Friday, 23 January 2015

This week's newsquiz: 25 points up for grabs

The best submitted score in last week's newsquiz was a very modest 13 by Alex Murphy. The questions must be getting harder! Here's this week's challenge. As usual, there are 20 questions with five bonuses, so 25 points up for grabs. Let me know how you get on?

The Sun's tribute to Anne Kirkbride (Q2)
1. British Gas announced it will cut its tariffs by 5 per cent. From which date will the cuts take effect? 
Bonus: British Gas is the second of the big six energy suppliers to cut tariffs. Who announced it was taking 3.5 per cent off gas tariffs last week?
2. Coronation Steet star Anne Kirkbride died suddenly this week. How old was she?
Bonus: Kirkbride was best know as Deirdre Barlow in the show. She had two other married surnames. Name one of them.
3. Who said: 'Tonight, we turn the page. The shadow of crisis has passed...'? 
4. How many lashes in total was Saudi blogger Raif Badawi sentenced to receive?
5. Whose funeral cortege will begin on February 3 at Molineux Football Ground?
6. Spice girl Geri Halliwell and TV presenters Jayne Middlemiss and Melinda Messenger all began their showbiz careers where?
7. How much was the invoice sent to five-year-old Alex Nash’s parents for his non-attendance at a schoolfriend’s birthday party?
8. Who wrote to MP Chris Bryant: 'It is your populist, envy-based, vote-hunting ideas which make our country crap, far more than me and my shit songs, and my plummy accent.'?
9. A British soldier has been charged with raping a six-year-old girl in which country?
10. The report of the inquiry into the Iraq war will not be published before the General Election. Who chaired the inquiry? 
Bonus: How many letters from Tony Blair to George Bush will be published alongside the report?
11. What did 27-year-old Imran Khawaja fake in an attempt to sneak back into Britain?
12. Actor Brian Blessed collapsed on stage at Holy Trinity Church in Guildford with an apparent heart problem. Which role was he playing?
13. Eleven people were injured in a knife attack on a bus in which city?
14. Business and global political leaders were in which ski resort for the 2015 World Economic Forum?
15. A Carmarthen traffic warden is being investigated after a putting parking ticket on what?
16. Who was presented with the Special Recognition Award at the National Television Awards?
Bonus: Why was Sheridan Smith late in collecting her award for Best Drama Performance?
17. Who faces a £10.8 million bill for the rent of the York & Albany pub near Regent's Park?
18. The International Cricket Council has warned that something will not be tolerated at the World Cup next month? What is the something?
Bonus: England cricket captain Eoin Morgan was the target of a blackmail plot over an alleged fling with an Australian woman. How much, in British pounds, did the blackmailer demand?
19. He was a barrister who became the youngest Home Secretary since Winston Churchill. Who is he?
20. The Doomsday Clock moved forward by two minutes and is now closer to midnight than it has been since 1984. What time does the clock now read?

Answers here

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

48 who died in 2014: How many can you name?

I am just back from a week's skiing in Andorra with friends. Andorra was fantastic ... who knew? Anyway, every night in the bar I ran a quiz, including questions on people who died in 2014. I thought I would share it here. Here are six pages each with eight famous people who died last year - so 48 in all. All you have to do is name them. Let me know how you get on. Answers are here.

Friday, 16 January 2015

Try your hand at this week's newsquiz

Last week’s top submitted score was a modest 14 by Charlie Taverner. Here’s this week’s newsquiz - as usual there are 25 points up for grabs. Let me know how you get on.

Today's Daily Mirror on the Belgian shootout (see Question 1)

1. What were the three words above the image on the front cover of this week’s Charlie Hebdo magazine?
Bonus: Name the French comedian who has been charged with glorifying terrorism after making a Facebook comment on the Charlie Hebdo attacks?
Bonus: Two suspected jihadists were killed in an anti-terror operation in which Belgian town?
2. On a visit to the Philippines Pope Francis, arguing that freedom of expression had its limits, said if someone said curse words against __ __ he could expect a punch. What are the missing two words?
3. Why were the neighbouring towns of Doro Baga and Baga in the headlines?
4. What is the name of the Pub Landlord’s party that declared it will stand in South Thanet?
Bonus: In his manifesto the Pub Landlord promised to do what to the Channel Tunnel?
5. Liverpudlian Matthew Doherty started a petition to complain about changes to the recipe for what?
6. According to researchers at Cambridge University, doing what every day could cut the risk of premature death by a third?
7. A man wielding a machete attacked a shopper in a Tesco supermarket in which town?
8. Who was caught on CCTV having an altercation with a man in a back street in Hampstead?
9. A car, loaded with gas canisters, was driven into the offices of which council?
10. Which currency soared by up to 30 per cent after the cap on its value against the Euro was abandoned?
11. The Oscar nominations were announced this week. Two films shared the most nominations, nine each. One was The Grand Budapest Hotel. What was the other?
Bonus: Which actress has been nominated for her 19th acting Oscar (best supporting actress for Into The Woods) breaking her own Academy Awards record?
12. Which football club sacked its European scout Torben Aakjaer for ‘offensive' posts on Facebook?
13. Kevin Jorgeson and Tommy Caldwell scaled the Dawn Wall on El Capitan peak in which American national park?
14. Which author was taken to hospital after suffering a stroke?
15. The Education Secretary said children must learn to be bored and entertain themselves. Who is the Education Secretary?
16. Who said: 'It was banter in an odd situation, but I understand entirely I've upset a lot of people from everywhere in the world... I am not a racist. Never have been.’?
17. Snooker player Ronnie O'Sullivan scored his 776th career century to break whose all-time record?
18. Teacher Stuart Kerner was found guilty of sexual activity with a 16-year-old pupil. What sentence was he given?
19. Former Premier League footballer David Ginola announced his intention to stand for which position?
20. The European Court of Human Rights rejected a complaint over an article which accused who of being 'bloodthirsty cannibal'?

