🌏 Jacinda Ardern Resigns As NZ Prime Minister, Giant Rabbit Lantern Removed In China For Being Too Ugly And More

All the world news you need to know this week.

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  • 🙌 Good News For Your Week

The British government has blocked a new Scottish law that aims to make it easier for people to legally change their gender, arguing it would have “adverse effects” on equality laws across the United Kingdom.

Although the British government has struck down Scottish legislation before, this is the first time a Scottish bill has been blocked on the grounds of affecting UK law.

The bill allowed people aged 16 and up in Scotland to change their gender on official documents through a declaration.

People no longer needed a medical diagnosis for gender dysphoria and only needed to live in their acquired gender for three months, or six months for 16 to 17-year-olds, rather than two years.

The legislation was passed by the Scottish Parliament on Dec. 22 with 86 to 38 votes and only needed to receive royal assent — the King’s approval —to formally become a law.

But it was blocked on Tuesday Jan. 17 by the UK government’s Scottish Secretary, Alister Jack, who argued it would impose a different system for Scotland than the rest of the UK when it came to the Equality Act.

The Equality Act is a UK-wide law that covers Scotland and is ruled by the British government.

The Scottish government has argued the bill does not affect the 2010 Equality Act and is consistent with recommendations from the WHO and UN.

Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon called the British decision “a full-frontal attack” on the Scottish Parliament.

Scotland can revise the bill, but Sturgeon says it intends to challenge the British ruling in court.

Also Happening Around The World

🇬🇧 Also in the UK, prime minister Rishi Sunak has been fined for not wearing a seatbelt while filming an Instagram video in the back of a moving car.

🇮🇷 An Iranian man who beheaded his 17-year-old wife has been sentenced to just eight years and two months in prison, and people are demanding justice.

🇰🇷 Jin, the oldest member of K-pop boy band BTS, shared his first photos after completing basic military training as part of South Korea’s mandatory service.

In a tearful speech, New Zealand’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern has announced she is resigning as the leader of the country.

The 42-year-old made the surprise announcement in Napier on Thursday Jan. 19, after five and a half years in the role.

“I believe that leading a country is the most privileged job anyone could ever have, but also one of the more challenging,” Ardern said. “You cannot and should not do it unless you have a full tank, plus a bit in reserve for those unexpected challenges.”

“This has been the most fulfilling five and a half years of my life. But it has also had its challenges,” she said. “But I am not leaving because it was hard. I am leaving because with such a privileged role comes responsibility – the responsibility to know when you are the right person to lead, and also, when you are not.”

“I know what this job takes, and I know that I no longer have enough in the tank to do it justice. It is that simple,” she added.

Ardern’s last day as prime minister will be Feb. 7, but she will remain as a member of parliament until April to spare the country a by-election.

She said she had no plans beyond April but was looking forward to spending time with her family once again, who she said had arguably sacrificed the most out of everyone.

She concluded her speech by thanking New Zealanders for giving her the opportunity to serve and “to take on what has and will always be the greatest role in my life.”

“I hope in return I leave behind a belief that you can be kind, but strong. Empathetic, but decisive. Optimistic, but focused,” she said. “That you can be your own kind of leader, one that knows when it’s time to go.”

More Women You Should Know About

🇸🇱 Women in Sierra Leone saw the country pass a watershed law that mandates women get equal pay and hold 30% of both public and private jobs.

🇦🇫 Mursal Nabizada, a 32-year-old former woman lawmaker in Afghanistan, was shot dead by unknown gunmen in her home in Kabul. She had been one of the few women politicians who chose to stay in the country after the Taliban’s takeover in order to fight for women’s rights.

A giant rabbit lantern in China built to celebrate the Lunar New Year has been demolished for being too ugly.

The residents of Chongqing, a bustling city of 30 million in southwest China, had been eagerly awaiting the arrival of the rabbit lantern for the Lunar New Year celebration, but it was not as gentle and charming as they had hoped.

The rabbit was created using traditional Chinese paper-cutting techniques and is covered with various icons such as clouds and coins.

The giant rabbit lantern was initially placed in Sanxia Square to celebrate the upcoming year of the rabbit, but authorities demolished the structure after receiving complaints that it was too ugly.

One WeChat user described it as “possessed”.

Recently, another rabbit has also caused a stir in China for being too ugly.

China’s official postal service removed two special rabbit-themed stamps, created to mark the year of the rabbit, after receiving negative feedback.

More Good News For Your Week

🇦🇪 A South Korean nutritionist has opened the first healthy dog and cat only cafe in the UAE.

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