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At Least 45 Children Killed in Sri Lanka Attacks, United Nations


Geneva, Switzerland (AFP) | At least 45 children were among the more than 320 people killed in the suicide bomb attacks in Sri Lanka, the United Nations said Tuesday.
"The total now is 45 children who died," UNICEF spokesman Christophe Boulierac told reporters in Geneva, stressing that others "are wounded and are now fighting for their lives," meaning the toll among minors from the Sunday attacks could rise.

Sri Lanka Bombings Toll Rises to 359


Colombo, Sri Lanka (AFP) | The toll in a series of suicide bomb blasts on Easter Sunday targeting hotels and churches in Sri Lanka has risen to 359, police said Wednesday.
The additional deaths were the result of the wounded dying of their injuries. At least 500 people were injured in the attacks.
The blasts have been claimed by Daesh, with Sri Lanka’s government pointing the finger at the little-known local Islamist group National Thowheeth Jama’ath, but saying the group likely had "international" help.
"Certainly the security apparatus is of the view that there are foreign links and some of the evidence points to that," Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told media on Tuesday night.
"We’ve been following up on this claim, there were suspicions that there were links with ISIS (Daesh)," he added.
Overnight, Sri Lankan police carried out fresh raids, detained 18 more people in their hunt for those involved in the attacks.
Nearly 60 people have been detained since the Sunday blasts, which ripped through high-end hotels and churches packed with Easter worshippers in the capital Colombo and beyond.
It is the worst violence in the country since the end of a Tamil insurgency a decade ago.

Supreme Court Restores Tax Collection on Mobile Phone Cards


Islamabad, Pakistan | Supreme Court of Pakistan has restored tax collection on mobile phone cards, saying the apex court will not interfere in this matter.
A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa, heard the case pertaining to advance tax on cellphone cards.
The apex court in June 2018 had suspended tax collection on mobile cards.
The then Chief justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar had taken notice of the high levy charged on mobile phone cards in the country as he asked under which law Rs 40 were being deducted from Rs 100 mobile cards.
At that time, as per some reports, on the charge of a Rs 100 pre-paid mobile card, a 19.5 percent Federal Excise Duty (FED) was charged along with 12.5 percent withholding tax and 10 percent service/maintenance charge.
According to statistics revealed by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority in January last year, the number of mobile phone users stands at 144 million as compared to 142.5 million in October 2017.
The Supreme Court (SC) on Monday asked if every citizen is able to pay tax and if a Cartman would go to the Income Tax Commissioner to get a refund on mobile phone card he had loaded.
The SC observed that the government should act honestly on the tax matters and stressed that tax procedures should be made easy for citizens so that it could be determined by identity cards as to who was a taxpayer and who was not.
The chief justice asked how many people demand the refund of advance tax as they have to see when and how much tax would be applicable. He remarked that the court would also have to consider whether the government enforced the law correctly or not.
A huge amount was withdrawn from the pockets of masses due to the law. On a court query, Attorney General for Pakistan Anwar Mansoor Khan said every client pay advance tax on a mobile card and a consumer on whom income tax was not applicable could demand a refund.
The counsel for Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) said Rs90 billion tax was not collected due to suspension of one point of tax collection law by the apex court.
The chief justice responded that the court could void a law but it could not suspend a law. Justice Qazi Faez Isa remarked that the court would also have to review utility tax along with income tax.
Justice Ijazul Ahsan remarked that the court had only suspended the recovery of withholding tax but not suspended the law. According to the law if a person was not applicable of tax, he would have to get a certificate from Commissioner Income Tax, he added.
He remarked that the state should be sincere with its citizens. He remarked that advance tax was income tax according to the definition and how a consumer could pay tax who did not fall in the category of taxpayer.
He remarked that the court wanted that the government should form such a mechanism that non-filers should not have to pay the tax. 

How to Block Your Stolen OR Lost Cell Phone


What to do if your phone gets lost or stolen? 

Here are some easy-to-follow guidelines to secure your personal information stored on your stolen or lost cell phone. 
As per the website, there are four ways that you can follow to block your cell phone if gets stolen or lost.
The first and easy step includes the online blocking procedure for your Mobile Phone. Follow the instructions mentioned at CPLC website http://www.cplc.org.pk to lock your phone:

1. Contact CPLC 24/7 call centre helplines 1102 021-35662222 & 021-35682222 for lodging complaint of snatched / stolen / Lost Mobile Phone.
2. Provide IMEI no. of snatched/ stolen/ lost mobile phone along with other relevant information.
3. Information of snatched/ stolen/ lost mobile phone is sent to PTA for issuing blocking instructions to all mobile network operators.
4. Mobile network operators block snatched/ stolen/ lost mobile phone within 24 hours.

