The past week in one short, entertaining read
Yesterday's news is today's obsolete web page. The news here is a bit out of date. Feel free to read anyway, but you might want to sign up to receive the next round-up straight to your inbox, just when you need to read it.
NEWS IN BRIEF
- Hillary Clinton claimed victory in the race for the Democratic nomination for president after winning the California, New Jersey and New Mexico primaries. Clinton faced criticism for giving a speech on poverty while wearing an Armani jacket worth about £8,000, while rival Bernie Sanders refused to admit defeat, telling supporters he will continue the fight through to the Democratic National Convention in July.
- Two high-profile British businesses came under the spotlight in Westminster. On Tuesday, Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley told a committee of MPs that that ‘he wasn’t Father Christmas’, in case they were wondering, but, as the Independent put it, ‘at least made clear’ that his company ‘is a disgusting place to work’. Here’s some exclusive footage of him relaxing with a calming pint…
- From Champions League-level pint downer to a ‘Premier League liar’, which is how former BHS owner Dominic Chappell was described during a select committee hearing into the retailer’s collapse. MPs also heard that Chappell once 'issued a death threat' to the chief executive of the company.
- A last-minute surge in people wanting to register to vote in the EU referendum caused a government website to crash and left thousands unable to sign up. As a result, the deadline was extended until midnight on Thursday, with the government having to pass emergency legislation to facilitate it. One prominent Leave campaigner said he was investigating the possibility of a legal challenge to the extension.
- Two Palestinian gunmen killed four people in an attack at an open-air complex in Tel Aviv. The men opened fire on shoppers and diners at the Sarona precinct. In response, Israeli officials have suspended entry permits for 83,000 Palestinians.
- The funeral of Muhammad Ali will take place today (Friday) in Louisville, with Bill Clinton, Will Smith and Lennox Lewis among the thousands expected to pay their respects to the three-time heavyweight champion of the world who died last Friday at the age of 74. Amid all the reams of writing about The Greatest, here’s a lovely story about Ali’s regular visits to see an old friend at a council estate in Oxfordshire.
HASHTAG OF THE WEEK
Guns 'n' Roses singer Axl Rose (whose name, incidentally, is an anagram of ‘oral sex’) has issued a takedown request to Google in an attempt to scrub out a less-than-flattering photo of him that inspired the ‘Fat Axl’ meme. The paper which published the original image made this superb statement on the matter: ‘The Winnipeg Free Press holds editorial copyright on the image and has not approved any third-party usage. We were only recently made aware of these memes, and while we ethically don’t approve, viral media is impossible for us to regulate. Welcome to the jungle.’
And this is how Twitter responded.
HARRY POTTER + THE POLITICS OF PREVIEWS
The first performances of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child have taken place at the Palace Theatre in London and reaction from fans has so far been very positive, although JK Rowling has pleaded with people to not post spoilers online.
The official opening night isn’t until July 30, however this hasn’t stopped the Telegraph and the Mirror publishing reviews of the first of the two-part Potter installment. In a blog, Guardian theatre critic Michael Billington has assessed the issue of previews and the ethics of reviewing them, saying play openings have become absurd.
YOUR NEXT TV OBSESSION
This week a one-off documentary on Channel 4, Interview with a Murderer, is in a similar vein to HBO’s unmissable true crime series, The Jinx. Criminologist Professor David Wilson conducts a series of interviews with convicted murderer Bert Spencer, the man never charged with, yet widely suspected of killing paperboy Carl Bridgewater in 1978 – a crime he has always denied.
MARIA SHARAPOVA SUSPENDED / EUROS BEGIN / RULE BRITANNIA
- Maria Sharapova has been suspended for two years by the International Tennis Federation after testing positive for the banned substance meldonium. The five-time grand slam winner has said she will appeal the decision. One of Sharapova’s major sponsors Nike has said it will stand by her as ‘she did not intentionally break the rules’. There are, however, plenty of people heavily criticising the Russian star. One US columnist calls her ‘a world class cheater’, while Martin Samuel in the Mail writes that ‘she fits the perfect drug cheat's profile’.
- On Friday night, the European football championships starts in France amid fears over possible chaos caused by strikes and the threat of terrorism. On the pitch, Northern Ireland start their tournament on Sunday against Poland, and Wales play Slovakia on Saturday. England also play their first match on Saturday, with speculation raging over why defender Chris Smalling has been carrying a cuddly lion around France with him.
- Oh, and the England Supporters Band have wrangled permission to attend the tournament to pipe out Rule Britannia and The Great Escape at matches. Not all fans will be entirely thrilled about this.
- A fascinating, and brilliantly-constructed BBC investigation into the mysterious death of a man whose body was found on a moor in the Peak District after he travelled 200 miles to get there.
- For those unsure how to vote in the EU referendum, the Spectator has helpfully presented the six best reasons why you should vote to remain and the six best reasons why you should vote to leave. Deborah Talbot has also written a piece for TantrumXYZ about how either scenario could affect families with young children.
- Vice explore the ‘terrifying and absurd’ situation facing women’s rights activists in China.
- Film trailers have got out of hand and changed the way we watch movies for the worse, says Krishna Francis at Little White Lies.