fnc/world

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A lesbian-owned, vegan coffee shop in Brunswick, Australia, that made international headlines in 2017 for charging a voluntary 18 percent “man tax” will close its doors for good Sunday after less than two years in business.

Handsome Her, which opened as a “space for women, by women,” received backlash for what critics called reverse sexism. The café asked male patrons upon checkout if they wanted to pay an optional surcharge meant to represent the gender pay gap and offered female patrons priority seating.

LGBTQ GROUPS CONDEMN TRUMP ADMINISTRATION’S CAMPAIGN TO END CRIMINALIZATION OF HOMOSEXUALITY WORLDWIDE AS STUNT

While the business did not confirm or deny rumors of bankruptcy, co-owner Alexandra O’Brien said the Handsome Her team will continue to pursue its mission to drive change with “hands-on” work across Australia. O’Brien said allegations of sexism only proved “how fragile masculinity is” and confirmed the need to “confront and dismantle patriarchy.”

The business’ apparent failure sparked mixed reactions online. While some social media users praised the Handsome Her team as “heroes” and “lesbian feminist activists,” others called them “man-haters” and said the cafe’s impending closure proved that “sexism in business is a bad idea.”

In a Facebook post titled “A Handsome Farewell,” O’Brien said the café opened “to carve out a swathe of space to prioritize women and women’s issues,” but instead became a “punching bag” while “gentlemen’s social clubs live on and strong around Melbourne and the world over.”

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Handsome Her conducted business for the last time on April 14 but will hold one final day of “story-telling, dancing, singing, eating and drinking” on Sunday. The celebration will include a “pay as you feel” scheme and all proceeds will be donated to Maiti Nepal, a nonprofit organization dedicated to help the victims of sex-trafficking in Nepal, the Evening Standard newspaper reported.

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An Afghan official says the Taliban ambushed a security convoy, killing nine policemen in western Farah province.

Abdul Samad Salehi, a provincial councilman, says the convoy was heading to defuse a roadside bomb on Wednesday afternoon when the ambush happened in Anardara district.

Saleh says that shortly after the attack on the convoy, other Taliban insurgents targeted and briefly overran the district police headquarters. After a few hours of clashes, reinforcements arrived and wrested back control of the headquarters.

The insurgents did not immediately comment on the Farah attacks. The Taliban have been active in the area and have launched large-scale attacks against Afghan security forces in Farah.

The Taliban stage-near daily attacks even as they hold talks with a U.S. envoy tasked on a peaceful resolution to the war.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said Thursday they had good talks about their joint efforts to resolve a standoff over Pyongyang’s nuclear program, amid stalled negotiations with the United States.

Speaking at the start of the discussions at a university on the Russky Island across a bridge from Vladivostok, Putin voiced confidence that Kim’s visit will “help better understand what should be done to settle the situation on the Korean Peninsula, what we can do together, what Russia can do to support the positive processes going on now.”

Kim’s first trip to Russia comes about two months after his second summit with President Donald Trump failed because of disputes over U.S.-led sanctions on the North. Putin meanwhile wants to expand Russia’s clout in the region and get more leverage with Washington.

KAZIANIS: PUTIN, KIM LOOK TO IMPROVE RELATIONSHIP

“We welcome your efforts to develop an inter-Korean dialogue and normalize North Korea’s relations with the United States,” Putin told Kim. Following their one-on-one meeting at the start of broader talks involving officials from both sides, Putin and Kim said they had a good discussion.

“We discussed the situation on the Korean Peninsula and exchanged opinions about what should be done to improve the situation and how to do it,” Putin said. Kim noted that they had a “very meaningful exchange.”

“The reason we visited Russia this time is to meet and share opinions with your excellency, President Putin, and also share views on the Korean Peninsula and regional political situation, which has garnered the urgent attention of the world, and also hold deep discussions on strategic ways to pursue stability in the regional political situation and on the matters of jointly managing the situation,” Kim said.

He also congratulated the Russian leader on his re-election to another six-year term last year.

In February, Trump-Kim talks ended without any agreement because of disputes over U.S.-led sanctions. There have since been no publicly known high-level contacts between the U.S. and North Korea, although both sides say they are still open to a third summit.

Kim wants the U.S. to ease the sanctions to reciprocate for some partial disarmament steps he took last year. But the U.S. maintains the sanctions will stay in place until North Korea makes more significant denuclearization moves.

North Korea has increasingly expressed frustration at the deadlocked negotiations. Last week, it tested a new weapon and demanded that U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo be removed from the nuclear talks.

Kim arrived in Vladivostok Wednesday aboard an armored train, telling Russian state television that he was hoping that his first visit to Russia would “successful and useful.” He evoked his father’s “great love for Russia” and said that he intends to strengthen ties between the two countries. The late Kim Jong Il made three trips to Russia, last time in 2011.

