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ADMIN

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  1. Bollywood stars definitely know how to make the most of their moolah. And real estate seems to catch their fancy. From plush bungalows to sea-facing apartments, the tinsel town celebrities own houses that exude luxury with tastefully done interiors. Located in posh locations in Mumbai, these celebrity homes will instantly make you fall in love with them. Mukesh Ambani's Antilia Photo: Inhabitant Photo: The New York Times Photo: The New York Times Atop six stories of parking lots, Antilia's living quarters begin at a lobby with nine elevators, as well as several storage rooms and lounges. The house is estimated to have cost a whopping billion dollars. It features a retractable showcase for pieces of art, a mount of LCD monitors, embedded speakers, a 50-seat personal cinema, and a health centre. Queen Kangana's 'palace' Photo: Architectural Digest Photo: Architectural DigestPhoto: Architectural DigestPhoto: Architectural Digest Kangana gave her five-bedroom house in the suburbs of Mumbai a makeover with interior designer Richa Bahl, who is the wife of Queen director Vikas Bahl. The ?Queen? has been living in the house since last three years. Shah Rukh Khan's Mannat Photo: Architectural DigestPhoto: Architectural DigestPhoto: Architectural DigestPhoto: Architectural Digest Shahrukh Khan?s abode ?Mannat? is located in Bandstand, Mumbai and offers a breathtaking view of the Arabian Sea. This beautiful mansion is personally styled by his wife Gauri Khan herself and is every bit luxurious as anybody could imagine. Irrfan Khan's majestic abode Photo: Architectural DigestPhoto: Architectural DigestPhoto: Architectural Digest Photo: Architectural Digest Irrfan Khan is a creative genius and his new house in Mumbai says all about the actor?s experimental taste. Akshay Kumar's artistic mansion Photo: Vogue India Photo: Vogue India Photo: Vogue India Photo: Vogue India The mansion of Akshay Kumar has the best of the luxuries along with a stunning view of the Arabian Sea from the front garden. Contemporary art, family photographs and curios loaded with personal memories transform the clean lines of their duplex apartment in Mumbai into a private heaven. Alia Bhatt's cosy abode Photo: Architectural DigestPhoto: Architectural DigestPhoto: Architectural DigestPhoto: Architectural Digest Alia Bhatt?s three bedroom home in Mumbai?s Juhu suburb is a simple, cosy and completely glamour-free. The young actor has kept the abode simple with muted lights and something that offers a New York loft kind of lifestyle. The space has been designed by Richa Bahl. Hrithik Roshan's stunning seaside home Photo: Vogue India Photo: Vogue India Photo: Vogue India Photo: Vogue India Actor Hrithik Roshan?s sea-facing Juhu apartment in Mumbai is a breezy affair?and it?s not just about the salty air wafting in from the Arabian Sea. In the sprawling den adjoining the living room, where the lives of the three Roshan boys intersect, there?s a foosball table, a billiards table and a vending machine that dispenses chocolates.
  2. CNN reporter Jim Acosta (R) quizzes Trump over his recent remarks on immigration US President Donald Trump on Tuesday kicked a CNN reporter out of the Oval Office for quizzing him over the recent ?sh**hole countries? controversy. Trump, according to sources, had questioned why the United States would want immigrants from ?sh**hole countries? like Haiti and some African countries during a briefing on draft immigration legislation. During a White House press conference on Tuesday, CNN?s Jim Acosta asked Trump whether he wanted more immigrants from Norway, to which Trump said that he wanted the US to draw immigrants from nations around the world. ?I want them to come in from everywhere,? Trump told reporters. ?Thank you, Jim. It's time to exit,? a female aide can be heard saying in a video of the incident. But Acosta does not take the cue to stop asking questions and says, ?Just Caucasian or white countries, sir? Or do you want people to come in from other parts of the world, people of colour..?? Trump then looks at Acosta, points his finger at him and says: ?Out.? The reporter then took to Twitter to detail the incident. ?As I attempted to ask questions in Roosevelt Room of Trump, WH press aides shouted in my face to drown out my questions. I have never encountered that before,? Acosta wrote. ?What occurred reminded me of something I would see in a different country. Certainly not at the WH. Certainly not in the U.S,? he continued. US Democratic Senator Dick Durbin said last week that Trump had repeatedly used the word ?sh**hole? when speaking about African countries and the Caribbean nation of Haiti. Trump has denied using that language. Trump?s comment about ?immigrants from everywhere? is the opposite of his administration's immigration policies, which include a complete ban on several Muslim countries from entering the US.
