be able to renew them for another decade, provided the stations also broadcast on digital radio. Around 40% of radio listening is still to analogue stations. Jeff Bezos, with news that only a year after he signed over a quarter of his fortune to his wife, the Amazon founder is richer than ever. Bezos’s net worth was estimated at $171.6bn this week, more than the GDP of Hungary or Algeria. Bernie Ecclestone, the 89-year-old F1 billionaire, who celebrated the birth of his fourth child.…

1 min.
bad week for:

Damian Barr, the writer who’d led the call for Baroness Nicholson to be removed from her honorary position at the Booker Prize, for her “homophobic views”. (She had voted against gay marriage.) Days after he succeeded in that campaign, he was himself forced to apologise, when it emerged that he had used derogatory terms for transsexuals on Twitter, some years ago. David Starkey, who was widely condemned for making what he later acknowledged were “deplorably inflammatory” remarks in an online interview. Discussing the Black Lives Matter movement, the historian said that if slavery had amounted to genocide, “there wouldn’t be so many damn blacks in Africa or Britain” now. Within days, he had been dropped by his publisher, and resigned from his honorary post at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge.…

1 min.
magnitsky sanctions

Britain has imposed sanctions on 49 foreign citizens and organisations implicated in human rights abuses. The so-called Magnitsky sanctions, announced by Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, target 25 Russians suspected of involvement in the murder of the anti-corruption whistleblower Sergei Magnitsky in 2009; 20 Saudis involved in the 2018 murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi; two Burmese generals sanctioned for their role in persecuting Rohingya Muslims; and two North Korean security ministries. As well as asset freezes and travel bans, the sanctions include a ban on doing business with British firms. It’s the first time the UK has imposed sanctions independently of the UN or the EU.…