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NEWS OF THE WEEK 01/11/20

UK LOCKDOWN

Yesterday, Boris Johnson held a national press conference. With many different areas across England moving into higher tiers, speculation began on Friday evening that England would also be joining them soon. Johnson announced that England would be entering a second lockdown on Thursday 5th November, ending on the 2nd December. People are being told to stay home and to only leave their houses for essential shopping, medical reasons and exercise.

Pubs, bars, restaurants and non-essential shops will be shutting, with the exception of takeaways. The furlough scheme, which was meant to end on October 31st, has been extended until 2ndDecember. Support bubbles will be allowed for childcare and schools, colleges and universities are to remain open. 

On Wednesday 4th November, Parliament will vote on the plans put forward by Johnson and, if passed, they will go into effect from Thursday. 

AMY CONEY BARRETT

In the U.S on Monday, Trump nominee Amy Coney Barrett was confirmed as the 115thSupreme Court Justice, replacing Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Previously, Barrett has served as both a legal clerk and a visiting associate professor at the George Washington University of Law School before being named as a professor of law in 2010. 

Ideologically, Barrett describes herself as an ‘originalist’. In the U.S, originalism refers to the practice of interpreting the constitution based upon how it would have been intended at the time of its creation- side note: The U.S constitution was approved in 1788. 

Barrett supports expansive gun rights and has previously voted in favour of a Trump anti-immigration policy. She opposes the death penalty and, while she has never specifically ruled on an abortion case, is vocal about her opposition of the pro-choice movement. 

EUROPEAN LOCKDOWNS

German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, has announced a 4-week national ‘shutdown’. Restrictions will include shutting all bars, pubs and restaurants. Non-essential shops will not be allowed to open. While schools will remain open, social contact will be limited to two households up to a maximum of 10 people. Merkel: ‘We must act now to avoid an acute national health emergency’.

On Friday, France announced a second lockdown, which will last until 1stDecember. Similar to Spain, the people of France will have to stay indoors, non-essential establishments will be shut and there will be a travel ban between regions. Schools, however, will remain open. With 520 people dying from COVID-19 on Tuesday, President Macron has said that this is the only way to stop the virus. 

JEREMY CORBYN SUSPENSION

Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has been suspended from the Labour Party. Since 2016, the party has been accused of anti-Semitism. In an investigation launched in May 2019, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) found 3 breaches of the Equality Act: ‘Political interference in anti-Semitism complaints, failure to provide adequate training to those handling anti-Semitism complaints and harassment’ (BBC, 2020). 

Corbyn responded to these findings by condemning anti-Semitism, but also stating that the accusations were exaggerated. It was this statement by Corbyn that meant he was suspended from the Labour Party. At present, Corbyn is still the MP for Islington North, but this is also pending investigation. 

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NEWS OF THE WEEK 01/11/20

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