Here are this week’s headlines:
- Sentenced to life: Man, who raped stranger before his own wedding
Snaresbrook Crown Court have found Derry McCann guilty of raping a 24-year old hours before his own wedding to his pregnant fiancé. The 28-year-old committed the offence in Victoria Park, East London on Friday 13th of January 2017 after leaving the pub with his fiancé and family. CCTV footage captures McCann following another woman prior to his target. McCann pleaded guilty to three counts of rape, assault by penetration and robbery.
McCann had been released on parole 13 months prior to the attack for a carbon copy rape he committed in 2006 at the age of 17. He was arrested for the crime in question based on ‘distinctive modus operandi’ to his previous crime. The 2006 attack consisted of McCann raping and robbing a 30-year-old woman in Mile End Park, East London. Despite claiming that the sex was consensual, the jury found him guilty of the following; one count of robbery, two counts of sexual assault, one count of assault by penetration, one count of causing a person to engage in sexual activity, six counts of rape and one count of attempted rape.
Judge Martyn Zeidman, judge of the 2017 trial, has said McCann will not be considered for parole for at least 9 years and described McCann as “an exceptionally dangerous violent criminal who poses the most dire risk to women even after the expiry of the minimum term.” In his defence, Edmund Vickers QC commented that “he is disgusted at himself and that disgust has culminated in a failed suicide attempt.”
The parole board granted McCann’s release despite the 2006 trial judges “serious concerns he would remain a danger to women”. They have released a statement saying “the board is deeply concerned to learn of the circumstances which led to the further serious offence and we can only imagine the trauma and pain this has caused the victim. We are committed to doing everything we can to learn the lessons to help prevent such terrible events happening in the future.”
Read more in The Guardian.
- Issues with EU citizens applying to stay in the UK
In the aftermath of Brexit, many EU citizens who were previously comfortable without one have now applied for British citizenship en masse in an attempt to alleviate fears about what the future holds. This could be in particular due to the fact Britain has refused to give the 3 million EU nationals in the UK the right to remain and work after Brexit until the 1.1 million British in the EU are given the same reassurance.
This is causing major issues of processing at the Home Office, where it is currently predicted that it will take 11 years to process the number of applications coming in at the current rate. The fact that only 135,000 were processed last year has highlighted that it is time for a new system, a sentiment reiterated by Brexit Secretary David Davis who has encouraged the government to ‘introduce a streamlined process without delay.’
However, the prospect of a new immigration system does not seem to be one on the cards in the immediate future. The Institute for Government has rendered it ‘unfeasible’ to create a new immigration system by the time Britain leaves the EU in 2019. Furthermore, the study also raised issues concerning the need to ‘clarify the rights and entitlements of EU nationals living in the UK’ in such a turbulent time. This is especially since so many are embedded in the system; in 2015-16 EU migrants made up 32% of new nurses and midwives in the NHS.
Considering the importance and severity of the issue, hopefully we will see some further developments on the decision about the immigration system in the upcoming months.
- Will the UK join the US with Syrian airstrikes?
If the conservatives win big in the election, the government is going to consider holding a vote to expand military action in Syria. May wants the backing to join the US in airstrikes against the forces of Syrian president Bashar as-Assad in the event of another chemical attack.
After there was an alleged use of chemical weapons used in Syria against the rebels, Trump ordered a strike on the Syrian airbases. Now, Theresa May wants to join this.
In order for May to go ahead with the airstrike and join the US, the government will have to hold a vote to overturn the common vote which took place in 2013, where it was voted against action against Assad. Boris Johnson has claimed that the government might launch airstrikes without parliaments backing. However, they would much prefer for parliaments backing.
Johnson further made comments, stating to the BBC, “If the United States has a proposal to have some sort of action in response to a chemical weapons attack, and if they come to us and ask for our support, whether it is with submarine cruise missiles in the Med or whatever it happens to be, in my view, and I know this is also the view of the prime minister, it would be very difficult for us to say no.”
Read more in The Guardian.
- Facebook hires 3,000 people to review content
As a result of hate speech, child abuse, and self-harm being broadcasted on the website, these 3,000 people have been hired to report such videos much more easily. The move was quite significantly prompted by a murder and a suicide being broadcasted on Facebook Live. This increase of 3,000 people means that 7,500 carry the role of reviewing Facebook content. Zuckerberg’s post, announcing the news, suggested that law enforcement would be contacted rather than contacting the Facebook member directly. He said that this approach had prevented an attempt at suicide.