Amid 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.
Sleaze accusers ‘out of their minds’, says PM
Boris Johnson has hit back at claims of sleaze in relation to texts he sent Sir James Dyson, branding his accusers “out of their minds”.
The PM insisted there was nothing “dodgy or rum” about his alleged promise to “fix” concerns over the taxing of Dyson employees working on a UK ventilator scheme.
The PM’s former advisor, Dominic Cummings, has denied claims he was responsible for leaking the messages, but said an inquiry was required into Johnson’s lack of “competency”.
He also questioned the PM’s integrity, while Labour said Johnson was now directly implicated in sleaze, accusing him of “government by WhatsApp”.
Meanwhile, the row over former prime minister David Cameron’s lobbying on behalf of collapsed Australian financial firm Greenshill continues, and a controversial “VIP” route for PPE firms with government connections is under fresh scrutiny in the High Court.
India at crisis point following record COVID surge
India has warned its healthcare system is buckling, after record high coronavirus case numbers left its hospitals lacking beds and oxygen.
Crematoriums are organising mass funeral pyres and patients have been left untreated outside clinics after a global record 332,730 new cases were recorded on Friday.
The country is one of the world’s largest producers of COVID vaccines, but has been exporting the vast majority to western nations, including the UK and US.
India joined the UK’s red list of quarantine countries on Friday, with a further 55 cases of a virulent coronavirus strain first discovered there recorded in the UK on Thursday.
Derek Chauvin guilty of George Floyd murder
The former police officer who knelt on the neck of unarmed Black father George Floyd in Minneapolis last year has been found guilty of his murder.
Derek Chauvin now faces up to 40 years in prison for the killing, which sparked global protests against racism and police brutality.
While deaths in custody rarely result in police conviction in the USA, Chauvin was found guilty on three charges of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter. He will return to court for sentencing in June.
Meanwhile, within hours of the verdict, a police officer in the US state of Ohio shot dead a 16-year-old Black girl, Ma’Khia Bryant, while responding to an emergency call regarding an alleged stabbing.
The officer responsible, named as Nicholas Reardon, has been removed from frontline duty as an investigation is carried out.
Home Office Windrush approach ‘irrational and unlawful’
The Home Office’s handling of some Windrush citizenship applications was “irrational” and “unlawful”, the High Court says.
Its ruling into the case of Hubert Howard, who was repeatedly denied British citizenship, will now prevent the Home Office from refusing claims on the basis of minor, historical crimes.
Mr Howard, who had lived in the UK since arriving from Jamaica in 1960 at the age of three, was repeatedly told he had failed a “good character” requirement on the basis of minor convictions dating back to the 1970s and ‘80s.
He was eventually granted citizenship on an “exceptional basis” in late 2019, three weeks before his death.
Ryan Giggs charged with assault against two women
Former Manchester United star turned Wales manager Ryan Giggs has been charged with three domestic violence offences against two women.
Giggs, 47, is accused of causing actual bodily harm to a woman in her 30s, and with the common assault of a woman in her 20s at an address in Worsley last November.
Police say the elder woman was treated for her injuries at the scene.
Giggs is also accused of coercive or controlling behaviour between 2017 and 2020, and will appear in court in Manchester on April 28.
UN says ‘reprehensible’ race report could fuel discrimination
A report that claimed institutional racism was no longer an issue in the UK has been blasted by UN human rights experts, who say it could actually “fuel” further racism.
The United Nations working group criticised the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities’ paper, calling it an “attempt to normalise white supremacy”.
Officials also accused the commission of ignoring the concerns of Black and ethnic minority communities in the UK.
But the government has accused the UN working group on people of African descent of “misrepresenting” the report’s findings.
Children suffering from lack of freedom, warns report
A lack of opportunities for free play and an advancing “scholarisation of childhood” is endangering the happiness and wellbeing of a generation, a new report has warned.
The British Children’s Play study found today’s children doing more supervised activities and are granted the freedom to play outside at a later age than their parents.
Today’s youngsters are also given less time for unstructured play, both at home and school, and are more likely to see their time eaten up by homework and extracurricular classes.
The report’s authors have now called on the government to use the pause offered by the pandemic to explore a fresh approach to childhood wellbeing in Britain.