This Week's 4 Biggest News Stories

Trump institutes ‘Muslim Ban’

Friday 27th January saw the new US president suspend the US refugee programme for 120 days, indefinitely banning Syrian refugees, as well as preventing entry of nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries. The ban had immediate effect, meaning those mid-flight were detained upon arrival, despite valid visas. The decision has been widely criticised, with not only thousands protesting at airports, outside the White House and Trump Tower in New York, but also high profile figures publically condemning the decision. Attorney General Sally Yates was fired after ordering justice department lawyers not to enforce the executive order, questioning the legality of the ban.

Shooting at a mosque in Quebec City Canada

On Sunday 29th January there was an attack at a mosque in Quebec City, where over 50 people were gathered for evening prayer. Six people were killed and another eight wounded in what the Canadian authorities are treating as a terror attack. Two suspects were arrested, one at the scene and another nearby. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has condemned the attack, stating ‘Muslim-Canadians are an important part of our national fabric, and these senseless acts have no place in our communities, cities and country.’

Petition to call off Donald Trump’s state visit reaches over 1 million signatures

A petition on the government’s website, asking that Donald Trump be allowed to enter the UK as the head of the US government but not invited to make an official state visit because of embarrassment it would cause to the Queen, has been signed by over 1.3 million people. The state visit was announced during Theresa May’s visit to Washington last week, and has also been criticised by high profile politicians. Jeremy Corbyn has urged the Prime Minister to listen to the Britons that signed the petition, arguing that the executive order is ‘created to sow division and hatred'. Sadiq Khan has also asked for the visit to be cancelled until the ban is lifted, calling it ‘shameful and cruel’.

House of Commons vote for Brexit Bill

With an overwhelming result of 498 votes to 114, the House of Commons has voted to allow PM Theresa May to begin Brexit negotiations. The vote came as a result of the decision made by the Supreme Court that stated that the Prime Minister did not have sufficient mandate to begin talks with the EU without approval from Parliament. The bill will now be further scrutinised in the House of Commons and the House of Lords before it can become law, but the vote is considered to be the first step in the process of Britain leaving the EU.