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Google commits $740 mln to Australia months after threatening pull-out

Google commits $740 mln to Australia months after threatening pull-out

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Google commits $740 mln to Australia months after threatening pull-out
GNN Media: Representational Photo

Sydney: Techno-Giant Google on Tuesday announced to spend AUD1 billion ($736 million) in Australia over five years, just months after it threatened to pull its services from the country in response to tougher government regulation.

According to details, the main operating unit of Alphabet Inc said it planned to expand cloud infrastructure, set up a research hub staffed by Australian researchers and engineers and partner with science agency the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).

Managing Director of Google Australia Mel Silva, who earlier this year threatened to block Google’s search engine in the country, said that the spending plan would bring significant technology resources and investment.

Attending the funding announcement in Sydney, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said it was a "A$1 billion vote of confidence" in Australia’s digital economy strategy, which aims to put the country in the top 10 digital economies around the world by 2030.

"The decision by Google has major benefits for Australian businesses as we engage with the economic recovery before us," Morrison said. "It will bring more to STEM jobs to our shores ... across engineering, computing science and AI," he added, using the acronym for science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

 

SOURCE: Reuters

Muhammad Akram

Mr. Muhammad Akram Hashmi is GNN's Senior Journalist, working with different departments which include Tele Media & News, Web and Social Media. Mr. Akram is a M-Phil Scholar in Mass Communication, his study research ”Effects of Turkish Dramas on Pakistani Society” is a renowned publication. He is a bilingual expert (Urdu & English).

Health

New Covid variant triggers global alarm, stock markets tumble

Authorities around the world reacted with alarm on Friday to a new coronavirus variant found in South Africa, with the EU and Britain among those tightening border controls as researchers sought to establish out if the mutation was vaccine-resistant.

Published by Faisal Ali Ghumman

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New Covid variant triggers global alarm, stock markets tumble

Hours after Britain banned flights from South Africa and neighbouring countries and asked travellers returning from there to quarantine, the World Health Organization (WHO) cautioned against hasty travel bans.

"It's really important that there are no knee-jerk responses here," said the WHO's emergencies director Mike Ryan, praising South Africa's public health institutions for picking up the new variant of the virus that causes COVID-19.

"Because we've seen in the past, the minute that there is any mention of any kind of variation, then everyone is closing borders and restricting travel."

 The WHO said it would take weeks to determine how effective vaccines were against the variant. read more

South Africa's Health Minister Joe Phaahla called the travel restrictions "unjustified", though he also said preliminary studies suggested the new variant may be more transmissible.

European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said the EU also aimed to halt air travel from the region. Several other countries including India, Japan and Israel toughened curbs. read more

"It is now important that all of us in Europe act very swiftly, decisively and united," von der Leyen said. "All air travel to these countries should be suspended until we have a clearer understanding about the danger posed by this new variant."

In Washington, top U.S. infectious disease official Anthony Fauci said no decision had been made on a possible U.S. travel ban. There was no indication that the variant was in the United States, and it was unclear whether it was resistant to current vaccines, he told CNN. read more

The news nonetheless pummelled global stocks and oil, which plunged 10%, on fears that new restrictions would hit the travel industry and already shaky economies across southern Africa. read more

'MOST SIGNIFICANT VARIANT'

The variant has a spike protein that is dramatically different to the one in the original coronavirus that vaccines are based on, the UK Health Security Agency said, raising fears about how current vaccines will fare.

"As scientists have described, (this is) the most significant variant they've encountered to date," British Transport Secretary Grant Shapps told Sky News.

In Geneva the WHO - whose experts on Friday discussed the risks that the variant, called B.1.1.529, presents - warned against travel curbs for now. read more

It would take several weeks to determine the variant's transmissibility and the effectiveness of vaccines, WHO spokesperson Christian Lindmeier said, noting that 100 sequences of it had been reported so far.

British health minister Sajid Javid said the sequence of the variant was first uploaded by Hong Kong from someone travelling from South Africa.

"It is highly likely that it has now spread to other countries," Javid told lawmakers.

SOURCE: REUTERS

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Pakistan

AMC's Lt Gen Nigar Johar becomes first female to be appointed as colonel commandant

Lieutenant General Nigar became the first female ever to be appointed as Colonel Commandant of Army Medical Corps (AMC), the Inter-Services Public Relations said Friday.

Published by Faisal Ali Ghumman

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AMC's Lt Gen Nigar Johar becomes first female to be appointed as colonel commandant

Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa pinned the badges of the new rank on Lt Gen Johar’s uniform during a ceremony at AMC Centre to formally install her to the new post, the military’s media wing said in a statement.

Speaking on the occasion, Gen Bajwa said that the appointment of Lt Gen Johar as the first female army official to have three stars on her uniform is “indeed, a matter of immense pride for Pakistan Army and the country”.

The Army chief also lauded AMC’s contributions in ensuring high standards of healthcare in peace and war.

“AMC has always answered the call of duty during natural calamities, both inland and abroad. Our doctors and paramedical staff have been the frontline warriors against COVID-19, displaying exemplary commitment and resolve for the safety and well-being of the people of Pakistan,” he said.

He concluded by saying that keeping pace with the rapid advancements in medical science is imperative for doctors and paramedics to keep themselves at par with the modern militaries and best healthcare practices across the globe.

According to ISPR, Genenral Bajwa also laid a floral wreath at Yadgar-e-Shuhada at the AMC Centre on the occasion and offered fateha.

 

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Technology

Spotify tests TikTok-style video feed 

The success of TikTok has led many different platforms to borrow its central options. 

Published by Mehak Javed

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Spotify tests TikTok-style video feed 

Spotify, reportedly, is engaged on a brand new approach of listening to music within the fashion of TikTok.

Spotify users, now, can work together with songs on there, corresponding to liking them to hearken to later, or visiting the album they got here from. 

The new addition was first spotted by Chris Messina, who tweeted out a video of the Discover feature in action. 

He described it as a “pared-down version” of a TikTok-style feed of music videos. 

Spotify’s new test comes almost a year to the day after the service was experimenting with using a Snapchat-style stories feature alongside several of its playlists.   

Spotify has lengthy provided a “Canvas” function that permits artists to add quick clips — corresponding to these from music movies — which will be proven alongside songs, and the brand new feed seems to be utilizing those self-same movies.

Spotify confirmed it was testing the function however it’s not clear if it is going to be rolling out extra broadly.

The success of TikTok has led many different platforms to borrow its central options. 

Instagram has launched ‘Reels’, which mimic a lot of the performance of TikTok; YouTube has a brand new Shorts function that focuses round quick movies; and Netflix has examined an analogous feed-based interface to assist individuals discover new issues to look at.

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