Thursday, 16 February 2017

Test your knowledge with the newsquiz

Last week’s top scorer in the newsquiz was Mike Lowe with a respectable 18. The top team was the Penman Partnership on 15. Here’s this week’s quiz. As usual there are 25 questions about the week’s events. Let me know how you get on. 
Making headlines again - Donald Trump (Questions 2 and 3)
1. Julian Lewis, the Tory chair of the defence select committee, asked MPs to back an amendment to remove a single word from an early day motion on John Bercow. What was the word? 
2. Which organisation was Donald Trump talking about when he said: 'You have a lower approval rating than Congress’? 
3. National security adviser Mike Flynn resigned after revelations that he had made several phone calls to who before Trump took office?
4. Research has prompted Dawn Astle to ask authorities to stop pushing what issue ‘under the carpet’?
5. Who rejected a deal, by 54.1 per cent to 45.9 per cent, that would have ended a long-running industrial dispute?
6. Who reported a £4.6billion statutory pre-tax loss for 2016, one of the biggest corporate losses in British history?
7. Kim Jong-un's brother, Kim Jong-nam, was apparently murdered at which city's airport?
8. How many Baftas did La La Land win?
9. Bell ringer Ian Bowman had to be lowered nearly 100ft by firefighters after getting his foot stuck in a rope at which cathedral?
10. Four snowboarders died in an avalanche in which ski resort?
11 Chris Harris and Rory Reid are to co-host which television programme?
12. Which bank, with 105 branches and four million customers, announced it was for sale?
13. Why was seven-year-old Chloe Bridgewater in the headlines?
14. Joe Root was appointed captain of England’s test team. Who was appointed vice captain?
15. Who is being lined up to replace Mary Berry on the Great British Bake Off?
16. Laura and Jason Kenny announced they are expecting a baby by posting a photo of three bikes. What colour was the child’s bike?
17. Lynda Roughley took the blame for what?
18. A suicide bombing in a crowded Sufi shrine killed at least 75 people in which country?
19. Which company, which has plants at Ellesmere Port and Luton employing 4,500 staff, is a takeover target for French car makers Peugeot?
20. Who wrote on Twitter: 'Yes, watching Piers Morgan being told to f*** off on live TV is *exactly* as satisfying as I'd always imagined’?
21. A ten-year-old boy was killed by a falling till display in Topshop at the Oracle Shopping Centre in which town?
22. Who was involved in a near miss with an American Airlines jet when mistakenly landing a plane on the taxiway at John Wayne Airport in Orange County?
23. Christopher Revell was jailed for five and a half years at Teesside Crown Court after admitting wounding who?
24. The Bishop of Coventry apologised after accidentally doing what?
25. Harvard scientists claim to be just two years away from creating a hybrid embryo of which two creatures?

Answers here

Friday, 10 February 2017

Have a crack at this week's newsquiz

The top scorer in last week's newsquiz was The Anorak with 18, narrowly beating Janet Boyle on 17. The top team was the Penman Partnership with 15.5. Here is this week's quiz. As usual there are 25 questions about the week's events. Let me know how you get on.
Celebrity spat: Harsh words between David Beckham and Katherine Jenkins (Question 16)
1. Shadow business secretary Clive Lewis was one of how many Labour MPs to defy party orders to back Article 50?
2. Conservative MP James Duddridge has tabled a motion of no confidence in whom?

3. Jeremy Corbyn accused Theresa May of offering a ‘sweetheart' deal to which council to avoid a local referendum on raising taxes to fund social care?
4. Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt announced a law change so people not eligible for free NHS care will have to pay upfront for non-urgent services. How much did Mr Hunt say he was aiming to recover per year?
5. The White House has released a list of how many terror attacks, dated from September 2014 to December 2016, which President Trump believes were ‘underreported’?
6. Kellyanne Conway, a White House advisor, found herself embroiled in a fake news row over her claim that two radicalised Iraqis had masterminded a massacre that never happened. In which city?
7. Why was Laure Ferrari in the headlines?
8. Alastair Cook captained England in a record number of Test matches. How many?
9. The Home Office announced that a scheme to provide care for lone refugee children is to close down. What is the scheme known as?
10. Alan Simpson, who died aged 87, co-created which television comedy which ran between 1962 and 1965, was revived from 1970 and 1974 and spawned two films?
11. She was the daughter of British Olympic skier, worked as a model, appeared in I’m a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here and once almost died from a cocaine overdose. Who is she?
12. Who won the Super Bowl?
13. An RAF jet was blocked from taking off by a patrol car as police officers tried to question a British serviceman. At which airport did this happen?
14. Who told fans: 'I won't be offended if you untag me when making plans for my death’?
15. What was described at an inquest at the Royal Courts of Justice as ‘deliberate and unjustifiable’?
16. In a hacked email David Beckham allegedly said: ‘Katherine Jenkins OBE for what? Singing at the rugby and going to see the troops plus taking ____.’ What is the missing word?
17. Madonna posted pictures of four-year-old twin sisters she has adopted from which country?
18. Karen Matthews claims to have had death threats after a BBC drama told the story of the fake kidnapping of her daughter Shannon. What is the drama called?
19. Six members of which organisation were shot dead near Shibergan in Afghanistan?
20. Who wrote on Instagram: 'I heard my body is a topic of conversation so I wanted to say, I'm proud of my body and you should be proud of yours too.’
21. McLaren announced it will build carbon-fibre chassis for its sports cars at a new £50million plant in which city?
22. Why has Cambridge University been urged to throw out student Ronald Coyne?
23. Kimberley Taylor, 27, Blackburn is believed to have become the first British woman to do what?
24. Strippers Violet Smith and Lisa Murphy were given suspended jail sentences by Kingston Crown Court for what offence?
25. Vicky Pattison, Olly Murs, Georgia May Foote and Helen Flanagan are among the names in the frame to do what?
Answers here

