England Lionesses’ historic win, monkeypox deaths and Ukraine: 5 essential things you need to know
Rishi Sunak is once again trying to win the Tory leadership race by drumming up the anti-trans culture war, while the monkeypox outbreak continues to escalate.
Elsewhere, the England women’s football team is celebrating after winning the UEFA Women’s Euro event for the first time.
It might seem like there’s a lot going on in the world, but don’t worry – we’ve got you covered.
Here are five essential things you need to know this week.
1. Rishi Sunak’s latest attack on trans community shows how low the Tories are willing to go
Tory leadership hopeful Rishi Sunak has once again weaponised the existence of trans people as part of his desperate bid to become the next prime minister.
Sunak, who is facing off against Liz Truss, said he will shield women from “erasure” and that “sex means biological sex” in a speech in West Sussex on Saturday (30 July).
Anyone engaged with the toxic anti-trans culture war will know exactly what Sunak is alluding to – he’s wheeling out some of the tired tropes and catchphrases of a fringe movement that wants to strip rights from trans people.
He also hit out at the Equality Act, saying it had allowed “every kind of woke nonsense to permeate public life”.
If Sunak’s speech is anything to go by, the Tory leadership race will only get more toxic as the weeks go by.
2. England women’s team to hold victory parade after historic win
The England women’s football team is due to hold its victory parade on Monday (1 August) in Trafalgar Square, with up to 7,000 supporters expected to join them for the event.
The victory parade comes after the Lionesses won the UEFA Women’s Euro event on Sunday (31 July), beating Germany after the match went to extra time.
There will be a Q&A session at the victory parade before the team lift the trophy. The free event will be run on a first-come, first-served basis.
3. The first monkeypox deaths have been recorded
The first monkeypox deaths have been recorded in the current outbreak of the virus.
An unnamed 41-year-old man from Brazil became the first person to die from monkeypox outside of Africa – where the virus usually spreads – according to Brazilian authorities.
The man had been suffering from lymphoma and from a weakened immune system, they said.
Meanwhile, health authorities in Spain confirmed two deaths from the virus, making them the first confirmed deaths in Europe.
The news comes after weeks concern over the virus, which has been spreading rapidly among gay and bisexual men, as well as other men who have sex with men.
Authorities have stressed that the virus is not sexually transmitted, but is likely spread through close skin-to-skin contact, meaning it can be passed on during sex.
4. Brittney Griner could be freed under US deal
Basketball star Brittney Griner could be freed by Russia if a planned US deal goes ahead.
US secretary of state Anthony Blinken said on Friday (29 July) that he had a “frank and direct conversation” with Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov about swapping Griner for Viktor Bout, a convicted Russian arms dealer.
If the deal goes ahead, Griner could return to the US for the first time since February. She was arrested and detained in the country after airport security found cannabis oil in her belongings.
The queer basketball star’s freedom could finally be within reach, but anything is liable to happen in the long-running case.
5. Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky urges civilians to flee Donetsk region
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Russia continues to wage its barbaric war in Ukraine, resulting in the death and displacement of Ukrainian people.
In a late night address from Kyiv, Volodymyr Zelensky told civilians still living in the eastern Donetsk region to evacuate.
“The more people leave Donetsk region now, the fewer people the Russian army will have time to kill,” he said.
“We will use all available opportunities to save as many lives as possible and to limit the Russian terror as much as possible.”
The war, which started in February, shows no sign of abating anytime soon.