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Archive for December 29th, 2019

WhatsApp will stop working on these phones soon: Check if yours is on the list – Livemint

December 29th, 2019

Come 2020, WhatsApp will stop working on a number of smartphones. As updated on the FAQ section of the Facebook-owned messaging app, there are several Android and iOS phones that may not be able to run the app as the company will withdraw support for older versions of OS from 1 February, 2020.

According to the information on WhatsApp FAQ section, Android phones running on Android 2.3.7 operating system and lower as well as iPhones running on iOS 8 and lower will not be compatible with the chat app from next year.

WhatsApp also stressed on the fact that these older versions of Android and iOS operating systems “can no longer create new accounts, nor re-verify existing accounts after February 1, 2020.”

However, the Facebook-owned instant messaging platform will keep the app running for select phones with KaiOS 2.5.1+ OS, including JioPhone and JioPhone 2.

Moreover, in what may come as a bad news for Windows OS users, WhatsApp earlier announced that is also withdrawing support for all Windows phones from December 31, 2019 — the same month that Microsoft ends support of its Windows 10 Mobile OS. The company also added that the app “might not be available in the Microsoft Store after July 1, 2019.”

But, if you have a Windows smartphone, and don’t want to lose all your chats and information after 31 December, 2019 there is an option to save your chats.

Open the chat you wish to export, and tap on Group Info.

Tap ‘Export Chat’. You’ll then be given the option to download the chat with or without media. Choose your option and export all your chats.

WhatsApp also highlighted that the decision to end WhatsApp support for these Android phones and iPhones will not affect a lot of users.

Here is the list of all the operating systems that will not support WhatsApp from next year:

-Android versions 2.3.7 and older

-iOS 8 and older

-All Windows OS phones from 31 December, 2019

WhatsApp also listed the operating systems that the app supports and recommends users to use the following updated devices:

-Android running OS 4.0.3+

-iPhone running iOS 9+

-Select phones running KaiOS 2.5.1+, including JioPhone and JioPhone 2

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Australia cancels New Year’s Eve fireworks as wildfire danger worsens – Global News

December 29th, 2019

New Year’s Eve fireworks in Australia’s capital city have been cancelled as the wildfire danger worsens in oppressive summer heat, and pressure was building Monday for Sydney’s iconic celebrations to be similarly scrapped.

Temperatures on Tuesday were set to hit 38 C in the capital, Canberra, and 33 C in Sydney, Australia’s largest city. Thick smoke that has shrouded the city’s iconic landmarks in recent months was also expected on Tuesday.A

“Hot air is coming out of the centre of Australia, it’s particularly dry and then unfortunately conditions are expected to worsen in New South Wales as we head into Tuesday,” Rural Fire Services Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said.

READ MORE: Holidaymakers, residents told to evacuate Australian state over extreme fire danger

Wildfires have killed nine people and razed more than 1,000 homes in the past few months, with New South Wales, Australia’s most populous state, bearing the brunt.

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There were 97 fires burning across New South Wales on Monday with 43 of them not yet contained. Total fire bans have been declared in 10 areas, including Sydney.

The City of Sydney Council has approved Tuesday’s fireworks show, although fire authorities warned it could be cancelled if catastrophic wildfire conditions are declared.

The popular celebrations are expected to attract 1 million people to Sydney Harbour’s famous foreshore and generate AU$130 million for the New South Wales economy. An estimated 1 billion people worldwide watched last year’s display on television.

0:32‘He’s so thirsty’: Cyclists give parched koala a drink amid severe heatwave in Australia

‘He’s so thirsty’: Cyclists give parched koala a drink amid severe heatwave in Australia

Australia Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Sunday said the fireworks should go ahead to show the world Australia’s resiliency.

New South Wales Deputy Premier John Barilaro said the spectacle should be called off. “The risk is too high and we must respect our exhausted volunteers,” he wrote on social media.

