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Bercow Bans Brexit Vote 3, Tram Shooting and the Tortoise Illusion Cake

FROM John Bercow banning a third Brexit vote and another suspected terrorist attack - this time on a tram in Utrecht - to the ultimate in tortoise illusion cakes (spoiler alert: it wasn't a cake) welcome to This Reporter's daily news round-up.

Some have called it a massive spanner in the works, others a "constitutional crisis", whilst those more scholarly types have plumped for "Erskine Mayhem". Either way we are all talking about Common's Speaker John Bercow making the "shock" announcement yesterday (Monday) he was banning Prime Minister Theresa May from putting her Brexit deal before Parliament for meaningful vote a third time, unless it underwent substantial changes.
What Mr Bercow appears to have done is got the PM on an historical technicality. Quoting from the guide to parliamentary procedure, Erskine May (no relation to our leader) he said the Commons could not be "repeatedly asked to pronounce" on the same question.
Inevitably there has been much discussion about Mr Bercow's motive, known as he is to be anti-Brexit, headlined in main part "when did the Speaker's post become so downright political". But the main train of thought running through the House right now is how to get around this - with the more revolutionary types saying, let's just vote on the deal regardless. All This Reporter can say is this latest development, with just ten days to go until exit, seems perfectly fitting to the narrative thus far of this crock of bones Brexit story.
Over to the Netherlands and scenes unfolded yesterday (Monday) which led officials to believe the city of Utrecht was the latest location to be targeted by a terrorist shooting. Shots were fired on a tram passing through the city that morning, with reports several people had been injured and the gun man was now on the run.
It later emerged after much panic and lock down of the city - swift as it came on the back of the Christchurch mosque terrorist attack in New Zealand - that the shooting had erupted over a "family dispute" which saw the gun man target one woman on the tram, before turning on passengers who tried to help her. Gokmen Tanis, from Turkey, has since been arrested on suspicion of murdering three people and injuring five others.
Labour MP David Lammy has been single-handedly blamed for the drop in donations to this year's Comic Relief. Last week's fundraising extravaganza raised £8million less than a similar effort in 2017 and putting aside rational thought, Conservative MP Chris Philp decided to put all blame on the shoulders of Mr Lammy, who made the news in past week's for lambasting the charity for relying on "white saviours".
Mr Philp tweeted: "Pathetic manufactured indignation from @DavidLammy has caused £8million less money to be raised for charity. The cost of his absurd posturing is real...He should fulsomely apologise to stop a repeat next year".
To recap, Mr Lammy had struck out at images of documentary maker, and Strictly champion, Stacey Dooley pictured cuddling an African child, complaining this created a "distorted image of Africa which perpetuates an old idea from the colonial era".
As for remorse, Mr Lammy was not to be drawn to apologise, instead dropping a cheeky tweet about what else he could be blamed for in the same unfounded manner. It read: "To be fair since I've become MP for Tottenham sea-levels have risen, Trump has become President, and England still hasn't won the world cup since '66.  Coincidence?"
Finally, but by no means less importantly, an attempt to smuggle three live tortoises into Berlin disguised as cakes has been thwarted. A 69-year-old was stopped in his tracks by security staff at Schonefeld airport after trying to sneak the tortoises through "nothing to declare" in a pastry box.
The tortoises' shells could brazenly be seen through the plastic packaging of the container but the man tried to pass them off as edible chocolate tortoises designed to look realistic. It shortly transpired rather than cakes these were in fact live Moroccan tortoises, officially an endangered species.
This Reporter was still trying to get confirmation as she went to press, whether this discovery was made when someone tried to take a bite.

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