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JUST IN: US House passes TikTok ban bill

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The US House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a bill on Wednesday that would force TikTok to divest from its Chinese owner or get banned from the United States.

The lawmakers voted 352 in favor of the proposed law and 65 against, in a rare moment of bipartisan unity in politically divided Washington.
The bill is targeted at forcing TikTok to cut ties with its Chinese owner or get banned in the United States.

The legislation is the biggest threat yet to the video-sharing app, which has surged to huge popularity across the world all while causing intense nervousness amongst governments and security officials about its Chinese ownership and its potential subservience to the Communist Party in Beijing.

The fate of the bill is uncertain in the Senate, where key figures are against making such a drastic move against an intensely popular app that has 170 million US users.

President Joe Biden will sign the bill, known officially as the “Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act,” into law.

The measure, which passed unanimously through committee last week, would require TikTok’s parent company ByteDance to sell the app within 180 days or see it barred from the Apple and Google app stores in the United States.

It also gives the president power to designate other applications to be a national security threat if under the control of a country considered adversarial to the US.

The resurgent campaign by Washington against TikTok came as a surprise to the company, the Wall Street Journal reported, with TikTok executives reassured when Biden joined the app last month as part of his campaign for a second term.

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TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew was in Washington, trying to shore up support to stop the bill.

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“This latest legislation was rushed through at unprecedented speed without even the benefit of a public hearing, poses serious Constitutional concerns,” wrote Michael Beckerman, TikTok’s vice president for public policy, in a letter to the bill’s co-sponsors seen by AFP.

The co-sponsors, House Republican Mike Gallagher and House Democrat Raja Krishnamoorthi, as well as the White House, argue that the bill is not a ban of Tiktok, as long as the company divests from ByteDance.

China warned on Wednesday that the move would “inevitably come back to bite the United States”.

“Although the United States has never found evidence that TikTok threatens US national security, it has not stopped suppressing TikTok,” foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said, condemning it as “bullying behavior”.

In a turnaround from his earlier stance, former president Donald Trump on Monday said he is against a ban, mainly because it would strengthen Meta, the owner of Instagram and Facebook, which he called an “enemy of the people.”

When Trump was president, he attempted to wrest control of Tiktok from ByteDance, but was blocked by US courts.

Trump denied accusations that he changed his tune because a major investor in TikTok, hedge funder Jeff Yass, is donating to his campaign.

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Other efforts to ban TikTok also failed with a bill proposed a year ago getting nowhere largely over free speech concerns.

Similarly, a state law passed in Montana banning the platform was suspended by a federal court on the suspicion that it likely violated constitutional free speech rights.

TikTok staunchly denies any ties to the Chinese government and has restructured the company so the data of US users stays in the country, the company says.

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Nigerian dancer, Korra Obidi attacked with acid, stabbed in UK

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Nigerian dancer, Korra Obidi attacked with acid, stabbed in UK
• Anita Chukwumfumnaya Obidi aka Korra Obidi

Nigerian dancer, Anita Obidi, popularly known as Korra Obidi, has come under a knife and acid attack in the United Kingdom.

Celebrities Kimora Lee Simmons’s 21-year-old daughter Aoki breaks up with 65-year-old boyfriend.

According to the dancer, the attack occurred while she was in the middle of a live stream on Thursday, April 11, 2024.

The mother of two announced this on her social media.

In the trending video on her instagram page, she was seen washing her face with coca-cola.

“My face is burning, can I have some coke to wash it please,” Obidi screamed as she groaned in pain.

The livestream footage reportedly showed Korra Obidi in distress, frantically washing her face with a Coca-Cola beverage, likely to neutralize the burning sensation of an acid attack.

Two uniformed officers arrived at the scene, captured on video. One officer applied a liquid solution to her face, presumably to ease the pain. The other officer can be seen spraying her back, likely administering first aid.

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In a caption accompanying the disturbing video, Obidi pleaded with the public for any information that could identify and apprehend her attacker.

Describing the assailant, Obidi stated it was a Black female of approximately five feet in height. She further revealed she had been subjected to hateful comments online in the past, but this physical assault serves as a stark wake-up call.

“Currently in an ambulance to the hospital, there was a knife, acid attack on me in the UK 🇬🇧 in the middle of a live stream.

“There’s been a lot of hate in the past but this physical assault is a wake up call.

SEE ALSO:  Nigerian dancer, Korra Obidi attacked with acid, stabbed in UK

“If you have any information as to the attacker, black female. 5 foot. please forward to Korramanagement@gmail.com,” she wrote.

