As the mass murders in Syria continued, the Assad regime made its first ever acknowledgement of its possession of chemical weapons. This came as their foreign ministry spokesman, Jihad Makdissi, vowed that Syria would never use them against its own citizens and would only be used if ‘Syria is exposed to external aggression’. This however does not exclude the current conflict as the Syrian regime continues to describe the rebels as foreign terrorists. There are also fears held by the US and Israel that extremists could exploit chaos following Assad’s potential fall and threaten Israel with the chemical weapons. Meanwhile this week, Assad’s forces launched an assault on Aleppo and moved tanks in on Saturday.
The Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney visited London this week and left the city to a bemused Britain. Upon arrival Romney was interviewed by American broadcaster NBC and when asked about the Olympics, he said ‘there were a few things that were disconcerting.’ Downing Street retorted that ‘Of course it's easier if you hold an Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere’, referring to his running of 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. He also referred to Labour’s Ed Miliband as ‘Mr Leader’ while claiming he held talks with the chief of MI6. Romney suffered from cultural linguistic differences claiming he could watch the Olympics ‘out of the backside of 10 Downing Street.’
Chelsea captain and England defender John Terry has been charged by the FA, alleging to have used ‘abusive and/or insulting words and/or behaviour’ including a reference ‘to the ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race of Anton Ferdinand.’ This comes despite the ruling of Westminster Magistrates Court this month finding Terry not guilty of the same charge. However, with a lower level of proof required by the FA who will judge based on probabilities, Terry could be faced with a different verdict. The main reason for the not guilty verdict in the courts was the lack of sufficient evidence. Terry has denied the charges and requested a personal hearing.
The Office for Fair Access has reported that it estimates that tuition fees will rise for the second year in a row, in evidence that more universities are taking up the maximum charge now in place. While the current average is £8,414 per year, it is set to rise for 2013 to £8,507. It now means 3 in 4 universities are charging maximum rates. Sally Hunt, general secretary of the UCU lecturers' union said: ‘When pushing higher fees through Parliament ministers promised that fees above £6,000 would be the exception rather than rule. Today's figures confirm our more accurate prediction that fees closer to the maximum of £9,000 a year would in fact be the norm.’
Snoop Dogg has been banned from Norway for 2 years after attempting to enter the country with 8 grams of marijuana in his luggage. The decision comes after the rapper, whose real names is Calvin Broadus, was stopped on his way to a music festival in June. He was also found to be carrying more cash than is legally allowed and was fined $8,600. It was previously ruled in 2006 that Snoop Dogg was permanently banned from the UK after he was involved in a mass brawl in Heathrow airport. The ban was eventually overturned as was a similar one banning him from Australia in 2007 due to his criminal record.
Violence returned to Iraq this week as multiple bombings and shootings claimed the lives of 107 people while injuring 200. The co-ordinated attacks took place across 15 cities. The series of attacks took place within a few hours of each other, mostly hitting government officials and security forces buildings. The attacks came days after Al-Qaeda’s leader in Iraq warned that the group were reorganising. The worst of the attacks came in the town of Taji where 28 were killed after a car bomb and four roadside bombs exploded in a residential complex there. The attacks on Monday made it the deadliest day in Iraq since US troops departed in mid-December.
Danny Boyle’s £27million opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games was widely acclaimed as a truly British occasion, a highlight being the Queen making her acting debut in a short clip with James Bond. In a scene filmed in advance and screened for the first time, Bond actor Daniel Craig arrived at Buckingham Palace in a dinner jacket, striding past the corgis towards the royal study. ‘Good evening Mr Bond,’ says the Queen, before they leave together, apparently heading towards the Olympic Stadium in a helicopter. Rowan Atkinson also reprised his role as Mr Bean, joining Sir Simon Rattle conducting the theme from Chariots of Fire. The ceremony also included a duel between Lord Voldemort and multiple Mary Poppins.
An 11 year old boy from Manchester was able to fly to Rome from Manchester Airport without a passport or boarding pass, claiming he had been looking for a toilet before finding himself on a plane. Liam Corcoran from Newall Green, said ‘I went to the toilet and sat there but I couldn’t get out. Then 'whoosh’, we were going up in the sky.’ However, Liam admitted he didn’t like it in Rome and ‘just wanted to go home and see my mum.’ His mother was phoned four hours after his disappearance telling her the shocking news that her son was in Rome. Three separate investigations are under way to discover how this happened while certain staff at the airport have been suspended pending the inquiries.