Friday, 22 June 2018

Time to tackle this week's newsquiz

Last week's newsquiz was clearly a tough one. For two days the top scorers, including Toby Brown, Steven Silk, the Penmans and Adam Batstone and Lucy Thorpe were all stuck on a modest 14. Finally Janet Boyle crashed through the 14 barrier with a powerful 15. I think this week's is a bit easier. As usual there are 25 questions about the week's events. Give it a go and let me know how you get on. 



 An American perspective on the US border policy (Questions 4, 5 and 6)

1. The Government's Brexit bill passed through Parliament after assurances were accepted by rebels that MPs would have a meaningful say. What was the Government majority?
2. EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told MPs and senators from which country that: 'As the clock to Brexit ticks down, we must prepare for every eventuality, including no deal’?
3. Chief operating officer Tom Williams confirmed his company, which employs 14,000 people at 25 sites in Britain, is considering cutting thousands of jobs over concerns about Brexit?  What is the company?
4. In the executive order that US president Donald Trump signed ending the controversial policy of family separation at the Mexican border what word in the title was initially misspelt?
5. What is the colloquial name given to the largest US Customs and Border Protection ‘holding centre’ in McAllen, Texas, where immigrant children, separated from their parents, are being held in cages? 
6. First Lady Melania Trump set off on her visit to immigrant children being held at the border in Texas wearing a khaki coat from Zara with what message on the back?
7. An independent panel reported that 456 patients had their lives shortened after they were prescribed powerful opioids 'without medical justification' at which hospital?
8. Who said this week: 'The suggestion that I am some sort of pervert is a complete travesty of the truth’?
9. Lord Sugar apologised for causing offence after he tweeted a picture of which country’s football team, saying he recognised some of them from the beach in Marbella?
10. Which member of the England World Cup party dislocated a shoulder while out running?
11. Benazir Bhutto was the first in 1990 and this week Jacinda Ardern became the second person to do what?
12. Leslie Gratham, who played Dirty Den in EastEnders, died aged 71. Before joining the soap opera he served ten years in prison for what offence?
13. Naz Shah said: 'I was in my pyjamas. It felt personally very undignified and very invasive. It was embarrassing.’ Where was she?
14. Three young graffiti artists died after being struck by a train near which London station?
15. The BBC announced that David Dimbleby is to step down as presenter of Question Time after almost 25 years. How old is he?
16. With 18.3 million viewers what, according to the BBC, overtook the marriage of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to become the most watched broadcast in the UK this year?
17. A shortage of what led to fears for beer, fizzy drink and chicken supplies?
18. A world renowned school of art was extensively damaged by fire in which city?
19. Dedrick Williams, 22, appeared before a Broward County judge via video charged with whose murder?
20. What happened to fashion shop Nataliya Couture outside Royal Ascot?
21. A baby born on a Paris train was given free rail travel on the network until what age?
22. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that what will become fully legal in Canada on October 17?
23. Stanislaw Skupian was jailed for 16 weeks at Uxbridge Magistrates' Court after pleading guilty to fraud by false representation. What did he do?
24. Former Love Island contestant Sophie Gradon, who died age 32, was crowned Miss Great Britain in 2009. Which other beauty title did she hold?
25. Koko, a female western lowland gorilla who died at the Gorilla Foundation in California, gained fame for apparently mastering what?

Answers here

Friday, 15 June 2018

Calling all wannabe Australian journalist

Daily Mail Australia based in Sydney continues to grow. The busy newsroom, manned 24/7, is expanding further under the guidance of experienced editor Barclay Crawford. We are now looking for trainees for the next graduate scheme which starts in January. Below are the details. If you are Australian, interested and have what it takes, get your application in quickly.


Time to tackle this week's newsquiz

The top solo score in last week's newsquiz was 16 by Janet Boyle. The top team score was 19 by the Penmans - with Daisy back from university guaranteeing a top score. Here is this week's quiz. Give it a go and let me know how you get on. 

