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Arts, Entertainment, Culture • TV & Movies
2020-06-30T18:23:28+00:00
Comedy legend Carl Reiner dies at 98
Actor Carl Reiner, June 26, 2012
Actor Carl Reiner, June 26, 2012 Credit: Louise Palanker (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Carl Reiner, director, producer, writer and actor who was part of Sid Caesar's team and went on to create "The Dick Van Dyke Show", direct several hit films, and star on the "Ocean's" franchise has died of natural causes. He was 98.

Filmmaker Rob Reiner, Carl's son, confirmed his father's death in a tweet Tuesday: "Last night my dad passed away. As I write this, my heart is hurting. He was my guiding light.".

Technology • Internet & Web
2020-06-30T17:30:01+00:00
Spotify launches real-time lyrics in 26 markets
Spotify launches real-time lyrics in 26 markets
Credit: Illustration: Pendect, Ashley Winkler – Logos via Spotify & MusixMatch

Spotify has launched a real-time lyrics feature in 26 different markets across India, Latin America and Southeast Asia today. The feature is provided by the music data company Musixmatch.

Politics • African
2020-06-30T16:30:02+00:00
Burundi: 30% of new cabinet female
Hon.  Immelde Sabushimike. Minister
Hon. Immelde Sabushimike. Minister Credit: Twitter (Reproduction)

30% of Burundi President Evariste Ndayishimiye’s cabinet members are women. Portfolios that are led by women are Justice, Labor, Social Affair, Communication and Tourism.

“For the first time, in the history of Burundi, we have a Minister in the government of Burundi, from the Batwa indigenous community. I am so happy!!! congratulations Hon. Immelde Sabushimike. Thank you so much Excellence President of Burundi,” Batwa of Burundi IP tweeted.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • TV & Movies
2020-06-30T15:30:02+00:00
Amazon Prime Video launches ‘Watch Party’, let up to 100 people stream together
Prime Video Watch Party with chat feature
Prime Video Watch Party with chat feature Credit: Amazon

Amazon has launched Prime Video Watch Party, a feature that allows you co-watch streaming with up to 99 fellow Prime members, in the US.

The host of the co-watching session will be able to start, stop, and pause the Watch Party as needed throughout the viewing, and those changes will also be synced to all participants’ devices instantly.

Politics • European • United Kingdom
2020-06-30T14:10:01+00:00
City of Leicester sees lockdown tightened as Covid-19 cases rise
Matt Hancock at the House of Commons
Matt Hancock at the House of Commons Credit: YouTube (Reproduction)

The British Government has imposed a tight lockdown on the English city of Leicester after a local increase on the number of Covid-19 cases. The lockdown mandates all non-essential shops to close on Tuesday, and schools will follow closing on Thursday.

On Monday evening, Health Secretary Matt Hancock told the House of Commons the city had "10% of all positive cases in the country over the past week". He also said that "We recommend to people in Leicester, stay at home as much as you can, and we recommend against all but essential travel to, from and within Leicester."

Business • Media & Advertising
2020-06-30T13:00:01+00:00
The New York Times ends partnership with Apple News
The New York Times Building at 620 Eighth Avenue, NYC
The New York Times Building at 620 Eighth Avenue, NYC Credit: unsplash.com/Stéphan Valentin

The New York Times has ended its partnership with Apple News and has stopped distributing articles in the Apple News App.

The biggest factors behind the decision are that "Apple had given it little in the way of direct relationships with readers and little control over the business," and The Times is seeking to "drive readers directly to its own website and mobile app so that it could 'fund quality journalism'."

"Core to a healthy model between The Times and the platforms is a direct path for sending those readers back into our environments, where we control the presentation of our report, the relationships with our readers and the nature of our business rules," so Meredith Kopit Levien, chief operating officer. "Our relationship with Apple News does not fit within these parameters."

Sports
2020-06-30T12:10:02+00:00
Mercedes F1 team switches livery from silver to black in support of social struggles
Lewis Hamilston car for 2020 F1 Season
Lewis Hamilston car for 2020 F1 Season Credit: Mercedes AMG F1

As the first Formula 1 race of 2020 approaches this weekend, the Mercedes-AMG team have announced a new car livery.

The organisation commits to "fighting racism and discrimination in all its forms" as their ranks feature only 3% of people identified from minority groups and 12% women.

