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South Korea is in mourning following Halloween nightmare

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Shocked family members have collected bodies, as parents search for children in Seoul

A country is seeking answers after at least 153 people were crushed to death when a crowd in South Korea surged in an alleyway during Halloween festivities.

Residents lay flowers and searched for missing loved ones, after the Halloween stampede, which took place in a packed nightlife area.

A huge crowd celebrating in the popular Itaewon district surged into an alley on Saturday night. Emergency services remain on high-alert, adding the death toll could rise.

South Korea’s President Yoon Suk-yeol visited the site of a stampede after declaring a period of national mourning on Sunday.

He expressed condolences to the victims, most of whom were in their 20s.

South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol walks at the scene.

It was the first Halloween event in Seoul in three years to be virtually free of Covid-19 restrictions and social distancing.

Many of the partygoers were wearing masks and Halloween costumes.

“There were so many people… and I had to turn around and I told the crowd you can’t come this way, people are dying, because I already knew how bad it was, and people were being so rude. And I had to tell them you cannot come this way… and it took so long for emergency services to arrive,” said Nathan Taverniti, who witnessed the stampede:

Community centres have become makeshift facilities for missing persons. Meanwhile, families and friends are desperately seeking word of loved ones.

South Korea’s Interior Ministry said at least 90 per cent of the victims had been identified.

Delays are expected to identify some foreign nationals and teenagers who did not yet have identification cards.

The disaster is the country’s deadliest since a 2014 ferry sinking that killed 304 people, where many high school students lost their lives.

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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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