Like the U.S., Russia has strongly opposed Pyongyang’s nuclear bid. Putin has welcomed Trump’s meetings with Kim, but urged the U.S. to do more to assuage Pyongyang’s security concerns.

Ahead of the talks, Putin’s foreign affairs adviser Yuri Ushakov said that Russia will seek to “consolidate the positive trends” stemming from Trump-Kim meetings. He noted that the Kremlin would try to help “create preconditions and a favorable atmosphere for reaching solid agreements on the problem of the Korean Peninsula.”

Dmitri Trenin, the director of the Carnegie Moscow Center, said that Putin will likely encourage Kim to continue constructive talks with the U.S., reflecting Russia’s own worry about the North nuclear and missile programs. “Russia can’t be expected to side with North Korea and, let’s say, support the North Koreans all the way in the Security Council where Russia is a veto wielding member and where all sanctions imposed on North Korea require Russia’s approval,” he said.

Trenin emphasized that Moscow is skeptical that the North could be persuaded to fully abandon its nuclear weapons, considering it a “mission impossible.”

“North Korea will not give up the only guarantee of the survival of the North Korean state and its regime,” Trenin said.

Russia would also like to gain broader access to North Korea’s mineral resources, including rare metals. Pyongyang, for its part, covets Russia’s electricity supplies and investment to modernize its dilapidated Soviet-built industrial plants, railways and other infrastructure.

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Vladivostok, a city of more than half a million on the Sea of Japan, faced gridlock on its roads as traffic was blocked in the city center due to Kim’s visit. The authorities have temporarily closed the waters around Russky Island to all maritime traffic.

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At least he reuses his bags!

An armed robber in Queensland, Australia, raised eyebrows after he appeared to give up on a blue reusable bag he was using to conceal his identity and instead used it to carry out stolen cash and goods from a gas station, according to police.

FLORIDA THIEVES USE SLEDGEHAMMERS TO STEAL OVER $340G OF JEWELRY: POLICE

Security footage shows a man enter a gas station store in Caboolture, north of Brisbane, around 8:30 p.m. with a blue reusable shopping bag over his head to mask his identity, police said. The man allegedly threatens the female clerk with a knife who then hands over cigarettes and opens the register for the thief.

The robber first stashed the goods in his pockets, but then removes the bag from his head to carry the remaining bundles of money and cigarettes packs from the shop, leaving his face on full view to cameras in the process, police said.

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Police said no one was injured in the incident and are asking anyone with information to come forward, The Independent reported.

Source: Fox News World

The Latest on the Easter attacks in Sri Lanka (all times local):

10:20 a.m.

Australia’s prime minister said one of the suicide bombers in the Sri Lanka Easter attacks had been in Australia years earlier.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the person had been in Australia on a student and a graduate skilled visa with a spouse and child visa as well. The individual left in early 2013.

Morrison told reporters Thursday the person’s Australian link was part of an ongoing investigation and wouldn’t comment further.

Separately, a British security official has confirmed one of the bombers was believed to have studied in the U.K. between 2006 and 2007. The security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the investigation, said British intelligence was not watching Abdul Lathief Jameel Mohamed during his stay in the country. His name was first reported by Sky News.

— Associated Press journalist Greg Katz in London contributed to this report.

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10 a.m.

Sri Lanka has banned drones and unmanned aircraft as authorities continue controlled detonations of suspicious items four days after a series of suicide bombing attacks killed more than 350 people in and around the capital of Colombo.

Sri Lanka’s civil aviation authority said Thursday that it was taking the measure “in view of the existing security situation in the country.”

Hobby drones have been used by militants in the past to carry explosives.

Iraqi forces learned that they are difficult to shoot down while driving out the Islamic State group from northern Iraq, where the extremists loaded drones with grenades or simple explosives to target their forces.

Also Thursday Sri Lankan authorities detonated a suspicious item in a garbage dump in Pugoda, about 35 kilometers (22 miles) east of Colombo.

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6 a.m.

Japan’s Foreign Ministry has confirmed one Japanese national was killed and four others injured in the Easter bombings in Sri Lanka.

The body of the person who died was returned to Japan early Thursday.

Officials at Narita airport near Tokyo lowered their heads as the coffin, covered with blue tarp and a bouquet of white flowers on top, came out of the plane.

Japanese media have identified the victim as 39-year-old Kaori Takahashi. The reports say she was having breakfast with her family at the Shangri-La hotel when she was killed and that her husband and a daughter were injured in the attack.

The Foreign Ministry has not released the identities of the dead and injured.

Sri Lankan police have said at least 359 people were killed and more than 500 wounded in Sunday’s bombings, which mainly targeted churches and hotels. Most of the victims were Sri Lankan but more than 30 of the dead were foreigners.

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Sri Lanka has banned drones and unmanned aircraft as authorities continue controlled detonations of suspicious items four days after a series of suicide bombing attacks killed more than 350 people in and around the capital of Colombo.

