NEWS DIGEST 06.06.2020: The battle against coronavirus and police brutality



Today’s report summary comes from Facebook. The UK’s Prince Charles, who survived an attack of the coronavirus, told the UK’s Guardian newspaper recently that the global pandemic was the world’s chance to ‘reset’ its economy. Speaking at the opening of a World Economic Forum (WEF) virtual meeting held this past Wednesday, the royal also unveiled a five-point plan to help affected nations rebuild their economies with sustainability at their core. “We have a unique but rapidly shrinking window of opportunity to learn lessons and reset ourselves on a more sustainable path,” said Prince Charles. The elder royal has long been an advocate for environmental issues – Pandemic is chance to reset global economy, says Prince Charles (The Guardian)

There are fears new legislation being discussed in the British parliament could ‘criminalise’ journalism and harm the free press. The ‘espionage legislation’ could make it a criminal offence to knowingly release classified information as leaks into the public domain, and the government has been condemned by free press observers of cultivating a climate of secrecy. The legislation, which is to be made officially public in the December Queen’s Speech, will concern the need to ‘combat state hostility’ and make the country a ‘harder environment for adversaries to operate in’. It is reported that the new rules were motivated by the poisoning of Russian political refugee Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the English town of Salisbury in March of 2018 – New UK Laws Could Criminalize Journalism (Consortium News)

The New European, a pro-EU British newspaper formed in the early days of the Brexit debacle, released an opinion piece by Liz Gerard, that said the UK’s government is taking the British public for fools, while mismanaging, misleading and manipulating the nation and public during the pandemic crisis. The government’s initial blase response to the arrival of the virus comes in for particular criticism in the article – The British people are being played for fools (The New European)

The UK’s Daily Mail paper reports that basketball legend Michael Jordan is to donate USD $100 million to a decade-long fund to support American organisations striving for racial equality and upliftment in the wake of the racist killing of Minneapolis resident George Floyd by a local policeman. Organisations supporting educational access and social justice will also benefit from the fund. The pledge comes after the NBA star voiced his full support for the Black Lives Matter movement, which has organised widespread protests across the world in the wake of Floyd’s murder – Michael Jordan to donate $100 MILLION over the next decade to organizations dedicated race equality after joining George Floyd protesters in demanding end to police brutality (Mail Online)

The pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has announced that it will commence mass production of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by the University of Oxford in the UK. While the actual vaccine is still going through human trials, the firm wants to set up enough supplies for widespread distribution in the autumn of 2020 should the vaccine tests be successful. AstraZeneca is making a big financial gamble on the vaccine and has said it will not profit from the distribution programme – Coronavirus vaccine goes into production in UK (SurreyLive)

Consumer watchdog magazine Which? reported on the results of a nationwide comparison of prices in UK supermarkets to answer the question of what shop was the cheapest for cash-strapped consumers in May. Asda was revealed to be the most budget-friendly, topping the tables for the third month in a row. Higher-end retailer Waitrose, not surprisingly, was recorded as the most expensive in the past few weeks – Which was the cheapest supermarket in May? (Which?)

As the UK’s furlough scheme for private employees affected by the pandemic downturn in the country’s economy begins to wind down, there are fears this could lead to mass redundancies happening next week. Companies are being given until 10th June to decide if they are able to pay a greater share of furloughed staff’s wages under the latest phase of the government scheme, and to furlough staff who have not yet been placed on the scheme – Redundancies this week as businesses hit new furlough rule deadline (WalesOnline)

An entire squad of fifty-seven police officers in the US town of Buffalo resigned from their posts after two of their colleagues were suspended from duties following viral footage of the pair pushing over a 75-year-old peace activist protesting against racism and police brutality. The entire Emergency Response Team quit their jobs in ‘disgust’ after stating that the two officer were just executing orders. The elderly man had approached the two sacked officers when they pushed him to the ground, causing him to bleed heavily from one ear. The Buffalo police department initially claimed the man had fallen over himself – 57 Buffalo officers resign from Emergency Response Team after two cops suspended (The Hill)

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