International


France finally outlaws sex with children under 15 after Duhamel-Kouchner incest scandal reignites age-of-consent debate

French lawmakers have adopted a law cracking down on sex with children and incest, following a social media firestorm touched off by allegations of incestuous abuse against a prominent intellectual earlier this year. The Assemblee Nationale voted unanimously on Thursday to set the age of consent at 15, classifying sex with children under that age – as well as incestuous sex with anyone under 18 – as rape, punishable by up to 20 years in prison. “This is a historic law for our children and our society,” Justice Minister Eric Dupond-Moretti told lawmakers, adding that it sends a clear message that “children are off-limits.” The law also includes tougher penalties on internet pedophilia, with anyone caught grooming children under 15 online f...

Saudi Crown Prince ‘pressed Boris Johnson to act’ over collapsed £300mn deal for Premier League Newcastle

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman called on UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to step in after a £300 million Saudi-backed takeover of Premier League club Newcastle United collapsed, according to reports. A planned takeover of Newcastle involving the gargantuan Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) floundered last summer amid concerns from the Premier League about who would ultimately own the northeast club. The Daily Mail has reported that Saudi royal Bin Salman personally lobbied Johnson to intervene, supposedly sending him a message reading: “We expect the English Premier League to reconsider and correct its wrong conclusion.” According to the paper, the suggestion was that Saudi-UK ties could suffer as a result of the failed deal. In...

Will Britain Get a New Royal Yacht Named After Prince Philip?

After Prince Philip’s death last week, several British MPs and cabinet ministers are calling for a new royal yacht. The former Royal Yacht Britannia, which transported Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth on 968 state visits around the world for more than four decades, was retired in 1997. Sitting at a dock in Edinburgh, it’s one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions, with more than 300,000 visitors each year. The call for a new royal yacht—which would be the 83rd royal vessel since the first was built for King Charles in 1660—started shortly after Royal Yacht Britannia was retired, with proponents arguing it would serve as more of a floating embassy than a luxury gigayacht. Since his death last week, the idea has gained momentum. Ac...

‘Answer to your evilness’: President promises to ‘cut both hands’ of Iran’s enemies with 60% uranium enrichment plan

Iran’s decision to begin 60% uranium enrichment is the answer to the “evilness” of those behind the recent incident at the enrichment facility in Natanz, President Rouhani said, blasting the attack as act of “nuclear terrorism.” President Hassan Rouhani explained the reasons behind the decision to ramp up uranium enrichment as he spoke during a cabinet session on Wednesday. The president linked the weekend incident at Natanz to the ongoing talks in Vienna over the comatose 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). “You wanted to make our hands empty during the talks but our hands are full,” Rouhani stated. Iran’s nuclear enrichment facility in Natanz was targeted by a suspected act of sabotage on Sunday,...

New day, new all-time high: Bitcoin beats its own records again, rising above $64,000

The world’s largest cryptocurrency has continued to rally, passing the $64,000 level for the first time in history ahead of the highly anticipated stock market debut of popular trading platform Coinbase. The price of bitcoin rose more than 6% on Wednesday to reach $64,829, a new record high. The new milestone comes less than 24 hours after it broke past $63,000. The cryptocurrency has more than doubled its value since the beginning of the year, and has already hit $1.2 trillion market capitalization. Most of the top 10 cryptocurrencies followed bitcoin’s rally. Ethereum also hit an all-time high for the second time in two days, reaching $2,388 on Wednesday. The records were set ahead of the initial public offering (IPO) of one of the large...

Nearly half of Czech population ready to take Russia's Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine even without EU watchdog approval, poll reveals

Nearly 47% of Czechs say that they are willing to be vaccinated with the Russian-made Sputnik V coronavirus jab, provided it receives an emergency exemption from health authorities in Prague, a new poll has revealed. The poll, by the STEM/MARK research agency, was conducted in early April and reported by the Czech media over the weekend. The majority of those considering the Russian vaccine are men and the elderly from 60 to 75 years of age – those who are most at risk from complications associated with the virus. The vaccine is also popular with individuals without higher education and those living in small municipalities, according to the survey. Some 53.4% have rejected the Sputnik V option, citing “general distrust” in the efficacy of ...

