Journalists on both sides of the Atlantic have been trying to make sense of internecine political struggles this week.
Republicans in the US Senate voted down a bipartisan security and border reform package that they had helped negotiate, after insisting that it be linked to military aid for Ukraine and Israel. Joe Biden blamed Donald Trump for sinking the bill, accusing his election rival of “weaponising” the border crisis to boost his campaign for re-election.
Trump’s presidential bid hit a fresh snag on Tuesday, however, when a panel of appellate judges rejected the former president’s push for “complete and total” immunity from prosecution. The decision is a significant blow to his effort to avoid criminal prosecution for allegedly subverting the results of the 2020 election.
And in further courtroom dramas for Trump, the Supreme Court yesterday heard arguments in a historic case on whether he should be reinstated onto Colorado’s primary election ballot.
Over in the UK, Rishi Sunak was facing harsh judgements in the court of public opinion after making a jibe about Keir Starmer’s position on trans issues. During a Prime Minister’s Questions attended by the mother of murdered transgender teen Brianna Ghey, the Tory leader accused his Labour counterpart of changing his position on a string of issues, including “defining a woman”.
Other critics of Starmer also got the boot in when he subsequently ditched Labour’s flagship policy to spend £28 billion a year on green investment, in what was widely viewed as his biggest policy U-turn since becoming party leader.
To find out how closely you’ve been paying attention to the latest developments in the news and other global events, put your knowledge to the test with our Quiz of The Week.
1. Which musician’s 1988 hit shot to No. 1 in the iTunes charts after being performed at Sunday’s Grammy Awards?
- Tracy Chapman
- Joni Mitchell
- Annie Lennox
- Billy Joel
2. How much will a 30-second ad during the Super Bowl cost advertisers?
- $5 million
- $7 million
- $9 million
- $10 million
3. The outgoing president of which African nation this week postponed the country’s upcoming elections?
4. A newly published study claims that which sport could be a form of child abuse?
5. What percentage of female civil servants in the UK’s defence industry have experienced sexual harassment, according to a survey by the Prospect union?
6. Which streaming service signed a 10-year deal with the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE)?
- HBO Max
7. The hairdresser federation of which European country urged its members to charge men and women the same prices for haircuts?
8. A US appeals court has ruled that a $10bn lawsuit filed by which country against American gun manufacturers can go ahead?
- Costa Rica
9. Which English cathedral defended its decision to host a silent disco that is “categorically not a ‘rave in the nave'”?
- St. Paul’s
10. Latest data shows that cases of which sexually transmitted disease have hit a near 75-year high in the US?
1. Tracy Chapman
The four-time Grammy winner’s song “Fast Car” topped the charts after she performed the hit as a duet with country singer Luke Combs at the ceremony in Los Angeles. Female artists dominated this year’s awards, with Taylor Swift making history as the only artist ever to win the prize for album of the year four times.
2. $7 million
The average cost of a 30-second ad spot at Sunday’s Super Bowl, which was expected to attract more than 110 million viewers, marks a record high. The price has risen by 75% in the past 10 years and by more than 200% in 20 years.
The previously stable West African democracy resident is teetering on the brink of crisis after President Macky Sall announced a unilateral decree, officially enacted on Monday, to postpone February elections until December. Amid allegations of corruption, critics claimed the move was an attempted coup, and riots broke out across the capital, Dakar.
The researchers, from the universities of Winchester, Nottingham Trent and Bournemouth, triggered controversy by arguing that the risk of major injury in the game goes against child abuse laws. The study found that “knocks to the head” can lead to dementia or Parkinson’s, and that children who started playing younger were more likely to risk brain trauma, compared to those who took up the game at an older age.
More than 120 out of 200 female civil servants told Prospect that they had experienced sexual harassment at the Ministry of Defence or public sector defence agencies. About 100 private sector defence workers also responded to the trade union’s survey, with just under half (47%) saying they had experienced sexual harassment.
From January 2025, the streaming service will be the exclusive home of the WWE’s weekly live show “Raw”. The 10-year rights contract is said to be worth at least $5 billion.
Charles-Antoine Huybrechts, spokesperson for Febelhair (the Federation of Belgian Hairdressers), told VRT Radio 2 that “a distinction between prices for men and women should no longer persist in 2024”, and is urging hairdressers to charge per minute instead. To find out more, listen to The Week Unwrapped podcast.
The lawsuit claims that a “flood” of illegal guns across the border that is helping to arm drug kingpins is a result of “deliberate” business practices by the US gunmakers. A lower court dismissed the case in late 2022, prompting an appeal from the Mexican government. The gun industry’s trade association has denied any wrongdoing.
The Dean of Canterbury, the Very Reverend David Monteith, said the 1990s-themed silent discos would be “be appropriate to and respectful” of the cathedral. A petition to stop the discos, which has reached more than 1,700 signatures, said that the events would send the message that “entertainment deserves our attention more than God”.
Once almost completely eliminated in the US, syphilis cases have reached the highest level since the 1950s, after surging by more than 80% in five years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Rates of the potentially deadly disease have also soared in England and in many other countries worldwide, with experts blaming a range of factors including increased drug use and a lack of sufficient medical care.