In Australia’s second-most populous state of Victoria, soaring temperatures and the fire danger was forcing thousands of residents and holidaymakers to evacuate.

READ MORE: Australia’s prime minister defends his government’s climate policy as fires rage

Six emergency warnings are in place for out-of-control wildfires. Melbourne, Victoria’s capital, is set to reach 43 C on Monday.

In Canberra, fireworks were cancelled and event organizers said other activities, including live music performances, could also be cancelled.

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“It is a sensible decision for us not to proceed with the fireworks,” the capital territory’s Emergency Services Agency Commissioner Georgeina Whelan said.

© 2019 The Canadian Press

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How Khloe Kardashian Feels About Reuniting With Tristan Amid His Campaign To Win Her Back – Hollywood Life

December 29th, 2019

Tristan Thompson has been going ‘all in’ to win his back his ex Khloe Kardashian. Does she feel the same though… and is there a chance that they’ll be rekindling their romance in 2020?

The cat has been out the bag in regards to Tristan Thompson‘s non-stop flirty messages for ex Khloe Kardashian, 35, that have been seen by millions of people all over social media almost a year after the former couple split for good after his alleged affair with Jordyn Woods, 22, was revealed. The comments continued through the holiday season where he raved over how “amazing” the Good American founder looked at the annual KarJenner Christmas Eve bash… something he also attended but was strictly on “daddy duty” while there (they share a 1-year-old daughter together named True). “Tristan is all in on getting Khloe back in his life. He wants to rekindle the love they had and he is trying to figure out how to make that all happen,” an insider told HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY on December 25.

But wait… does Khloe feel the same as he apparently does? Not so much. “Tristan saying he wants to go all in on winning Khloe back of course makes her feel good, but she’s let him and everyone around her know that she’s not interested in doing anything other than co-parenting with him,” another HollywoodLife insider revealed EXCLUSIVELY on December 29. “Things have gotten so much better between them, but she would never be able to trust him again after he cheated on her. Khloe has worked really hard to move on and learn to trust again.

The source continued, “She’s started to be open to the idea of dating, but she’s not really there yet. She’s so focused on raising True and being as hands on and the best mom she can be. She’s with the baby all of the time and brings her everywhere when she travels, too.”

Khloe Kardashian Tristan Thompson
Khloe Kardashian & Tristan Thompson. Credit: Shutterstock

It’s a dead end for the NBA star, at least for now, when it comes to them reviving their relationship. “She’s happy Tristan sees more of True and they’re able to finally communicate better, but there’s nothing he can do to win her back romantically,” the insider concluded.

Khloe’s older sister Kourtney Kardashian, 40, has been making social media go crazy lately with the possibility that she’s back together with her ex Younes Bendjima, 26. But those are just rumors… for now. “Kourtney and Younes are having a lot of fun together right now,” a source close to the Kardashian family EXCLUSIVELY told HollywoodLife. “It’s nothing serious at all.”

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Kim calls for measures to protect North Korea’s security – CTV News

December 29th, 2019

SEOUL, KOREA, REPUBLIC OF — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un called for his military and diplomats to prepare unspecified “offensive measures” to protect the country’s security and sovereignty, the North’s state media said on Monday, before his end-of-year deadline for the Trump administration to make major concessions to salvage a fragile nuclear diplomacy.

Kim during a ruling Workers’ Party meeting Sunday also “comprehensively and anatomically analyzed” problems arising in efforts to rebuild the North’s moribund economy and presented tasks for “urgently correcting the grave situation of the major industrial sectors,” the Korean Central News Agency said.

The plenary meeting of the party’s Central Committee, which began on Saturday, is being closely watched amid concerns that Kim could suspend his deadlocked nuclear negotiations with the United States and take a more confrontational approach by lifting a self-imposed moratorium on nuclear and long-range missile tests.

The North has said the meeting, which will continue for at least another day, is intended for discussions on overcoming “manifold and harsh trials and difficulties.”

