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Russian doping: IOC bans Russia from 2018 Winter Olympics

Russia has been banned from competing at next year’s Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang by the International Olympic Committee. But Russian athletes who can prove they are clean would be allowed to compete in South Korea under a neutral flag. It follows an investigation into allegations of state-sponsored doping at the 2014 Games hosted by Russia in Sochi. “This should draw a line under this damaging episode,” the IOC said. IOC president Thomas Bach and his board – who made the announcement in Lausanne on Tuesday – came to the decision…

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Germany bans children's smartwatches

A German regulator has banned the sale of smartwatches aimed at children, describing them as spying devices. It had previously banned an internet-connected doll called, My Friend Cayla, for similar reasons. Telecoms regulator the Federal Network Agency urged parents who had such watches to destroy them. One expert said the decision could be a “game-changer” for internet-connected devices. “Poorly secured smart devices often allow for privacy invasion. That is really concerning when it comes to kids’ GPS tracking watches – the very watches that are supposed to help keep them…

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California bans use of some farming pesticides near schools

California has banned farmers from using certain pesticides near schools and day care centers under a new rule announced Tuesday that regulators said is among the toughest in the U.S. Under the new rule, California farmers will be prohibited from spraying pesticides within a quarter mile (0.4 kilometers) of public K-12 schools and licensed daycare centers from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the school week, the state Department of Pesticide Regulation said in a statement. The new regulations take effect Jan. 1 and apply to crop dusters flying over…

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Crazy bans in football, including kits, Pokemon Go, and skiing

Tuesday, October 31, 2017 Manchester City supporters have been banned from wearing belts at their Champions League clash with Napoli, in Italy. Thousands of fans are heading to Naples for the match at the Stadio San Paolo but, whether cheering on the hosts or the visitors, will not be allowed inside the stadium with the item of clothing on. The strange ban comes after a Napoli fan was jailed for his part in an attack on Man City supporters where a large group wielded belts as weapons. This isn’t the…

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Game of Thrones road bans traffic

Traffic is to be banned from travelling through the Dark Hedges – made famous by the TV fantasy drama Game of Thrones – from Monday. The tunnel of beech trees on the Bregagh Road near Armoy in County Antrim has become a major international tourist attraction. The scene was used by the Game of Thrones crew to represent the Kingsroad in the HBO drama series. The ban comes after concerns about the impact of traffic on the site. Dark Hedges suffer Easter crowds and cars Game of Thrones road closure…

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Twitter bans RT and Sputnik ads amid election interference fears

Twitter is banning two of Russia’s biggest media outlets from buying advertising amid fears they attempted to interfere with the 2016 US election. The ban on advertising from Russia Today (RT) and Sputnik, and all linked accounts, was “effective immediately”. US authorities say both act as “a platform for Kremlin messaging”. The social media giant will donate an estimated $ 1.9m (£1.4m) made from the outlets into research on Twitter’s use in “civic engagement and elections”. Twitter promises more ad transparency In a statement, Twitter said the decision “was based…

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Facebook bans rapper Lil B for 'hate speech' posts

US rapper Lil B, known for his outspoken views on social media, is facing a 30-day ban under Facebook’s hate speech policies. The musician has expressed anger over the suspension and fans have criticised the ban on Twitter. Facebook said some of his posts violated its policies on hate speech. The posts, according to publications with which he later shared the messages, related to white people and gun violence. Political news website The Hill republished two of the banned posts. They read: “White people are the only ones who really…

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