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GoT's Mountain to face Steven Ward in Dubai today

'The Mountain' from GoT, Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, and Steven Ward will take part in the much-awaited WBO European Light Heavyweight War today at the Conrad Hotel in Dubai. There is almost a TEN stone weight difference between the two fighters. The three-minute round fight is scheduled to take place at 8.30pm UAE time. The fighters have been following strict COVID-19 protocols.

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WhatsApp backtracks post backlash, delays new terms update till May 2021

WhatsApp has cancelled its 8 February deadline for accepting an update to its terms including data-sharing with Facebook. The move comes after global backlash and mass exodus from WhatsApp, and the app has delayed the imposition of new terms till May 2021. Maintaining that WhatsApp can’t see private messages and calls, the platform has said it will allow users more time to review the policies.

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Indian in New York shoots teen daughter, mother-in-law

Indian-origin man Bhupinder Singh shot himself after he shot his daughter and his mother-in-law. The 57-year-old shot his 14-year-old daughter Jasleen and 55-year-old Manjeet Kaur inside his home in the town of Schodack New York. Both the victims were from Castleton were targeted due to domestic incident, said New York Police. He also shot a 40-year-old who ran from the house and currently been treated in a hospital.

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Football coach Mauricio Pochettino tests positive for COVID-19

Football coach of Paris Saint-Germain Mauricio Pochettino has tested positive for COVID-19. He has gone into isolation and will not be on the bench for his side’s Ligue 1 match against Angers on Saturday. Pochettino’s assistant coaches Jesus Perez and Miguel D’Agostino will take charge of the team for the away match.

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Italy approves US38.8-billion package to boost economy

The Italian government approved a stimulus package of US38.8 billion for the economic budget for sectors affected by the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. The money will be used to help nation's health service, the business which was forced to close, and tax and financial schemes. The package would push up the deficit to 8.8% of GDP from the current goal of 7%, according to sources.

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Acting now is our moral obligation: Joe Biden on COVID-19 economic crunch

US President-elect Joe Biden took to Twitter to stress the need of ‘acting now’ as moral obligation in the COVID-19 pandemic in America. “We cannot let people go hungry. We cannot let people get evicted. We cannot watch nurses and educators lose their jobs”, said Biden. Earlier, Biden had unveiled a $1.9-trillion-COVID-19 plan to end the crisis of "deep human suffering".

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Haryana woman performing cartwheels and backflips in a saree goes viral

Gymnast and fitness influencer Parul Arora performed cartwheels and backflips in a saree. The national gold medalist has been an inspiration by doing easy backflips, while wearing the six-yard tucked around her. She has become an example in performing stunts, while wearing India’s traditional outfit where some cannot run or play games or do any stunts without staying in relaxed gears.

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UN chief stresses on equality of vaccination for all, not just for rich

UN chief António Guterres ensured that COVID-19 vaccines are available to all the countries and not just rich nations. Guterres urged the world to pay tribute to the 2 million people who lost their lives due to COVID-19 by marking the “heart-wrenching milestone”. He urged rich nations to share excess doses of vaccines with countries that are pursuing side deals.

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Virat Kohli hits 90 million followers on Instagram

Indian cricketer Virat Kohli recently hit 90 million followers on his Instagram account. The 32-year-old right-handed top-order batsman is one of the best contemporary batsmen in the world. He and Indian actress Anushka Sharma became the proud parent of a baby girl on Monday. He has been the Royal Challengers team's captain since 2013 in the Indian Premier League.

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Sheikh Hamdan gets 500,000 views on his video on skydiving

Prince of Dubai Sheikh Hamdan took to Instagram to share his video on skydiving which received 500,000 views. Earlier the avid nature and animal lover had shared a series of videos of him feeding elephants and camels in Dubai, cycling on the tracks with an ostrich racing alongside, nurturing a falcon, suiting up for a dive. He has over 11 million followers on Instagram.