Answers here

Monday, 12 January 2015

Stephen Lawrence journalism scholarship

Today the Daily Mail and the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust have launched two scholarships for would-be journalists. The Mail has long-supported the family of Stephen, who was murdered at 18 in 1993, and is now offering two places on its training scheme to two people from disadvantaged backgrounds. Since it was founded, the Trust has awarded more than 100 architecture bursaries, with many students going on to qualify as architects. I look forward to working with the successful applicants. Here's how to apply.

Friday, 9 January 2015

Test yourself with this week's news quiz

Last week everyone was so partied out that there were no newsquiz scores worth mentioning. Tsk, tsk, Since then, we have had another grim news week with one horrific story dominating. Dark days. It has not been easy viewing or reading this week ... but here's the quiz anyway. As usual there are 20 questions, with five bonuses, so 25 points in all. Let me know how you get on.

The Independent's front page on the Charlie Hebdo atrocities (Q1)
1. What was the name of the murdered editor of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo?
Bonus: What does Hebdo mean?
Bonus: Who was branded a moron after tweeting: 'If the people so violently shot down in Paris had guns, at least they would have had a fighting chance'?
2. On the same day as the Paris attack a suicide bomber killed 33 police cadets by driving a minibus packed with explosives into a police academy in which country?

3. Verlin Rainwater Solutions and Nando’s threatened to withdraw their support from what?
4. Ed Miliband said: 'We will win this election, not by buying up thousands of poster sites, but by having millions of ...' What?
Bonus: The Conservatives launched a poster featuring a road to recovery. Where was the original photograph of the road believed to have been taken?
5. What was the dominant colour at the third day of the Australia v India test match in Sydney?
6. Tesco announced plans to close how many unprofitable stores?
7. Northern General Hospital in Sheffield asked which charity to operate two ambulances amid 'unprecedented pressure’ in its A&E department?
Bonus: Labour's shadow health secretary said a co-ordinated plan was urgently needed to address a 'rapidly deteriorating position in the NHS’. Who is the shadow health secretary?
8. What did Virginia Roberts say happened to her 13 years ago?
9. What happened to Hoegh Osaka?
10. Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has signed an 18-month contract with which football club?
11. Accusations of rape against the Tory MP for Wrekin were dropped as there was ‘insufficient evidence’. Name him.
12. Which country’s elections, which saw armed policemen at every polling station, resulted in a surprise change of president?
13. Aldi withdrew Choceur Treasures after what was found in a batch of chocolate bars?
14. Thousands of passengers faced delays at which airport after people arriving on a Ryanair flight went through an exit door which was 'left open in error'?
15. What will traffic police in Manila be required to wear when the Pope visits the Philippines next week? 
16. Ray McFall died this week. Which famous music venue did he once own?
17. Why was Elliott Spencer in the headlines? 
18. Gary Anderson became World Champion at what?
19. What was 14-year-old Ben Azarya given by a man he helped on a train in Cumbria?
20. Why did 16-year-old Adam Greenwood tweet to Virgin Trains while he was travelling from Euston to Glasgow?

Answers here

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Friday, 2 January 2015

Try your hand at the first newsquiz of 2015

Happy New Year to all news-quizzers. Hope you had a good one - while still keeping up with the news of course. Last week's top submitted score was by Daily Mail trainee sub Michael Owens with a very impressive 18. See if you can do better this week. As usual there are 20 questions with five bonuses, so 25 points up for grabs. Let me know how you get on.

The Independent reports on the AirAsia crash (Q2)

1. What was the name of the ferry that caught fire trapping hundreds of passengers near Corfu?
2. From which island did AirAsia flight QZ8501 take off?

Bonus: The chief executive of AirAsia is also the chairman of which football club?
3. A portrait of the Queen is on one side of the new £100 coin… but what is on the other side?
4. Network Rail chief Mark Carne issued an apology for the chaos at King’s Cross over Christmas from his holiday home … where is it?

