Oct 18, 2021

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Slovenia PM blames rising infections on virus protesters

  • Prime Minister Janez Jansa was responding in parliament to opposition criticism over the use of force by police against the protesters, including tear gas and water cannons.
  • Slovenia’s populist prime minister on Monday blamed a rise in COVID-19 infections on protests in early October that erupted into clashes between police and thousands of opponents of vaccination and coronavirus restrictions.
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Albania’s Rama decries ‘dangers’ of online media freedom

  • Gjergj Erebara, a journalist working for the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN Albania, feels that Rama is using this view as an excuse to defend a controversial and widely opposed anti-defamation package introduced in 2018, which is considered by many to be a "war" against online media.
  • According to Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, online media in Albania can potentially be as harmful as Nazi propaganda, pedophilia and terrorism.
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Liverpool prison watchdog member suspended after drugs arrest

By Eric Allison and Maya Wolfe-Robinson
  • HMP Liverpool, a Victorian prison that serves men from the Merseyside area, was described by official inspectors as having the worst living conditions that they could recall in a report published in 2018 .
  • In a separate incident, a prison officer at the men’s category B jail has also been arrested and charged with drug offences after a targeted operation by the Serious Organised Crime Agency.
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Afghanistan: Taliban road construction projects stall without foreign funding

  • Haqshinas told DW the project would cost around $660,000 (€570,000) and would be funded by the "Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan," referring to the Taliban's self-designated name for the country.
  • The Taliban spokesman of the Kunar government, presenting the road construction plan to a gathering of villagers in Watapoor, told a group of local men that they "need the assistance of non-governmental organizations" to complete their proposed road project.
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China denies testing ‘hypersonic missile’ amid rising concerns

By FRANCE 24
  • China said Monday its launch of a new spacecraft in August was merely a test to see whether the vehicle could be re-used, denying a Financial Times report that they had tested a rocket carrying a hypersonic missile, as the US expressed concern about hypersonic missile technology and its potential military applications by China and Russia.
  • The Chinese official comments came after the Financial Times reported on Saturday that China had launched in August a rocket carrying a hypersonic glide vehicle that flew through space, circling the globe before cruising down toward its target, which it missed by about two dozen miles.
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Haitian prime minister forced to flee official ceremony after armed gangs appear

By Peter Beaumont
  • A day after a dozen US missionaries and their children were kidnapped in a brazen attack to the east of the capital Port-au-Prince, video circulating on social media and reports in the Haitian media showed the country’s most notorious crime boss, Jimmy ‘Barbecue’ Cherizier, officiating at the ceremony to commemorate the assassination of Jean-Jacques Dessalines, one of Haiti’s revolutionary founding fathers.
  • While Pont Rouge has in recent years been a gang stronghold and no-go area, the demonstration on Sunday – the 215th anniversary of Dessaline’s death – was seen as a provocation and a show of strength barely 24 hours after the high profile kidnapping of the US missionaries in a bus en route to the airport.
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The Tories are sacrificing Northern Irish businesses on the altar of Brexit purity | Polly Toynbee

By Polly Toynbee
  • H ere comes the destroyer, as David Frost, the Brexit minister, stomps into talks on the Northern Ireland protocol this week with European commission vice-president Maroš Šefčovič.
  • His mission from Boris Johnson is to stir up Brexit trouble, and keep stirring: yes, even at the risk of stirring the darkest shadows of Northern Ireland’s history.
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Amazon to hire 150,000 U.S. workers for holiday shopping season

By Reuters
  • Amazon.com said on Monday it plans to hire 150,000 seasonal workers in the United States during the holiday period, as the e-commerce giant prepares for a shopping season expected to be characterized by high demand and supply headaches.
  • Amazon’s hiring plan comes during a major labor shortage and increased union activities in the United States that has led to companies increasing wages to attract workers during the crucial end-of-year shopping period.
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China’s semiconductor industry faces a growing talent shortage as Beijing aims for global dominance in chip manufacture

By Che Pan
China faces a chronic shortage of scientific and engineering talent that may hamper its efforts to become a semiconductor superpower and reduce its reliance on imported chips, according to industry figures.The problem is becoming more acute as the fledgling industry evolves amid a dearth of qualified senior professionals, they said.“If innovation is driven by technology, people are the key to advancing technology development,” said Zhang Wei, dean of the micro-electronics school at Fudan […]Read more >Similar articles >
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Myanmar protesters freed as military says 5,600 prisoners will be released

By Maung Moe and Rebecca Ratcliffe
  • Myanmar’s military has announced plans to release more than 5,000 prisoners, days after the junta chief was blocked from attending an upcoming regional summit over his failure to commit to de-escalating the country’s crisis.
  • More than 7,300 political prisoners – including medics, elected politicians, journalists and protesters – are being held, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) Burma, an advocacy group that tracks the arrests.
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Zillow Pumps the Brakes on Buying Homes

By Maxwell Strachan
  • The company, a growing presence among the high-tech house-flippers known as iBuyers, said it had surpassed its “​​operational capacity constraints” and was grappling with a backlog of homes it still needs to renovate.
  • The company said it will honor all “already-signed contracts,” but will otherwise shift to renovating and selling the homes it has already purchased, according to the release.
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Vroom vroom: Tesla’s shares rally over 50% from March lows

  • “We believe an evolving green tidal wave will push shares of Tesla higher despite the near-term chip shortage with 3Q earnings this week another positive catalyst,” wrote Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives in a note from Sunday.
  • It’s one of the very few global auto stocks to enjoy upward revisions in earnings estimates from analysts in the last one month, while most of the other automakers faced cuts due to the chip shortage.
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Uppsala water company loses water pollution court case

By Radio Sweden
The ruling was made by the Land and Environment Court.Lyssna: Uppsala council loses water pollution court case The Armed Forces do not have to pay substantial damages to Uppsala Water and Waste Ltd after PFAS contaminants were discovered in the city’s drinking water. The Land and Environment Court ruled Monday that it isnot possible to prove that most of the pollution came from firefighting foam used at a military airfield, which the company had claimed. "We feel sad for our company but mainly for our customers who have to pay the bill for this PFAS contamination,"Sigrid De Geyter the CEO of local council-owned […]Read more >Similar articles >
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Southend to become city in honour of Sir David Amess

By Jessica Elgot Chief political correspondent
  • Southend will become a city in honour of Sir David Amess, Boris Johnson has confirmed, paying tribute to the Tory MP who was killed on Friday, who had been a long-time committed campaigner for his area to gain the status.
  • “The passing of 72 hours has done little to numb the shock and sadness we all felt when we heard of the tragic and senseless death of Sir David Amess,” Johnson said.
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No 10 appears to confirm Nimco Ali’s Christmas stay with Johnsons

By Peter Walker Political correspondent

Close friend understood to have stayed over at peak of lockdown but No 10 says no Covid rules breached

A close friend of Boris and Carrie Johnson did stay with the couple during the peak of the coronavirus lockdown last Christmas, Downing Street has in effect confirmed, while insisting no Covid rules were broken.

