Rishi Sunak (left) and Liz Truss will battle it out to become the next prime minister. (Peter Summers/David Cliff/NurPhoto)

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared monkeypox a global emergency, and trans people are facing new attacks in the sporting arena.

Elsewhere, Tory hopes for leadership Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak are increasingly exchanging personal attacks as the race heats up.

It may seem like there’s a lot going on in the world, but don’t worry—we’ve got you covered. Here are five things you should know this week.

1. Monkeypox is designated as a “public health emergency of international concern”

A section of skin tissue taken from a lesion on the skin of a patient with monkeypox, under a microscope. (Smith/Gadot/Getty Collection)

Monkey pox has been declared emergency in the world WHO, the organization’s highest level of alarm.

Speaking at a briefing on Saturday (July 23), WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the outbreak was a “public health emergency of international concern”, meaning the situation was considered “severe “severe, sudden, unusual or unexpected.”

In recent weeks, the virus has spread rapidly around the world, with the majority of cases found among gay and bisexual men.

Monkey pox is believed to be transmitted through close skin-to-skin contact, this means that it is often transmitted through sex.

2. The battle for the Tory leadership is intensifying

Liz Truss meets with the Polish Prime Minister at the chancellery in Warsaw, Poland on April 5, 2022.
Liz Truss meets with the Prime Minister of Poland at the Chancellery in Warsaw, Poland on April 5, 2022. (Mateusz Wlodarczyk/NurPhoto via Getty)

The Tory leadership race has been whittled down from 11 candidates to just two – Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak.

Members of the Conservative Party will now be asked to vote for the candidate they would like to see lead the country, with the results announced in September.

Meanwhile, Truss and Sunak ramp up their attacks on each other in an attempt to win the race. The pair clashed over issues such as the detention of migrants they see as “illegal”, while Truss ally James Cleverley accused Mr Sunak of being too late to the China debate.

Tras and Sunak will meet in a televised debate on Monday (July 25). Transgender issues appear to be on the back burner for the time being, but neither candidate is willing to weaponize trans rights to win over voters.

3. It’s been 55 years since homosexuality was decriminalized in England and Wales

A man waving a pride flag.
A man waving a pride flag. (WOJTEK RADWANSKI/AFP via Getty)

Wednesday (July 27) marks 55 years since the Sexual Offenses Act 1967 received royal assent, meaning homosexuality was officially decriminalized in England and Wales.

It was a watershed moment for queer people in England and Wales, but it wasn’t all it was cracked up to be – the prosecution of gay and bisexual people grew up in the years following decriminalization with a number of problematic laws and double standards remaining in the laws.

There’s no denying that it was an important moment, but 55 years later, LGBTQ+ people are still under attack. Hate crimes are on the rise and trans people face more scrutiny than ever before.

As we celebrate 55 years since decriminalization, we must also remember how far we have to go to achieve true equality and liberation for LGBTQ+ people.

4. The war in Ukraine has been going on for six months

A Ukrainian holds a sign with an inscription "Ukraine" at a protest outside Downing Street against the recent invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022 in London, England.
Ukrainians demonstrate outside Downing Street against the recent invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022 in London, England. (Jeff J. Mitchell/Getty)

Russia’s barbaric war in Ukraine is already underway went on the sixth monthand the violence shows no sign of abating yet.

In February, there was widespread shock and horror when Russia invaded Ukraine, sparking a war that displaced millions and killed innocent people.

A few months later, the war shows little sign of stopping. The country’s LGBTQ+ community is coming together to stay afloat — one activist even created one strange havens to help LGBTQ+ people weather the storm.

5. Rugby rule change could affect trans women

Several rugby players in white gather around to celebrate after winning a match.  Some hug each other while others run to the crowd
The Rugby Football Union has said the current guidelines for trans players will remain in place unless the recommended ban is voted down. (Adrian Dennis/AFP via Getty)

Trans women can be ineligible to play women’s rugby in England when new Rugby Football Union (RFU) guidelines are adopted.

World Rugby, the sport’s global governing body, has banned trans women from playing at the elite level in 2020. The RFU later launched its own consultation on the issue – it received 11,000 responses and found that “the inclusion of trans people assigned male at birth in women’s contact rugby cannot be balanced against considerations of safety and fairness”.

The RFS will vote on July 29 to decide whether only women from the CIS will be allowed to play women’s rugby at community level.

If passed, the new policy could lead to trans women being pushed out of rugby entirely after already being banned from playing at the elite level.

Monkeypox, trans athletes and the Tory leadership race: 5 things you need to know this week

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