It can be hard to keep up with the news. Even for those of us who try to follow the endless headlines, it’s even harder to track the important topics. Thats why we do the hard work for you, making sure everything is written up each Sunday ‘For The Record’.
The start of the week saw some light-hearted news in Fife. Fisher & Donaldson launched some ice-cream filled doughnuts to celebrate their new garden cafe in Cupar, while the council promised to finally do something about the over 400 potholes plaguing the kingdom. Cellardyke made local news when the council’s environmental health team were unable to find the cause of a series of mysterious banging noises occurring at all times of day and night.
After this brief reprieve, COVID once again dominated headlines in the second half of the week. As the new tracing app reached a milestone one million downloads – if you haven’t got it yet, please do so – a cluster of cases was confirmed at one of the residences for students at Edinburgh Napier University.
In an attempt to avoid similar outbreak in St Andrews, Principal Sally Mapstone asked students to enter voluntary lockdown on Friday evening. The biggest local story of the week, the request was met with both reluctant agreement from the majority of students and derision by a number of locals. In any case, further restrictions from the Scottish Government seem likely.
Staying on the topic of COVID, this week saw the introduction of the ‘rule of 6’ in both Scotland and England. The UK government told people to report breaches to the police in an attempt to aid enforcement, before introducing stricter measures across the whole of the North East of England. As the weekend approached, with rising cases across most parts of the UK, the PM considered even tighter restrictions, possibly including a second national lockdown in October.
The government faced criticism due to continued delays with COVID testing. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the issue would take ‘a matter of weeks’ to resolve, with Justice Secretary Robert Buckland calling it a ‘number one priority’. This as NHS staff reportedly unable to return to work while waiting for tests. Even Labour Leader Keir Starmer was stuck at home this week, missing PMQs – and the debate on the controversial Brexit bill – due to symptoms in his household.
This week Starmer made headlines from home, as he called on the government to replace the furlough scheme which kept many workers employed during the lockdown, and revealed Labour’s new slogan: ‘A New Leadership’ at the digital conference Labour adopted this year.
To close out the week, let’s look at a standalone headline from each day:
The biggest story in the US this week, despite COVID, Trump and the wildfires, was the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Despite her dying wish to not be replaced until after the election, Senate Leader Mitch McConnell and President Donald Trump vowed to install a conservative justice as quickly as possible. This was opposed by Democratic Nominee Joe Biden, who cited the precedent by McConnell from a similar situation in 2016.
The issue of the Supreme Court adds further fuel to the fire of the US election in November. As ex-UK ambassador Kim Darroch warned of election violence, Biden was already lawyering-up for an expected post-election legal fight.
Also in the US, Democrats warned that a controversial UK Brexit bill could jeopardise the Good Friday Agreement, and that such a move would kill any prospective trade deal with the US. Biden was attacked by UK conservatives after his comments on the topic.
A number of stories continued to unfold from previous weeks.
In Belarus, ‘the last dictator of Europe’ Alexander Lukashenko was promised a $1.5bn loan by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Meanwhile protests against Lukashenko continued following his disputed election victory.
This while poisoned Russian, Alexei Navalny, told media he ‘will return to Russia’ via a spokesperson. The opposition figure was poisoned with Novichok ‘found on (the) bottle’ in his hotel room. He continues to recover in hospital in Germany.
In Asia, India faces oxygen scarcity as Covid cases surge, the US and UK warned travellers of a risk of arbitrary arrest in China and Hong Kong, China performed a military drill as the US envoy visited Taiwan, a British child was rescued from Syria by the UK government and Gaza violence flared after Israel-Gulf agreements.