Monkeypox, Jake Daniels and Ellen DeGeneres: 5 essential things you need to know about this week
Monkeypox is continuing to spread across the UK and Europe, while the number of people forcibly displaced by conflict has surpassed 100 million for the first time.
Elsewhere, Ellen DeGeneres is preparing to bow out from her world famous talkshow and footballer Jake Daniels continues to be showered with praise after he came out as gay.
It might feel like there’s a lot going on in the world, but we’ve got you covered. Here are five things you need to know about this week.
1. Monkeypox continues to cause concern
The number of confirmed monkeypox cases continues to rise in the UK and Europe. Health officials in the UK have now said close contacts of those with the highest risk of exposure should self isolate for three full weeks in a bid to stop the virus in its tracks.
So far, the virus appears to be disproportionately affecting gay and bisexual men. It’s not yet clear entirely why this is, but experts have been clear that monkeypox is not a sexually transmitted infection – it’s simply spread through close contact with infected skin.
“We don’t want the idea that this is an STI to stick because that certainly hasn’t been proven,” Dr Claire Dewsnap, president of the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH), told PinkNews.
“We do know that this particular funny cluster of monkeypox has behaved unusually, differently than we would expect it to, but it hasn’t been identified as an STI and we shouldn’t see it that way.”
To find out more, read our full explainer about monkeypox.
2. More than 100 million people forced to flee their homes by conflict
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said on Monday (23 May) that the number of people who have fled conflict has surpassed 100 million for the first time.
That stunning figure has been driven by the war in Ukraine and a number of other deadly conflicts, the refugee agency said.
“One hundred million is a stark figure – sobering and alarming in equal measure,” said Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees. “This must serve as a wake-up call to resolve and prevent destructive conflicts, end persecution, and address the underlying causes that force innocent people to flee their homes.”
More than six million people have fled Ukraine since Putin invaded the country in February.
3. Ellen DeGeneres is preparing to end her talkshow
The last ever episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show will air this week, bringing to an end a startling 19-year run.
In that time, DeGeneres’ show has received 171 Daytime Emmy Award nominations and has won 61, including four for Outstanding Talk Show Entertainment. It has made her one of the most recognisable LGBTQ+ people on the planet, and it’s won her a legion of devoted fans.
It once seemed like The Ellen DeGeneres Show could stay on air forever, but that all started to crumble when anonymous former staffers claimed there was a toxic culture behind the scenes. In 2021, she announced that she was finally calling it quits.
The last ever episode of the show will air on Thursday (26 May), marking the end of an era for DeGeneres.
4. Jake Daniels’ coming out is continuing to shake up the football world
Jake Daniels, the 17-year-old Blackpool footballer, made headlines when he came out publicly as gay on 16 May. Since then, he has continued to win praise and adulation from other sporting figures.
Most recently, he was praised by Tom Daley, who said his coming out was “incredibly brave” and “powerful”.
Some are already predicting that Daniels’ decision to come out publicly could prompt other professional footballers to do the same.
5. Australia braced for ‘change’ after history-making election
Anthony Albanese, leader of Australia’s Labor Party, promised a “journey of change” as he was sworn in as prime minister after the country voted to oust Scott Morrison’s Liberal Party.
Albanese said he wanted to “bring the country together” as prime minister, which will come as welcome news to LGBTQ+ Australians. Throughout his premiership, Morrison faced relentless criticism from the queer community for his anti-LGBTQ+ remarks.
In April, Morrison faced resounding backlash when he backed two politicians’ calls for trans women to be banned from sport.
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