Friday, 3 February 2017

Is campaigning journalism still thriving?

Campaigning and investigating - shining lights in dark corners - attracted me to journalism 40 years ago. But do regional newspapers still have the campaigning zeal? The answer might surprise you. Here is my latest article for InPublishing magazine. 



 




Time to tackle this week's newsquiz

There were some top scores in last week’s newsquiz. The pick of the bunch was Oliver Milne with 21, narrowly pipping Mike Lowe on 20.5. Liz Gerard, Janet Boyle and Dave Bromage, with his 'highest ever’, all scored 20. The Penman Partnership were the best team with 21. The father and daughter outfit tweeted: ‘We were 14/14 at one point and got quite giddy.’ Well played. I hope it’s a bit more of a challenge this week - but we’ll see. As usual there are 25 questions about the week’s events. Give it a go and let me know how you get on.

The Mirror's view on Trump's proposed State Visit (Question 6)
1. How many MPs voted against triggering Article 50? 
2. What date has Theresa May set for launching the formal Brexit process?3. Friends of shadow home secretary Diane Abbott said she missed the Brexit vote after developing a 'really bad ______’. What is the missing word? 
4. Veteran Conservative Kenneth Clarke told Parliament that even a former politician would be surprised how Eurosceptic and anti-immigrant the Tories had become? Which politician was he referring to? 
5. Donald Trump barred nationals from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia and which other two countries from entering the US for 90 days? Half point each.
6. According to Lord Ricketts, David Cameron's former national security adviser, who has been 'put in a difficult position' by the official state invitation to Donald Trump?
7. Donald Trump called a conversation 'the worst by far' of his calls with world leaders and cut it short. Who was he talking to?

8. What was created by Graham Guest?
9. Why was Sally Q Yates in the headlines?
10. Roger Federer’s Australian Open victory means that he now has how many Grand Slam titles?

11. He played Quentin Crisp in The Naked Civil Servant, the title role in The Elephant Man and Mr Ollivander in the Harry Potter films. Who is he?
12. What was the name of the 27-year-old man charged with six counts of murder and five of attempted murder after the Quebec Mosque shootings?
13. Ben Wishaw, Richard Ayoade, Rory Kinnear and Olivia Colman are among the favourites to do what?

14. Who did the Obamas have lunch with on the Caribbean Island Anegada?
15. Nick Jenkins and Sarah Willingham left which television programme?
16. The RDG said it was determined to 'overhaul the system to cut out red-tape, jargon and complication to make it easier for customers to buy fares they can trust, including from ticket machines’. What does RDG stand for?
17. What became the most-liked picture ever on Instagram? 

18. A Blue Peter time capsule has been accidentally dug up 33 years earlier than planned. Where was it buried?
19. Which two teams will meet in the African Nations Cup final? Half a point each
20. What did Goncalo Amaral win?
21. What was the name of the Norwich school where a 12-year-old boy died after falling down a stairwell?
22. Joanie Wright caused an online stir after dying from a heart attack in which programme?
23. Lynden Scourfield and Mark Dobson were jailed for their part in orchestrating a £245 million fraud that siphoned off money from struggling businesses. Both were former bankers for which company?
24. Sir Ken Morrison, who died this week, took his family supermarket into the south of England and made it the UK’s fourth largest grocer when he bought which rival chain in 2004?
25. Singer Gary Barlow claimed to have done something for the first time in 14 years. What was it?

Answers here