Grenfell tributes in The Sun and the Evening Standard (Questions 6 and 7)

1. In a vote on a Lords amendment that could have meant staying in the European Economic Area, 15 MPs defied the Labour whip to abstain and voted against. How many defied party instructions and voted for?
2. One frontbencher and five parliamentary aides resigned from the shadow cabinet ahead of the EAA vote. Name any two. Half point for each.
3. Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg warned: 'If you sup with the devil you should use a long spoon and he is using an egg spoon.’ Who was he referring to?
4. How many SNP MPs walked out of Parliament after accusing the Government of a ‘power grab’?
5. At Prime Minister's Questions Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn asked Theresa May if she had asked Donald Trump to do what?
6. How long was the silence at the Grenfell memorial service at St Helen’s Church in Kensington?
7. Grenfell Tower was floodlit in green, the heart badges are green, people at the anniversary memorial service wore green and even the Queen sported a green outfit on Thursday. Why is green the colour of Grenfell?
8. The summit between US president Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un took place on which island off the south coast of Singapore?
9. After his meeting with Kim Jong-un, Donald Trump tweeted: 'Thank you to Chairman Kim, our day together was _____!’ What is the missing word?
10. After the G7 Summit who did Donald Trump describe as meek, mild, very dishonest and weak?
11. How many goals did hosts Russia score in the opening game of the World Cup?
12. Which three countries will host the 2026 World Cup?
13. Who will not be allowed to show their support for England by flying flags and putting stickers on their vehicles during the World Cup? 
14. Which firm announced it is to cut 4,600 jobs over the next two years, with chief executive Warren East saying it needed fewer layers of management?
15. Judge Peter Ross, jailing six men who groomed and sexually abused teenage girls, said sexual abuse had become 'the norm' for them. Which city did all the men live in?
16. What is the name of the ship, run by a French charity, which rescued 629 migrants in the Mediterranean but was turned away by Italy and headed to Spain?
17. Former tennis champion Boris Becker is claiming diplomatic immunity against an attempt to sue him, claiming his appointment as sport and culture attache for which African country gives him protection?
18. Which retailer, with 335 UK stores, appointed administrators, putting 5,100 jobs at risk, after talks with potential buyer R Capital collapsed?
19. Who said in an interview with John Humphrys on Radio 4: 'To be gay in a quite aggressively heterosexual business, a kind of boys club, is certainly not ideal’?
20. The Queen and newly-married Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, took part in their first royal engagement together, opening the Storyhouse Theatre in which city?
21. Which company announced plans to replace champagne and prosecco with non-EU sparkling wines as a part of 'a transition away from products made in the EU'?
22. A pitch invasion and a rendition of Flower of Scotland marked what historic event at the Grange in Edinburgh?

23. Which former MP won best actress at the Tony Awards for her role in Three Tall Women?
24. Niall Aslam, a 23-year-old student, quit what for 'health reasons’?
25. What animal became an online sensation after it spent almost 20 hours scaling a 25-storey office tower in Minnesota?

Answers here

Friday, 8 June 2018

Test your news knowledge with this week's quiz

Well done to Janet Boyle who recorded the top score of 20 in last week's newsquiz, narrowly ahead of Liz Gerard on 19. Here is this week's quiz. As usual there are 25 questions about the week's events. Give it a go and let me know how you get on.


Thursday's front pages
1. What did Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson describe as ‘basically the heart of Remain’?
2. Brexit Secretary David Davis accused the European Commission of 'shooting itself in the foot just to prove that the gun works’ by excluding the UK from what?
3. The Home Secretary Sajid Javid announced a revised counter-terrorism strategy which 'incorporates the lessons learnt from the attacks in 2017'. What single word did he say the strategy would be known as?
4. At Prime Minister Questions Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: 'When it comes to Brexit this government has delivered more delays and more cancellations than ____ ____’. What are the two missing words?
5. Prime Minister Theresa May joined other leaders at the G7 summit in which city?
6. Announcing the go-ahead for a third runway at Heathrow, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said for how long each night will flights be banned to protect people living in the flight path?
7. Department store chain House of Fraser announced it is to close how many of its 59 shops, affecting 6,000 jobs, as part of a rescue deal?
8. Around 120 firefighters fought a blaze at which five-star hotel in Kensington, London?
9. Katherine Noel, born on Christmas Eve in Kansas City, Missouri, died this week. How was she better known?
10. Why was 100-year-old widow Sophia Kaczan in the headlines?
11. The chief executive of which company apologised for saying that a woman could not do his job, adding his remarks had been intended as a joke and taken out of context? 
12. Nightclub owner Peter Stringfellow, who died aged 77, was born in which city?
13. Paul Dacre, who is standing down as editor of the Daily Mail, is the UK’s longest-serving national newspaper editor. How many years has he been in charge of the paper? 
14. A man allegedly hired to kill former Liberal leader Jeremy Thorpe’s ex-lover Norman Scott has been found - after it was previously reported he had died. What is his name?
15. Actor Benedict ­Cumberbatch jumped from a taxi in London to stop muggers beating up a cyclist working for which company?
16. Emirates president Sir Tim Clark said his company's newest Boeing 777 was a step on the way to the ultimate aim to have all planes without what?
17. Jerry Maren, who died in California aged 98, was the last surviving actor to have played a native of which fictional land where only shades of blue were worn?
18. What did Rolling Stones Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood reveal they ate before concerts on the band's UK tour? 
19. Mary Wilson, the widow of former Labour prime minister Harold Wilson, died after a stroke. How old was she?
20. What is the name of the volcano that erupted on Guatemala killing more than 100 people?
21. Who struck a groundbreaking deal to livestream exclusive coverage of 20 Premier League football matches a season online?
22. Lee Ridley, 37, from Consett in County Durham, became famous under what stage name?
23. Who said: 'They say time is the healer. I have lost my watch, how is time going to heal? I have no idea what time it is’?
24. Victoria and David Beckham are auctioning off the outfits they wore to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding to raise money for which families?
25. More than double the number of people applied to take part in this year's Love Island than applied to Oxford and Cambridge universities. To the nearest thousand, how many tried to take part in Love Island?

