Sunday news round-up: October 27th – November 2nd

An ongoing series that gathers some main headlines from the week, for people too busy to keep an eye on the news.

Top Story: The BBC refuses to include Green Party in upcoming TV debates: Despite high polling numbers, sky-rocketing membership levels and having an MP since 2010, the BBC has ignored a petition signed by 200,000 people that called for the inclusion of the Greens. BBC promised to follow the polling data closely and reaffirmed its commitment to being impartial, despite giving a spot to UKIP. This latest refusal has rightly prompted the Green Party to consider legal action and proves how right-wing and undemocratic the BBC is. Many are demanding a return of their license fees.

Antares rocket explodes shortly after lift-off: The unmanned NASA supply rocket, intended to restock the International Space Station, malfunctioned and crashed back down to the launch pad shortly after lifting off. Nobody was hurt. You can watch the crash at the link.

Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo crashes on test flight: Richard Branson’s commercial venture into space took a dark turn this week when a test-flight ship crashed in the Mojave Desert, killing one test pilot and injuring another. The crash is believed to be the fault of an experimental fuel composition that had only been tested on the ground. The long term objective of Virgin’s venture is to send paying customers into space.

Sweden becomes first EU country to recognize the State of Palestine: After stating an intention to do so last month, the Swedish government has officially recognized the existence of the currently occupied Palestinian Territories, putting further pressure on Israel to end its reign of terror. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas welcomed the move, while Israel summoned Sweden’s ambassador to protest the move. If Israel is so committed to a two-state solution, why does it express such outrage when nations recognize Palestine?

  • Related: SodaStream to close West Bank factory: Amid ongoing boycotts of Israeli goods and services that profit from the illegal occupation of the Palestinian Territories, the company announced it was moving all operations to “northern Israel” in a self-described “purely commercial” move. Scarlett Johannson famously stepped down as an Oxfam International spokeswoman after it was revealed she’d signed a deal with SodaStream.
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