NEWS OF THE WEEK 18/10/20
From Monday, schools in Northern Ireland will be shutting for two weeks in order to slow down the spread of COVID-19. This is part of a 4-week plan called a ‘circuit breaker’, which will involve tighter restrictions such as pub closures, a ban on indoor sports, and avoiding mixing households. It’s a lot like the lockdown we saw earlier this year, but it has a time limit. This is said to limit the spread of the virus but will also avoid any unnecessary societal damage. Scotland are also pursuing a similar route.
On November 3rd, the US will elect a new President. At present, the national polls are showing a general favour towards Democrat candidate Joe Biden, however this does not necessarily mean that he will win. This is for 2 main reasons. One: the way the U.S’s system works means that winning an overall majority of public votes does not always mean you will get a majority in the Electoral College- which is how the President is decided! Two: National polls have been proven time and time again to be inaccurate. For example, in 2016, it was frequently predicted that Clinton would win.
As predicted, Boris Johnson announced his 3-tier system that has been implemented across England. Manchester is one of the few regions that has been deemed necessary to be put into the ‘very-high’ tier of risk. This decision, however, has been contested by local leaders, who want to see a stronger support package pledged by the government to protect the local industries that will be affected by the measures. Johnson has warned he will have no choice to intervene and force the lockdown upon them if the local leaders cannot come to an agreement in the coming days.
NEW ZEALAND ELECTION
It was announced this morning that Jacinda Ardern, leader of the Labour Party, has been re-elected as Prime Minister with an outright majority- which is unusual in New Zealand politics and hasn’t been seen since the introduction of their new electoral system in 1996. The Labour Party won 64 out of the 120 available seats. Ardern was incredibly popular throughout her last term, having successfully navigated New Zealand’s way through COVID-19, a terrorist attack and a volcanic eruption in 2019. It is thought this success has greatly contributed to her landslide victory this time round.