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PAKISTAN NEWS:
Tax structure for mobile phone imports:

The government finalized the tax structure for mobile phones being brought to Pakistan. While these taxes had been made law a while ago, the PTI government has decided to implement it. The tax starts at Rs. 4.5k for phones valued at $50 and goes all the way up to Rs. 83k for phones worth $1500. Not only that, but the government has also introduced a limit of 5 phones per person per year.

53pc of mobile wallet accounts are inactive:

Out of 38.5 million mobile wallet accounts, 53 percent are inactive in the country due to a lack of convenient options to use those funds for day to day transactions, official documents reveal. The country is well behind its Digital Financial Services (DFS) growth potential available through over 150 million biometrically-verified mobile connections across the country.

SCO and PTCL join hands to lay optical fibre cable in FATA:

Special Communications Organization (SCO) and PTCL entered in to contract to lay more than 600 Kms of Optical Fiber Cable in FATA to provide basic telephony and data services in the region. In this connection, a contract signing ceremony was held at Special Communications Organization HQ, Rawalpindi which was attended by Director General SCO, Maj Gen Ali Farhan HI (M), President PTCL Dr. Daniel Ritz and senior officials from both organizations.

Pakistan navy launches 3000 ton oceanographic survey vessel in China:

A state-of-the-art 3,000-ton survey vessel of Pakistan Navy was launched in Yang Zong, China. The vessel is being built by Pakistan Navy in collaboration of China, which was launched into Yangtze River. Chief Naval Overseer (China), Commodore Azfar Humayun, was the chief guest at the launching ceremony.

Bahria town declared illegal, banks stop accepting installments:

In wake of Supreme Court’s decision to declare Bahria Town Karachi’s project illegal, banks have stopped accepting utility bills and installments of plots, bungalows, and residential units in the sprawling housing project from the allottees. These developments are described as the biggest setbacks to the real estate developer since its establishment.

Punjab govt decides to bring back old police uniform:

Finally, the wave of ‘Tabdeeli’ hits Punjab police as they are going to get rid of their olive-green, postman-like uniform very soon.The government of Punjab has announced they are going to bring back the old Militia-colour uniform from mid of 2019.Dr Shehbaz Gill, the chief spokesperson of Chief Minister of Punjab, revealed this on his Twitter account last Wednesday.

Four members to the PM inspection commission appointed:

Prime Minister Imran Khan has approved the appointment of four members of Prime Minister Inspection Commission, a statutory body set up to keep a check on mismanagement, corruption and misuse of power in the government departments and bodies. On Wednesday, the Prime Minister approved the appointments. Subsequently, the Establishment Division issued a notification of the appointments.

Power sector reforms can help save $4.8 billion annually:

Power sector reforms can help Pakistan save $4.8 billion in business losses annually as inefficiencies in the sector cost the country’s economy $18 billion or 6.5 percent of GDP in the fiscal year 2015.A new World Bank report said that the costs of defects and inefficiencies of the power sector are far greater than the previous estimates based on only fiscal costs. The report said that the reforms could save Pakistan’s economy $8.4 billion in business losses and could increase total household incomes by at least $4.5 billion a year.

Azam swati still being called a federal minister on websites:

It has been more than a week since the former Federal Minister for Science & Technology, Azam Swati, stepped down from his post following a Supreme Court hearing regarding alleged removal of IG Police Islamabad.

Swati, who was facing Article 62/F, resigned from his ministry hours before his hearing at the apex court. Even though he is now in the list of ‘formers’ on paper, but the name of influential MNA is yet to be removed from the related government websites.

 

INTERNATIONAL NEWS:
Robot turns out to be man in suit:

A robot on show at a Russian state-sponsored event has turned out to be a man dressed in a costume. Robot Boris featured on Russian TV and was apparently able to walk, talk and dance. But soon after its appearance journalists began to question the bot’s authenticity. In a picture published afterwards on social media, the neck of a person was clearly visible. The robot is in fact a 250,000 rouble (£2,975) costume called Alyosha the Robot, made by a company called Show Robots.

Google hearing sees ‘idiot’ trending:

The word “idiot” has been searched for more than one million times, following testimony typing it into Google Images threw up pictures of President Trump. The link between the two was mentioned during a congressional grilling of Google chief executive Sundar Pichai.

When out-of-date code causes chaos:

A report from the US Congress has revealed that credit agency Equifax’s 2017 network breach, which affected 143 million people, was not spotted because of an expired software certificate, last week, mobile operator O2 blamed a similar issue for causing a network blackout which affected the UK.

Word processor pioneer evelyn berezin dies:

The woman who created and sold what many recognize as the world’s first word processor has died aged 93. Evelyn Berezin called the device the Data Secretary when, in 1971, her company Redactron launched the product. She grew Redactron from nine employees to close to 500 and was named one of the US’s top leaders by BusinessWeek magazine in the year she sold it, 1976.

Twitter’s jack dorsey answers critics of Myanmar meditation retreat:

Twitter boss Jack Dorsey has responded to criticism of his 10-day meditation retreat in Myanmar, saying: “I don’t know enough and need to learn more.”Last year, Myanmar’s military launched a violent crackdown after Rohingya militants attacked police posts. Since then thousands of people have been killed and over 700,000 Rohingya refugees have fled the country.

‘Meghan markle’ most googled person in UK in 2018:

“Meghan Markle” was the most searched-for person’s name for the second year running on Google’s UK search service. But the Duchess of Sussex came second to the overall winner of the most queried term – “World Cup” – in the company’s search trends review for 2018.”Royal wedding” and “royal baby” were the top two news event trends. The duchess announced her first pregnancy in October while on tour with Prince Harry in Australia.

Ghana drones: row over blood-delivery devices:

A row has broken out in Ghana over the government’s decision to buy unmanned drones to deliver blood and essential medicines. The government wants the drones to deliver to hospitals nationwide, especially in remote areas. Some MPs say they want more spent on clinics and ambulances instead of what they call a high-tech vanity project.

Is US military cloud safe from Russia? Fears over sensitive data:

A technology company bidding for a Pentagon contract to store sensitive data has close partnerships with a firm linked to a sanctioned Russian oligarch. The Jedi project, a huge cyber-cloud which could ultimately store nuclear codes, has already sparked security fears.

Instagram tightens eating disorder filters after investigation:

Instagram has placed more hashtags which could promote eating disorders on an “unsearchable” list after a investigation found that users were finding ways around the platform’s filters. The photo-sharing network has also added health warnings to several alternative spellings or terms which reference eating disorders, some of which are popular hashtags on the platform.

Google chief denies political bias claims:

Google chief Sundar Pichai has faced accusations of political bias from US politicians. Mr Pichai was being quizzed by members of the House Judiciary Committee about the way his tech firm runs it business. Google was accused of having “programmed” bias against conservative views into its algorithms.

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