The Czech Republic’s new name rolls off the tongue more easily. It now wants to be known as Czechia, though it will still keep the longer form for various scenarios.
To be clear, the terms ‘Czechia’ and ‘Czech Republic’ have been in use interchangeably in an official capacity since 2016. However, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the nation will henceforth only use the Czech Republic designation for formal contexts, such as on official government documents, embassy relations, and legal correspondence.
Meanwhile, Czechia will from now on be the preferred name for more general and casual settings. You’ll see it across literary works, newspapers, advertising signs, and in instances where the country is being represented in the fields of culture, sports, and science. International committees or politicians might even choose this name to appear more legible “and less distant” on official marketing and meeting collaterals.
In line with the transition, the Czech Tourism Board has rebranded to become VisitCzechia. Its new, more readable logo illustrates why the nation is putting so much weight on a name change.
Czechia’s Olympic team has already gone ahead to identify itself as ‘Czechia’, printing the shorter moniker across jerseys and merchandise.
Ireland’s data privacy regulator has agreed to levy a record fine of 405 million euros ($402 million) against social network Instagram following an investigation into its handling of children’s data, a spokesperson for the watchdog said.
Instagram plans to appeal against the fine, a spokesperson for its parent company, Meta, said in an emailed statement.
The investigation, which started in 2020, focused on child users between the ages of 13 and 17 who were allowed to operate business accounts, which facilitated the publication of the user’s phone number and/or email address.
“We adopted our final decision last Friday and it does contain a fine of 405 million euro,” said the spokesperson for Ireland’s Data Protection Commissioner, the lead regulator of Instagram and Facebook’s (FB) parent company.
Instagram updated its settings over a year ago and has since released new features to keep teens safe and their information private, the Meta spokesperson said.
The DPC regulates Facebook, Apple (AAPL), Google (GOOGL) and other technology giants due to the location of their EU headquarters in Ireland. It has opened over a dozen investigations into Meta companies, including Facebook and WhatsApp.
WhatsApp was last year fined a record 225 million euros for failing to conform with EU data rules in 2018.
Products from Apple and other smartphone manufacturers will have to use the same charger under a landmark deal provisionally approved by European lawmakers on Tuesday, bringing years of debate to a close and overriding the tech giant’s complaints that such regulation would hamper innovation and harm consumers.
By Fall 2024, all mobile phones, tablets and cameras sold in the European Union must be equipped with the same USB-C charging port for wired charging, according to a provisional agreement announced by European lawmakers.
The requirement—a world first—will apply to a string of devices including smartphones, headphones, e-readers, handheld gaming consoles, portable speakers and tablets “regardless of their manufacturer” and will also ensure charging speed is “harmonized” for devices that support fast charging.
Laptop makers must also comply, though they will have an additional 40 months after the new rules come into force to make the change.
Thierry Breton, the EU’s Commissioner for the Internal Market, celebrated the new rules as a win for consumers and an important step towards reducing e-waste, according to Bloomberg.
Given the number of electronic devices used every day, having “a common charger” is also “common sense,” Breton added.
The legislation, which has been negotiated within EU institutions for years, still needs formal approval from the European Parliament and European Council, which it is expected to secure later this year.
Key Background: The European Union has long sought to standardize electronic charging but for a decade has struggled to overcome the political barriers and opposition needed to do so. Such rules would slash e-waste, save money and be far better for consumers, who the bloc says are “frustrated” with “incompatible chargers piling up.” U.S. tech giant Apple, which has invested in its own “Lightning” connector and resisted moving to the technologies used by other smartphone makers, has been a particularly fierce opponent, arguing that standardization would harm consumers and stifle innovation.
What To Watch For: Wireless charging. The rules on standardized charger ports only apply to devices using wired charging, the EU said, meaning those only charging wirelessly will not have to include a USB-C port. However, the legislation will also allow the European Commission to develop standards for wireless charging in the future as it becomes more prevalent, according to the press release.
