News of the Week: 25 – 31 December 2016

A summary of the week’s main stories

December 25

Christmas ‘hostage to materialism’, says Pope Francis – BBC

We live in a time “when the lights of commerce cast the light of God into the shadows, when we are concerned for gifts, but cold towards those who are marginalised”

Queen’s Christmas message: ‘Small acts of goodness’ inspire – BBC

Thousands of “small acts of goodness” can make a difference, even though the world’s problems often seem too big to change

Russian military plane crashes into Black Sea, ‘killing 92’ – BBC

The Tu-154 was carrying soldiers, reporters and 64 members of the famed Alexandrov military music ensemble who were to perform for Russian troops

Berlin attacker urged nephew to kill relative for Isil – The Telegraph

The Berlin lorry attacker urged his teenage nephew to kill his uncle, a police officer, to prove his allegiance to Islamic State

December 26

Britain should be ‘confident’ about Brexit and quit Single Market, former Bank of England governor says – The Telegraph

Britain should be “self-confident” about Brexit and Theresa May must “stop pretending” that the UK will still be a member of the Single Market

December 27

Argentina ex-leader Cristina Fernandez charged in corruption case – BBC

A federal judge approved charges of illicit association and fraudulent administration against Ms Fernandez

UK Armed Forces braced for more cuts in defence cash squeeze – The Telegraph

Senior defence sources have disclosed that there is no longer enough money available for the various spending commitments already made and therefore more savings are necessary

National Front mayor creates ‘Rue du Brexit’ in French town – BBC

The road will sit next to Rue Robert-Schumann and Avenue Jean-Monnet – regarded as founders of the EU

December 28

John Kerry warns Israel over peace deal with Palestinians – BBC

While Trump urges Israel to “stay strong” until he assumes office

Theresa May to fight 2020 election on plans to take Britain out of European Convention on Human Rights following Brexit – The Telegraph

The Prime Minister is understood to be backing plans to “lift and shift” human rights enshrined in the European Convention and write them into UK law

December 29

Syria conflict: Ceasefire agreed, backed by Russia and Turkey – BBC

The two nations, which back opposing sides, will act as guarantors

Theresa May rebukes US for ‘inappropriate’ attack on Israel – The Telegraph

Theresa May has attacked the current US administration over its condemnation of the Israeli government, in comments which appeared to align her with Donald Trump

UK population to grow by more than 12 million if Britain stays in single market, warns think tank – The Telegraph

The UK’s population will grow by more than the entire populations of Bulgaria, Latvia and Lithuania combined if the UK stays in the Single Market after Brexit

Corbyn’s New Year message: I understand lack of trust in EU – BBC

In his New Year message, the Labour leader said the UK now had “the chance to do things differently”

December 30

Putin rules out tit-for-tat expulsion of diplomats – BBC

After the US expelled 35 Russian diplomats amid a row over hacking, Russia has said that rather than retaliate, it will work with the Trump administration on ameliorating relations

Margaret Thatcher had deep misgivings over reunification of Germany, National Archives reveal – The Telegraph

Thatcher feared a resurgent Germany would dominate the Continent

December 31

Trump praises Putin amid hacking expulsions – BBC

He tweeted: “Great move on delay – I always knew he was very smart!”

French workers get ‘right to disconnect’ from emails out of hours – BBC

French employees are getting the legal right to avoid work emails outside working hours