You can call at the following mentioned numbers to get your lost phone’s data to save by locking it:

CPLC (Citizen Police Liaison Committee): 021-35662222
Police (Rescue 15) : 15
PTA (Pakistan Telecom Authority): 0800-25625

They will get some basic info along with the IMEI number of your lost mobile set, will request all the mobile operators to block this IMEI on their networks to save your information.
Other ways to block your stolen or lost cell phone includes email and fax.

You can fax your complaint at 021-35683336 or by emailing at imei@pta.gov.pk.

The IMEI number you have to send can be found underneath mobile’s battery and warranty card, you can also find your IMEI of you set by dialing the sequence *#06# into your phone.
Save your IMEI number before something bad happens to your cell phone. 

Sri Lanka Easter Bombings | Mass Casualties in Churches and Hotels

Several people were killed as worshippers attended Easter service [Chamila Karunarathne/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images]

Report (AL JAZEERA NEWS) | Sri Lanka's capital Colombo has been hit by at least two new blasts, hours after the country was struck by a series of six bombings on churches and hotels that killed at least 156 people and wounded about 400. 
 [Chamila Karunarathne/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images]
The seventh explosion occurred at a hotel near the national zoo in the capital, killing at least two more people, police said, while an eighth blast hit the suburb of Orugodawatta in the north of Colombo.
There were no further details on what was targeted, police said.
Most of the victims were killed in three churches where worshippers were attending Easter Sunday services. Three other bombings struck luxury hotels - the Cinnamon Grand, Kingsbury, and Shangri-La - located in the heart of Colombo, killing at least 35 foreigners.
The first explosion was reported in a church located in the capital. The other blasts followed within half an hour.
One of the churches targeted was St Anthony's Shrine in Colombo. The other two were St Sebastian's in Negombo, about 30km from the capital and another in Batticaloa, 250km east of the capital.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will hold an emergency meeting with the country's top military officials of the National Security Council. He has also called for an emergency convening of the nation's parliament on Monday.
Police spokesperson Ruwan Gunasekera said the injured were being evacuated while security forces have cordoned off the areas and search operations are underway.
Photos circulating on social media showed the roof of one church had been blown almost entirely off in the blast.
The floor was littered with a mixture of roof tiles, splintered wood, and blood.
Several people could be seen covered in blood, some trying to help those with more serious injuries.
There were no immediate claims of responsibility.

Government Response

The Sri Lankan government has declared a nationwide curfew with immediate effect, junior defence minister Ruwan Wijewardene said.
"A curfew will be imposed until things settle down," he told reporters in Colombo.
Government officials also said major social media networks and messaging apps, including Facebook and WhatsApp, have been blocked inside the country to prevent misinformation and rumours.
"The government has decided to block all social media platforms in order to prevent incorrect and wrong information being spread. This is only a temporary measure," Udaya R Seneviratne, secretary to the president, said in a statement.
Al Jazeera's Minelle Fernandez, reporting from Colombo, said the crisis was still unfolding.
"We're hearing that Colombo national hospital is still receiving casualties brought in from the multiple locations.
"In terms of law enforcement, we've been hearing that all festivities have been canceled, that security in and around the city has been tightened," Fernandez reported.
"It's still very open-ended … it's too early [to speculate who is behind the attack] but security in the capital and the airport has been stepped up following the attacks," she added.

