News Headlines - 17 March 2021

Catholic Church 'cannot bless same-sex unions' - BBC News

The Catholic Church does not have the power to bless same-sex unions, the Vatican office responsible for doctrine has said.
It is "impossible" for God to "bless sin", the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) said on Monday.
But the CDF did note the "positive elements" in same-sex relationships.
In October, Pope Francis said in a documentary that he thought same-sex couples should be allowed to have "civil unions".

EU court outlaws French practice of trapping songbirds with glue | Reuters

The traditional French practice of trapping songbirds with glue is illegal and cannot be authorised by the state, the EU Court of Justice said on Wednesday, handing a victory to bird lovers.
France is the only country in the European Union to allow the catching of birds, in parts of the south, by pasting glue on sticks or tree trunks, or using snares and nets, despite a 1979 EU ban.

Uber to give UK drivers minimum wage, pension, holiday pay

Uber is giving its U.K. drivers the minimum wage, pensions and holiday pay, following a recent court ruling that said they should be classified as workers and entitled to such benefits... Uber said it’s extending the benefits immediately to its more than 70,000 drivers in the U.K. Drivers will earn at least the minimum wage, which currently stands at 8.72 pounds ($12.12), after accepting a trip request and expenses, and will still be able to earn more.

Line reports personal information protection flaw | NHK WORLD

Messaging app provider Line has learned that Chinese engineers at a developer entrusted with the app's system administration were able to access personal information of Japanese users.
Privacy protection regulations stipulate that consent of users must be obtained for transfer of personal information to a foreign country. Line failed to fully explain to users that it would transfer their personal information to another country. The company reported the matter to the government's panel on privacy protection.

Former Pop Idol Arrested In Japan Over Fraud Allegations

Former pop star Juna Yamada has been arrested for allegedly swindling money from a man she met through a dating site.
Previously, the 22-year-old Yamada was a member of idol group SKE48, which she left in January 2019.
According to CBC TV, Yamada told the man that she knew how to make money through investing and is accused of defrauding a then 23-year-old company employee out of 500,000 yen ($4,580) in cash, which was supposed to cover financial investment instruction fees.