  3. To honour the sacrifice of Shaheed Second Lieutenant Abdul Mooed, Punjab government announced on Wednesday to name a medical ward in Vehari after the martyred soldier. Photo: file VEHARI: To honour the sacrifice of Shaheed Second Lieutenant Abdul Mooed, Punjab government announced on Wednesday to name a medical ward in Vehari after the martyred soldier. The newly-constructed medical ward of District Headquarters Hospital Vehari has been named as ?Second Lieutenant Abdul Moeed Shaheed Medical Ward?. On December 12, 2017, Inter Services Public Relations informed that Second Lieutenant Abdul Moeed and Sepoy Basharat were martyred after terrorists fired on their vehicle from the surrounding mountains in North Waziristan. Two army officials martyred in North Waziristan attack 2nd Lt Abdul Moeed and Sepoy Basharat's vehicle was attacked by terrorists Twenty-one-year-old Moeed hailed from Burewala, Vehari and had recently graduated from the Pakistan Military Academy (PMA), Kakul. Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa stated that "Freedom isn't free, it costs sons of the soil. Freedom that we enjoy today is owed to so many such bravehearts. Salute to our Martyrs," said a tweet sent out by DG ISPR Major General Asif Ghafoor.
  4. Syed Khawar Shah/File photo Pakistan Federation Baseball (PFB) founder and president Syed Khawar Shah passed away on Tuesday. He was 68. Under Shah?s leadership, the PFB was founded in 1992, allowing Pakistan to compete at the international level while helping to grow the game. ?This is a tremendous loss for our sport in Pakistan, Asia and worldwide,? said Riccardo Fraccari, president of the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) ? the world governing body for the two sports. ?History will always remember President Shah?s important legacy and milestones in baseball,? he added. During Shah?s presidency, the PFB launched annual men?s and women?s national championships, helping develop and identify players for Pakistan?s national teams, which have currently risen to 26th in the world in men?s baseball and 12th in women?s baseball. In 2016, the Pakistan Women?s National Baseball team debuted in the WBSC Women?s Baseball World Cup, while the Pakistan Men?s team played in its first-ever World Baseball Classic Qualifier. Shah initiated his career as a divisional sports officer Gujranwala and progressed to the seat of managing director sports board. Later, he assumed office as Director General Sports Punjab and retired in the same capacity. He has left behind a widow, three sons and four daughters.
  5. YANGON: Myanmar police shot dead seven demonstrators and 12 were injured in troubled Rakhine State, after a local gathering celebrating an ancient Buddhist Arakan kingdom turned violent. The demonstrators gathered late on Tuesday in Mrauk U township in the northern part of Rakhine to mark the end of the Arakan kingdom, the secretary of the Rakhine state government, Tin Maung Swe, told Reuters. The violent demonstration underscores the challenges facing Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi in a country where dozens of ethnic groups have been clamoring for autonomy since independence from Britain in 1947. Some 4,000 people surrounded a government building after the annual ceremony marking the demise of the Arakan kingdom over 200 years ago, Tin Maung Swe said. Organizers did not seek approval from local authorities for the gathering, he said. ?The police used rubber bullets initially but the crowd didn?t leave. Finally the security members had to shoot. The conflict happened when some people tried to seize guns from the police,? he said. Tun Ther Sein, regional MP from Mrauk U, said some of the critically injured protesters were taken to the state capital of Sittwe, a three-hour drive south of the ancient town studded with Buddhist temples. The Rakhine, also known as Arakanese, are one of the 135 officially recognized ethnic groups in Myanmar. Their identity is closely connected to the once powerful Arakanese kingdom along the Bay of Bengal, which was conquered by the Burmese kingdom in 1784. The kingdom was once an important stop on the old silk trade route. Tensions in Rakhine have risen since a sweeping Myanmar army operation in August inflamed communal tension and triggered an exodus of over 650,000 Rohingya Muslims to Bangladesh.
