Wednesday, May 18

Read the latest international news here at The Leader

Read the latest international news here at The Leader

Wherever you are in the world, it’s hard to keep up with the latest events due to the influx of information that emerges on a daily basis. From crimes, financial advances, political turmoil and wars, there are a lot of occurences that need to be addressed and discussed. And although we now live in the era of digital information and the Internet, reading the news slowly becomes a chore. 

Luckily, since The Leader aims to deliver the news stories that truly matter, we have compiled the biggest international news you should know. Here are some of them:

Spotify removes the music of Neil Young from its platform

Just recently, Neil Young has requested Spotify to remove his entire music discography from the platform due to its relationship with Joe Rogan, a podcast host with questionable comments on Covid-19 vaccinations.

Young accused Spotify of spreading misinformation about vaccines, intensifying the vaccine hesitancy among its listeners. He stated that this could potentially harm the citizens and cause death, especially since more variants are emerging today.

‘I want you to let Spotify know immediately Today that I want all my music off their platform. They can have Rogan or Young. Not both’, Young announced in his post.

In response to Neil Young’s request, Spotify is now in the process of removing his catalogue. The company expressed dismay over the musician’s demands but stated that they look forward to welcoming him back soon in the near future.

‘We want all the world’s music and audio content to be available to Spotify users. With that comes great responsibility in balancing both safety for listeners and freedom for creators. We have detailed content policies in place and we’ve removed over 20,000 podcast episodes related to covid-19 since the start of the pandemic. We regret Neil’s decision to remove his music from Spotify, but hope to welcome him back soon,’ a Spotify spokesperson stated.

France passes a law that criminalises conversion therapy

Another victory for the LGBTQIA+ community has been achieved after France passes a new law making conversion therapy illegal. This kind of therapy aims to use injections, electric shocks and prayer sessions as attempts to change one’s gender or sexual identity.

If a person is proven to violate the said law, they could face two years in jail and pay fines of up to €30,000. Elisabeth Moreno, France’s minister of equalities and diversity, labelled the practice as savage, often leaving permanent damage on individuals subjected to it. 

France is not the only country criminalising conversion therapy. Today, other countries such as Malta, Albania, Canada and Brazil have already passed the same legislation.

Prince Andrew denies sexual assault claims

On January 26, 2022, Great Britain’s Prince Andrew has denied Virginia Giuffre’s sexual abuse allegations filed against him. Giuffre accused Andrew of sexually abusing her on Jeffrey Epstein’s private island in the US Virgin Islands despite knowing that she was still a minor during that time. 

However, Andrew denied these sexual assault claims during the filing with the U.S District Court in Manhattan. He said that he met Epstein around 1999, but he never had any sexual contact with Giuffre in any manner.

‘Prince Andrew denies that he was a co-conspirator of Epstein or that Epstein trafficked girls to him’, his lawyers Andrew B. Brettler and Melissa Y. Lerner claimed.

Andrew also denied that he was one of Epstein’s frequent guests or he was a close friend of Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein’s former girlfriend. However, the attorneys stated that the prince could not provide sufficient information or evidence backing his claims.

‘Prince Andrew’s answer continues his approach of denying any knowledge or information concerning the claims against him, and purporting to blame the victim of the abuse for somehow bringing it on herself. We look forward to confronting Prince Andrew with his denials and attempts to blame Ms Giuffre for her own abuse at his deposition and at trial’, Giuffre’s attorney David Boies expressed.

A 13-year old kid from Florida dies from an overdose

Florida investigators discovered a teenager in Florida dying from an overdose. Over 100 bags of fentanyl was found in his bedroom that matched the same bags found at the Sports and Medical Science Academy, at the Sports and Medical Science Academy in Hartford.

‘This fentanyl was packaged in the same manner as the bags located at the school, had the same identifying stamp, and tested at an even higher purity level (60% purity),’ the Hartford police stated.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), fentanyl is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine, typically used for treating cancer pain. It has been the cause of over  56,516 overdose deaths recorded in 2020.

An elderly Italian man pulls out a gun after being asked to present his Covid-19 health pass

An 88-year-old man in Italy was accused of drawing a gun when an on-site security guard at McDonald’s asked for his Covid-19 green pass. Fortunately, the man did not pull the trigger and willingly left the crime scene.

The security guard immediately reported the incident to the authorities, helping them identify and locate the suspect. 

When the officers raided his home, the man refused to let them in, urging the authorities to break down the door with the assistance of the fire brigade. Police have already confiscated the man’s gun and charged him with resisting arrest and aggravated threatening behaviour.

Afghan parents are forced to sell their children and kidneys to survive

Ever since the Taliban has taken control of Afghanistan which caused the Western forces to withdraw, Afghans are being forced to sell their children and kidneys in exchange for survival. A report stated that three brothers along with their sisters have resorted to selling their organs for £1,150 a piece just to feed their starving families.

Even the doctors could not afford to buy equipment and basic tools to treat diseases or even heal wounds. This has become the state of Afghanistan after the extremist group stormed the country, causing thousands of people to starve to death.

Zen Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh dies at 95

Thich Nhat Hanh, considered to be one of the most influential Zen Buddhist Monks in the world, has died at 95. He helped developed the concept of mindfulness in the West, as well as Buddhism in some of the countries in the East.

At the early age of 16, Thich Nhat Hanh was already ordained. His Buddhist teachings revolved around compassion and suffering that served as a guide to strive for peace. Most of his life was spent living in exile at a retreat village located in Southern France. He began his talks that introduced Zen Buddhism as an act of peace through compassionate listening.

‘The peace we seek cannot be our personal possession. We need to find an inner peace which makes it possible for us to become one with those who suffer, and to do something to help our brothers and sisters, which is to say, ourselves’, he wrote.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson draws flak amidst lockdown parties

Boris Johnson, a prime minister in Great Britain has been criticised for holding several parties at Downing Street while the rest of the country was under lockdown.

‘As a result of the information provided by the Cabinet office and my officers own assessment. I can confirm the Met is now investigating a number of events that took place at Downing St and Whitehall in the last two years in relation to breaches of COVID-19 regulations’, head of London’s Metropolitan police Dame Cressida Dick stated.

However, Johnson denied all of these accusations thrown against him. He stated that he never intentionally violated any lockdown protocols, saying that he attended a party that was just a work event.

‘When I went into that garden just after 6 on 20 May 2020, to thank groups of staff before going back into my office 25 minutes later to continue working, I believed implicitly that this was a work event’, he told the Parliament.

With these accusations against him, there are a couple of possible scenarios. First, if he is proven to have intentionally misled parliament, he will be forced to resign from his position. But if ever the report fails to prove that Johnson lied, he would still be forced to resign because his reputation has now been stained. The parliament members could also unanimously decide to trigger a no-confidence vote.

For more news and updates on international events, stay tuned here at The Leader! You can also subscribe to our newsletter and download our mobile application to be the first person to get the latest stories and features.

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