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Editor: Alex Pleasants
On this week’s Break Out Culture, Ed chats to Pakistani-British novelist Kamila Shamsie about Refugee Tales, where top writers are telling the stories of asylum seekers and detainees.
 
And another chance to catch the latest Vaizey View, featuring Ed talking about the evolution of the Beeb with director-general Tim Davie.

 Government Stuff 


The Prime Minister has outlined plans for a new Office for Science and Tech Strategy and also a new National Science and Tech Council to set the strategy for how tech will tackle societal challenges.
 
DCMS has announced details of the final £300m from the £2bn Culture Recovery Fund.
 
The government is to ban junk food advertising before 9pm and implement stricter online restrictions from 2023.
 
The government has announced a review into the future of Channel 4 – and they’re also set to assess whether streaming services should face tighter regulation.
 
BEIS has announced a £50m funding boost to upgrade the UK’s research and innovation infrastructure.
 
NHSX has set out a new data strategy aiming to support the delivery of better, more patient-centred care.
 
The CMA has given Monzo a firm slap on the wrist for breaching a rule requiring it to send transaction histories to over 143,000 former account holders.
 
The government-backed £1m SONIC Labs, a new test facility for 5G, has launched.
 
MPs on the Public Accounts Committee have called on the government to urgently launch an insurance scheme for music festivals. Here’s The Guardian’s take.

 

 Culture Stuff 


Arts & Culture 

The arts industry has seen its highest five-year increase in insolvencies.
 
Unions from across the world of culture have joined forces to oppose government proposals to slash funding for higher education arts subjects.
 
A 3D mural honouring codebreaker and LGBTQ hero Alan Turing has been unveiled at GCHQ – and the new £50 note featuring him has entered circulation. 
 
G’day Sheilas. Details of the largest-ever cultural exchange between the UK and Australia have been announced.
 
A fake version of the Mona Lisa has sold for €2.9m. Most wild thing to happen in the past 5 years at least.
 
A new marketplace, The Art Exchange, has launched with digital works created as NF… nope, not reporting on this one. Move along.
 
The Artes Mundi 9 prize has been awarded to… *drum roll*… all six nominees. Petition for UEFA to do this with the last 16 of the Euros.
 

Design
Plans to transform Oxford Circus into a car-free piazza to ‘rival Times Square’ have been announced by Westminster City Council and the Crown Estate. Like it.
 
Supermarket at the Design Museum was the roaring success of this year’s Cannes Lions, winning 5 awards.
 
LEGO plans to sell bricks made from recycled bottles in the next two years. Misplaced my Lord of the Rings set from them once. LEGO loss? Yeah, and Gandalf.
 

Theatre & Dance
Andrew Lloyd Webber and Cameron Mackintosh are taking legal action to force the government to hand over the results of its live event pilot scheme.
 
Theatres across Europe have pledged to go climate neutral by 2030.
 
Theatres in Scotland should be able to operate without social distancing from 9th August - three days after the official start of the Edinburgh Fringe.
 
The National Theatre reckons it’s unlikely to tour internationally until 2024 or 2025 due to pandemic travel restrictions. Yeesh.
 

Classical Music & Opera
Baritone Gihoon Kim from the Republic of Korea crowned BBC Cardiff Singer Of The World 2021. Ah, just pipped you there, Ed.
 
Glyndebourne has announced plans to launch a freelance fund for its contractors.
 

Tourism & Heritage 
UNESCO has warned that Stonehenge will go on its danger list unless plans to build a tunnel underneath it are modified.
 

Museums
Uniqlo has announced a new three-year global collaboration with London's Tate Modern.
 
A new art gallery is to open in the grounds of Tottenham Hotspur football club. You should check out their silverware exhibition. It’s just empty plinths.
 

Press, Books & Libraries
Hong Kong's largest pro-democracy paper Apple Daily has announced its closure, with Hongkongers queuing for hours to buy the final edition.
 
Facebook and Google have both set out plans to provide more active support to the news media over the next five years.
 
6% of people in the UK use local newspapers in print each week and 8% online, according to the Reuters Institute.
 
It’s been a record year of growth for The Economist, up 9% since March last year.
 

Exhibitions and Events
Noel Gallagher has launched a new photography exhibition. Housemate asked me if I’m going. I said maybe.
 
Elif Shafak and Max Porter are among the authors and activists headlining English PEN’s centenary celebrations at the Southbank Centre this autumn.
 
Creative Entrepreneurs has announced its 2021 Summer Programme, crammed full of events to help you on your creative journey.
 
Bow Skills Empathy Exchange is taking place this August, a workshop for local Bow artists to connect with each other and with the environment.

