Instagram to roll out new broadcast chat feature ‘Channels’

News Network
February 17, 2023

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Instagram, the social media platform owned by Meta Platforms Inc, is rolling out a broadcast chat feature called Channels, the company's boss Mark Zuckerberg said on Thursday.

"I'm starting a channel to share news and updates on all the products and tech we're building at Meta," Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post.

"It will be the place I share Meta product news first."

The company will also introduce the feature to Messenger and Facebook in the coming months.

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News Network
June 16,2024

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Muslims around the world mark the Eid al-Adha (the Feast of the Sacrifice) as this year’s celebrations are overshadowed by Israel’s war on the Gaza Strip and its deadly violence in the West Bank.

Eid al-Adha was celebrated on Saturday in several Arab nations including Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey, while 9 other Muslim countries such as Iran, Malaysia, Iraq, India, and Oman celebrate the holiday on Monday.

Gazans perform Eid al-Adha prayers in the rubble of their neighborhoods amidst the devastation of destroyed homes and buildings where nearly 37,300 Palestinians have been killed since the war began more than eight months ago.

“We usually come to the Eid prayers cheering, with smiles everywhere on the streets. This Eid, I’ve come to the Eid prayers mourning, I’ve lost my son,” says Umm Muhammad Al-Katri who is performing her prayers in rubble in Jabaliya refugee camp.

In al-Quds, Israeli forces once again took harsh measures against Palestinians trying to mark Eid al-Adha in Al-Aqsa Mosque, with entry restrictions and physical assaults on worshipers.

WAFA news agency reported that around 40,000 Palestinians managed to attend prayers inside the mosque, while others were left with no choice but to pray outside the mosque as they were denied entry.

It also reported that Israeli forces disrupted the movement of Palestinians in various parts of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, erecting checkpoints and halting vehicles.

“We are in great pain and we are living through the difficult moments with our brothers in Gaza and in every place where they face calamities and hardships,” said Mahmoud Mohana from Ramallah.

“But with God, they will find their reward and will be elevated. We ask God to lift this distress and quicken the salvation of this nation from this oppression and brutality,” he added.

Jordanians came to the streets in a show of solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza, following Eid al-Adha prayers.

The protest, held outside Al Kalouti Mosque near the Israeli Embassy in Amman, demonstrates the unwavering support of the Jordanian people for their Palestinian counterparts.

Eid al-Adha falls on the 10th day of the month of Dhu al-Hijjah on the lunar calendar every year, which marks the end of the annual Hajj pilgrimage.

Around two million Muslims undertaking the pilgrimage this year perform the last major ritual of the Hajj, the “stoning of the devil” in western Saudi Arabia, many of them have said that during the rituals taking place, they were praying for their Palestinian brothers and sisters and for Gaza.

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News Network
June 20,2024

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Bengaluru: Karnataka BJP on Thursday held "Cycle Jatha" here, as part of its state-wide protest against the Congress government's decision to hike petrol and diesel prices.

BJP workers and leaders led by its state President B Y Vijayendra sought to mark their protest by riding bicycles from the party's state office 'Jagannath Bhavan' to 'Vidhana Soudha'.

However, the police stopped the protesters mid-way, detained Vijayendra and others and whisked them away in a bus.

Former Deputy Chief Minister C N Ashwathnarayan and MLC C T Ravi were among the leaders who participated in the protest shouting slogans against the state government, which last week hiked sales tax on fuel making petrol and diesel costlier by Rs 3 and Rs 3.5 per litre, respectively.

Speaking to reporters, Vijayendra said BJP is holding protests across the state in all the district and talk centres by blocking roads, against the government's decision to increase the prices, and urged the Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to roll it back.

"In Bengaluru by organising Cycle Jatha, the party has tried to warn the state government, but this adamant government is not even thinking about rolling back price hike. The Chief Minister is citing higher prices in neighboring states, but our state is in distress, farmers are in distress due to drought, in such a situation the decision to put more burden on the common man is an unpardonable sin," he said.

"I urge the Chief Minister to rollback the hike immediately and no decision should be taken that causes burden to farmers and common man," Vijayendra said, noting that Ministers have also said that bus fare will also be hiked, and water tariffs increased in Bengaluru in the future.

"This government has become a curse to the people of the state," he added.

Reacting to Home Minister G Parameshwara's reported indirect caution to the BJP that the police may resort to caning to disperse anyone who tries to cause inconvenience to the public in the name of protests, the state BJP chief called it "height of foolishness."

"BJP and its workers will not fear for lathis and will raise their voice for the sake of people and farmers of the state. The Home Minister is speaking out of arrogance of power, we will not fear such things, our fight will continue until the government withdraws its decision," he said.

Similar protests have been reported from Belagavi, Mysuru, Mandya, Shivamogga, Hubballi and Haveri among other places. Belagavi MP Jagadish Shettar and Haveri MP Basavaraj Bommai, both former Chief Ministers, too participated in protests in Belagavi and Davangere, respectively.

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News Network
June 19,2024

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At least 68 Indian nationals have been confirmed dead during this year's Hajj pilgrimage, according to a diplomat in Saudi Arabia. Several Indians are reported missing too. This comes amid record-high temperatures in the Saudi holy city of Mecca, and the deaths of 550 pilgrims this year.

"We have confirmed around 68 dead... Some are because of natural causes and we had many old-aged pilgrims. And some are due to the weather conditions, that's what we assume," the diplomat told news agency AFP about the death of Indians on the condition of anonymity.

The diplomat also said that many Indian nationals are also reported missing, but he declined to give their exact numbers.

"This is a recurring occurrence every year," he stated, informing us that the situation is similar to previous years, with further details expected soon.

The Hajj pilgrimage, a central part of Islam, brings millions annually to Makkah, during the Islamic month of Dhu al-Hijjah. Each Muslim has to fulfil this religious obligation at least once in their lifetime.

This year's pilgrimage also saw intense heat and rising temperatures, which are the highest in recent decades.

A Saudi study even revealed how the temperatures in the pilgrimage area have increased by 0.4 degrees Celsius per decade. In 2023, over 200 pilgrims died during Hajj, and over 2,000 people suffered from heat-related stress as temperatures touched as high as 48 degrees Celsius.

Deaths have been reported of other nationals as well: Iran, Indonesia, Tunisia, Senegal, and Iraq's Kurdistan region. There have been no comments on the deaths by the authorities of these countries.

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