- Adam Johnson has been found guilty of the sexual abuse of a fifteen year-old fan. He has been released on bail to say goodbye to his daughter while he awaits confirmation of his sentence, which could be between four and ten years in jail. The footballer groomed his victim online and through text messages, leading to an encounter in his car when he touched her sexually. The verdict comes as a welcome release for the victim, who felt “unable to defend myself publicly” against those who didn’t believe her story during the months that separated the incident and Wednesday’s verdict. The police thanked the victim for her courage in coming forward, and claimed that the victory “demonstrates that no one is above the law”.
- Facebook will pay millions of pounds more in British tax after overhauling their UK tax structure. Their previous arrangement, which routed revenue through Ireland, meant that in 2014 the multinational paid only £4,327 UK corporation tax, less than a British individual on the average wage. The company is seeking “transparency to Facebook’s operations in the UK” through this change.
- A French official has threatened to open the Calais border indiscriminately for migrant crossings if Britain leaves the EU. France would refuse to allow the presence of British border police on the French side of the Channel, currently a condition of the Le Touquet agreement between Britain and France. President Hollande neither denied nor corroborated the threat, simply stating that “there will be consequences”. This comes as a leading figure in the campaign to stay in admitted that UK wages would rise if fewer migrants enter Britain as a result of leaving the EU.
- North Korea has fired six missiles into the sea in response to US sanctions. The short range missiles were fired into the Sea of Japan shortly after the UN agreed to support heavy sanctions against North Korea. The US and China agreed to ban the export of coal, iron, and iron ore for use in North Korea’s missile programmes, as well as aviation fuel exports. All goods entering and leaving the country will undergo mandatory inspection. The missiles are thought to have been fired as a military exercise, during which Kim Jong-un demanded that North Korean nuclear warheads be ready for use “at any time”.
- Turkey’s largest newspaper, Zaman, has been taken over by the state. The editors managed to release a last edition condemning the takeover on what they claimed was “one of the darkest days in Turkish history”. Around 500 supporters gathered to protest outside the paper’s headquarters, but were dispersed by Turkish police using a water cannon and tear gas. The US released a statement calling Turkey’s actions “troubling” and urging the government to uphold the values of freedom of speech and the press “enshrined in their own constitution”. The paper is linked to the Hizmet group, which Turkey claims is a terrorist group trying to overthrow their President.
- Ted Cruz and Donald Trump called on other Republican candidates to step down, as between them they took the clear majority of the votes for their party’s presidential nomination in Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Maine. Cruz, who warned that “as long as the field remains divided, it gives Donald an advantage”, appears to be the only candidate with a realistic chance of catching the front runner. Meanwhile, in the Democratic contest, Bernie Sanders won Kansas and Nebraska, but lost badly to Hillary Clinton in Louisiana, as his weak support among African Americans continues to be exposed.