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World in brief: June 30, 2022

BELGIUM: A huge chocolate factory has halted production after detecting salmonella in one of its batch.

The Barry Callebaut company, which produces chocolate for multiple brands sold around the world, said today that its plant in Wieze shut down all production lines as a precaution while the contamination is investigated.

The company said it has informed Belgian food safety authorities and is contacting customers who might have contaminated products in their possession.

GERMANY: The government presented plans today to make it easier for transgender people to legally change their name and gender, ending rules that required them to get “expert” assessments and a court’s authorisation.

Under the new laws, adults will be able to change their first name and legal gender at registry offices without further formalities.

The new rules will allow minors aged 14 and older to do the same with approval from their parents or guardians. And if they don’t agree, they can ask a family court to overrule them.

HONG KONG: President Xi Jinping arrived in the city today to mark the 25th anniversary of the British handover.

In a staged event, students and others lined the platform of a high-speed rail station and packed a red carpet to greet Mr Xi on his first trip outside the mainland in nearly two-and-a-half years.

He told well-wishers that Hong Kong had been “reborn from the ashes” and praised city leader Carrie Lam her for ensuring that only “patriots” would rule Hong Kong.

US: A judge cleared the way today for abortions to resume in Kentucky, temporarily blocking the state’s near-total ban on the procedure that was triggered by the Supreme Court overturning Roe v Wade.

Since that decision, nearly 200 women with scheduled appointments have been turned away from abortion clinics, according to Heather Gatnarek, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky.

The case reflects the battles being waged in courthouses around the country over whether pregnancies may be lawfully ended.

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