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Major toy manufacturer to launch first LGBTQ+ set

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A colourful move from Danish toy giant LEGO, who is set to launch its first LGBTQIA+ set- titled EVERYONE IS AWESOME.

As reported by the Guardian, the company’s toy designer was inspired to support the community with nothing other, than a RAINBOW theme.

The tiny figurines are in the spraying room at LEGO HQ layered with bright paint.

There is 11 new minifigures striding towards an imagined brighter future.

The original rainbow colours have been used along with additions of pale blue, white and pink to represent the trans community and black and brown to acknowledge diversity in skin tones.

The set goes on sale on the first of June, which is the start of Pride month.

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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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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