Big Number: $312 million (250 million euros). That’s how much money is wasted every year on unnecessary charger purchases in the EU, according to the European Council. There is also around 11,000 tonnes of waste produced every year from unused or thrown away chargers and cables, the bloc said.
It’s literally been waving at people but they didn’t pay heed. The blue in the French flag is now navy, reverting to the shade used before 1976 to remember the Revolution.
The exterior of the Elysée Palace, along with other presidential buildings, has been sporting the look for a year unannounced. The refresh was only made public with the publication of the book Elysée Confidentiel by journalists Eliot Blondet and Paul Larrouturou in mid-September, which recounts how the color had been so abruptly swapped, euronews reports.
Arnaud Jolens, the Elysée’s director of operations, had walked into President Emmanuel Macron’s office on the eve of the country’s National Day in 2020 bringing two variations of the flag—the post-1976 version and this one—and then declared: “By the way, I’m changing the flags on all the buildings of the presidency tomorrow.” Macron smiled.
Navy blue honors “the imagination of the Volunteers of Year II, the Poilus of 1914 and the Compagnons de la Libération of Free France,” the French Presidency details. The Volunteers of Year II were France’s first citizen army who, in 1791, volunteered to protect French territory from a threatened Prussian/Austrian invasion post-Revolution (hence the term “Year II.”)
This was the shade of the tri-colored flag up to 45 years before, and the same one flown under the Arc de Triomphe every year on Armistice Day on November 11.
The blue was later brightened to match the one in the European Union flag, a decision made by former president Valéry Giscard d’Estaing.
Decades after, the French presidency has readopted the classic navy. The switch of flags across presidential landmarks cost €5,000.
Macron was evidently pleased by the decision. “The flag that all the presidents have been dragging around since  was not the real French flag,” the book explains, describing the details of the conversation between Macron and Jolens.
When the church doors open, only white people will be allowed inside.
That’s the message the Asatru Folk Assembly in Murdock, Minnesota, is sending after being granted a conditional use permit to open a church there and practice its pre-Christian religion that originated in northern Europe.
Despite a council vote officially approving the permit this month, residents are pushing back against the decision.
Opponents have collected about 50,000 signatures on an online petition to stop the all-white church from making its home in the farming town of 280 people.
“I think they thought they could fly under the radar in a small town like this, but we’d like to keep the pressure on them,” said Peter Kennedy, a longtime Murdock resident. “Racism is not welcome here.”
Many locals said they support the growing population of Latinos, who have moved to the area in the past decade because of job opportunities, over the church.
“Just because the council gave them a conditional permit does not mean that the town and people in the area surrounding will not be vigilant in watching and protecting our area,” Jean Lesteberg, who lives in the neighboring town of De Graff, wrote on the city’s Facebook page.
The Southern Poverty Law Center describes Asatru Folk Assembly as a “neo-Volkisch hate group” that couches “their bigotry in baseless claims of bloodlines grounding the superiority of one’s white identity.”
Many residents call them a white supremacist or white separatist group, but church members deny it.
“We’re not. It’s just simply not true,” said Allen Turnage, a folk assembly board member. “Just because we respect our own culture, that doesn’t mean we are denigrating someone else’s.”
The group, based in Brownsville, California, says teachings and membership are for those of strictly European bloodlines.
The church was looking for a new church in the eastern North Dakota region when they came across Murdock. It’s unknown how many members they have worldwide or how many people will attend the new church.
“We do not need salvation. All we need is freedom to face our destiny with courage and honor,” the group wrote on its website about their beliefs. “We honor the Gods under the names given to them by our Germanic/Norse ancestors.”
Their forefathers, according to the website, were “Angels and Saxons, Lombards and Heruli, Goths and Vikings, and, as sons and daughters of these people, they are united by ties of blood and culture undimmed by centuries.”