Answers here

Friday, 1 June 2018

Here's this week's newsquiz

There were some good scores in last week’s newsquiz. You are either all paying more attention or it is getting easier. The top scores were 20.5 by Ben Jackson and Toby Brown (with a PB). Elly Rewcastle scored 19 and Janet Boyle 18.5. The top team were Three Legs' drinkers Peter and Stacey with 19, followed by Adam Batstone and Lucy Thorpe with 17.5. A special mention goes to Ian McCulloch who records a quiz score each week, usually in single figures, who scored a PB of 13. Well done. Here is this week’s quiz … as usual there are 25 questions about the week. Give it a go and let me know how you get on. 

Today's front pages
1. To the nearest decimal point what percentage of people voted for the repeal of the 8th amendment in Ireland?
2. Digital Minister Margot James said that if people had to use a secondary site to buy concert tickets, 'don't choose ____ they are the worst’. What is the missing word?
3. Who announced she was standing down, saying: 'I think making space for other people at this point is a straightforward thing to do and a good thing to do’?
4. Tommy Robinson, the founder of the far-right English Defence League, was jailed for 13 months after admitting which offence?
5. What was the name of the festival in Portsmouth that was cancelled after two youngsters died?
6. WH Smith was voted the worst retailer on the UK High Street in a survey of more than 10,000 consumers by Which? Name one of the three companies that came top.
7. Why did Arkady Babchenko apologise to his wife Olga?
8. England footballer Raheem Sterling defended his gun tattoo by saying:  'I made a promise to myself I would never touch a gun in my lifetime. I shoot with my ____ ____ so it has a deeper meaning.’ What are the two missing words?
9. Which chain is to be sold to the German company behind Krispy Kreme doughnuts for £1.5bn?
10. US commerce secretary Wilbur Ross announced that EU companies would face tariffs of a 25per cent and 10 percent from midnight last night on which products? Half a point for each.
11. Malian migrant Mamoudou Gassama was made a French citizen after being filmed hauling himself up four floors to save a child dangling from the balcony in Paris. How old was the child?
12. Sixteen people were injured when a bus ploughed into dozens of cars stuck in traffic in which town centre?
13. Benjamin Herman shot dead two female police officers, killed a car passenger and took a cleaner hostage in which city? 
14. Roseanne Barr’s TV show was cancelled after she made a ‘bad taste’ joke about former White House aide Valerie Jarrett, saying she looked like the lovechild of who? Half a point for each.
15. Who wore a black catsuit and said: 'I feel like a warrior in it, like a warrior princess or Queen from Wakanda maybe’?   
16. Alan Bean died aged 86 … why was he famous?
17. Who sent tweets saying: 'Haven’t really slept until now... the scenes are still running through my head again and again’ and 'I'd just like to turn back the time but that's not possible’?
18. Who marked a landmark birthday with a photo posing nude with a diamond encrusted guitar?
19. Italy’s caretaker Prime Minister Carlo Cottarelli is known by what nickname because of his reputation for cutting public spending?
20. What did veteran ‘feminist’ Germaine Greer say ‘would do’ as a punishment for rape?
21. Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page has pleaded with planners to prevent his neighbour Robbie Williams from building what at his Kensington home?
22. Why did police advise residents in the German town of L√ľnebach to stay inside their homes?
23. Tony the Tiger and the Honey Monster are facing extinction from where?
24. What did comedian Marty Putz do to upset judges Amanda Holden and Alesha Dixon?
25. Britain’s biggest family, the Radfords, is set to become larger after mother Susan posted a video message confirming that she is expecting a girl. When the baby is born, how many children will she have?

