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Why did Iran and the U.S. agree to a prisoner swap?

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Relations between the United States and Iran, adversaries for more than 40 years, have been especially bitter.

 
A U.S.-bound plane carrying five Americans freed by Iran left Doha on Monday as part of a prisoner swap for five Iranians held in the United States and the transfer of $6 billion in Iranian funds, marking a rare deal between the long-time antagonists.

“Today, five innocent Americans who were imprisoned in Iran are finally coming home,” U.S. President Joe Biden said in a statement shortly before the U.S. detainees descended the stairs of a Qatari jet in Doha to be embraced by U.S. diplomats.

The White House confirmed a plane carrying the five, along with two U.S. family members who left Tehran with them earlier, was en route to the United States, where they were to be offered medical treatment by the U.S. military as they adjust to freedom.

Separately, Iran’s state-owned Press TV said the five Iranians held by the United States and charged with committing crimes had been freed, an apparent reference to their being granted clemency, and that two of them had landed in Tehran.

The other three are not expected to return to Iran.

“This was purely a humanitarian action,” Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said after arriving in New York for the annual U.N. General Assembly. “It can certainly be a step based upon which in the future other humanitarian actions can be taken.”

It was unclear whether the exchange might bring progress on the many issues that divide the two nations, including Iran’s nuclear program, its support for regional Shi’ite militias, the presence of U.S. troops in the Gulf and U.S. sanctions on Iran. #Iran #UnitedStates

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TikTok implements stricter guidelines on weight-loss drug promotion

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TikTok is tightening its regulations on influencers who promote weight-loss drugs like Ozempic.

With over 170 million users in the US, the app aims to prevent the spread of potentially harmful content related to rapid weight loss.

Starting in May, TikTok will prohibit influencers from posting “before-and-after” photos and restrict minors from accessing weight-loss content deemed risky. The crackdown extends to any content promoting drastic weight loss methods, aiming to combat the promotion of unrealistic body standards.

However, some influencers, like Dave Knapp and Kim Carlos, criticise the move, arguing it discriminates against those with health conditions. Others fear losing their income as TikTok takes down their content, prompting concerns about the platform’s future amid potential US bans.

As TikTok enforces stricter guidelines, influencers may seek alternative platforms to share weight-loss content. Despite the popularity of drugs like Ozempic and Wegovy, the crackdown reflects growing concerns about the impact of such promotions on user health.

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Game on with indie devs celebrated by Nintendo

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Nintendo Switch fans rejoice! The recent Indie World Showcase unveiled 17 new titles coming in 2024.

Including in the rundown is the adorable “Little Kitty, Big City” and explosive platformer “Anton Blast.” In other news, “Stellar Blade” confirms an uncensored release on PlayStation 5, Fallout’s TV adaptation gears up for Season 2, and Keanu Reeves joins the cast of Sonic 3 as Shadow. New releases this week include “Tales of Kenzera: Zau” and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Arcade: Wrath of the Mutants,” while “Fallout 4” gets a next-gen update. With “Stellar Blade” topping the list, gamers have plenty to look forward to in the coming weeks.

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What are the major takeaways from day one of Trump’s trial?

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The first day of Donald Trump’s criminal hush money trial that the former president broke the law and corrupted the 2016 election, while his defence lawyer said he committed no crime.

On this episode of Ticker Today – Former President Donald Trump’s hush money trial is officially underway, President Joe Biden makes cannibal claims, TikTok US ban enters the next phase and Gen Z’s are dropping degrees and picking up tools to become blue-collar workers.

Ticker’s Ahron Young and Veronica Dudo discuss.

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