Bonus: While the chaos ensued, the rail minister wrote an article saying services were among the most punctual in Europe. Who is the rail minister?
5. A cargo ship carrying 700 migrants and no crew was brought into which Italian port?
6. Two Premier League football teams have appointed new full-time managers this week. Name the clubs (half point each)
Bonus: At the end of New Year’s Day, what separated Chelsea and Manchester City at the top of the Premier League?
7. A plan to unveil a bronze statue in the Falklands has upset Argentinian politicians. Whose statue is it?
8. Why was Pauline Cafferkey in the headlines?

9. Paul Cummins and Tom Piper received MBEs in the New Years Honours list. For what?
Bonus: Carol Ann Duffy became a dame. What is her official role?
10. Who did North Korea describe as 'reckless … like a monkey in a tropical forest’?
11. Six people were stabbed at a New Year’s Eve party at nightclub in which Midlands sports resort?
12. In which city did 36 people die after a New Year’s Eve stampede?
13. According to Dr Richard Smith, writing in the British Medical Journal, what is the best way to die?
14. Players and staff at which football club were conned out of around £30,000 in a hamper scam?
15. A newly discovered letter written in 1907 revealed that Winston Churchill’s family urged him not to do what?
16. The magazine Inspire encouraged 'lone wolf' terrorists to target which two British based airlines? (Half a point for each)
17. Who did model Jessica Michibata marry in Hawaii?
Bonus: Singers Heather Small and Gary Barlow made a cameo appearance at whose wedding?
18. Who, on announcing he was leaving, said: 'This has been the toughest decision of my life, one both me and my family have agonised over for a good deal of time.'
19. French economist Thomas Piketty turned down what?
20. What device, officially launched by comedian Ernie Wise in 1985, celebrated its 30th anniversary on New Year’s Day?

Answers here

Friday, 26 December 2014

Christmas is over ... back to the newsquiz

It may be Christmas ... but there has still been a lot going on in the world. So, in between the shopping and eating, did you manage to keep up with the news? Test yourself with this week's newsquiz - as usual there are 20 questions, with five bonuses, so 25 points up for grabs. The highest submitted scores last week were by media law specialist David Banks and my old Northern Echo colleague Adam Batstone - both registering an impressive 17. A special mention to my friends from the Plough. After I publicly ticked them off for an average of 12 points over the last few weeks they raised their game with a collective 21 last week. There were six of them - but still not bad. Let me know how you get on. 

The Queen on the front of the Daily Telegraph (Q17)
1. She played the nanny in the Omen and Violet in the Krays. Who was she?
2. The Apprentice was won by Mark Wright for his digital marketing idea - what name did he give it?

Bonus: Nick Hewer quit The Apprentice after ten years. How old is he?
3. Cars were driven into pedestrians in Dijon and Nantes by drivers allegedly shouting Allahu Akbar. What is the English translation of the phrase?
Bonus: The French Prime Minister said there were no links between the attacks. Who is the French PM?
4. Singer Joe Cocker, who died this week, was born in which city?

Bonus: Cocker topped the UK charts in 1968 with which Beatles’ song?
5. The Beckham family, Ed Sheeran and David Walliams all attended an event in Windsor. What was it?
6. Burnley FC planned a minute's applause for former player Clarke Carlisle who is in hospital after being hit by a lorry. Name any other team he played for.
7. Where did former president George Bush (senior) spend Christmas?
8. In which Glasgow square were six people killed by a runaway bin lorry?
Bonus: What did thousands of people do at 9pm on Christmas Eve in memory of the victims?
9. Which high street company saw its shares slump by 25 per cent after it warned investors that annual profits will fall this year?
10. Footballer Zlatan Ibrahimovic was upset at being second in the list of all-time sporting Swedes. Who was first?
11. According to a team of doctors at Harvard Medical School doing what in bed is likely to damage your sleeping and your health?
12. Sony Pictures' co-chairman Amy Pascal said she would like actor Idris Elba to play which role?
13. Islamic militants claimed to have shot down a fighter plane over Syria and captured the pilot. Which country did the plane belong to?
14. TV chef Lorraine Pascale is to become the Government's first what?
15. Police appealed to the public to return millions of banknotes taken after they were strewn over the road when a van carrying the cash crashed. Where?
16. The son of which singer was injured in a car crash in Shropshire?
17. In her Christmas Day speech the Queen said the only possible reaction to seeing something was to walk in silence. What was she referring to?
Bonus: Whose Christmas Day sermon was not delivered verbally but only released as a statement? 
18. Why was Antonio Martin in the headlines?
19. Which UK delivery company called in the administrators on Christmas Eve after 'years of substantial losses’?
20. What did no Premier League club do before Christmas for the first time since 1995/96?

Answers here