Data of 1.3 million Clubhouse users leaked online, with fears ‘real damage’ will be caused – media

A major data breach from a recently popular social media platform, Clubhouse, has been reported. The latest suggested leak may have compromised the personal information of 1.3 million users. The apparent disclosure was reported by Cyber News this weekend. A Structured Query Language database containing user records such as names in connection with profile names, photo URLs, and numbers of followers, as well as related usernames on other social media accounts, including Instagram and Twitter, was “leaked for free on a popular hacker forum,” it said. Clubhouse – a social media app to tune into conversations – has not confirmed the leak so far. Suggesting that this range of personal information has been shared among hackers, the report said t...

Queen Elizabeth II's husband Prince Philip dead age 99

Britain's Prince Philip, a constant presence at Queen Elizabeth II's side for decades, died Friday at age 99, Buckingham Palace announced. The death of the Duke of Edinburgh is a profound loss for the 94-year-old monarch, who once described him as her "strength and stay all these years". The outspoken former navy commander devoted much of his life as the queen's consort to charity work -- but was notorious for numerous gaffes, many deemed downright offensive. He was admitted to hospital on February 16, 2021, and went home after a month during which he was treated for a pre-existing heart condition and an infection. Announcing his passing, BBC television played the national anthem over a picture of Philip in his prime, dressed ...

Nokia X20, Nokia X10, Nokia G20, Nokia G10, Nokia C20, Nokia C10 smartphones launched

HMD Global, the maker of Nokia phones and accessories, has launched six new smartphones -- Nokia X20, Nokia X10, Nokia G20, Nokia G10, Nokia C20 and Nokia C10 -- in three distinct series with innovative features. At top of the new portfolio are the Nokia X20 and Nokia X10, powered by the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 480 5G Mobile Platform, Android 11 straight out of the box, ZEISS Optics and innovative AI solutions. With a wide 6.67-inch Full HD+ punch-hole display, Nokia X20 and Nokia X10 also come with a 100 per cent compostable case in the sales box, the company said in a statement late on Thursday. "We want you to trust that we put security at the heart of everything we do – Nokia smartphones come with security and software update...

Mark Zuckerberg uses Signal instead of WhatsApp, gets heavily trolled on Twitter

Leaked data of 533 million Facebook users have been recently reported which also includes the leaked data of the company's CEO Mark Zukerberg. According to media reports, the leaked data includes Zukerberg's phone number, Facebook user ID, personal details like location, marriage details and birth date. However, what has got people scrathing their head is that the social media CEO does not use WhatsApp (owned by Facebook), and rather uses Signal, one of the company’s biggest rivals. "In another turn of events, Mark Zuckerberg also respects his own privacy, by using a chat app that has end-to-end encryption and isn't owned by @facebook," Dave Walker, a security expert wrote on Twitter. "This is the number associated with his...

'Mrs Sri Lanka' regains title after on-stage fracas

A Sri Lankan beauty pageant winner who had her crown yanked off by last year's champion in an ugly on-stage fracas has been re-declared the victor and says she will sue. Pushpika de Silva, who needed hospital treatment after the incident at Sunday's gala, was named "Mrs Sri Lanka" again at a smaller ceremony on Tuesday. "I forgive everyone involved in this incident," an emotional de Silva told reporters on Tuesday. "If anyone thinks they can obstruct me by doing this type of thing, they will not succeed. I am an iron woman." She said, however, that she planned to launch legal action against her alleged attacker, reigning champion Caroline Jurie. Jurie had forcibly removed de Silva's crown on stage in the c...

Russian PM Vladimir Putin signs law enabling him to serve two more terms

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a law letting him run for the president of Russia again. The law was published on the official Internet portal of legal information on Monday (April 5). According to Tass News Agency, a number of provisions of the law were developed on the basis of amendments to the Constitution. One of the newly introduced amendments is the restriction on the number of presidential terms for one person. It is applied to the incumbent president regardless of the previous presidential terms and allows the current head of state to contest the presidency twice. Also, the law says that eligible to the office of the Russian president is any citizen of Russia no younger than 35 years of age who have been resident in ...