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Welcome back to this week’s installment of the all-new What Just Happened?!, a semi-comical weekly digest of the most important news from the UK, US and the World from Will Marshall, and Alistair Simmonds-Yoo. Look out for us every Friday, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

The UK

Retail is on the naughty list

Christmas proper has now been and gone in the UK (and indeed everywhere else), but the cheer was spread pretty thin in the bricks and mortar retail sector. Trips to non-food shops in the week before Christmas were down a full 14.2% on last year amidst all manner of economic uncertainty. It’s yet to become clear whether this was made up by an increase in online spend, but it looks like the festive period, the only time when lots of businesses turn a profit, fell flat this year.

Even less Christmas cheer was had by many who bought their Turkeys from Aldi, Morrisons and Tescos who reportedly found their birds were already rotten and stinking well before Christmas day came around!

Most likely though, the country will manage just fine as it drowns it woes: last year Britons were expected to drink 6 billion units of alcohol over the Christmas period! That’s equivalent to 26 units a day each, or around 11 pints of strong beer.

Caption – perhaps Google suggestions have a hand in this?!

Mission Avoidable

It’s been revealed that building contractor Balfour Beatty mislaid plans it made of the interior of the MI6 headquarters in London. We can all rest assured that ‘most’ of the plans were recovered.

Stupid like a fox?

Prominent lawyer and QC, Jolyon Maugham, made a wonderful demonstration on Boxing day morning of exactly when too much truthfulness can be a bad thing. In a series of tweets he announced how he started the day hungover, beating a fox to death, in his wife’s ‘too-small green kimono’. He elucidated that the fox had become entangled in the protective netting around his chickens and he believed dispatching him quickly was the right thing to do. Twitter seemed pretty unsure about this and he is now facing an investigation by the RSPCA. Moral of the story: when beating animals to death in your wife’s sleepwear, don’t tweet about it.

The US

Impeach the Twit

It’s difficult to keep up with all of the ways in which Trump is undermining the national security of the United States. However, the ongoing saga regarding Trump’s alleged continued usage of his (very far from adequately secure) iPhone is pretty impressive in its disregard for due process. The data which make it possible to track an iPhone as it moves around in confluence with Trump is collected similarly for most smartphone owners. The lack of regulation concerning the proliferation of this data is worth your attention and likely a better use of time than trying to impeach Trump in the Republican Senate…

The World

Build it and they will come

The new ~18km bridge across the Kerch Strait linking Russia to the Crimean peninsula is christened with a presidential journey. Before the Crimean bridge was completed, the longest bridge in Europe was the 17.2km Vasco da Gama in Portugal. The bridge is actually two parallel bridges including a railroad built 35m above the water for the sake of ships; when the previous bridge was completed earlier this year Putin happened to be in town to drive a truck over it. The ~$3.6 billion project demonstrates Russia’s ability to follow through on large scale infrastructure projects… *coughs* domestically… 

Could this pave the way for Boris’ bridge to Ireland which he claims the EU will happily pay for?


Thanks for reading! We’ll be back next week, get in touch with the authors Will Marshall and Alistair Simmonds on Twitter and let us know what you did and didn’t like.

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