Friday, 28 April 2017

Here's this week's newsquiz ... give it a go

The top solo scorer in last week's newsquiz was Toby Brown with 16 points and the top team was the Penman Partnership with 17. Other notable scorers were Liz Gerard and the Batstone Collective on 15, Gavin Devine 14.5 and Nick Martin 14. Here is this week's quiz. As usual there are 25 questions about the week's events. Let me know how you get on.
Metro reports on another threat to Westminster (Question 9)
1. In a speech to activists in Bridgend, Theresa May used which three-word phrase 12 times?
2. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said the electorate should not be fooled by Jeremy Corbyn even though they might regard him as a 'mutton-headed old ______'. What is the missing word?
3. Boris Johnson’s sister Rachel signed up for which political party?
4. An Ipsos Mori poll found what percentage of voters saw Theresa May as the 'most capable' of the leaders of the main political parties?
5. Leading anti-Brexit campaigner Gina Miller has raised almost £300,000 to support pro-EU candidates in marginal seats. According to press reports the sum includes a £25,000 donation from who?
6. The Liberal Democrats barred former Bradford East MP David Ward from standing again after Tim Farron said his comments about who had been 'deeply offensive’?
7. UKIP leader Paul Nuttall told the Express and Star in Wolverhampton that his political views were 'a decade ahead of our time’ and compared himself to who? 
8. The age difference between French president favourite Emmanuel Macron and his wife, who was his school teacher, has raised eyebrows. How old are they? Half point for each.
9. Armed police tailed a man carrying a rucksack containing knives from the moment he got off a tube train at which London underground station?
10. The managing director of Newcastle United was questioned and released without charge after a raid by HMRC officers. What is his name?
11. A historic concert hall in Bristol is ditching the name it shares with a 17th century slave trader. What is the hall's name?
12. Which two teams won their semi-finals and will appear in the FA Cup Final next month? Half point for each.
13. Which bird was internationally celebrated with its own special day on Tuesday?
14. Who chased a man, who had crashed a stolen moped, through gardens and across a building site in London?
15. Nestlé announced it is cutting up to 300 jobs in the UK and switching production of which chocolate bar to Poland?
16. Who said: 'May 3rd 2017 – another day. But ten years – a horrible marker of time, stolen time’?
17. What was American Admiral Harry Harris referring to when he told the US Senate Armed Services Committee that ‘it’s the worst I’ve seen’?
18. Laura Kenny was made a CBE alongside her husband Jason and said: ‘It's such a huge honour, but I feel like all I do is ___ ___ ___.’ What are the missing three words?
19. Why was Mike Samwell in the headlines?
20. Serena Williams hit back at 'racist' comments after Romania's women's tennis coach Ilie Nastase used which three words to describe her unborn child?
21. Elton John took ill and cancelled the entire run of his show The Million Dollar Piano which was due to be held in whch city?
22. Celebrities including former England manager Kevin Keegan and comedian Vic Reeves received damages and an apology from which company over phone-hacking?
23. Who arrived in London to take part in photo shoots but was refused entry and escorted back to a plane at Heathrow Airport?
24. What was removed from the shelves of Sainsbury's and Marks & Spencer following complaints of a change in taste?
25. United Airlines denied claims that Simon died on board one of its planes on a flight from London to Chicago. Who was Simon?

Answers here

Friday, 21 April 2017

Have a crack at this week's newsquiz

Janet Boyle was the top scorer in last week's newsquiz with 18 points. Others in double figures included Simon O’Neill on 16, Liz Gerard 15, Gavin Devine 14 and Steve Silk 13. The Penman Partnership were the top team with 14.5, narrowly beating the Batstone Collective on 14. Here is this week's quiz. As usual there are 25 questions about the week's events (dominated inevitably by the election). Give it a go and let me know how you get on.

The snap General Election dominated the week's newspapers
1. How many MPs voted in the Commons against holding a General Election on June 8?
2. Theresa May said she made the decision to call an election when she was walking with her husband in what country?