It is understood that Nimco Ali, a campaigner and Home Office adviser who is godmother to the Johnsons’ son, Wilfred, was at Downing Street over the Christmas period as part of their childcare support bubble.

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Belgian chocolatier agrees to $15 million settlement over misleading branding claims

By Jules Johnston
  • Internationally know Belgian chocolate manufacturer Godiva has reached a $15 million (€12.9 million) settlement after US consumers said they felt misled by the international brand.
  • However, Americans Steve Hesse and Adam Buxbaum are the latest consumers to say that this presentation of the chocolate led them to pay more for Godiva, believing them to be made in Belgium, Bloomberg reports.
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US factory production falls reflecting backlogged supply chains

  • Production at U.S. factories fell by the most in seven months in September, in part reflecting a sharp pullback in the manufacturing of motor vehicles as well as broader backlogged supply chains and materials shortages.
  • The report showed motor vehicles and parts output fell 7.2% last month, the sharpest drop since April, after a 3.2% decrease in August, as a global shortage of semiconductors continues to weigh on production.
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West Side Story at 60: the dazzlingly modern musical that’ll be hard to beat

By Guy Lodge
  • Not that the producers were above naked populism when casting the leads: whether or not there’s any truth the enduring rumour that Elvis Presley was approached to be the film’s Tony, teen-idol potential took precedence over musical ability: 23-year-olds Natalie Wood and Richard Beymer didn’t sing a note in the film, but couldn’t have lip-synched more prettily.
  • Following three eerie whistles over a black screen, West Side Story explodes into a full screen of poster-paint colour – shifting from orange to red to magenta to royal blue – as Leonard Bernstein’s four-minute overture brassily clatters into action.
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Ahmaud Arbery’s Murder Is Putting Racism on Trial

By Trone Dowd
  • So Travis, 35, and his father Gregory, a 65-year-old retired cop, grabbed their guns, followed Arbery in their truck, and eventually shot and killed him, in what they claim as self-defense.
  • When Travis and Gregory McMichael and William “Roddie” Bryan appear in court this week over the alleged murder of Ahmaud Arbery, racism will go on trial right along with them.
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India has world’s largest number of crypto owners, most under 35

  • Even as the Indian government is ambivalent about how to regulate the digital coin ecosystem (the central bank banned it briefly in 2018), a 50-country study by investment portal BrokerChooser found that at over 100 million, India has the largest number of cryptocurrency owners followed by the US and Russia.
  • But, during the Covid-19 pandemic, as traditional assets depreciated, people lost jobs and interest on savings fell, many Indians discovered cryptocurrencies as an alternative investment, said Hyderabad-based Abhishek Jain, founder of rBitex crypto exchange.
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Police targeted in southwest Pakistan bombing

  • No group has immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, although Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan province, has seen frequent attacks targeting security personnel by armed ethnic Baloch separatist groups.
  • The blast targeted a police truck carrying security personnel at the gate of the University of Balochistan’s Quetta campus on Monday.
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Calgary Votes 2021: Citizens go to the polls as the Nenshi era comes to an end

By Brodie Thomas
  • There’s plenty of uncertainty as to who will emerge victorious as Calgary’s new mayor tonight, but one thing is clear: Calgary city council is going to look very different on Tuesday morning.
  • As Mayor Naheed Nenshi steps down after three terms and 11 years on council, a total of 27 would-be mayoral candidates have come forward to put their names on the ballot.
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Survey shows support for President Tsai’s cross-strait views

  • The poll revealed that 67.9 percent of the respondents supported Tsai's "four commitments," while 12.3 percent did not, and 19.8 percent were either unsure of the question or refused to comment.
  • Taipei, Oct. 18 (CNA) The results of a survey released on Monday showed that most of the respondents supported President Tsai Ing-wen's (蔡英文) cross-Taiwan Strait stance in her recent National Day speech.
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Adele’s friends had mixed reactions to ‘Easy on Me’ upon first listening

  • I’m like that with my feelings and stuff and I think it was clear to them (her friends) in the lyrics that I’ve bided my time and I wasn’t reacting to a reaction or anything like that.
  • “I sent a snippet of me singing it as I was writing it to three of my closest friends here,” Adele told Greg James on the BBC Radio 1 Breakfast Show, “One didn’t like it, the other one was like, ‘Well, yeah, maybe, keep trying though.’
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The Best Travel Gifts for Your Globetrotting Friend Who’s Always ‘Out of Office’

By Rec Room Staff
  • We would like to help, because either you’re the one reading this on a JetBlue flight ( IYKYK ) who deserves a silky eye mask, or one of your pals is about to fly down to the Men in Music Business Conference, down in Orlando, and they’re only 19, so they’re going to need a better rolly suitcase.
  • Whether you’re looking for the best travel gifts for men, women, boyfriends, bosses, moms, doms, or space-exploring billionaires (a reality check, perhaps?), here’s a list of our top picks.
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Breast cancer in Africa: A growing dilemma

  • There has been a push in recent years to increase awareness of the disease, however according to the Uganda Women's Cancer Support Organization (UWOCASO), more than 75% of breast cancer patients in the region first present at a late stage.
  • One of the biggest boundaries towards breast cancer detection and treatment in Nigeria is the lack of information of risk factors and symptoms of the disease.
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India’s Medical Curriculum Gets LGBTI Update

By Human Rights Watch
  • India’s National Medical Commission has ordered publishers and medical schools to edit their textbooks and curricula to exclude discriminatory and unscientific portrayals of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) people.
  • In January 2021, the Delhi Child Rights Commission recommended a ban on medically unnecessary “normalizing” surgeries on children born with intersex variations.
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Colin Powell discusses the most important element of leadership in 2011 speech – video

Colin Powell, the former US secretary of state who played a pivotal role in attempting to justify the 2003 invasion of Iraq, has died from complications from Covid-19 aged 84, it was announced on Monday. After his time in government, Powell remained a hugely influential commentator on US politics and public life. During a 2011 speech, he spoke about what he considered the most important element of leadership

