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Speed Read - #TimesUp takeover edition

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The Friday Speed Read

Every Friday, the Speed Read undertakes the Sisyphean task of condensing the week’s key news stories into a handy one pager for the modern digital reader.

It’s Friday the 13th, and misogynists might feel unlucky perusing this week’s Speed Read. It’s been handed over to a twenty-something female (shudder) after more than a year of a solely male author. If you’re averse to discussion wholly surrounding make-up, getting back in the kitchen and the colour pink, look away now…

That’s a joke, of course. With women accounting for two thirds of the PR workforce (Source: PR Week) we decided this week was #TimesUp on male perspective. Read on for a fantastically feminist round-up of all the female-focused news stories this week…

On Monday, The Guardian reported the ‘Best Employers for Women’ in the Times List have a wider pay gap, with more than nine in 10 paying women less than they pay men on average. Although shocking to hear that even good employers face inequality in the work place, Sam Smethers, chief executive of the Fawcett Society suggested it was how these companies acted next to “deal with any inequality they find” that would really matter. BBC News also featured a statement from Amber Rudd in which she blames the online “glamourisation” of crime and the illegal drugs market for the recent rise in UK violence. Perhaps you’d also like to stop making police cuts, Ms Rudd?

On Tuesday, Hillary Clinton was trending on Twitter (yay for nasty women!) and Daily Mail reported Theresa May is waging war on prostate cancer. After a recent media storm raising the issues of late diagnosis, it’s good to see the government listening and reacting. The five-year campaign will see £75million of spending to improve diagnosis and treatment, with the aim to save thousands of lives. Oh, and Sky News also let everyone know the Duchess of Cambridge is having her third baby in the same place she usually does. Thanks, Sky!

Financial Times wrote on Wednesday that the #MeToo campaign has encouraged a surge in female candidates for election in America. Since 2016, following anger at Trump’s victory and high-profile harassment cases, 34,000 women have stated they would be interested in running for office. Result! We’re rooting for Rachel Crooks, who accused Trump of kissing her without consent, to win the Ohio seat she’s running for.

Talking of women in politics, Theresa May was in The Telegraph and Daily Mirror after ministers at a cabinet meeting strongly suggested that Britain would support the US in military action against the Syrian regime. Nothing is yet set in stone, but people took to Twitter across the day to protest against the decision with the hashtag #NotInMyNameTheresaMay. It will be interesting to see if the power of social media will affect anything…

Metro also featured the news that there’s a ‘millennial pink’ KitKat coming to the UK, and it will be available to buy in the UK from next week. Luckily, no one has tried to market it as ‘lady-friendly’ yet, looking at you Doritos… (sorry, couldn’t help mentioning pink. Such an airhead!).

On Thursday, Katarina Johnson-Thompson was trending on Twitter after storming to the top of the heptathlon standings for England in the Commonwealth Games. The Times found that women who entered the menopause later in life were less likely to suffer dementia, and Daily Star featured the inspirational vintage-clothing collector Abbi in their daily profile piece, ‘Page 3’.

The Guardian discovered that Alexa, Amazon Echo’s virtual assistant, could soon be listening in to our conversations (like she isn’t already). The company have filed a patent which will allow the device to bank customers’ conversations even when they’re not speaking directly to it. It’s all in aid of ensuring advertising is entirely tailored to customers’ likes and dislikes. Scary, isn’t it? If you own an Alexa, now’s the time to keep an eye on what you’re saying: ITV reported that evidence collected on a device was recently used to charge a suspect in a US first degree murder case.

So, we arrive at the most superstitious of days, Friday the 13th (which is trending on Twitter, of course). Turns out, today is unlucky: it’s been revealed in The Times and The Sun that drinking one of two glasses of alcohol a night can shorten a life by two years. The study, led by Dr Angela Wood of the University of Cambridge, surveyed over 600,000 drinkers in 19 countries, mainly in Britain, over a course of 30 years, in which time 40,000 died and 39,000 suffered heart problems. The NHS have subsequently cut their recommended guidelines to 14 units a week. It’s not all bad though: Dr Wood wanted to stress that the results were very much averages, saying: “Some people will keel over at 41 and some will live to 100.” Cheers Angela, still room for a glass of Sauvignon this evening, then!

Have a wonderful weekend.

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