3. What did BBC presenter David Dimbleby say was a ‘perilous’ risk for Theresa May?
4. Jeremy Corbyn launched Labour's election campaign in London saying: 'It is the ______ versus the people and it is our historic duty to make sure that the people prevail.’ What is the missing word?
5. Downing Street chief of staff Fiona Hill texted a message to Sky News saying: 'You might want to tell Bunter that he should watch what he is saying about my boss's health, utterly unfounded and untrue.’ Who is the ‘Bunter’ that she is referring to?
6. Who went viral after learning about the election and declaring: 'You're joking! Not another one? Oh, for God's sake, I can't, honestly, I can't stand this. There's too much politics going on at the moment. Why does she need to do it?’
7. A crowdfunding page raised the deposit for a candidate who wants to stand against Lib Dem leader Tim Farron to 'knock him off his perch and put him in his plaice’. Name the candidate
8. What do Gisela Stuart, Tom Blenkinsop, Iain Wright and Pat Glass have in common?
9. What led to French presidential election candidates Emmanuel Macron, Marine Le Pen and Francois Fillon cancelling their final campaign events? 
10. There were conflicting reports over whether the US was sending an aircraft carrier to North Korea. What was the carrier called?
11. Who did Prince William speak to on FaceTime as part of a campaign to raise awareness about mental health?

12. Prince William warned British men that keeping a ___ ___ ___  was detrimental to mental health. What are the three missing words?
13. Who took over a new job in football and admitted he hadn’t seen his new team play and that he didn’t have 'a magic wand’?
14. Two EasyJet passengers were removed from an overbooked flight at Luton Airport. Where were they flying to?

15. Who said: 'We’ve got a lot to do, we are on this path but it’s time to change gears and go faster … we are carrying out the most important reform in the history of our nation’?
16. Who tweeted a picture of four Yeoman Warders along with the message: 'Just your average Wednesday. What a fantastic day!’?
17. Whose labour, which was watched by more than 1.2million people over the last three months, finally resulted in a birth at the weekend?
18. Afghanistan veteran Duncan Slater became the first double-leg amputee to complete the Marathon des Sables - the 'toughest race on Earth’. Where does the race take place?
19. Serena Williams revealed she is 20-weeks pregnant with her first child by sharing a close up of her bump on which app?
What is the nickname of the football team whose promotion to the Premier League was confirmed on Easter Monday?
21. What is the name of the East London nightclub where people were injured after acid was thrown in the early hours of Easter Monday?
22. One high street company announced plans to close six stores (and open another 36) and another is evaluating whether to close up to ten after shares fell more than five per cent. Name the two stores. Half point for each.
23. Why was Kathrine Switzer in the headlines?
24. Five people were killed in Portugal after a plane crashed on a lorry unloading outside which supermarket?
25. What were the last words Teresa Elliott said to her dying ex-husband Michael to comfort him?

Answers here

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

How the papers covered the election shocker

The chaos that David Cameron started continues. Here are today’s front pages on Theresa May’s announcement that she is pushing for a June election. 
The split across the front pages reflects the split in Westminster and the split across the country. The majority of the papers reckon it's a 'brave' political decision ... but not all. And in Scotland there is another view altogether. Here you go ... 

The Daily Mail, of course, is on May's side. It uses a smiling, if slightly sinister, pic of the PM and reckons she has called the bluff of the 'game-playing' remoaners. It's an unequivocal message - a rallying call once used by Lenin - which caused a bit of a Twitter stir. 

The Scottish Daily Mail isn't quite as bullish ... but the message is still clear. Is it just me or do the colours and design of the page look vaguely like the French flag.

At the other end of the scale The National actively tells its readers to vote against Brexit ... and for a Tory-free Scotland.

Back to the Brexiteers ... and the Daily Express paraphrases the Prime Minister's message. 

Meanwhile the Morning Star pulls no punches for the other side. It calls the Prime Minister 'cowardly' and instead of a live picture uses one with her wearing an absurd red 'Paddington' hat.

The Guardian also paraphrases the PM's message and uses a John Crace sketch on the front. Is the big shadow to Mrs May's left a cryptic message? 

The Daily Mirror terrorises its readers with a haunting memory of Margaret Thatcher. 'Yesterday she put herself and the Tories first,' it says.

The Mirror's sister paper in Scotland, the Daily Record, goes for a more dishevelled picture and also opts for the line that it is all in the PM's self-interest. Good headline.

The Courier in Dundee also picks up on the lady is for turning angle.

Blue murder says The Sun ... which really means an 'extravagantly loud outcry'. About right I guess. The paper is confident that the PM will kill off Labour and smash the rebel Tories.

