A judge has blocked a US government attempt to ban the Chinese messaging and payments app, WeChat. US Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler said the ban raised serious questions related to the constitution’s first amendment, guaranteeing free speech. The Department of Commerce had announced a bar on WeChat appearing in US app stores from Sunday, effectively shutting it down.
HSBC’s shares in Hong Kong and Standard Chartered’s in London fell on Monday to their lowest since at least 1998 after media reports that they and other banks, including Barclays and Deutsche Bank, moved large sums of allegedly illicit funds over nearly two decades. The BuzzFeed and other media articles were based on leaked suspicious activity reports (SARs) filed by banks and other financial firms with the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCen).
Openly challenging the monarchy of Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn, thousands of protesters marched in Bangkok on Sunday to present demands that include a call for reforms to curb his powers. Protesters have grown ever bolder during two months of demonstrations against Thailand’s palace and military-dominated establishment, breaking a long-standing taboo on criticizing the monarchy – which is illegal under lese majeste laws.
Protesters have taken to the streets of Madrid to demonstrate against strict new lockdown measures which have come into force. Thousands of men, women and children rallied in the southern districts of the Spanish capital. The new COVID-19 measures have been introduced by the Spanish government as infection rates exceed one in 100 people in some of Madrid’s worst-affected areas in the city and its outskirts.
Jimmy Kimmel hosted the mostly virtual “Pandemmys” from a nearly empty Staples Center in Los Angeles. Canadian comedy Schitt’s Creek swept the comedy awards, HBO’s Succession dominated in drama and the evening’s most-nominated show, HBO’s prescient, eerie Watchmen, cleaned up in the limited series category. It was uncharted waters for the 72nd Emmy awards – the first major acting awards show held since the pandemic began, a strange and subdued ceremony in which stars accepted awards on Zoom.