'Armenian Kashatagh' exhibition kicks off at Tumanyan Museum

Author Lilian Galstyan

17:18 18/05/2021

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18:00 World
HK's Apple Daily to shut within days, says Jimmy Lai adviser

Hong Kong pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily will be forced to shut "in a matter of days" after authorities froze the company's assets under a national security law, an adviser to jailed owner Jimmy Lai told Reuters on Monday. The closure of Apple Daily would undermine the former British colony's reputation as an open and free society and send a warning to other companies that could be accused of colluding with a foreign country, media advocacy groups said.

Source: reuters.com

17:00 World
'I play all the instruments in my Irish music band'

Caitríona Lagan is an All-Ireland champion musician from Castledawson, County Londonderry. The 15-year-old plays five instruments - banjo, mandolin, fiddle, guitar and mandola. During lockdown she began posting videos on social media showcasing her wide-ranging musical talent.

Source: bbc.com

16:00 World
Dubai’s Latifa seems to have degree of freedom: lawyer

Sheikha Latifa, one of the daughters of the ruler of Dubai, appears to be enjoying an increasing degree of freedom and is travelling, a lawyer for the group which campaigned for her freedom told Reuters on Monday. A new image of Latifa, a daughter of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, was posted on Instagram appearing to show her abroad following earlier pictures of public outings in the emirate where Latifa had said she was being held captive.

Source: reuters.com

15:19 World
France lose injured Dembele for the rest of Euro 2020

France have lost Ousmane Dembele for the rest of Euro 2020 after X-rays showed the Barcelona winger's knee injury would not heal in time, the French Football Federation said on Monday. Dembele, 24, was hurt in the closing minutes of the 1-1 draw against Hungary in Budapest on Saturday. X-rays on Sunday evening showed he would not be back before the end of the Euros.

Source: france24.com

14:53 World
The elephant in the room! Hungry beast smashes through a kitchen wall to steal rice from a home in Thailand

The elephant sniffed out the food and smashed through the home in Thailand. Rachadawan Phungprasopporn and her husband were woken up by the noise. They were shocked to see the elephant with its huge ivory tusks rummaging through the cupboard with its long trunk. The bull named Plai Bunchuay is known for causing mischief in the region.


14:08 World
Russia’s ambassador, recalled over spat, returns to US

Russia’s ambassador has returned to the United States three months after being recalled as tensions rose between Moscow and Washington, according to a tweet from the Russian Embassy on Sunday.

Source: apnews.com

13:31 World
Swedish PM Lofven ousted in parliament no-confidence vote

Sweden's parliament ousted Prime Minister Stefan Lofven in a no-confidence vote on Monday, giving the Social Democrat leader a week to resign and hand the speaker the job of finding a new government, or call a snap election. The nationalist Sweden Democrats had seized the chance to call the vote after the formerly communist Left Party withdrew support for the centre-left government over a plan to ease rent controls for new-build apartments.

Source: reuters.com

13:00 World
Usain Bolt welcomes newborn twin sons Thunder and Saint Leo

Sprinter Usain Bolt has had twin boys, named Thunder Bolt and Saint Leo Bolt. Bolt, 34, announced the news on Instagram on Father's Day, with a lightning bolt emoji next to each of his children's names. The Olympic champion posted a photo of him and partner Kasi Bennett, with their twin boys and one-year-old daughter Olympia Lightning. The couple did not say when exactly the twins were born.

Source: bbc.com

12:16 World
Staff at Canon's Beijing offices can only enter if they are smiling after AI cameras were installed to ensure workers were 'positive'

Employees must also smile if they want to book conference rooms for meetings. The 'smile recognition' technology was installed by Canon Information Technology, the Chinese subsidiary of Canon, in their Beijing office. The aim is to ensure the staff will create a positive environment in the office.

