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UK faces biggest rail strike in 30 years



The United Kingdom is facing nationwide paralysis as its biggest rail strike in thirty years is set to begin.

Last minute talks between unions and the government failed – meaning a whole week where millions face the prospect of limited to no rail transport.

England, Scotland and Wales are set to face ‘transport misery’ according to the UK’s transport secretary.

40,000 rail workers nationwide are walking out of the job on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

Passengers commuters across the country are being advised not to travel unless its absolutely necessary.

With normally 20,000 rail services being cut down to just 4,500 across Britain, this is the biggest rail strike the UK has seen in three decades

The Government is blaming Union leaders for resisting technological change and for demanding more money than is warranted.

Unions are saying that the ongoing inflation, job cuts, pay rises not keeping up increases in the cost of living and safety being disregarded are all factors.

These strikes have been nicknamed the Summer of Discontent

For anyone caught up in the strikes this week – what can they do?

The government is urging everybody not to travel unless they absolutely have to.

The last few years with the pandemic taught us that many people actually can work form home quite well.

Many people will have the option working from home, so in some ways, certain aspects of this strike won’t be as bad as previously anticipated.

But not everyone has the luxury of working from home – essential services, hospitality, tourism, hospital and emergency staff.

This will be a tale of the cans and the cannots when it comes to avoiding the pandemic

Travel (airports) Tourists – London alone is set to lose millions in tourists and sightseers.

And of course, the famous Glastonbury festival – which usually attracts several hundred thousand festivalgoers starts in a few days this week, where half of all trains to and from glastonbury are completely cancelled.

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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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