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Indian diaspora to welcome Joe Biden and Kamala Harris with Kolam tiles

To welcome US President-elect Joe Biden and Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris, the Indian diaspora are making Indian art form, Kolam tiles, at the US Capitol as a sign of healing the divide. Trump supporters had stormed the US Capitol building last week and Indians believe that Kolam can help in healing the divide. Kolam tiles provide a sense of joy and calm to all who enter.

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India: Sanitation worker becomes India's first to be vaccinated under drive

Beginning the world’s largest COVID-19 vaccination drive, staff at Delhi’s AIIMS has vaccinated sanitation worker Manish Kumar in presence of Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan. PM Modi gave an inaugural speech, giving an emotional start to the drive. The process was carried on, followed by vaccinating AIIMS director Randeep Guleria. Hospitals across India will also begin vaccinations, starting 11.30am.

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M5.4 earthquake in Southern Iran, UAE feels the tremors

Hormozgan province in Southern Iran witnessed M5.4 earthquake on 15 January. UAE residents felt the tremors of the earthquake. It started to stroke at 1:01 am at a depth of 19 km with the epicenter in Bandar Lengeh district, according to sources. There were no casualties as of yet. Iran often witnesses destructive earthquakes because of being the most seismically active country in the world.

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PM Modi: 2nd phase of vaccination to cover nearly 300 million

PM Modi shared various important points during vaccination drive inauguration, including use of COVIN application. He also clarified that two doses of the vaccine are required, with a mandatory 1 month interval for the vaccine to work. He added that the 2nd phase of vaccination will cover over 300 million people, which include people with ailments.

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Indian cricketers Krunal and Hardik Pandya’s father passes away

Indian cricketer Krunal Pandya and Hardik Pandya's father passed away at their home in Vadodara. Himanshu Pandya died due to a cardiac arrest on Saturday morning, and couldn’t be recovered. Krunal Pandya, who was playing in Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, has left the bio-bubble to be with his family, and would not be playing during the ongoing tournament.

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Flights in Delhi cancelled and delayed due to dense fog

Delhi witnessed dense fog due to which a flight got cancelled and 4 flights were delayed. According to DIAL, only CAT IIIA and CAT IIIB compliant aircraft and pilots could operate. The visibility due to fog dropped to 100 meters with 2 degrees Celsius as minimum temperature, said IMD. MET predicted that the dense fog will get fierce in the morning in Delhi, Haryana and Chandigarh.

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India to begin world’s largest COVID-19 vaccination drive

Medical infrastructure across India is making final preparations for the country’s COVID-19 vaccination drive. In Mumbai, Cooper hospital has received their vaccine consignment, while other hospitals in various cities are also set for the drive, wherein health workers will be vaccinated first. Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan will visit AIIMS where PM Modi will launch the drive at 10.30am.

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Ruler of Dubai: Country will age if it loses enthusiasm and motivation

Ruler of Dubai HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum said a country gets old if it loses its fighting spirit. Sharing the words via Twitter as part of series, ‘What Life Taught Me’, he said that minds filled with flame of competition never get old. Earlier in June 2020 he shared, life taught him that it doesn’t stop, and a stage ends for another to start.

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US Capitol riot: Mob wanted to 'assassinate elected officials'

President Donald Trump's supporters planned to "capture and assassinate elected officials" as they laid siege to the US Capitol last week, says a court filing submitted by US Justice Department. The filing sought detention of Jacob Anthony Chansley, the man who had donned a fur hat with horns while storming the building. There was strong evidence that intent of Capitol rioters was to assassinate elected officials.

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Dutch PM resigns with entire Cabinet over child welfare scandal

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and his entire Cabinet resigned on Friday over a scandal. Investigations into child welfare payments had wrongly dubbed thousands of parents as fraudsters. Rutte pledged his government would continue work to compensate affected parents. In a televised speech, he said the whole system has failed. "We all must take responsibility", Rutte said.

