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China’s Xi Jinping exposed to covid

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China’s leader Xi Jinping has been exposed to a positive Covid-19 case, after posing for a photo with a Hong Kong lawmaker

Steven Ho tested positive just hours after standing behind Xi, during the leader’s visit to Hong Kong for the 25th anniversary of the handover from Britain.

Steven Ho

Until this time, the President had not left China in 900 days and had been following extremely strict Covid-19 preventative measures.

Ho is a prominent figure of the pro-Beijing party and was granted close contact with Xi for an exclusive photo.

Exclusive photo with Xi Jinping

However,  it might have come at a cost as the Chinese leader is now at risk of contracting the virus.

This comes as China continues on its covid-zero strategy, with the country still facing strict lockdown measures and mass testing.

Holly is an anchor and reporter at Ticker. She's experienced in live reporting, and has previously covered the Covid-19 pandemic on-location. She's passionate about telling stories in business, climate and health.

Business

Brad Pitt foundation to pay $20.5m

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Brad Pitt fronted a campaign following the natural disaster, promising to build a large number of environmentally-sustainable homes at the epicentre of the storm, and then sell them to the flood victims below cost.

The bold concept was met with fanfare from right around the world, with Pitt himself labelling the scheme as “a proof-of-concept for low-income green building”.

However, the properties began to deteriorate almost immediately after the owners moved in.

13-years later, the construction company has agreed to pay over $20 million in compensation to those affected.

Pitt has long denied any responsibility for the failures.

Photo Credit: Daily Mail

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World

Woman slapped with 34 years in jail for tweeting

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A Saudi Women’s rights campaigner, has been sentenced to 34 years in jail for tweeting

33 year old Salma al-Shehab has been charged with disrupting “public order” and undermining “the safety of the general public and stability of the state.”

According to some reports, she did not make her own tweet, but was following & retweeting accounts critical of Saudi Arabia.

She has been sentenced to 34 years in prison, followed by a 34 year travel ban.

The United States is now studying the case to determine its validity and fairness.

“Exercising freedom of expression to advocate for the rights of women should not be criminalised, it should never be criminalised.”

State Department spokesperson Ned Price told reporters

Al-Shehab was a student at Leeds University in the UK, when she was arrested in 2021.

She says she has been subject to solitary confinement and the investigation has kept her from contact with her two young children.

Her sister, an activist as well, says this is a “mockery of the Saudi authorities claims of reforms for women”, adding “they remain hellbent on harshly punishing anyone who expresses their opinions.”

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Climate Change

Chinese planes shoot rods into the sky

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In a fight against the effects of climate change, China has begun cloud seeding

China is seeding clouds in its famous Yangtze River, in an attempt to fight the drought.

Planes have been shooting silver iodide rods into the sky, to trigger more rainfall.

Because of crippling climate change, and record heatwaves, the river had completely dried up in parts.

The Ministry of Water resources says the dry spell in the river is “adversely affecting drinking water security of rural people,” livestock and crops.

Photo Credit: SMH

The pen-sized rods work by forming ice crystals in existing clouds to produce more rain.

Cloud seeding is a common practice in the country but some experts are concerned about its unnatural impact on the earths atmosphere.

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