World News

US to ban travel to North Korea

According to reports of flight agencies, the United States will ban their citizens from travelling to North Korea in the coming weeks. This move comes a month after a US tourist, student Otto Warmbier, died following his imprisonment by Pyongyang in North Korea. However, there is no official announcement from the US government.

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Amazon accused of misleading users with discount pricing

US-based advocacy group Consumer Watchdog has reportedly complained that Amazon deceives users into believing they're saving more money as the 'before price' listed on discounted items is often higher than the actual price. While the group has asked FTC to block Amazon's Whole Foods acquisition, Federal Trade Commission in the US is reportedly probing allegations.

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Faecal bacteria found in ice at McDonald’s, KFC and Burger King branches

Some test samples revealed that type of Faecal bacteria was present in the food product used in McDonald, KFC and Burger King across the United Kingdom. The BBC's Watchdog programme tested samples from 10 random branches from each of the fast food chains across the UK confirmed that three of the McDonald's samples, six from Burger King and seven from KFC have bacteria on the ice used by them.

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Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington commits suicide

Linkin Park's lead vocalist Chester Bennington allegedly committed suicide at his private residence in Los Angeles County on Thursday morning. Bennington's death came a week before the band was due to kick off the U.S. leg of its tour on July 27 in Mansfield, Massachusetts. Bennington had spoken openly in the past about his struggles to overcome his demons when Linkin Park first found success in 2000 with the album "Hybrid Theory." But in 2011 he said he had been sober for six years.

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China bans Justin Bieber for ‘bad behaviour’

Reports say Chinese authorities have announced the Canadian pop idol Justin Bieber will not be allowed to perform in the People’s Republic. Beijing’s culture bureau, in its explanation, reportedly said, “As far as we are concerned, he has engaged in a series of bad behaviours, both in his social life and during a previous performance in China, which caused discontent among the public.”

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2 dead, 100 injured as earthquake rocks Greece and Turkey

A powerful earthquake with 6.7 magnitude struck Turkey's Aegean coast and a few Greek islands located nearby on Friday. Reports say at least two people were killed and over 100 injured in the quake which hit at a depth of 10 km. The US Geological Survey reportedly said the epicentre of the quake, which generated a mini tsunami, was located around 10.3 km south of the Turkish resort of Bodrum and 16.2 kilometres east of the island of Kos in Greece.

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US ends laptop ban on flights from Middle East, North Africa

The US reportedly ended a four-month ban on flyers carrying laptops on US-bound flights from airports in North Africa and the Middle East. In March, the United States banned large electronics in cabins on flights from 10 airports in the Middle East and North Africa over concerns that explosives could be concealed in the devices taken onboard aircraft. The UK continues to enforce a similar electronics ban on flights from several Middle Eastern airports.

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French singer Barbara Weldens dies on stage

Barbara Weldens, a French singer, has died after collapsing in the middle of a concert. According to reports, the 35-year-old woman suffered a cardiac arrest when she was performing on stage in a small village in France. However, another report suggested that she may have been electrocuted.

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New Zealand gangs plan 'fight club' to relieve tension

Hundreds of gang members in New Zealand are reportedly preparing for the inaugural “fight club” involving boxing matches between rival gangs that leaders hope will present a safe way to vent tensions. The organisers claimed that a series of killings in Northland last year had escalated gang tensions. Former gang member and event organiser Tokomauri Hoterene said, “I’d rather walk out of a ring with a broken nose and a black eye and maybe some more missing teeth than coming home in a box”.

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H-1B visa applicants being diverted to O visa: US Senator

In an attempt to bypass the legal hurdles on the employment visa, potential H-1B  applicants are being advised to apply for O visa, alleged US Senator Chuck Grassley on Wednesday. While the H-1B visa, meant for high-skilled workers, is numerically capped, the O visa, intended for people with extraordinary abilities, has no numeric limit. The senator reportedly urged the Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly to prevent the visa fraud.