Kim, who has said the North would pursue a “new path” if Washington persists with sanctions and pressure, is expected to announce major policy changes during his New Year’s address on Wednesday.

The KCNA report did not describe any decisions made at the meeting or mention any specific remarks by Kim about the United States.

The North’s official Rodong Sinmun newspaper published photos of Kim, wearing a white dress shirt and horn-rimmed glasses, speaking from a podium as hundreds of government and military officials jotted down his comments.

“Emphasizing the need to take positive and offensive measures for fully ensuring the sovereignty and security of the country as required by the present situation, (Kim) indicated the duties of the fields of foreign affairs, munitions industry and armed forces of the DPRK,” the agency said in its English report, referring to North Korea’s formal name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

KCNA’s Korean-language report said Kim called for “active and offensive” measures.

Kim also “comprehensively and anatomically analyzed the problems arising in the overall state building including the state management and economic construction in the present time,” the agency said.

“He stressed the need to reasonably straighten the country’s economic work system and order and establish a strong discipline and presented the tasks for urgently correcting the grave situation of the major industrial sectors of the national economy,” the report said.

It added that Kim stressed the need for a “decisive” increase in agricultural production and gave out instructions for improving science, education and public health standards.

Lee Sang-min, a spokesman of South Korea’s Unification Ministry, said Seoul is closely watching the North Korean party meeting, but he didn’t speculate on what Kim’s call for active and offensive security measures would have meant.

Cheong Seong-Chang, a senior analyst at South Korea’s private Sejong Institute, said it was the first time under Kim’s rule that a plenary meeting of the party’s Central Committee continued for more than a day.

Kim has an urgent need to make major policy changes in the face of persistent U.S.-led sanctions and pressure, especially with a global crackdown on North Korean labour exports further straining his broken economy, Cheong said.

It’s also likely that Kim during the party meeting reaffirmed a commitment to strengthen his nuclear and missile program, considering the commander of the North Korean army’s strategic force was seen during Saturday’s meeting, Cheong said.

Kim has met President Donald Trump three times in two years of high-stakes summitry, but the diplomacy has progressed little beyond their vague aspirational goal of a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula. At their last meeting in June, they agreed to resume talks. A working-level meeting in Sweden in October broke down with the North Koreans blaming their American counterparts for maintaining an “old stance and attitude.”

The North said earlier this month it conducted two “crucial” tests at its long-range rocket launch facility, raising speculation it has been developing a new long-range missile or preparing a satellite launch.

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Google Search Now Has a (I’ll Probably Never) Watchlist – Gizmodo

December 29th, 2019

Oil ends day little changed at three-month high – CNBC

December 29th, 2019

Workers cross walkways between zones aboard an offshore oil platform in the Persian Gulf’s Salman Oil Field, near Lavan island, Iran, on Jan. 5. 2017.

Ali Mohammadi | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Oil alternated between gains and losses on Monday before ultimately closing lower, as optimism over an expected China-U.S. trade deal and upbeat industrial data wasn’t enough to push prices higher.

West Texas Intermediate crude futures fell 4 cents to settle at $61.88 per barrel. Brent crude futures gained 28 cents to settle at $68.44 per barrel. 

During the session, Brent reached $68.99 a barrel, while WTI hit $62.34 a barrel, both the highest since Sept. 17. For the year, Brent has risen around 27% in 2019, and the U.S. benchmark is up about 36%.

“Oil prices have reached their highest level since the Saudi oilfield attack in mid-September, and thus traders are also cautious about profit-taking possibilities,” she added.

Tensions in the Middle East have flared up as the United States carried out air strikes on Sunday against the Kataib Hezbollah militia group, while protesters in Iraq on Saturday briefly forced the closure of its southern Nassiriya oilfield.

U.S. officials said the air strikes were in response to the killing of a U.S. civilian contractor in a rocket attack on an Iraqi military base were successful, but warned that “additional actions” may still be taken.

