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Germany election: Coalition talks commence following close election

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Following Germany’s Social Democratic Party claiming victory in the nation’s federal election, the process of forming a coalition government is well and truly underway

Germany’s election was no doubt a close call. SPD leader Olaf Scholz is keen to work alongside the Greens and Liberals, but he is in a battle against conservative CDU party leader Armin Laschet

The talks are expected to continue for months, with current Chancellor Angela Merkel remaining in power until a decision is made.

The German election was a tight race, with not one party receiving enough votes to govern the country alone.

This is very expected with no party ever winning enough seats to form a solo government since the Second World War.

Olaf Scholz’s SPD has secured the victory, but he will need to join forces with other parties if he is to become Chancellor.

Meanwhile, Armin Laschet’s conservative CDU party recorded its worst performance ever but has previously worked alongside the SDP to govern in the past.

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Hong Kong to launch China style system

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As Hong Kong and China prepare to resume quarantine-free travel, Hong Kong’s government will introduce a Beijing-style health code from December 10

The Hong Kong Health Code will take note of a user’s real name, address and identification number.

The voluntary app is designed to be compatible with systems in both Macau and Guangdong provinces in southern China.

In mainland China, a mandatory health code dictates where residents and visitors can travel to and from, sharing real-time data with authorities.

The introduction of this health code system in Hong Kong will allow Chinese officials to open back up the nation’s borders with the city-state.

Hong Kong’s chief information officer also says records “won’t be transferred to mainland authorities unless the person is infected or has been a close contact”.

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Meghan Markle wins latest privacy battle case

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A UK court dismissed the appeal brought on by Associated Newspapers Limited, after the company published a letter that she sent to her father, Thomas Markle in 2018.

ANL and the Mail have staunchly denied that they have done anything wrong, standing by the decision to publish the letter.

But the court rejected these claims, and says the Duchess has “a reasonable expectation of privacy in the contents of the letter.”

The judge continued, adding “the contents were personal, private and not matters of legitimate public interest”.

ANL says it is disappointed with the decision and is considering an appeal to the UK’s Supreme Court.

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Unvaccinated residents sent into lockdown

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German leaders have agreed to a nationwide lockdown for unvaccinated residents, as an increase in Covid infections pushes the nation’s healthcare system to the brink of collapse

Residents who aren’t protected against Covid-19 will be barred from most essential businesses, such as supermarkets and pharmacies.

Outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel and her successor Olaf Scholz announced the measures together.

Protests have erupted throughout several regions, including the capital city of Berlin.

Unlike many other nations, those who are recently recovered from Covid-19 and are unvaccinated will be covered by the ban.

Under the tightened restrictions, unvaccinated people can only meet two people from another household.

Bars and nightclubs will also be forced to shut down in regions with a case rate that is above 350 cases per 100-thousand. 

This all follows a push by the European Commission to entice member nations to enforce mandatory vaccines, with Merkel and Olaf Scholz backing this proposal.

Vaccine mandates could be voted through parliament within the next few months… and come into effect from February.

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