Sri Lanka’s civil aviation authority said Thursday that it was taking the measure “in view of the existing security situation in the country.”

Hobby drones have been used by militants in the past to carry explosives.

Iraqi forces learned that they are difficult to shoot down while driving out the Islamic State group from northern Iraq, where the extremists loaded drones with grenades or simple explosives to target their forces.

Also Thursday Sri Lankan authorities detonated a suspicious item in a garbage dump in Pugoda, about 35 kilometers (22 miles) east of Colombo.

Source: Fox News World

The chairman of Poland’s conservative ruling party, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, has called the LGBT rights movement a foreign import that threatens the Polish nation.

Kaczynski, Poland’s most important politician, also said “everyone must accept Christianity” and that questioning the powerful Roman Catholic in Poland is unpatriotic.

The positions that Kaczynski took Wednesday in a lecture on patriotism in the central city of Wroclawek come ahead of elections next month to the European Parliament and a general election in Poland in the fall.

His Law and Justice party has made opposition to LGBT rights a campaign issue, which Kaczynski called “a direct attack on family and children.”

Calling the LGBT rights movement “imported,” he said it “actually threatens our identity, our nation, its continuation and therefore the Polish state.”

Source: Fox News World

Chinese state media say 11 workers were killed and two seriously injured when the cable on an elevator snapped at a construction site in northern China.

The Voice of China radio said the accident occurred early Thursday morning in the Hebei province city of Hengshui.

It is the latest in a series of industrial accidents this year that have killed scores of workers, underscoring shoddy enforcement of safety regulations and a desire to cut corners as the economy slows.

In March, 78 people were killed in a blast at a chemical plant in the Jiangsu province city of Yancheng that had numerous safety violations, making it one of China’s worst industrial accidents in recent years.

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The Latest on the summit between Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (all times local):

2 p.m.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un have shaken hands before heading to talks at a university in Russia’s far-eastern city of Vladivostok.

TV coverage showed Kim arriving in a limousine before shaking hands with Putin. Putin smiled and gestured to Kim before they both walked inside the building.

Putin then introduced Kim to Russian officials who shook his hand.

Thursday’s summit reflects Russia’s effort to position itself as an essential player in the North Korean nuclear standoff.

Kim’s first trip to Russia comes about two months after his second summit with U.S. President Donald Trump, which failed because of disputes over U.S.-led sanctions on the North.

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12:30 p.m.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has arrived in Vladivostok for a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Thursday’s summit reflects Russia’s effort to position itself as an essential player in the North Korean nuclear standoff.

Kim’s first trip to Russia comes about two months after his second summit with U.S. President Donald Trump, which failed because of disputes over U.S.-led sanctions on the North.

Putin and Kim are set to have one-on-one meeting at the Far Eastern State University on the Russky Island across a bridge from Vladivostok. The meeting will be followed by broader talks involving officials from both sides.

Kim arrived Wednesday in Vladivostok on his armored train, saying upon arrival that he’s hoping for a “successful and useful” visit.

Source: Fox News World

Australia’s prime minister on Thursday played down any potential link between the arrest of a suspected Islamic State group member in Turkey and a World War I battle commemoration attended by hundreds of Australians and New Zealanders at the Gallipoli peninsula.

A Syrian national was detained in Tekirdag province before the annual gathering for a dawn service at ANZAC Cove to mark the April 25, 1915, landing of Australian and New Zealand Army Corps troops in an ill-fated campaign to take the Dardanelles Straits, according to media reports.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the arrest took place three driving hours from of the Gallipoli service and no changes to security had been made as a result.

“The reports that we are receiving are inconclusive about any link between that arrest and any possible planned event at Gallipoli itself,” Morrison told reporters. “In fact, to make that assumption would be, I think, making a very big assumption.”

Morrison said Australian Defense Force Chief Gen. Angus Campbell was representing Australia at the service and had nothing but praise for the work of Turkish police and military to provide security.

“I’d simply say this: It’s fairly routine for Turkish authorities to arrest people with suspected terrorist links,” Morrison said.

Concerns about Australians and New Zealanders’ safety at Gallipoli escalated last month when a diplomatic row flared between Turkey and Australia after an Australian was arrested in the killings of 50 worshippers at two mosques in New Zealand on March 15.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned Australians and New Zealanders going to Turkey with anti-Muslim views would return home in coffins, like their ancestors who fought at Gallipoli.

Morrison slammed the comments as “highly offensive,” but later said tensions had eased after Erdogan’s office explained the president’s words were “taken out of context.”

ANZAC Day services were held throughout Australia and New Zealand on Thursday, with Britain’s Prince William laying a wreath in the New Zealand city of Auckland.

The Duke of Cambridge will on Friday visit the mosques in Christchurch where 50 Muslims were killed and another 50 wounded.

Source: Fox News World


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