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.
Cameron and Hancock embroiled in cronyism claims
Former prime minister David Cameron is to be the subject of a formal enquiry, after it emerged he lobbied the government on behalf of now collapsed Australian finance firm Greenshill.
Mr Cameron, who reportedly stood to make millions from his shares in the company, sent text messages to chancellor Rishi Sunak regarding the firm’s eligibility for loans.
The inquiry, the first of its kind into a former prime minister, will now examine whether lobbying rules that allowed Cameron to work for the firm should be tightened.
It comes amid fresh criticism of health secretary Matt Hancock, after it emerged both he and his sister hold stakes in a firm handed £300,000 of NHS business this year.
Labour says it is yet another example of “cronyism at the heart of this government”.
Government rejects ‘stalkers’ register for serial abusers
The government is under fire after voting down plans to create a register of serial stalkers and domestic abusers – despite briefing its MPs would likely support it.
Conservative members voted against an amendment to the domestic abuse bill on Thursday that would have facilitated the creation of a Violent and Sex Offenders Register.
MPs also voted down a House of Lords-supported amendment that would have provided greater protection to migrant victims and enhanced abuse training for family court judges.
Home secretary Priti Patel had previously inferred the government was likely to support the creation of a stalker’s register amid the public outcry following the murder of Sarah Everard.
Almost a quarter of a million people have signed a Change.org petition calling for the register to be introduced as a matter of urgency.
Police officer charged over Daunte Wright shooting
The police officer who killed young father Daunte Wright after claiming she mistook her gun for a taser has been charged with second-degree manslaughter.
Kim Potter was arrested and released on bail after quitting her job in the wake of the killing, which took place during a routine traffic stop in Minneapolis.
The Wright family’s lawyer Ben Crump has described the killing was an “intentional, deliberate, and unlawful use of force”.
The latest shooting of an unarmed black man by a US police officer took place just ten miles from the courtroom in which officer Derek Chauvin is currently standing trial for the killing of George Floyd.
The killing has sparked a fresh wave of Black Lives Matter protests.
Tax raid cuts benefits to Britain’s most vulnerable families
Thousands of Britain’s most vulnerable families have seen their universal credit payments slashed, after HMRC moved to reclaim historic tax credit overpayments.
Around 50,000 low-earners who were mistakenly overpaid tax credits as far back as 2004 have seen their income docked by officials – despite in many cases being unaware they were receiving too much.
Sir Iain Duncan Smith, the former Conservative leader who created universal credit, this week described the move to aggressively seek repayment now as “a major mistake”.
It comes just months after the HMRC was shamed into halting use of private debt collectors following a report in The Times about families being threatened with repossession.
Government LGBT advisory panel disbanded amid row
A government advisory panel set up to advance the rights of LGBTQ+ people has been disbanded with immediate effect.
It comes just weeks after three members quit amid an ongoing row over delays in banning so-called conversion therapy.
The first to resign, Jayne Ozanne, accused ministers of creating a “hostile environment” for LGBT people, adding: “This does nothing to rebuild trust.”
Equalities minister Liz Truss this week wrote to the group’s remaining members thanking them for their input, and suggesting the group would be replaced with a new body.
Japan plans to release contaminated water from Fukushima
The Japanese government is to begin releasing contaminated water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant into the Pacific ocean from 2023.
It’s after officials began running out of space to store liquids used to cool down melted fuel following the world’s second most severe nuclear accident in 2011.
The government insists the water will be treated to reduce radiation to drinking water safe levels before releasing.
But the move has deeply angered environmental and fisheries groups, as well as China and Korea, who say it’s a risk to the marine environment, food safety and human health.
Prince Philip laid to rest in Windsor
The Duke of Edinburgh was laid to rest yesterday in a small family funeral at Windsor Castle’s St George’s Chapel.
Just 30 people, including the Queen and Prince Philip’s children and grandchildren, were allowed inside the chapel, wearing masks and remaining socially distanced throughout the ceremony.
But more than 730 members of the armed forces took part in the funeral procession, following the Duke’s coffin carried on a modified Land Rover he helped design before his death last Friday, aged 99.