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Good morning Vietnam! International flights have resumed to Hanoi & Ho Chi Minh

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Vietnam will resume incoming international flights to its capital Hanoi and business hub Ho Chi Minh City effective immediately.

The nation imposed a suspension due to a COVID-19 outbreak earlier this week.

Vietnamese authorities had initially banned incoming international flights to Hanoi for a week starting Monday and to Ho Chi Minh City until June 14.

The aviation authority hasn’t revealed just why it was resuming flights earlier than planned.

Meanwhile, most of the COVID-19 cases in the current outbreak are locally transmitted and not from international passengers.

Travel impacts on Aviation

The news comes as the Global Aviation sector continues to struggle due to the pandemic.

The bosses of leading airlines have written to senior government figures in both nations, calling for an expedited travel corridor. 

With vaccination rollouts well underway within both nations, the aviation sector wants to ease travel restrictions on the normally busy transatlantic travel route.

The letter to US Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg and UK Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps stated:

“Air travel is a critical enabler of trade between our countries that was worth US$273 billion in 2019,” 

Of those who have joined forces include British AirwaysAmerican Airlines, United AirlinesDelta Airlines, JetBlue, and Industry Group Airlines for America.

“Public health must guide the reopening of international air travel, and we are confident that the aviation industry possesses the right tools, based on data and science, to enable a safe and meaningful restart to transatlantic travel

The letter signifies a rare joining of forces between airlines that are normally arch-rivals. The CEOs who signed the letter have proposed a summit to explore how to safely and swiftly re-open the critical route between the UK and US.

Business

Russia defaults on foreign debt for the first time in a century

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Russia has failed to pay out its overseas debt for the first time in over 100 years

The country missed its Sunday deadline due to challenges in transferring the payments to international creditors.

Moscow has the funds to make the 100 million dollar payment but sanctions have complicated the process.

The country is unhappy with the situation with the finance minister calling the situation “a farce”.

The last time that Russia defaulted on its foreign debt was in 1918 when leader Vladimir Lenin did not pay out debts on behalf of the Russian Empire.

Russia has been hit with sanctions by a number of countries in response to its invasion of Ukraine.

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Business

Instagram introduces new process to crack down on underage users

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The majority of social media platforms have an age limit of 13 years old, but how is this really being regulated?

Instagram is exploring new ways for teenagers to verify their age and comply with platform rules.

The gram is turning to video selfies to crack down on minors editing their date of birth to make them appear over 18.

The Meta-owned app is testing video selfies with facial analysis software as a new age-verification method.

For a U.S. teen who wants to join insta, they will need to upload ID, ask three adult users to vouch for them or take a video selfie.

Meta says it hopes the new methods will ensure teens have an “age-appropriate experience” on the content sharing app.

Video selfies have become a popular way for digital platforms – such as online banking apps – to verify users’ age or identity.

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Business

U.S. firms to pay staff travel expenses for abortions

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Major companies have reassured staff that if they require an abortion, they will cover their travel expenses

Disney, JP Morgan, Amazon and Meta are among the companies to announce similar moves for women.

This comes as millions of US women face restricted access after a landmark ruling by the US Supreme Court overturned the constitutional right to abortion.

A growing number of companies have confirmed they will cover travel costs through their health insurance plans for employees who leave their home state to get an abortion.

Disney employs around 80,000 people at its resort in Florida, where the governor has already signed into law a ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, which is scheduled to take effect on 1 July.

Banking giant JP Morgan and another leading US investment bank, Goldman Sachs, also said it would cover travel expenses for employees.

Social media company Meta said it intended to reimburse travel expenses where permitted by law.

Other companies which have indicated they will take similar steps include Vogue publisher, jeans brand Levi and ride hailing companies Lyft and Uber.

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