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Queen Elizabeth marks 70 years on the throne



Queen Elizabeth says she is “inspired” by the goodwill of the nation as celebrations for her Platinum Jubilee begin

In a Jubilee message, Her Majesty thanked the public for organising events and says “many happy memories” will be made across the U.K.

Millions are gearing up for street parties to celebrate the monarch’s 70 years on the throne.

The U.K. will have a four-day bank holiday weekend to mark the special occasion.

Millions will flood the streets of London for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

There are a series of official events planned, where celebrities and supporters will flood the streets of London.

London will host the “Trooping the Colour” parade, while a Jubilee Pageant will be held through the streets on Sunday.

It’s believed Ed Sheeran will sing the national anthem with a choir made up of national treasures outside Buckingham Palace.

Prince Harry arrives for Platinum Jubilee celebrations

Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle have arrived for celebrations.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are accompanied by their two children, Archie and Lilibet.

It is expected Queen Elizabeth will meet Lilibet for the very first time.

A spokesperson for Harry and Meghan say they are excited and honoured to attend the special occasion.

The pair will likely take a back seat in this weekend’s public affairs and will not be joining the rest of the royal family on the balcony for the official public appearance and photo.

Celebrating Queen Elizabeth

The Palace has released a new photo of 96-year-old Queen Elizabeth, taken in her private apartment at Windsor Castle.

The Monarch is wearing a pale blue Angela Kelly coat and dress, which is embellished with pearls and diamantes.

More than 3,000 beacons will be lit across the U.K. and Commonwealth in tribute to the Queen across the weekend.

Costa is a news producer at ticker NEWS. He has previously worked as a regional journalist at the Southern Highlands Express newspaper. He also has several years' experience in the fire and emergency services sector, where he has worked with researchers, policymakers and local communities. He has also worked at the Seven Network during their Olympic Games coverage and in the ABC Melbourne newsroom. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts (Professional), with expertise in journalism, politics and international relations. His other interests include colonial legacies in the Pacific, counter-terrorism, aviation and travel.

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TikTok CEO testifies as U.S. considers nationwide ban



FBI says TikTok threatens U.S. national security

TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew testified in Washington D.C. on Thursday.

The hours-long fiery hearing on Capitol Hill was incredibly tense as Chew was grilled by both Republicans and Democrats.

With bipartisan support, both parties are pushing for a nationwide ban on the app which the FBI has said threatens the national security of the United States.

TikTok says it has 150 million America users – almost half the country.

The CEO gave testimony to try and reassure lawmakers and Americans that TikTok is not an agent of the Chinese Communist Party, but critics aren’t convinced.

Chew was bombarded with questions from representatives from both sides of the aisle about the company’s ties to the CCP, security, data storage, well-being, and mental health. 

Many lawmakers are growing increasingly frustrated with the lack of answers from the company.

Congress is now weighing a nationwide ban on the popular social media platform amid concerns that it is used to harvest Americans’ information and harm children online.

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Protests continue across France over pension reforms



Protestors blocked a terminal at an airport and sat on train tracks

The ongoing nationwide protests in France over plans by the government to raise the retirement age by two years saw another day of disruption – events which President Emmanuel Macron has recently compared to the storming of the U.S. Capitol by Donald Trump supporters two years ago.

Protestors blocked a terminal at Paris’s Charles De Gaulle airport.

Protesters also sat on train tracks, and reportedly triggered a brief fire in the yard of a police station in once city.

Protests have been mostly peaceful, but tear gas has been used against them on occasions.

The plan is to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64.

For comparison, the U.S. is slowly raising its retirement age to 67 and the UK plans to go to 68.

Polls have long shown that a majority of voters in France oppose the move.

Macron earlier in the week said he was standing firm on the law and that it would come into effect by the end of the year.

The government says the change is needed to keep pension budgets from running a deficit – failure would create an annual deficit of about $14 billion by 2030.

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Prosecutors allege Donald Trump misled people on potential arrest



The move prompted Republicans in Congress to interfere with the course of justice

Manhattan prosecutors say Donald Trump has misled people to expect he would be arrested, prompting Republicans in Congress to interfere with the course of justice.

A probe is currently under way into his alleged hush-money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels.

On Saturday, the former President said he would be arrested on Tuesday.

This saw three Republicans launching an offensive against the District Attorney, who is a Democrat.

They accused him of abusing authority, while also seeking communications, documents and testimony.

A grand jury hearing evidence in the Stormy Daniels case is yet to issue an arrest warrant for Trump.

The attorney’s office has since sent the committee chairmen a letter.

It says the lawmakers’ accusations “only came after Donald Trump created a false expectation he would be arrested”.

It also confirms the attorney’s office is “investigating allegations that Donald Trump engaged in violations of New York State penal law.”

If indicted, Trump would be the first U.S. President to face criminal charges.

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