Answers here

Friday, 25 May 2018

Here's the newsquiz: 25 questions to tackle

The top scorer in last week's newsquiz was Jake Hurfurt with a hugely impressive 21. Liz Gerard also posted a good score of 19 and Toby Brown 18. The top team was Dominic Hurst and Tony Smith with 16. They did the quiz while covering the Royal Wedding in Windsor and blamed the 5am start for their 'limp' score. Here is today's newsquiz. As usual there are 25 questions about the week. Give it a go and let me know how you get on.
Front page of the week goes to the Manchester Evening News
1. Meghan Markle’s wedding dress was created by Clare Waight Keller who works for which fashion house?
2. The registration plate on the E-type Jag that Prince Harry drove to his wedding reception was E followed by six numbers. What were they?
3. What was the name of the bishop who told Royal Wedding guests: 'I know that the Bible says, and I believe it, that Jesus walked on the water. But I have to tell you, I did not walk across the Atlantic Ocean to get here’?
4. Who said on ITV's Peston on Sunday that the Royal Wedding had inspired him to consider 'tying the knot’ with his partner of 20 years, Reinaldo Avila da Silva?
5. The GDPR, aimed at restricting how companies use personal details, becomes enforceable in all EU countries today. What does GDPR stand for?
6. Irish voters cast their ballots today in a referendum to decide whether to repeal an amendment to the constitution on abortion. What number is the amendment?
7. A Ryanair flight carrying dozens of Irish voters home for the abortion referendum crashed with another plane on the runway which airport?
8. Downing Street confirmed an investigation was under way after Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson held an 18-minute phone call with a prankster claiming to be the prime minister of which country?
9. US President Donald Trump cancelled his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un saying: 'Sadly, based on the tremendous ____ and open ____ displayed in your most recent statement, I feel it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting.’ What are the two missing words? Half a point for each
10. A graphic video shown without a warning led to people walking out of what?
11. A Labour motion to have whose salary reduced by £2,400 per year was defeated in the Commons?
12. Who missed the FA Cup Final amid reported problems over renewing his visa?
13. Harry Kane became the youngest ever England World Cup captain. How old is he?
14. The Institute of Cancer Research London said that children who were not exposed to what were more likely to develop leukaemia?
15. Who suggested he might make a return to party politics saying: 'It depends on how long I live doesn’t it?’
16. Tesco announced it was doing what to its apples, potatoes, tomatoes, lemons, other citrus fruit and onions?
17. Liverpool supporters were stranded after tour operator Worldchoice Sports cut flights when controllers at which airport said they could not allocate landing slots?
18. Who apologised to 'anyone who felt uncomfortable or disrespected’ following allegations of sexual misconduct made by eight women?
19. Which company reported a 75 per cent drop in profits and admitted its online capability was behind its competitors and that its website was 'too slow’?
20. A couple, who were convicted of killing their French nanny, were said in court to have a warped fantasy about a former pop star from which band?
21. Why was 38-year-old Emile Cilliers in the headlines?
22. He received a Pulitzer Prize for his 1997 novel American Pastoral, the WH Smith Literary Award in 2001 for The Human Stain and the 2011 Man Booker International award. Who is he? 
23. BBC newsreader Louise Minchin denied accusations of cheating during what?
24. Plans were revealed to build Europe's biggest observation wheel - nicknamed the 'Whey Aye’ - on the banks of which river?
25. What did pop star Ariana Grande reveal she had tattooed behind her left ear?

Answers here

Saturday, 19 May 2018

A big surprise at the Regional Press Awards


All the winners at the Regional Press Awards yesterday

I had a lovely day at the Regional Press Awards in London yesterday. It is always one of the highlights of the year, recognising the excellent work still being carried out by regional journalists and an opportunity to catch up with (increasingly) old friends. Well done to all the winners and nominees, particularly the Manchester Evening News


The paper had a remarkable year, a lot of it born out of the tragic events at the Manchester Arena. It won seven awards, including Campaign of the Year for We Stand Together. You can see all the winners here. Well done too to the Society of Editors for organising it all and to Nick Ferrari, as funny a host as ever. 

