Here are this week’s headlines:
- Man assaulted and murdered woman in undergrowth
Vadims Ruskuls, 25, has been accused sexually assaulting and killing Pardeep Kaur, then dumped her body in undergrowth as he hid is under an old sleeping bag and twigs. It has been said that this took place 17th October 2016 as the victim walked to work, Ruskuls is said to have “pounced” on the victim. Kaur tried to defend herself during the attack but her screams were covered by the noise of motorway traffic.
Due to the extremity of this case, when the trial begin, jurors were told “this is a truly terrible case. The evidence in this case is distressing and you will have to brace yourself for what is to come.”
Kaur’s husband reported her missing when the victim did not return from work. A week later, Pardeep Kaur’s body was found in West London undergrowth, near Harlington Bridge in Hayes. DCI Kenneth Berg, a visiting officer, discovered the body. The evidence strongly suggests Ruskuls is guilty as there was a DNA match of Ruskuls’ found on Kaur’s ankle, sock and the cup of her bra. There was also a DNA match found under Kaur’s finger nails.
Ruskuls has failed to make any comment in interviews, but denies murder.
Read more in The Guardian.
- ’Pink Star’ diamond sold at record breaking price
The Pink Star is a rare 59.6 carat oval-shaped diamond that has been sold in Hong Kong for a record figure. The diamond sold at auction for over $71 million. It is the largest polished diamond in its class to be sold via an auction. The record was previously held by the Oppenheimer Blue, which was sold for $50 million in May 2016.
The stone was purchased by Chow Tai Fook, a Hong Kong-based jewellery retailer. Various reports indicate that there were three bidders competing in a telephone auction process. Some reports also indicate that it took approximately five minutes for the winning bid to be placed.
The Pink Star was found by De Beers at an African mine in 1999 and took two years to cut. The stone has attracted higher bids in the past, but these bids did not complete. The auction house is confident that this bid will complete because they have a longstanding relationship with the purchasers and the buyers themselves have been fully vetted.
- Charities fined for data law breaches
Eleven UK charities, including Oxfam, WWF and Cancer Research UK, have been fined by watchdog for misusing the data of previous donors. The Information Commissioner’s Office has said charities were trading personal details, and piecing details together from various sources, in order to target new potential donors. However, the fines only ranged between £6K and £18K because other donors would be unhappy that their donations were going towards fines. Some charities had also hired companies to profile the wealth of donors, looking into their income and lifestyle. It is suggested that the charities were targeting people who would be likely to donate in their wills. This all undermines the idea that people can choose how much of their information they share.
- Blowback from Labour party as Ken Livingstone is suspended
Ken Livingstone has been suspended from the Labour party for a period of two years for recent comments he made about Adolf Hitler and Zionism.
Mr Livingstone has voiced a desire to launch a campaign to overturn the suspension, but some feel that a suspension does not go far enough.
The chief Rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis, is one of those who share this viewpoint and he has accused the labour party of “failing the Jewish Community” by not permanently expelling Mr Livingstone from the party following a disciplinary hearing.
Similar sentiments have been conveyed by Jewish labour members and MPs, who have expressed their disappointment with Mr Corbyn for the “embarrassing fudge: of a decision as described by Michael Dugher, the Vice Chairman of the Labour friends of Israel group.
Mr Livingstone will still be able to vote on party matters and attend meetings.
For many, the Labour party has missed the opportunity to take a stand against anti-Semitism; the Holocaust Educational Trust has said that they believe this decision has shown that Mr Corbyn does not take anti-Semitism seriously.