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World's largest COVID-19 vaccination drive to begin in India today!

India will commence the world's largest vaccination drive as PM Narendra Modi will virtually launch mass inoculation against COVID-19. Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said healthcare workers will receive COVID-19 vaccine jabs at as many as 3,006 centres across the country. "This is the beginning of the end of #COVID19", he added. The launch will take place at 10:30 am, local time.

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Scientists reveal why Remdesivir does not fully stop COVID-19

Researchers have explained how Remdesivir interferes with the viral polymerase during copying and why it does not inhibit it completely. The antiviral medication was the first drug to be conditionally approved in Europe and the United States against COVID-19. Researchers said understanding the working of Remdesivir opens up new opportunities for scientists to tackle the virus.

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Aus vs Ind: Prithvi Shaw's misfires, again

Netizens were left giggling after Rohit Sharma was hit as Prithvi Shaw tried to hit the stumps on the non-striker's end. The incident transpired when Shaw came on the field as a substitute fielder to replace Navdeep Saini, who left the field due to groin pain. Meanwhile, Australia ended day one of the 4th Test at 274/5 with the help of Marnus Labuschagne's 5th Test century.

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This US website is looking for a 'professional binge watcher'

US website BonusFinder is looking for a 'professional binge watcher', who will 'be paid to watch Netflix and eat takeout pizza'. Candidates have to watch three Netflix shows while eating pizzas on National Pizza Day on February 9. They will also have to judge the shows and the pizzas on a list of criteria mentioned on the website.

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Digital identity to play vital role in post-COVID-19 world

World Travel and Tourism Council predicted 174 million people would lose jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, to give the global economy a new start and re-connect the society in a post-COVID-19 world, people will have to engage both physically and digitally with public authorities and businesses. A digital ID ecosystem will play a vital role in connecting people with governments and the private sector.

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Karisma Kapoor sells Mumbai flat for INR100 million

Actress Karisma Kapoor has reportedly sold her apartment located in Mumbai's plush locality Khar for INR100 million. Several Bollywood celebrities have invested in real estate after the Maharashtra government reduced stamp duty on lease agreements of immovable property applicable in the city. Kapoor has paid stamp duty of over INR2 million for the 1610 sq ft apartment.

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COVID-19: Germany hits 2 million mark, Merkel calls for stricter curbs

Germany Friday passed two million COVID-19 cases as World Health Organization readied to issue advice on curbing new, more contagious strains of the infection. Chancellor Angela Merkel called for “significant” tightening of curbs to slow the infection rate as country added more than 22,000 new cases Thursday. She reportedly also wants to bring forward crisis talks with regional leaders to the coming week.

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Ex-NDTV journalist Nidhi Razdan falls for phishing attack

Former NDTV journalist Nidhi Razdan took to Twitter today to reveal how she had fallen for an elaborate phishing attack. The 43-yr-old said what she believed was an offer to join Harvard as an Associate Professor of Journalism was, in fact, a phishing attack. Numerous delays and 'administrative anomalies' in the process made her reach out to the university, which denied to have sent any offer.

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Kumbh Mela: 700,000 devotees take holy dip in Ganga

Over 700,000 devotees took a dip in the holy Ganga as part of the Kumbh Mela celebrations in Uttarakhand's Haridwar. The rituals transpired amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 974 devotees were reported to have been fined for flouting COVID-19 guidelines. Unlike the usual three-and-a-half months, the Kumbh Mela in 2021 will last for 48 days only.

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New twist to 'TRP scam' as Arnab Goswami's 'leaked chats' go viral

In a new twist to the alleged TRP scam being probed by Mumbai Police, Advocate Prashant Bhushan Friday shared screenshots of "leaked WhatsApp conversations" between Republic TV's Arnab Goswami and former CEO of BARC Partho Das. Bhushan said the purported snapshots were damning proof of "many conspiracies & unprecedented access to power in this government". Mumbai police has already arrested Das in the "TRP scam".