Elsewhere, Libyan state oil firm NOC said it is considering the closure of its western Zawiya port and evacuating staff from the refinery due to clashes nearby.

Oil prices were also supported by declining U.S. crude stocks, which fell by 5.5 million barrels in the week to Dec. 20, far exceeding a 1.7-million-barrel drop forecast in a Reuters poll.

In China, factory activity had likely expanded again in December on stronger external demand and an infrastructure push at home although the pace of growth is set to ease as markets await more certainty on a U.S.-China trade truce, a Reuters poll showed.

China’s Commerce Ministry said it is in close touch with the United States on the signing of a long-awaited trade deal.

The two countries on Dec. 13 announced a “Phase one” agreement that reduces some U.S. tariffs in exchange for what U.S. officials said would be a big jump in Chinese purchases of American farm products and other goods.

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Niantic Disables PokeStop and Gym Contributions for Pokemon Go – Comicbook.com

December 29th, 2019

Police searching for suspect after attempted kidnapping, robbery in downtown Victoria – CTV News

December 29th, 2019

VICTORIA — Police are warning the public about two disturbing incidents that took place in downtown Victoria on Sunday.

Victoria police are searching for a man they believe is connected to an attempted armed kidnapping and an attempted robbery that took place eight hours apart.

A woman was approached from behind and grabbed while she was near the intersection of Blanshard and Johnson streets just before 3 a.m. on Sunday.

The suspect grabbed her and attempted to “get her to go with him,” according to police.

“The woman in this incident was able to get away without physical injury,” said a police spokesperson, noting that this incident is being investigated as an attempted robbery.

Police were then called to Bastion Square at 11 a.m. Saturday for a report of an attempted armed kidnapping.

A woman was returning to her vehicle in the area when an unknown man approached her from behind, grabbed her, brandished a knife and told her she needed to go with him.

“The woman was able to break free of the man and fled,” said a police spokesperson. “Officers responded to the area but did not locate the suspect.”

She was also not injured from the incident.

Police believe the suspect in both incidents is the same man. They describe him as a Caucasian man who is about 45 years old. He was wearing a long black trench coat, dark sunglasses, and a black toque.

The suspect has long hair, which was in a ponytail, walks with a slight limp and spoke with a French Canadian accent.

Patrol officers are searching for the suspect and are asking anyone with information to call police immediately at 250-995-7654. 

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Oil rises to three-month high on upbeat data, Middle East tension – CNBC

December 29th, 2019

Workers cross walkways between zones aboard an offshore oil platform in the Persian Gulf’s Salman Oil Field, near Lavan island, Iran, on Jan. 5. 2017.

Ali Mohammadi | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Oil prices rose to three-month highs on Monday, underpinned by optimism over an expected China-U.S. trade deal and upbeat industrial data, while traders kept a close watch on the Middle East following U.S. air strikes in Iraq and Syria.

Brent crude futures were up 1% at $68.84 a barrel. The international benchmark has risen around 27% in 2019.

West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose 39 cents to $62.11 a barrel. The U.S. benchmark is up about 36% so far this year.

“(Trading) has been relatively flat due to lack of market participants in the holiday season,” said market analyst Margaret Yang of CMC Markets.

“Oil prices have reached their highest level since the Saudi oilfield attack in mid-September, and thus traders are also cautious about profit-taking possibilities,” she added.

Tensions in the Middle East have flared up as the United States carried out air strikes on Sunday against the Kataib Hezbollah militia group, while protesters in Iraq on Saturday briefly forced the closure of its southern Nassiriya oilfield.

U.S. officials said the air strikes were in response to the killing of a U.S. civilian contractor in a rocket attack on an Iraqi military base were successful, but warned that “additional actions” may still be taken.

Elsewhere, Libyan state oil firm NOC said it is considering the closure of its western Zawiya port and evacuating staff from the refinery due to clashes nearby.

Oil prices were also supported by declining U.S. crude stocks, which fell by 5.5 million barrels in the week to Dec. 20, far exceeding a 1.7-million-barrel drop forecast in a Reuters poll.