  6. Japan's public broadcaster NHK's false alarm about a North Korean missile launch which was received on a smart phone is pictured in Tokyo, Japan January 16, 2018. Reuters TOKYO: The Japanese government called on public broadcaster NHK on Wednesday to make sure a false alarm warning of a North Korean missile launch will not be repeated, with tensions still high because of the North?s missile and nuclear programs. NHK issued an erroneous alarm on its website on Tuesday evening, saying North Korea appeared to have launched a missile and urging people to take shelter. A similar gaffe caused panic in the US island state of Hawaii at the weekend. Japan?s public broadcaster put out another message on its website within five minutes correcting itself and said no government warning, known as a ?J-alert?, had been issued. ?The J-alert system is information of extreme importance in maintaining the security and safety of the people, so we?ve asked that they ensure this does not happen again,? Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a regular news conference. There have been no reports of panic or other disruptions following the NHK report. NHK said the false alert was sent by mistake when it was trying to issue another news flash. The broadcaster declined to say what the other news flash was about, but some domestic news outlets issued bulletins at around the same time about the latest recipients of a Japanese literary award. NHK is looking into measures to prevent a recurrence but could not comment on specific details because the plan had not been firmed up yet, an NHK spokeswoman said. The false alert was also sent to mobile phone users of NHK?s online news distribution service. It was not clear how many of its 300,000 users have a function to let news alerts pop up on the cellphone screen when activated, NHK said.
  7. BEIJING: An Iranian oil tanker that sank in the East China Sea has left two oil slicks covering a combined 109 square km (42 square miles), the Chinese government said late on Tuesday, as maritime police scour for damage and prepare to explore the wreck. Satellite imaging showed a slick of 69 square km (26.6 square miles) and a second 40 square km (15.4 square miles) slick, which is less thick and not as concentrated, the State Oceanic Administration (SOA) said in a statement. The large tanker Sanchi sank in the worst oil ship disaster in decades on Sunday, raising worries about damage to the marine ecosystem. The bodies of two sailors were recovered from the ship while a third body was pulled from the sea near the vessel. The remaining 29 crew of the ship are presumed dead. In a statement on Wednesday, the Ministry of Transport said the salvage team had located the wreck, which was at a depth of 115 metres (377 feet) under sea level, and were preparing to send underwater robots to explore it. The SOA said vessels have taken 31 water samples in the area around the wreck containing black grease with heavy oil smells, and a concentration of petroleum that exceeds some seawater quality standard limits. Clean-up teams continue to monitor the wreck area to assess the distribution and drift of the oil spill and the ecological impact. The Sanchi had been adrift and ablaze after crashing into the freighter CF Crystal on Jan 6. Strong winds pushed it away from the Chinese coast, where the incident happened, and into Japan?s exclusive economic zone. The ship, which was carrying 136,000 tonnes or almost 1 million barrels of condensate - an ultra-light, highly flammable crude oil - sank after several explosions weakened the hull. On Tuesday, Japan?s environment ministry said it does not see much chance that the spill will reach its shores.
