Articles by admin

India’s Harnaaz Sandhu is crowned Miss Universe 2021

Harnaaz Sandhu of India was crowned Miss Universe 2021 on Sunday, marking the end of a controversial pageant hosted this year in southern Israel. In a speech on stage during the pageant, Sandhu urged young people to “know that you are unique and that’s what makes you beautiful, stop comparing yourself to others. “I believed in myself, and that’s why I’m standing here today,” she added, to loud applause from the audience. The pageant was held in the resort city of Eilat, with 80 women from around the world competing for the crown. Sunday night was the last day of…


These companies dominated 2021 – CNN

Oil and natural gas exploration company Devon Energy (DVN) is the best performing stock in the S&P 500 through December 13, with a nearly 180% gain. Marathon Petroleum (MPC) and Diamondback Energy (FANG), are up more than 100%. APA (APA), the parent company of oil giant Apache, and ConocoPhillips (COP), have nearly doubled as well. As long as crude prices remain in the $60-to-$80-a-barrel range, oil stocks should continue to be solid performers in 2022 as well, said Anastasia Amoroso, chief investment strategist with iCapital Network. But oil and gas firms aren’t the only ones that thrived in 2021. Other…


German police conduct raids in Saxony over ‘anti-vaxxer murder plot’

The searches in the city of Dresden targeted individual members of a group on the messaging program Telegram, where plans for the killing were discussed in connection with the state government’s coronavirus curbs, police said. The group “Dresden Offlinevernetzung,” or Dresden offline networking, came to the attention of authorities after an investigation published last week by broadcaster ZDF. The ZDF report revealed that members of the Telegram group spoke about killing representatives of the Saxony state government at meetings in Dresden. Special forces took part in Wednesday’s raids launched after statements by members of the Telegram group suggested that they…


Surprise! Holiday packages are moving on time

Deliveries of packages by UPS, FedEx and the US Postal Service are all moving at close to 100% on-time performance, according to data from ShipMatrix, a software provider that works with parcel shippers. It’s a pleasant surprise, even for those who anticipated that those three services would be well prepared for the holiday season. “If you operate at the peak, that’s tremendous,” said Satish Jindel, president of ShipMatrix. “I was expecting [the performance rate] to be in the mid-90s.” Jindel attributes the better-than-expected results to three factors. “One is [that] carriers added capacity,” he said. “Second, many more consumers are…


Philippines’ Duterte quits senate race in new election twist

The president filed withdrawal papers at the election commission a few hours after longtime aide, Senator Christopher “Bong Go” did the same, a decision Duterte’s spokesman said was to enable him to better serve the country. The constitution bars Duterte, 76, from seeking reelection as president, but he was allowed to run for other positions in nationwide elections in May 2022. He had planned to pursue the vice presidency, but chose instead to seek a seat in the powerful senate. The withdrawal is the latest twist in a Philippine election race fraught with last-minute changes and surprises that have baffled…


Dissident journalist Pham Doan Trang jailed in Vietnam for 9 years for ‘anti-state’ acts

Pham Doan Trang, who published material widely on human rights and alleged police brutality in Vietnam, was convicted of “conducting propaganda against the state” by a Hanoi court, according to her legal team and state-controlled media. Despite sweeping economic reform and increasing openness to social change, Vietnam’s ruling Communist Party retains tight media censorship and tolerates little criticism. Calls to the court seeking confirmation of the verdict went unanswered on Tuesday. “It was such a long sentence, close to the maximum term for such activities,” said one of her lawyers, Nguyen Van Mieng, adding that Trang did not plead guilty…


Australia moves to lift Covid-19 restrictions amid surge in Omicron infections

The latest outbreak comes as multiple governments across Australia are moving to relax Covid-19 restrictions to allow greater freedom of movement for citizens despite the rise in infections in NSW. NSW recorded 1,360 new cases Wednesday, including 110 confirmed cases of the Omicron variant. In a press conference Wednesday, NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said Omicron was “driving that uptick” and said cases in the state could rise as high as 25,000 a day by the end of January if the current trend continued. “Every two to three days we are seeing a very big increase, in fact a doubling…


Strengthening Tropical Storm Rai to hit the Philippines as a typhoon Thursday

Rai currently has sustained winds of 110 kph (70 mph), putting it just shy of typhoon strength (119 kph or 74 mph). Favorable conditions across the region, including very warm ocean waters and low wind shear, will likely lead to steady strengthening up to landfall. The current forecast from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center is for Rai to peak reach 165 kph (105 mph) at landfall. This would make Rai equivalent to a Category 2 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. In the Philippines the storm is known as Odette and is being monitored locally by The Philippine Atmospheric,…


UAE suspends multi-billion dollar weapons deal in sign of growing frustration with US-China showdown

“The UAE has informed the US that it will suspend discussions to acquire the F-35,” an Emirati official told CNN. “Technical requirements, sovereign operational restrictions, and cost/benefit analysis led to the re-assessment.” “The UAE and US were working toward an understanding that would address mutual defense security conditions for the acquisition,” the official added. “The US remains the UAE’s preferred provider for advanced defense requirements and discussions for the F-35 may be re-opened in the future.” The US State Department said the White House remained “committed” to the deal, which was seen as a cornerstone of an August 2020 agreement…


Malta to become first country in Europe to legalize cannabis for recreational use

The bill is expected to be signed into effect later this week by Malta’s President George Vella after legislators approved a bill by a majority vote in Parliament on Tuesday. “And the ayes have it! The #Cannabis reform bill has just been approved at third reading stage,” tweeted Owen Bonnici, Maltese Minister for Equality, Research and Innovation, who promoted the bill. “We are the change makers,” he added. Bill No. 241 sought to establish “the limited decriminalization of certain cannabis related activities to allow for a balance between individual freedom in the limited and responsible personal use of cannabis and…


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