Source: dailymail.co.uk

11:54 World
Barnaby Joyce to return as Australia deputy PM after party revolt

Barnaby Joyce will return as Australia's deputy prime minister after a sudden leadership contest in the National party, the government's junior coalition partner. Mr Joyce defeated Michael McCormack in a party vote on Monday. It follows growing concern from some National MPs over their party's influence in climate policy. The party, which represents farmers and rural voters, has 21 members in the governing centre-right coalition.

Source: bbc.com

11:12 World
High stress may make ‘broken heart syndrome’ more likely, study finds

Two molecules associated with high stress levels have been implicated in the development of broken heart syndrome, a condition that mainly affects post-menopausal women and is usually brought on by severe stress, such as the loss of a loved one. The syndrome, formally known as takotsubo cardiomyopathy, is characterised by weakening of the heart’s main pumping chamber and was first identified in 1990 in Japan. It looks and sounds like a heart attack and is consequently often confused for one. The syndrome also carries a risk of complications similar to that of an actual heart attack.

Source: theguardian.com

10:31 World
Ethiopia votes in greatest electoral test yet for Abiy

Ethiopia was voting Monday in the greatest electoral test yet for Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed as war and logistical issues meant ballots wouldn’t be cast in more than 100 constituencies of the 547 across the country. The election, delayed from last year, is the centerpiece of a reform drive by Abiy, whose rise to power in 2018 seemed to signal a break with decades of authoritarian rule and led to his Nobel Peace Prize the following year. He has described the poll as “the nation’s first attempt at free and fair elections.” Military vehicles were parked in key locations in the capital. More than 37 million Ethiopians were expected to vote.

Source: apnews.com

10:01 World
New U.S. envoy for North Korea looks forward to 'positive response' on dialogue

The United States' new top envoy for North Korea said on Monday in Seoul that he looks forward to a "positive response soon" on dialogue from North Korea. U.S. special representative for North Korea Sung Kim is in South Korea for a five-day visit, amid an impasse in denuclearisation talks with Pyongyang, with no word of any planned efforts to contact the North. Kim arrived on Saturday, a day after North Korean state media reported that leader Kim Jong urged preparation for both dialogue and confrontation with the United States, particularly the latter.

Source: reuters.com

15:52 World
Valuable 350-year-old oil paintings found in skip

German police have issued an appeal for information after two valuable 17th Century paintings were discovered dumped in a road-side skip. The oil paintings are believed to be by Dutch artist Samuel van Hoogstraten and Italian Pietro Bellotti, police said. A man found the paintings at a motorway service station on the A7 south of Würzburg in Bavaria last month. He handed them in to police in the city of Cologne. No one has yet claimed the artworks.

Source: bbc.com

14:41 World
Turtle thrill-seeker! Sybil the tortoise can't get enough of riding down a slide on her belly

A thrill-seeking tortoise has won an army of fans who cannot get enough of watching her scoot down her slide very slowly. A video of leopard tortoise Sybil was taken by staff at her home at Fishers Farm Park in Wisborough Green, West Sussex. In the clip she is shown climbing a little ramp and walking over to the slide before pushing in front of pen-mate Eric and going down the slide.

Source: dailymail.co.uk

14:00 World
Huge methane leak spotted by Satellite came from Gazprom Pipeline

A massive methane plume detected earlier this month over Russia stemmed from emergency repairs that forced the partial shutdown of a Gazprom PJSC pipeline, the company said, taking responsibility for one of the energy sector’s most intense recent leaks of the superpotent greenhouse gas. The Russian gas giant said its pipeline repairs on June 4 released 2.7 million cubic meters (1,830 metric tons) of methane. 

Source: bloomberg.com

13:11 World
'It's scared not laughing': Lobsterman shares video of him 'tickling' a 'smiling' fish but animal lovers react with outrage

Jeffrey Dader caught the skate in a lobster pot in Cape Cod Bay, Massachusetts. He later posted a video of himself placing it on the side of his boat and saying 'how do you tickle a fish' before reaching over and touching it in thick gloves. But where he claimed it looked as though it was giggling as its mouth curled up, others claimed it was gasping for air.

