News Headlines - 23 January 2021

China gives coastguards power to fire on foreign ships in disputed waters | South China Morning Post

The coastguard law, passed on Friday by China’s top legislative body, the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, came two years after China’s military assumed control of the previously civilian maritime body in 2018.
The law empowers the coastguard to use “all necessary means” to deter threats posed by foreign vessels in waters “under China’s jurisdiction”. It will also allow the coastguards to launch pre-emptive strikes without prior warning if commanders deem it necessary.

Prada drops Chinese actress over alleged surrogacy row - BBC News

Luxury fashion house Prada has dropped a popular Chinese actress at the centre of a row over surrogacy.
It has been alleged that Zheng Shuang abandoned two children born to surrogates abroad, after splitting up with her partner.
Condemnation of the actress poured out online after the news broke, with many calling for her to be barred from the entertainment industry.

Emmanuel Macron promises students one euro lockdown meals and a quick return to classes | Euronews

French president Emmanuel Macron promised university students on Thursday to accelerate a return to face-to-face teaching and access to two meals a day for a euro to help them during lockdown.
Macron made the comments during an exchange with students at the University of Paris-Saclay, west of Paris, who were facing anxious months learning from computer screens and without financial support.
The French head of state said he wanted to accelerate the timetable for the resumption of face-to-face learning one day a week, despite a recent surge of coronavirus infections which shows no signs of abating.

Large cannabis factory discovered near Bank of England - BBC News

Following a tip-off about a "strong smell of cannabis", officers discovered 826 plants in the basement of a commercial building in Throgmorton Street, central London, on 14 January.
Police arrested two people and dismantled the factory, which had its own lighting and ventilation systems.
City of London Police said it was the first-ever cannabis factory discovered in the capital's financial district.

Police in Birmingham arrest boy aged 14 in connection with the murder of 15-year-old

A 14-year-old boy has been arrested on suspicion of murder after a 15-year-old was ambushed and killed in Birmingham by a gang witnesses claimed were armed with guns and knives.
The victim, who has been named by police as Keon Lincoln, died after being attacked by a group of youths in broad daylight in the Handsworth area on Thursday afternoon... West Midlands Police said their investigation was moving at a fast pace and they confirmed that a 14-year-old boy was arrested on Friday morning on suspicion of murder.