Another week, another barrage of news – yes, believe it or not, there has been news beyond the US election.
That’s why, each week, we’ll be rounding up the news items you need to know about. They’re not always the stories that make the front page. Rather, these are the ones we think women who rise need to be aware of.
‘Time to heal’ say victorious Biden and Harris
Joe Biden has called for unity and healing in his first speech as President-elect of the USA.
Speaking in his native Delaware last night he told Trump voters it was time for both sides to “give each other a chance”.
Kamala Harris, meanwhile, thanked Biden for having the “audacity” to choose her as his running mate – she will now make history as the country’s first woman, first Black, and the first South Asian Vice-President.
As Democrats took to the streets in celebration, the Trump campaign refused to concede defeat.
Trump, who has yet to produce any evidence for his allegations of widespread voter fraud, spent the day on the golf course.
UK furlough scheme extended until March
As England entered a second national lockdown this week, the government’s UK-wide furlough scheme was extended into March 2021.
Speaking on Thursday, chancellor Rishi Sunak also revealed that the income support scheme for the self-employed would be raised to similar levels in a bid to stem the unemployment crisis.
The programme had initially been due to end last week, but critics warned continuing financial support was needed in light of the second pandemic wave.
Unemployment reached a three-year high last month, while John Lewis, Clarks, Lloyds Bank, Sainsburys and airline caterer Do & Co this week announced job cuts totalling 7,200.
Poland abortion ban delayed amid protests
Poland’s government this week delayed moves to implement a controversial court ruling that would amount to an almost total ban on abortion.
The decision comes in the wake of the country’s largest protests since the fall of communism, with more than 100,000 people taking to the streets in Warsaw.
Meanwhile, a series of women’s strikes have resulted in daily demonstrations in towns and cities across the country.
It’s after a court called for a ban on abortion even in the case of severe birth defects – effectively ruling out more than 96 per cent of terminations carried out legally in the strict Catholic country.
UK raised its terror alert level to ‘severe’
The UK this week raised its terror alert level from ‘substantial’ to ‘severe’ in the wake of a series of attacks across mainland Europe.
The move follows the deaths of four people in a shooting in Vienna on Monday.
The week before, three others died in a knife attack in Nice, while last month, a teacher was murdered in Paris.
Home Secretary Priti Patel has described the decision as “precautionary”, urging the British public to be “alert but not alarmed”.
Abuse of babies soaring amid pandemic, OFSTED warned
The number of babies being injured as a result of abuse or neglect in England is up by a fifth on last year, according to OFSTED.
The education and children’s services watchdog said abuse levels had soared during the pandemic, leading to the death of eight infants in the UK.
More than 300 “serious incident notifications” of injury and death involving children were reported to local authorities between April and October, 40 per cent involving children under the age of one.
OFSTED says families already struggling with poverty, poor housing and mental ill health were facing a “toxic mix” of additional pressures in 2020.
The report came as Scotland became the first country in the UK to make smacking illegal.
Johnny Depp vowed to appeal ‘wife beater’ verdict
Johnny Depp this week vowed to appeal a High Court ruling that found The Sun newspaper not liable in branding him “a wife beater”.
Justice Andrew Nicol dismissed Depp’s lawsuit against News Group Newspapers on Monday, saying the publisher had proved its story “was substantially true.”
Yet Depp, who now faces legal costs in excess of £4 million, has vowed to push ahead with an appeal, as well as a second lawsuit against his ex-wife Amber Heard in the USA.
He’s suing her over an article she wrote for the Washington Post in 2018, in which she called herself a survivor of domestic abuse.
In the wake of the case this week, he was asked to resign from his role in the Fantastic Beasts franchise.
Priority testing could end lone births
The government has pledged to introduce quick-turnaround COVID tests on maternity wards within days, following a national campaign to end the ordeal of lone births.
Charities acting on behalf of pregnant women have spent months arguing against the ban on partners in labour wards and maternity appointments.
Now, the government says ending lone births will take priority in the rollout of rapid testing, allowing partners to be present at scans and in early labour.
The move has been welcomed by campaigners – though a series of health experts have since expressed concerns about the continuing lack of testing kits on the ground.