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Woman spends Rs 11 lakh on dog’s birthday

A woman from China has raised eyebrows after spending almost 1,00,000 yuan (Rs 11 lakh) on drones to celebrate her dog’s 10th birthday.

The pet lover from central China’s Hunan province reportedly hired 520 drones to spell out “Happy 10th birthday to Doudou” in the sky over Xiangjiang River in Changsha, according to a report by South China Morning Post.

The electronic flying machines were also programmed to form other patterns like a birthday cake and a jack-in-the-box like present in the sky.

The report added that the woman chose the number 520 because its Mandarin pronunciation sounds similar to the phrase, “I love you”.

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The celebration didn’t go down too well with the authorities as the drones were flown in a no-fly zone and near a number of high-rise apartments. Local police said they would’ve shot down the machines had they spotted them.

According to an official, all citizens are required to seek police approval before flying drones in residential areas.

This isn’t the only drone-related news from China that has raised eyebrows.

In October, a light show to celebrate a shopping mall descended into chaos and horror after brightly lit electric drones fell from the sky to send people scrambling in all directions to find cover.

More than 200 drones took to the skies at the Wanda Plaza shopping mall in Zhengzhou High-tech Zone in Henan Province. But just a few minutes into the light show, many of the drones started malfunctioning before dropping to the ground.

The footage of the incident showed the brightly lit machines plummeting to the street below. Pedestrians were heard screaming and shouting as they ran for cover.

No injuries were reported after the incident, but there are claims and reports that foul play could be the reason behind the failed light show. Reports said around 5,000 people, including children, gathered on the streets to watch the show.


NATO deploys troops, ships amid concerns over Russian invansion of Ukraine

NATO said on Monday it was putting forces on standby and reinforcing eastern Europe with more ships and fighter jets, in what Russia denounced as an escalation of tensions over Ukraine.

Welcoming a series of deployments announced by alliance members in recent days, Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said NATO would “continue to take all necessary measures to protect and defend all allies, including by reinforcing the eastern part of the alliance.”

The move was a further sign that the West is bracing for Russia to attack its neighbour after massing an estimated 100,000 troops in reach of the Ukrainian border.

Russia denies planning an invasion. But, having engineered the crisis by surrounding Ukraine with forces from the north, east and south, Moscow is now citing the Western response as the evidence to support its narrative that Russia is the target, not the instigator, of aggression.

Denmark, Spain, France and the Netherlands were all planning or considering sending troops, planes or ships to eastern Europe, NATO said. Ukraine shares borders with four NATO countries: Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania.

“The United States has also made clear that it is considering increasing its military presence in the eastern part of the Alliance,” it said.

U.S. officials said the Pentagon was finalising efforts to identify specific units that could deploy.

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Journalist shot dead

A senior Pakistani journalist was shot dead by unidentified men outside the Lahore Press Club (LPC) here today, police said.

“Hasnain Shah, who was in his 40s, was parking his car outside the Press Club when two motorcyclists opened indiscriminate fire, killing him on the spot,” an official of Inspector General Police (IGP) Punjab official said.

Both armed men managed to flee the congested area, he said.

Shah, a resident of Lahore, was working as a Crime Reporter for Capital TV. He is survived by his wife and two children.

“We are investigating reports that he had enmity with some people,” the official said.

Meanwhile, IGP Rao Sardar Ali Khan has directed the Lahore police chief to ensure the arrest of the culprits at the earliest.

The journalists’ associations in Pakistan have condemned Shah’s killing and demanded the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government to arrest his killers.

“A journalist’s murder in front of the Lahore Press Club in a broad daylight is a moment of reflection for the Government,” Lahore Press Club President Azam Chaudhry said.

According to UN data, 85 journalists have been killed in Pakistan since 1993, including four in 2021.


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Newzealand PM called off her wedding amid surging Omicron cases

On Sunday, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern informed that she had cancelled her wedding amid a new wave of Omicron cases in the country.

“My wedding won’t be going ahead, but I just join many other New Zealanders who have had an experience like that as a result of the pandemic,” the PM said during a regular COVID-19 news conference today.

The outbreak of nine cases of Omicron in a family who travelled between cities to attend various occasions and the flight attendant also became infected prompted New Zealand to impose its “red setting” restrictions from midnight Sunday.

When asked how she felt about her decision to call off the wedding that was planned for this summer, Ardern replied, “Such is life.”

I’m no different to thousands of other New Zealanders who have had much more devastating impacts felt by the pandemic, the most gutting of which is the inability to be with a loved one sometimes when they are gravely ill. That will far outstrip any sadness I experience.”

Last month, New Zealand said it was pushing back its phased border reopening until the end of February over concerns about the Omicron variant, according to CNN.

New Zealand has recorded 15,104 Covid-19 cases and 52 deaths since the pandemic outbreak.

Chris Hipkins, the nation’s minister for COVID-19 response, said: “Waiting till the end of February will increase New Zealand’s overall protection and slow Omicron’s eventual spread. There’s no doubt this is disappointing and will upset many holiday plans, but it’s important to set these changes out today so they can have time to consider those plans.”

Hipkins also said New Zealand’s Cabinet has agreed to other preventive measures, including reducing the interval between a second Covid-19 vaccine dose and a booster shot from six months to four months and increasing the required length of stay for returning travellers from seven to 10 days in managed isolation and quarantine.

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Covid-19 Stats

29 Jan 2022, 9:04 AM (GMT)

Coronavirus Stats

40,858,241 Total Cases
493,218 Death Cases
38,360,710 Recovered Cases


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