Wayne Couzens will be sentenced, Jamie Spears is under pressure, and a long-awaited report on transgender participation in sport is likely to divide opinion.
THE MURDER OF SARAH EVERARD
As we await the sentencing of Wayne Couzens later today, details of the chilling kidnap, rape and murder of Sarah Everard were revealed in court on Wednesday.
Everard was falsely arrested by Couzens - a Metropolitan police officer who claimed she breached Covid restrictions - before being driven for hours while handcuffed in his vehicle. After murdering her, Couzens set fire to Sarah’s body, in what her mother Susan described as a “final insult”.
“It meant we could never again see her sweet face and never say goodbye.” - Susan Everard
While reading out their impact statements, both Sarah’s father and sister demanded Wayne Couzens look at them.
Couzens - who ultimately admitted to the crimes - initially said he was forced by a gang to kidnap a woman, and hand her over.
In terms of the sentencing later today, there are many reports he could be given a whole-life sentence.
*While the clip below makes for an incredibly harrowing watch, we also think it is the most comprehensive report on this very important story.
STRONGER, THAN YESTERDAY
Britney Spears is one step closer to regaining her independence, after a judge suspended her father’s role as her conservator.
What happens now? For the moment, Britney is still under a conservatorship. A temporary replacement was chosen by Spears’ legal team, who will oversee the singer’s finances.
I thought they wanted to end the conservatorship? They do, in time. Her legal team said she should temporarily be overseen by the new conservator - an accountant chosen by them - “until Mr Spears' alleged abuse is fully investigated”. Meanwhile, Jamie Spears’ legal team - in a significant reversal of their previous stance - argued the conservatorship should be ended right away.
Bigger picture: Britney’s lawyer, Mathew Rosengart, argued “Mr. Spears was seeking to avoid having to turn over records from the conservatorship, including 13 years of financial information” by having the conservatorship end.
Rosengart said Britney now wants an orderly transition to pave the way for the conservatorship to end altogether within 30 to 45 days.
According to CNN, another court hearing will look at this on November 12.
WHAT ELSE IS GOING ON?
- In Japan, Fumio Kishida is “virtually ensured” to become the country’s next prime minister. Kishida - a former foreign minister - was actually not the most popular candidate among people in Japan. He was, however, the most popular among his party’s lawmakers - who made the decision.
- In a prison in Ecuador, a battle between two gangs led to the death of at least 116 people, in what AP described as “the worst prison bloodbath ever in the country”. At least five of those killed were decapitated. The country’s president has called a state of emergency, meaning the army can be deployed inside prisons.
ON TODAY’S AGENDA
A landmark report on trans people and sports is expected to be released later today.
Who is the report by? It was a collaboration between UK Sport, Sport England, Sport Wales, SportScotland and Sport Northern Ireland.
What is it expected to say? Basically, it will acknowledge there is no “magic solution” in balancing “the inclusion of trans women in female sport while guaranteeing competitive fairness and safety”.
As The Guardian noted, the report will say trans women “retain physique, stamina and strength advantages when competing in female sport, even when they reduce their testosterone levels”.
Okay, so what is the reports recommendation? Well, it suggests that sports across the UK make their own decision over what to prioritise, but encourages efforts made to be as inclusive as possible.
*Here is a really informative article on the matter.
PIN DROP - WHAT IS GOING ON IN TUNISIA?
A geologist named Najla Bouden - who The Guardian described as a “political unknown” - has been appointed.
Bigger picture: While Tunisia is regularly described as one of the more progressive Muslim countries in the world, it is important to note the recent political situation that led to this appointment.
There has been a lot of political instability in Tunisia in recent months. Over the summer, President Saied sacked Bouden’s predecessor, suspended parliament, and seized wide-ranging powers in what critics described as a coup.
As a result, Bouden’s appointment - while a milestone in many ways - is likely to be less important than in years before.
Worth noting: She is also the country’s tenth prime minister in as many years, which started with the 2011 uprising, what ultimately became the Arab Spring.
*Here is a helpful article on this.
The UK’s furlough scheme - which over the course of the pandemic paid the wages of 11 million people - closes today.
What are the latest figures? According to BBC News, in July there were roughly 1.6 million people being supported by the furlough scheme.
Overall, the scheme is said to have cost around £70 billion - which represents around a fifth of the government’s total spend on responding to the pandemic.
- BBC News: Newspaper headlines: ‘Sarah didn’t stand a chance’ and ‘women lose trust’
- The Guardian: ‘Desperate choices’ this winter as three more UK energy suppliers toppled by price surge
- The Financial Times: No Time to Die - Daniel Craig’s Bond swansong is best of his reign
- Al Jazeera: UEFA drops disciplinary action against three breakaway clubs
- The Irish Times: Lorry driver shortage an ‘imminent national emergency’ in Ireland
CNN has announced it will no longer publish content on Facebook in Australia.
Why? Because the country’s highest court ruled that media companies are liable for the comments made under their posts by members of the public.
What’s even more interesting? The apparent tit-for-tat between media and social media.
For example, CNN said Facebook “chose not to” support them.
“We are disappointed that Facebook, once again, has failed to ensure its platform is a place for credible journalism and productive dialogue around current events among its users.” - Statement from a CNN spokesperson
Meanwhile, Facebook retorted - saying “it's not our place to provide legal guidance to CNN”.
ON A LIGHTER NOTE…
See ya later…………. ALLIGATOR.