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Famous TRAVELING NEWS

GOVT URGES PEOPLE TO AVOID TRAVELLING TO MURREE, NORTHERN AREAS

ISLAMABAD: Heavy snowfall has disrupted routine life in northern areas with thousands of tourists stranded in Murree and Galiyat region.

Taking to Twitter, Information and Broadcasting Minister Fawad Chaudhry said hundreds of thousands of cars are heading towards Murree and other upper areas to enjoy snowfall.

It has become impossible for the local administration to provide facilities to such a large number of people, the minister said, urging people to postpone their trips to these areas for a few days.

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Technology

Apple is Poaching Xbox Engineers to Launch a Gaming Console of Its Own

Apple has been eyeing the video gaming console market for a while and even tried to bring in engineers from Microsoft Xbox.

The rumor was revealed on the latest episode of Xbox Two on YouTube. Windows Central writer, Jez Corden, stated that the source is not quite reliable, with negligible evidence.
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Technology

Robot Outperforms Humans in World’s First Independent Laparoscopic Surgery

Although we didn’t get flying cars in the 21st century as we had expected, we did get robot surgeons. In a recent breakthrough, researchers at Johns Hopkins University successfully trained a robot to perform an autonomous laparoscopic surgery on a pig.

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Technology

Facebook is Selling Off Its Diem Cryptocurrency Project

The Diem Association, a group of companies working on a block-chain based payment system, is reportedly selling its technology assets to Silvergate Capital for $200 million, states the Wall Street Journal.

Meta, formally known as Facebook, is one of the founding members of the Diem Association.

Bloomberg also reported that Meta was working on selling Diem’s assets as a way to return some capital to the investors behind the project.

Earlier, Facebook planned to introduce Libra in 2019. Since then, Facebook and Diem have scaled their efforts, numerous times. Libra was initially meant to be a digital token backed by numerous international fiat currencies.

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BUSINESS NEWS Technology

APPLE TO LET IPHONES ACCEPT CREDIT CARDS

Apple Inc is planning a new service that will allow small businesses to accept payments directly on their iPhones without any extra hardware, Bloomberg News reported on Wednesday, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

For payments to get accepted on an iPhone, retailers currently use payment terminals to receive money on their iOS devices that are connected via Bluetooth, such as Block Inc’s Square payment systems.

The new feature will instead turn the iPhone into a payment terminal, allowing merchants to accept payments with the tap of a credit card or another iPhone onto the back of their device, the Bloomberg report said.

The system will likely use iPhone’s near field communications, or NFC, chip that is currently used for Apple Pay, the report said, adding the feature may roll out through a software update in the coming months.

The company has been working on the new feature since around 2020, the report said, when it paid about $100 million for Mobeewave, a Canadian startup, that developed technology for smartphones to accept payments with the tap of a credit card.

Apple declined to comment on the report when contacted by Reuters.

According to the report, it is unclear whether the payment acceptance option will be branded as part of Apple Pay or if the company plans to partner with an existing payment network for the feature or launch it alone.

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BUSINESS NEWS

HEWLETT PACKARD WINS MASSIVE FRAUD CASE

US tech giant Hewlett Packard (HP) on Friday won its multibillion-dollar fraud case over its 2011 purchase of British software company Autonomy.

HP accused Autonomy of rigging its accounts, deliberately inflating its value and causing huge losses for the US company when the true situation emerged after the $11.1 billion (9.9 billion euros) sale.

It sued Mike Lynch, Autonomy’s British founder, and former chief financial officer Sushovan Hussain, for around $5 billion.

High court judge Robert Hildyard delivered a summary of his conclusions on Friday, saying HP and the other claimants had “substantially won” their claim.

His full judgment, in what is believed to be Britain’s biggest ever civil fraud trial, is due to be published later.

Hildyard said the amount of damages to be paid will also be dealt with at a later date.

HP claimed the two men “artificially inflated Autonomy’s reported revenues, revenue growth and gross margins… over a sustained period of time.”

The company announced an $8.8 billion write-down of the firm’s value just over a year after the sale.

Interior minister Priti Patel will have to decide on Friday whether to extradite Lynch to the US, where he faces separate criminal proceedings over the sale.

HP lawyer Laurence Rabinowitz told court that Autonomy used “a variety” of fraudulent devices to boost or invent revenue.

Lynch, from Suffolk in eastern England, claimed HP was making him “a scapegoat for their failures”.

A US court in 2018 convicted Hussain of fraud relating to the sale and jailed him for five years.

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BUSINESS ECONOMY NEWS

BITCOIN BOUNCES OFF SIX MONTH LOWS AS BUYERS STEP IN

Bitcoin gained on the day on Monday as buyers stepped in to buy the cryptocurrency, after earlier tumbling to its lowest level in six months on fears of a Russian attack on Ukraine and before this week’s Federal Reserve meeting.

The largest cryptocurrency was last up 2.5% at $37,250 after earlier dropping to $32,951, its lowest price since July 23. That took losses from its all-time high of $69,000 hit in November past 50%.

Bitcoin is now at a critical juncture where analysts say that further selling could reverse its long-term bull trend.

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BUSINESS ECONOMY NEWS

SBP RESERVES FALL $846MN TO $16.2BN

KARACHI: The foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank fell 846 million during the week ending on January 21, according to the data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Thursday.

Sharing a break-up of the foreign reserves position, the central bank said that foreign currency reserves held by the SBP were recorded at $16.2bn, down $846mn.

Last week, SBP-held foreign exchange reserves were down $562 million, taking the cumulative fall to over $1.4 billion.

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NEWS TRAVELING NEWS

99 PASSENGERS TRAVELLING TO DUBAI, SHARJAH FOUND INFECTED WITH COVID

Sources in the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said these passengers were travelling to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) via different flights. They were subjected to rapid antigen tests four hours before their departure at Karachi airport, which showed they were infected with the coronavirus.

Also Read: 6,540 new cases as Omicron-driven 5th Covid wave rages on

Subsequently, they were barred from boarding their flights and shifted to quarantine centres.

On Jan 14, eighteen passengers tested positive for COVID-19 after they underwent rapid antigen tests upon their arrival at Karachi airport from Jeddah and Dubai.

Of the affected passengers,16 landed in Karachi via a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight PK-9732 from Jeddah, whereas, the remaining two Covid-positive travellers flew in from Dubai via EK-600.

The Covid-positive travellers included 17 men and a woman who were later moved to their homes for a mandatory 10-day quarantine.

Read: NCOC decides revising quarantine policy for inbound passengers

It is noteworthy that the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Jan 12 decided to revise the quarantine policy for inbound passengers. The authorities cancelled their central quarantine policy for inbound passengers and prepared new guidelines for Covid-positive travellers arriving in Pakistan.

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CRICKET Sports

Azhar Mahmood Joins Surrey County Cricket Club

Surrey County Cricket Club has appointed former Pakistan all-rounder and bowling coach, Azhar Mahmood as an interim assistant coach for the 2022 season.

Azhar, and another appointment, Jim Troughton, will work alongside Gareth Batty, who has been named interim Head Coach.