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Easy News: Winter 2020/21

The Winter 2020/21 issue of Easy News covers the Coronavirus vaccine, footballer Marcus Rashford’s free school meals campaign, the new US President and the 25th anniversary of the Disability Discrimination Act.

Easy News: Winter 2020/21

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  1. 1: Coronavirus vaccine rolls out

    1. The United Kingdom has recently released its plans for the distribution of the coronavirus vaccine.

    2. A vaccine is a drug that is made to stop people from catching an illness.

    3. There are different vaccines being made by different companies to protect from coronavirus.

    4. One of them is the Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccine. The UK has ordered 100 million doses of this vaccine.

    5. Another vaccine that the UK has ordered was developed by a company called Pfizer. The UK has ordered 30 million doses of this vaccine.

    6. Coronavirus is an illness that spreads very quickly between people. Symptoms of the virus are a continuous dry cough, difficulty breathing and a person's temperature going over 38 degrees celsius.

    7. As of December 2020, there have been more than 1.9 million cases in the UK. There have been over 74.3 million cases worldwide.

    8. More than 65,000 people in the UK have died due to coronavirus and the number of people who have died across the world is over 1.6 million.

    9. There are more than 18,000 people currently in hospital with the virus in the UK at this time.

    10. The R-Number is a term used to show how easily the virus spreads. For example, if the R number is 2, it means that 1 person will be likely to pass it on to 2 other people.

    11. The UK is currently in a 3 tier system. The different tiers are used to show what is and is not allowed in different areas of the country. -- Click here to see which tier your area is in.

    12. The vaccine will be available to everyone, but first it will be given to vulnerable people such as older people. People working in hospitals will also be priorities. This means the most important.

    13. People started getting the vaccines in December.

  2. 2: The hero of free school meals

    1. In June 2020, Manchester United football player Marcus Rashford wrote a letter to the government about how Covid would affect many school children and their families.

    2. In his letter Rashford asked the government to end child food poverty and keep giving children free school meals during the school holidays.

    3. Rashford is 22 and comes from a poor family. He says that low income families cannot afford to give children enough to eat every day.

    4. There are 1.3 million children who get free school meals during term time in the UK, but many will be hungry during the holidays without free meals.

    5. There was great support for Rashford’s campaign. In the end the government felt the pressure and agreed to pay for them during October half term and the Christmas holidays in 2020.

    6. Rashford has been seen as a hero by many people, including opposition football fans. In a match against Everton their fans clapped for him because of his work even though Manchester United won.

  3. 3: Joe Biden voted in as new US President

    1. On the 3rd November 2020, there was an election in the United States of America (USA) to decide who the next president would be.

    2. The USA has a presidential election every 4 years, this is called a term. A President can only run the country for a maximum of 2 terms, which is 8 years altogether.

    3. It took longer than usual for all of the votes to be counted as lots had been sent by post because of the Coronavirus. By the end of the week, the winner was declared as Joe Biden.

    4. Joe Biden was born on November 20, 1942. He is an American politician from the Democratic Party, and will become the 46th president of the United States of America.

    5. The Democrats won 306 electoral college seats, to the Republican’s 232 seats. The electoral college represent the different states in the United States of America and choose who to elect as President.

    6. Current President and Republican leader Donald Trump lost the election, but said he did not think that the votes had been counted properly or fairly. This is called Election Fraud.

    7. Trump said that some of the votes were illegal, but lots of courts said that this was not true.

    8. Biden was accepted as the winner of the election and Trump said that he will leave the White House – the place where the President lives and works.

    9. Biden was the Vice President to Barack Obama from 2009 to 2017. Biden’s Vice President will be Kamala Harris. She will be the first ever female Vice President.

    10. Americans also have to vote for Members of Congress, which is made up of 2 parts called chambers. These are the Senate and the House of Representatives. The president needs the support of these members to be able to make decisions about how the country is run.

    11. The Republicans have more members in Congress, so it may be hard for Biden to make some of the political changes that he wants to.

    12. Biden has been choosing his team to help him when he moves to the White House and becomes President. This will happen officially on 20th January 2021.

  4. 4: 25 years on from the Disability Discrimination Act

    1. November 2020 was the 25th anniversary of the introduction of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 1995. This made it illegal to discriminate against people with disabilities in relation to work, education, transport and trade.

    2. Discrimination is when people are treated differently or unfairly because of a characteristic they have.

    3. The DDA was created to give people with disabilities the same basic rights as other people, and to help them to contribute to society.

    4. The act was introduced after lots of people campaigned and protested for better rights for people with disabilities. More than 100,000 people campaigned, and some handcuffed themselves to buses or demonstrated outside Parliament.

    5. As well as fighting discrimination, the DDA also pushes for reasonable adjustments to accommodate a person’s disability. This means doing something such as installing an entrance ramp or making hearing loop systems available when people need them.

    6. The Disability Discrimination Act is an important piece of history in the United Kingdom as it was the first time that civil rights for people with disabilities became part of the law.

    7. Even though the Disability Discrimination Act and the Equality Act have made improvements in the lives of people with disabilities, lots of people believe there is still a lot more that can be done before we live in an equal and accessible society.

  5. 5: Want more Easy News?

    1. Sign up here to receive the latest issue of Easy News delivered direct to your inbox. If you would like to see previous issues of Easy News, contact us.