  8. Steve Bannon was fired by the White House in August 2017. Photo: File WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump?s former chief strategist Steve Bannon declined on Tuesday to comply with a subpoena ordering him to answer questions from a US House intelligence panel about his time at the White House as part of its investigation into allegations of Russian interference in the US election. After Bannon initially refused to answer questions about the matter, Devin Nunes, the committee?s Republican party chairman, authorised a subpoena during the meeting to press Bannon to respond. Even then, Bannon refused to answer questions after his lawyer had conferred with the White House and was told again to refuse to answer questions about the transition period immediately after Trump was elected, or Bannon?s time in the administration, according to Representative Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the committee. Separately, the New York Times reported that Bannon had been subpoenaed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller to testify before a grand jury in a probe of alleged ties between Russia and Trump?s 2016 presidential campaign, on Tuesday. It was the first time Mueller is known to have used a subpoena against a member of Trump?s inner circle, the Times said. It cited a person with direct knowledge of the matter. A spokesman for Mueller?s office declined comment. Bill Burck, a lawyer for Bannon, could not immediately be reached for comment on the subpoena or his testimony before the House panel. The reported subpoena of Bannon does not mean he is a target of Mueller?s criminal investigation. Bannon, a champion of Trump?s ?America First? agenda, was among the Republican?s closest aides during the 2016 election campaign, the presidential transition and his first months in office. But the pair had a bitter public falling out over comments Bannon made to author Michael Wolff for his recent book ?Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.? In the book, Bannon is quoted as describing a June 2016 meeting between Trump associates, including the president?s son Donald Trump Jr, his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and a Russian lawyer, as ?treasonous? and ?unpatriotic.? Russia has denied meddling in the election and Trump has denied any collusion between his campaign and Moscow. Bannon was fired by the White House in August, though he continued to speak with Trump and tried to promote the president?s agenda. Pressure tactic? Bannon spent hours on Tuesday meeting behind closed doors with members of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee. He was the latest high-profile figure to appear before the panel as part of its investigation into allegations of Russian interference in the US election. Bannon refused to speak not only about his time at the White House, but also any conversations he had with President Trump after he had left the administration ?that might be for the purpose of the President seeking his advice on anything,? Schiff said. ?We expect to have Mr Bannon back in, we hope very soon, with a different position by the White House,? Schiff said. Asked if the White House had told Bannon not to answer certain questions, spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said: ?As with all congressional activities touching upon the White House, Congress must consult with the White House prior to obtaining confidential material.? ?We?ve been cooperating fully with these ongoing investigations and encourage the committees to work with us to find an appropriate accommodation in order to ensure Congress obtains information necessary to its legitimate interests,? she said. Mueller?s subpoena, which was issued last week, could be a pressure tactic to induce Bannon to cooperate fully with his investigation. Attorney Renato Mariotti, a former federal prosecutor, said the most likely reason for a Mueller subpoena of Bannon was that ?he thought having an attorney present and giving Bannon a more relaxed setting would not yield the same testimony as if he got him in the grand jury room with no attorney there and a more adversarial style of questioning.? A witness is not permitted to bring an attorney into a federal grand jury proceeding, but can step outside to consult with counsel.
  9. The weapons will be bought to "enable the defence forces to meet their immediate requirement for the troops deployed on the borders," the ministry said in a statement-AFP NEW DELHI: India will buy more than 160,000 guns worth $553 million for troops on its disputed, high-altitude borders, the defence ministry said Tuesday. The defence acquisition council cleared the purchase of 72,400 assault rifles and 93,895 carbines for 35 billion rupees ($553 million) in a meeting chaired by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. The weapons will be bought to "enable the defence forces to meet their immediate requirement for the troops deployed on the borders," the ministry said in a statement. New Delhi has signed several big-ticket defence deals since Prime Minister Narendra Modi stormed to power in 2014. India -- the world´s largest defence importer -- has been investing tens of billions in updating its Soviet-era military hardware to counter long-standing territorial disputes with its nuclear-armed neighbours China and Pakistan. India and China fought a brief war in 1962 over their border and last year were involved in a months-long showdown over a disputed Himalayan plateau. India is also mired in conflict in the Himalayan region of Kashmir where roughly 500,000 soldiers are deployed. New Delhi accuses Islamabad of sending "terrorists" across the border -- one of the most heavily militarised in the world -- to fight security forces in Indian-administered Kashmir. Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since the end of British rule in 1947, with both claiming the territory in its entirety. India has fought three wars against Pakistan, two of them over the control of Kashmir.