“We respect the ways our ancestors viewed the world and approached the universe a thousand years ago,” Turnage said.
Murdock council members said they do not support the church but were legally obligated to approve the permit, which they did in a 3-1 decision.
“We were highly advised by our attorney to pass this permit for legal reasons to protect the First Amendment rights,” Mayor Craig Kavanagh said. “We knew that if this was going to be denied, we were going to have a legal battle on our hands that could be pretty expensive.”
City Attorney Don Wilcox said it came down to free speech and freedom of religion.
“I think there’s a great deal of sentiment in the town that they don’t want that group there,” he said. “You can’t just bar people from practicing whatever religion they want or saying anything they want as long as it doesn’t incite violence.”
The farming town about a 115-mile drive west of Minneapolis is known for producing corn and soybeans, which are shipped across the country. Latinos make up about 20 percent of Murdock’s small population. Many are day laborers from Mexico and Central America, city officials said.
“We’re a welcoming community,” Kennedy said, rejecting the Asatru Folk Assembly’s exclusionary beliefs. “That’s not at all what the people of Murdock feel. Nobody had a problem with the Hispanics here.”
The AFA purchased its building this year on property in a residential zone. Constructed as a Lutheran church before the zoning was changed, it was later converted to a private residence. The folk assembly needed the permit to convert the residence back to a church.
“It’s ironic the city council didn’t want to commit discrimination against the church, but the church is discriminating against Blacks,” said Abigail Suiter, 33, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. “It’s very telling of where the priority is and whose lives matter.”
Prominent lawyers disagree on the council’s options heading into the vote. Some of the debate centered on the federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, which protects religious institutions and churches from unduly burdens and discriminatory land-use regulations.
Laurence H. Tribe, a constitutional law professor at Harvard University, said the council might have been able to prevent the private sale of the property, had it known about it, through laws focused on forbidding racial discrimination in property transactions.
“No institution that proposes to exclude people on account of race is allowed to run an operation in the state of Minnesota,” Tribe said.
Kavanagh said he stands by the council vote “for legal reasons only.”
“The biggest thing people don’t understand is, because we’ve approved this permit, all of a sudden everyone feels this town is racist, and that isn’t the case,” he said. “Just because we voted yes doesn’t mean we’re racist.”
Corina Monica is an independent recording artist who recently went viral after verbally attacking employees at a Florida nail salon .
The Pompano Beach resident, who has since been dubbed “Nail Salon Karen,” was caught on camera in a racist tirade against an unidentified nail technician. Although the events leading up to the recording are unclear, Monica repeatedly tells the off-camera staffer to “go back to your f***ing country” before threatening violence.
At one point, the singer tells the employee to “cash me outside,” quoting Bhad Bhabie’s infamous catchphrase from Dr. Phil.
Monica later identifies herself as an up-and-coming singer and assures the staff that they will regret the encounter.
The cells without the CCR5 gene were part of a bone marrow transplant, which the person was undergoing as a treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma.
Following the transplant, and at 30 months after the person ceased antiretroviral therapy, doctors confirmed that the HIV viral load remained undetectable in blood samples.
This finding means that whatever traces of the virus’s genetic material might still be in the system, they are so-called fossil traces, meaning that they cannot lead to further replication of the virus.
The specialists confirmed that HIV also remained undetectable in samples of cerebrospinal fluid, semen, intestinal tissue, and lymphoid tissue.
Taxi app, mytaxi, has rebranded as FREE NOW as part of joining the wider-mobility international “NOW” brand family.
It was announced today that the FREE NOW app will be operational in 100 cities across Europe, with a subscription service which allows passengers to pre-purchase time-limited plans for discounted journeys also being trialled.
The company is also exploring the possibility of an e-scooter service in Ireland once Irish regulations allow for them.
MyTaxi, formerly Hailo, rebrands themselves as Free Now. Hailo was a perfect name for a taxi app. Why fix something that wasn’t broken?