This week: Spy secrets, Facebook in court and a naked rollercoaster

Singer Katie Melua will be among the star guests at the Women of the Year Awards. Ian West/PA Wire.
Singer Katie Melua will be among the star guests at the Women of the Year Awards. Ian West/PA Wire.
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A state visit from China, a star-studded line-up at the first Harrogate History Festival and an unusual world record attempt will make headlines this week. Grant Woodward reports.


The 60th anniversary Women of the Year lunch takes place in London today, recognising the work and achievements of more than 400 women, with a small number selected to receive special Women of the Year Awards. The list of winners is still under wraps but the judging panel includes big names including Tessa Jowell, Sandi Toksvig and Eve Pollard, while star names including Jo Brand and Katie Melua will be in attendance.

FACEBOOK in court

The latest round of the ongoing court battle between Austrian law student Max Schrems and social media giant Facebook will play out in Dublin today. The privacy campaigner returns to the courts in Ireland (which is the European home of Facebook) after enjoying success in the European Court of Justice. He is seeking information on what personal data the company sends to the United States.


Chinese president Xi Jinping will arrive tomorrow for a five-day state visit. China’s ambassador to Britain has said Britain is fast becoming the western country with the best relations with China, and said he expected Xi’s visit to “herald a golden era for the relationship”. However, he warned that the President would take offence if the visit was used to raise the subject of Beijing ’s human rights record, which Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, has already promised to do.


Prince Harry seems to be everywhere at the moment as he steps up his Royal duties to give granny a break. Fresh from mucking in on a special veterans’ edition of DIY SOS, he will attend a service to mark the 75th anniversary of Explosive Ordnance Disposal across the British Armed Forces at St Paul’s Cathedral in London, on Thursday.


The third Harrogate History Festival has its official opening on Thursday evening at the town’s Old Swan Hotel. Award-winning novelists Michael Morpurgo and Kate Mosse will be among the guest stars. Panels include the inside story behind the search for Richard III’s remains and a celebration of history’s most powerful women as well as the wives and girlfriends behind the most powerful men in history.


Expect some juicy Cold War revelations on Friday with the publication of National Archives files from MI5, the Foreign Office and the Cabinet Office. The release includes files relating to the investigations into the Soviet agents, Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean, both members of the infamous Cambridge Five spy ring.


As a child prodigy at the violin, Alexander Wood seemed to have the world at his feet. But on Friday the now 33-year-old will appear in court to be sentenced for running up high bills at a string of luxury hotels while posing as the Duke of Marlborough and a British Airways executive. Wood racked up £10,000 in unpaid bills during the spree, which saw him stay in luxury suites at hotels including the Mayfair and splash out on expensive rounds of drinks for fellow guests.


A hardy group of Essex residents will be hoping the cold snap hasn’t kicked in by next Sunday when they attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the most people riding a rollercoaster naked. Those taking part are raising money for Southend Hospital’s Keyhole Cancer Appeal. Oh, and Greenwich Mean Time begins, the clocks going back an hour at 2am.