Russia

WhatsApp delays data sharing change after backlash

WhatsApp on Friday postponed a data-sharing change as users concerned about privacy fled the Facebook-owned messaging service and flocked to rivals Telegram and Signal. The smartphone app, a huge hit across the world, cancelled its February 8 deadline for accepting an update to its terms concerning sharing data with Facebook, saying it would use the pause to clear up misinformation around privacy and security. “We’ve heard from so many people how much confusion there is around our recent update,” WhatsApp said in a blog post. “This update does not expand our ability to share data with Facebook.” It said it would instead “go to people gradually to review the policy at their own pace before new business options are available on May 15.” The update concerns how merchants using WhatsApp to cha...

Abuja chamber welcomes FCT tax harmonisation

Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) has welcomed the plan by the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Alhaji Muhammad Bello to harmonise tax policies within the territory in order end multiple taxations on by businesses in the territory. The President of ACCI, Alhaji Abubakar, in a statement yesterday, commended the minister for acknowledging the challenges faced by businesses within the territory due to series of levies, charges and taxes from Federal, FCTA and Area Councils. “Multiple taxations within the FCT and the larger national economy has imposed crippling consequences on businesses. “The fallout has been many failed businesses, the rising level of inflation, the non-thriving of existing ones and the lack of capacity to engage many unemployed youths. “We want ...

WHO: 90 million confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide

The number of COVID-19 cases worldwide has surpassed 90 million, reaching 90,054,813 as of Wednesday, according to the latest numbers from the World Health Organisation (WHO) Globally, as of 9:47 am CET (0847 GMT) on Wednesday, there have been 90,054,813 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 1,945,610 deaths, reported to WHO. The U.S. has remained at the top in both infection cases and fatalities, with 22,428,591 confirmed cases and 373,329 deaths reported to WHO. It’s followed by India with 10,495,147 cases and 151,529 deaths, and then Brazil, with 8,131,612 cases and 203,580 deaths. Also severely affected were Russia with 3,448,203 cases, Britain with 3,118,522 cases, France with 2,740,656 cases, Italy with 2,289,021 cases, and Spain with 2,111,782 cases. On the list of death tolls afte...

Nigerian government lists conditions for states to access coronavirus vaccines

The Federal Government has listed conditions for states to meet before the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine being expected wt the end of January would be released to them. The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), during a webinar tagged “Sensitisation Meeting with Media Gatekeepers on COVID-19 Vaccine Introduction”, at the weekend, said no vaccine will be release to states until facilities such as cold chains are in place. According to Director, Logistics and Health Commodities, NHPCDA, Kubura Daradara, the vaccine must be administered within five days of receipt for it to remain potent, and only the states that show commitment would receive the doses when available. She added that the 100,000 doses would be administered to 50,000 people, because each person has to take a secon...

Russian coronavirus vaccine trials begin in UAE as cases rise

Abu Dhabi has started Phase III clinical trials of Russia’s experimental COVID-19 vaccine, known as Sputnik V, amid a surge in infections in the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi’s media office said on Thursday. The human trial, announced in October before the recent rise in cases, is initially seeking up to 500 volunteers to be vaccinated at a hospital in the emirate of Abu Dhabi. Two doses of the vaccine will be given, 20 days apart, to volunteers, the statement said. Participants will have to be 18 years or older, have not previously been infected with COVID-19 or participated in other COVID-19 vaccine trials, it said. The UAE is also conducting Phase III trials of a COVID-19 vaccine developed by China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm). The UAE has approved the vaccine and it is a...

Russia says intercepted IS attack plot

Russia’s FSB security service said Saturday it had foiled an attack planned by a cell loyal to the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group in the country’s unstable southern republic of Dagestan, arresting four people. “Members of the group planned to detonate an explosive close to an administrative building belonging to security services, followed by an armed attack against interior ministry employees” in regional capital Makhachkala, the FSB said in a statement. As well as arresting four “members of the international IS terrorist group”, investigators found “firearms and bladed weapons, a large amount of ammunition and an explosive device”, it added, along with mobile phones containing “exchanges with organisers located abroad”. On December 17, police killed two attackers targeting security fo...

