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Millions of donated masks stuck in airports for months

More than 1.1 million masks donated to Vietnam since late last year have not been distributed because they are still stuck at airports over red tape, officials said.

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Brazil's Bolsonaro to attend Americas Summit after doubts

Close allies of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro say he has decided to attend the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles next month and plans to meet with U.S. President Joe Biden

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Uvalde school shooter was in school for up to an hour before law enforcement broke into room where he was barricaded and killed him

The gunman who killed 19 students and two teachers at a Texas elementary school Tuesday was on the premises for up to an hour before law enforcement forcibly entered a classroom and killed him, officials said Wednesday.

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Longoria, Giants tee off on Mets rookie Szapucki in 9-3 rout

Evan Longoria homered twice and Joc Pederson hit his fourth in two games as the San Francisco Giants went deep four times in the first two innings off rookie Thomas Szapucki and routed the New York Mets 9-3

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Onlookers urged police to charge into Texas school

UVALDE, Texas (AP) — Onlookers urged police officers to charge into the Texas elementary school where a gunman's rampage killed

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'MAFS': Inside the list of special episodes before the Season 15 San Diego premiere

Season 14 maybe ending soon, but don't worry, there is enough drama to keep you occupied until Season 15

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'MAFS' Season 15: 5 things you need to know about Lifetime's reality show

If you're fresh off the Season 14 drama, here's what you can expect from Season 15 of 'Married At First Sight'!

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China wants 10 Pacific nations to endorse sweeping agreement

China wants 10 small Pacific nations to endorse a sweeping agreement covering everything from security to fisheries in what one leader warns is a game-changing bid by China to wrest control of the region

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Arthur Labinjo-Hughes: Concerns about bruises not taken seriously enough

Concerns about bruises on Arthur Labinjo-Hughes, 6, were not taken seriously enough, a review says.

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Oklahoma governor signs strictest abortion ban in the U.S. into law

(Reuters) - Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt on Wednesday signed into law the strictest abortion ban in the United States, one

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Oakland continues Seattle's slide with 4-2 win over Mariners

Seth Brown and Elvis Andrus both homered off reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Robbie Ray, and the Oakland Athletics beat Seattle 4-2, dropping the Mariners into last place in the AL West

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Twitter to pay $150 million to settle with U.S. over privacy, security violations

By Diane Bartz and Katie Paul WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Twitter Inc has agreed to pay $150 million to settle allegations

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Star Hobson: Review into toddler's death frustrating, family says

The murdered toddler would still be alive if officials had listened, her great-grandfather says.

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Several food companies pull products linked to Jif peanut butter recall

Food companies across the US are recalling products in the wake of a Jif peanut butter recall over Salmonella contamination concerns. Among them:

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An ocean first: Underwater drone tracks CO2 in Alaska gulf

In the choppy, cold waters of Alaska’s Resurrection Bay, oceanographers from the University of Alaska Fairbanks have been conducting tests this spring with a drone that goes underwater

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Qutub Minar: Why India's tallest minaret is embroiled in dispute

A court will decide whether temples demolished to build a mosque at the Qutub Minar can be restored.

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Workers' advocates turned away at Dollar General meeting

A civil rights advocate says he and two Dollar General store workers were denied access to the company’s shareholder meeting in Tennessee where they had been outside protesting for better pay and workplace safety improvements

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Narva: The Estonian border city where Nato and the EU meet Russia

Thousands of Ukrainians have streamed into Narva in Estonia, on the very edge of Nato's eastern flank.

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US sets Thursday vote on new UN sanctions on North Korea

The United States has called for a vote Thursday on a U.N. resolution that would impose tougher sanctions on North Korea for its recent launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles that can be used to deliver nuclear weapons

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Energy bills to be cut ‘by up to £400’ under Sunak cost of living support plan

