Redbrick on the week

Golden week for Team GB Team GB enjoyed a remarkable week at the London 2012 Olympics as they finished Sunday with 16 gold medals, sitting behind only China and the USA

Golden week for Team GB

Team GB enjoyed a remarkable week at the London 2012 Olympics as they finished Sunday with 16 gold medals, sitting behind only China and the USA. Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins rode into the record books surpassing Sir Steve Redgrave as Britain’s most medalled Olympian by claiming gold in the cycling time trial. Chris Hoy later drew level with Redgrave as he reached gold in the Velodrome. Another cycling gold was won on Friday through Victoria Pendleton before Saturday saw Jessica Ennis win the heptathlon and Mo Farah claim gold in the men’s 10,000 metres. Greg Rutherford won gold in the long jump while there were GB golds in rowing and cycling again in what became known as Super Saturday. Andy Murray won gold in the men's singles final against Roger Federer, who defeated Murray at Wimbledon a few weeks ago. Ben Ainslie won his fourth olympic gold by winning the men's finn sailing.


Turkish troops kill 115 Kurdish rebels


Interior Minister Idris Naim Sahin revealed that Turkish security forces killed as many as 115 Kurdish rebels over the past two weeks in a bid to stop the separatist PKK group using Syria as base for attacks on Turkey. He also said the security forces were trying to block the rebels' escape routes into northern Iraq. Turkish officials said the clamp down was a result of an attack on Turkish soldiers that left 15 dead as well as 5 civilians. The conflict between the PKK and Turkish government forces has killed tens of thousands of people since the rebels took up arms in 1984. Turkish television said that as many as 2000 soldiers were involved in the latest operation.


Kofi Annan resigns as Syria UN envoy

The UN envoy to Syria Kofi Annan has resigned, believing his mission to be 'impossible' amid the continuing massacre by Bashar Assad and his security forces. The former UN secretary general blamed the lack of world unity in the UN Security Council as one of his main reasons for his exit as Russia and China continue to block efforts to help the rebels. Annan has left a country bordering on civil war in a conflict that has claimed 20,000 in the last year and a half. Annan’s peace plan launched in February 2012 has now failed, a plan that was heavily criticised from the outset as it was perceived to allow Assad to haggle with diplomacy while the killings to continue.


Russia Pussy Riot trial

Three women from punk group Pussy Riot began their highly publicised trial in Moscow on charges of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred. The trial dates back to February when they burst into the biggest cathedral in Moscow and performed their single Punk Prayer, which calls on Virgin Mary to boot authoritarian Russian President Vladimir Putin. The three defendants, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 23, Yekaterina Samutsevich, 29, and Maria Alekhina, 24, could all face up to seven years in prison if found guilty. Reports during the week said the three were being deprived of sleep and poorly fed. Putin said on Friday, ‘I don’t’ think they should be punished too harshly.’


Olympic Tickets Complaints

As the announcement that thousands more Olympic tickets were going on re-sale the internet was awash with potential buyers. Due to this clamour those seeking tickets online would be told tickets were available yet having selected what tickets they want, when they get to 'have your Visa card ready' upon payment the website tells buyers that the tickets selected aren't available. Some attribute this to the fact that buyers are being told there are tickets when there simply aren’t while others say this is due to the masses of people buying at the same time and tickets not being reserved while someone is purchasing. This comes amid news this week that 16 ticket touts were arrested.


Policewoman jailed for 18 months

A former policewoman in Yorkshire has been jailed for 18 months after falsely claiming her daughter had cancer in order to attend equestrian events. Former WPC Rachel Hewitt admitted fraud and misconduct in a public office after the North Yorkshire police force had given her compassionate leave and arranged special shifts in order for her to care after her daughter. The staff also organised whip-rounds to buy gifts for Hewitt’s daughter who were of the understanding that she was undergoing chemotherapy for a tumour. The lie was spun for around two years. The judge told Hewitt ‘nobody thought for a moment somebody would lie about something so serious, as emotive as the health of their child. That's why you got away with it for so long.’


Cyclist killed near Olympic Park

On the same day that Bradley Wiggins rode to gold for Team GB a 28 year old cyclist died after his bike was hit by a bus near the Olympic Park in East London. The driver of the bus was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and later bailed. However, comments by Wiggins in the aftermath of the accident sparked a national debate on the use of helmets with Wiggins perceived to be calling for the use of helmets to be made law. He later clarified his position on Twitter that this was not what he was calling for. The cyclist’s family said ‘He was an experienced cyclist and we want it to be known that he was wearing a helmet.’


Swedish prison bans card games

A Swedish Prison in the city of Malmo has banned card games in the prison between inmates after prison authorities said excessive gambling has lead to prison violence. Anders Eriksson, head of the Kirseberg prison told a Swedish newspaper that the gambling ‘concerns large sums and we know that problems can arise with violence, threats and debt collection.’ However, a prisoner’s representative described it as an ‘idiotic rule”’and it ‘has been created for one purpose alone - to mess with the inmates and make this prison, already one of the more disliked in the country, even more dull.’ The prisoners in the prison complained to the parliamentary ombudsman.

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Zak Bentley



Published

5th August 2012



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