The Weekly Report – 14/12/12

Andrew Thorpe-Apps reviews the week’s top stories.

Tower Hamlets: A microcosm of the world

The 2011 census has revealed that the number of foreign-born residents in England and Wales has risen to 7.5 million people. The most common countries of birth are India, Pakistan and Poland. Those identifying as ‘white British’ now comprise only 80% of the population. In London, only 44.9% of the population are white British. There has also been a steep decline in those identifying as Christians, whereas 5% of the population now follows Islam.

Ed Miliband said that ‘too little’ has been done to integrate immigrants into British society. He called for more proficiency in the English language as part of his One Nation ideal.

Twenty-seven people were killed, including at least a dozen children, in a shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in the US state of Connecticut.

The coalition has announced a resumption of the controversial technique known as ‘fracking’ to exploit gas in Lancashire. However, concerns have been raised over a possible increase in earth tremors.

The Church of England and Church in Wales will be banned in law from offering same-sex marriages. Other religious organisations will be able to ‘opt in’ to holding ceremonies.

Cameron and Clegg: Differing views on drug policy

Nick Clegg has called for a royal commission to consider decriminalising illegal drugs. However, the Prime Minister has rejected the Home Affairs Select Committee’s report, which recommended a lenient approach to drug possession.

A US Senate investigation has uncovered ‘dangerous practices’ at HSBC. The UK-based bank, which has been fined £1.2bn, had been a conduit for ‘drug kingpins and rogue nations’.

Margaret Moran, the former Labour MP for Luton South, was sentenced to a two-year supervision and treatment order after falsely claiming over £53,000 in expenses. Moran was declared unfit to stand trial on mental health grounds and so could not receive a criminal conviction.

Computer hacker Gary McKinnon, whose extradition to the US was blocked by ministers, will not face charges in the UK. Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer QC said the chances of a successful conviction were ‘not high’.

Kenneth Kendall presented programmes on both the BBC and ITV

Former BBC newsreader Kenneth Kendall died after suffering a stroke a few weeks ago. He was 88. Kendall was the first newsreader to appear in vision on BBC television in 1955, and later presented the game show Treasure Hunt.

 

 

And finally…

A five-month old monkey called Darwin was discovered at an IKEA store in Toronto, Canada. He was wearing a sheepskin coat and a nappy. Darwin has now been re-homed at a primate sanctuary in Ontario.

 

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