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U.S. in contact with Haitian officials over effort to free kidnapped American missionaries

By Miriam Berger
  • U.S. and senior Haitian officials are working to free 17 members of an Ohio-based Christian aid organization kidnapped Saturday in Haiti, the State Department said Sunday.
  • The gang controls parts of Ganthier in Croix-des-Bouquets, the area outside the capital Port-au-Prince where the Christian Aid Ministries car was hijacked as the group returned from visiting an orphanage.
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Valneva Covid vaccine could be as effective as Oxford jab, study suggests

By Nicola Davis Science correspondent
  • Results released by Valneva on Monday suggest the Covid vaccine may trigger a stronger immune response than the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab.
  • The results from 990 participants aged 30 or over – about half of whom were given each jab – suggest the Valneva Covid vaccine, VLA2001, triggered about 40% higher levels of neutralising antibodies on average than the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.
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Netflix values its megahit show Squid Game at $900m – Aljazeera.com

  • Netflix estimates that its latest megahit, “Squid Game,” will create almost $900 million in value for the company, according to figures seen by Bloomberg, underscoring the windfall that one megahit can generate in the streaming era.
  • The South Korean show, about indebted people in a deadly contest for a cash prize, generated $891.1 million in impact value, a metric the company uses to assess the performance from individual shows.
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Russia suspends NATO mission after staff expelled – Al Jazeera English

  • Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies on Monday that staff at NATO’s military mission in Moscow would be stripped of their accreditation from November 1, and that NATO could interact with Russia via its embassy in Brussels if needed.
  • In response to NATO’s activities, we suspend the work of our permanent mission to NATO, including the work of the chief military representative, starting from November 1, or maybe it will take a couple more days,” said Lavrov.
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People getting first Covid-19 shot surge to over 17,000 after new vaccine-differentiated measures announced

  • The Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Monday night (Oct 18) that from Oct 9 to 15, about 17,000 people got their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine under the national vaccination programme, while another 162,000 took their booster shots.
  • The same day, the task force also announced that those aged 30 and above would be invited to take Covid-19 vaccine booster shots.
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Rome mayoral election won by centre-left, exit poll suggests

By Angela Giuffrida in Rome
  • Exit polls also showed a strong win for the centre-left in Turin, where Stefano Lo Russo, a Democratic party candidate backed by M5S, had a clear advantage over Poalo Damilano, a contender for the League, Brothers of Italy and Forza Italia coalition.
  • Exit polls in Rome’s mayoral election runoff indicate a clear advantage for the centre-left candidate over a contender from the far-right Brothers of Italy .
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Taiwan couple suspected of negligent homicide in building fire on Oct 14 that killed 46 people

  • The prosecutors accused the 51-year-old woman, who was identified only by her surname, Huang, of failing to extinguish an incense coil when she left the 13-storey mixed-used building in the southern port city of Kaohsiung early on Thursday (Oct 14).
  • Taiwanese prosecutors said that a couple were suspected of setting a fire and negligent homicide after 46 people were killed and dozens of others injured last week in the island's deadliest building blaze in more than two decades.
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Colin Powell, Trailblazing General and Diplomat, Dead at 84

By Amy Mackinnon and Jack Detsch
  • During his five decades in public service, which began in the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC), Powell rose to become a four-star general and served as national security advisor to U.S. President Ronald Reagan in the late 1980s before becoming chairman of the Joint Chiefs during the George H.W. Bush administration, the youngest officer ever appointed to the role.
  • During his five decades in public service, which began in the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC), Powell rose to become a four-star general and served as national security advisor to U.S. President Ronald Reagan in the late 1980s before becoming chairman of the Joint Chiefs during the George H.W. Bush administration, the youngest officer ever appointed to the role.
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Hong Kong’s largest temporary homes project aims for ‘friendly and inclusive’ neighbourhood vibe

By Gigi Choy
Hong Kong’s largest ever transitional housing project will deliver nearly 2,000 flats for low-income families within a new Yuen Long neighbourhood equipped with medical services, community facilities and technology centres.Kong Ha Wai Village, a joint venture between Pok Oi Hospital and major developer Henderson Land Group, is expected to provide temporary homes for about 40,000 people over the next few years.The 1,998 flats for the project will be rented to low-income households which have […]Read more >Similar articles >
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INE says 2.85 million signatures needed to open presidential recall referendum

By Yucatan Times
  • MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico’s national election authority said Sunday that 2.85 million signatures are necessary to move forward with a recall referendum on President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s mandate.
  • The National Electoral Institute (INE) said 3% of the 94,845,915 registered voters in 32 states would need to show support between Nov. 1 and Dec. 15, mainly through its mobile app, in order for the recall referendum to move forward.
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Father of suspect in David Amess killing worked on anti-extremist projects

By Aamna Mohdin, Vikram Dodd and Dan Sabbagh
  • The father of the suspect in the inquiry into David Amess’s killing, was a committed anti-extremist who risked his own life trying to thwart hate groups, his friends and colleagues have said.
  • His father, Harbi Ali Kullane, a former director of media and communications for a former prime minister of Somalia, is said to be in shock after the arrest of his son over the attack that shocked Westminster.
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No dates? It’s not you, it’s your typos, says new Dutch research

By Farah Al Mazouni
  • “The attractiveness of the person in the photo did not determine how much attention was paid to the text, nor how much impact any language errors had,” said PhD candidate Tess van der Zanden.
  • Based on the results of the study, Van der Zanden suggested a few tips and tricks for building a solid dating profile so, for the love of the Oxford comma, we knew it was important to spread the word.
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Communist Party’s picks to join Xinjiang leadership point to focus on security

By Linda Lew
Beijing has appointed a Guangdong veteran and two Uygur cadres with significant security and development experience to the Xinjiang Communist Party committee, Xinjiang Daily reported.He Zhongyou, 55, worked for over three decades in the prosperous Guangdong province, and was a top official in Hainan. He has become one of five deputy party secretaries to Chen Quanguo, the Xinjiang party chief since 2016.Yusufujiang Maimaiti, 53, is a Uygur cadre who was born and has spent most of his career in […]Read more >Similar articles >
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Pistol used to kill Dutch journalist found in alleged getaway car, court told

By Daniel Boffey in Brussels
  • A modified firing pistol believed to have been used to kill the Dutch crime reporter Peter R de Vries was found in the alleged getaway car of the two men on trial for his murder, a court has heard.
  • On the opening day of the suspects’ trial in The Hague, held under high security, prosecutors said witnesses, security camera footage and forensic evidence all pointed to Delano G, 21, being the shooter and Kamiel E, 35, acting as the getaway driver.
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Central Banking With a Straight Face

By Philip Turner
  • The catch, here, is that most major central banks before the 2008 financial crisis had only one monetary policy instrument with which to carry out these tasks: the overnight interest rate in interbank markets.
  • The limitless scale and diversity of balance-sheet instruments means that the public can expect, logically if not wisely, central banks to achieve many new objectives.
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Covid live: No 10 denies UK PM and wife broke rules over Christmas; warning of ‘challenging’ British winter as cases rise

By Tom Ambrose (now); Martin Belam and Samantha Lock (earlier)

Reports claim UK PM and wife spent holidays with friend despite restrictions; Britons warned of difficult months ahead as cases rise

Australia’s Northern Territory chief minister, Michael Gunner, has hit back at US senator Ted Cruz who criticised the Northern Territory’s vaccine policy, telling the Texan conservative “you know nothing about us”.