Hundreds of pounds will be cut from energy bills under measures expected to be announced by Rishi Sunak to ease the cost of living crisis. The chancellor is to ditch the previously announced £200 loan on energy bills and replace it with a grant that will not have to be paid back, with the discount possibly increasing to as much as £400, according to reports. And despite initial opposition from himself and other prominent government figures – such as Brexit opportunities minister Jacob Rees-Mogg – Mr Sunak is set to approve a windfall tax on energy companies. Extra measures which have been discussed as part of a package worth around £10bn could include a further increase to the warm homes discount to help low-income households cope with rising energy bills. Other policies which have been discussed include increases in the winter fuel allowance, a further cut in council tax or a VAT cut. Mr Sunak will detail his plan in the Commons on Thursday as the government seeks to regain the initiative following a damaging set of revelations in Sue Gray’s report on the Partygate row. The need for extra help was illustrated earlier this week by Ofgem chief executive Jonathan Brearley, who gave a dire warning that the energy price cap will increase by a further £830 to £2,800 in October. Ministers have spent months criticising the idea of a windfall tax because of its potential impact on investment. But on Wednesday a Tory source said the arguments had been “tested rigorously” within both the Treasury and wider government. Cost of living: how to get help The cost of living crisis has touched every corner of the UK, pushing families to the brink with rising food and fuel prices. The Independent has asked experts to explain small ways you can stretch your money, including managing debt and obtaining items for free. https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/cost-of-living-tips-advice-b2081583.html If you need to access a food bank, find your local council’s website using gov.uk.https://www.gov.uk/find-local-council and then use the local authority’s site to locate your nearest centre. The Trussell Trust, which runs many foodbanks, has a similar tool. https://www.trusselltrust.org/get-help/find-a-foodbank/Citizens Advice provides free help to people in need. The organisation can help you find grants or benefits, or advise on rent, debt and budgeting. https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/. If you are experiencing feelings of distress and isolation, or are struggling to cope, The Samaritans offers support; you can speak to someone for free over the phone, in confidence, on 116 123 (UK and ROI), email jo@samaritans.org, or visit the Samaritans website to find details of your nearest branch. “There’s a high threshold that any package that we bring forward delivers more gain than pain, that the gain is worth the pain, that it does not jeopardise the investment,” he said. “You don’t introduce random taxes that make the economic environment unpredictable.” Offshore Energies UK (OEUK), which represents the offshore oil and gas industry, has warned a one-off tax on North Sea firms would see higher prices and do long-term damage to the oil and gas industry. A Treasury spokesperson said: “The chancellor was clear that as the situation evolves, so will our response, with the most vulnerable being his No 1 priority. “He will set out more details tomorrow.” The prime minister said the hundreds of billions poured in to dealing with the Covid pandemic had left a “very difficult fiscal position”. At a Downing Street press conference, he acknowledged households “are going to see pressures for a while to come” as a result of the spike in global energy prices and supply chain problems following the pandemic. But he said: “We will continue to respond, just as we responded throughout the pandemic. “It won’t be easy, we won’t be able to fix everything. “But what I would also say is we will get through it and we will get through it well.” Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has argued a U-turn on the windfall tax was “inevitable” as the tax on North Sea firms would “raise billions of pounds, cutting energy bills across the country”. Additional reporting by PA Read More Sue Gray report: Ex-minister urges fellow Tories to topple PM or lose election Two-thirds of voters want Johnson to go if report slams him over Partygate Ken Clarke attacks Rishi Sunak for failing to help poor hit by cost of living Keir Starmer taunts PM that he ‘can’t make his mind up’ on windfall tax Two Commons by-elections set to be held on same day in June Labour urges MPs to back windfall tax warning household savings being ‘crunched’

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Uvalde school shooting suspect was a loner who bought two assault rifles for his 18th birthday

The suspect who killed 19 kids and two teachers at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, was a local high school student with few if any friends who officials said legally purchased two assault rifles and scores of ammo last week for his 18th birthday.

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Nigeria's kidnapping crisis: Should ransom payments be banned?

Businessman Lawal Ado has paid ransoms three times and says there is no other option.

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Star Hobson: Warnings from relatives of murdered girl recorded as ‘malicious’ by social services