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India: Civic body stays reopening of schools in Mumbai

Schools for Classes 5 to 8 are set to reopen in Maharashtra from 27 January, reported Minister Varsha Gaikwad following a meeting with the State Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), however, stated that schools falling under its jurisdiction will remain closed till further notice. Meanwhile, BMC has allowed schools to conduct offline exams for Class 10 and Class 12.

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Sensex ends day with loss of over 500 points

Sensex closed today 549 points lower at 49,034, while Nifty50 ended the day 161 points lower to hit 14,433. Tech Mahindra was the top loser with a decline of 4%. ONGC, HCL Tech, Asian Paints, Ultratech Cement, and HUL, on the other hand, witnessed a loss of 2%. Reliance Industries, Infosys, HUL, HDFC, and ICICI Bank dragged the index by 300 points.

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Israel vaccinates 2 million people, PM tweets

Israel today achieved the milestone of vaccinating 2 million citizens. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took to Twitter to announce the feat with a video post. "We will vaccinate everyone, open our economy first in the world - and come back to life!", he tweeted. Earlier, Netanyahu received his second COVID-19 vaccine jab on 10 January.

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'Mr Dakar' rallies to 14th title win

Stéphane Peterhansel today extended his tally of Dakar Rally wins to 14. Driving a Mini, the French race driver completed the race in 44hr28m11s. Nasser Al-Attiyah and Carlos Sainz grabbed the second and third spot, respectively. Peterhansel secured the lead after the second of the 12 stages and was then unmoved till the end of the race.

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US Capitol riots: FBI seeks public help to identify more suspects

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has thanked people for helping it nab several people in connection with last week's deadly siege of US Capitol. "We need your help to identify more individuals," the bureau tweeted, while releasing pictures of suspects. Five people were killed as supporters of President Donald Trump attacked the Capitol while the Congress was certifying his successor Joe Biden's electoral victory .

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2021 Venice Film Festival: 'Parasite' director to head jury

South Korean director Bong Joon-ho will be the jury president of 2021 Venice Film Festival. "I'm ready to admire and applaud all the great films selected by the festival. I'm filled with genuine hope and excitement", the Oscar-winner said. Bong is the first South Korean jury president of the festival. Festival director Alberto Barbera called Boo as one of the most authentic and original cinematic voices.

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Abu Dhabi Police seize drugs worth AED1 billion in last quarter of 2020

In last quarter of 2020, Abu Dhabi Police seized 1.4 tonnes of narcotics worth AED1 billion and arrested 22 people of different nationalities. The accused belonged to drug trafficking rings, and police also nabbed 8 suspects in money laundering resulting from drug trafficking. Police officials stated that information was obtained about existence of various gangs running drug operations from outside the country.

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Insects bear brunt of climate change, too

Biologists Daniel Janzen and Winnie Hallwachs spent much of 2020 in forests as COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on the world. The professional 'insectometers' couple reported the ongoing decline of tropical insect abundance and species richness in northwestern Costa Rica. "Biomass and species richness of insect individuals and species, and their interactions with everything, are decomposing", they said.

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This Indian pacer has 2 guards assigned for security

India pacer Mohammed Siraj who faced racial abuse from crowds in Australia was assigned two security guards on day one of the 4th Test in Brisbane. Photographs of the guards shadowing Siraj were doing rounds on the Internet as India was asked to field in the first innings of the final Test. An official complaint was filed by India on Saturday after Siraj faced racial abuse in Sydney.

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Pakistan yet to reserve any COVID-19 vaccine jabs: Report

Top officials from Pakistan confirmed that the South Asian country hasn't placed any orders for a COVID-19 vaccine yet. Moreover, no vaccine supplier has accepted Pakistan's request for supply of the vaccine. However, negotiations are ongoing between the Pakistan government and China’s Sinopharm as well as AstraZeneca. Pakistan is in plans to vaccinate at least 70-80 million of its adult population against COVID-19.

