This is a new feature which if successful may become a regular thing on this blog. It stems from the fact that I regularly watch the news as I’m getting ready for the day and I often find myself shouting at the TV about some stories. This feature will consist of unpicking some news stories and also sharing some that I have found particularly interesting.
1) The Leveson Report (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-20559833)
This has been the big story of the week. Lord Leveson has spent pretty much the whole year interviewing dodgy journalists and annoyed celebrities and this week finally published his report on the whole thing, which was 2,000 pages long. Summed up, the report suggested that there should be an independent watchdog for the press. Some see this as going against the freedom of the press whilst others thing it’s necessary after all the ridiculous things that the press have been getting up to.
I’m in two minds about this one actually. On the one hand maybe the press does need some sort of regulating. On the other hand it goes against one of the most fundamental laws of the country. People arguing against the recommendations agree that things like phone-hacking are wrong but say that it’s illegal anyway so shouldn’t need to be regulated by anyone other than the police. The general feeling is that the press often do things they shouldn’t and that maybe we should do something to stop them (I could have told that without a long enquiry though).
2) Palestine’s New Powers (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-20558817)
The UN has now granted Palestine the status of “non-member observer state” which is pretty much as close to being a proper country a place can be without actually being a proper country. For Palestine this is the first step to finally seeking peace with Israel. Israel though are still pretty annoyed. For one thing they disagree with the borders Palestine was given with this status. Also they said this:
“This is a meaningless decision that will not change anything on the ground. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made it clear that there will be no establishment of a Palestinian state without a settlement that ensures the security of Israel's citizens... By going to the UN, the Palestinians have violated the agreements with Israel and Israel will act accordingly."
Clearly the UN are still trying hard to sort out a long-running conflict but it looks like it will be a long time before we ever see peace between Palestine and Israel. I’m not sure what it will take but I see Netanyahu as a stroppy teenager who needs to grow up and work things out like an adult.
3) New rules on dodgy supermarket deals (http://uk.finance.yahoo.com/news/supermarkets-back-price-promotion-rules-032346819--finance.html)
The Office of Fair Trading has been investigating those deals that supermarkets do and have discovered many of them are not really deals at all. Supermarkets have been inflating prices and then discounting them so it looks to customers that they are getting a good deal when in fact they are just paying the original price. Sometimes claims like “Bigger pack, better value” have not been entirely true and deals of multi-buys have not actually been cheapest way to buy things. Supermarkets have been ever so naughty. Fortunately that’s all about to change as virtually all of the supermarkets have agreed to stop these dodgy practices. Except Asda, who are clearly the ones who do it the most.
Just because these supermarkets have agree though, does not mean that they will stop all their dodgy deals. It’s amazing how dishonest services we use all the time can be. I suggest next time you go to the supermarket you work out whether the deal you’re getting is actually saving you any money.
4) The Future of Phones? (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-20526577)
Apparently by as early as next year bendy phones could be released- phones which can be rolled up, squashed and stepped on without any damage. As someone who is very clumsy I think this is a fantastic innovation. It would also mean tablets might become more popular if they could just be screwed up and shoved in a pocket. Samsung are leading the field at the moment but companies such as LG, Phillips, Sharp, Sony and Nokia are also all working on them.
So how do they work? Well they will use e-ink like Kindle’s do for a start. Kindle screens are actually flexible- or at least they would be if the rest of the device wasn’t required to be rigid. The other main component would be the use of graphene, a new material which is as strong as diamonds yet is lightweight and flexible- sounds perfect!
5) X-Men: Days of Future Past (http://www.denofgeek.com/movies/x-men/23658/ian-mckellen-on-his-return-to-x-men)
Bryan Singer, director of the newest X-Men film (and director of the original two let’s not forget) has revealed most of it’s cast this week. The main cast of First Class will all return but so will the original Magento and Professor X, Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart. I’m pretty excited by this as McKellen and Stewart were great in the original trilogy. Exactly how the two eras will be tied together is unknown at the moment but it seems fairly likely it will be a bit timey-wimey. The one thing this film really needs now is to secure Hugh Jackman to return as Wolverine. Jackman has just finished filming The Wolverine, a new sequel to the original trilogy and is apparently in talks to feature in this film. Fingers crossed…
6) Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell on the BBC (http://www.denofgeek.com/tv/jonathan-strange-mr-norrell/23665/jonathan-strange-mr-norrell-coming-to-the-bbc)
The BBC have talked about their drama schedule for 2013 and amongst the next series of the current Beeb hits will be a six part adaptation of Susanna Clarke’s fantastic novel Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell. I really enjoyed the book (review here) and seeing as though it’s essentially a period drama (with a bit of magic thrown in), I can see the BBC doing a fantastic job of this. It’s going to be directed by Toby Haynes who has done some fantastic work with Doctor Who and Sherlock which is also great news.
Oh and whilst we’re on the subject of Doctor Who, the BBC listed a 50th Anniversary Special as part of the 2013 drama. We all knew it would happen but now it’s been confirmed!
That’s all for today. I’ve made this first edition half actual news and half geeky stuff so please let me know which you enjoyed more or whether you like the combination so I can hopefully tweak this feature so it becomes really awesome. Please let me know what you thought so I can improve for next week! Thanks for reading!