In a press release, the team stated: "the Black Lives Matter movement has shone a searching light on how much we need new measures and actions in the fight against racism and all forms of discrimination".

Politics • African
2020-06-30T11:16:02+00:00
Gabon: Senate voted to decriminalise homosexuality
Gabon: Senate voted to decriminalise homosexuality
Credit: unsplash.com/Teddy Österblom

Gabon senate voted in favor of decriminalising homosexuality. The bill is now awaiting ratification by President Ali Bongo Ondimba.

"Parliament is restoring a fundamental human right for its citizens: that of loving, freely, without being condemned. The Republic defends respect for everyone's privacy and remains One and indivisible beyond feelings. Yes to dignity, no to hate. #Gabon" – Sylvia Bongo Ondimba, the president's wife, voiced her support on Twitter.

Politics • Asian • China
2020-06-30T10:30:01+00:00
China approves Covid-19 vaccine for usage in its military
China approves Covid-19 vaccine for usage in its military
Credit: Bicanski

The Chinese military has developed a Covid-19 vaccine in its research unit together with the biotech firm CanSino Biologics. The vaccine has now been approved for military use as it shows a "good safety profile". Currently, the approval has been granted for one year as the studies are not fully conclusive and the vaccine only shows the potential to prevent symptoms from the Covid-19 infections. CanSino Biologics has also stated that it can't guarantee public access to the vaccine.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Music
2020-06-30T09:30:01+00:00
New York Broadway to remain closed until end of 2020
Broadway theatre, New York City
Broadway theatre, New York City Credit: unsplash.com/Sudan Ouyang

The Broadway in New York City will remain closed for the remainder of the year and are not expecting to open their doors until late Winter or early Spring 2021. The Broadway League, the organisation representing theatres, issued a statement that ticket holders would get a refund or could exchange their tickets for a future date.

All Broadway theatres have been closed since March 12, calling the closure "the only intermission."

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Music
2020-06-30T08:30:01+00:00
Bob Dylan becomes the first artist ever to have Top 40 Album in every decade since the 60s
Bob Dylan at the "In Performance At The White House: A Celebration Of Music From The Civil Rights Movement" concert in the White House, Feb 2010
Bob Dylan at the "In Performance At The White House: A Celebration Of Music From The Civil Rights Movement" concert in the White House, Feb 2010 Credit: The White House from Washington, DC / Public domain

Bob Dylan's newest album "Rough and Rowdy Ways" debuted at Number 2 in the Billboard 200 charts. With his latest album hitting the Top 10 of the charts, Dylan becomes the first artist ever to have an album in the Top 40 Billboard 200 charts in every decade since the 1960s.

Business • Media & Advertising
2020-06-30T07:30:01+00:00
Ford, Adidas and Clorox join social media advertising boycott
Ford, Adidas and Clorox join social media advertising boycott
Credit: Image Composition: Pendect; Images via Unsplash

Ford, Adidas and Clorox have joined a growing list of companies pausing social media advertising to take action against hate speech. Ford will not advertise on either Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or Twitter in the U.S. for the next 30 days. Clorox is pausing advertising globally on all Facebook-owned platforms until the end of the year, Adidas through July.

Politics • European • France
2020-06-30T06:30:02+00:00
French citizen council decides on climate tax, inland flight ban and other matters
French citizen council decides on climate tax, inland flight ban and other matters
Credit: unsplash.com / Dorian Hurst

The citizen council established by the French president Emmanuel Macron has decided on multiple climate change matters. Following their vote dividends from companies over €10 million should provide a 4% fee for climate purposes, inland flights should be banned from 2025 on, and highway speed limited to 100 kilometres per hour among other decisions. The council is composed of 150 randomly selected people with the aim to represent a miniature France through people that come from different parts of the society and are representative for the demographics of the French population. The decisions are non binding but president Macron has announced that he'll hold a referendum on the questions to amend the constitution to include the protection of the environment and the question if the "ecocide" should be made a criminal offence.

Law
2020-06-30T05:30:02+00:00
Military Counterintelligence (MAD): New Dimension of Right-Wing Extremism in the German Bundeswehr
Military Counterintelligence (MAD): New Dimension of Right-Wing Extremism in the German Bundeswehr
Credit: "Yellow line" by photoheuristic.info (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

In a public parliamentary hearing in the Bundestag, the President of the MAD had to admit that patriotism in the Bundeswehr continues to be a difficult issue. The Bundeswehr is currently counting a total of 600 suspected cases from right-wing extremism to "Reichsbürgertum". The focus of the activities is currently still the Special Forces Command (KSK), where the investigators focus on around 20 people.

