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BBC Front Page News

Hong Kong: US passes sanctions as nations condemn new law

The US House Speaker said the law was a "brutal, sweeping crackdown" against Hong Kong's people.

Coronavirus: Year groups kept isolated in back-to-school plan

Safety plans to be announced for England's schools in autumn will be based on separate "bubbles".

Coronavirus: 'I'm all for masks,' says Trump in change of tone

The president shifts course after his fellow Republicans urge Americans to wear face coverings.

Coronavirus: Leicester schoolchildren kept at home in local lockdown

Leicester's schools have closed to all but a small number of pupils just weeks after reopening.

BBC news for Kent

Therapy dogs replaced with robotic pets at Hythe care home

A care home says its robotic pets help with residents' communication and anxiety.

Coronavirus: UK travel quarantine rules 'not worth it', says Theresa Villiers

Only a tiny number of fines have been handed out and a former minister says the policy is not working.

Coronavirus: The children doing sports day in lockdown

Lockdown has massively disrupted children's activity levels, Sport England says.

Councils 'need culture change' to boost diversity, campaigner says

Only 4% of English councillors are not white and the Local Government Association backs calls for change.

AskTen - Nine things you may not have noticed last week!

1. How to work from home more effectively. Working from home has several benefits, but there are potential downsides too, such as isolation and Zoom fatigue. Here are some tips to mitigate such issues. [MORE]

2. Britain’s Great Depression. Between February and April, Britain’s economy shrank by a quarter – about the same magnitude as America’s during the Great Depression. March saw a slide of 5.8%, while in April alone a fifth of our gross domestic product (GDP) disappeared. That marked a record monthly drop almost 20 times worse than the steepest fall before the virus. That was in March 2009, when GDP fell by 1%. In the entire financial crisis it only slipped by 6% in total. GDP is now at the same level as it was in 2002. The Bank of England has cut interest rates to 0.1%, the lowest level since it was founded in 1694, and will soon have bought bonds worth £745bn, the equivalent of almost 40% of our GDP, with printed money. MoneyWeek

3. Government urged to consider four-day working week. MPs and campaigners are urging the chancellor to consider a four-day working week as a way to overhaul the economy in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. They believe with the country facing an economic crisis in the wake of the pandemic, “shorter working time presents itself as one of the best options for fundamentally restructuring the economy so that work is shared more equally”. Three-quarters of UK workers already supported a four-day working week before the coronavirus pandemic hit. The Independent

4. Health chiefs warn UK may not be ready for second wave. Health leaders fear that the UK is not properly prepared for the “real risk” of a second wave of Covid-19. The presidents of the Royal Colleges of Surgeons, Nursing, Physicians, and GPs have signed an open letter published in the British Medical Journal. Health leaders have called for a “rapid and forward-looking assessment” of how prepared the UK is. This news comes as the City of Leicester prepares for an enforced lockdown. BBC

5. Why do we wave goodbye on Zoom? If you find yourself waving goodbye at the end of every video call, know you’re not alone. But if we don’t do it at the end of a physical meeting, why do we do it on video calls? There could be several explanations: from the craving of personal touch and human connection, to the lack of subtle social cues - such as shutting notebooks or checking watches - that tend to wrap up a traditional meeting. And of course, a friendly wave helps to soften those awkward and abrupt endings. Editor


6. Why remote work can make us paranoid. Work paranoia can strike at any time, but the social and economic circumstances created by the pandemic are exactly the sort of conditions to exacerbate it. Working remotely can lead to feelings of isolation, and not being able to quickly check an idea with a colleague can lead to overthinking. When faced with ambiguity or silence, we tend to fill in the blanks with negative assumptions. Transparency from managers is one way to combat this, Woolley says. Experts also recommend trying to consciously question negative thoughts. The Financial Times.

7. One in three Covid-19 survivors could face long-term issues. One in three patients who recover from Covid-19 could endure long-term damage to their lungs, chronic fatigue and psychological disturbances, according to new research. The study also found evidence that the coronavirus could cause impairment to the brain and an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Around 30% of patients who recover from Covid-19 may be left with damaged and scarred lung tissue. The Daily Telegraph

8. Your ideas are better than you think. Before you discard that brand-new idea you just cooked up into your mental dustbin, hold on for just a moment. According to researchers from INSEAD, The Open University of Israel, and The Technion, people consistently underestimate the originality of their ideas. One reason we do this? We tend to think that everyone else is thinking the same way we are. Turns out they aren't, or at least not nearly as often as we assume. So, if you feel an urge to keep your suggestion to yourself, speak up instead. Being aware of this tendency can help, and managers can help even more by openly encouraging people to share their idea seedlings. Time Magazine

9. Putting your worries to good use. Many of us are inclined to judge ourselves harshly for being fearful or worried about making mistakes, at work or elsewhere. But psychologists argue that these feelings are helpful guides. They are alerting us to possible obstacles in our way. To make sure our concerns are our allies, we should aim to steer our worries away from the threat alone and toward the potential steps we can take to solve our challenges. When used in this way, our worries become empowering, not paralyzing. Editor

10. The bottom line. According to the ONS, of those aged 16 to 29 who say their well-being has been affected by Covid-19, 76% said that they were bored. Overall, this age group was less likely to be worried about coronavirus generally (17%) than the over-60s (24%). Yet they are conversely more likely to report feeling anxious (72%) than over-60s (54%). A separate survey by the British Red Cross, reported in The Guardian, found that 28% of Britons are worried that no one would notice if something happened to them during the pandemic. The Daily Telegraph

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