Source: dailymail.co.uk

12:36 World
Australia takes wine dispute with China to WTO

Australia will file a formal complaint with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) after China imposed up to 218% tariffs on its wine last year. China says the tariffs were increased because of trading malpractice, which Australia denies. Australia says it remains open to engaging directly with China to resolve the issue. China is the top market for Australian wine exports and wineries say they have been badly hit by the hikes. The decision to take the dispute to the WTO was made after extensive consultation with winemakers, the Australian government said in a statement.

Source: bbc.com

11:56 World
UN elects Guterres for second five-year term as secretary-general

The U.N. General Assembly unanimously elected Antonio Guterres to a second term as secretary-general on Friday, giving him another five years at the helm of the 193-member organization at a time a deeply divided world faces numerous conflicts, the growing impact of climate change, and a pandemic still circling the globe.

Source: france24.com

11:19 World
Shanghai gallery removes exhibit ranking women 'prettiest to ugliest'

An art gallery in the Chinese city of Shanghai has apologised for promoting an exhibit that ranked images of women from "prettiest to ugliest". The video artwork "Uglier and Uglier", by male artist Song Ta, featured about 5,000 images and videos of women in real life on a university campus. The artist then ranked them according to how attractive he found them. After an outcry on social media, the OCAT Shanghai gallery said it had removed the exhibit.

Source: bbc.com

10:56 World
Brazil still debating dubious virus drug amid 500,000 deaths

As Brazil hurtles toward an official COVID-19 death toll of 500,000 — second-highest in the world — science is on trial inside the country and the truth is up for grabs. With the milestone likely to be reached this weekend, Brazil’s Senate is publicly investigating how the toll got so high, focusing on why President Jair Bolsonaro’s far-right government ignored opportunities to buy vaccines for months while it relentlessly pushed hydroxychloroquine, the malaria drug that rigorous studies have shown to be ineffective in treating COVID-19.

Source: apnews.com

10:02 World
Australian police arrest man over alleged Islamic State membership

A Sydney man who posted extremist rhetoric and possessed recipes for explosives has been arrested for allegedly being a member of the Islamic State group, Australian police said on Saturday. "The man has been charged with membership of a terrorist organisation, namely Islamic State," after a seven-month investigation, the Australian Federal Police and the New South Wales police said in a joint statement. They did not name the 24-year-old, who was arrested on Friday, a typical practice in Australia unless the police deem the identification of the suspect in the interest of the victim's family or the public.

Source: reuters.com

17:00 World
BA plane damaged after tipping forward at Heathrow

A British Airways plane was damaged when it tipped on to its nose at Heathrow Airport. It happened while the Boeing 787 Dreamliner was parked on tarmac at the west London airport earlier. The airline said it was a freight aircraft and there were no passengers on board. Images on social media showed more than a dozen emergency service vehicles in attendance.

Source: bbc.com

16:18 World
Warner Music buys French DJ David Guetta's music catalogue

Warner Music Group (WMG.O) said on Thursday it would buy celebrated French DJ David Guetta's recorded-music catalogue from the last two decades, and sign a new deal with him for future recordings. The move will add Guetta's body of work to the world's third-largest recording label that is home to artists including Cardi B, Ed Sheeran and Bruno Mars. Known for his collaborations with artists such as Akon, Snoop Dogg and Kid Cudi, Guetta has 50 million record sales and more than 14 billion streams to his name to date.

Source: reuters.com

15:31 World
Kim Jong-un prepares for 'dialogue and confrontation' with the US

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has said his country needs to prepare for both "dialogue and confrontation" with the US, and "especially to get fully prepared for confrontation". This marks the first time Mr Kim has directly commented on President Joe Biden's administration.

