Weekly News Round-Up (20th – 26th November)
This week in the news, find out about Omicron – the nefarious new Covid variant, how NASA plans on defending planet Earth, why the Pakistani Cricket team is being subjected to a lawsuit and the fresh releases you need to binge over the weekend! Read more to find out all the news you’ve missed this week.
What Is Omicron & Why Shoud We Be Concerned
The WHO has classified the B.1.1.529 variant detected in South Africa on the 23rd of November as a SARS-CoV-2 “variant of concern,” saying it may spread more quickly than other forms. Now designated as Omicron, the new Covid variant has a ‘large number of mutations, some of which are concerning. Preliminary evidence suggests an increased risk of reinfection with this variant, as compared to other (variants of concern) and it has been detected at faster rates than previous surges in infection, suggesting that this variant may have a growth advantage’. Current PCR tests continue to successfully detect the variant, however, it will take several weeks to determine the variant’s transmissibility and the effectiveness of vaccines and therapeutics against it, WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier told a U.N. briefing in Geneva, noting that 100 sequences of the variant have been reported so far. It is recommended that people continue to wear masks and follow Covid protocols and SOPs. The WHO has also cautioned countries against hastily imposing travel restrictions linked to the variant of COVID-19, saying they should take a “risk-based and scientific approach. (Source: Reuters)
NASA Launches DART In An Effort To Defend Planet Earth
NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) is the world’s first full-scale mission to test technology for defending Earth against potential asteroid or comet hazards. It was launched on the 23rd of November and will impact a known asteroid that is not a threat to Earth. Its goal is to slightly change the asteroid’s motion in a way that can be accurately measured using ground-based telescopes. DART will show that a spacecraft can autonomously navigate to a target asteroid and intentionally collide with it – a method of deflection called kinetic impact. The test will provide important data to help better prepare for an asteroid that might pose an impact hazard to Earth, should one ever be discovered. (Source: NASA)
Hellbound Beats Squid Game, Becoming The World’s Most-watched Netflix Series
Hellbound, directed by Yeon Sang-ho, initially premiered at the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival in September 2021. However, according to various news outlets, after premiering on Netflix on November 19th, it has become the world’s most-watched Netflix television series within 24 hours, topping the streaming ratings in more than 80 countries and beating Squid Game. Hellbound is about a violent team of demons who hunt down ‘sinners’. These demons send their victims to hell by incinerating them, triggering mass hysteria within the public. Comprising of six episodes it’s the perfect show to binge over the weekend!
Malala Fianlly Attends Her Commencement Ceremony At Oxford
November has been a month of celebrations for Malala, first, she announced her nikkah to Asser Malik earlier this month (news which dominated headlines globally) and now she’s finally getting to graduate from Oxford! Malala had completed her Bachelor’s degree in philosophy, politics and economics at Oxford in May 2020 but her graduation ceremony was postponed due to COVID-19. According to the university’s website, Oxford had resumed graduation ceremonies in September, holding multiple dates throughout the last two months – the final one was attended by Malala and was held on Friday the 25th of November. We wish Malala all the best for her future!
Rare White Lion Dies In Karachi Due To Alleged Medical Negligence
A rare white lion in the Karachi Zoo, aged 14 to 15 years, died on the 23rd of November after suffering from pulmonary TB and not receiving adequate medical attention. The white lion was imported from Africa for Rs10 million in 2012. On the 25th of November, Metropolitan Commissioner Afzal Zaidi dismissed Khalid Hashmi from his position as Director of the Karachi Zoo and he has been temporarily replaced by Mansoor Qazi. There has been widespread public outrage regarding the incident after the news made headlines and many are petitioning to abolish the Karachi Zoo and free the wildlife from captivity.
Lawsuit Filed Against Pakistani Cricket Team In Bangladesh
When the Pakistani cricket team hoisted their national flag during their practice session in Mirpur, Bangladesh, Bangladeshis took it as a political message amid their golden jubilee celebration of the nation’s independence and filed a lawsuit against the Pakistan team in Dhaka. The lawsuit has been filed against the full squad which has named 21 players. Though national flags are hoisted traditionally during international or bilateral games, BCB banned this act back in 2014. BCB restricted the foreign nations to carry their national flag on their soil but they had to take the decision back owing to widespread criticism. The Pakistani cricket team is undeterred and ready to face off Bangladesh in their first Test of the two-match series on November 26 and the second on December 04 in the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium. (Source: Crictracker)
Viewers Eagerly Anticipate The Premirere Of Sinf e Aahan
Sinf e Aahan is an initiative by ISPR and Six Sigma Plus Production. It is penned by the extraordinaire, Umera Ahmed, and directed by Nadeem Baig. ISPR has been focusing on producing women-centric projects, the most recent being ‘Aik Hai Nigar‘ which garnered innumerable praise, and rightfully so! The lead roles are being played by Sajal Aly, Yumna Zaidi, Syra Yousuf, Kubra Khan, Ramsha Khan and Tashiya Yehali Kalidasa. All these female protagonists have proven time and time again how versatile they are and we eagerly await to see them together on screen and wow audiences with their performances.