The spat began when the US Republican shared a video of Gunner announcing the territory’s wide-ranging vaccine mandate for workers. Cruz lamented the “Covid tyranny of their (Australia’s) current government,” which he said was “disgraceful and sad”.

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Why won’t Colombia let Martha Sepúlveda die? – Al Jazeera English

  • At 7am on October 10, 51-year-old Martha Sepúlveda, a resident of the Colombian city of Medellín, was scheduled to die by euthanasia – and she could not have been happier.
  • This July, a ruling by the country’s constitutional court extended the right to die – as it were – to persons without an immediate terminal prognosis, provided they were afflicted by “intense physical or mental suffering resulting from bodily injury or a serious and incurable illness”.
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Philippine forces kill 4 suspected Chinese drug dealers

  • Philippine law enforcers backed by troops killed four suspected Chinese drug dealers who opened fire at them during a sting operation on Monday, the national police chief said.
  • Police Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said the slain Chinese, who allegedly belonged to a major drug trafficking syndicate, drew pistols and shot at law enforcers who pretended to be drug buyers in a residential village in Angeles City in Pampanga province.
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Indonesia, Malaysia ‘worried, concerned’ over Aukus nuclear submarine plan

By Reuters
Indonesia and Malaysia share strong reservations over Australia’s decision to acquire nuclear-powered submarines, even though nuclear weapons were not part of the plan, Malaysia’s foreign minister said on Monday.Referring to Aukus, a trilateral security pact agreed last month between Australia, the United States and Britain, Saifuddin Abdullah said the two Southeast Asian nations were similarly concerned about its ramifications.“We agree on the latest issue in the region regarding a country […]Read more >Similar articles >
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How to retire to France

  • Sure, retirement to France can involve all these things and much more, but first you need to think about boring but important things like residency permits, pensions and health insurance.
  • For EU citizens this is fairly straightforward, but non-EU citizens (including Brits) will need a visa in order to start a new life in France.
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England leave big names out of autumn Test squad but call up Quirke & Freeman

  • Backs: Mark Atkinson (Gloucester), Owen Farrell (Saracens), Tommy Freeman (Northampton), George Furbank (Northampton), Max Malins (Saracens), Jonny May (Gloucester), Raffi Quirke (Sale), Adam Radwan (Newcastle), Harry Randall (Bristol), Henry Slade (Exeter), Marcus Smith (Harlequins), Freddie Steward (Leicester), Manu Tuilagi (Sale), Anthony Watson (Bath), Ben Youngs (Leicester)
  • Uncapped Sale scrum-half Raffi Quirke and Northampton back Tommy Freeman, both 20, have been named in the England squad for the autumn internationals.
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S.Africa Rejects Russian Sputnik Vaccine Over HIV Fears

  • South Africa's health products regulator on Monday said it would not approve Russia's Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine due to concerns it could increase the risk of HIV infection among men.
  • "Use of the Sputnik V vaccine in South Africa, a setting of a high HIV prevalence and incidence, may increase the risk of vaccinated males acquiring HIV," the South African Health Product Regulatory Authority said in a statement.
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North Shore wastewater treatment plant contractor claims Metro Vancouver owes it $100m

By Cheryl Chan
  • The contractor in charge of building the new wastewater treatment plant in North Vancouver said it is still working on the project, and claims Metro Vancouver owes it $100 million in unpaid work.
  • The building company said the project has been “fraught with unforeseen challenges,” due in part to flaws in the original design provided by Metro Vancouver, noting the regional district authority has requested more than 1,000 major design changes to the original contract while expecting Acciona Canada to absorb the resulting delays and increased costs.
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Norway: Bow-and-arrow attack victims likely stabbed to death

  • Police inspector Per Thomas Omholt said it was likely the 37-year-old suspect, identified as Espen Andersen Braathen, first used arrows to wound his victims and then killed them by stabbing them with an unspecified weapon or weapons in Wednesday’s attack in Kongsberg, a town of 26,000 southwest of the capital, Oslo.
  • Norwegian police say the Danish man suspected of killing five people and injuring three in an attack in the southern town of Kongsberg last week may have used “stabbing weapons” in the massacre along with a bow and arrow
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Ankeng light rail train under testing, system set to open in 2022

  • New Taipei Mayor Hou Yu-ih (侯友宜) said Monday during a visit to the maintenance facility that 42 percent of the equipment being used by the Ankeng LRT line will be domestically produced, higher than the Danhai light rail line's 22 percent domestic content.
  • New Taipei, Oct. 18 (CNA) The first tram-train delivered for the Ankeng light rail transit (LRT) line is being tested in New Taipei, a major step forward toward the LRT line's launch scheduled for the end of 2022, the city's Department of Rapid Transit Systems said Monday.
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Prince William and Kate recycle outfits to highlight climate impact of fashion

By Jennifer Hassan
  • Britain’s Prince William, who founded the environmental prize after becoming disheartened by what he perceived as lackluster efforts to combat climate change, arrived wearing a green velvet suit jacket he had previously worn at an event in 2019, along with a pair of 20-year-old trousers.
  • Actor Emma Watson, who has long campaigned for on environmental issues, arrived wearing an outfit created using 10 second-hand bridal dresses that had previously been donated to British charity Oxfam.
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Squid Game is too dark for a Chinese adaptation, says executive of iQiyi, Baidu’s video streaming platform