Coordinated Attacks

Rajiva Wijesinha, a former member of the Sri Lankan parliament, told Al Jazeera the coordinated nature of the attacks has shocked the country.
"It's actually extremely chilling. We've never had anything of this sort before. Sri Lanka had a terrible time under Tamil Tiger terrorism for about 25 years and then there was a great sense of relief, which I am afraid the West has been fighting with us about, when we got rid of the tiger terrorists," Rajiva said.
"But the tiger terrorists were never as well organised never and never quite as brilliant in synchronisation and this is obviously something on a much larger scale which is frankly quite terrifying and you know the reactions I've heard suggest people are moving into panic mode again," he said. 
"And that is understandable because of the range of these attacks and the concentration on the Christian churches and then the hotels as well suggest we are dealing with something really quite horrible," Rajiva added.
Speaking to Al Jazeera from Colombo, Ashwin Hemmathagama, a reporter with the Daily FT, said the attacks were a blow to the country's tourism sector.
"At the moment, police have cordoned off the areas and cautioned the public to remain vigilant. They have asked the public to stay indoors and avoid hasty decisions because investigations are underway."
"After the civil war ended, almost a decade ago, the tourism industry was picking up. Basically, everything was back to its current perspective, but unfortunately, this kind of attack will definitely cripple the tourism sector."


Whatsapp Testing New Feature to Restrict Users From Taking Screenshots of Chats


Whatsapp is reportedly testing a new feature that would restrict users to take a screenshot of the chats if they enable authentication feature in the app.
According to Wabetainfo, the world’s biggest messaging app is working to introduce the new feature and may roll out it soon.
In order to stop others from taking screenshots of chats, the user must enable the fingerprint authentication feature.
The step is taken to enhance the safety and security of the app users.
Meanwhile, the social media is abuzz with reports that Whatsapp will introduce a feature to allow the users verify the source of the image shared to them and check the authenticity of the images, in an attempt to curb the spread of unsubstantiated misinformation.

Pakistan Stands with People of France, Fawad Says After Notre-Dame Fire


Islamabad, Pakistan | Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry has expressed sorrow over the incident of fire in Notre-Dame Cathedral, Paris.
In a tweet on Tuesday, he said Pakistan stands with the people of France in this hour of grief. He said our thoughts and prayers are with people of France.
The minister said Notre-Dame Cathedral belongs to human heritage, and pain of this tragic incident is felt by everyone.


PM Imran to Launch Naya Pakistan Apna Ghar Housing Scheme Today


Islamabad, Pakistan | Prime Minister Imran Khan is due to launch landmark Naya Pakistan Apna Ghar Housing Scheme today (Wednesday).
One hundred and thirty-five thousand residential units will be constructed In the first phase,.
Twenty-five thousand apartments will be constructed for government employees in the federal capital.
The government hopes that the mega scheme will help generate job opportunities.
Foreign companies have also evinced great interest in the housing scheme.

Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp Face Worldwide Outage


The social media users across the globe including Pakistan have reported facing problems using services of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp.
The users are commenting on Twitter about the outage.
They say that the social media networking site won't load on desktop or mobile devices, while others are reporting that their timelines won't refresh.
Quoting downdetector.co.uk, Mirror reported that thousands of social media users across UK, Europe are unable to access the apps.
#whatsappdown, #instagramdown, #FacebookDown are trending worldwide on Twitter confirm that the outage is global and not limited to few regions.

Global Measles Cases up 300 Percent Year-On-Year | WHO


Geneva, Switzerland (AFP) | Measles cases rose 300 percent worldwide through the first three months of 2019 compared to the same period last year, the UN said Monday, as concern grows over the impact of anti-vaccination stigma.
Measles, which is highly contagious, can be entirely prevented through a two-dose vaccine, but the World Health Organization (WHO) has in recent months sounded the alarm over slipping global vaccination rates.
"Preliminary global data shows that reported cases rose by 300 percent in the first three months of 2019, compared to the same period in 2018. This follows consecutive increases over the past two years," it said in a statement.
"While this data is provisional and not yet complete, it indicates a clear trend. Many countries are in the midst of sizeable measles outbreaks, with all regions of the world experiencing sustained rises in cases," WHO further said.
The agency noted that only about one in 10 actual measles cases are reported, meaning the early trends for 2019 likely underestimate the severity of the outbreaks.
So far this year, 170 countries have reported 112,163 measles cases to WHO. At this time last year, 163 countries had reported 28,124 cases.
"Spikes in case numbers have also occurred in countries with high overall vaccination coverage, including the United States," WHO said.
"The disease has spread fast among clusters of unvaccinated people," it added.
New York´s mayor declared a public health emergency in parts of Brooklyn last week, after a measles outbreak emerged in an ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, where some had resisted vaccination on religious grounds.
WHO said that the most dramatic rise in cases -- a 700-percent increase compared to last year -- has been reported in Africa, which has weaker vaccination coverage than other regions.

