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Five things you might’ve missed this week

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Bitesize world news in one helpful round up.

PORN PETITION

Keyboard

USA

Calls for the world’s biggest porn site to close down have intensified after an online petition condemning its practices garnered more than 500,000 signatures. Pornhub has been accused of profiting from sex crimes and trafficking by American campaign group Exodus Cry, who started the petition. Activists say Pornhub has no safeguarding policies in place to monitor the 6 million videos uploaded to the site every year, meaning that non-consensual and illegal sex acts are being recorded and shared under the radar. One such example involved a missing 15-year-old girl from Florida, who was found after videos of her were uploaded to Pornhub last year. Her alleged rapist is now standing trial.

CHANGE FOR GIRLS

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SIERRA LEONE

Pregnant students will now be able to go to school in Sierra Leone after a ban was found to be in breach of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and international law. The restrictions on pregnant girls and women attending school was introduced after the Ebola crisis in 2015, when 42% of 15- 17-year-olds became pregnant after schools were forced to close. The ban on these girls returning to school after the crisis was criticised by education and equality organisations for promoting the patriarchal belief that women should give up education when they have children. Overturning it is a major win.

BEARING THE BRUNT

Cleaning

HONG KONG

Women in Asia are suffering the economic effects of coronavirus more than men, according to experts. Those in low-paid and informal work, predominantly women, are facing job cuts and struggling to make ends meet as employers evacuate red areas and halt hiring of external and casual workers such as babysitters, cleaners and carers. “An even greater burden is placed on women when health systems are overloaded or schools are closed, as the care of children and sick family members largely falls on women,” said Mohammad Naciri, the head of UN Women in Asia. Unfortunately, we’re expecting a similar effect here. 

EARLY RISERS

Bear

RUSSIA

While much of the world moves into weeks, if not months, of self-isolation, the opposite is to be said of bears, who are approaching the end of their hibernation season. Unfortunately, many animals are coming out of their slumbers too early: Moscow Zoo had two Himalayan bears emerge a month before expected, and grizzlies have already been spotted across Canada and the US. Scientists are putting it down to the climate crisis, as the warmer weather means bears think we’re well into spring. Worryingly, their awakening could be dangerous for both them and us – unable to find their usual leafy grub, they’re likely to move into human territory as they hunt for things to eat. To those in bear country we say: lock your doors. 

ALL TOGETHER NOW

Woman in window

ITALY

Italians are finding new ways to socialise as the entire country remains on lockdown due to the coronavirus outbreak. Residents aren’t allowed to leave their homes except to travel to work, supermarkets and pharmacies, which means hanging out with friends is very difficult (something we can also relate to right now). But videos of people in Tuscany singing out of their windows with their neighbours have emerged, while all other communication has gone online: WhatsApp has reported a 20% rise in calls and messages in Italy, and work messaging app Microsoft Teams has seen a 100% rise in users during the lockdown. Let’s face it, it’s a bad time to attempt a digital detox. 

Images: Getty Images

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