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Joe Biden Sworn in as 46th U.S President

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Joe Biden Sworn in As 46th US President

Joe Biden has been sworn in as the 46th United States president as Harris becomes the Vice President.

She is America’s first female and first black Asian-American person to hold the office.

Biden took his oath of office on Wednesday at the capitol in Washington D.C.

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Chief Justice, John Roberts junior, administered the pledge at exactly 11:48am eastern time.

In his Inaugural address, Mr. Biden said it was a day of “history and hope”.

“my whole soul is in putting America back together again”.

Outgoing President, Donald Trump, did not attend the ceremony.

Meanwhile, former presidents, Bill Clinton, George Bush junior, Barack Obama and their wives were in attendance.

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Foreign

Israel Minister to Discuss Pegasus Scandal in France Visit

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Israel Minister to Discuss Pegasus Scandal in France Visit

Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz will meet his French counterpart in Paris this week for talks that will include an “update” on the Pegasus spyware scandal, his office said Tuesday.

A ministry statement said Gantz will leave Wednesday for talks with French Defence Minister Florence Parly on topics including the crisis in Lebanon, nuclear negotiations with Iran and the Pegasus malware made by Israeli firm NSO, which was allegedly used to target President Emmanuel Macron.

Pegasus, which is able to switch on a phone’s camera or microphone and harvest its data, is at the centre of a storm after a list of about 50,000 potential surveillance targets were leaked to human rights groups.

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Israel’s defence establishment has set up a committee to review the firm’s business, including the process through which export licenses are granted.

Pegasus’s list of alleged targets includes at least 180 journalists, 600 politicians, 85 human rights activists and 65 business leaders.

However, NSO insists its software is only intended for use in fighting terrorism and other crimes, and says it exports to 45 countries.

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Iranian MPs Postpone Internet Restriction Bill

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Iranian MPs Postpone Internet Restriction Bill

Iran’s parliament has suspended its review of a highly controversial bill that a minister, citizens and businesses say will only lead to more internet restrictions in the country.

The bill, first proposed three years ago, is titled “Protecting Users in Cyberspace and Organizing Social Media” but critics say it is aimed at introducing more controls in a country where most prominent global services are already banned.

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Iran’s Minister of Information and Communications Technology, Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi denounced the bill in letters to parliament speaker Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf and President-elect Ebrahim Raisi that surfaced recently.

The outgoing minister said the bill will limit users’ free access to information, weaken the government’s role in cyberspace decision-making, and make the ministry practically obsolete.

However, for it to become law, it will still need to be approved by the Guardian Council, a hard-line constitutional vetting body.

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Germany to Return 7,000 Artefacts to Nigeria in October 2021

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Germany to Return 7,000 Artefacts to Nigeria in October 2021

Nigeria’s government has said that at least 7,000 artefacts that were stolen from the Benin Kingdom are expected to be repatriated by Germany to Nigeria not later than October 2021.

This follows the advanced stage of discussions between Nigeria and Germany on the return of thousands of different pieces of Benin bronzes back to the country.

This disclosure was made by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Gabriel Aduda, while speaking at the Inaugural Nigerian Cultural Show, exhibiting Nigeria’s diverse cultural heritage, sites and traditional festivals held at the Cultural Centre, Nigeria House, New York.

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Aduda said the reparation of the artefacts would go with building an ultramodern museum in Edo and the training of some curators who would manage the artefacts.

The permanent secretary further commended the Consulate-General in New York for inaugurating in April, a Culture Centre and Library, equipped with books, cultural artefacts, research materials and historic documents on Nigeria for public use.

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