Source: bbc.com

14:56 World
Policeman killed, more than 80 students abducted in attack on Nigerian school

Gunmen killed a police officer and kidnapped at least 80 students and five teachers from a school in the Nigerian state of Kebbi, police, residents and a teacher said. The attack is the third mass kidnapping in three weeks in northwest Nigeria, which have authorities have attributed to armed bandits seeking ransom payments.

Source: reuters.com

14:13 World
Angelina Jolie says 3 of her kids wanted to testify against Brad Pitt in custody case

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have been locked in a battle over custody of their children since their divorce was finalized in 2019, and a newly uncovered document shows the fight could have been even more complicated. Lawyers for the Maleficent star, 46, filed a document in December 2020 claiming that three of her six children with Pitt, 57, wanted to testify against him during the proceedings. The former couple share Maddox, 19, Pax, 17, Zahara, 16, Shiloh, 15, and twins Knox and Vivienne, 12.

Source: usmagazine.com

13:45 World
Meghan Markle celebrates 'The Bench' becoming a bestseller, talks how it shows 'another side of masculinity'

The 39-year-old Duchess of Sussex recently published a children's book called "The Bench," which depicts the special relationship between father and son, including that between her husband Prince Harry and their son, Archie. 'The Bench' topped the New York Times' bestsellers list for children's picture books.

Source: foxnews.com

13:13 World
Hong Kong newspaper increases print fivefold after arrests

Hong Kong pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily increased its print run more than fivefold to 500,000 copies as residents lined up Friday to buy the paper in a show of support for beleaguered press freedoms, a day after police arrested five top editors and executives.

Source: apnews.com

12:33 World
US makes Juneteenth, marking end of slavery, a federal holiday

U.S. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris signed a bill into law on Thursday to make June 19 a federal holiday commemorating the emancipation of enslaved Black Americans, as the White House pushes to address the country's historical injustices.

Source: france24.com

11:52 World
Ashley Young returns to Aston Villa on free transfer from Internazionale

Ashley Young has rejoined Aston Villa on a free from Internazionale. The versatile 35-year-old, who scored 38 goals in 190 appearances for Villa between 2007 and 2011, has signed a one-year contract.

Source: theguardian.com

11:14 Region
Iran urges voters to take part in Friday's presidential election

Iran's president appealed to voters to set aside their grievances and take part in a presidential election on Friday that record numbers of people are expected to boycott due to economic hardship and frustration with hardline rule. Hardline judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi and moderate former Central Bank governor Abdolnaser Hemmati are the main contenders after the hardline Guardian Council disqualified several prominent candidates from running and others quit.

Source: france24.com

10:57 World
Tennis champ Naomi Osaka withdraws from Wimbledon

The Grand Slam winner's representatives said she was skipping Wimbledon for "some personal time with friends and family" ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.

Source: nbcnews.com

10:00 World
Kenneth Kaunda, Zambia’s founding president, dies aged 97

Kenneth Kaunda, Zambia’s founding president and one of Africa’s last surviving liberation leaders, has died at a military hospital in Lusaka, where he was being treated for pneumonia. He was 97. Kaunda ruled the southern African nation from 1964, when it won independence from Britain, until 1991, and is respected across the continent as one of the generation who fought to free their nations from colonial rule. He was admitted to Maina Soko hospital on Monday with pneumonia.

Source: theguardian.com

17:46 World
Swiss baker invents ‘Peace Cake’ for Biden-Putin summit

A Swiss baker has invented a so-called “Peace Cake” to mark the Biden-Putin presidential summit, inspired by U.S. and Russian culinary traditions. Scrawled on top in navy blue frosting are the words "Peace of Cake" next to flags and symbols from the two countries: a doll and samovar for Russia and a Coca-Cola and marshmallows for the United States. Inside, the cake is half honey-flavoured, according to the Russian tradition, and half red-velvet, which is popular in the United States.