Notre Dame Fire | Catholics "Heartbroken" As Blaze Ravages Iconic Cathedral During Holy Week


Paris, France (USA Today) | A fire is ravaging the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris during the most significant week of the year in the Catholic Church.
It's Holy Week.
Catholics should be commemorating Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection in its pews at Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday services. Instead, a massive inferno is threatening to destroy the culturally and religiously significant icon for good.   
The timing of the blaze immediately struck the Very Rev. John Hammond, a Nashville priest and who has celebrated Mass at the revered cathedral and played its famous pipe organ. The more than 850-year-old Gothic structure is the cathedral for the Archdiocese of Paris and a functioning church, he said. 
"This is going to be an even greater struggle for the people of Paris who would normally be flocking to the cathedral for these very special liturgies this week," Hammond said.
The cause of the fire is not immediately known, but officials say it could be linked to the $6.8 million renovation work that was in progress at Notre Dame cathedral. 
As the news of the fire spread to the U.S., Notre Dame University in Indiana clarified on its official Twitter account that it was the Paris cathedral, not their campus that was on fire. 
But the distance did not make the blaze any less shocking to Krupali Krusche, a historical preservation expert and professor at the university. She and her fourth-year architecture students were streaming live footage of the blaze in their University of Notre Dame classroom.
"It's a major loss to humanity and to the citizens of France and to everybody else," Krusche said. "To us as conservationists, of people that work on treasuring major sites like this, this is a sad day."
Krusche, who has documented world heritage sites for moments like this, could tell from the online videos that the damage would be extensive from this fire. 
"Those flames that are happening at the cathedral right now, it's the level where stone starts melting," Krusche said. "A fire of this size especially during the restoration process of the cathedral is going to be starting from scratch in many, many ways." 
Students from the Indiana college visit Paris every year, Krusche said. In two weeks, a group in the university's Rome program were supposed to travel to the city and study Notre Dame. Those plans will now have to be reconsidered, she said. 
People connect with Notre Dame on multiple levels, Krusche said. It's religiously and architecturally significant, but it also has an impact on the beauty in the world, she said.  
It resonates with anyone who wants to study Gothic architectural traditions and it also represents the highest level of cathedral design, she said. 
"Religiously, as a piece of architecture that signifies Catholic tradition to its highest, it is one of the key monuments out there," Krusche said.
Anna Harrison, an associate professor at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles who is taking a class of about a dozen students to Paris this summer, said the cathedral has held deep meaning for Catholics over the centuries.
Her goal was to "try to understand how medieval Christians would have occupied the space, the role it played in their larger devotional life." Particularly then, when the cathedral towered over the city, "it must have stimulated a sense of awe," Harrison said.
The Medieval Thought and Practice class had planned to pay particular attention not only to the architecture but the statues and stained glass. She added that the cathedral "communicates a beautiful dimension of human beings" and that it also marks "dazzling feats of architectural engineering."
Nora Heimann, the chair of the Art Department at Catholic University in Washington, D.C., said she has led more than 20 tours to Notre Dame and Paris’ other significant churches.
"I am heartbroken at the devastation of today's fire," she said in an email. "It is hard to imagine how much history has been lost in today's conflagration."
“For me, it’s a very personal thing,” said Heimann of her visits to Notre Dame. She said she is moved by the way stones have worn from the legions of pilgrims who have called on the church over the centuries. Though it is a tourist destination, she said she has worshiped there and come to hear musical performances. “For me, I felt the history of the place.”
Hammond, who is the pastor of St. Patrick Catholic Church in Nashville and a vicar general for the local diocese, remembers feeling the significance of Notre Dame when he celebrated Mass with a group of visiting pilgrims at the cathedral a couple years ago. 
"It was an incredible experience," Hammond said. "You're surrounded by not only such a magnificent building in terms of its architecture but just the history, the centuries and centuries of the worship of God sort of are they're in the air. They kind of seep out of the walls." 
"It's a very special place. It's one of those places that you feel sort of timeless," Hammond said. 

UN Secretary General Expresses Solidarity with Pakistan in Fight Against Terrorism


The United Nations has expressed its full solidarity with the government of Pakistan in its fight against terrorism and violent extremism.
In a statement, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has strongly condemned the ‘cowardly’ attack in Quetta in which twenty people were killed and 48 wounded.
He also extended his condolences to the families of the victims and to the government and people of Pakistan.