By Tracy Qu
An executive at Chinese video streaming platform iQiyi, majority-owned by Baidu, said there will not be a Chinese version of the hit South Korean drama Squid Game because the show is too dark and its ideology does not fit the country’s mainstream values.“At this stage, this type of relatively dark subject matter that reflects the particularly dark side of human nature definitely won’t be produced in China,” Wang Xiaohui, chief content officer at iQiyi, told local media TMTPost in a recent […]Read more >Similar articles >
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Boris Johnson leads tributes to Sir David Amess after MPs hold minute’s silence – live

By Ben Quinn
  • Johnson said all MPs mourn with Sir David’s family, adding in the Commons: “Sir David was taken from us in a contemptible act of violence striking at the core of what it is to be a member of this House, and violating both the sanctity of the church in which he was killed and the constituency surgery that is so essential to our representative democracy.”
  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that the Queen has agreed Southend will be granted city status following the murder of MP Sir David Amess.
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France eyes petrol vouchers for low-income households to ease spike in energy prices

  • French ministers floated the possibility of petrol vouchers for low-income households on Monday, as President Emmanuel Macron's government seeks to limit the damage from surging energy prices to his economic record six months from a presidential election.
  • The government has already scrambled in recent weeks to cap gas and electricity prices and increase handouts to help the poor pay winter heating bills as energy prices jumped worldwide on the strength of the post-pandemic economic recovery.
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India: floodwaters sweep away house in Kerala – video

Social media footage shows floodwaters sweeping a house away in Kerala after heavy rains that began to intensify on Friday. At least 25 people have died in floods and landslides triggered by the rains in south-west India, officials said on Sunday, as rescuers searched for survivors and the military flew in emergency supplies

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WHO says it ‘cannot cut corners’ in approving India’s Covaxin shot

  • The World Health Organization on Monday (Oct 18) asked for further data from India's Bharat Biotech to consider the company's request for an emergency-use listing for its Covid-19 shot, saying the WHO could not "cut corners" in making a decision.
  • "We are aware that many people are waiting for WHO's recommendation for Covaxin to be included in the #COVID19 Emergency Use Listing, but we cannot cut corners," the WHO said on Twitter.
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Sweden launches bid to become world’s top tourism destination by 2030

  • In a press conference on Monday, Sweden’s Minister for Business, Industry and Innovation Ibrahim Baylan outlined the new strategy, which aims to make Sweden “the world’s most sustainable and attractive tourism destination built on innovation” by 2030.
  • Tourism is an important industry for Sweden, providing employment in both urban and rural areas, as well as generating wealth – before the coronavirus pandemic, the tourism industry represented on average 2.7 percent of Sweden’s GDP per year.
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Facebook to hire 10,000 workers in Europe to build ‘metaverse’

  • Facebook said it plans to hire 10,000 workers in the European Union across the next five years to work on a new computing platform that promises to connect people virtually but could raise concerns about privacy and the social platform gaining more control over people’s online lives.
  • The company said in a blog post on Sunday that those high-skilled workers will help build “the metaverse”, a futuristic notion for connecting online that uses augmented and virtual reality.
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French ambassador ordered out of Belarus in diplomatic spat

  • “The head of the French diplomatic mission did not express readiness to complete the procedure for assuming office as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Belarus, which is stipulated by international law and generally recognized practice,” said Anatoly Glaz, press secretary of the Belarusian Foreign Ministry.
  • The Belarusian Foreign Ministry said that the emergency departure of the French ambassador from the country is connected with his unwillingness to present his credentials to Lukashenko.
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Russia Outlaws Anti-Women ‘Male State’ Group as ‘Extremist’

  • This year, the Male State group led coordinated social media campaigns against the Russian wife of a Nigerian student who drowned while rescuing a swimmer and a sushi company that ran an ad featuring a black model.
  • Russia has banned the “Male State,” an ultra-nationalist hate group that has carried out abuse campaigns against women and minorities, as “extremist,” the Mediazona news website reported Monday.
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Taiwan company donates 100,000 face masks to Tokyo

  • Tokyo, Oct. 18 (CNA) A Taoyuan-based manufacturer donated 100,000 face masks to Tokyo on Monday through Taiwan's representative office there to thank the Japanese government for its recent donations of COVID-19 vaccines to Taiwan.
  • Meanwhile, he also thanked Koike and Tokyo for providing COVID-19 vaccinations to his entire staff at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in Japan this summer.
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Who wants to be an ‘All American’ speaker? – Al Jazeera English

  • The All American Entertainment (AAE) speakers website, for example, lists thousands of celebrity speakers – from “business” people and “popular entertainers” to “anti-racism speakers” and “social justice advocates” – willing to speak at events for many thousands of dollars.
  • For one hour of their time, at $50,000, celebrity speakers are paid almost two decades worth of consumption at the global poverty line, and 13 years of gruelling labour in a Chinese sweatshop.
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China did not test hypersonic nuclear missile, foreign ministry says

By Minnie Chan
China has denied reports that it recently tested a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile, saying it was only carrying out routine test flights in a bid to recycle spacecraft to reduce exploration costs.“This was a routine test of a space vehicle to verify the technology of their reusability,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a regular briefing in Beijing on Monday.The launched object “was not a missile” with a military purpose, but “a space vehicle” for civilian aims, he […]Read more >Similar articles >
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Norway attacker killed victims with ‘sharp object’, not bow and arrows: Police

  • Norwegian police said on Monday (Oct 18) that the five victims of last week's attack were killed by a "sharp object" used by the suspect, not a bow and arrows.
  • Police, who had previously said that the suspect Espen Andersen Brathen was armed with a bow and arrows and two other weapons, did not specify the nature of the sharp weapons, adding that they were still interviewing witnesses.
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British Museum to display the world’s oldest map of stars

  • The 3,600-year-old “Nebra Sky Disc,” first discovered in Germany in 1999, is one of the oldest surviving representations of the cosmos in the world and has never before been displayed in the U.K., the London museum said Monday.
  • It will feature alongside an extremely rare 3,000-year-old sun pendant described by the British Museum as the most significant piece of Bronze Age gold ever found in Britain.
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Iran to host multilateral conference on Afghanistan on October 27 – Al Jazeera English

  • During a press conference on Monday, Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh announced that in addition to Iran and Russia, the meeting will be attended by China, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, who all have land borders with Afghanistan.
  • “The six countries will be focused on how they can help form an inclusive government in Afghanistan with the presence of all ethnic groups, and how they can help shape a future of peace and security in Afghanistan,” said Khatibzadeh.
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U.S. Supreme Court again protects police accused of excessive force