The Scottish Sun has the pick of the tabloid headlines ... reflecting the poll-weariness of the Scots (and maybe the rest of us too). 

The Scotsman reckons the Scots have got their referendum after all. 

Elsewhere in Scotland, The Herald sees the decision as a gamble ... albeit with the dice heavily weighted. 
The Daily Telegraph goes for strong display ... overlaying the masthead on the photo and declaring 'May's bolt from the blue'.

Its columnists are all definitely on the May side ... 'an astonishing act of political courage,' says Philip Johnston. 

Meanwhile Matt, as always, hits the nail on the head.  

The Times reckons it will be a landslide. Its polling info is that there will be a Tory majority of more than 100 as Labour's pro-Brexit supporters will desert.

The FT goes with its usual 'matter of fact' headline ... but the graphic is good. The yellow line shows what happened on the FTSE, the blue line what happened to sterling. Little wonder we are confused. 

Metro has no axe to grind ... so plays it down the middle. Good page, the X in the headline is a nice touch.

Theuses a windswept picture of Mrs May and plays the headline as straight as can be. 

50 days, say City A.M. It brings it home that we haven't got long ... and that any opposition is going to struggle to put forward a meaningful campaign. The blurb that caught my eye, though, was this:

How could you resist?

The Daily Star opts for a Rice Krispies' theme. Well, what else can you do with the word 'snap'?

The regional papers needed a local angle and The Gazette in Teesside uses a quote from Redcar MP Anna Turley that it was time to 'buckle up'. 

The Northern Echo reports on an early casuality ...  Tom Blenkinsop, MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, who announced he will not be standing because of  'irreconcilable differences' with Jeremy Corbyn. The blurb isn't about that though - it's about an ostrich that legged it in Newton Aycliffe.

Elsewhere, the EDP is clearly suffering - maybe like the rest of us - from election fatigue. But there will be some good stories emerging throughout the country in the next 50 days. It is a real opportunity for regional papers to shine.

Thanks as always to Tomorrow's Papers Today.

Friday, 14 April 2017

The newsquiz: 25 questions about the week

There were some healthy scores in last week’s quiz. The top solo players were Damon Wake and Liz Gerard with 19, Janet Boyle and Gavin Devine on 18 and Steven Silk on 17. The top team efforts were by the Batstone Collective with 17 narrowly beating the Penman Partnership on 16. Here is this week's quiz - as usual 25 questions about the week. Let me know how you get on.
World at war: Russia, Iran, America on the brink - and terror attacks in Sweden and London on the front page of Metro (Questions 1-7)
1. America dropped its largest non-nuclear weapon on ISIS caves in Afghanistan. The bomb is know as the MOAB, Massive Ordnance Air Burst, but the initials also stand for what nickname?
2. White House press secretary Sean Spicer was criticised for saying: 'We had someone as despicable as Hitler who didn't even sink to using _____ _____.’ What are the two missing words?
3. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson failed to gain support for sanctions against Russia at the G7 summit in which city?
4. Who, according to a tweet by US president Donald Trump, is ‘looking for trouble’?
5. Borussia Dortmund’s team bus was attacked on its way to a Champion League quarter final game against which team?
6. What was the name of the 41-year-old father of two who was among the victims of the Stockholm terror attack?
7. Red and white floral tributes on murdered PC Keith Palmer’s hearse spelled out ‘husband' ‘son' ‘brother' ‘uncle' ‘Keith’ and which other message?

8. Dr David Dao was forcibly removed from an 'overbooked' United Airlines flight at which airport?
9. Which theatre production picked up a record nine awards at the Olivier awards?
10. Why has Edward Enninful been in the headlines?
11. What was the name of the horse which won the Grand National?
12. Cedric Anderson shot dead his estranged wife and an eight-year-old boy at a school in which American city?
13. Whose computer did Chris Hutcheson admit hacking?
14. For which American supermarket chain has Victoria Beckham designed a range of clothing?
15. Golfer Sergio García won the US Masters after a sudden-death victory over who?
16. What is the name of the film, depicting a real life crime and starring Larry Lamb, Joely Richardson and Phil Daniels, that is released today?
17. Which company reported a £1.28 billion annual profit and recorded its first full year of growth since 2009/2010?
18. Ed Sheeran settled a $20million (£13.8m) copyright infringement claim after copying ‘note for note’ a song, which was a hit for X Factor’s Matt Cardle. Name the two songs. Half a point for each.
19. At the High Court Mr Justice Francis ruled that 'with the heaviest of hearts' he would allow doctors to let a boy die with dignity’? Name him.
20. Teenager Manus Deery, shot dead by a British soldier 45 years ago, was 'totally innocent' and did not pose a threat to anyone, a coroner recorded this week. In which city was the boy shot?
21. Which company, that dressed Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe in its heyday, collapsed into administration, putting almost 700 jobs at risk?
22. What did Saffiyah Khan do that led to her picture going viral?
23. Hundreds of refugees and migrants went missing after a large fire ripped through a camp in which town?
24. Why was Querelle sacked?
25. What was the name of the elephant that the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh fed at Whipsnade Zoo?

