This post has been migrated from our original Medium page and was first published on 02/10/19.
Welcome back to the third instalment of the all-new weekly What Just Happened?!, a semi-comical weekly digest of the most important news from the UK, US and the World from myself, Will Marshall, and Alistair Simmonds-Yoo. Look out for us every Wednesday, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
“40 new hospitals!” the Conservatives are promising, as their electioneering ramps up to fever pitch. It’s sure to hit the perfect note with an electorate bored silly with Brexit and desperate to see some realisation of the apparent ‘end of austerity’. So how do these 40 new hospitals plan out? Well £2.7bn has been earmarked for the “reconfiguration” of 6 hospitals and £100m has been set aside for planning future developments at 34 others. Of course any investment in the NHS is welcome, but this level of spin may make you feel nauseated…
Recent hyperbole about internet infrastructure provides another exhilarating glimpse into the myriad ways the Government is promising more while offering less. ~£33 billion was the estimated cost of hooking the entire country up to full-fiber broadband by 2033, according to a report last year. The current Ministry of Truth, or ‘Conservative Party’, are offering the same with a 2025 delivery targeted (8 years ahead of the previous schedule), all while only pledging support of £5 billion — support being the crucial word here. Any obfuscation of a step towards full-fiber everywhere and full-fiber-everywhere-forever probably suits the Tories pretty well at the moment. What with… well, Boris’s ongoing incentive to rile up popular sentiment and direct it somewhere, anywhere, other than at his sister’s allegation that his backers have bet on the pounds crashing. An allegation that has been reiterated by MP (& previous Chancellor of the Exchequer) Philip Hammond. In the meantime, if you’re in the UK then there’s only about a 1 in 10 chance that your WiFi connection would not be improved if you moved to the Hebrides.
A pub in Worcestershire set the (unofficial) world record for the greatest number of Nigel’s gathered in one place this week. Landlord Nigel Smith hosted 432 other Nigels, including musicians called Nigel, Nigel the comedian and Nigel from Texas. The name ‘Nigel’ appears to be dying out, with no Nigels on the register of births in 2016. Nigel the landlord did admit it’s a name you have to grow into.
The US and UK:
Two nations separated by a common language and bonded by their apparent determination to mutually annihilate themselves politically. Inciting the populace to Civil War esque violence is apparently rather in vogue these days. Leaving people disillusioned that the tweeting trend ‘CivilWar2’ was not about an entertaining high-octane Marvel romp, but alas, twas’ about a casual suggestion that there will be mass violence in the event of Trump’s being held accountable for ‘crimes’ which this sort of behaviour obviously makes one look absolutely not guilty of…
In-keeping with a recent pattern of asking for beyond geopolitically-inappropriate favours from fellow heads of state, before internally restricting information regarding such favours, as one would do were there to be common knowledge that such favours should not be asked…
Trump asks Australian PM to help undermine Mueller investigation. This one almost tops the time Trump sided with Putin on stage over his own intelligence services, but how could something like that stay in the newscycle for more than 15 minutes? That particular utter triumph of international relations best-practice is still as remarkable today as it was a little over a year ago.
What’s called D28, has a surface area almost as large as Scotland’s Isle of Skye (1,656 km2) and is composed entirely of various densities of ice? This giant sodding 315 billion tonne iceberg which just said goodbye to the Antarctic ice sheet. Ice Shelves have an ‘indirect’ effect on sea-levels, since they’re floating & therefore displacing their weight in water. ‘That there’s load bearing ice’ one might, somewhat, accurately say of the portions of Shelves soon to become Bergs. They hold back ‘ground-ice’, naturally — since the ice at the leading edge of the continent is essentially a number of glaciers coming together to deposit some past snow fall into the ocean — this recently vindicated theory of ‘buttressing’ explains ‘ice-streams’ flowing faster towards the ocean post-berg-event and a corresponding contribution to sea-level rise.
Alcohol consumption in Russia is down 43%since 2003 according to the WHO. Presumably the success of Russian hackers in undermining Western democracy can be at least partly attributed to going less blind from drinking bootleg grain alcohol and drain cleaner. On the other hand Putin risks losing control of his Kleptocracy as the populous can now see just how shitty things have become for the average Russian.
The Swedish Navy has become so freaked out by Russia that it’s moved into a cave. No, seriously, it actually has. The cold-war development in Muskö boasts miles of underground docks and even a hospital. The annexation of Crimea followed by alleged sighting of a Russian mini-sub in Swedish waters has rattled cages in the Swedish Defence Ministry, as the army and air force commands have also relocated from Stockholm, presumably to a hollowed out but still active volcano.
Perhaps if we’re really lucky, we might once-again get to glimpse the Soviet Lun-class ekranoplan, an aircraft larger than any modern airliner, capable of skimming the surface of the sea at 350 mph whilst carrying 6 nuclear missiles. Again — you can’t make this shit up.The Ekranoplan (YouTube)