Source: reuters.com

16:53 World
Scientists name frog found in Ecuadorian Andes after Led Zeppelin

Researchers in the misty mountains of the Ecuadorian Andes have discovered a new species of terrestrial frog and named it after the pioneering British rock band Led Zeppelin. Pristimantis ledzeppelin, known in English as Led Zeppelin’s Rain Frog, was found by the scientists David Brito-Zapata and Carolina Reyes-Puig in the Cordillera del Cóndor, which straddles south-east Ecuador and north-east Peru. The small frog, which has coppery-red eyes and a mottled, yellow, brown, black and orange skin, is a member of the huge and rapidly expanding Pristimantis genus.

Source: theguardian.com

16:18 World
Rafael Nadal pulls out of Wimbledon and Tokyo Olympics

Rafael Nadal will not play at Wimbledon or at the Tokyo Olympics, saying Thursday he has decided to skip the two tournaments after “listening” to his body.

Source: apnews.com

15:37 World
Ganges river: India boatman praised for saving baby girl floating in a box

A boatman in India's northern Uttar Pradesh state is being praised after he rescued a baby girl found floating in a wooden box in the Ganges river. Gullu Chaudhary said he was alerted by the cries of the 21-day-old and found her wrapped in a red scarf in the box decorated with images of Hindu deities. The baby has been taken to hospital and her health is being monitored. She will be sent to a shelter home later. Officials are investigating how the baby ended up in the river.

Source: bbc.com

15:00 World
Congress passes legislation to make Juneteenth a federal holiday

For the first time in nearly 40 years, Congress has moved to establish a new national holiday, this time for Juneteenth, and just in time for Saturday's 156th anniversary of the day which marks the last African American slaves being freed in Texas in the wake of the Civil War. The House voted Wednesday night to pass the legislation. It heads next to President Joe Biden's desk for a signature. When Biden signs it, as he's expected to at 3:30 p.m. ET Thursday, according to the White House, Juneteenth will officially become a federal holiday -- the first since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was signed into law in 1983.

Source: abcnews.go.com

14:24 Region
Erdogan says he told Biden Turkey is not shifting on S-400s

Tayyip Erdogan said he told U.S. President Joe Biden at their first meeting that Turkey would not change its stance on its Russian S-400 missile defences over which Washington sanctioned Ankara, state media reported on Thursday. Biden and Erdogan sounded upbeat after their face-to-face talks on Monday, although the NATO allies did not announce any major breakthroughs in disputes including the S-400s, Syria and other issues.

Source: reuters.com

13:59 World
Bodies of 20 suspected illegal miners found near abandoned South Africa goldmine

Police in South Africa have discovered the bodies of 20 suspected illegal miners near an abandoned goldmine shaft south-west of Johannesburg. Police said in a statement they were investigating the cause of the deaths, adding that the men’s bodies “were found wrapped in white plastic bags” and bore “severe body burns”. “All the deceased are suspected to be illegal miners commonly known as ‘zama zamas’ operating in obsolete shafts in Orkney and Stilfontein,” just under 200km south-west of Johannesburg, police said in the statement.

Source: theguardian.com

13:36 World
Microsoft names CEO Satya Nadella as chairman

Satya Nadella is now even more powerful at Microsoft. The tech giant's CEO was named chairman of the board Wednesday, elevating his current role atop one of the world's most valuable companies. Nadella, who has served as chief executive since 2014, has helped transform the PC maker into a leader in cloud computing in recent years, resulting in blockbuster earnings and a market cap of close to $2 trillion.

Source: cnn.com

13:00 World
Eriksen to be fitted with implanted heart monitoring device

Christian Eriksen will be fitted with an implantable device to monitor his heart rhythm, the Danish soccer federation said Thursday. Eriksen is recovering in a Copenhagen hospital after suffering cardiac arrest during Denmark’s game against Finland at the European Championship. The Danish federation said doctors have determined that Eriksen needs to have an ICD — implantable cardioverter-defibrillator.

