We’ve summarised the 15 key stories of the last week into an easily digestible briefing so that you can stay up to date on what’s happening around the world. You can subscribe to receive the briefing in your inbox each week.
- The government announced a new system of tiers to help slow the spread of Covid-19 as cases in the UK escalate rapidly. Already Lancashire, Liverpool and Manchester are in the highest level of restrictions, Tier 3, and on Friday London was moved to Tier 2.
- Joe Biden’s campaign continued this week, but Kamala Harris was absent after two of her aides tested positive for Covid-19. The news came as it was revealed that Biden had raised a record-breaking $383 million in September alone, leaving the campaign with $432 million in reserves.
- Trump and Biden both took part in town hall meetings this week, with Biden drawing over 1 million more viewers than Trump. Trump refused to disavow the QAnon conspiracy theory group and essentially admitted that he owed $400 million to his creditors.
- Jacinda Ardern was re-elected as Prime Minister of New Zealand in a landslide election victory for her Labour party. She won 49.1% of the vote and is projected to win 64 seats, giving her a parliamentary majority, which would be the first since New Zealand moved to Mixed Member Proportional representation in 1996.
- Thailand has been rocked by protests against the monarchy over the last week. After protestors obstructed a royal motorcade, a state of emergency was imposed, intended to clamp down on the protests. Amnesty International has criticised the move, and Berlin has said that Thailand shouldn’t be governed from German soil, where the King spends much of his time.
- A teacher in France was beheaded in what Macron describes as an “Islamist terror attack” after he showed controversial caricatures of the Prophet Muhammed during a free speech class. The attacker was shot dead by police soon after the attack.
- Eight countries including the US and UK have signed the Artemis Accords, which aims to establish a legal framework for governing the use of space. Named after NASA’s project to return to the moon, the Accords are likely to spark fierce debate, as China and Russia both argue that the establishment of ‘safe zones’ on the moon amounts to a lunar land grab.
- Protests against Nigeria’s Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) went global this week, culminating in the President of Nigeria announcing its immediate dissolution. SARS has long been alleged to commit abuse and footage that has appeared recently seems to confirm this.
Business & Economics
- Boeing’s 737 Max plane has been cleared for take-off by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency following changes to the flight control system. The 737 Max was grounded after two fatal crashes last year and Boeing lost many orders as a result, so the news resulted in a jump in Boeing’s share price.
- Apple launched the latest generation of iPhones on Tuesday this week. The focus was on the introduction of 5G, but Apple also announced the introduction of a smaller iPhone 12 Mini alongside the regular line-up. Yet despite the new technology, the share price fell by 2.7%, making it the worst one-day reaction to a new iPhone.
- Moody’s downgraded the UK’s credit rating to Aa3, equivalent to an AA- from S&P Global. They cited a “weakening in the UK’s institutions and governance” over the past few years and predicted “meaningfully weaker” growth than they had previously expected.
- Many of the largest banks in America posted their Q3 results this week. Goldman Sachs reported that profits had almost doubled, while Bank of America, Citigroup, and JPMorgan Chase all announced higher than expected profits. The news suggests that markets are recovering more quickly than predicted.
- Aviva’s asset management division has announced plans to invest more than £10 billion into British infrastructure such as housing, rail and green initiatives over the next three years. Aviva has already invested significantly in renewable energy, with stakes in several offshore wind farms.
- Alex Cruz has been replaced as the CEO of British Airways by Sean Doyle, who was previously CEO of Aer Lingus. BA has drawn criticism over previous months for the firing of almost 10,000 employees and the airline industry as a whole is facing a significant crisis, with travel through Heathrow down by 82% in September compared to last year.
- PWC is planning to resign as auditors for Boohoo over concerns about damage to their reputation. Boohoo is being investigated for potential breaches of employment law, as suppliers have been paying workers less than the minimum wage.
Written by Milo Dennison and Ed Hilditch