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TikTok users sue U.S. government over impending ban

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About eight TikTok users have taken the U.S. federal government to task, alleging that a statute by President Joe Biden encroaches upon their sacrosanct First Amendment liberties.

This marks the second legal challenge against the government in response to apprehensions surrounding TikTok’s Beijing-centric corporate parentage.

The lawsuit claims the law is too broad and would kill off a big part of American life, which is communication through TikTok. The users suing the government come from different backgrounds, like a Texas rancher and a Tennessee cookie business owner, according to reports by Forbes.

This legal battle comes after ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company in China, filed its lawsuit, saying the law might violate free speech. ByteDance also says the time given to sell TikTok is impossible to meet.

The lawsuit highlights just how big TikTok is in the U.S., with about 170 million Americans using it to watch and share videos.

One important quote from the lawsuit shows that despite their differences, TikTok users feel strongly about the app: “Although they come from different places, professions, walks of life, and political persuasions, (American TikTok users) are united in their view that TikTok provides them a unique and irreplaceable means to express themselves and form community.”

The legal battle started when President Biden signed a law saying TikTok had to find a new owner or get banned. This was part of a big money package to help countries like Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan.  

The law gave TikTok 270 days to sell, with a chance for an extra 90 days if they made progress. TikTok says it’s not possible to sell the app in that short time, and they think the law is too harsh. 

Before the law was passed, TikTok fans went to Washington D.C., to try and save the app. They used hashtags like “#KeepTikTok” and contacted politicians to support them. Lawmakers had been worried about TikTok for a while because they thought it could be a security risk and that ByteDance might be sharing user data with China. TikTok says it’s not doing that. 

In 2022, Congress banned TikTok on federal devices, and some states did the same. Montana even tried to ban TikTok statewide, but the courts stopped it, saying it was unfair and targeted China. 

As the legal battle heats up, it shows how much is at stake for TikTok and its users – it’s not just about an app, but about free speech, privacy, and international relations.

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Burkina Faso extends military rule by five years

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The military junta in Burkina Faso says it will extend its rule by another five years.

BBC reports the state-owned broadcaster as stating that Ibrahim Traoré, a captain and the country’s military ruler, will be eligible to contest the next presidential election.

Burkina Faso is one of the three countries in West Africa being ruled by juntas.

Traoré seized power on September 30, 2022.

The coup leaders had said their putsch would help fix the country’s political instability.

However, there has been an attempt to wrest power from the junta at least twice.

The decision to return to democratic rule after five years followed a national consultation meeting in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso’s capital city.

A 60-month transition period will begin on July 2 this year, according to an amended charter.

“The elections marking the end of the transition may be organised before this deadline if the security situation so permits,” the charter reads.

Traoré said he took over power because Paul-Henri Damiba, his predecessor, could not address the insurgency confronting the country.

Damiba had seized power from President Roch Kaboré.

Since 2015, jihadist rebels affiliated with Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State, have waged an insurgency against the West African nation that has led to the deaths of thousands and displacement of millions.

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10 travel routes where air passengers experience most turbulence

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Turbulence is most felt at the front and rear of the plane.

Whether you’re afraid of flying or not, turbulence can be a stressful flight experience.

One minute you’re flying smoothly, the next you see the seat belt sign light up and things start to get a little hectic.

And while turbulence is nothing to worry about in most cases, there are certain routes on which travellers experience more of it than others.

To start with, it’s worth understanding exactly what turbulence is and why it happens.

What is turbulence and is it safe?
Turbulence in aviation is the turbulent movement of air masses that causes the aircraft to vibrate. They arise from the contact of air currents of different directions and speeds, as well as from sudden changes in wind direction and speed.

An interesting fact is that turbulence is most felt at the front and rear of the plane, so if someone is afraid of violent vibrations, they should choose places closer to the center of the plane.

Although they may cause discomfort to passengers, turbulence does not pose a threat to flight safety. Modern aviation technology allows you to effectively avoid places of turbulence, and the principle of fastening seat belts throughout the flight additionally increases the safety of passengers in the event of the so-called clear sky turbulence difficult to predict.

The most “troubled” flight routes in the world in 2023

Analysis of approximately 150 thousand air routes conducted by the Turbli portal revealed the most turbulent flight routes in 2023.

The routes were ranked according to the “vortex dissipation coefficient,” which measures the intensity of turbulence in a given location.

The most turbulent air route in the world in 2023 was between Santiago and Santa Cruz, an approximately 1,900 km journey between Chile and Bolivia. The next place was taken by an approximately 250-kilometer route connecting the Kazakh city of Almaty with Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan. Two of the 10 routes were in Europe, and six were domestic routes in Japan and China.

  1. Santiago (SCL) – Santa Cruz (VVI)
  2. Almaty (ALA) — Bishkek (FRU)
  3. Lanzhou (LHW) — Chengdu (CTU)
  4. Centrair (NGO) – Sendai (SDJ)
  5. Milan (MXP) – Geneva (GVA)
  6. Lanzhou (LHW) — Xianyang (XIY)
  7. Osaka (KIX) – Sendai (SDJ)
  8. Xianyang (XIY) — Chengdu (CTU)
  9. Xianyang (XIY) — Chongqing (CKG)
  10. Milan (MXP) – Zurich (ZRH)

*

This article was originally published on Onet Travel.

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Three Americans among suspects arrested for coup attempt in DR Congo

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Three Americans have been reportedly listed among suspects responsible for Sunday’s coup attempt in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Sylvain Ekenge, DRC army spokesperson, said the attempt involved “foreigners and Congolese”.

“These foreigners and Congolese have been put out of action, including their leader,” Ekenge said, adding that several suspects were detained and that the situation is now under control.

The army spokesperson did not provide further information concerning the incident.

Lucy Tamyln, US ambassador to the DRC, said she was shocked and very concerned to receive reports of American citizens being involved.

Pictures of two men with their hands clasped were published in local media, alongside pictures of a passport that indicated one was a 36-year-old US citizen born in Maryland.

“Please be assured that we will cooperate with the DRC authorities to the fullest extent as they investigate these criminal acts and hold accountable any U.S. citizen involved in criminal acts,” Tamlyn tweeted.

The army’s announcement of successfully thwarting a coup attempt came hours after armed men attacked the house of Vital Kamerhe, former chief of staff and close ally of President Felix Tshisekedi.

Kamerhe’s residence is about two kilometres from the presidential palace.
Michel Muhima, Kamerhe’s spokesperson, had said the gunmen clad in military uniform engaged the politician’s guards in a shootout, leaving three people dead.

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Bodex F. Hungbo, SPMIIM is a multiple award-winning Nigerian Digital Media Practitioner, Digital Strategist, PR consultant, Brand and Event Expert, Tv Presenter, Tier-A Blogger/Influencer, and a top cobbler in Nigeria.

She has widespread experiences across different professions and skills, which includes experiences in; Marketing, Media, Broadcasting, Brand and Event Management, Administration and Management with prior stints at MTN, NAPIMS-NNPC, GLOBAL FLEET OIL AND GAS, LTV, Silverbird and a host of others

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