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TikTok & Twitter trolls in France’s crosshairs as education minister intervenes in bizarre high school cyberbullying campaign

French Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer has urged schools to “reinforce vigilance” against a cyberbullying campaign high-school seniors are waging against incoming juniors on TikTok and Twitter under the hashtag #Anti2010. Some French sixth-graders born in 2010 will start secondary school this autumn, and they’ve reportedly been bombarded in recent weeks with abusive posts on TikTok […]

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Second Dutch minister quits after parliament censures cabinet over mishandling of Afghanistan evacuation

The Dutch defense minister has announced her resignation, following the foreign minister’s departure on Thursday. The political exodus follows a parliamentary vote to censure the cabinet over chaotic evacuations from Kabul. Ank Bijleveld announced her resignation on Friday, stating that the criticism she faces would obstruct the Defense Ministry’s efforts to extract those still stranded […]

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10 to be tried for Brussels bombings that killed 32, with 6 suspects already facing trial for Paris attacks

Ten men accused of being involved in the March 2016 bombings in Brussels, which killed 32 people, are to face trial, prosecutors have announced. Six of them are already accused in France over the Paris attacks a year before. On Friday, spokesman for the Belgian federal prosecutor’s office, Eric Van Duyse, tweeted that “ten of […]

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Blinken calls for more ‘normalization’ of ties with Israel as he celebrates Trump-brokered Abraham Accords

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called on more countries in the Arab world to normalize diplomatic ties with Israel, offering rare praise to Trump’s diplomacy as he marked one year since the signing of a landmark peace deal. Speaking at a virtual meeting on Friday with his counterparts from Israel, Bahrain, Morocco and the […]

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French billboard owner hit with €10,000 fine for depicting president Macron as Hitler on Covid protest poster

A court in southern France has slapped a billboard owner with a €10,000 fine for “public insult” after President Emmanuel Macron was depicted on the man’s public advertising panel as Hitler during anti-Covid-rules demonstrations. On Friday, a court in Toulon slapped Michel-Ange Flori with the hefty penalty of €10,000 ($11,755) for having represented the French […]

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Inquiry launched into European Commission chief’s refusal to hand over text messages she exchanged with Pfizer CEO 

The European Ombudsman has demanded that Commission President Ursula von der Leyen explain how she lost text messages that she exchanged with the CEO of Pfizer during talks about vaccine procurement.   European Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly, the EU’s top accountability and governance officer, launched an inquiry into the European Commission’s refusal to hand over the contents […]

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Chinese planes enter Taiwan’s air-defense zone just one day after Taipei announced extra $9bn to beef up its military

Taipei has reported that 10 Chinese aircraft crossed into its air-defense zone, just one day after Taiwan pledged an extra $9 billion to beef up its military against Beijing. On Friday, Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense issued a statement confirming that 10 planes belonging to China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA), including six J-16 and two J-11 […]

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‘Expel all terror planners from Germany,’ Merkel’s potential successor says, as Syrian teen is accused of plot to attack synagogue

Armin Laschet, the new head of Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU) & her possible successor, has said migrants must be thoroughly integrated into society while terrorists must be expelled from the country. “Whoever integrates here, should integrate, learn German and also have a job, and should be allowed to stay. But those […]

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Mixed signals from US as Blinken deletes tweet pledging Washington’s support to Hong Kong anti-government protesters

The US secretary of state has caused confusion by deleting a post critical of Hong Kong’s unseating of opposition council members and issuing a milder remark instead. A department spokesperson stuck to the original wording. This week, seven opposition district councillors in Hong Kong were unseated after a deadline expired for them to submit information […]

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South Africa top court rejects ex-president Zuma’s bid to overturn 15-month jail sentence

South Africa’s former President Jacob Zuma’s plea to overturn his 15-month prison sentence handed to him after failing to attend a corruption hearing has been rejected by the country’s top court. South Africa’s Constitutional Court ruled in a majority on Friday and rejected Zuma’s request to annul his jail time, which the disgraced former leader had […]

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Ebola ‘defeated’ after 40-year-fight against a ‘terrifying and deadly disease,’ professor who discovered virus declares

Congolese professor Jean-Jacques Muyembe, the virologist who first discovered Ebola more than 40 years ago, has declared that it has been defeated, marking the end of a decades-long battle against the “deadly disease.” The 79-year-old scientist made the announcement on Thursday during an event to mark the arrival of the Ebola ‘Ebanga’ treatment in the […]

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Australia made ‘very clear’ to France submarine deal could be scrapped, PM Morrison says, after Paris brands it ‘stab in the back’

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has insisted that he made it “very clear” to his French counterpart that scrapping the 2016 submarine deal was a possibility, rejecting Paris’ claims that Canberra had not forewarned them. Speaking to radio 5aa, Morrison affirmed that French President Emmanuel Macron was made well aware that Canberra was considering other […]

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Indonesia ‘deeply concerned’ by arms race and power projection in region after Australian nuclear sub deal

Indonesia’s foreign ministry has said it is concerned about the sale of US and UK nuclear-powered submarines to Australia, claiming it is contributing to an arms race and increasing power projection in the Indo-Pacific. In a statement on Friday, the Indonesian Foreign Ministry said it was watching “with caution” a deal which sees the UK […]

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Chinese space station builders safely return to Earth after breaking national record in orbit (VIDEO)

Three crew members of China’s Shenzhou-12 space mission have returned home after spending three months onboard the Tianhe space station, preparing it for future expansion missions. Taikonauts Nie Haisheng, Liu Boming and Tang Hongbo touched down on Friday at the Dongfeng landing site in the Inner Mongolia region of China’s north, Chinese media reported. The […]