Answers here

Friday, 7 April 2017

The newsquiz: 25 questions about the week

There were some high scores in last week's newsquiz. It is either getting easier or you are all getting sharper. Team Jamieson scored an incredible 23 - 'the best ever' - and Sophie Jamieson scored 20 on her own! The Penman Partnership scored 21 - which would have won easily on most other weeks. Other high scorers were Janet Boyle with an impressive 18 and Damon Wake on 17. Here is this week's quiz - 25 questions about events in the last seven days. Give it a go and let me know how you get on. 

The Times front page on the nerve gas attack on children in Syria  - which led to US missile strikes (Questions 1-3)
1. How many Tomahawk cruise missiles did the US launch from destroyers USS Ross and Porter in an attack on the Syrian airfield at al-Shayrat near Homs?
2. In which state was US president Donald Trump when the missiles were launched? 
3. The US missile attack on Syria was a result of president Bashar al-Assad apparently killing more than 75 civilians in Idlib province with a banned toxic nerve gas. What is the name of the gas?
4. Gibraltar's chief minister Fabian Picardo accused European Council President Donald Tusk of behaving like a '_____ _____ who is taking it out on the children' for including the territory in negotiating guidelines. What are the missing two words?
5. What is the name of Spanish warship that was asked by a Royal Navy unit to leave Gibraltar’s disputed territorial waters?
6. Within days of Prime Minister Theresa May triggering Article 50 a tender was sent out by the Home Office for the redesign and production of a new passport. How much did the tender say was the estimated value of the contract?
7. What happened between the Institute of Technology and Sennaya Ploshchad?
8. What is the name of the BBC journalist who Sunderland manager David Moyes apologised to after warning her: 'You still might get a slap even though you’re a woman’?
9. In what way did Prime Minister Theresa May ignore Foreign Office advice when she met the Muhammad bin Nayef, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia?
10. He was born Stephen Stansbury in Hollywood, is a film producer and director and his many run-ins with the police include killing a mallard with a brick. Who is he?
11. According to the NHS Choices website, news reports that eating what product prevents dementia are 'laying it on a bit thick’?
12. Who said his experience at a disciplinary hearing 'was like sitting through a court in North Korea’?
13. Which company said it 'was trying to project a global message of unity, peace and understanding. Clearly, we missed the mark, and we apologise’?
14. The BBC prematurely announced the death of which veteran broadcaster?
15. Theresa May said she was 'very conscious' of and ‘would take into account’ the fact that governments had encouraged people to buy what?
16. Which company insists its 'riders' are called ‘independent suppliers’ who do not 'clock on', but 'log in' and receive ‘invoices' rather than 'payslips'?
17. Who is still hoping to ride Wonderful Charm in the Grand National despite injuring an arm in a fall on Thursday at Aintree?
18. Nigel Farage accused the EU of behaving like the Mafia but, after being chastised by the chairman of the European Parliament, changed the word Mafia to what?
19. Why was Andreea Cristea in the headlines?
20. Which two organisations did the Church of England accuse of 'airbrushing faith' from Easter egg hunts? Half a point for each
21. Name the former Tory MP, who defected to UKIP, but has now quit to support the Conservative group in the Welsh assembly?
22. What did Jon Platt, a businessman from the Isle of Wight, describe as  ‘outrageous’ and ‘shocking’? 
23. The Labour Party announced a policy to impose VAT on private education fees to raise £1 billion to pay for what?
24. Why did staff call police to the Travelodge at Chertsey?
25. Who surprised nobody by announcing, at the age of 73, he was gay?

Answers here