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Tel Aviv ranked as number one most expensive city



Israeli city is named the world’s most expensive city above Paris and Singapore

Tel Aviv travel | Israel, Middle East - Lonely Planet

In a survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit, Tel Aviv has taken the top spot for the first time in the world cost of living ranking, jumping up from 5th place last year.

This rank pushes last year’s winner, the one and only glamorous city of Paris down to joint second with Singapore followed by Zurich and Hong Kong

Tel Aviv’s climb to the top is mainly due to the soaring value of Israel’s currency and supply-chain problems.

The Israeili city has also seen price increases for approximately one tenth of goods in the city.

These increases are led by the rise in price of groceries and transport in local-currency terms. 

The survey also found that Tel Aviv was the second most expensive city for alcohol and transport, fifth for personal care items, and sixth for recreation.

This comes as the rate of inflation is the fastest recorded over the past five years with data collected by the EIU in August and September showing that prices on average have risen 3.5% in local currency terms.

The EIU survey collects this data by comparing costs for goods and services in 173 cities with the US dollar. 

Tel Aviv’s mayor, Ron Huldai made it clear that this isn’t necessarily good news as he warns the rising property prices (not included in EIU’s index) could see the city ‘explode’

“The fundamental problem is that in Israel there is no alternative metropolitan centre. In the United States, there is New York, Chicago, Miami and so on… There you can move to another city if the cost of living is too onerous,” Huldai said in an interview with Haaretz newspaper.

Compared to last year, most US cities have fallen in the list after the government responded to the covid-19 pandemic by injecting more money into the economy. 

The war-torn city of Damascus in Syria maintained its spot in last place on the list, making it the cheapest city in the world.

Top five most expensive cities

  1. Tel Aviv
  2. Paris and Singapore in joint place
  3. Zurich
  4. Hong Kong

Top five cheapest cities

  1. Damascus
  2. Tripoli
  3. Tashkent
  4. Tunis
  5. Almaty

Source: EIU’s World Cost of Living index

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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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