News & Politics
The Week

The Week V. 1297

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

1 min.
it wasn’t all bad

After a difficult few months during lockdown, booksellers have reported their best first week of September since records began. Almost 600 new hardbacks came out that week, many of them delayed releases from earlier in the year – prompting a rush to the shops. According to The Bookseller, sales were up 11.1% on the previous week. “We haven’t seen anything like it since Harry Potter,” Pat Booth, of the Plackitt & Booth bookshop in Lancashire, told The Guardian. The National Trust’s 200 apple orchards have had such a bumper crop this year that visitors are being offered fruit in exchange for a donation. The Trust’s orchards, which grow such rare varieties as Dog’s Snout (an old Yorkshire cooking apple), Catshead (which was widely grown in the 19th century) and Pig’s Nose…

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

What happened An outlaw government? A controversial new law that would give ministers the power to override key parts of the divorce deal signed with the EU cleared its first parliamentary hurdle this week, despite a Tory rebellion. MPs backed the Internal Market Bill by 340 votes to 263. The legislation – which Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis conceded last week would breach international law “in a very specific and limited way” – had been attacked by all five living former PMs, along with a number of Tory grandees, including Norman Lamont and Michael Howard. Boris Johnson defended the bill in the Commons, saying the powers it conferred were a vital insurance policy designed to protect the integrity of the UK in the event of a no-deal Brexit. He accused the EU of…

2 min.
shooting for the moon

“Perhaps Boris Johnson was just trying to cheer the nation up,” said The Times. The new rule of six restrictions had just been imposed last week when the PM announced Operation Moonshot, with his “trademark optimism”. This is a plan to introduce same-day mass testing by early next year: the idea, according to leaks, is that ten million people could be tested every day using only saliva samples, with the results given within 20 minutes. Even in the absence of a vaccine, this would allow normal life to resume. But in fact, “far from boosting the nation’s morale”, the announcement merely raised fresh doubts about Johnson’s “grip on the crisis”. Why? Because the cost would be vast, at around £100bn; because mass-testing on this scale is immensely complex; and, most…

1 min.
spirit of the age

Disney has launched a line of wedding dresses inspired by characters in its films and aimed at brides who want to feel like a “princess”. The dresses in the Fairy Tale Wedding Collection include ones named after Cinderella, Belle from Beauty and the Beast, Jasmine from Aladdin and Ariel from The Little Mermaid – and promise “magic in every thread”. A new trend for “space burials” – in which a loved one’s cremated remains are sent up to the heavens in a brightly coloured helium balloon – is taking off in Japan. The company behind the idea, Balloon Kobo, has so far carried out 300 of the space burials. It says the balloons reach a height of between 131,000 and 164,000 feet, before bursting and scattering the ashes.…

1 min.
bad week for:

Hilary Mantel, who failed to make the Booker Prize shortlist. The writer had been tipped by some to win her third Booker, for the final part of her Wolf Hall trilogy. The six-strong list, hailed as the most diverse ever, features four books by black and ethnic minority authors, and four by women. All but one of the nominees are either American, or currently resident in the US. The BBC, with news that 250,000 fewer TV licences were sold last year than the year before – the sharpest drop in recent history. A report said this was down to more people limiting their viewing to online services such as Netflix, and a rise in unlawful evasion. Disney, after its new live-action film Mulan failed to impress in China. Based on a Chinese…

1 min.
motorway speed limit

The speed limit on four stretches of motorway in England is to be cut to 60mph, as part of a trial scheme to reduce pollution. Highways England says the new limit will apply for at least a year, on roughly five-mile-long stretches of road where high levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO 2 ) have been recorded. These are on the M6 near Birmingham, the M1 near Rotherham, the M602 in Greater Manchester and the M5 in the West Midlands.NO 2 , released in exhaust gas, is a harmful pollutant, and an indirect contributor to climate change. If the trial is deemed a success, limits elsewhere may be reduced.…