  10. TOKYO/SINGAPORE: Bitcoin extended its sharp tumble of the past 24 hours, skidding more than seven per cent on Wednesday in a rapid downturn in fortunes as investors were spooked by fears regulators might clamp down on an asset whose value has skyrocketed in the past year. The price of the world?s biggest and best known cryptocurrency fell to as low as $10,567 on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange, not far from its six-week nadir of $10,162 touched the previous day. The session?s high was $11,794.07. It led the fall in cryptocurrencies, although others such as Ethereum and Ripple, have also slid sharply this week after reports South Korea and China could ban trading, sparking worries of a wider regulatory crackdown. ?Cryptocurrencies could be capped in the current quarter ahead of G20 meeting in March, where policymakers could discuss tighter regulations,? said Shuhei Fujise, chief analyst at Alt Design. At its lows on Tuesday, bitcoin had fallen 25 per cent in the session, its biggest daily decline in four months. It was a far cry from its peak close to $20,000 in December, when the virtual currency had risen nearly 2,000 per cent over the year. Tuesday?s decline followed reports that South Korea?s finance minister had said banning trading in cryptocurrencies was still an option and that the government plans a set of measures to clamp down on the ?irrational? cryptocurrency investment craze. Separately, a senior Chinese central banker said authorities should ban centralised trading of virtual currencies as well as individuals and businesses that provide related services. ?Bitcoin is deciding whether this is the moment to crash and burn,? said Steven Englander, head of strategy at New York-based Rafiki Capital. ?My conjecture is that cryptocurrency holders are trying to decide whether to abandon bitcoin because its limitations mean it will be superceded by better products or bet that it can thrive despite them.? Makoto Sakuma, analyst at Tokyo-based NLI Research Institute, said trading volumes had been low despite the volatility. ?I would say the strong rally in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies we saw last year is over,? he said. ?But while the rally phase is over, I don?t think it is right to say bitcoin is finished.? Bitcoin futures maturing on Wednesday on the Cboe Global Markets Inc?s Cboe Futures Exchange were at $10,740, with 1,586 contracts traded, after having opened at $10,850. The open interest was 2,895 contracts. The Cboe 14 March 2018 contract was quoted at $11,130. The futures are cash-settled contracts based on the auction price of bitcoin in US dollars on the Gemini Exchange, which is owned and operated by virtual currency entrepreneurs Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss. The MVIS CryptoCompare Ripple Index, which covers the performance of a digital assets portfolio which invests in Ripple, a cryptocurrency developed by Ripple Labs, dropped 15 per cent to $7,298 on Wednesday. That equity index has seen a 66 per cent slide in its value since the start of the year. Ripple itself was quoted at $1.15 on website CoinMarketCap, down from a high of $3.81 on Jan 4. ?The run-up in bitcoin created a mystique of one-way trading which is being shaken but the pricing requires faith that there will always be demand,? Englander wrote. ?This is far from guaranteed given the existence of alternatives with better characteristics.?
  11. Dashcam video from police cruisers in Wisconsin and Illinois captured the fireball streaking through the dark sky. Photo: The Rock River Times A bright meteor briefly swept across the sky over parts of the US Midwest and Canada on Tuesday, weather and geology agencies said, and then caused a powerful explosion that rattled homes and onlookers. The meteor was seen across the region in places such as Ohio, Michigan and Ontario at about 8 p.m. local time and registered a 2.0 magnitude tremor about 4 miles (7 km) east of Saint Clair Shores in Eastern Michigan, the United States Geological Survey said on its website. The National Weather Service (NWS) confirmed it was not a meteorological event but more likely a meteor. "The NWS can confirm the flash and boom was NOT thunder or lightning, but instead a likely meteor," the NWS in Detroit said on Twitter. The meteor sighting lit up social media with people posting videos and reaction. "I can't believe there was a Meteor! It shook our house and made a large bang! We thought someone hit our house," Twitter user Jennifer Wilson said in a post. Others had more ominous thoughts. "I thought for sure I was either seeing the alien invasion or the apocalypse. It's awesome in retrospect, freaky ... in real time," said a Twitter user who goes by the name Crash.
