Although your feeds are currently dominated by Theresa May’s Brexit negotiations and Donald Trump’s Supreme-Court-approved travel ban, the news doesn’t stop there. Here are the main political talking points that may have slipped under your radar in the past few days.
Nigel Farage receives criticism following his defence of Donald Trump’s Britain First tweets
Ex-UKIP leader Nigel Farage has received backlash after his claim that politicians were overreacting to Donald Trump’s retweets of Islamophobic videos posted by far-right group, Britain First.
Farage stated all condemnation of the US president was “out of all proportion”, and was soon criticised by the likes of Labour MP David Lammy, who branded Farage as a “pound shop Enoch Powell.” Powell, a former Tory minister, was sacked in 1968 for his controversial ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech which criticised mass immigration.
Lammy posted on Twitter: “Nothing but a pound shop Enoch Powell. We fought the National Front in the ’80s and we’ll do it again.”
Embattled Roy Moore gets Trump backing
Earlier this week, President Trump fully endorsed Roy Moore – a man who is accused of sexual misconduct against teenage girls – for Alabama Senate candidacy.
“We need Republican Roy Moore to win in Alabama,” he said in a tweet, before formally endorsing Moore during a telephone call. “We need his vote on stopping crime, illegal immigration, Border Wall, Military, Pro Life, V.A., Judges 2nd Amendment and more.”
Trump’s support is at odds with a significant number of GOP representatives who severed ties with Moore weeks ago.
GQ Editor criticises cover star Jeremy Corbyn
According to British GQ Editor Dylan Jones, Jeremy Corbyn’s January/February cover shoot for the magazine was “quite torturous”.
Jones, who’s edited the magazine for just under two decades, spoke on the BBC’s Radio 4 Today programme last Friday and said that the Labour leader’s photoshoot was “as difficult as shooting any Hollywood celebrity.” He continued by stating: “We’ve shot many politicians for our cover … but never have we encountered such a ring. Obviously [Labour director of communications] Seumas Milne and his crew are very particular gate-keepers.”
It was later revealed that Jones hadn’t actually attended the interview or photoshoot, and he’s since received criticism over social media for political bias, having previously voted Tory in the past and authored a biography about David Cameron.
Airline crew see North Korea missile
Yesterday, crew onboard a Cathay Pacific flight going over Japan reported what they believed to be the re-entry of a North Korean ballistic missile into the earth’s atmosphere. Despite this, the airline said in a statement that no flight routes will be modified.
Last Wednesday, North Korea fired what is claimed to be the biggest and most powerful missile in its arsenal, the Hwasong-15 – it is reported that it can reach anywhere in the world.
Nicola Sturgeon wants ‘special’ Brexit deals
Following speculation that the UK might be prepared to accept that Northern Ireland effectively remain in the EU single market after Brexit, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said there is “no good practical reason” why Scotland shouldn’t be granted the same rights.
“While the particular circumstances in Scotland are distinct and separate from those in Ireland, today’s developments show very clearly that if one part of the UK can retain regulatory alignment with the EU and effectively stay in the single market, there is no good practical reason why others cannot do the same,” said Sturgeon.
Cabinet minister says it’s unacceptable to watch pornography at work
Yesterday, during BBC One’s The Andrew Marr Show, Education Secretary Justine Greening said it was “not acceptable” to view pornography on a workplace computer.
Such comments pile further pressure on Greening’s colleague, Damian Green, who faces allegations that “thousands” of images were found on his Commons computer.
Although Greening declined to give a direct comment on the investigation, she added that it was integral to have “high standards” in public life and that there were “clear rules for all employers” regarding pornography.
Former Catalan President has arrest warrant withdrawn
A Spanish judge has withdrawn the international arrest warrant for former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont and four of his ministers.
All five men fled to Belgium over a month ago after they declared unilateral independence for Catalonia in a referendum declared illegal by the government in Madrid.
A few hours ago, Judge Pablo LLarene said that Puigdemont and the Catalan cabinet members had shown a willingness to return to Spain and so withdrew the European Arrest Warrant (EAW). Despite this, however, Llarene said they still face possible charges for sedition and rebellion – the latter is viewed as one of the most serious crimes in Spain and those found guilty can often face a prison sentence of up to 30 years.
MI5 prevented nine terror attacks in the past year
MI5 boss Andrew Parker has told Downing Street officials that the security service intercepted nine terror attacks within the past year.
The figures have been released ahead of the publication of an investigation that aims to establish whether or not the police and security service could have prevented the five successful terror attacks in the UK this year.
Parker also told Theresa May that the defeat of IS in Syria did not mean that the terrorist threat was over.
Same-sex marriage legalised in Austria from 2019
Austria’s Constitutional Court has ruled that same-sex couples will be allowed to get married in the country from 1 January 2019.
Judges said current law, which allows same-sex couples in Austria to enter a legal partnership but not marry, is discriminatory.
The ruling comes after a case was brought to the Constitutional Court in which two women were denied the right to marry by authorities in Vienna. As a result, Austria joins the likes of many European countries such as Britain, Germany and Spain on their laws regarding this issue.
Romania’s former king, Michael I, dies at the age of 96
King Michael I, Romania’s former and final king, died in his residence in Switzerland earlier today. He was 96.
The monarch ruled Romania twice: first in the Twenties when he was just five, and then again during the Forties when he engineered the ousting of Romania’s fascist dictator Ion Antonescu during World War II, only to be forced to abdicate by the communist takeover years later in 1947. Although the cause of death hasn’t been announced, Michael was diagnosed with cancer last year.
He was one of the last surviving men who served as a head of state during the Second World War.
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