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South Korea & U.S. to ease COVID restrictions on Chinese travellers



The move is seen as easing tensions between the nations

When China lifted its zero covid policy late last year – there was a wave a covid infections across the country.

That sparked fears that letting the virus rip in a country of almost 1.5 billion people would see new variants emerge.

A number of countries, including the U.S., Japan and South Korea, imposed travel restrictions.

In December, when the U.S. announced that travellers from China would need to show a negative test to enter – sources told media outlets there was also a lack of transparency from Chinese officials on case numbers.

Now, those restrictions in the U.S. are set to be lifted.

The Wall Street Journal – who initially broke the story – said the decision was made by national security and health officials – and airlines should be notified shortly.

The Biden administration says it will still monitor cases.

It’s a surprising move – and may perhaps be seen as extending an olive branch – as tensions continue to ratchet up between the world’s two largest economies.

Earlier this week, the US Department of Energy concluded that the virus likely emerged from a lab accident.

This angered Beijing – seeing it issue a statement calling the U.S.’ conclusion “politics-driven” and saying Washington needs “to respect science and facts and stop politicising this issue.”

Earlier this week at China’s National People’s Congress – President Xi took aim at the US – accusing it of trying to “contain, encircle and suppress” China. #trending

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BTS stars take a break to serve military time



The world-renowned South Korean megaband BTS has announced an indefinite hiatus, with all seven members set to fulfil their mandatory military service obligations.

The news has sent shockwaves through the global entertainment industry and left fans wondering what the future holds for the chart-topping group.

This decision comes after the septet’s unprecedented rise to fame, conquering international music charts, and amassing a dedicated fan base known as the ARMY.

The group’s management agency, Big Hit Entertainment, released a statement confirming that the hiatus is aimed at allowing each member to complete their military service without interruption. This move is seen as a testament to their commitment to fulfilling their civic duties despite their immense success.

While BTS fans are undoubtedly disappointed by the hiatus, it raises intriguing questions about the group’s future. Will their time away from the spotlight allow them to explore new musical directions?

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Navalny’s mysterious disappearance deepens Russia’s prison puzzle



Alexei Navalny, the prominent Russian opposition leader, has reportedly disappeared within the intricate web of Russia’s prison system, according to his team.

The sudden vanishing act has raised concerns and fueled speculation about his well-being and safety.

Navalny’s supporters and legal team have been unable to establish contact with him for several days, sparking fears that he may be facing dire circumstances behind bars.

His imprisonment had already drawn international condemnation, with accusations of political persecution.

The enigma surrounding Navalny’s whereabouts intensifies the already strained relationship between Russia and the West.

As the world watches, questions linger about the transparency and fairness of Russia’s justice system, leaving many to wonder if Navalny’s voice will continue to be silenced.

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Barbie & Oppenheimer steal spotlight, Golden Globes race altered



In an unexpected turn of events, the Golden Globes race has been shaken up by two unlikely contenders: Barbie and J. Robert Oppenheimer.

As Hollywood gears up for its most prestigious awards night, these unconventional entrants have captured the industry’s attention and are giving the frontrunners a run for their money.

Is Tinseltown ready for the Barbie revolution and Oppenheimer’s atomic drama?

In a year marked by a diverse range of films, Barbie has emerged as a symbol of empowerment, with her latest cinematic venture challenging conventional norms and redefining the role of female protagonists in the industry. Critics are raving about her unexpected depth and social relevance, making her a formidable Golden Globes contender.

On the other hand, J. Robert Oppenheimer’s biopic has ignited a renewed interest in history and science on the silver screen. The film’s gripping portrayal of the man behind the atomic bomb has sparked conversations about ethics, power, and the consequences of scientific advancements, prompting audiences to ponder the darker side of human achievement.

Will Barbie’s message of empowerment and Oppenheimer’s complex story resonate with Academy voters?

As the Golden Globes race heats up, it’s clear that these unexpected contenders have disrupted the status quo, challenging Hollywood’s traditional narratives and pushing the boundaries of cinematic storytelling.

Whether Barbie and Oppenheimer will walk away with the golden statuettes remains to be seen, but one thing is certain: they have already left an indelible mark on this year’s awards season.


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