The Bible Says We're Little Gods?

For a transcript of this video, click here: http://www.wwutt.com/2019/04/the-bibl...
Credit | WWUTT

More Than 113 Million People Suffer "Acute Hunger" | UN


AFP | More than 113 million people across 53 countries experienced "acute hunger" last year because of wars and climate disasters, with Africa the worst-hit region, the UN said Tuesday.
Yemen, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Afghanistan, and Syria were among the eight nations accounting for two-thirds of the total number of people worldwide exposed to the risk of famine, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said in its 2019 global report on food crises.
Launched three years ago, the annual study takes stock of the countries facing the greatest difficulties.
African states were "disproportionally" affected as close to 72 million people on the continent suffered acute hunger, the FAO´s emergencies director Dominique Bourgeon told AFP on Tuesday.
Conflict and insecurity remained key factors, along with economic turbulence and climate-related shocks like drought and floods, the report found.
In countries on the verge of famine, "up to 80 percent of the population depends on agriculture. They need both emergency humanitarian aid for food and measures to help boost agriculture," Bourgeon said.
The report highlighted the strain put on countries hosting large numbers of refugees, including neighbouring nations of war-torn Syria as well as Bangladesh, which has received more than a million Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar.

- Venezuela Food Crisis -

The FAO said it also expected the number of displaced people to increase "if the political and economic crisis persists in Venezuela" which is likely to declare a food emergency this year.
Bourgeon said he was concerned by the "important and significative rise" in poverty in Venezuela, as it grapples with dire economic and living conditions worsened by an ongoing political crisis.
Globally, the study noted that the overall situation slightly improved in 2018 compared to 2017 when 124 million people suffered acute hunger.
The drop can partially be attributed to the fact that some countries in Latin America and the Asia Pacific region, for instance, were less affected by weather disasters that had struck in previous years.
However, the FAO warned that the year-on-year trend of more than 100 million people facing famine was unlikely to change in the face of continued crises.
Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria all suffered bad droughts in 2018, which severely impacted agricultural output.
The FAO also stressed that "high levels of acute and chronic malnutrition in children living in emergency conditions remained of grave concern".

4,000 Years Old Rock Paintings Discovered in Mongolia


Hohhot, China | Several 4,000-year-old rock paintings depicting the celebration of birth in a tribe have been discovered in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, archeologists said.
The ancient paintings were found on two sides of a giant rock in Mandela township in Alxa Right Banner.
Many human figures dancing hand in hand are carved on one side, while three people in a row, a female in the middle, are on the other side, according to the local cultural relics bureau.
"These well-preserved paintings depict a tribe celebrating the birth of a child," said Wu Yi from the bureau.
"They record the ancient tribes'' reverence for the prosperity and circle of life,” Wu said.
More than 2,000 rock paintings have been found in Mandela township.
Local authorities have hired local herders to patrol on the sites for better protection of the paintings.
More than 1,200 rock painting sites, scattered in over 100 counties in 28 provinces and regions, have been found and recorded across China, according to statistics released by the Chinese Rock Art Association in 2017. (Xinhua/APP)

US Travel Blogger Drew Binsky Becomes First Foreigner to Visit Azad Kashmir Without Permit


Widely recognised American travel blogger and YouTube star, famous for his expedition of travelling to all countries across the globe, became the first tourist ever to travel to Azad Kashmir Pakistan without a permit during his recent visit to Pakistan.
Documenting this experience in a video posted on his social media account Drew mentioned that he’s the first tourist in the world who has traveled to Azad Kashmir after Pakistan lifted its NOC requirement for tourists, previously required to travel to certain parts of Pakistan for outsiders.
Earlier, on 26th March Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry announced that the government has planned to lift restrictions on visiting sites for foreign tourists.
In the video Drew talked about Azad Kashmir, highlighting the history and how it became disputed territory. 
He went on to deem the place as one of the most beautiful places he's seen. 
Drew was however bashed by Indians fans for stating Azad Kashmir as Pakistani state and hurting their sentiments.
Drew in his early videos about Pakistan also shared some facts to highlight its positive image by saying that ‘Pakistan is the most hospitable country’, he also mentioned that since he came to Pakistan he hasn't spent his any money because no one in Pakistan has allowed him to pay due to the hospitable nature of the people here.


