It’s little surprise that, amid the continuing pandemic and seemingly endless negativity, many people are avoiding the news right now. But while that might feel like a necessary safeguard from anxiety, knowledge is power.
That’s why, each week, we round up the stories you need to know about. They’re not always the events that make the front page. Rather, these are the headlines we think women who rise need to be aware of.
Under-30s offered alternative vaccine over clot concerns
The UK government is to offer those under-30 an alternative coronavirus vaccine to the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab, due to concerns it could be linked to rare blood clots.
The change in course follows a review which found 79 out of around 20 million patients suffered rare clots after vaccination, 19 of whom had died.
While the link between the vaccine and increased risk has not yet been proven, the evidence is said to be getting stronger, particularly among younger people.
Experts have also urged women who are on the contraceptive pill, which is itself linked to increased risk of blood clots, not to eschew the offer of vaccination.
Body of Richard Okorogheye found in Epping Forest
A body found in a lake in Epping Forest was this week formally identified as missing student Richard Okorogheye.
The 19-year-old, who suffered from sickle cell disease, went missing from his home in London on March 22.
The Met Police say his death is currently being treated as unexplained, though a postmortem has found no evidence of assault or physical trauma.
Richard’s mother had previously criticised police for delays in launching a search, saying officers were initially unwilling to act.
Home Office sends more refugees to ‘filthy’ Napier Barracks
A new group of refugees seeking asylum in the UK is to be sent to Kent’s Napier Barracks, despite mounting fears the camp is unsuitable for accommodation.
The former military site had previously been emptied, following a coronavirus outbreak affecting half of the 400 people being held there.
But despite multiple legal challenges over safety standards at the site, a new group of residents is believed have begun arriving on Friday.
The move has sparked a furious response from refugee charities, medical experts and opposition politicians.
But in a statement on Thursday, the Home Office insisted: “We secured permission to use Napier barracks for 12 months and while pressure on the asylum system remains will continue to make use of the site.”
Myanmar’s ex-UK envoy locked out of embassy in London
Myanmar’s ex-ambassador to the UK has accused his home country of staging a coup on UK soil, after he was locked out of its London embassy.
Kyaw Zwar Minn says he spent Wednesday night in his car after staff were asked to leave the building by Myanmar’s military attaché, and his job was terminated.
It follows February’s military coup in the country, resulting in unrest which has so far claimed at least 600 lives.
British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has condemned the “bullying actions” of Myanmar’s new regime, but said the UK had accepted the change of representation.
Salmond branded Russian apologist for Salisbury poisoning claims
Alex Salmond has been accused of “spinning Russian propaganda” after he refused to say whether Moscow was to blame for 2018’s Salisbury poisonings.
Scotland’s former first minister, who recently launched his own political party, Alba, in order to seek re-election in the country, suggested it was unclear who was behind the use of novichok on Sergei and Yulia Skripal.
He also told the BBC evidence the Russians had interfered in the 2016 US election was “slight”, and denied the country had meddled in 2014’s Scottish referendum.
The former politician, who left the SNP in a row over the handling of sexual harassment allegations against him, hosts a chatshow on the Kremlin-funded RT channel.
British UN peacekeeper dismissed over alleged rape in DRC
An unidentified British UN official has escaped prosecution after allegedly raping a 16-year-old girl in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The peacekeeper, who has since been dismissed, was reportedly working for the UN’s mission in the country when he gave the teen around £3,600 in exchange for sex.
An investigation later found credible evidence against him and the UK delegation to the UN in New York was notified, but no criminal proceedings were brought against him.
It comes as the UK government halts funding for Oxfam following allegations of sexual misconduct against staff in the DRC.
Duke of Edinburgh funeral plans unveiled
The Duke of Edinburgh will be laid to rest in Windsor on April 17 in the presence of the Queen and the couple’s children and grandchildren, including Prince Harry.
The plans have been confirmed after the Duke of Edinburgh, who was 99 and the longest-serving royal consort in British history, died on Friday morning.
The funeral will be confined entirely to the grounds of Windsor Castle, though Buckingham Palace has confirmed the service and short procession will be televised.
The Royal family has asked people not to visit Windsor or lay flowers due to continuing coronavirus restrictions, though a series of tributes have been paid across the country.