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British Royal family in first gay wedding

The British Royal family is about to have another historic royal wedding, this time a gay nuptial

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The British Royal family is about to have another historic royal wedding, this time a gay nuptial.

The event will be the very first gay wedding involving any member of the royal family.

Fifty-five year-old Lord Ivar Mountbatten (Queen Elizabeth’s cousin), came out in 2016 and announced that he was in a relationship with James Coyle, an airline cabin services director. Previously, he was married to a woman named Penelope Anne Vere Thompson and they share three daughters.

Lord Mountbatten will marry his partner this summer and his ex-wife will be walking him down the aisle.

“It was the girls’ idea,” Penelope Anne Vere Thompson said of the new wedding details. “It makes me feel quite emotional. I’m really very touched.

“For me, what’s interesting is I don’t need to get married because I’ve been there, done that and have my wonderful children; but I’m pushing it because I think it’s important for him. James hasn’t had the stable life I have. I want to be able to give you that,” she said.

As for the plans for the big day, James revealed that the ceremony, taking place in the private chapel on Lord Mountbatten’s estate in Devon, will be small and intimate, with just close friends and family in attendance followed by a bigger reception of 120 guests.

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Musings From Abroad

Swiss firm, ABB, gets $4.3 million fine over bribery case in South Africa

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Judicial authority in Switzerland has fined engineering and technology group ABB, the sum of 4 million Swiss francs ($4.3 million) in connection with a bribery case in South Africa.

According to the country’s Attorney General, the fine on ABB is for “not having taken all necessary and reasonable organisational provisions in order to prevent bribery payments to foreign officials in South Africa”.

The group was found guilty of improper payments and other compliance issues at the Kusile power station after a wide-scale investigation into state corruption concluded in June 2022.

Earlier in the week, ABB and South Africa’s National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) agreed that the company will pay reparations for its involvement in state corruption.

According to a statement by the NPA, the company agreed to pay 2.5 billion rands ($144.51 million) in punitive reparations to South Africa within 60 days from the first day of December.

The reparation is in addition to 1.6 billion rand ($92.48 million)the company paid back to South African state power utility Eskom in 2020.

The Central Europe country has been fingered in lots of corruption cases involving African countries.

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Musings From Abroad

United States: Appeal court rejects President Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan

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President Joe Biden’s plan to cancel student loan debt has suffered a new setback as a federal appeals court on Wednesday refused to support it.

A three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit in Wednesday’s brief order declined to put Pittman’s ruling on hold while the administration appealed his decision, but the court directed that the appeal be heard on an expedited basis.

The court declined to put on hold a Texas judge’s ruling that said President Biden’s move was unlawful.

President Biden had requested to pause a judge’s Nov. 10 order vacating the $400 billion student debt relief program in a lawsuit pursued by a conservative advocacy group.

President Joe Biden announced plans earlier this year to cancel $10,000 of student loan debt for borrowers who qualify and extend the federal student loan payment pause until the end of the year.

As of the fourth quarter of 2021, the average federal student loan debt balance in the United States was $37,787 while the total average balance (including private loan debt) may be as high as $40,780.

The US Department of Education had already approved requests from 16 million to about 26 million Americans that applied for student loan forgiveness.

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