It was particularly special for me as I was in for a surprise. I was in France this week and my wife, Pam, told me she had messed up the return flights and we were heading back a day early. And as we were back in time we could go to the Press Awards, she said. Good idea. 

The Likely Lads - two former editors of The Northern Echo, me and Peter Barron
We caught up with old Northern Echo colleagues Peter Barron and Colin Tapping on the stunning roof terrace at the IET in Savoy Place. During the awards lunch I began making notes on the winners. The first award was the Journalists' Charity Award which 'recognises an individual or body that has made an outstanding contribution to journalism and journalists'. Half way through the words of praise by charity chairman Jill Palmer I realised who she was talking about ... it was me. I was very flattered and somewhat astonished. The early return flight was a stitch up so that I could attend, contrived by Pam and Sue Ryan. Thanks to them both and to Cision, the award's sponsors. Afterwards I had a drink in the Wellington on The Strand with old friends and colleagues, including Tony Watson, Pete Clifton, Paul Horrocks, Neil Hodgkinson and Noel Doran. The Regional Press Awards is always a special day out ... but thanks to everyone involved for making yesterday just that little bit more special for me. Really appreciated. 

Pam and me with John Stapleton and Lynn Faulds Wood. I was celebrating the award, he was celebrating Manchester City's remarkable season




Friday, 18 May 2018

Try your hand at this week's newsquiz

The top scorer in last week's newsquiz was Jamie Johnson with 18, a personal best. Other good scores were Toby Brown and Janet Boyle both with 16.5. I am at the Regional Press Awards today, so this week's quiz is published slightly earlier than usual. Give it a go and let me know how you get on. 


The Royal wedding dominates today's front pages (Questions 1-3)

1. What will Doria Ragland’s role be at the Royal Wedding?
2. Meghan Markle will have ten bridesmaids and pageboys who are all under what age?

3. Meghan Markle's bouquet will include which flower, just like all royal brides’ bouquets have done for the last 173 years? 
4. According to Gaza’s health ministry how many protesters against the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem were killed by Israeli forces?
5. Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar told Theresa May that it is 'an absolute ___ ___ ' that there is no hard Irish border after Brexit. What are the two missing words?

6. Former Labour cabinet minister Tessa Jowell, who died age 70, said her proudest achievement was a programme which led to the creation of 3,500 children’s centres. What is the programme called?
7. Virgin Trains and Stagecoach are to be stripped of their franchise to run the east coast rail service. What is the name of the new company that will operate services from London to Edinburgh?
8. Andrew Parker, director general of MI5, revealed that how many terror plots had been thwarted in the UK since the Westminster Bridge atrocity in March last year?
9. Khamzat Asimov, 20, who stabbed one man to death and injured four others in Paris was a refugee from which country?
10. In which country did a family, including an eight-year-old child, carry out a bomb attack on a police headquarters, a day after another family killed 13 people in suicide bombings?
11. The failure to recommend what led Labour MP David Lammy to call the review by Dame Judith Hackitt into the Grenfell Tower fire 'a betrayal and a whitewash’?
12. He is thought to have killed at least 15 men, most of them strangled by a tie, and hidden their bodies under floorboards at his London homes. Who is he?
13. The deputy governor of the Bank of England Ben Broadbent was accused of using sexist language after saying the economy was entering what phase?
14. Actress Margot Kidder, who died aged 69, became famous for playing which fictional journalist in four films?
15. Why was the Bollinger Everyman Prize for Comic Fiction not awarded for the first time since it was introduced in 2000.

16. The father of two brothers killed in a hit-and-run in Coventry was found dead in a hotel room on which island?
17. England World Cup winner Ray Wilson, who died at 83, left football in the early 70s to set up what business?
18. Ben Fogle reached the summit of Mount Everest in a project to raise funds for which charity?
19. Which country won this year’s Eurovision Song Contest?
20. Trent Alexander-Arnold became only the eighth teenager in history to be included in what?
21. The changing tastes of millennials have been blamed for the demise of which brand, which was founded in 1965 and once attracted about 100,000 guests a year?
22. What won the best Drama Series at the Baftas?
23. Manchester City broke 11 Premier League records this season including the most number of points. How many did they get?
24. Academics from Skidmore College in New York said that adding what to a piece of text may ‘make it easier for the reader instinctively to separate units of meaning’?
25. University of Glasgow researchers advised that doing what at 10pm each night could help fend off depression?
Answers here