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Why France has cancelled New Year’s Eve fireworks

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The Mayor of Paris cancels fireworks and concerts planned for New Year’s Eve, as Omicron spreads across France

Annual New Year’s Eve fireworks have been cancelled in France, as Omicron spreads across the country. The new year will not be starting off with a bang, with officials cracking down on festivities.

Omicron concerns

Increasing concern over the infectious Omicron variant has prompted authorities to impose restrictions. French Prime Minister Jean Castex has banned major public parties and fireworks on New Year’s Eve.

The Scientific Council on Covid-19 has also warned of the acceleration of the pandemic and the risks related to the celebrations.

Gatherings at Paris Town Hall and on the Champs-Elysées have been called off, which are two of the most prominent locations to bring in the new year.

This comes as countries across Europe propose tougher restrictions to battle the new variant.

Germany has labelled France and Denmark as a “high-risk” zone, mandating quarantine restrictions for unvaccinated travellers.

Natasha is an Associate Producer at ticker NEWS with a Bachelor of arts from Monash University. She has previously worked at Sky News Australia and Monash University as an Online Content Producer.

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World

Balloon diplomacy blows China off course

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China claims an “airship” that is flying over the United States is for civilian meteorological and other scientific purposes and voiced regret that it strayed into U.S. airspace.

U.S. officials said on Thursday that a Chinese spy balloon has been flying over the United States for a couple of days, in what would be a brazen act just days ahead of a planned trip to Beijing by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

In a statement late on Friday, China’s foreign ministry also said that it would continue to maintain communications with the United States to properly handle the unexpected situation.

“The airship is from China and is civilian in nature, used for meteorological and other scientific research. Due to the influence of westerly winds and its limited control capability, the airship deviated from its intended course,” it said.

“China regrets that the airship strayed into the United States by mistake due to force majeure. China will continue to maintain communication with the U.S. side to properly handle this accident,” it said.

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World

U.S. announces longer-range rocket for Ukraine

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A new rocket that would double Ukraine’s strike range in its war with Russia was included in a $2.175 billion U.S. military aid package.

The new weapon, the Ground Launched Small Diameter Bomb (GLSDB), will allow Ukraine’s military to hit targets at twice the distance reachable by the rockets it now fires from the U.S.-supplied High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS).

The 151 km (94 mile) GLSDB will put all of Russia’s supply lines in eastern Ukraine within reach, as well as part of Russian-occupied Crimea, which Moscow annexed in 2014.

“As part of the USAI package, we will be providing Ground Launched Small Diameter Bomb to Ukraine,” Brigadier General Patrick Ryder told a news briefing at the Pentagon. USAI stands for Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI).

Friday’s aid pledge opens the door to many more deliveries of the Ground Launched Small Diameter Bombs (GLSDB).

When the new rockets arrive, it will mark the first time Ukraine has seen its rocket range grow exponentially since U.S. furnished HIMARS in late-June 2022.

HIMARS have a 77 km (48 mile) range and were instrumental in Ukraine’s counter offensive against Russian forces, which invaded on Feb. 24, 2022.

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Fame

Fans struggle to buy Beyonce concert tickets

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If you’re struggling to get Beyonce tickets, you’re not alone

 
O2 customers in the U.K. were reporting problems with the company’s app and website.

For those who were able to get through, they paid anywhere from £56-199.

For those who are super keen, there are V.I.P. packages with front row seats. But that’ll set you back £475.

Some fans took to social media to vent their frustrations over the ticketing fiasco.

It’s Queen B’s first solo tour in seven years, and will take her across Europe and North America.

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