With term coming to an end it is easy to be more focused on exams, final essays and the last few good nights out than worrying about what has been going on in the outside world. In case you missed it, here is what went on in the outside world last week, in Nottingham and beyond.
Last weekend the University of Nottingham opened its doors to the public for the annual Mayfest celebrations. The event was designed to help show the public what goes on at the university, as well as provide a day of entertainment for students, staff, and the wider community. Activities were put on from a range of university schools and societies to show the public what goes on at the university. The departments put on interactive activities such as science and sports demonstrations to give visitors the chance to learn about each subject and try their hand at some new activities. As well as activities for children the University provided free careers advice and held alumni events to visitors to the event.
In Woolwich this week a soldier was killed in what has been described as a terrorist attack by police. Lee Rigby was murdered in South-East London in an attack which caused an internet sensation after Twitter and Facebook were filled with unconfirmed reports about the attackers and their motives. Many were quick to condemn the actions of the attackers, but attention was also focused on the actions of three female witnesses to the incident, who engaged the attackers in conversation and shielded the body of the victim until police arrive at the scene, actions described by David Cameron as ‘speaking for all of us’. Two men in Bristol were arrested and then bailed for making offensive remarks about the murder on twitter, and another man has been charged with an offense of malicious communications after making offensive remark on Facebook. On Wednesday night the English Defense League took to the streets of Woolwich to protest the murders and call for greater control over immigration in Britain. Two women initially arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder, were released without charge, although another man under suspicion is still in custody. Two other murder suspects, Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale remain in hospital having been shot by police during the incident. The victim’s wife, Rebecca Rigby, spoke to police of how she imagined her husband would be safe in the UK, having served abroad in the past, saying “You don’t expect it to happen when he’s in the UK. You think they’re safe.” Leaders from the Muslim community and the Church of England have come together to condemn the attacks and call the community to stand together ‘to ensure the forces of hatred do not prevail’
Two men were arrested on Friday on suspicion of endangerment of an aircraft after a Pakistan International Airlines plane travelling from Lahore, India, to Manchester had to make an unscheduled landing at London Stansted because of alleged threats made towards the pilot during the flight. Cabin crew reported that the two men became angry after several attempts to get into the cabin were denied, and as a result the plane was forced to land just twenty minutes before the end of the journey. Superintendent Darrin Tomkins stressed that the pair were not found with any suspicious items and that the arrests were made in order for the police to investigate a ‘criminal offence’.
The BBC has this week been accused of wasting taxpayers money after it emerged that a digital production project costing almost £100 million has had to be scrapped. The project, which Lord Hall suggests was the development of technology which can now be bought off the shelf, has been described as ‘shambolic’, although James Purnell, BBC head of strategy and digital, insists that the failure is the exception rather than the rule. He went on to admit that the BBC ‘messed up’ and that they ‘apologise to licence fee payers for that.’ John Linwood, the BBC head of technology, has been suspended as a result of the failure of the plan, which was originally described as ‘critical’ to the success of the BBC move to Media City in Salford.