The political week in 5 points

Another non-presidential reaction by the President to the horrors in Charlottesville. President Trump has faced severe criticism from both sides of the isle after failing to condemn far-right protestors who instigated violence that has left one dead and many more injured. In a press conference Trump castigated ‘hatred, bigotry and violence from many sides’, and by doing so falsified the true version of events. Both Democrats and Republicans have corrected the narrative stating that Trump should have solely condemned the protesting of white supremacists displaying confederate and Nazi flags.

Kim Jong-un vs Donald Trump. For months the United States and North Korea have been communicating through back room diplomacy in an attempt to come to an agreement on nuclear weapons. However, the long-standing tensions escalated when North Korea began testing missiles in July and more recently near the pacific region of Guam. The stale rhetoric between the two leaders has exacerbated the issue, with language such as ‘lock and load’ and ‘the american empire to meet its doom’, being thrown about. Both Russian and Chinese actors have called for a de-escalation of the increasingly heightened tensions.

Riots break out in the Markets area of Belfast over the latest Bonfire dispute. Trouble surrounding bonfires have made the headlines once again Belfast, as riots broke out in the Markets area of Belfast after the PSNI began to remove material that was set to be used for an anti-internment bonfire. On the 9th of August each year, Nationalists commemorate the period of internment that disproportionately affected Catholics during the Troubles, often by lighting bonfires. A number of cars were set alight and objects thrown at the PSNI in protest. This thuggery is yet another example that ad hoc approaches to bonfires are inadequate; authorities must produce robust and lasting strategies to deal with bonfires well in advance.

UUP leader meets Irish Language Activists. The leader of the Ulster Unionist Party, Robin Swann, met with Irish Language group Conradh na Gaeilge earlier this week. The Irish Language has been a major sticking point in the recent talks with Unionists refusing to accept a stand-alone Irish Language Act. That said, with Arlene Fosters recent display of cultural-accommodation by saying ‘thank-you’ in Irish at an event, as well as her hard-line DUP colleague Edwin Poots doing the same, we may well see movement on this issue come the end of the summer when the talks are set to resume.

Mixed opinions as Pink News brands Prince George (4) a gay icon. Prince George, aged 4, was earlier this week branded as a gay icon by the LGBT online magazine Pink News. The article was circulated after a photograph surfaced showing the young prince excitedly standing in a helicopter, with his hip bent and chin resting on his hand. The branding of the youngster as a gay icon has sparked fury as TUV MLA Jim Allister described the labelling as ‘sick’. Whilst this reaction from Allister is to be expected, there has been a wide-spread unfavourable reaction towards the article with many suggesting that the sexualisation of children at such a young age is unacceptable.