News Round Up – w/c 1.5.17

Here are this week’s headlines:

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Empty spot in the Bureau

Reported by Spencer Yap

James Comey, America’s former head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, was recently fired by president Donald Trump. This comes after the attorney general, Jeff Sessions and his deputy, Rod Rosenstein recommended the firing of Comey. This is a vast change in perspective from October 31st when president Trump, in relation to the investigation of Hilary Clinton’s email, praised Comey saying “it took guts for Director Comey to make the move that he made in light of the kind of opposition he had where they are trying to protect her from criminal prosecution.”

Adam Schiff, a congressman from California who sits on the House intelligence committee, connected the dismissal with the current investigations into the possibility of Russian meddling of the 2016 campaign. Saying “The decision by a president whose campaign associates are under investigation by the FBI for collusion with Russia to fire the man overseeing that investigation, upon the recommendation of an attorney-general who has recused himself from that investigation, raises profound questions about whether the White House is brazenly interfering in a criminal matter.

Some has compared this to the firing of Archibald Cox on October 20th 1973 by former president, Richard Nixon. However, Comey’s case is different from Cox as Comey was not specifically appointed to look into the Russian meddling of the 2016 presidential campaign. Mr Trump pointed out that Comey has even re-assured the president three times that the president himself was not under investigation by the FBI.

The current faith of the inquiry, as to whether to an independent counsel or another independent body, lies with a handful of moderate and independent – minded Republicans senators, whose support president Trump couldn’t always muster. As pointed out be Seib, “because of the Republicans’ thin margin in the Senate, those senators have powerful leverage, not only over how the Russia inquiry proceeds and how the FBI vacancy is filled, but also over the rest of the Trump agenda.”

Read more in The Economist or The Wall Street Journal.

11-year old dies on school trip to Drayton Manor theme park

Reported by Megan Kearns

On Tuesday, emergency services were called to Drayton Manor theme park in Staffordshire after Euha Jannath fell out of a circular boat on their popular “Splash Canyon” ride. The 11-year-old was on a school trip when the accident occurred and when emergency services were called at 14:15 the young girl had been pulled out the water by staff with serious injuries. She was flown to Birmingham Children’s Hospital where she was pronounced dead shortly after.

Family of Miss Jannath have requested the immediate release of her body to coincide with religious burial customs and for the ride to stay shut throughout the investigation of her death. The family said “Words cannot describe the pain and loss we feel. We are devastated that we will not see our beautiful little girl again.”

The ride, which opened in 1993, promises a “wild-ride” and “fast-flowing rapids” and already has in place height restrictions for small children. The park released a statement saying the incident has “shaken the whole Drayton Manor family, from the board, through to staff and visitors. The park will be closed on Thursday to allow the Health and Safety Executive to complete their work. Our thoughts are with the family and all those who have been affected by Tuesday’s incident.”

Alton Towers, Legoland and Thorpe Park (owned by Merlin entertainments) have also closed similar rapid rides until more information about the incident is released. A Merlin spokeswoman commented, “We are aware of the tragic events at Drayton Manor and our thoughts are with the family and all of those affected. Safety is our number one priority. We have full confidence in the safety of all the rides we operate, but as a precautionary measure, rapid rides at relevant parks will be closed until more details of the incident become available.”

Read more on the BBC.

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