Warnings from relatives of Star Hobson were recorded as “malicious” by social services months before she was murdered by her mother’s partner, a government review has found. Concerns raised by relatives of both the one-year-old girl and Arthur Labinjo-Hughes, another child who was killed in his home in 2020, were “too often disregarded” and not properly investigated by police and social workers, according to the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel. The report, commissioned by the government following the deaths of the two infants – murdered within four months of each other – warns that the way child protection is approached in England needs to “change fundamentally” in order to prevent future tragedies. It recommends dedicated multi-agency teams staffed by experienced child protection professionals be set up in every local authority area to investigate allegations of serious harm to children, and that a new child protection ministerial group is set up. Star, described by family and friends as an inquisitive toddler who loved to listen to music, died in September 2020 after suffering significant damage to her internal organs and a fractured skull and shins at the hands of her mother’s partner Savannah Brockhill. The report states that when Star’s maternal grandmother made a referrals to children’s services in Bradford four months before her death, the social work team visited the household and concluded that the referral was “malicious”. Following another visited on 4 September, after the grandmother raised further concerns, the social worker noted that the home was clean, warm and tidy and that the referral was once again deemed to be malicious and the concerns were not substantiated. In the case of Arthur, described by family members and his teachers as a happy, healthy young boy who always had a smile on his face, his paternal grandparents raised concerns about bruising in April 2020. Police denied a request for a visit based on their observation of Arthur the previous day. Social workers made a visit the following day and no safeguarding concerns were identified. Later that month, the grandmother and other family members raised further concerns of bruising on Arthur’s body, but it was decided by social services that no further investigation was needed. Less than two months later Arthur suffered Cardiac Arrest after sustaining a severe head injury, and died the next day. The report notes that one of the contributing factors to both of the children’s death was “source bias” - a “tendency to interpret information depending on its source not substance, for example, the view in Star’s case that family members’ referrals were malicious”. It recommends that from now on “no referral is deemed malicious without a full and thorough multi-agency assessment, including talking with the referrer, and agreement with the appropriate manager”. The report also states that the two tragic cases show that inexperienced professionals – social workers in particular – were too often being asked to undertake this work without sufficient supervision and support. And it noted that the coronavirus pandemic had an impact, as changes to the way children’s sosicla work was carried out led to “fragmented” management oversight of the response to individual referrals and a “lack of clarity” about case-holding accountability. “These aspects had some impact on the effectiveness of the response to concerns about bruising to Arthur and subsequent decision making,” it states. In the case of Star, it notes that while face to face home visits by social workers were largely maintained, with one virtual visit by a social worker in June 2020, the health visitor carried out her 9–12-month assessment by telephone. “This would have been more limited in nature than a face-to-face review and offered less opportunity to explore wider aspects of Star’s care and development,” according to the report. Star's great-grandfather, David Fawcett, 62, spoke of his anger at learning social workers' investigation into Star's case was closed a week before she died. "Reading between the lines, they didn't have the manpower, which is why they had to close the case - it's pretty damning," he said. "The proposals they've put forward are positive because it's communication - that's where Star was failed, a lack of communication between different authorities. "How it was run before was pretty shambolic but I am optimistic something can be done and lessons will be learned." The reviewers found that the fatal abuses suffered by Arthur and Star were “not isolated incidents”, but reflective of wider problems with poor information sharing and weak decision-making. The panel interviewed just under 80 professionals in Bradford, Birmingham and Solihull, as well as the children’s family members, including Star’s mother and her mother’s partner. It also drew on 1,500 rapid reviews of serious incidents since it was formed. It said existing multi-agency arrangements for protecting children are more fractured and fragmented than they should be, and “promising approaches” are implemented patchily across the country. Review chairwoman Annie Hudson said: “Arthur and Star suffered horrific and ultimately fatal abuse. But sadly, whilst their individual stories are unique, many hundreds of children are seriously harmed each year. “At the moment, each professional who comes into contact with a child holds one piece of the jigsaw of what is happening in a child’s life. “Our proposed reforms would bring together experts from social work, police and health into one team so that they can have a better picture of what is happening to a child, listening carefully to relatives’ concerns and taking necessary actions to protect children.” Sir Peter Wanless, NSPCC chief executive, said Arthur and Star’s deaths “have left a lasting scar on the nation”, adding: “It is heart-breaking that it had to take these tragedies to shine a light on the shortfalls in the child protection system. “This review lays bare an all-too-familiar story of a system struggling to cope. Social workers, police, health practitioners and teachers, however hard they are working as individuals, know they cannot do this alone.” Responding to the findings, education secretary Nadhim Zahawi said: “The deaths of Arthur and Star appalled the nation and highlighted the urgent need for action and change. “We must waste no time learning from the findings of this review – enough is enough. I will set up a new child protection ministerial group, a first and immediate step in responding to these findings, before setting out a bold implementation plan later this year to bring about a fundamental shift in how we support better outcomes for our most vulnerable children and families.” Read More Minister: We cannot stop evil against children but review can help limit cases Most Black women ‘have had burnt scalp or alopecia from hair relaxers’ study finds How a decade of the hostile environment has torn lives apart Mother of murdered toddler Star Hobson has sentence increased after 16-month-old died at girlfriend’s hands Arthur Labinjo-Hughes ‘faced systematic brutality amounting to torture’ Star Hobson’s mother Frankie Smith to have sentence for toddler’s death reviewed

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Twitter to pay $150M penalty over privacy of users' data

Twitter will pay a $150 million penalty and put in new safeguards to settle federal regulators’ allegations that the social platform failed to protect the privacy of users’ data over a six-year span

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Halsey calls out U.S. lawmakers for 'protecting guns over our youth'

On Wednesday, Halsey took to their Instagram Stories to urge American leaders to implement gun control measures.

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