June 2021

IKEA unveils LGBTQ-themed sofas — and the internet has thoughts on its ‘bisexual couch’

CNN —   IKEA Canada has unveiled a series of colorful couches inspired by different Pride flags, including those representing the transgender, nonbinary and asexual communities. Created to mark Pride Month, the 10 “Love Seats” were created by four LGBTQ designers and feature everything from gigantic ruffles to colorful patters and faux flowers. The Swedish retailer said in a press release that it hopes the campaign will honor “the richness and diversity of the 2SLGBTQ+ community,” using an expanded acronym that encompasses those identifying as two-spirit, an Indigenous American term for those with both a male and female spirit. IKEA…


Car given to Princess Diana from Prince Charles sells for $72,000

Written by James BriggsZamira Rahim, CNN A car given to Princess Diana by Prince Charles as an engagement present has sold for more than £52,000 ($72,000) at auction. The 1981 Ford Escort Ghia sold for about $30,000 more than the lower range of the expected price. The auctioneer’s estimate had suggested that the car would fetch between £30,000 and £40,000 ($41,500 and $55,400). With fees, the final selling price was £52,640 ($72,800). A look back at Princess Diana’s life in fashion The car was given to Diana by Prince Charles in May 1981, two months before the pair’s wedding, according…


Myanmar frees more than 2,000 prisoners held since military coup

The release was described by some activists as a ploy by the ruling military to divert attention from an ongoing security crackdown. The army has been under pressure from Western countries and Myanmar’s neighbours to release thousands of people detained during protests since it ousted the elected government of Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi on February 1. Many of the military’s opponents have been held, some convicted, under a law that criminalizes comments that could cause fear or spread false news and is punishable by up to three years in jail. Suu Kyi is on trial for a similar…



10 moments which shaped it into the most powerful party in the world

The failure of the “Great Leap Forward” weakened Mao’s grip on power. So he launched a campaign to destroy his political rivals and create total loyalty within the party. Without warning, Mao claimed that groups opposed to communist ideology had infiltrated the party and needed to be cleansed. His calls to remove the “counterrevolutionaries” and “rightists” quickly spiraled out of control. Mobs of students, now known as Red Guards, attacked anyone believed to be harboring bourgeois ideals or imperialist habits. Students across the country turned on their teachers, who they accused of being capitalists or traitors. Anyone who fell foul…


Putin says US sanctions on Russia ‘even did us good’

While not specifically singling out one incident caused by sanctions, he said that, in a way, they had furthered Russian technology. The US has imposed various sanctions on Russian individuals and businesses since the 2014 illegal annexation of Crimea. The reasons for them vary from human rights abuses to Russia’s hostile foreign policy. Speaking during a telethon with Russian citizens on Wednesday, Putin said: “We have not just adapted to the sanctions pressure. In some ways, they even did us good: replacing imported technologies with our own gave us an impetus to production. There are other positive things, such as…


Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim to rebuild Mexico City subway overpass at no cost

Lopez Obrador said during his daily press briefing on Wednesday that he met with Slim, and that the billionaire assured the President that his construction firm “will pay for everything” needed for the reconstruction of Mexico City’s Subway Line 12 overpass. “He will take care of the reconstruction of the entire [subway line] stretch, making sure that it gets done with all the necessary safety [measures] at no cost to the [Mexican] people and without asking [the government] for a budget,” Lopez Obrador said. Slim “will not wait for the judicial [final investigation findings],” and will begin coordinating with Mexico…


China’s Chengdu Tianfu International Airport is officially open

(CNN) — China’s long-awaited Chengdu Tianfu International Airport has officially begun operations, offering travelers a new gateway to the home of giant pandas. Its inaugural flight, operated by Sichuan Airlines, took off at 11:10 a.m. on Sunday, bound for Beijing. Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province, is now the third city in the country to have two international airports, joining Shanghai and Beijing. Constructed at a cost of about 70 billion Chinese yuan ($10.8 billion), phase one of the massive aviation hub has the capacity to handle up to 60 million passengers per year, further opening up the country’s southwest…



International law enforcement take down DoubleVPN service allegedly used by ransomware gangs

The VPN service was shut down on Tuesday as officials from the US, Canada, and several European countries seized servers and websites around the world belonging to DoubleVPN, according to Europol, the European law enforcement coordinating agency. Visitors to the company’s website are now greeted by a government takedown notice. “Law enforcement gained access to the servers of DoubleVPN and seized personal information, logs and statistics kept by DoubleVPN about all of its customers,” the notice reads, adding that officials intend to use the data to continue their investigation. “Today’s announcement sends a strong message to the criminals using such…


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