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American actress and comedian Betty White dies at the age of 99.

Betty Marion White Ludden was an American actress and comedian. A pioneer of early television, with a career spanning seven decades, White was noted for her vast work in the entertainment industry. She was the first woman to produce a sitcom in the United States, which contributed to her being named honorary Mayor of Hollywood in 1955. White is often referred to as the "First Lady of Television", a title used for a 2018 documentary detailing her life and career. See more on Betty White

In Hong Kong, Stand News closes down after its staff are arrested for sedition.

On 29 December 2021, Stand News, one of the few remaining pro-democracy media outlets in Hong Kong following the passage of the Hong Kong national security law in 2020, was raided by the National Security Department of the Hong Kong Police Force. Media executives and journalists were arrested on the charge of "conspiring to publish seditious publications" on a large scale. As a result of the raid, Stand News ceased operations, the organisation's website and social media became inactive, and all of its employees were dismissed. The German foreign ministry and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights both condemned the raid. Leaders in other countries also condemned China's action. See more on Stand News raids and arrests

Stand News raids and arrests articles

Stand News
Stand News was a free, non-profit online news website based in Hong Kong, from 2014 to 2021. Founded in December 2014, it was the successor of House News. It primarily focused on social and political issues in Hong Kong, and generally took a pro-democracy editorial position.
Sedition is overt conduct, such as speech and organization, that tends toward rebellion against the established order. Sedition often includes subversion of a constitution and incitement of discontent toward, or insurrection against, established authority. Sedition may include any commotion, though not aimed at direct and open violence against the laws. Seditious words in writing are seditious libel. A seditionist is one who engages in or promotes the interest of sedition.
Pro-democracy camp (Hong Kong)
The pro-democracy camp refers to a political alignment in Hong Kong that supports increased democracy, namely the universal suffrage of the Chief Executive and the Legislative Council as given by the Basic Law under the "One Country, Two Systems" framework.
Hong Kong national security law
The Hong Kong national security law, officially the Law of the People's Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), is a piece of national security legislation concerning Hong Kong. It was passed on 30 June 2020 by the central government's Standing Committee of the National People's Congress in the wake of intense pro-democracy protests instigated by a bill proposed in 2019 to enable extradition to the mainland, and came into force the same day.
Structure of the Hong Kong Police
The Hong Kong Police Force (HKPF) is structured into numerous bureaus and units. As a whole, it is commanded by the Commissioner of Police, who is assisted by three deputy commissioners. The "Deputy Commissioner – Operations" supervises all operational matters including crime. The "Deputy Commissioner – Management" is responsible for the direction and co-ordination of force management including personnel, training, and management services. The “Deputy Commissioner — National Security” is responsible for the National Security Department, which deals with acts of sedition, terrorism, and collusion with foreign governments.
Hong Kong Police Force
The Hong Kong Police Force (HKPF) is the primary law enforcement, investigation agency, and largest disciplined service under the Security Bureau of Hong Kong. It was established by the British Hong Kong government on 1 May 1844. The 'Royal' title was bestowed upon the HKPF for its efforts in quelling communist riots in 1967. The Royal Hong Kong Police Force (RHKP) reverted to its former name after the transfer of sovereignty of Hong Kong from the United Kingdom to People's Republic of China in 1997.
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Federal Foreign Office
The Federal Foreign Office, abbreviated AA, is the foreign ministry of the Federal Republic of Germany, a federal agency responsible for both the country's foreign policy and its relationship with the European Union. It is a cabinet-level ministry. Since December 2021, Annalena Baerbock has served as Foreign Minister, succeeding Heiko Maas. The primary seat of the ministry is at the Werderscher Markt square in the Mitte district, the historic centre of Berlin.
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, commonly known as the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) or the United Nations Human Rights Office, is a department of the Secretariat of the United Nations that works to promote and protect human rights that are guaranteed under international law and stipulated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948. The office was established by the United Nations General Assembly on 20 December 1993 in the wake of the 1993 World Conference on Human Rights.

The Supreme Court of Russia orders the closure of Memorial, Russia's oldest human rights group, for violations of the foreign agent law.

Memorial is an international human rights organisation. Founded in Russia, it is the country's oldest human rights group. It consists of two separate legal entities, Memorial International, whose purpose is the recording of the crimes against humanity committed in the Soviet Union, particularly during the Stalinist era, and the Memorial Human Rights Centre, which has focused on the protection of human rights, especially in conflict zones in and around modern Russia. A movement rather than a centralised organisation, Memorial encompasses over 50 organisations in Russia and 11 in other countries, including Ukraine, Germany, Italy, Belgium and France. Although the focus of affiliated groups differs from region to region, they share similar concerns about human rights, documenting the past, educating young people and marking remembrance days for the victims of political repression. See more on Memorial (society)