In China, factory activity had likely expanded again in December on stronger external demand and an infrastructure push at home although the pace of growth is set to ease as markets await more certainty on a U.S.-China trade truce, a Reuters poll showed.

China’s Commerce Ministry said it is in close touch with the United States on the signing of a long-awaited trade deal.

The two countries on Dec. 13 announced a “Phase one” agreement that reduces some U.S. tariffs in exchange for what U.S. officials said would be a big jump in Chinese purchases of American farm products and other goods.

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Reitmans CEO Jeremy Reitman has died, company announces – CP24 Toronto’s Breaking News

December 29th, 2019

Nicole Thompson, The Canadian Press
Published Sunday, December 29, 2019 6:54PM EST
Last Updated Sunday, December 29, 2019 9:32PM EST

Jeremy Reitman, a stalwart of the Canadian womenswear scene who guided Montreal-based Reitmans Ltd. through the so-called retail apocalypse, has died.

The company announced the death of its chairman and CEO in a brief statement on Sunday, saying the entire company mourns for him.

“The board of directors, management team and employees of the company extend their deepest sympathies to the Reitman family.”

Reitman was also a loving father, stepfather and grandfather, according to an obituary published on the website of a Montreal funeral home.

“A passionate golfer, skier, Moishes regular, toastmaster and philatelist, Jeremy was also a strong supporter of Israel and Jewish causes and a most devoted friend,” reads the notice, which did not specify his age.

“Jeremy will be sadly missed and fondly remembered by his many nieces, nephews, cousins and all who knew him.”

The obituary says Reitman died peacefully in Florida on Saturday. It says he was an alumnus of Dartmouth College, McGill Law, Westmount High School and Camp Kennebec.

He was also the grandson of Reitmans Ltd. founders Herman and Sarah Reitman. His brother, Stephen Reitman, serves as chief operating officer.

Jeremy Reitman was head of the 93-year-old family business for a decade, serving as president before taking over as CEO and chairman. He steered the company through a rapidly changing retail landscape, contending with an influx of U.S. competitors who set their sights on the Canadian market and the rise of e-commerce. Amid the ruins of Canadian retailers, Reitmans is one of the few domestic chains still standing, though it is shrinking.

When he took control, the company was growing, from 854 stores in 2004 to 968 in 2011. Today, there are 587.

In 2011, the company announced that it would close its Cassis stores, which were geared towards women over 40. Three years later, it said it would also shutter Smart Set locations, which had targeted young urban professionals.

Five separate banners remain, including Reitmans, Penningtons and Addition Elle, the latter two brands focused on the plus-size market.

With an eye to the rise of Lululemon and the “athleisure wear” trend, Reitman also led the company’s foray into the activewear market with the launch of its Hyba line. There were briefly standalone Hyba stores, but now the clothes are sold online and in Reitmans locations.

Under Jeremy Reitman’s tenure, the company also gained attention for a series of notable ads in the mid-aughts that pitted Reitmans’ wearable fashions against haute couture looks.

“Reitmans: One. Haute Couture: Zero,” one of the two judges would inevitably say, before explaining that the company’s clothes are “designed for real life.”

In a December 2006 interview with The Canadian Press, Jeremy Reitman said the ads – and the middle-class ethos behind them – boosted sales for the company.

“We’ve always built our business on the middle and the lower middle because that’s where the money is, that’s where the people are and that’s where the broad base of customers are,” he said at the time.

Nearly a decade later, in 2015, the company tapped Meghan Markle as a spokeswoman.

Before the now-Duchess of Sussex began dating Prince Harry, she designed a capsule collection for Reitmans, and in a series of ad spots, she proudly told viewers that “It’s Reitmans. Really.”

A company spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Reitman’s death on Sunday. A funeral is scheduled for Jan. 2 in Montreal. The family will then sit shiva in his home.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 29, 2019.

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