Tom Cruise and Russia Are Engaged in an Actual Space Race

The movie that Tom Cruise is set to film in outer space somehow just got even more realistic. According to IndieWire, a Russian TV channel is aiming to shoot its own movie beyond our atmosphere before Cruise gets a chance to take off, creating a modern equivalent of the Cold War-era space race between America and the Soviet Union. Earlier this year, Cruise confirmed that he was teaming up with NASA and Elon Musk’s Space X program to star in a $200 million dollar film that will be partially shot on the International Space Station. The feat would make Cruise the first actor to ever film a Hollywood narrative feature in outer space. But between his prior obligations and the ongoing COVID pandemic, shooting for the still-untitled film isn’t supposed to begin until at least 2022, and Russia (cl...

Oliver Stone Received Russia’s Controversial COVID-19 Vaccine, Is “Hopeful” It Will Work

Oliver Stone has become one of the first people to receive Russia’s controversial Sputnik V vaccine. Stone is in the country filming a documentary on climate change. He revealed his inoculation in an appearance on the state-run network Channel One Russia, and the story was subsequently picked up by Associated Press. “I got a vaccine shot, yeah,” he said, adding, “I don’t know if it’s going to work. I got it a few days ago. I’ve heard good things about the Russian vaccine. I have to get a second shot in 45 days or so. I have to come back. But I’m hopeful.” Via Newsweek, the Sputnik V vaccine is only recommended for people between the ages of 18 and 60, and experts have warned of potentially harmful consequences for people 61 and up. This makes the 74-year-old director’s choice som...

U.S. sanctions Turkey over purchase of Russian defense system

The United States imposed long-anticipated sanctions on Turkey on Monday over Ankara’s acquisition of the Russian S-400 air defense systems, further complicating already strained ties between the two NATO allies. Turkey condemned the sanctions as a “grave mistake” and urged Washington to revise its “unjust decision.” Senior U.S. officials said in a call with reporters that Ankara’s purchase of the S-400s and its refusal to reverse its decision left the United States with no other choice. The sanctions, first reported by Reuters last week, target Turkey’s top defence procurement and development body Presidency of Defence Industries, its chairman Ismail Demir and three other employees. While limited to one company, they are still likely to weigh on the Turkish economy, analysts said, at a ti...

Russia says may retaliate after new round of UK sanctions

A new round of British sanctions against Russian individuals over alleged human rights abuses in Chechnya is “unfounded” and Moscow may retaliate, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Saturday. “Undoubtedly, this politically-charged demarche will have a negative impact on Russian-British interstate relations,” the ministry said, adding Russia “reserves the right to take appropriate countermeasures.” Britain said on Thursday it was imposing sanctions on 11 individuals, including security figures and officials from Russia, Venezuela, Pakistan and Gambia, in a coordinated move with the United States on human rights violations. Get more stories like this on Twitter You Deserve to Make Money Even When you are looking for Dates Online. So we reimagined what a dating should be. It begins with giv...

UEFA Nations League: France draw Belgium, Italy to face Spain in semi-finals

The draw for the UEFA Nations League finals has been conducted, with World Cup holders France set to square off against world number ones Belgium while hosts Italy face Spain next October. The European governing body rubber-stamped Milan and Turin as the cities set to welcome the second edition of the tournament’s showpiece last four event on Thursday, confirming that the Group 1A winners would be on home soil. Roberto Mancini’s Azzurri will welcome La Roja under the stewardship of Luis Enrique to San Siro on October 6, while Didier Deschamps’ Bleus will face Les Diables Rouges led by Roberto Martinez at Allianz Stadium a day later. The winners will then meet in Milan three days later on October 10, with the third-place play-off unfolding in Turin upon the same date. The second semi-final ...

US sanctions Chinese, Russian firms over Iran dealings

The US on Friday announced economic sanctions on Chinese and Russian companies that Washington said had supported the development of Iran’s missile program. The four firms, accused of “transferring sensitive technology and items to Iran’s missile program,” will be subject to restrictions on US government aid and on their exports for two years, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement. The sanctions, imposed Wednesday, were against two Chinese-based companies, Chengdu Best New Materials and Zibo Elim Trade, as well as Russia-based Nilco Group and Joint Stock Company Elecon. “We will continue to work to impede Iran’s missile development efforts and use our sanctions authorities to spotlight the foreign suppliers, such as these entities in the PRC (China) and Russia, that provide mi...

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