Trans swimming ban, monkeypox latest and Eurovision row: 5 things you need to know about
The world’s governing body for swimming has voted to ban trans women who have gone through male puberty in a stunning attack on trans inclusion in sport.
Elsewhere, the Eurovision fallout continues after the contest’s organisers asked the UK to host instead of Ukraine, while monkeypox continues to spread across the UK.
It might seem like there’s a lot going on in the world, but no need to worry – we’ve got you covered. Here are five things you need to know this week.
1. Monkeypox outbreak isn’t yet under control in the UK
Monkeypox is continuing to spread in the UK, with health officials warning that the outbreak is still not under control.
The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) had recorded 574 cases as of 16 June – 550 of those were in England, with Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales sharing the remainder.
Paul Hunter, a professor of medicine at the University of East Anglia, told The Guardian that there is “no clear evidence” the epidemic has been brought under control.
Elsewhere, the World Health Organization (WHO) is moving to rename the virus, saying its current name is “inaccurate” and “stigmatising”.
2. Trans women banned from elite swimming
There was widespread shock when news broke that the world’s governing body for swimming had voted to ban most trans women from taking part in women’s elite swimming events.
FINA issued a new policy document on Sunday (19 June) which bans trans women who have gone through “any part of male puberty” from elite competitions.
The swimming body reached its decision after 71 per cent of its 152 national federations around the world voted in its favour.
FINA said it would set up a working group with the aim of establishing a new “open” category to allow trans women to compete at some events.
Athlete Ally, an LGBTQ+ sporting advocacy group, said the policy was “deeply discriminatory”.
3. Boris Johnson wants Ukraine to host Eurovision
On Friday (17 June), the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) announced that it was entering talks with the BBC to host the contest in the UK.
In a statement, the EBU said there were “safety and security issues” around hosting the contest in Ukraine given the ongoing war. As the UK finished in second place behind Ukraine, organisers said they would enter talks with the BBC to host instead.
However, Ukrainian officials have expressed deep disappointment with the decision. Oleksandr Tkachenko, the country’s culture minister, said they would demand that the EBU reverse its decision.
Even Boris Johnson threw his support behind Ukraine to host the contest, saying they won “fair and square”.
The row is likely to rumble on over the next week.
4. Russia likely to intensify attacks on Ukraine as European Union nears decision
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said he expects Russia to ramp up its attacks on his country after the European Commission proposed it as a candidate for membership of the European Union.
Ukraine applied to become a member of the EU shortly after Russia invaded in February.
“I think it is obvious to everyone that since 1991 there have been few such fateful decisions for Ukraine as we expect now,” Zelenskyy wrote. “And I am convinced that a positive decision meets the interests of the whole of Europe.”
He continued: “Obviously, we should expect greater hostile activity from Russia. Purposefully – demonstratively. This week exactly. And not only against Ukraine, but also against other European countries. We are preparing. We are ready. We warn partners.”
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5. Emmanuel Macron’s party suffers ‘crushing defeat’ in French elections
Emmanual Macron’s party has lost its absolute majority following legislative elections in France, with the far-right surging in support.
French news outlets were quick to call the election results a “crushing defeat” for Macron and his party. An alliance of left-wing parties also made significant gains, becoming the country’s largest opposition group.
However, Marine Le Pen’s National Rally party won 89 seats, up from just eight in 2017. The results will mean that Macron will have a harder time pushing his reforms and policies through parliament.