By Reuters
  • They also overturned a lower court’s decision to deny a request by Union City, California police officer Daniel Rivas-Villegas for qualified immunity in a lawsuit accusing him of using excessive force while handcuffing a suspect.
  • The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday granted requests by police officers in separate cases from California and Oklahoma for legal protection under a doctrine called “qualified immunity” from lawsuits accusing them of using excessive force.
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Man Pleads Guilty to Stealing Nude Photos From Hundreds of iCloud Accounts

By Joseph Cox
  • Hao Kuo Chi, 40, pleaded guilty on Friday to conspiracy and computer fraud after he hacked into hundreds of iCloud accounts and stole nude photos, according to an announcement from the Department of Justice .
  • Chi and his conspirators referred to nude photos stolen from inside iCloud accounts as "wins." As Motherboard has previously reported, some online communities trade "wins" harvested from social media or other avenues.
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Singapore’s ‘foreign interference’ law will weaken people power – Al Jazeera English

  • Co-hosting an event on climate change with a permanent resident, international students participating in a campus LGBTQ group, a media outlet hiring non-Singaporean writers, an NGO accepting grant money from an INGO – any of these actions could get individuals and organisations into trouble under this law, which was passed on October 4 by a Parliament dominated by the ruling People’s Action Party.
  • Our fears were not unfounded – Fica allows the government to police, prohibit or criminalise almost all communication and collaboration with non-Singaporeans on social and political issues.
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Facebook to create 10,000 jobs in EU to help build ‘metaverse’

By Dan Milmo Global technology editor
  • Facebook and other tech firms envision the metaverse as a world where people lead their social and professional lives virtually, via virtual reality headsets such as Facebook’s Oculus Rift, and through augmented reality where a digital layer is placed on top of real life, such as the popular Pokémon Go game.
  • The company envisages an interconnected web of metaverses, as users step from Facebook’s realm seamlessly into an adjoining world created by other tech firms such as Google, Apple or a big video games publisher.
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Energy prices: EU’s demand and supply dilemma in importing natural gas

By SU
  • The European Commission adopted last week a plan on how to tackle the rise in global energy prices in the short-term while relying on the transition to renewable energy sources in the long-term.
  • The Commission will also support investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency, examine possible measures on energy storage and purchasing of gas reserves, and assess the current electricity market design.
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Autonomous University of Yucatán stands out among the best institutions in México

By Yucatan Times
  • In the case of the Times Higher Education (THE) ranking, Uady was ranked 94th at the AL level among a total of 166 universities, which represented a substantial improvement compared to 2019 (place 101+).
  • It was specified that in the Scimago ranking, at the Latin American (LA) level, the university occupied position 65 out of a total of 160 universities evaluated, which represented a great advance compared to the 90th place it occupied in 2019.
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Apple employee, who was vocal on discrimination, fired – Al Jazeera English

  • Parrish, who ran for city council in Round Rock, Texas, this year, helped spearhead the #AppleToo movement, which led to Apple employees speaking out about inconsistent pay, a lack of transparency and other workplace issues.
  • Janneke Parrish, an Apple programme manager in the US, said the iPhone maker informed her on Thursday that she had been terminated for deleting material on company equipment while she was under investigation over the leaking of a company town hall to media.
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Xi fleshes out his ‘common prosperity’ vision

By Jeff Pao

China will reform its tax and household registration systems, push anti-trust enforcement and improve public services to reduce the national wealth gap, President Xi Jinping told the Communist Party’s financial and economic affairs committee in an August 17 speech. His ideas were set out in an article based on the speech and are now viewed

The post Xi fleshes out his ‘common prosperity’ vision appeared first on Asia Times.

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4 Chinese nationals killed by Philippine police in drugs operation

By dpa
Philippine police on Monday killed four Chinese nationals during an anti-drugs operation that lead to the confiscation of more than 262 million pesos (US$5.24 million) worth of crystal meth.The suspects, from Fujian and Shanxi in China, were “known distributors of illegal drugs” in the capital and surrounding provinces, a police report said.Police set up a sting operation to buy crystal meth from the suspects in a residential subdivision in Angeles City, 83km north of Manila. Known locally as […]Read more >Similar articles >
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Donald Trump Jr. Is Going Full QAnon

By Paul Blest
  • The meme Trump posted has existed since last year, and hits two targets with a lot of overlap: QAnon’s obsession with child sex trafficking and the COVID-19 pandemic, which has killed more than 700,000 Americans but many on the far-right nonetheless believe has been overblown.
  • Donald Trump Jr. is now posting memes implying the media is downplaying child sex trafficking, the latest example of his embrace of the fringe far-right and the conspiracy theories that define it.
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Not On The High Street founder Holly Tucker: I’ve made peace with my imposter syndrome

By Claire Cohen
  • As a busy working mother, Tucker tells the podcast how she not only felt imposter syndrome in the boardroom, but at the school gates too: “I used to have to pretend to be on a phone call, which probably wouldn’t have helped with anyone not saying hello to me.
  • Entrepreneur and small business champion, Holly Tucker is on a mission to rebrand imposter syndrome.
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Tight border controls send furloughed worker numbers higher

  • In the support service industry, 9,328 workers took unpaid leave, up from 9,011 a week earlier, and the number of employers having furlough programs rose to 1,308, from 1,280 previously, the MOL added.
  • Taipei, Oct. 18 (CNA) The number of workers in formal furlough programs in Taiwan rose last week as strict border controls imposed to keep COVID-19 out took a toll on the transportation and tourism sectors, the Ministry of Labor said (MOL) said Monday.
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QAnon Is Becoming Even More Antisemitic

By David Gilbert
  • The organizer of a major QAnon conference in Las Vegas later this week, where at least four sitting GOP lawmakers speak on stage, shared a neo-Nazi film with his 70,000 followers on Sunday evening.
  • When one follower did attempt to criticize Sabal for posting the link, other members of the channel quickly attacked that user, claiming they were some sort of undercover agent of the “deep state.”
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The Bacchus Lady review – Youn Yuh-jung leads tale of life on the margins in Seoul

By Phil Hoad
  • In this 2016 drama, her long face and semaphoric blink are put to strong use playing an elderly prostitute in Seoul – she is a “Bacchus lady”, named for the energy drink the ladies pep their clients up with.
  • Youn Yuh-jung made history earlier this year by becoming the first Korean to win an acting Oscar, for her role as the bluff, pro-wrestling-loving grandma in the Korean-American drama Minari.
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One in ten of those seeking charity’s aid are entitled to state help, but are not getting it

