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Friday news roundup August 6, 2021

Friday news roundup August 6, 2021

UK to deport Jamaican nationals who came to UK as children. The Guardian reports that preparations are underway to deport a number of Jamaican nationals who came to the UK as children, in an apparent reversal of an agreement made with Jamaican officials in November 2020 not to deport people who arrived in this country as minors. It is unclear, however, whether the earlier concession was made for a particular previous flight for which there was strong public pressure against the move. Campaigners say it is unreasonable to remove people who have spent a lifetime in the UK to a country to which they have no ties. The deportation flight, reportedly planned for August 11, will remove several dozen people whose criminal convictions have triggered their deportation orders. A Home Office spokesperson said: “People who come to this country and commit crimes should be expected to be removed.” However, at least one of those due to be deported came to the UK as a two-year-old, has undertaken all their education in the UK, and has never been to Jamaica in the 20 years since. A 2018 Home Office-commissioned report called for a new approach to the policy of detaining and removing people who had committed crimes but lived most of their lives in Britain; the Home Office has not implemented the recommendation.

Find curated IZA World of Labor content (articles, commentary, and videos) on migration policy.

Air pollution exposure is moving indoors. “The shift away from vehicles powered by fossil fuels and the improvement of outdoor air quality in urban areas, combined with changes to buildings and lifestyles, means that indoor air pollution will become much more important in the future,” reports an article in The Conversation. A consequence of the fall in fossil fuel use is a fall in concentrations of nitrogen oxides, which neutralize ozone, a respiratory pollutant. So fewer petrol and diesel-fuelled cars, plus lower emissions from those that remain, could result in higher ozone concentrations in urban areas. Ozone, however, is not just an outdoor pollutant, it can move into buildings through windows, doors, and cracks in buildings. Once inside it can further react with other sources of indoor pollution to form new air pollutants. With people spending more time indoors, the authors of the report stress that a better understanding is required of our total exposure to air pollution, particularly indoors, and its effects on our health.

Find articles about air pollution and environmental regulation on IZA World of Labor.

A media interview with a Chinese Olympic gold medallist has sparked an online backlash over sexism. In an interview on Chinese state media, reported on the BBC, Gong Lijiao, who won the women’s shot put, was described as a “manly woman” and questioned about her intentions to marry and have children. The interview has been criticized for being sexist and narrow-minded, with people objecting to what they see as outdated ideals of beauty and femininity and ingrained expectations of Chinese women. During the interview, Gong is asked by a reporter whether she has any plans for a “woman’s life” after having had to be a manly woman for the shot put. A surprised Gong replies “Um ... maybe I'll look at my plans. If I don’t train then perhaps I will lose weight, get married and have children. Yes, it’s the path one must take in life.” Gong is then asked about her personal circumstances, including whether she would arm-wrestle a boyfriend. The questions have resulted in thousands of posts on social media criticizing treatment of the athlete. One popular post on the Chinese microblogging platform Weibo, which received a positive response from Gong, says “when we talk about women, it’s not just about marriage or looks, but also dreams and achievements.”

Find content on IZA World of Labor about female labor force participation