Nobel Prize for Literature Won by American Poet Louise Gluck
American poet Louise Gluck was this week honoured with the Nobel Prize for Literature. The former winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1993 and the National Book Award in 2014 was described by the Swedish Academy as an “unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal." In normal times Ms Gluck would have received the award in person from King Carl XVI Gustaf in Stockholm on the 10th of December but due to the current Covid-19 pandemic the ceremony will instead be replaced by a televised showing of the winners receiving the prizes in their home countries.
Main Officer Involved in Floyd Killing Released on Bail
Derek Chauvin, the main officer filmed in the video which showed the brutal killing of George Floyd has been released on a $1 million bail. Mr Chauvin who is charged with second- and third-degree murder and manslaughter is set to appear in court in March 2021 along with three other former police officers involved with the death of Mr Floyd. The other three officers, Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and Alexander Kueng are also charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and manslaughter.
UK Covid Cases Continue to Rise
Yesterday saw a sharp increase in the number of positive cases of Covid-19 in the United Kingdom with an extremely high 17,540 cases being reported. This follows the already high number of 14,162 cases the day prior and bring the total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the UK up to 516,815. This news follows reports from Newcastle University last week that 1,000 students tested positive for the virus. According to leaked documents by the Nottingham Post Ministers are set to release a new three-tier Local Risk Levels approach on Monday and they are to come into effect on Wednesday.
Government Puts Ireland on Level 3
Earlier this week The Cabinet announced that they’d be placing all counties within the Republic under Level 3 restrictions despite calls from the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) to implement Level 5 restrictions. Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald took to Twitter to condemn the decision made by the government stating "What resources for our health services? NPHET advice to move to Level 5 strongly influenced by lack of capacity in health service. Taoiseach and Government must hear this message and act," whilst former Minister for Health and current Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris again pleaded with the public to “keep distance, reduce contacts, wear face coverings.”
Order to Partly Lockdown Madrid Rejected
A court in Madrid has ruled against an order which imposed a partial lockdown on Madrid and various satellite towns. In the courts statement they said that the lockdown imposed "had denied the ratification (of the measures) on grounds they impacted on the rights and fundamental freedoms" of 4.5 million people affected by the lockdown. This comes as the infection rate of Covid-19 in Madrid rose to 700 cases per 100,000 people, compared to 300 per 100,000 in the rest of Spain.