Source: apnews.com

12:21 World
S.Korea provides $900,000 for U.N. Myanmar aid

South Korea has provided $900,000 to a U.N.-led humanitarian aid initiative for Myanmar, U.N. data showed on Thursday. A spokesman for the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said earlier data on its financial tracking service showing a contribution of $300,000 by North Korea was wrong and it has since been corrected. The contribution on May 24 to the Myanmar Humanitarian Fund came from South Korea in addition to a separate contribution of $600,000, Asia Pacific head of communications for the Office Pierre Peron said.

Source: reuters.com

11:55 World
Diana Ross announces first new album in 15 years

Diana Ross is to return to music with her first album of original material in 22 years, and her first album of any kind since 2006. Written during lockdown, Thank You was made with a variety of contemporary pop producers including Jack Antonoff, who is known for his work with Taylor Swift, Lana Del Rey and Lorde.

Source: theguardian.com

11:10 World
Berlin squat riot leaves dozens of police wounded

Sixty German police officers have been injured in riots over a building being occupied by squatters in Berlin. A court has granted officials permission to carry out a fire inspection, but when police attempted to secure the area on Wednesday morning, they were hit by stones. Occupants of 94 Rigaer Straße fear the move could lead to their eviction from one of the city's last remaining squats. Previous attempts to clear the building have failed following violent protests.

Source: bbc.com

10:34 World
N.Korea gives $300,000 for Myanmar in first financial aid since 2005

North Korea has provided $300,000 to a U.N.-led humanitarian aid initiative for Myanmar, marking its first donation to other countries since 2005, U.N. data showed on Thursday. The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)' financial tracking service showed that North Korea paid the contribution on May 24 to the Myanmar Humanitarian Fund.

Source: reuters.com

10:00 World
Botswana diamond could be world's third largest

A diamond believed to be the third largest ever found has been put on display in Botswana. The stone - weighing 1,098 carats - was shown to President Mokgweetsi Masisi, two weeks after the diamond firm, Debswana, unearthed it. The huge gem is only slightly less heavy than the world's second-largest diamond which was also found in Botswana in 2015. Botswana is Africa's largest producer of diamonds.

Source: bbc.com

18:00 World
Barbara Windsor's Carry on Camping bikini sells for £9,500

The bikini worn by Dame Barbara Windsor in the 1969 film Carry On Camping has sold at auction for £9,500. The late actress wore the swimwear in a famous scene where her bikini top flew off in the middle of an exercise class. The proceeds from sale of the item, which had been rescued from a bin decades ago, will be donated by the vendor to the Alzheimer's Society. The actress, who also starred in EastEnders, died in December from Alzheimer's at the age of 83.

Source: bbc.com

17:33 World
Woman overjoyed at birth of great, great, great grandchild in Edinburgh

A Scottish pensioner has become a great, great, great grandmother with six generations alive at the same time. Mary Marshall, 86, has a total of 90 grandchildren, great grand children, great great grandchildren and great great great grand children. The mother-of-eight, from Edinburgh, has one of the only families in the UK to span six generations. It stretches from oldest member Mary to the youngest, Nyla Ferguson, who is just three weeks old. 

Source: bbc.com

17:12 World
Climate activists take Norway to human rights court over Arctic oil plans

Six climate activists and two environmental NGOs have taken Norway to the European court of human rights (ECHR), arguing the Nordic country’s plans to drill for oil in the Arctic are harming young people’s futures. The activists, Greenpeace and Young Friends of the Earth want the court to rule that Oslo’s 2016 decision to grant 10 Barents Sea oil exploration licences violated article 112 of Norway’s constitution, which guarantees the right to a healthy environment.

Source: theguardian.com

16:34 World
Billionaire Mackenzie Scott gives away £2bn more

Billionaire MacKenzie Scott, ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, has donated another $2.7bn to a range of charities. Ms Scott said in a blog post that she wanted to give the money to those "that have been historically underfunded and overlooked". She wrote that she had chosen 286 organisations working on racial inequality, the arts and education. Ms Scott is one of the world's richest women.