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Man who dismembered wife’s body into 200 pieces sentenced to life in prison

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Nicholas Metson

A man, Nicholas Metson, 28, who dismembered his wife’s body into over 200 pieces and then enlisted a friend to help dispose of her remains in a river, has been sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 19 years.

Metson fatally stabbed Holly Bramley, 26, at least four times in March 2023 before dismembering her and storing her body parts for a week in the kitchen larder at their shared flat in Shuttleworth House, Stamp End, Lincoln.

According to foreign news platform Independent.co on Monday, Metson admitted to the murder and was sentenced to a minimum term of 19 years and 316 days at Lincoln Crown Court. His friend, Joshua Hancock, who aided in disposing of Bramley’s remains, received a three-year and three-month prison sentence, along with a 10-year sexual harm prevention order.

Sentencing Metson, His Honour Judge Simon Hirst of Shuttleworth House, Lincoln, said, “The cause of death cannot be established given how you treated Holly’s body after you killed her.”

Bramley’s remains were found by an individual who, initially mistook them for animal remains, before discovering human hand in the river on the evening of March 25th more than a week after Ms. Bramley was last seen entering her flat on March 17th.

During the court proceedings, it was revealed that some of Holly Bramley’s remains, including parts of her heart, were never recovered.

Initially, Nicholas Metson denied the charges of murder. However, he later changed his plea to guilty before the trial commenced.

Before Bramley’s remains were discovered and during her period of absence, Lincolnshire Police visited the flat she shared with Metson.

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At that time, Metson informed the authorities that his wife had departed their residence on March 19th in the company of two individuals from a local mental health crisis team.

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Upon entering the flat, officers detected a “strong smell of bleach and ammonia” They also spotted a saw resting on a towel, bloodstained sheets within the bathroom, and a large bloodstain on the bedroom floor.

Following the revelation that Metson’s account regarding his wife’s disappearance was deceitful, law enforcement arrested Metson and charged him with murder and perverting the course of justice.

A thorough examination of Metson’s mobile phone revealed Google searches, including inquiries such as “How to get rid of a dead body”, “What benefits can I get if my wife dies” and “Does God forgive murder”.

Metson had also sent a message to Hancock, residing at Walnut Close in Waddington, during the early hours of March 25th, offering him £50 in exchange for Hancock’s assistance with an unspecified “job.”

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Catholic priest burns to death after spark ignites robes during Easter ceremony

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Javier Sánchez

A 60-year-old Catholic priest has died after his robes caught fire from a candle-light ceremony during an Easter vigil.

The priest, Javier Sánchez died from the horrific injuries of the burns in Zaragoza city, Spain.

According to Daily Mail, he suffered 50 per cent burns in the freak accident over the Easter weekend and lost his battle for life after four days in intensive care.

An ember bowl surrounded by candles caught fire and shot off sparks which ignited his robes.

It was learned that the 60-year-old died a hero as he stood between the burning bowl and nuns to protect them.

Meanwhile, an investigation is underway as it is believed paraffin had been used on the ember bowl to help it burn.

Father Sanchez was rushed to Miguel Servet Hospital in Zaragoza but suffered horrific injuries and despite the best efforts of doctors later died following multiple organ failure.

“The priest tried to protect the nuns of the convent when embers lit up in the basin that was used [for the fire] and that ultimately caused his death. Apparently a flammable substance had been used to start the fire. [The Easter Vigil] was held inside the convent,” said a source cited by Spanish newspaper El Heraldo de Aragón.

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Father Sanchez presided over the ‘blessing of the fire’ – a ritual held during Mass on Holy Saturday when a paschal candle was lit and remained so for 50 days until the celebration of Pentecost.

The deceased was known as the ‘rock priest’ because of his love for music and for having composed many songs, as he released three albums over the course of his career.

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He also served as a priest at the Clinical Hospital of Zaragoza, in the parish of La Jota, and was a talk show host on television.

Tributes have flooded in, with one friend saying: “He was a very vital and very loved person.”

The Archbishop of Zaragoza stated the social network, saying: ‘It is with pain that we communicate that this morning the priest Javi Sánchez has died. We pray for his eternal rest.’

Pilar Martinez, secretary of the San Gregorio neighbourhood association, said the news of the priest’s death had come as ‘’a bucket of cold water.”

She said the priest had been “a good man,” even though he hadn’t been in the neighbourhood long.

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