The last exit to Tier 3
Warrington is the latest area placed in tier three restrictions, joining areas of Greater Manchester and Liverpool. This means over 8 million people in the north of England are currently living under the toughest measures for controlling the virus.
50 Tory backbenchers have penned a letter to the PM demanding he set out the exit strategy for bringing their constituencies out of the most severe lockdown measures.
They claim the restrictions will prevent the MPs from fulfilling their election promise of ‘levelling up’ these communities. Many of the ‘red wall’ seats were key to Johnson’s victory in last December’s election.
The restrictions are reviewed after 28 days. Opposition leader, Keir Starmer, pressed Johnson at PMQ’s last week. Boris suggested the best way for these areas to get out of tier three was to bring the R number under one, but stopped short of saying doing so would guarantee the restrictions.
I may be home for Christmas
I already feel sorry for the students having to go to university to sit in their accommodation and participate in lectures online. And it has now emerged that students in Scotland could be told not to return home at Christmas if the spread of the coronavirus has not been controlled.
Dep. First Minister John Swinney said it was a situation the government wanted to avoid but it was a “realistic possibility”. A phased end to the university term is being considered.
Speaking on BBC Radio’s Good Morning Scotland, Mr Swinney said students may also need to make a staggered return in January with more online learning for a longer period in the new year.
The National Union of Students (NUS) said a clear plan was needed urgently.
Coney Barrett’s confirmation
President Trump has successfully appointed his third judge to the US Supreme Court.
The controversial nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, won the senate vote 52 to 48. This will now heavily skew the highest court in the land to the right, with 6 of the 9 judges representing a more conservative standpoint.
Many fear that Amy Coney Barrett’s appointment will have a direct effect on the future for the Affordable Health Care Act and abortion rights, based on her previous rulings and donors.
Want to know more about her? Check out our foolproof guide here.
Covid protests in Italy
Yesterday, the Italian govt brought into effect a new set of national restrictions which would see restaurants, bars, gyms and cinemas close at 6pm.
While an initial national lockdown earlier this year was compiled peacefully, the announcement of renewed measures has been met with immediate pushback. Small businesses argue that they are still recovering from that first lockdown, and that more restrictions could bankrupt them.
Violent protests broke out across Italy, with clashes reported in several major cities – including Turin, Milan, Rome, Genoa, Palermo, Naples and Trieste.
Pakistan school attack
The city of Peshawar, close to the Afghan border, has seen some of the worst of the violence during the Taliban insurgency in recent years.
This morning, at around 8.30am local time, a bomb was denoted at a religious school in the city of Peshawar.
At least seven people have died and more than 50 injured after an explosion during a class at a religious school in Pakistan, police have said. Those killed were aged between 20 and 30, with four injured under the age of 13.
No group has yet claimed responsibility. An investigation has been launched.
Chile rewrites constitution
Chileans have overwhelmingly voted to rewrite their constitution. The previous version was imposed by military leader General Augusto Pinochet and entrenched levels of inequality across the country.
The vote had two questions: firstly whether Chile wanted a new constitution, and if so, who should write it.
78% voted in favour of a new constitution to be written up by a body elected via a popular vote.
They will return to the ballot boxes on 11th April 2021 to choose the 150 representatives who will be charged with redrafting a new constitution for the country.
One small drop for man, one giant puddle for mankind
The US space agency has revealed that they have found water on the moon. This “unambiguous detection of molecular water” will boost Nasa’s hopes of establishing a lunar base.
Unlike previous detections of water in permanently shadowed parts of lunar craters, scientists have now detected the molecule in sunlit regions of the Moon’s surface.
The hope is still to build a lunar base at some point, using the natural resources available.
Cheer me up!
We don’t need to look our most glamorous when we pop to the shops — joggers will usually do — however, one man in Wales used the dress code to protest against the devolved govt’s latest and toughest fire breaker restrictions.
38-year-old Chris Nowden was denied entry to Tesco’s in Newport, South Wales, as the gentlemen was only wearing his underpants (and trainers and socks – he’s not a monster).
Mr Nowden argued that clothes were ‘non-essential’ — a dig at the govt stopping the sale of non-essential items during the fire break lockdown — and the staff should let him in.
The Welsh Government said it will review the ‘understanding, clarity and policy’ of the decision.