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'Devastating Covid': IMF approves $650bn expansion to fight global pandemic

The International Monetary Fund's executive board Friday approved a $650 billion expansion in resources to support economically vulnerable nations as they battle the coronavirus pandemic.

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'Devastating Covid': IMF approves $650bn expansion to fight global pandemic
'Devastating Covid': IMF approves $650bn expansion to fight global pandemic

IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said Friday that the new support, the largest such expansion in the history of the 190-nation lending institution, would be a “shot in the arm for the world.”

To put the size of the funding expansion in context, the IMF approved a $250 billion boost in SDR reserves following the 2008 financial crisis.

It is a reversal of the stance taken by the Trump administration and it began in February when the Biden administration got behind the effort.

Republican members of Congress have objected to the funding, saying that the expanded IMF resources would benefit U.S. adversaries such as China, Russia and Iran. However, the assistance has been strongly supported by international relief agencies.

Eric LeCompte, executive director of the religious-affiliated development group Jubilee USA Network, said that the IMF action would allow developing countries to immediately receive more than $200 billion in support.

“Wealthy countries who receive emergency reserves they don’t need should transfer those resources to developing countries struggling through the pandemic,” LeCompte said.

More than six months after vaccines became available, reported COVID-19 deaths worldwide have fallen to about 7,800 each day, after topping out at over 18,000 a day in January. The World Health Organization recorded just under 54,000 deaths last week, the lowest weekly total since last October.

However, COVID-19 has illuminated global inequities as deaths worldwide climbed to 4 million, a milestone recorded Wednesday by Johns Hopkins University.

Vaccination drives are barely getting started in Africa and other desperately poor corners of the world because of extreme shortages of shots.

To fund the spending, the IMF will expand its Special Drawing Rights, a currency reserve that can be tapped by IMF member countries.

SOURCE: AP 

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Regional

New island emerges near Balochistan’s Kund Malir beach

A new island have popped up near Sonmiani beach of Balochistan— discovered by the fishermen sailing along the coast on Thursday.

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New island emerges near Balochistan’s Kund Malir beach

The technical advisor on marine fisheries at World Wild Fund (WWF), Muhammad Moazzam Khan said that the new island appeared in west off the coast of Sonmiani near Kund Malir.

“Such phenomena occurs due to geographical changes within the ocean depths,” he said adding that these kind of small islands emerge, remain in place for a while and then diminish back into the waters.

It is pertinent mention here that such Islands had earlier emerged at the same location in 2000 and 2010.

The first known emergence, during November 1945, was concurrent with an earthquake of magnitude 8.0.

The 2nd and 3rd emergences were in March 1999 and November 2010 respectively.

In 2013, an island emerged off Gwadar coast after a powerful 7.7 magnitude earthquake struck Pakistan. However, the island disappeared after some time.

Landsat images of March 1999 and November 2010 emergences indicate appearance of round-shaped island of 4.4 and 5.2 hectare area, followed by erosion and disappearance. The island was composed of mud breccias and circular vents spewing mud slurry and methane gas.

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Sports

Ramiz Raja becomes PCB chairman unopposed

Lahore: Veteran cricketer and former Test captain-turned commentator Rameez Raja has emerged as the next chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Monday.

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Ramiz Raja becomes PCB chairman unopposed

To elect the 36th PCB Chairman, a special meeting of the Board of Governors (BoG) took place today, (September 13) at the High Performance in Lahore.

The PCB Election Commissioner, Mr Justice (retd) Sheikh Azmat Saeed conducted the election, presiding over the meeting.

The members of the BoG including Mr Aasim Wajid Jawad, Ms Alia Zafar, Mr Asad Ali Khan, Mr Arif Saeed, Mr Javed Kurieshi, Mr Ramiz Raja and Mr Wasim Khan attended the special meeting.

At 1415 inside the Bob Woolmer Indoor School, NHPC, the newly-elected PCB Chairman will hold his media conference, which will be live-streamed on all PCB social media channels.

As per the PCB Covid-19 Protocols, which are designed to ensure health and wellbeing of all involved, only reporters and correspondents who are fully vaccinated and have immunisation certificates are invited to attend the media conference.

Moreover, TV news channels will be welcome to use PCB’s broadcast quality live-stream details of which will be shared shortly before the start of the media conference.

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Technology

Twitter tests edge-to-edge photos in timeline

The microblogging platform, Twitter is exploring ways to build more visually immersive experience with its latest test to see how images appear on the platform.  

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Twitter tests edge-to-edge photos in timeline

The upcoming feature will expand visual media embedded in tweets to fill the whole width of a mobile phone's screen. The new layout is being tested on iOS but not on Android.

“The change is designed to make it easier for visual content to shine,” said twitter.

In the current test, tweets fill the full frame from left to right instead of being offset by a pretty large margin on the left.

The changes result in much larger images and videos that look better in the feed and a cleaner, more modern design that doesn’t unnecessarily squish tweets to the right of users’ profile pictures.

The test follows two previous image-focused changes— 4K image support and full-size images.

The 4K image support came in April and increased the resolution of images from 2048 x 2048 pixels to 3840 pixels on the long end.

While, full-size image support came in May and brought an end to cropped photos on timelines in iOS and Android.

The company, with the announcement that it is testing edge-to-edge photo support is increasing its chances of becoming an Instagram competitor.

The date for the rollout is not ascertain yet. However, users are already complaining about the change, despite the fact that it is still in its early stages.

This is because, there's no word, on when full-width tweets will arrive on some of the best Android phones.

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