NewsFix: Wednesday September 8, 2021
A new and unsurprising Taliban government, a political risk for Boris Johnson, a new pregnancy announcement from Kylie Jenner, and a landmark ruling on abortion in Mexico.
TUESDAY’S TOP LINES
The Taliban has announced its new Afghan all-male interim government.
Key players: It will be led by Mohammad Hasan Akhund, a man who was deputy PM during the Taliban’s last stint in power (1996-2001), and is currently on a UN sanctions list.
A son of the Taliban’s late founder, Mullah Omar, was named as the new defence minister.
The country’s new interior minister is one of the FBI’s most wanted men.
“As for women, there was never a chance they would be given a ministerial role; the Ministry of Women's Affairs seems to have been, for now, abolished altogether.” - Lyse Doucet, BBC’s Chief International Correspondent
Police Scotland pleaded guilty to failings which “materially contributed” to the death of a woman who was left in a crashed car for three days.
Background: In July 2015, Lamara Bell was involved in a car crash. A call was made to police by a member of the public to say a car was seen at the end of an embankment. However, that call was never recorded. When officers arrived at the scene three days later, the man in the car alongside Bell was already dead. Bell died in hospital four days later.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the expected 1.25% increase in National Insurance to raise funds for the NHS and social care. He claimed it would raise an extra £12bn per year.
The Telegraph described it as the “highest taxes since the Second World War,” saying Johnson “abandoned” his party’s manifesto pledges. Pre-empting coverage like this, Johnson said a pandemic “wasn’t in our manifesto either”.
Many online critics of the move pointed to an assurance during the Brexit referendum, that leaving the EU would provide an extra £350m a week for the NHS.
BBC News provided a very helpful look at the impact this increase will have, depending on your salary.
KYLIE JENNER IS PREGNANT
Kylie Jenner announced her and Travis Scott are expecting their second baby, three and a half years after welcoming their first daughter, Stormi Webster.
Kylie famously kept her first pregnancy private, declining to confirm the widespread rumours until after she had given birth.
In just seven hours, the video has been a staggering 48.2 million times.
A post shared by @kyliejenner
BIG DAY FOR BRITNEY’S TEAM
Jamie Spears has officially filed papers to end his 13-year role as his daughter Britney’s conservator.
“If Ms Spears wants to terminate the conservatorship and believes that she can handle her own life, Mr Spears believes that she should get that chance.” - Jamie’s court filing on Tuesday
Remember: During an explosive testimony in June, Britney described the conservatorship as “abusive” and said she would refuse to perform again while her father remained in position.
In a landmark decision, Mexico’s Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that criminalising abortion is unconstitutional.
Important context: The court’s ruling does not mean the judges necessarily think abortion should be legalised. The ruling was directly related to a law in a region in northern Mexico - bordering Texas - which threatened to punish any woman who had an abortion with “up to three years in prison and a fine”.
As CNN noted, the law also meant anyone who performs the abortion could also be prosecuted. The Supreme Court ruled unanimously against the penalising of abortion.
“Nobody gets voluntarily pregnant thinking about getting an abortion later.” - Supreme Court Justice Ana Margarita Ríos Farjat
Worth noting: As The Washington Post reported, Mexico is the world’s second largest Catholic country. However, the BBC noted “the church's influence has been waning in recent years and the government considers itself staunchly secular”.
- The number of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) recorded in England has been down by a third since the beginning of the pandemic. Whether that is because people have been having less unprotected sex during the pandemic, or because less tests are being carried out, remains unclear.
- The Samaritans charity answered a call every 56 seconds last year. What does Samaritans do? It provides a helpline for anyone in Britain and Ireland feeling emotional distress or suicidal thoughts
- BBC News: I’m double-vaccinated but can’t show the proof’
- The Guardian: Britney Spears’ father files to shut down conservatorship that controls his daughter’s life
- The Financial Times: Johnson plan to fund health and care lifts UK tax burden to 70-year high
- Al Jazeera: Old guard, no women as Taliban announces new government in Afghanistan
- The Irish Times: Three family members of family die in suspected murder-suicide in Co Kerry
Why? Because of a Guardian article highlighting how the company paid £3.8m more in corporation tax last year, despite a sales rise of £1.9bn compared to 2019.
35 years since the first Oprah show aired. A review from The Hollywood Reporter at the time said “in a world run amok with pompous talk show pitchmen, Oprah Winfrey is something different”.
In 2003, she became the first African-American woman on Forbes magazine's "World's Richest People" list. Her net worth at the time? Roughly $1 billion.
- The 80th birthday of Bernie Sanders, 2020 US Presidential candidate and longest-serving independent senator in the history of Congress. Excited, Bernie?
Now you know. Forever.
ON A LIGHTER NOTE…
When you’re underage and all of your friends get into the club.