Here are this week’s headlines:
- Kim Jong-un's brother poisoned in Malaysia
On Monday, the brother of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-Un, Kim Jong-nam, was allegedly poisoned in Kuala Lumpur airport. Two women have been arrested and demanded in custody, as well as a further woman and her boyfriend. It is claimed to be seen on CCTV that two women murder Jong-nam with a chemical substance.
There have been wide spread speculations that the North Korean leader was behind the killing, especially considering the fact that Jong-Un has attempted to do everything in his power to ensure he remains the leader of North Korea. However, Jong-nam has previously said he was not interested in being leader following the favouring of his youngest half-brother Jong-Un to become leader.
The Malaysian authorities have said they will request for the body to be flown back to North Korea once the post morgen examinations have concluded.
Read more in The Telegraph.
- UK spending similar to last year
The Family Spending Survey from the Office for National Statistics indicates that household expenditure barely rose in the year 2015/2016. The average household spent £528.90 a week, which is the same amount as 2014/2015. As such, there has been little change in spending according to the survey.
The biggest cost for families is transport. Figures from the survey indicate that families spend 14% of their budget on transport, with more spent on buying cars. However, less has been spent on fuel since oil became cheaper.
What is of interest is that the survey results suggest that families in the UK are spending less money on cigarettes and alcohol. The figures show that spending on alcohol and cigarettes fell over the period, down to £11.40 a week. In the early 2000s, figures indicated that families were spending £20 a week on such items. This is the first time that this figure has fallen below £12.
However, households spent approximately £45 a week going to restaurants, cafes and hotels. This is the highest figure in the past three years and includes alcoholic drinks being consumed in pubs.
- Supreme Court President criticises MP’s for not defending Judges under attack from media
Following the Article 50 rulings, Lord Neuberger has criticised MP’s for victimising them for their particular political or religious beliefs. It has suggested, particularly by Conservative and Ukip MP’s, that Judges should be vetted before their appointment. This process would involve hearings looking into the prospective Judge’s private life. Lord Neuberger, the President of the UK Supreme Court, has said that this process would politicise the judiciary. The media has also target the judges, with some headlines branding them the “enemies of the people”. Neuberger has highlighted how undermining the judiciary in this manner will degrade the rule of law.
- NSPCC finds Law to criminalise adults who ‘sext’ children are not being enforced
Child protection campaigners, NSPCC, have found that laws to criminalise adults ‘sexting’ children under 16 are not being legally enforced by police. Amendments to section 67 of the Serious Crime Act (2015) make it a criminal offence for adults in England and Wales to send sexually explicit messages to a child or attempt to encourage a child themselves to send something explicit. However, with no start date for the legislation the offence is still not being enforced 2 years after the act was passed by parliament. The claims by NSPCC, who campaigned for the new law in 2014/5, have been confirmed by the House of Commons library.
If the law was to be enforced perpetrators could face up to 2 years in prison for sending a sexually explicit message to a child under 16 years old. As home secretary in 2014, Theresa May expressed her support of the new legislation in the House of Commons and said ‘we do need to be able to intervene early so predatory behaviour is tackled before a child is put at risk.’
MP Louise Haigh has written to the Justice Secretary, Liz Truss, expressing that a 23-month delay in enforcing the law is ‘leaving our children at risk of grooming’. Moreover, she wrote that ‘It is scandalous, given the risk posed to our children, that this law has still not been enforced… children should not be put at risk because ministers are unable or unwilling to get their act together and bring this law into force.’
The Ministry of Justice failed to respond to questions from the Guardian regarding the cause of the delay. However, a spokeswoman said ‘Sexual communication with a child is abhorrent, which is why the government legislated to make it a specific offence. We remain committed to commencing this law as soon as possible.’
Read more in The Guardian.
- UK inflation rises
The U.K. inflation are has hit its highest since June 2014. This has mainly been driven due to a result of rising fuel prices. Annual inflation measured by the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) reached 1.8% last month according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), for a rate of 1.6% in December.
Prior to the Brexit vote, inflation stayed between -0.1% and 0.1% for 10 months due to a collapse in oil prices and a supermarket price war that led to slashed prices.
Before the EU Referendum vote, inflation stayed between -0.1% and 0.1% for 10 months because of a collapse in oil prices and supermarkets lowering prices. Prices began to increase following the Bank of England’s decision to cut interest rates, and the fall in the value of the pound.
The Office for National Statistics also stated that food prices were a contribution to the rise in inflation due to the unchanged prices between December and January. This increase in inflation rate is closer to the Bank of England’s target rate of 2%. The inflation rate is widely expected to increase further this year because of the weakening pound which as led imported goods expensive.