Bursting the Bubble Week 15

Both Cameron and Merkel want to see Britain remain in the European Union
National

  • Agreement has been reached in Brussels by EU leaders to change the terms of Britain’s involvement in the organisation. Cameron pledged on Friday night to campaign with all of his “heart and soul” to keep Britain in the EU following the decision. The deal was struck to redefine the terms of the UK’s membership and led to Cameron calling a cabinet meeting on Saturday morning, where it was announced that the government endorses the deal. It was also confirmed that Eurosceptic members of the cabinet will be free to campaign for a no vote.
  • Michael Gove announced that he will be campaigning for an EU exit. The PM said he was “disappointed but not surprised” by Mr Gove’s decision to campaign for Britain to leave the EU. This comes after a week of discussion regarding the various parties supporting or opposing Britain’s current position in Europe. It has been reported that The Duke of Cambridge made a thinly veiled call for Britain to remain in the EU (although a spokesman pointed out that the word “Europe” was never mentioned), a stance supported by various politicians including Home Secretary Theresa May.
  • The EU Referendum has been scheduled for 23 June 2016. Cameron announced on Saturday that Britain’s long awaited referendum would take place in June this year. Cameron will be campaigning for Britain to remain in the reformed EU, describing the vote as one of the biggest decisions “in our lifetimes”. The PM has warned against leaving the EU, suggesting that it would be a “leap in the dark”, as he urged voters to back his reform deal.
  • Adam Johnson’s trial continues. The Sunderland midfielder’s trial continues as he defends himself from accusations of sexual activity with a 15 year-old girl, maintaining that he did nothing more than kiss her. It has been revealed that Johnson asked police “Is sexual activity a kiss or is that not sexual activity?” when he was first arrested last year. Details of forensic investigation into the player’s internet history also revealed a number of pages regarding the legal age of consent which had been accessed last year.

International

  • Calais ordered the removal of up to 1000 migrants by Tuesday. Migrants living in the Calais migrant Camp, known as the Jungle, have been ordered by French Authorities to move from the camp and set up shelter in shipping containers. Makeshift buildings which include homes, shops, and a mosque will be razed in order to further the construction of a new motorway to the port. Authorities have claimed 1,000 people will be affected, however volunteers on the ground estimate this number could easily be doubled.
  • Literary fans all over the world are in mourning following the death of Harper Lee. The author of the Pulitzer Prize winning To Kill a Mockingbird (1960) and more recently Go Set a Watchman (2015) died on Friday at the age of 89. Through To Kill a Mockingbird, Lee helped to “inscribe a belief in racial justice and horror at discrimination into the country’s self-image”, becoming a hugely influential force in the fight against racial discrimination internationally.
  • Apple fights FBI order to unlock iPhones. Reports emerged this week that the FBI have requested Apple develop a “back-door” to iPhone encryption following the San Bernardino terror attacks. Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement to Apple customers on Tuesday that “We oppose this order, which has implications far beyond the legal case at hand”, and suggested that the demand sets a “dangerous precedent”, highlighting Apple’s consistent dedication to their customer’s privacy. Donald Trump has been reported to have called for an “Apple Boycott”, whilst Twitter and Facebook have shown solidarity in the bid for customer’s privacy to be maintained.
  • Fiji’s largest island Viti Levu was hit by Cyclone Winston. The category five Storm Winston, said to be the biggest storm to hit the island, has brought winds of over 320 kph and is causing torrential rain and 12m waves. This has led to the declaration of a national state of emergency, initiating a nationwide curfew, activation of evacuation centres, and flight cancellations.
  • The US have carried out air strikes against Islamic State in Libya. At least 30 people died on Friday when the US Airforce bombed an Islamic Training Camp in Libya. It has been said it is “likely” the airstrikes killed Noureddine Chouchane, a senior extremist Tunisian leader. It has been estimated that there are around 6,000 ISIS fighters in Libya, a country thrown into turmoil following the death of former leader Colonel Gaddafi.
  • Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton won their parties’ primaries in South Carolina and Nevada respectively. Trump finished more than ten percentage points ahead of main rivals Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, while Clinton won more narrowly, by about 53% to 47%, in the two-horse race for the democrat presidential nomination. Republican candidate Jeb Bush, brother of George Bush, withdrew from the race after getting less than 8% of the vote.

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