Top Stories: Week Beginning 10th December


May’s Brexit deal is likely to be rejected by Parliament

On Tuesday, Parliament will vote on the Brexit deal presented by Theresa May. If rejected, which is seeming increasingly likely, it is uncertain whether the EU will continue to negotiate. While the former EU politician Romano Prodi insists that negotiations in Brussels will and must continue, the EU has insisted that negations will end. At the present, it seems as if the UK is facing a “no deal or no Brexit” if the deal is rejected.

Body of Grace Millane found

New Zealand will charge a 26-year-old man with the murder of the British backpacker Grace Millane, whose body was found in Auckland last week. The woman was last seen on December 1st with a male companion who is now being charged with murder. Grace’s family in Essex are currently mourning over the loss of their “lovely, outgoing daughter”. The murder has caused some unrest in the backpacking community, questioning the safety of solo travelling.

Paris on lockdown

Violent protests in Paris continue and have led to some parts of Paris being put on lockdown to control protests made by the extremist group the ‘gilets jaunes’. The riots are focused on the new eco-tax on petrol and diesel, which is hard-hitting on those living in areas with poor public transport. The riots, however, have splintered out to include lower taxes and higher pensions. Meanwhile, the “real gilets jaunes” have been holding peaceful protests to attempt to bring change, although this is seeming less effective than the violent extremist riots.

First woman wins Ballon d’Or football award

The Norwegian player Ada Hegerberg became the first winner of the most prestigious individual football award, the Ballon d’Or. She believed that this was “an amazing night for women”, and is continuing to encourage women to fight for equality in the world of sports. Her success was shadowed by an offensive joke made by the host, asking her if she could twerk, to which she calmly replied “no”. She will not be playing in the World Cup in France next summer in protest to the lack of effort made by the Norwegian Football Federation to women’s football.

Mueller investigation continues

 Trump responded to the court filings produced by former FBI director Robert Mueller by tweeting: “AFTER TWO YEARS AND MILLIONS OF PAGES OF DOCUMENTS (and a cost of over $30,000,000), NO COLLUSION!”. Mueller has produced evidence which has led to the closest connection to Russian involvement in the 2016 elections. The allegations focus on the violation of campaign finance laws of Michael Cohen, Michael Flynn, and Paul Manafort. While the conclusion is very uncertain, Trump is close to being charged with criminal misconduct.

China launches mission to send rover to far side of moon

Chinese media states that they have launched the Chang’e-4 mission to send the first robotic craft to the far side of the moon. The far-side of the moon has a thicker crust with more craters and is never seen from earth due to the “tidal-locking” effect. The landing will happen in January. The mission hopes to examine solar wind and will carry 3kg of potato and arabidopsis plant seeds for a biological experiment investigating photosynthesis and respiration on the moon.