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Condoms will be free for 18–25 year olds in France



The French Government is making condoms free for young people as part of a new health measure

Young people in France will have access to free condoms under a new health measure to slow the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

French President Emmanuel Macron described the decision as a “small revolution in prevention”.

People aged between 18 and 25 will be able to collect the contraceptive from local pharmacies.

Mr Macron said there are vast challenges when it comes to sexual education in France.

“We are not very good on this subject. The reality is very, very different from the theory.”

France reported a 30 per cent jump in STIs in 2020 and 2021.

The President announced a raft of measures to limit the spread of STIs, and increase access to contraception.

“Faced with the new spread of the epidemic, I think it’s good to set an example because we don’t necessarily want to return to overall mandates,” he said.

Paris has previously made contraception free for women under the age of 26.

Young women have access to free doctor or midwife consultations, examinations or medical procedures related to contraception.

In addition, there are different types of prescription contraception available to women in pharmacies without any costs.

President Macron also announced free STI screenings without a prescription, except for HIV, to those under the age of 26.

Costa is a news producer at ticker NEWS. He has previously worked as a regional journalist at the Southern Highlands Express newspaper. He also has several years' experience in the fire and emergency services sector, where he has worked with researchers, policymakers and local communities. He has also worked at the Seven Network during their Olympic Games coverage and in the ABC Melbourne newsroom. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts (Professional), with expertise in journalism, politics and international relations. His other interests include colonial legacies in the Pacific, counter-terrorism, aviation and travel.

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TikTok could be banned in the United States



TikTok in the firing line after Chinese balloon was shot down

China has hit back at the U.S. after officials shot down a suspected Chinese spy balloon off the coast of South Carolina.

Washington says it was being used to monitor strategic sites.

But Beijing rejects this – claiming the balloon was a civilian airship used to monitor the weather.

The incident is just the latest in a long line of diplomatic disputes between the two countries.

Now, TikTok could be banned in the U.S. in the wake of the incident.

Republicans are now pushing for Washington to distance itself from the Beijing-based app. #trending #featured

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Companies to pay extra for verified Twitter accounts



Elon Musk has announced that companies and brands will have to pay $1,000 per month – plus an additional $50 per sub-account – to get verified check-marks on Twitter

The new pricing falls under the new Twitter Blue for Business service.

Within the next few months, only paying Twitter customers will have verified status.

Twitter has stacked on $12.5 billion in debt, and this move hopes to increase subscription revenue to meet Musk’s obligations.

Advertisers halted spending on Twitter after the takeover, but Twitter has since announced partnerships with two brand-safety vendors to win back marketers.

Musk also announced that Twitter would start sharing ad revenue with creators for “ads that appear in their reply threads”, but didn’t provide further detail.

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BMW to invest €800 million in Mexico



BMW is set to invest €800 million in Mexico, to produce its next generation of high-voltage and fully electric batteries

The carmaker is looking to convert more than half of its sales into all-electric cars by 2030.

Construction will begin next year with production beginning in 2027.

The announcement follows several other major expansions from the automaker in recent months, including a $1.7 billion investment in the United States.

The move will add around 1,000 new jobs to its Mexico operations.

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