In another post he said:
“Along with Iran, Pakistan is the world’s most misconceived and misunderstood country. If you’ve ever been here, then you’ll know…”
Meanwhile, the Pakistani government is making several changes in its visa and traveling policies to attract tourists from all around the world. 
In this manner travel bloggers like Drew are helping through their content to create a positive image of Pakistan around the globe. 

South Korea to Launch World’s First National 5G Networks


AFP | South Korea launches the world´s first fully-fledged 5G mobile networks Friday, a transformational leap that already has superpowers sparring for control of innovation that could potentially change the day-to-day lives of billions of people.
The superfast communications heralded by fifth-generation wireless technology will ultimately underpin everything from toasters to telephones; from electric cars to power grids.
But while the South has won the race to be first to provide the user experience, that is only one part of a wider battle that has pitted the United States against China and ensnared giants including Huawei.
Hyper-wired South Korea has long had a reputation for technical prowess, and Seoul has made the 5G rollout a priority as it seeks to stimulate stuttering economic growth.
The system will bring smartphones near-instantaneous connectivity -- 20 times faster than existing 4G -- allowing users to download entire movies in less than a second.
In the same way that 3G enabled widespread mobile web access and 4G made new applications work ranging from social media to Uber, 5G will herald a new level of connectivity, empowered by speed.
It is crucial for the future development of devices ranging from self-driving vehicles that send data traffic to one another in real time, industrial robots, drones and other elements of the Internet of Things.
That makes it a vital part of the infrastructure of tomorrow, and the 5G standard is expected to bring about $565 billion in global economic benefits by 2034, according to the London-based Global System for Mobile Communications, an industry alliance.

One Million Devices

But the implications have pitted Washington against Beijing in an increasingly bitter standoff.
The US has pressed its allies and major economies to avoid 5G solutions from Chinese-owned telecom giant Huawei, citing security risks that technological backdoors could give Beijing access to 5G-connected utilities and other components.

But Chinese firms dominate 5G technology.

Huawei, the global leader, has registered 1,529 5G patents, according to data analysis firm IPlytics.
Combined with manufacturers ZTE and Oppo, plus the China Academy of Telecommunications Technology, Chinese entities own a total of 3,400 patents, it says -- more than a third of the total.
South Korea comes next, with its companies holding 2,051 patents.
In contrast, US firms have 1,368 altogether, IPlytics said -- 29 fewer than Finland´s Nokia alone.
All three of South Korea´s mobile operators go live with their 5G services on Friday.
"5G´s hyper speed can connect one million devices within a one square kilometre zone simultaneously," KT said in a report.
Neither KT nor SK Telecom uses Huawei technology in their 5G networks, but it is a supplier to LG UPlus, the three companies told AFP.
On the same day, Samsung Electronics will release the Galaxy S10 5G, the world´s first available smartphone using the technology, and rival phone maker LG follows with the V50s two weeks later.

Cost Barrier

More than three million South Koreans will switch to 5G by the end of this year, predicted KT vice-president Lee Pil-jae.
Until now, no mobile networks have offered nationwide 5G access. In the US, hotspots in a few selected cities have offered 5G speeds but over wifi only, while Qatari firm Ooredoo says it offers 5G services in and around Doha -- but does not have devices available to use them.
US network carrier Verizon will launch fifth-generation services for mobile users in Chicago and Minneapolis next week, with more than 30 cities due to follow this year.
Japan is also expected to roll out a limited deployment in 2019 before full services start in time for next year´s Tokyo Olympics.
Cost is likely to be a barrier for user uptake initially, analysts say, as the cheapest version of the new Galaxy handset will be priced at 1.39 million won ($1,200).
"While there are many cheap 4G smartphones under $300, Samsung´s 5G phones are well over $1,000, which could be a major minus point for cost-savvy consumers," a KT representative told AFP.
None of South Korea´s three network operators would say how much they have invested in 5G -- but Seoul´s economy minister Hong Nam-ki put it at at least $2.6 billion this year alone.
"If 5G is fully implemented," he said, "it will greatly improve people´s lives".