  12. Alec Baldwin/File photo LOS ANGELES: Actor Alec Baldwin on Tuesday expressed support for film maker Woody Allen as a growing number of entertainment industry stars seek to distance themselves from the ?Annie Hall? director as part of the Time?s Up campaign against sexual misconduct. Baldwin, who appeared in three of Allen?s films, said on Twitter that the renunciation of the director and his work was ?unfair and sad to me.? Baldwin said working with Allen was ?one of the privileges of my career.? Allen has repeatedly denied decades-old accusations that he molested his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow when she was seven years old in the early 1990s. But sentiment has turned against him during the sexual misconduct scandal sweeping Hollywood that has led to dozens of successful men being forced to resign or being dropped from projects. ?I am credible, and I am telling the truth, and I think it?s important that people realize that one victim, one accuser, matters. And that they are enough to change things,? Farrow said in an advance excerpt from a television interview due to be broadcast on the CBS show ?This Morning? on Thursday. Baldwin said he did not intend to ?dismiss or ignore such complaints.? ?But accusing people of such crimes should be treated carefully,? he added. Representatives of Allen did not respond to a request for comment on Tuesday. The director has never been charged with a crime. Allen, 82, won Oscars for the films ?Annie Hall,? ?Hannah and Her Sisters? and the 2011 comedy ?Midnight in Paris,? and continues to release a new movie almost every year. Alec Baldwin with Woody Allen Timothee Chalamet, 22, the star of gay romance ?Call me By Your Name,? this week became the latest actor to announce he will donate the salary he earned from an Allen movie to ?Time?s Up? and other causes for sexual abuse victims. He followed Rebecca Hall, Ellen Page and Mira Sorvino who have made donations or issued regrets about working with Allen in recent weeks. Last week ?Lady Bird? director Greta Gerwig, who acted in the 2012 film ?To Rome with Love,? said she would not work with Allen again. The ?Time?s Up? campaign against sexual harassment in the workplace was launched two weeks ago by more than 300 Hollywood industry figures. Allen?s most recent film ?Wonder Wheel,? distributed by Amazon Studios, has fared poorly at the North American box office taking only $1.4 million since its Dec. 1 release. His next film ?A Rainy Day in New York,? starring Chalametand also from Amazon, is due for release later this year.
  13. The dollar index against a basket of six major currencies was 0.27 percent lower at 90.158 .DXY after hitting 90.113, its lowest since December 2014 TOKYO: The dollar fell to a three-year low against its peers on Wednesday, with an earlier bounce sputtering as the euro edged back after shaking off a potentially negative turn in German politics. The dollar index against a basket of six major currencies was 0.27 percent lower at 90.158 .DXY after hitting 90.113, its lowest since December 2014. The dollar index momentarily recovered to 90.826 on Tuesday after slipping steadily this month on expectations major central banks would eventually normalize monetary policy. But its rebound dissipated as underlying fundamental expectations that had weakened the greenback so far this year remained intact. ?The view held by many market participants is that monetary policies are headed for normalization across the globe. The dollar is bound to stay weak when such views prevail,? said Yukio Ishizuki, senior currency strategist at Daiwa Securities in Tokyo. The euro was 0.3 percent higher at $1.2296 EUR=, shaking off weakness seen overnight and going as high as $1.2323, its strongest since December 2014. The common currency had slid to $1.2195 on Tuesday after news which suggested the ECB might not tweak its policy message very soon curtailed the currency?s rally. The euro was also weighed on Tuesday as members of the center-left Social Democrats (SPD) in one of Germany?s regions voted against talks with Angela Merkel?s conservative Christian Democrats (CDU), stoking worries over whether the German chancellor could form a ?grand coalition?. ?Macro-driven funds appear to have drawn up scenarios already, in which the ECB begins to taper policy this year. Challenges to the euro would be short-lived if many players stick to such scripts,? Ishizuki at Daiwa Securities said. The dollar was 0.05 percent lower at 110.415 yen JPY=. It had managed to rise 110.985 on Tuesday but was headed back towards a four-month low of 110.245 marked on Monday. The Canadian dollar was a shade stronger at C$1.2424 per dollar CAD=D4 with immediate focus on the Bank of Canada's monetary policy decision due later in the day. The BoC is widely expected to raise interest rates by 25 basis points and take the benchmark borrowing cost to 1.25 percent, adding to views that rates will be higher globally this year. Markets expect the central bank to hike as many as three times in 2018. The Australian dollar rose 0.4 percent to $0.7991 AUD=D4 and the New Zealand dollar added 0.15 percent to $0.7276 NZD=D4. Bitcoin was 0.8 percent lower at $11,300.00 on the Bitstamp exchange BTC=BTSP. It had lost 16 percent on Tuesday, during which it fell to a 1-1/2 month low of $10,162.00 after reports suggested it was still possible that South Korea could ban trading in bitcoin.
