Happy Saturday, intrepid explorers
I'll be keeping it short, sweet and family friendly this week - unlike Logan, which a week and a half later STILL has me dwelling on it. I cannot recommend it enough!
There's lots of news to dissect, so let's dive straight in!
Until next week,
Chancellor Philip Hammond announces new Budget
Philip Hammond has announced his first budget as Chancellor, and it's a bit of a mixed bag. The most controversial was the decision to raise Class 4 National Insurance contributions which will go up 2% over the next two years, breaking one of the Conservative's election promises. MP's on both sides voiced their discontent about this, and Theresa May has stated that the increase will now be delayed until September. There is a hardship fund for businesses that have been affected by increases in business rates made earlier this year. He also stated that the UK is the second-fastest growing economy in the G7 last year, and subsequently the growth forecast for 2017 has been upgraded 0.6% to 2%. For a full rundown of the key announcements made, the BBC have made a helpful summary. This week we also bared witness to Theresa May doing what can only be described a weird pantomime jigglelaugh.
2018 could bring another referendum for Scottish Independence
Nicola Sturgeon believes that autumn 2018 will be the best "commonsense" time to hold another referendum for Scottish Independence. She mentioned in a BBC documentary interview on Brexit that it she will wait until UK's deal to leave the EU becomes clear. However, she has not yet made a final decision.
It is clear that her intention would be to host the referendum whilst the UK is still legally a member of the EU to create a stronger argument that Scotland should have the right to remain a member. This follows on from many members of the Scottish National party believing that once the UK exits the EU, it will cause difficulty for Scotland to re-enter.
During the referendum back in June 2016, Scotland voted to remain by 62% to 38%, while voters in Wales and England voted to leave. Perhaps this is the final push that the SNPs need to gain their independance.
South Lakes Safari Zoo has license revoked
The Dalton-in-Furness zoo was unanimously refused its licence renewal request by Barrow councillors, after being criticised for poor animal welfare, and the death of a keeper. In the last four years, 486 animals have died. In 2013, keeper Sarah McClay was mauled to death by a tiger, and the zoo was fined £297,500 for health and safety failures. The owner, David Gill, has 28 days to appeal, but should that be unsuccessful, the zoo will be closed to the public.
La La Land to tour the UK
Good news for musical theatre lovers- the award-winning La La Land is scheduled to be scored live in venues across the UK this September.
Beginning in Manchester, the tour will swiftly hit York, Bristol, Birmingham and Edinburgh before visiting other countries such as Canada and Italy. It is reported that the tour will include a 100-piece orchestra, jazz ensemble and chorus and, to top it all off, it will be conducted by Justin Hurwitz, the composer of the score. Hurwitz claimed the award for 'Best Original Score' at this year's Oscars. The tour will begin in the US in May at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, aptly where the film is set.
After a recent slip-up at the Oscars, this will be the final bow for La La Land that we have all been waiting for.
Sir Howard Hodgkin dies aged 84
Sir Howard Hodgkin, described as one of Britain's greatest contemporary artists, has died, aged 84. A central figure in contemporary art for over 50 years, died in hospital just weeks after returning from the UK from India. Director of the Tate galleries Sir Nicholas Serota, who curated Hodgkin's first museum exhibition in 1976, led tributes, describing him as "one of the great artists and colourists of his generation". The Turner prize winning artist, who preferred painting on wood over canvas, is well known for saying in interviews that he hated painting. Talking to the BBC, he stated he "had no other skills" but going "through the horrors of painting" was not something he ever looked forward to.
Source: The Telegraph
Image : Getty Images
Jenny Holzer chosen for Blenheim Palace installations
US artist Jenny Holzer has been chosen as the next contemporary artist to take on the Blenheim Palace. Holzer will be the fourth contemporary artist, and the first female artist to host an installation in the historic grounds and interior. Former artists include Ai Weiwei, Laurence Weiner and Michelangelo Pistoletto. Michael Frahm, director of the Blenheim Art Foundation said of Holzer, "is certainly one of the leading artists of her generation, with a career spanning 40 years. I am confident that Jenny will rise to the challenge of showing at Blenheim which – let's face it – is not your typical white cube." Holzer intends to use LED light pieces, text carved into stone, projections and installations using black mondo grass.
The work will be on display from 28 September until 31 December.
Katie Hopkins loses libel case, must pay £24,000
Food blogger Jack Monroe has won £24,000 damages in a High Court libel case against MailOnline columnist Katie Hopkins. A quick crash course in defamation law for you. A statement is defamatory if it has caused, or is likely to cause, serious harm to the reputation of a claimant. There has to be a defamatory statement made, identification of an individual, and publication of said comment - this is known as the DIP test. In the past, this rule has tended to apply more to traditional publications, such as newspapers or online magazines, but this case is interesting because the offending statements were made on Twitter. In 2015 following the vandalism of the WWII memorial, Hopkins accidentally confused Monroe with fellow Guardian columnist Laurie Penny, and tweeted Monroe saying "Scrawled on any memorials lately? Vandalised the memory of those who fought for your freedom? Grandma got any more medals?". Monroe requested the tweet be deleted, an apology issued, and a £5k donation to migrant rescue efforts. The court case concluded with a ruling that Hopkins is to pay £24,000 to Monroe, and £107,000 for Monroe's legal costs, with further costs still to be determined. It could be potentially cost Hopkin's over £300,000. Best be careful when you next tweet!
Damien Hirst and others to box up art in fight against Parkinson's
Work created by prestigious artists including the YBAs Damien Hirst and Sarah Lucas as well as Peter Blake and the Chapman Brothers is to be exhibited before being sold in aid of research to try and cure Parkinson's Disease. Some prices currently stand at tens of thousands, with the 20cm³ perspex boxes set to go on sale on Monday 13th March at 9am via the Cure³ website. The prices set for some of these cubes is no surprise, with works by one of the 53 contributing artists Peter Doig, often going for millions. The works will be exhibited 13-15th March at Bonhams, London.
Source: Evening Standard
Watch this video!
And finally this week, to remind us that truly that life goes on both inside and outside of professional environments, Robert E Kelly aptly showed everyone that keeping your cool can diffuse many surprising scenarios as his two children burst into his office, followed by his fast-moving wife. Discussing how the South Korean President has been removed from office, the academic live on the BBC maintained a straight face and took to Twitter after the programme: 'Is this kinda thing that goes 'viral' and gets weird?'
Maddie Drury, Gracie McCabe and Sally Trivett contributed to this report