Source: bbc.com

15:31 World
Palestinian woman shot after attacking Israeli troops

Israeli troops shot a Palestinian motorist on Wednesday who tried to ram them in the occupied West Bank and then brandished a knife, the Israeli military said. The Palestinian health ministry said the woman had died of her injuries. There was no word of Israeli casualties.

Source: reuters.com

14:49 World
Jennifer Lopez to star in Netflix’s sci-fi thriller ‘Atlas’ with Brad Peyton directing

After signing her recent first-look deal with Netflix, Jennifer Lopez is already busy building up that development slate as sources tell Deadline she is set to star and produce in the Netflix sci-fi thriller Atlas with Rampage helmer Brad Peyton directing. Aron Eli Coleite is writing the most recent draft of the script based off Leo Sardarian original script.

Source: deadline.com

14:01 World
Cristiano Ronaldo makes history at Euro 2020 as Portugal beats Hungary

Cristiano Ronaldo became the greatest goalscorer in the history of the European Championship finals after netting a brace in Portugal's 3-0 win against Hungary on Tuesday. The 36-year-old had been level with Michel Platini on nine goals ahead of Euro 2020 but overtook the France great after scoring a penalty in the 87th minute. He then added another goal in stoppage time as he bagged his 106th international goal. The Portuguese superstar, who had been quiet for much of the game, also became the first man to play in five European Championship finals, having made his debut back in 2004.

Source: edition.cnn.com

13:18 World
Giant Buddhist goddess in Japan gets face mask to pray for end of COVID-19

Workers scaled a giant statue of a Buddhist goddess in Japan on Tuesday to place a custom-made mask on her face, an act meant to be a prayer for the end of the coronavirus pandemic. It took four workers three hours to carry the massive mask on ropes up the 57 m-high (187 ft) white statue of the Buddhist goddess Kannon - the Goddess of Mercy - at the Houkokuji Aizu Betsuin temple in Fukushima Prefecture. The statue, built 33 years ago, is hollow with a spiral staircase that can be climbed to the height of the goddess' shoulder. People visit the statue, which is holding a baby, to pray for the safe delivery of babies and to ask for blessings for their newborns.

Source: reuters.com

12:56 World
Russell Crowe plans coastal Australian film studio

Hollywood actor Russell Crowe announced plans on Wednesday to build a film studio on Australia's east coast, amid a rush of movie productions Down Under. The Oscar-winner said the studio would be constructed in Coffs Harbour, south of Brisbane, at a sprawling pre-existing resort complex.

Source: france24.com

12:14 World
China to launch first crew to new space station on Thursday

Astronauts blasting off on Thursday for China's first crewed mission to its new space station will have a choice of 120 different types of food and "space treadmills" for exercise, China's space agency said. The mission will be China's longest crewed space mission to date and the first in nearly five years, as Beijing pushes forward with its ambitious programme to establish itself as a space power.

Source: france24.com

11:45 World
Peru: Leftist Castillo wins popular vote in presidential race

Leftist candidate Pedro Castillo has won the most votes in Peru's close-run presidential run-off election. With all ballots now counted, Mr Castillo has just over 50% of the votes - 44,000 more than right-wing contender Keiko Fujimori. But Mr Castillo cannot be declared the winner until electoral authorities have finished processing a slew of legal challenges brought by Ms Fujimori. She has claimed electoral fraud, but has not provided any detailed evidence.

Source: bbc.com

11:13 World
Euro 2020 - France 1-0 Germany: Several in hospital after parachute protest

Several people have been taken to hospital to receive treatment for injuries caused by a protestor who parachuted into the Allianz Arena during France's win over Germany. European football's governing body Uefa said "law authorities will take the necessary action" for what it called a "reckless and dangerous" act. Debris fell on to the pitch and stands when the parachutist got tangled in wires carrying an overhead camera. The man landed heavily on the pitch. He had the words "Kick out oil Greenpeace" written on his parachute and was given medical attention before being escorted away by security.

Source: bbc.com

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