  14. YouTube on Tuesday announced ramped-up rules regarding when it will run ads with videos as it scrambled to quell concerns by brands about being paired with troublesome content. Photo: AFP/file SAN FRANCISCO: YouTube on Tuesday announced ramped-up rules regarding when it will run ads with videos as it scrambled to quell concerns by brands about being paired with troublesome content. "There´s no denying 2017 was a difficult year, with several issues affecting our community and our advertising partners," YouTube vice president of display, video and analytics Paul Muret said in a blog post. "The challenges we faced in 2017 have helped us make tough but necessary changes in 2018." Channels at YouTube will need to have at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch time within the past year to be eligible for ads, according to Muret. Previously, channels could be eligible for ads as part of a YouTube Partner Program by racking up 10,000 views or more. "We want to take channel size, audience engagement, and creator behaviour into consideration to determine eligibility for ads," Muret said. YouTube will closely watch for spam, abuse flags and other signals to make sure channels are remaining within the Google-owned video-sharing platforms policies regarding content, according to the post. Muret said that manual reviews of video will be added to a Google Preferred system that brands use to place ads with popular YouTube content to better vet videos. YouTube is also providing advertisers simpler controls regarding where ads appear and transparency including safety checks by outside parties, according to Muret. The changes were expected to affect "a significant number" of YouTube channels eligible to run ads. YouTube late last year pulled 150,000 videos of children after lewd comments about them were posted by viewers and went public with a vow to greatly increase the ranks of workers focused on rooting out content violating its policies. The moves came as YouTube strived to assure companies their ads would not appear with offensive or inappropriate videos. "We are passionate about protecting our users, advertisers and creators and making sure YouTube is not a place that can be co-opted by bad actors," Muret said. "While we took several steps last year to protect advertisers from inappropriate content, we know we need to do more to ensure that their ads run alongside content that reflects their values."
  15. Kim Kardashian with her rapper husband Kanye West/File photo LOS ANGELES: Kim Kardashian and her rapper husband Kanye West announced their third child on Tuesday, a girl born to a surrogate. ?Kanye and I are happy to announce the arrival of our healthy, beautiful baby girl,? Kardashian said in a message on her app. The couple thanked the unidentified surrogate ?who made our dreams come true with the greatest gift one could give.? They said the baby was born on Monday but they did not announce a name. Kardashian, 37, and West are already parents to North, 4, and Saint, 2. The ?Keeping Up with the Kadashians? reality and social media star has said she decided to use a surrogate after doctors warned of serious health risks if she became pregnant again. Kardashian has given detailed accounts on her blog about the difficulties she experienced during her two labors. Two of Kardashian?s sisters are also expecting babies. Khloe Kardashian, 33, announced in December that she is six months pregnant with her basketball player boyfriend Tristan Thomas, while their half-sister Kylie Jenner, 20, is reported to be expecting her first child soon. The arrival of Kardashian and West?s third child swiftly became one of the top five trending topics on Twitter.
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