Facebook Opens Innovation Lab in Pakistan


Lahore, Pakistan | Facebook and Pakistan's Ministry of Information Technology & Telecom along with the National Technology Fund (IGNITE) launched the first Facebook Innovation Lab in Pakistan at a ceremony attended by policymakers and technocrats on Wednesday.
Located in the National Incubation Center (NIC) at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), the Innovation Lab will focus on providing infrastructure access to developers, entrepreneurs and community groups enabling them to network, train and grow their expertise. 
It will also help developers build products and applications using emerging technology like Virtual Reality (VR).
“We are proud to launch Facebook Innovation Lab as a part of our long term commitment to support innovation and the developer community in Pakistan. 
Facebook is committed to building an impactful community in Pakistan and we believe it is important to support businesses, startups and the individuals who are driving innovation to grow and succeed. 
We are confident that through our partnership with the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecom, Ignite, National Incubation Centre (NIC) Lahore, and LUMS, Facebook Innovation Lab will not only be a unique training and innovation center but will support a vibrant and transformative technology community in the country,' said Jason Lin, Head of Startup Programs (APAC), Facebook.
This is the first innovation lab launched by Facebook in Pakistan. The Lab will give startups the infrastructure and the access they need to refine and scale their business models so they can succeed in Pakistan and scale internationally.
The lab not only provides a showcase of the latest technology, but participants will be matched with mentors, as well as connect with Facebook's global and exclusive experts, industry leaders, and specialists in product innovation, business growth, and data protection.
Attending the launch, Yusuf Hussain, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ignite said, “Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) and Artificial Intelligence are rapidly expanding and will be major sectors of the future. Ignite's partnership with Facebook, one of the world's leading AR/VR development platform, will help launch this crucial 4IR technology in Pakistan in a big way.”
Participants will access FbStart, a global program designed to help start-ups build and grow their businesses. Finally, participants are encouraged to connect and support other developers and entrepreneurs through Developer Circles, a community-driven program for developer collaboration.
One of the founders who shared how technology, especially VR, helped their vision was Saadan Ahmed, Founder, and CEO of Vanilla Arcade, a company which offers immersive and interactive experiences to advertisers and educational institutions. “AR/VR has allowed us to connect the youth of Pakistan to experience the culture and history of their country in the most immersive way possible. It is the future of storytelling and education,” said Ahmed.
Other startups at the launch included Advertelligent who help support retailers understand foot traffic and Vcella who use technology to connect Pakistan's artisans to the rest of the world through a virtual marketplace.
Facebook Innovation Lab is aimed at encouraging South Asia’s spirit of entrepreneurship and startup growth. In addition to the program, the lab will also host initiatives such as housing community events and workshops and providing training for startups. Another key feature of the lab is that it welcomes startups and entrepreneurs based in Pakistan who would like to deep dive into the emerging technology space.
LUMS Vice Chancellor, Dr. Arshad Ahmad said,“Innovation is the backbone of cutting edge research and quality teaching at LUMS. Facebook Innovation Lab Pakistan provides leverage to our core offerings and enables us to achieve another level of training and mentorship – it promises to create social capital amongst young entrepreneurs that will drive their ideas with no boundaries.”

Google Begins Shut Down of Google+ Because of its Low Usage


On Tuesday Google started shutting down its social networking platform Google+ because of it slow usage.
The deletion of personal accounts form Google+ has started. With this, Google brings an end to its attempt of competing with other social networking sites Facebook and Twitter.
The reason to shut down Google+ is not only its low usage but also security risks including two significant data leaks could have exposed information for millions of Google+ users.
Google has acknowledged that Google+ has failed to meet the expectations of the company and the user’s pickup.
As of today is the last chance for the Google+ users to back up their data by the help of Google’s help centre how to retrieve data from Google+.

WhatsApp Users Can Now Decide Who Gets to Add Them in Group Chats


Social messaging giant WhatsApp is ready to unroll a new feature that will lead to a number of users unleashing a sigh of relief as the problem of landing in unasked for, continuously buzzing groups on the platform is quite prevalent.
As per the latest intel, WhatsApp has now given the option to users to prevent anyone from being able to add them in groups as the new feature lets them choose if ‘everyone’, their ‘contacts’ or ‘nobody’ at all, can add them.
Apart from this, a number of exciting features are also reportedly in the pipeline as the app’s Android version is said to be welcoming the much-anticipated Dark Mode option as well.
On the other hand, in an attempt to tackle fake news widely spread across the app amongst users through their new ‘forwarding info’ feature that shows the total number of times news has been forwarded to another user in the app.
Moreover, perhaps the one feature users are most excited for is the fingerprint authentication which adds an extra layer of security to your WhatsApp chats. 


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