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- News recap – Bitesize story summaries from over the past week – 28th December to 3rd January - January 3, 2017
Brexit – article 50 supreme court hearing
The United Kingdom’s 11 most senior judges are currently listening to arguments and deciding who has the authority to trigger article 50. Is it to be parliament or the government? The government is appealing after last month’s High Court ruling that MP’s must be consulted before triggering Brexit.
As the hearing commenced, Supreme Court president Lord Neuberger said that the justices were aware of the public interest in the case and the “strong feelings associated with the many wider political questions surrounding the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union”. He went on to say; “This appeal is concerned with legal issues, and, as judges, our duty is to consider those issues impartially, and to decide the case according to the law.”
The UK government has asked the Supreme Court to make a decision that the “ordinary man and woman” would understand. This landmark hearing is expected to last 4 days and a verdict is due in January.
Dakota Access pipeline: major win for Standing Rock protesters
On the 4th of December, it was announced that the Army Corps of Engineers will not grant the permit for the Dakota Access pipeline to drill under the Missouri river. The news has signified a major victory for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and environmental activists after a months-long campaign to fight the pipeline.
Jo-Ellen Darcy, assistant secretary for civil works said; “Although we have had continuing discussion and exchanges of new information with the Standing Rock Sioux and Dakota Access, it’s clear that there’s more work to do. The best way to complete that work responsibly and expeditiously is to explore alternate routes for the pipeline crossing.”
It should be noted that the decision could be appealed. Jan Hasselman, attorney for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe said; “They [Energy Transfer Partners] can sue, and Trump can try to overturn. But overturning it would be subject to close scrutiny by a reviewing court, and we will be watching the new administration closely.”
Fawlty Towers actor, Andrew Sachs, dies aged 86
Last week, it was reported that Andrew Sachs, the actor best known for playing the Spanish waiter Manuel in the cult comedy Fawlty Towers, passed away on the 23rd of November. Sachs had been diagnosed with vascular dementia four years ago and his condition steadily deteriorated. In the years since his role in Fawlty Towers, Andrew Sachs had several recurring roles in TV shows such as Casualty and Coronation Street.
Sachs was born in Berlin 1930. At the age of eight, his family moved to England to escape persecution under the Nazi regime. Vascular dementia is the second most common type of dementia in the UK. It affects around 150,000 people. The disease is caused by a reduced blood supply to the brain due to damaged blood vessels. For more information, please go to the Alzheimer’s Society webpage on vascular dementia.
Nigel Farage shortlisted for Time magazine’s person of the year award
Nigel Farage, the former leader of UKIP, has been shortlisted for Time’s person the year award. Farage is now featuring alongside the likes of Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, Beyoncé, 19 year old gymnast Simone Biles, Hilary Clinton and the CRISPR Scientists for developing a ground-breaking new technology to edit DNA.
Time magazine appears to give Nigel Farage much of the credit for the Brexit campaign and vote. Their website says: “As head of the U.K. Independence Party, Farage was a face of the successful campaign for Britain to leave the European Union, positioning the referendum as the start of a global populist wave against the political establishment.”
Nigel Farage told Sky News that he can’t really believe it after all these years of abuse”. The winner will be announced on Wednesday.
Giant arch now covers Chernobyl site in Ukraine
A giant arch, resembling an aircraft hangar, was slid into place over the Chernobyl nuclear disaster site in Ukraine last Tuesday, 29th November. The feat of engineering is the world’s largest land-based moving structure which has been decades in the making. The structure now sits at 500 feet long, spans 800 feet in width and is 350 feet high.
Conceived over 20 years ago, the arch began construction in 2010. It now covers the deteriorating steel and concrete sarcophagus that was built after a botched test at the power plant led to an explosion and fire that send radioactive ash across Europe 30 years ago. It is anticipated to last at least a century and its purpose is to prevent any additional leakage of toxic material from the still radioactive reactor.
News Recap Team
We understand that this is not everything that happened over the last week and would love to include more. If you have an interesting news story, email it (with an image) to [email protected] and we will feature it in our next article.