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NASA's Mars digger 'buried' after 2 years on red planet

NASA declared its Mars digger dead after it failed to burrow deep into the red planet to take its temperature. The 16-inch-long was part of NASA's InSight lander, but couldn't gain enough friction in the red dirt. It could only drill down a couple of feet instead of the supposed 16 feet into Mars.

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BTS: Jimin fans call out BigHit, upset ARMY demands better representation

K-Pop legends BTS fans have accused BigHit Entertainment of neglecting and mismanaging Jimin’s career. As per reports, they sent protest trucks and also released a statement saying that the management company has been not letting Jimin grow as an artist. They also demanded BigHit sue those spreading rumours and writing malicious posts against their beloved ‘Mochi’.

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Film critic Rajeev Masand joins Karan Johar's talent management company

Renowned film critic Rajiv Masand is joining Dharma Cornerstone Agency as Chief Operating Officer. Masand will be responsible for driving greater management stability with a development focus in mind at filmmaker Karan Johar's talent running agency. Masand is thriving to establish commendable professional experience to leverage strategic thinking to carry operations in the agency.

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Pakistan to reopen schools from 18 January

Pakistan has decided to reopen educational institutes from 18 January in phases. Classes for grades 9 to 12 will open from 18 January. Primary, secondary and higher educational institutes will open for 1 February. This is following a meeting held between the country’s educational and health ministers on Friday. Authorities said the schools will open with all COVID-19 safety measures in place.

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Tetris isn’t just a game, it is also an algorithm

University of Trento has come up with a solution that could resolve issues of bookings and occupied rooms for hotels. RoomTetris algorithm, inspired from Tetris game, has found the most compact way to combine supply and demand. The researchers have said that with RoomTetris hotels will no longer allocate rooms at the time of booking, but when guests arrive at the hotel.

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Farmer protests: Ninth round of talks fails to yield any results

Ninth round of talks between farmer leaders and the Indian government failed today, setting the stage for intensified protests by the former. The meeting aimed at the recently passed farm laws and minimum support price (MSP) went on for 5 hours before ending in a deadlock. Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar hoped after the meeting that a solution can still be reached upon soon enough.

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Cricket: Tendulkar junior makes senior team debut for Mumbai

Arjun Tendulkar, Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar's son, made his senior team debut today for Mumbai. Playing for the same team as his father, the fast bowler picked a wicket giving away 34 runs in his 3 overs. The beginning of a journey in senior cricket for Tendulkar Jr. wasn't as expected as Mumbai were crushed by Haryana by 8 wickets in the ongoing Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.

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Gold rises on prospects of US stimulus

Gold prices gained on the prospect of US pandemic relief raising the precious metal's appeal as a shield against inflation. Spot gold was up by 0.1%, standing at USD1,848.75 per ounce, while US gold futures stayed flat at USD1,851. US President-elect Joe Biden announced a $1.9 trillion stimulus package proposal to aid the economy, and investors expect gold to break above USD2,000.

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China lockdown causes oil prices to slide

Oil prices fell on Friday as China locked several of its cities amid a rise in COVID-19 cases. While Brent crude slumped by 0.8% to USD55.96 per barrel, US West Texas Intermediate crude, on the other hand, witnessed a fall of 0.5% to reach USD53.28 a barrel. Over in China, crude imports surged by 7.3% in 2020. China confirmed the highest number of daily new COVID-19 cases on Friday.

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India: Landline users now have to prefix 0 while dialing mobile nos

Landlines users will be required to prefix ‘0’ when dialing a mobile number, Department of Telecommunications (DoT) said. The change will be effective from 15 January after DoT accepted the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s proposal in this regard. The Ministry of Communications in November had noted that starting January 15, all fixed to mobile calls need to be dialed with prefix '0' from January 15, 2021.

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