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The World This Week: COVID-19 Christmas, Mysterious Monoliths And A Threat To Freedom Of Speech

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It’s been a mix of highs and lows in international news this week. Mysterious monoliths, Christmas in COVID-19 and a fatal drunk driving fiasco in Germany are just a few worthy mentions.

Here are five notable stories from across the globe in Lovin Malta’s international news roundup in case you missed them. 

1. France just shot down a controversial security law.

Activists, journalists and protesters have poured into France’s capital on Sunday to oppose a drafted security law which would ban recording videos of police – hindering their ability to document possible brutality and blasted as a curb to press freedom. 

The bill comes just after a black music producer was beaten up by at least four police officers in Paris last week, underscoring the importance of video footage of police activity. 

Prime Minister Emmanuel Macron’s party argue that the bill doesn’t stop people from recording police, but prevents them from using it with the intention to harm.

Following the upheaval, Macron’s party LREM said that the bill will be completely rewritten and a new version will be submitted but opposers remain sceptical. 

2. The world prepares for a COVID-19 Christmas.

The festive season is just around the corner and countries are preparing for a Christmas amid COVID-19.

Italy, already under partial lockdown, is banning travel between its regions and applying a night curfew as part of strict coronavirus measures for the festive season. This comes as the country records its highest daily COVID-19 death toll since the pandemic started, with nearly 1,000 fatalities yesterday.

In France, shops, theatres and cinemas will reopen in time for Christmas and people will be able to visit their families. The majority of their strict lockdown measure will stay in place just before the festive break begins.

Germany and the UK are also set to ease restrictions for Christmas, while Spain is even planning to allow a limit of six people allowed at parties, held on terraces or other outdoor locations.

3. Germany shocked after drunk driving tragedy. 

Photo credit: CNN

Photo credit: CNN

A nine-month-old baby was amongst five people that were killed by a drunk driver who ploughed his car into a crowd of people in the city of Trier, Germany on Tuesday.

Another 15 people were left injured by the 51-year-old. There was no sign of a religious or political motive.

Since the Berlin Christmas market truck attack that killed 12 back in 2016, Germany has tightened security on pedestrian zones.

4. Nasa will buy Moondust from just a dollar.

NASA will be paying a company as little as a dollar to collect dust samples from the moon.

The US Space Agency announced Thursday that it awarded contracts to four companies to collect lunar soil, known as regolith, from €1 to €15,000, in a move that is expected to set a precedent for future exploitation of space resources by the private sector.

The companies are set to carry out the space task on the lunar South Pole during a scheduled mission to the moon in 2022 and 2023.

NASA also plans to land a human on the moon by 2024 and plan an eventual mission to Mars.

5. The mystery metal monoliths in the US.

A mysterious metal monolith has been discovered on a Californian mountain yesterday, just a week after another similar structure was found in the deserts of Utah, before being taken down.

Curious onlookers and hikers made the trip to view it. Their photos went viral on the internet.

Its creator remains a subject of speculation and so does the identity of its destroyers who removed it. A group of four men reportedly walked off with it in sleek silver pieces uttering the words “leave no trace”.

Cover image credit: protesters: thelocal.fr

Monolith: Utah Department of Public Safety

Is there an international news piece you think we’ve missed? Comment below 

READ NEXT: BREAKING: UK Approves Pfizer’s COVID-19 Vaccine, Also Promised To Malta, For Widespread Use

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