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Burj Khalifa lit up with photo of NZ Premier Jacinda Ardern

Monitoring Desk

DUBAI: The World is still mourning on New Zealand gruesome terror attack last week claimed lives of 50 Muslims during Friday prayers at Christchurch.

Yesterday on Friday, the Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern visited a mosque and listened to the Friday sermon there. For the first time ever, the Azaan, Muslim call for prayer, was broadcast on national TV and radio in a show of solidarity with the Muslims.

The warmth of NZ premier’s gestures has brought appreciation from the world over. The way she donned Shalwar Kamiz with a dupatta on her head, and the visuals of her embracing Muslim women to condole them won the hearts of many inside and outside New Zealand.

In the same spirit, Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, currently the world’s tallest building was lit up with an image of Prime Minister Ardern on Friday with the Islamic greeting of ‘Salaam’, meaning peace.

In his message on Facebook and Twitter, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Prime Minister of United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the ruler of Dubai emirate, lauded Prime Minister Ardern’s gesture.

He wrote that the sincere empathy and support of her and [the people of] New Zealand had won the respect of 1.5 billion Muslims after the after the terrorist attack that shook the Muslim community around the world.

Burj Khalifa is often used by the UAE government to show its support and solidarity with humans across the world in times of conflict and natural calamities.

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Boney Kapoor to remake Badhaai in different languages

Monitoring Desk

MUMBAI: Boney Kapoor is one of the well-known producers of Bollywood. Not just that, he has also started focussing on producing films down South. After the remake of Pink that he produced recently, Boney is set to make more films in the South film industry.

The latest reports are that he has acquired the rights of the Ayushmann Khurrana and Sanya Malhotra starrer Badhaai Ho that also had Neena Gupta and Gajraj Rao in crucial parts. The producer plans to make this film in several other languages down South, including Tamil and Telugu. Talking about the same, Boney confirmed to a leading daily saying, “Yes, I have acquired the rights to all the South languages. It’s a film that resonates with both the masses and classes so I was keen on remaking it. I am yet to decide whether the Tamil or the Telugu version go on the floors first as it’s work in progress.”

He further added, “The Hindi version has done extremely well in the heartland, in fact, across the country, and I am confident the reception down South will be as overwhelming.” Well, this is some exciting news, isn’t it?

Courtesy: (Filmfare)

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Akshay Kumar and Parineeti Chopra starrer ‘Kesari’ earns Rs 20 crores on first day

Monitoring Desk

MUMBAI: Akshay Kumar and Parineeti Chopra’s latest release Kesari revolves around the Battle of Saraghi. Directed by Anurag Singh, the film released yesterday. Critics as well as the audiences are raving about the film. The good word-of-mouth will help the film make money during the weekend. On its opening day, the film earned over Rs 20 crore making it the first film of 2019 to do so.

Kesari has left behind films like Gully Boy and Total Dhamaal in this race at the box-office and the coming weekend is definitely vital for their collections. According to early reports the film has earned Rs 21.50 crore at the box-office on day one. Well, we congratulate team Kesari for this.

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Instagram new feature allows you to change username

Monitoring Desk

ISLAMABAD: Choosing a perfect name for your Instagram is as tricky as any other thing. Many people find it too much difficult to opt for the best name on Instagram. Now there is good news for people who are bored with the old name and want to try the new one. Instagram is testing a new feature that lets people change their usernames while keeping the old ones on reserve for up to 14 days. It means if you have changed a name but you think that it doesn’t fit on your personality, you can change it back.

This feature was spotted by Jane Manchun Wong, a developer who keeps track of every new thing coming in any app.

While telling about this feature, Instagram said that:

We’re always analyzing trends so we can build features that keep our community safe. We observed that if someone changes or loses their username, for example, if they want to switch usernames or if they lose access to their account, it can sometimes be claimed quickly by another person. With this feature, we give the account holder the security of knowing their username is safe for a period of time following any changes.

Instagram name switching feature is the best option for those people who had set “daddy’s Barbie” kind of name in their teenage. SO now users will not have to delete their account in order to change users name as it only results in losing too many followers in just a go.

Instagram keeps on Launching new features on and of to make its users happy. Just recently it has launched a shopping checkout feature.

Courtesy: (phoneworld.com.pk)

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Drinking very hot tea likely to double risk of cancer: New Research

Monitoring Desk

WASHINGTON: A new study published on Wednesday claims that those who drink tea piping hot could be increasing their risk of esophageal cancer, CNN reported.

The study, published in the International Journal of Cancer, found that those who preferred their tea to be warmer than 60°C and consumed more than 700 ml of tea per day — about two large cups — had a 90% higher risk of esophageal cancer, when compared to those who drank less tea and at cooler temperatures.

Researchers followed more than 50,000 people in Golestan, a province in northeastern Iran, aged between 40 and 75, for an average of 10 years. Between 2004 and 2017, the researchers detected 317 new cases of esophageal cancer.

“Many people enjoy drinking tea, coffee, or other hot beverages. However, according to our report, drinking very hot tea can increase the risk of esophageal cancer, and it is therefore advisable to wait until hot beverages cool down before drinking,” said Dr Farhad Islami, of the American Cancer Society and the study’s lead author.

Previous research has found a link between hot tea drinking and esophageal cancer, however, according to the authors this study was the first to pinpoint a specific temperature.

Esophageal cancer is the eighth most common cancer in the world and is often fatal. It is usually caused by repeated injury to the esophagus due to smoke, alcohol, acid reflux and — maybe — hot liquids.

