The Digest: 29/04/2016
Queen celebrates her 90th Birthday
The Queen became the first British monarch to celebrate their 90th birthday last Thursday. She celebrated the day with a walkabout in Windsor and a beacon lighting relay, before more formal celebrations begin in the summer. David Cameron said that, ‘She has been a rock of strength for our nation’. The occasion was also marked by a special release of photos of the Queen with her family and beloved corgis as well as the release of commemorative stamps. Leeds’ own Great British Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain was chosen to create the Queen’s cake, a gold and purple, three-tier masterpiece.
Alton Towers owner pleads guilty over Smiler crash
Merlin Entertainments is facing a multi million-pound fine after pleading guilty to breaching health and safety laws over the Smiler rollercoaster crash in June last year. A total of 16 people were injured when their carriage collided with an empty carriage on the lower section of the ride after an operator decided to override a safety system. The five most seriously injured victims appeared in court in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, on Friday morning. District judge John McGarva said the firm faces ‘a very large fine’, potentially reaching seven figures, when it next appears at Stafford crown court on 20th May.
Hillsborough verdict: Fans ‘unlawfully killed’
Over 2 and half decades since the Hillsborough disaster, an inquest has confirmed that the 96 fans who died were unlawfully killed. The jury found that the deaths of the football fans were the result of ‘manslaughter by gross negligence’ on the part of Chief Superintendent David Duckenfield, as well as other errors on the part of police and ambulance services. In addition, after years of allegations from the police and media, the jury concluded that the victims’ behaviour did not contribute to their deaths. A police inquiry investigating the lead-up to the crush, and an inquiry by the Independent Police Complaints Commission are still ongoing.
Prince dies aged 57
Pioneering musician Prince has died at his home in Minnesota, aged 57. The singer was confirmed dead after his body was found unresponsive in a lift at his Paisley Park home. The Grammy and Oscar award-winner was one of the most prolific artists in music, releasing 39 studio albums and was best known for his hits, Purple Rain, When Doves Cry and Kiss. Outside his estate, fans laid purple flowers in tribute, with musicians around the world lauding Prince and his legacy. A post-mortem examination will take place on Friday to determine the cause of death, amid claims that he was treated for a drug overdose just days before he passed away.