Playstation goes behind-the-scenes at Rebellion to see how they built Sniper Elite’s new VR-only instalment (out in 2 weeks, btw).
 
You can now get the original characters from the classic Left 4 Dead series to join you for the fight in Zombie Army 4. Nice. Here’s GamesRadar with more.
 
TIGA has launched the TIGA UK Games Education Awards 2021 to promote outstanding students and education providers – and announced the TIGA BTEC Learner of the Year Programme.
 
Job openings galore at Rebellion right now, in art, animation, coding, and more.

 Creative Industries & Tech Stuff 


A new report from Tech Nation and Creative Industries Council forecasts investment in UK createch to increase 14% year-on-year to reach a record £1.1bn in 2021.
 

Film & TV
Steven Spielberg has signed a production deal with Netflix to make multiple films a year for the streaming giant.
 
A new Inspector Maigret series is in the works, co-developed by Red Arrow Studios and the BAFTA-winning Playground.
 
Anton Du Beke is to finally get a permanent place on the judging panel for the next series of Strictly Come Dancing. Seveeeeen. 
 

Fashion
Canada Goose is to stop using real fur by the end of 2022. I reckon you’ve got away with a limited PR hit there, guys.
 
Selfridge’s has opened garden centres in a bunch of its UK stores to capitalise on people’s green fingers. Aloe Vera Wang.
 
Here’s The Guardian with its pick of the key shows from Milan men’s fashion week.
 

Music & Radio
A new campaign, #LetTheMusicMove, has launched with the support of Radiohead and Annie Lennox, urging the government to make it easier to tour in Europe.
 
Pershing Square Tontine Holdings has agreed a $4bn deal to buy 10% of Universal Music Group.
 
10,000 rock fans rocked, and rocked HARD, at Download Festival last weekend without facemasks or social distancing.
 
Great read from The Guardian on the new British imprint of the iconic rap label Def Jam and how they went about poaching our man Stormzy.
 
Elton John has announced his final ever UK tour dates. He has been doing it for a long, long time, tbf.
 

Gaming
EA is to buy Playdemic, the mobile games studio behind stuff like Golf Clash, for $1.4 billion from Warner Bros.
 
Last night on the game Fortnite, a virtual O2 Arena popped up with a virtual Easy Life popping by for a virtual gig. Wild.
 
The Guardian with 20 games to watch at E3 2021.
 

Tech & Telecoms
EE is bringing back roaming charges for customers in Europe next year with other operators expected to follow suit #BluePassports.
 
Amazon is facing a bit of heat after an undercover ITV News investigation showed how thousands of brand-new, unsold products are destroyed by the company.
 
Talking of heat
(combustion engines), Rolls Royce has set out how it will be net zero by 2050, including modifying jet engines to run on renewable fuels.
 
About 2.3m adults in the UK hold cryptocurrencies, according to the Financial Conduct Authority, with about 20% driven by FOMO. Ha! Imagine that!
 
Snapchat, TikTok and YouTube are supporting the vaccination programme by encouraging their young users to get the jab.
 
Facebook is testing ads in its VR headsets.
 
The Beeb on how DeepMind is using AI to tackle deadly diseases.
 
Google has opened its first physical retail space in the Large Apple, New York.
 
Microsoft has unveiled its new Windows 11 operating system. Wonder how many clicks that link will get.
 
Somebody phone Roger Waters THIS INSTANT. NASA is planning a mission to the dark side of the moon.
 
Andy Murray’s match point from his first Wimbledon win in 2013 is up for sale as an NFT. Not even the video - just the point. Game, set, match, I’m done.

 Appointments & Movers 

Former Chancellor George Osborne has been named chair of the British Museum; Barbican boss Sir Nicholas Kenyon is to step down in September after 14 years; Sir Patrick Vallance has been given the additional government role of national technology adviser; Amazon’s Simon Johnson has joined Universal Music UK as MD of strategy, growth and ecommerce; Kate Bellamy has been named director at the Clore Duffield Foundation; the BFI has appointed Denitsa Yordanova as head of UK Global Screen Fund; Ericka Coulter has joined Warner Records as senior vice president of A&R; the Young Vic has welcomed two new trustees, Varun Chandra and Farah Ramzan Golant
 
 
And could YOU be right for one of these roles? GOV.UK is looking for a new director, Museum of the Home for 3 x trustees, Natural History Museum for a commercial trustee, Royal Armouries for a trustee

 ...And Finally 

The Pope met Spiderman this week and my sources tell me he asked if he could sort him a website? Because he’s a web developer? Long week, so that’ll have to do.
 
The world’s best dad joke has been revealed and, pretty weird, but its not my ‘LEGO loss’ one from earlier in the newsletter? RECOUNT!!!!!!

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