According to the MAD president the goal must be that the "wall of silence" cracks.

Politics • American • South America
2020-06-29T23:00:02+00:00
Uruguay is the only Latin American country in EU's Covid-19 'safe list'
Munich International Airport passport control
Munich International Airport passport control Credit: Vasyatka1 (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The European Union has named 14 countries whose citizens are deemed "safe" to be let in from July 1, and the only Latin American country is Uruguay.

As infection rates in Brazil, Mexico and Colombia are still high, their nationals will face travel restrictions.

The current list is formed by Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay.

Politics • European • France
2020-06-29T21:30:01+00:00
French ex-Prime Minister François Fillon found guilty of embezzling public funds
Former French prime minister François Fillon
Former French prime minister François Fillon Credit: European People's Party (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The former French prime minister François Fillon and his wife, Penelope Fillon, were sentenced to jail for embezzling public funds. The conservative politician was found guilty of paying his wife and two of the couple’s children €1.156 million for work they never did as parliamentary aides.

He was sentenced to five years in prison, three of them suspended, and to pay a €375,000 fine. She was given a three-year suspended term.

Politics • American • US
2020-06-29T19:23:37+00:00
White House briefs Republicans on Russian bounties on US soldiers, Democrats left out

Seven House Republicans have been briefed by White House officials on the ongoing case of alleged Russian bounties for killing soldiers of the United States by Afghani militants. While House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer have both demanded to be brief on the matter as the investigations are still ongoing and it is yet unclear if Vice President Pence and President Trump have known of the Russian activities, the Democrats have been left out of the briefing by White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe, and national security adviser Robert O'Brien.

Politics • American • US
2020-06-29T20:58:06+00:00
Nancy Pelosi demands answers for "congress and the country" on Russian bounty operation
Nancy Pelosi at #ProtectOurCare, 2019
Nancy Pelosi at #ProtectOurCare, 2019 Credit: Senate Democrats / CC BY (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

On Monday, Nancy Pelosi has asked the Trump administration to brief all members of the House on recent reports that Russia offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants to kill U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Trump has denied he had any knowledge of the Russian bounty operation.

In her letter, Pelosi wrote that both "Congress and the country need answers now" and that "Congress needs to know what the intelligence community knows about this significant threat to American troops and our allies and what options are available to hold Russia accountable."

According to Kayleigh McEnany, White House press secretary, members of the congress will be briefed on Monda,y but it's uncertain whether the brief would be open to all members.

Business • Economy
2020-06-29T19:00:01+00:00
Cirque du Soleil files for bankruptcy
Cirque du Soleil files for bankruptcy
Credit: Elemaki / CC BY (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0)

Cirque du Soleil has filed for creditor protection under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act in Quebec, Canada on Monday. The Montreal-based company stated that the Covid-19 pandemic had caused "immense disruption and forced show closures," including six shows in Las Vegas and 10 shows on tour worldwide.

"For the past 36 years, Cirque du Soleil has been a highly successful and profitable organization. However, with zero revenues since the forced closure of all of our shows due to COVID-19, management had to act decisively to protect the company's future," so president and CEO Daniel Lamarre said in a statement.

Cirque du Soleil has received $300 million in funding from Quebec's major institutional investors and multinational private equity firms to "support a successful restart, provide relief for Cirque du Soleil's affected employees and partners, and assume certain of the company's outstanding liabilities."

The company also announced the termination of approximately 3,480 employees previously furloughed in March.

Politics • African
2020-06-29T18:00:01+00:00
Malawi: Lazarus Chakwera sworn in as new president
Malawi: Lazarus Chakwera sworn in as new president
Credit: Dr. Lazarus Chakwera on Twitter @LAZARUSCHAKWERA

Former opposition chief Lazarus Chakwera has won the presidential election in Malawi against incumbent Peter Mutharika. He won with 58,57% of the votes in Tuesday's election. Chakwera said his win was a "victory for democracy and justice".

"There's no cause for fear because I will be your president and my policy for inclusivity means we are building a new Malawi for all of us," Chakwera told BBC.