NewsFix: Wednesday September 29, 2021
A controversial political figure arrested after a suspected plan to kill the prime minister. No, this is not the plot of the new Bond movie.
TUESDAY’S TOP LINES
A controversial Dutch politician was arrested over the weekend on suspicion of plotting to murder the country’s prime minister, Mark Rutte.
Really? Yes. Arnoud van Doorn is a former member of a far-right party who converted to Islam back in 2012. He was arrested for allegedly “acting suspiciously” in the same neighbourhood as Rutte. He claims it was a coincidence, and he was in the area to deliver medication for his mother’s cat.
Bigger picture: Rutte has been travelling with extra security lately. A Dutch newspaper reported it was connected to fears of a possible plot from an organised crime gang to kidnap the prime minister.
*Here is a link to the most helpful article we’ve found on this.
Reality TV star Katie Price has sparked concern after reports emerged she crashed her car in the early hours of Tuesday. A police report said a woman was arrested “on suspicion of driving while above the legal limit for alcohol and drugs”.
Price’s family addressed the incident in a statement, saying they had “for some time been concerned about Kate’s wellbeing and overall mental health”. The statement went on to say they are “not looking for sympathy,” but asked “it is recognised that Kate is unwell”.
ON TODAY’S AGENDA…
Wayne Couzens - the former police officer who admitted to murdering Sarah Everard - is expected to be sentenced later today. Sky News reports the sentencing hearing could take two days, and the judge has already “discussed the possibility of a whole-life prison term”.
Remember: Everard disappeared during a walk home through Clapham in London on March 3. A bus camera recorded the moment Couzens “intercepted” Everard, while driving a white Vauxhall Astra which he had hired using his own personal details.
Britney Spears faces a “high stakes” court hearing today, where a judge is expected to decide on whether or not to remove her father as a conservator, and possibly even end the conservatorship altogether.
Remember: The pop singer has tried for years to have her father removed as conservator. Jamie Spears has been marred by numerous allegations of controlling his daughter’s life. Months after Britney’s explosive court testimony in June, Jamie filed a request that the court end the conservatorship. While Britney’s lawyers said the singer ultimately wants that, she first wants her father to be removed.
Japan looks set to have a new prime minister soon, as a leadership election continues. There are two contenders left in the race - Fumio Kishida and Taro Kono. The winner will replace Yoshihide Suga, who is stepping down after only one year in office amidst criticism of Japan’s response to coronavirus.
How close is it? Well, in the first round Kishida received 256, while Kono got 255. Important to note: Kishida - a former foreign minister - is more popular amongst lawmakers, while Kono - a former defence and foreign minister - is said to be the public’s favourite.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer is due to deliver a speech today at Labour’s party conference. It will be the first time Starmer addresses a full conference since becoming leader.
Bigger picture: Starmer faces an uphill battle to unite the party, as some of his colleagues view him as being too centred in some of his policies. Also, remember that Labour lost the last general election “by the biggest margin since the 1930s”.
‘HUMBLED, HORRIFIED AND HEARTBROKEN’
That is how the World Health Organisation responded to an independent inquiry which found a number of its workers abused women and girls in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The abuse - which includes allegations of rape - was said to have been carried out by aid workers during the Ebola outbreak between 2018 and 2020. As CNN noted, of the 83 alleged perpetrators, 21 were employed by WHO.
“According to the report, the abuse led to 29 pregnancies, with some of the perpetrators insisting the women have abortions. The report added that the WHO perpetrators included local and international staff.” - Staggering details from The Guardian’s report
Where is the DRC? Literally in Central Africa.
Below is a fascinating look at changing perceptions on abortion in a number of countries between 2014 and 2021. As you can see, 20% more people in South Korea agree that abortions should be legal than did seven years ago.
Interestingly, the UK and France both had a decline in the numbers of people who think abortion should be permitted.
A post shared by @statista
IF YOU WATCH ONE THING TODAY…
In a harrowing look at the impact of the ongoing war in Yemen, journalist Isobel Yeung speaks to the mothers of devastatingly malnourished children - one who watches as her dying child eats his hands “out of hunger until it bleeds”.
It makes for pretty painful watching, but serves as an important reminder of the perilous situation faced by so many.
Yeung also explores the role of both Saudi Arabia and - to a lesser extent - the Houthis in delaying the arrival of much needed fuel to the port of Hodeidah.
- BBC News: Katie Price’s family concerned after crash
- The Guardian: No Time to Die review: Daniel Craig dispatches James Bond with panache, rage - and cuddles
- The Financial Times: US stocks suffer biggest loss since May as inflation fears spread
- Al Jazeera: UEFA drops disciplinary action against three breakaway clubs
- The Irish Times: Miriam Lord: Sinn Féin’s good standard of heckling ‘doesn’t stand up to scrutiny’
BOND IS BACK
After an 18-month delay, the new Bond movie has finally premiered in London and Dublin.
No Time to Die - the 25th Bond movie - is Daniel Craig’s last time playing the famous British spy.
A Sky News review concluded the movie is “well worth the wait,” while a summary in The Times said the movie is “better than good… it’s magnificent”.
Who made the most headlines? Probably Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, who stunned in a gold gown at the London premiere.
A post shared by @dukeandduchessofcambridge
ON A LIGHTER NOTE…
Exclusive first look.