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Double election defeat for UK Conservatives

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservatives have suffered defeat in two parliamentary by-elections

UK Conservatives have lost two crucial seats in England, which could spark concerns about Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s future.

The centrist Liberal Democrat party won the seats of Tiverton and Honiton.

The seats are in a Conservative part of south-west England, where a majority of 24,000 has been overturned.

The Liberal Democrats say it is their biggest ever majority turn around at a parliamentary by election.

“Tonight, the people of Tiverton and Honiton have spoken for Britain. They’ve sent a loud and clear message: It’s time for Boris Johnson to go, and go now.”

winning candidate Richard Foord

The losses have renewed calls for Prime Minister Boris Johnson to resign after a police investigation into gatherings at his Downing Street offices.

Johnson recently survived a vote of no-confidence, which secured his term as Prime Minister for another 12 months.

It also follows the Conservatives winning a landslide majority in three decades during the last national election.

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.

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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World

Trump’s former top advisor expected to plead guilty to tax fraud

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The former chief financial officer of the Trump Organisation is expected to plead guilty to tax fraud

Allen Weisselberg is a long-time ally of Trump and is in talks to plead to the indictment.

Originally facing up to 15 years in prison, this new deal will see the former CFO instead receive a five-year sentence and to serve just 100 days behind bars.

Weisselberg will not sign up as a cooperator to the 15-year tax fraud scheme, but will testify at trial.

The Trump Organisation has been charged with 10 counts and Weisselberg with 15.

It all relates back to an alleged scheme in 2005, wherby Trump executives were compensated ‘off the books.’

Prosecutors allege the former CFO failed to pay taxes on $1.7 million in income.

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