Memorial (society) articles

Supreme Court of Russia
The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation is a court within the judiciary of Russia and the court of last resort in Russian administrative law, civil law and criminal law cases. It also supervises the work of lower courts. Its predecessor is the Supreme Court of the Soviet Union.
Russian foreign agent law
The Russian "foreign agent" law, officially "On Amendments to Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation regarding the Regulation of the Activities of Non-profit Organisations Performing the Functions of a Foreign Agent", is a law in Russia that requires non-profit organisations, media organisations and individuals that receive foreign donations, engage in "political activity", study and report on crime, corruption and other problems within the military, space and security industries to register and declare themselves as "foreign agents".
Human rights group
A human rights group, or human rights organization, is a non-governmental organization which advocates for human rights through identification of their violation, collecting incident data, its analysis and publication, promotion of public awareness while conducting institutional advocacy, and lobbying to halt these violations.
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Crimes against humanity
Crimes against humanity are certain acts that are purposefully committed as part of a widespread or systematic policy, directed against civilians, in times of war or peace. They differ from war crimes because they are not isolated acts committed by individual soldiers but are acts committed in furtherance of a state or organizational policy. The first prosecution for crimes against humanity took place at the Nuremberg trials. Initially being considered for legal use, widely in International Law, following the Holocaust a global standard of human rights was articulated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948). Political groups or states that violate or incite violation of human rights norms, as found in the Declaration, are an expression of the political pathologies associated with crimes against humanity.
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a socialist state that spanned Eurasia during its existence from 1922 to 1991. It was nominally a federal union of multiple national republics; in practice its government and economy were highly centralized until its final years. The country was a one-party state governed by the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, with Moscow as its capital within its largest and most populous republic, the Russian SFSR. Other major urban centers were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Tashkent, Alma-Ata and Novosibirsk. It was the largest country in the world, covering over 22,402,200 square kilometres (8,649,500 sq mi), and spanning eleven time zones.
Joseph Stalin
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was a Georgian revolutionary and Soviet political leader who governed the Soviet Union from 1924 until his death in 1953. He held power both as General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (1922–1952) and Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Soviet Union (1941–1953). Despite initially governing the country as part of a collective leadership, he ultimately consolidated power to become the Soviet Union's dictator by the 1930s. A communist ideologically committed to the Leninist interpretation of Marxism, Stalin formalised these ideas as Marxism–Leninism while his own policies are known as Stalinism.

In cricket, Australia retains the Ashes after winning the first three Tests against England.

The 2021–22 Ashes series is a series of five Test cricket matches being contested between England and Australia for The Ashes. The series is being played at five venues across Australia from 8 December 2021 and scheduled to finish on 18 January 2022. Australia were the defending holders of the Ashes going into the series, having won in 2017–18 with the 2019 Ashes series ending in a draw. The series is part of the 2021–2023 ICC World Test Championship. See more on 2021–22 Ashes series

2021–22 Ashes series articles

Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players each on a field at the centre of which is a 22-yard (20-metre) pitch with a wicket at each end, each comprising two bails balanced on three stumps. The game proceeds when a player on the fielding team, called the bowler, "bowls" (propels) the ball from one end of the pitch towards the wicket at the other end, with an "over" being completed once they have legally done so six times. The batting side has one player at each end of the pitch, with the player at the opposite end of the pitch from the bowler aiming to strike the ball with a bat. The batting side scores runs either when the ball reaches the boundary of the field, or when the two batters swap ends of the pitch, which results in one run. The fielding side's aim is to prevent run-scoring and dismiss each batter. Means of dismissal include being bowled, when the bowled ball hits the stumps and dislodges the bails, and by the fielding side either catching a hit ball before it touches the ground, or hitting a wicket with the ball before a batter can cross the crease line in front of the wicket to complete a run. When ten batters have been dismissed, the innings ends and the teams swap roles. The game is adjudicated by two umpires, aided by a third umpire and match referee in international matches.
Australia national cricket team
The Australia men's national cricket team represents Australia in men's international cricket. As the joint oldest team in Test cricket history, playing in the first ever Test match in 1877, the team also plays One-Day International (ODI) and Twenty20 International (T20I) cricket, participating in both the first ODI, against England in the 1970–71 season and the first T20I, against New Zealand in the 2004–05 season, winning both games. The team draws its players from teams playing in the Australian domestic competitions – the Sheffield Shield, the Australian domestic limited-overs cricket tournament and the Big Bash League.
England cricket team
The England cricket team represents England and Wales in international cricket. Since 1997, it has been governed by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), having been previously governed by Marylebone Cricket Club since 1903. England, as a founding nation, is a Full Member of the International Cricket Council (ICC) with Test, One Day International (ODI) and Twenty20 International (T20I) status. Until the 1990s, Scottish and Irish players also played for England as those countries were not yet ICC members in their own right.
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Test cricket
Test cricket is the form of the sport of cricket with the longest match duration and is considered the game's highest standard. Rotary Test matches are played between national representative teams that have been granted Test status, as determined and conferred by the International Cricket Council (ICC). It is called Test because the long, gruelling matches are mentally and physically testing. Two teams of 11 players each play a four-innings match, which may last up to five days. It is generally considered the most complete examination of a team's endurance and ability.<
The Ashes
The Ashes is a Test cricket series played between England and Australia. The term originated in a satirical obituary published in a British newspaper, The Sporting Times, immediately after Australia's 1882 victory at The Oval, its first Test win on English soil. The obituary stated that English cricket had died, and "the body will be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia". The mythical ashes immediately became associated with the 1882–83 series played in Australia, before which the English captain Ivo Bligh had vowed to "regain those ashes". The English media therefore dubbed the tour the quest to regain the Ashes.
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2017–18 Ashes series
The 2017–18 Ashes series was a series of Test cricket matches contested between England and Australia for The Ashes. The series was played at five venues across Australia between 23 November 2017 and 8 January 2018. England were the defending holders of the Ashes going into the series, having won in 2015. Australia won the series 4–0, regaining The Ashes after taking an unassailable lead with an innings victory in the third Test.
2019 Ashes series
The 2019 Ashes series was a series of Test cricket matches played between England and Australia for The Ashes in August and September 2019. The venues were Edgbaston, Lord's, Headingley, Old Trafford and The Oval. Australia were the defending holders of the Ashes going into the series, having won in 2017–18. It was the first Test series of the inaugural 2019–2021 ICC World Test Championship. During the second Test match a concussion substitute was used for the first time in international cricket. Ben Stokes' game-winning 135* in the third Test has been hailed by many as the greatest Test innings of all time. Australia retained the Ashes after winning the fourth Test, with England levelling the series 2–2 in the final test, resulting in the first drawn Ashes series since 1972.
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