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This Week’s 4 Biggest News Stories

Croydon tram crash

On the 9th November a tram derailed in Croydon and crashed, killing seven people and injuring fifty-one. It has become evident that the crash occurred as a result of the tram travelling at 43.5mph in a 12mph zone, and no other defects or obstructions on the track have been identified. It has also been demonstrated that there was no problem with the braking system, which has led to the driver of the tram Alfred Dorris being arrested on suspicion of manslaughter. There are current lines of inquiry into whether the driver was asleep or had blacked out, however Aslef, the train drivers’ union, has argued that it was the lack of sufficient safety systems that were at the root cause of the accident. A further safety assessment of the area is taking also taking place.


Lego ends partnership with the Daily Mail

Lego has ended its promotional giveaways with the Daily Mail for ‘the foreseeable future’. The brand has not explicitly declared it reasons for stopping a three-year partnership, but has stated that it had listened to ‘parents and grandparents’. The decision comes only a week after a letter from British father Bob Jones was shared online, in which he criticised the toy company’s advertisements with the Mail, referencing the recent headlines regarding the High Court judges as evidence that the newspaper had gone too far. He argued that the work that Lego does to try and break down barriers and be inclusive was significantly undermined by a paper that labelled judges ‘enemies of the people’ for simply doing their job, and that used the description of one of them as ‘openly gay’ as a negative. Lego is also one of the companies that has been put under pressure by the group Stop Funding Hate, which formed in the summer and compels companies to stop partnerships with newspapers that earn money from stirring up hatred.


French state of emergency to be extended

November 13th marked a year after IS militants launched attacks in Paris, killing 130 people. The day was marked with the unveiling of plaques for the victims by President Francois Hollande, as well as several other commemorative ceremonies. Prime Minister Manuel Valls has stated that the current state of emergency, which allows the police extra powers to both carry out searches and to place people under house arrest is likely to be extended, arguing that these measures are needed to protect democracy. This is particularly pertinent considering the country is due to have both presidential and parliamentary elections in the spring.


Potential restriction on powers of House of Lords refuted

The government has decided against implementing a new law that would limit the powers of the House of Lords to block legislation passed by the House of the Commons. Lord Strathclyde, the former House of Lords leader, came up with the proposal after the government was defeated on several occasions last year. The change was considered because there is currently no mechanism in place to assert the primacy of the Commons over statutory instruments, unlike other legislation, which means that it is reliant on the House of Lords to act in an appropriate manner. As a result, the decision not to create a new law to limit this power has been made on the condition that the House of Lords shows ‘discipline and self regulation’, and a warning has been put in place that failure to do this could result in re-consideration. BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg stated that sources have suggested that the government wants to work more constructively with the Lords, as this decision indicates.



Third year History student Co-President of HerCampus Exeter
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