The first student-led General Election debate took place on Thursday 22nd January. Lee Dargue, prospective parliamentary candidate for the Liberal Democrats in Edgbaston, was the first of six MP’s to give a speech and answer questions from the audience.Written by Sophie Dober & Isma Azad on 29th January 2015
Redbrick on the week
Denver shooting kills 12 A shooting at a cinema complex in Aurora near Denver, Colorado left at least 12 people dead and injured 59 others early on Friday
Denver shooting kills 12
A shooting at a cinema complex in Aurora near Denver, Colorado left at least 12 people dead and injured 59 others early on Friday. A man wearing body armour and a gas mask was reported to have entered a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises and thrown tear gas before opening fire on audience members. A 24-year-old man was arrested following the incident carrying multiple firearms. Police worked on Saturday to disable and remove explosives planted at the suspect's home at an apartment complex in Aurora. Speaking in response to the incident, US President Barack Obama said, ‘Such violence, such evil, is senseless. But, while we will never know fully what causes somebody to take the live of another, we do know what makes life worth living. The people we lost in Aurora loved and they were loved.’
Home Office staff to strike
Home Office staff will strike the day before the Olympics open. Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union members will strike for 24 hours next Thursday - when many thousands of visitors are due to arrive in the UK. Immigration minister Damian Green said contingency plans were in place. The action will involve staff across the Home Office, including the UK Border Agency, the Identity and Passport Service and Criminal Records Bureau. East Midlands Trains staff have also voted to strike during the Olympics. This follows the announcement that the private sector security firm, G4S, could not provide enough security guards for the Olympics which has meant the military has been forced to step in to make up the numbers. The head of the security company said he regrets it ever took on the Olympic security contract, as he agreed it had become a ‘humiliating shambles’ in front of a House of Commons Select Committee.
China and Russia veto UN resolution
China and Russia vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution this week that would have called for increased sanctions on Syria. William Hague, the UK Foreign Secretary has said that China and Russia ‘have turned their back on the people of Syria in their darkest hour.’ Defending the decision, the Russian ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin said that the resolution could have allowed for 'external military involvement in Syrian domestic affairs,’ but these claims were dismissed as 'paranoid' by United States ambassador Susan Rice. The veto came after three prominent members of the Syrian government, including the Syrian defence minister, were killed in a suicide attack in Damascus on Wednesday.
Father kills children in Shropshire
A man from Gloucestershire and his three children have been found dead in Shropshire. Ceri Fuller, 35, from Milkwall, near Coleford, had gone missing with his son Sam, 12, and daughters Rebecca, eight, and Charlotte, seven. The bodies were found in a wooded area at Pontesbury near Shrewsbury by a police officer just before 10:00 BST, West Mercia police said. It was announced later in the week that Mr Fuller had stabbed his three children and then killed himself by jumping off a cliff, into a disused quarry, 80ft below. This was after a knife was recovered from the scene by police officers. Mr Fuller’s wife Ruth, said, ‘I don’t have the words to describe how I feel at the moment. All I would ask is that I be left alone to grieve for my family.’
First Briton wins Tour de France
Bradley Wiggins won the Tour de France on Sunday, becoming the first British cyclist to win the race. The 23-year-old Team Sky competitor completed the final stage in Paris after securing a lead on Saturday in a time trial. Wiggins' team-mate Chris Froome came in second place, with Vincenzo Nibali from Italy coming third. Speaking after winning Saturday's stage, Wiggins said, 'There are other things in my life that mean more to me than this. But in a sporting sense it's my greatest achievement. I've just won the Tour. What else is bigger than that?' Wiggins is the first Briton to win the Tour de France, which consists of 20 stages across 2,173 miles, in its 99-year history.
Dairy plants blockaded by farmers
Farmers blockaded milk processing centres across the country on Thursday in protest against proposed cuts of up to 2p a litre in the amount they receive for their milk. Morrisons later announced increased premiums on milk for farmers, after a similar move by the Co-operative on Friday. The government has said it will hold talks on securing the dairy industry's future with farmers on Monday. The protests which began on Thursday night continued on Friday and through the weekend. Campaign group Farmers for Action (FFA) warned that cuts in the price paid to suppliers by dairy processors, combined with rising feed costs, could force hundreds of dairy farmers out of business. The NFU said the cuts would be felt by more than a quarter of suppliers. An average farmer with about 150 to 200 cows, the union said, would lose about £37,000 in revenue from the combined effect of previous cuts in May/June and the new cuts in August.
Policeman acquitted of G20 manslaughter
The policeman accused of the manslaughter of the newspaper seller Ian Tomlinson, who died after being pushed to the ground at the G20 protests in 2009, was acquitted on Thursday. Mr Tomlinson’s family said they would be pursuing the case in a civil court. It is not clear if that will be against the policeman as an individual or against the Metropolitan Police. ‘After the unlawful killing verdict at the inquest last year, we expected to hear a guilty verdict - not a not guilty verdict and it really hurts,’ Mr Tomlinson's stepson Paul King, said outside the court. Members of Mr Tomlinson's family cried in the public gallery as the verdict was delivered at Southwark Crown Court. During the trial, the police officer had accepted he was "wrong" to have hit and pushed Mr Tomlinson.
Murdoch steps down as News International director
Rupert Murdoch has stepped down from his position as News International director, in addition to several other positions, it was announced this week. The 81-year-old resigned on Friday from the position of director at NI Group Ltd, NewsCorp Investments and Times Newspaper Holdings. A spokesperson for News International said, 'Last week, Mr Murdoch stepped down from a number of boards, many of them small subsidiary boards, both in the UK and US. This is nothing more than a corporate house-cleaning exercise prior to the company split.’ News Corp is planning to divide itself into two in order to separate its newspapers and publishing from its film and television business.