By Radio Sweden
Lyssna: Over a tenth of those seeking charity’s aid are entitled to state help More than one out of ten people seeking help at the Swedish charity Stadsmission have the legal right to benefits from the national welfare system but aren’t getting it. Lotta Säfström, director of the non-profit organisation in Gothenburg, says the reasons why are varied, including that some are not aware of their entitlements. The news is based on areport released on Monday from the charity that provides support to homeless people and others in need. Radio Swedenenglish@sverigesradio.se […]Read more >Similar articles >
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CCTV footage appears to challenge singer’s claims in Star of David row

By Philip Oltermann in Berlin
  • Surveillance footage cited by both newspapers – and published online by Bild am Sonntag – shows the singer entering the hotel lobby in a T-shirt and a leather jacket but the Star of David pendant he is seen wearing in the Instagram video published after the incident cannot be seen.
  • CCTV footage published in the German media appears not to show the Star of David pendant that a Jewish German singer alleged a Leipzig hotel had told him to “put away” before he would be allowed to check in.
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Afghans Bury Loved Ones in Mass Graves After Second Suicide Bombing in a Week

By Arman Khan
  • The bombing in one of Afghanistan’s biggest mosques comes on the heels of a similar attack on another Shia mosque in the northern city of Kunduz, also during the Friday prayers, that killed as many as 100 people last week.
  • This week, the southern city of Kandahar in Afghanistan witnessed scenes of unimaginable horror as multiple bombs ripped through Imam Bargah-e-Fatima, a Shia mosque, during the Friday prayers.
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‘No one is illegal’: Poles protest migrant pushbacks at Belarus border

  • Carrying banners saying "Stop the torture at the border" and "No one is illegal", thousands of Polish protesters have marched in solidarity with migrants and asylum seekers trying to cross the Belarus-Poland border.
  • They accuse Polish authorities of cruel behaviour for pushing migrants back and for imposing a state of emergency at the border that has prevented human rights workers from going there to help.
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‘You reap what you sow’: Russians party despite record Covid figures

By Pjotr Sauer in Moscow
  • Russia topped the symbolic figure of 1,000 daily deaths on Saturday for the first time since the start of the pandemic, and hit a new record in infection numbers on Monday with 34,325 cases reported.
  • Officials say the country is quickly running out of hospital beds and Russia’s chief doctor, Denis Protsenko, described the situation on Friday as “near critical”, with vaccinations at a standstill.
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Man admits to charge over death of footballer in Cardiff flight crash

By Steven Morris
  • The particulars of the charge are that on 21 January 2019 as the operator of an aircraft he attempted to cause the plane to “discharge” Sala at Cardiff.
  • A man has admitted a charge relating to the flight in which the Argentinian footballer Emiliano Sala was killed when the plane he was travelling in crashed into the sea off the Channel Islands while en route to the UK from France.
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Rome waits to learn who’s its new mayor after runoff voting

  • ROME -- Romans on Monday waited to learn who will be their next mayor of their problem-plagued city, as ballots were counted from a runoff election that pitted a novice politician backed by a far-right leader against a former finance minister who ran on a center-left ticket.
  • The current mayor, Virginia Raggi, a prominent figure in the 5-Star Movement, which is Parliament's largest party, failed to earn a runoff slot after winning less than 20% of the vote in the first round of balloting in early October.
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Problems with Aussie telcos revealed

  • ACMA authority member Fiona Cameron said the time taken to resolve complaints was “going in the wrong direction” and that one million complaints a year was still “far too many”.
  • New figures released today by the Australian Communications and Media Authority show the average amount of time taken by telcos to fix problems has risen by almost 50 per cent to 12.2 days from 8.2 days two years ago.
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Chanting ‘Hongkongers, add oil’ or calling government ‘tyrannical’ could be seditious, court hears

By Brian Wong
Chanting certain words of support for Hong Kong residents or calling the government “tyrannical” could be seditious, a pro-government historian has argued in the first trial under the city’s colonial-era sedition law since 1997.Lingnan University Professor Lau Chi-pang on Monday told the District Court that “Liberate Hong Kong; revolution of our times” or “Hongkongers, add oil” were capable of inciting others to break the law depending on the circumstances of their use. The latter phrase is a […]Read more >Similar articles >

U.K.-Taiwan trade talks held virtually for 2nd year in a row due to COVID-19

  • Taipei, Oct. 18 (CNA) This year's annual U.K.-Taiwan trade talks were held virtually on Monday to enhance bilateral trade relations, especially in renewable energy, technology and education, according to the British Office Taipei.
  • The U.K. is Taiwan's third-largest trading partner in Europe with bilateral trade at around 6.1 billion British pounds (NT$234.65 billion, US$8.38 billion) in 2020, according to the office.
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Thoughts of a Colored Man review – Black Brooklyn life explored on Broadway

By Gloria Oladipo
  • Thoughts takes on a difficult task: trying to communicate the oft-swallowed frustration of being a Black man in America through seven individual characters while also not allowing the play to dissolve into strictly lamentations; unfortunately, it is a responsibility Scott’s writing buckles under.
  • Following the lives of seven nameless Black men as they go through a day in Brooklyn, Keenan Scott II’s Thoughts of a Colored Man, directed by Steve H Broadnax III, uses lyrical vignettes, music, and other devices in search of an answer.
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Contrast between Luis Suarez and Mohamed Salah contract talks proves Liverpool’s giant strides forward

By Chris Bascombe
  • At that time, the club’s wage bill was £119 million and skipper Gerrard was the only other Liverpool player earning in excess of £100,000 a week.
  • Bizarrely, it can be argued Liverpool’s squad weaknesses in 2013 made the Suarez contract a no-brainer, while their strength in depth now makes it tougher to ‘give Salah whatever he wants’.
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Russia shutters its mission to NATO in retaliation for expulsion of its diplomats

By Isabelle Khurshudyan
  • Russia is shuttering its permanent mission to NATO and suspending the alliance's liaison office in Moscow, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday, further fraying the relationship between the organization and the Kremlin.
  • Russia’s delegation to NATO and NATO’s military liaison office in Russia were both set up in 1998 to facilitate information-sharing between Brussels and Moscow.
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England squad announcement live: Latest news as Eddie Jones picks players for autumn internationals

By Charles Richardson
  • Their England colleague Maro Itoje, meanwhile, was on the scoresheet as he made his first Premiership start since October last year, although he went off early in the second half after taking a blow to his shoulder as Jones watched from the Recreation Ground stands.
  • Whether that means the end for Billy Vunipola and George Ford remains to be seen, but today could mark a serious changing of the guard in Jones' tenure as head coach.
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Germany: Antisemitism is ‘daily reality,’ says musician Gil Ofarim