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WhatsApp users blocked from sending photos, videos in China

Larger messaging platform WhatsApp has been partially blocked in China following a censorship crackdown by the government. Users complained of being unable to send photos, videos, and voice notes and a few people have reportedly been blocked from sending even text messages. China operates world's largest censorship system, called the 'Great Firewall', blocking platforms like Facebook, Google, and Instagram.

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Audi ad compares women to used cars

German automobile giant Audi has created a huge outcry on social media in China after its commercial allegedly compared women to second-hand cars. The ad depicted a wedding scene where the groom's mother rushes up to interrupt as the couple take vows, and begins examining the bride. The ceremony continues only after the mother approves. When the mother forgot to check the bride's chest, a voiceover with tagline comes, “An important decision must be made carefully,” followed by a graphic for Audi’s second-hand vehicle website. Netizens slammed the ad calling it “utterly inappropriate” and “sexist”.

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Taiwan woman granted divorce as husband ignored her messages

A wife in Taiwan was recently granted a divorce from her husband, who she accused of ignoring her and her unanswered text messages were a key piece of evidence. The wife sent her husband messages via the Line app for six months. The messages were marked as read, meaning he presumably opened and read them and yet the wife rarely got a reply. The judge in family court saw the unanswered messages and concluded the wife had enough grounds for a divorce.

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73-year-old woman saves two in lake

In China, a 73-year-old woman risked her life to save two people from a Sichuan Province lake despite her failing eyesight and not knowing how to swim. The woman rescued a 7-year-old boy and his grandmother from an area reservoir Sunday after the pair became stuck in thick mud. The woman said she heard their screams while tending to a nearby field, and managed to hook the boy's finger with her own and pull the two to safety.

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Saudi woman in miniskirt video arrested

According to reports, a young woman in Saudi Arabia was arrested by police after she posted a video of her walking in a miniskirt on social media. Police arrested the woman for wearing “immodest clothes” and referred her case to the country’s public prosecutor, say reports. The video shows the woman walking in a historic village north of the capital wearing a miniskirt and crop top, and showing her hair.

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Facebook, Twitter manipulated by Governments, Study Claims

According to a report from the University of Oxford, Governments around the world are enlisting ‘cyber troops’ who manipulate Facebook, Twitter, and other social media outlets to steer public opinion, spread misinformation and undermine critics. Researchers found 29 countries using social media to shape opinion domestically or with foreign audiences. The tactics are deployed by authoritarian regimes, but also democratically-elected governments.

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Massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake hits Russia, tsunami alert issued

A 7.8 magnitude earthquake rocked on Bering Island off the coast of Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia on Tuesday. Following the quake, authorities issued a tsunami threat in parts of the Pacific. However, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) and the US Pacific Tsunami Center reportedly said the tsunami threat has now passed.

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US announces 15,000 additional visas for seasonal workers

The US on Monday reportedly announced a one-time increase of 15,000 additional visas for low-wage, seasonal workers for the remainder of this fiscal year. The move follows heavy lobbying from the fisheries, hospitality and other industries that rely on temporary foreign workers. The visas are for workers taking seasonal jobs in the seafood, tourism and other industries, excluding farm labourers.

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27 dead, 54 missing in whaling shipwreck in Congo

According to reports,  a whaling ship wrecked on the Kasai River in the Democratic Republic of the Congo killing at least 27 people. Reports say 54 others are missing. Jacques Mbila, the administrator of the territory, reportedly said overloading and intoxication of the crew were the causes of the sinking. The majority of the victims are pupils who were on holiday, he added.

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Singapore Airlines rated best airline in the world

Singapore Airlines has been rated the world's best airline in a survey by the Travel and Leisure magazine. It has been followed by Emirates and Qatar Airways at second and third place respectively, while Cathay Pacific Airways and Japan Airlines have completed the top five. Virgin Atlantic, Air New Zealand, and Korean Air have also made it to the list.

 

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