The study said more research was needed on why exactly drinking very hot tea is associated with the higher risk of esophageal cancer.

Stephen Evans, a professor of pharmacoepidemiology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said that it was the heat that was the issue rather than the type of beverage. “In fact, it is probably anything hot: Microwaved jam has been known to cause esophageal injury. It is possible that the trauma leads to cell changes and hence to cancer,” he Evans, who was not involved in the study, told the Science Media Centre.

Dr. James Doidge, senior research associate at University College London, said that hot drinks were an established risk factor for esophageal cancer. “It doesn’t take a scientist to appreciate that repeated irritation of any body surface increases your risk of cancer. Sunburn gives us skin cancer, smoking gives us lung cancer, and many foods and drinks contribute to risk of gastrointestinal cancers,” Doidge, who wasn’t involved in the research, told the Science Media Centre.

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China extends May Day holiday to stimulate spending

Monitoring Desk

BEIJING: China is creating a four-day break in May, as the government works to stoke consumption.

The May Day holiday on Wednesday, May 1, this year will be extended through Friday, the State Council announced. In exchange, people will have to work on the Sundays before and after to make up for the weekdays off, but the change will mean a four-day weekend for many people.

Long Weekend Get a Way

While this doesn’t create any new days off, it concentrates the holiday and could encourage more people to take trips and spend more on eating out, airlines and hotels. Tourism stocks advanced on the announcement, which comes after data showing retail sales grew at the slowest pace since mid-2003 in the first two months of 2019.

The May holiday falls in a good season for traveling, and the decision is made to meet that demand and make people happier, according to a Xinhua News Agency report which cited an unidentified official at the National Development and Reform Commission.

The official said the government will work to make sure that an exemption from road tolls for passenger cars during public holidays is implemented during this break.

Courtesy: (skift.com)

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Russia criticizes Trump’s Golan Heights comment

MOSCOW (AA): U.S. President Donald Trump’s call to recognize Israel’s control of the occupied Golan Heights could destabilize the situation in the Middle East, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday.

“In any case, such an idea itself in no way contributes to the goals and objectives of the Middle East settlement, rather on the contrary. So far it is nothing but a call, let’s hope that it will remain a call,” he told reporters in Moscow.

In a separate statement, Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the change of status of the occupied Golan Heights is a direct violation of UN resolutions.

The UN Security Council resolution 497 of 1981 reconfirmed the Golan Heights belongs to Syria, she recalled.

“Our assessment of the illegality of Israel’s decision to extend its sovereignty to the Golan Heights, adopted as a basic law in 1981, remains unchanged. Changing the status of the Golan Heights bypassing the Security Council is a direct violation of UN decisions,” she said.

Trump’s tweet on Thursday came following congressional momentum building up on Capitol Hill for the change. The State Department last week changed its terminology for the first time on the contested territory referring to it as “Israeli-controlled” instead of its previous usage of “Israeli-occupied”.

Israel occupies roughly two-thirds of the wider Golan Heights as a de facto result of the conflict. It moved to formally annex the territory in 1981 — an action unanimously rejected at the time by the UN Security Council.

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Swedes form human shield for Muslims in Friday prayer

STOCKHOLM (AA): Dozens of Swedes have formed a human shield for Muslims on Friday in a bid to ensure their security during weekly prayer.

As part of the ongoing protests across the world decrying twin terror attacks by a white supremacist in New Zealand that killed at least 50 and injured dozens, Swedish people demonstrated yet another solidarity with the Muslims.

Sweden’s Culture and Democracy Minister Amanda Lind told Anadolu Agency that she is very happy to see so many people gathered in Stockholm Mosque to offer a peaceful Friday prayer for Muslims. She said that it is not only the terror attacks in New Zealand but the racism and Islamophobia, as well, that brought them all together.

Activist Dror Feiler, a member of the Ship to Gaza foundation that aims to break the blockade of the Gaza Strip in Palestine by delivering humanitarian aid from Scandinavia to Gaza, also expressed his joy to see a big crowd. Activists did not leave until the weekly Friday prayer ended. In return for their support, the mosque officials gave out water and dates to the activists.

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China, Italy looking to strengthen trade ties: Xi

ROME (Reuters): Italy and China want to deepen their trade and investment ties, boosting infrastructure and maritime links, Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Friday following talks with Italian President Sergio Mattarella.

Xi is set to sign a deal on Saturday that will see Italy become the first Group of Seven major industrialised nations to join China’s giant “Belt and Road” infrastructure project inspired by the ancient Silk Road trade routes.

“We want to strengthen the synergies between our respective development strategies to enhance cooperation in the infrastructure, port, logistics and maritime transport sectors in order to build a series of concrete projects along the Silk Road,” Xi said, speaking through a translator.

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Nation to celebrate Pakistan Day today

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: The nation will celebrate Pakistan Day on Saturday with traditional zeal and a renewed commitment to work hard for the progress and prosperity of the motherland.

The Day is observed on March 23 every year to commemorate the passage of Lahore Resolution on this day in 1940 when the Muslims of the Sub-continent set the agenda of a separate homeland for themselves.

The Day will dawn with 31-one-gun salute in the Federal Capital and twenty-one-gun salute in provincial capitals. 

The main feature of the day will be the grand military parade in Islamabad where contingents of the three armed forces and the security forces will conduct march past. Various aeroplanes belonging to Army Aviation and PAF will demonstrate aerobatic feats for the audience.