The Digest: 20/11/15
Historic Northern Ireland Deal announced
After 10 weeks of negotiations parties in Northern Ireland have reached a deal to sustain the devolved government. The agreement includes a new deal on welfare reform, with Westminster paying £585 million over four years. A new international body for monitoring paramilitary organisations, a cross-border crime task force, and new powers for Stormont to set its own corporation tax to compete with the Republic of Ireland’s tax rates are also notable features of the deal. However, there is still contention over how to approach the legacy of the Troubles. Both the Prime Minister and Ireland’s foreign minister have welcomed the deal as a turning point, although victims groups have expressed disappointment over the lack of consensus on the legacy issues of the Troubles.
Suicide Bomb in Beirut kills 43
Dozens of people have been killed in a double suicide bombing in Beirut, the capital of Lebanon. It is the worst attack in the country this year with 43 dead and 239 wounded. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the blast, which targeted the district of Burj al-Barajneh. Three suicide bombers were named on social media. In a statement the Lebanese Prime Minister, Tammam Salam, said: “We condemn this cowardly criminal act that can never be justified, and we call on the Lebanese to be more watchful and united against strife.”
“Jihadi John” killed in US drone strike
Mohammed Emwazi, known as “Jihadi John”, has reportedly been killed in a drone strike. Pentagon leaders have stated they are “reasonably confident” that a drone strike killed Emwazi, the Briton working for Islamic State. He appeared in the video of beheading of Western hostages such as journalist James Foley and aid worker Alan Henning. Colonel Steve Warren said Thursday’s attack in Raqqa – involving three drones – had hit their intended target. Emwazi, a Kuwaiti-born British militant, is suspected to have travelled to Syria in 2013. David Cameron said targeting Emwazi was “the right thing to do” as any successful attack would have been “a strike at the heart” of Islamic State.
Clarkson sued over Top Gear assault
Ex-Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson and the BBC are being sued by the producer who Clarkson assaulted, which caused him to be fired from his job. The incident, which occurred in March this year, led to an enquiry which ruled that Clarkson had subjected Tymon to a 30 second physical and verbal assault, which was unprovoked. Clarkson is said to have assaulted Tymon after not being served a steak. Tymon is suing the BBC and Clarkson for more than £100,000 for racial discrimination and personal injury. Representatives for Clarkson and those for the BBC have refused to comment, though it is believed that Clarkson wishes to settle the lawsuit as soon as possible.
(Image: AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)