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Why is Joe Biden travelling to Northern Ireland?

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As protests engulf parts of Northern Ireland, why is Joe Biden travelling there?

U.S. President Joe Biden‘s visit to Northern Ireland coincides with a particularly delicate time in politics there.

Dissidents in the city of Londonderry have been attacking police just a day before Biden‘s arrival. Most of this occurred during a rally opposing the 25th anniversary of the peace accord that capped the decades of sectarian violence known as the Troubles.

So what’s behind Biden‘s visit, and why does it matter?

Biden, along with the British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, are marking the anniversary of that peace accord. Known as the 1998 Good Friday Agreement is was supported at the time by former President Bill Clinton. The fellow Democrat played a hand in its negotiations.

Biden has Irish ancestry, often quotes Irish poets, and is the first American president to visit Northern Ireland in 10 years.

But the trip comes at a sensitive political time. For example, pro-British unionists loyal to London continue to boycott the power sharing government. This was a major part of the Good Friday Agreement.

And because of Brexit, one of Belfast’s political parties, the Democratic Unionist Party, or DUP, is also protesting trade rules. These rules treat Northern Ireland different from the rest of the UK.

On Biden‘s agenda are meetings with representatives of five political parties, and he’s expected to float American investment opportunities to help break the impasse, but the White house said he was not planning to pressure them.

The DUP has previously criticised Biden when he waded into that Brexit debate before.

Violence also still crops up sporadically here.

The British intelligence agency MI5 recently raised the threat level for domestic terrorism in Northern Ireland to “severe,” the highest since the rating system was introduced 13 years ago.

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Big tech caught in political drama

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Nine Google employees were escorted out of company offices in New York and Sunnyvale, California, following a sit-in protest against a cloud contract with Israel’s government.

The protest in Sunnyvale targeted Thomas Kurian’s office, CEO of Google’s cloud division, while in New York, it occupied a common area on the tenth floor.

Videos showed Google security staff and local police involved in the removal. Four workers in New York and five in Sunnyvale were reportedly detained, but details of any charges remain unverified.

 

The protest aimed to pressure Google to drop a $1.2 billion cloud computing contract known as Project Nimbus, citing concerns about its involvement with the Israel Defense Forces.

The protesters included software engineers and activists from groups opposing tech contracts with Israel. This incident reflects ongoing activism within tech companies regarding political issues, such as Israel’s actions in Gaza.

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Antitrust concerns arise for streaming sports venture

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U.S. lawmakers Jerry Nadler and Joaquin Castro expressed competition concerns regarding the planned sports streaming joint venture involving Walt Disney, Fox, and Warner Bros Discovery.

They addressed these concerns in a letter to the CEOs of the media companies, questioning the impact on access, competition, and choice in the sports streaming market.

Voicing apprehension about potential consumer price hikes and unfair licensing terms for sports leagues and distributors, they requested responses by April 30, urging the companies to also send their replies to the Department of Justice.

Despite the companies’ announcement in February of launching a joint sports streaming service in the autumn to attract younger viewers, the deal faces DOJ scrutiny and an antitrust lawsuit from FuboTV. While Disney and Warner Bros remained silent on the matter, Fox declined to comment.

The joint venture encompasses a broad range of professional and collegiate sports rights, including NFL, NBA, MLB, FIFA World Cup, and college competitions, offering non-exclusive access to sports networks such as ESPN, Fox Sports 1, and TNT via a new streaming app.

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Trump trial: will the jury selection impact the trial’s outcome?

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The Trump hush money trial has progressed with the selection of the first seven jurors, marking a significant step in the legal proceedings.

  • Seven jurors were selected

  • Defense and prosecution lawyers questioned potential jurors for impartiality

  • The judge warned lawyers he would not tolerate disruptions after he said Former US President Donald Trump audibly muttered during a prospective juror’s questioning

The selection of jurors is a crucial step in ensuring a fair trial, as they will ultimately decide Formers US President Donald Trump’s fate in this legal battle, as reported by Reuters.

The process of jury selection involves careful vetting of potential jurors to ensure impartiality and fairness.

Each juror’s background, beliefs, and potential biases are scrutinised to ensure they can render an impartial verdict based solely on the evidence presented in court.

With seven jurors already chosen, the selection process is expected to continue as both the prosecution and defence seek individuals who can objectively weigh the evidence.

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