  • In recent weeks, the issue of antisemitism in Germany has been hotly debated following an incident involving German musician Gil Ofarim .
  • "Because I'm often seen on TV with the Star of David, I was insulted because of it." It is not a question of whether or not the necklace was seen in the hotel, Ofarim continued, "but rather about the fact that I have been antisemitically insulted."
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Italy’s president criticizes violent COVID-19 pass protests

  • ROME -- Italy’s president on Monday strongly criticized the violence that has erupted amid protests over the country's new coronavirus workplace health pass requirement, saying it appeared aimed at jeopardizing Italy ’s economic recovery.
  • Italy’s president is criticizing the violent protests that have erupted against Italy’s new coronavirus health pass requirement to enter workplaces
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First flight under expanded Vaccinated Travel Lane scheme to touch down at Changi Airport on Wednesday

  • Meanwhile, the first Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) flight from the United States, SQ23, is expected to depart from New York at Tuesday night local time, and land in Singapore at 5.20am on Thursday.
  • The first flight under the expanded quarantine-free travel scheme for travellers vaccinated against Covid-19 will touch down in Singapore on Wednesday morning (Oct 20), in the next step of Singapore's border reopening.
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Singapore’s ‘foreign interference’ law will weaken people power

  • Co-hosting an event on climate change with a permanent resident, international students participating in a campus LGBTQ group, a media outlet hiring non-Singaporean writers, an NGO accepting grant money from an INGO – any of these actions could get individuals and organisations into trouble under this law, which was passed on October 4 by a Parliament dominated by the ruling People’s Action Party.
  • Our fears were not unfounded – Fica allows the government to police, prohibit or criminalise almost all communication and collaboration with non-Singaporeans on social and political issues.
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COVID-19 update for Oct. 18: Moderna appears to give higher antibody levels than Pfizer: Henry | Colin Powell dies at 84 from COVID-19 complications | 667 new cases, 13 deaths on Friday

By Scott Brown
  • COVID-19 update for Oct. 18: Moderna appears to give higher antibody levels than Pfizer: Henry | Colin Powell dies at 84 from COVID-19 complications | 667 new cases, 13 deaths on Friday
  • At a press conference last week, Henry said her office was increasingly getting information on which vaccines worked as well or better than others — based mostly on studies of COVID-19 antibodies remaining in people’s blood after vaccination.
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Russia suspends Nato mission in response to expulsion of its staff

By Agencies

Foreign minister also announces closure of military alliance’s liaison offices in Moscow

Russia is suspending its mission to Nato in response to last week’s expulsion of eight members of its mission to the military alliance, the country’s foreign minister has said.

Sergei Lavrov said staff at Nato’s mission in Moscow would be stripped of their accreditation from 1 November, and that the body could interact with Russia via its embassy in Brussels if needed, Russian news agencies reported.

Continue reading […]Read more >Similar articles >
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Victoria Covid update: more than 40 police stood down for refusing coronavirus vaccine

By Cait Kelly and AAP
  • Meanwhile, hospitality venues have been warned to prepare for Covid outbreaks when Melbourne begins to open up on Friday, as the state government faces criticism for keeping retail shut.
  • The state recorded 1,903 new coronavirus cases and seven deaths on Monday and almost 90% of Victorians over the age of 16 have now received their first vaccine dose.
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Germany: Free Democrats vote to join formal coalition talks

  • Members of Germany's Free Democratic Party (FDP) voted on Monday to join the center-left Social Democrats (SPD) and the environmentalist Greens for formal coalition talks.
  • Representatives of the three parties wrapped up exploratory talks last week, but they required the official approval from the party as a whole to go ahead with more formal discussions about the make-up of what will likely be Germany's next government.
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Taiwanese player bags title at major shogi tournament in Japan

  • Taipei, Oct. 18 (CNA) Taiwanese Chang Ching-ting (張京鼎) defeated an opponent from China to win the 8th International Shogi Tournament, which was held online this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The virtual tournament was held as part of the 2021 International Shogi Festival, which also consisted of an introduction to this native Japanese game, online coaching sessions by professional players, and how-to-play videos for beginners.
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Russia shuts diplomatic mission to NATO

By David M. Herszenhorn
  • Russia on Monday suspended its diplomatic mission to NATO and ordered the Western military alliance to shut its liaison office in Moscow, according to a statement issued by the Russian Foreign Ministry.
  • In its statement, the Russian Foreign Ministry accused NATO of a pattern of unfriendly actions and of artificially heightening tensions with Moscow in order to bolster the internal unity of the alliance.
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‘People felt threatened even by a puppet refugee’: Little Amal’s epic walk through love and fear

By Amelia Gentleman
  • As Little Amal prepares to cross the Channel to the UK on Tuesday for the final stage of her journey, producer David Lan says the exercise has forced thousands of people along the route to reflect on their attitudes towards refugees, particularly towards the hundreds of thousands of displaced children forced to flee their homes because of conflict over the past decade.
  • At times, the 8,000km journey across Europe of a 3.5m-tall puppet child refugee highlighted the hostility experienced by refugees who have been travelling along the same route from the Syrian border to the UK for years.
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Australia Moves Closer to Ending Harmful Intersex Surgeries

By Human Rights Watch
  • The Australian Human Rights Commission issued a report today analyzing the persistent practice of medically unnecessary non-consensual surgeries on children born with variations in their sex characteristics.
  • Around the world since the 1950s, people born with variations in their sex characteristics, sometimes called “intersex,” have been subjected to harmful medically unnecessary “normalizing” surgeries.
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Basque leader says Eta terror deaths ‘should never have happened’

By Sam Jones in Madrid
  • Speaking as Spain approaches the 10th anniversary of Eta’s decision to abandon the armed campaign, Arnaldo Otegi, the general coordinator of the Basque coalition party EH Bildu, said the pro-independence Basque left would never forget the victims of terrorist violence.
  • A leading leftwing Basque nationalist politician and former Eta member has said the violence the terrorist group used in its quest for independence “should never have happened” and it ought to have laid down its arms far earlier than it did.
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Worry and outrage as Senneterre ER starts closing at 4 p.m.

  • Beginning Monday, the emergency room in the town of Senneterre in the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region will close its doors at 4 p.m., a decision that has sparked worry in the community and outrage on the part of local mayor Jean-Maurice Matte.
  • Matte says the Quebec government is playing Russian roulette with lives of the town’s 3,000 residents by limiting the ER’s operating hours to 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Outside of those hours patients must seek assistance in Val-d’Or in the southwest or Amos in the northwest.
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