News & Politics
The Week

The Week V. 1282

The Week covers the Best of the British and Foreign Media. With its non partisan reporting, The Week gives the reader an insight into all the the news, people, arts, drama, property, books and how the international media has reported it. This concise guide allows the reader to be up to date and have a wealth of knowledge to allow them to discuss all these key topics with their friends and peers.

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51 Issues

in this issue

9 min.
the main stories… …and how they were covered

What happened Leaving lockdown Shoppers returned in large numbers to retail parks and outdoor markets this week, as England began easing its lockdown restrictions. Primary schools reopened their gates to some year groups; some sporting contests were held behind closed doors; up to six people from different households could meet outdoors; and the 2.2 million people in the vulnerable “shielded” group were given the go-ahead to venture out of their homes for the first time since the lockdown began on 23 March. No. 10 insisted that the relaxing of the rules wouldn’t lead to a surge in new coronavirus cases, as long as people continued to observe social distancing advice. However, the chief medical officer for England, Chris Whitty, resisted pressure from Boris Johnson to downgrade the virus alert level from 4 to…

2 min.

Controversy of the week China turns the screw By a majority of 2,878 to one, China’s National People’s Congress last week rubber-stamped a measure “that will change life for the citizens of Hong Kong forever”, said Clive Hamilton in the Daily Mail. The Congress’s “decision” on national security in Hong Kong criminalises what Beijing deems to be “subversion, separatism, terrorism and foreign interference” in the autonomous territory. It also gives China’s security services the right to operate openly and independently there for the first time. In short, it trashes the “one country, two systems” constitutional agreement that China signed with Britain when Hong Kong was handed back in 1997. It means that the dissident leaders of the 2019 protests “are likely to disappear, to be rendered to secret prisons in mainland China”,…

1 min.
spirit of the age

In a bid to impress with their Zoom backdrops, people are buying “instant libraries” online, according to sellers who provide titles in bulk for TV sets and hotels. Decor Books in West Sussex, which sells books for £30 to £200 per metre, reports that it is now receiving about ten orders a day from private clients. Bookcase-conscious buyers typically purchase around six metres’ worth, says owner Lauren Giles. Sales of hot tubs in the lockdown are up 490% on eBay, and almost every model at Argos is sold out. Hot tubs also feature heavily on the lists of the “most wished for” products on Amazon. Meanwhile, social media is awash with complaints about neighbours having hot-tub parties and gardens being flooded by emptied water.…

1 min.
good week for

Spiny seahorses, which have thrived in the peace of the lockdown, according to a survey of Dorset’s seagrass meadows. During a single dive at Studland Bay, 16 seahorses, including pregnant males and two babies, were spotted. Until then, none had been seen since 2018. Narguis Horsford, a train driver on the London Overground, who found herself on the cover of Vogue. In an interview, she said she was delighted to have been chosen to represent female front-line key workers, and that she was proud to be one. The cover of the July edition also features Rachel Millar, a community midwife, and Anisa Omar, a supermarket worker. Freda Hodgson, a 106-year-old from Surrey, who was identified as the UK’s oldest coronavirus survivor. Around 100 years ago, she also survived Spanish Flu. Ikea, after shoppers…

1 min.
bad week for

Gardeners, with warnings that a hosepipe ban may be looming. This winter the UK had the wettest February on record, but the spring has been the driest and sunniest since records began in 1929, and reservoirs are now running low. In some areas, households have already received letters urging them to conserve water. Journalists at Microsoft, who learnt that they were being replaced by robots. Around 27 journalists had their contracts cancelled after Microsoft decided it could use software to select and edit news articles for its homepages.…

1 min.
ethnic minorities report

People from ethnic minorities are more likely to die of coronavirus, a Public Health England (PHE) report has confirmed. People of Bangladeshi ethnicity are at twice the risk of those of white British ethnicity, but the impact is “disproportionate” for other Bame people too. The report was immediately criticised, however, for failing to consider why this is the case. Shadow equalities minister Marsha de Cordova said it “confirms what we already knew”, but is “notably silent” on the question of how to reduce the disparity, which many put down to structural inequalities.…