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WhatsApp Payments testing ‘cashback’ feature in India

(IANS) After enabling a new payment chat shortcut, to quickly send payments from the chat bar, Facebook-owned WhatsApp is working on another feature for payments called “Cashback” for Indian users.

As the name suggests, users can receive cashback from using WhatsApp Payments after 48 hours, according to WABetaInfo.

The company is introducing cashback to encourage its users to try WhatsApp Payments, a safe and easy way to send money.

As per the report, it is not yet clear if everyone will be able to get the cashback or only users that have never sent a payment on WhatsApp, but WhatsApp is going to clarify this when the feature will be available.

Note that this is limited to Unified Payment Interface (UPI) Payments in India, users can only get one cashback and you might receive up to Rs 10 cashback for their payment, the report said.

However, it added that, this value may change before the official release of the feature.

Recently, the instant messaging platform introduced the Payments Backgrounds feature on the platform to strengthen its payment services offering in India.

Designed in partnership with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), on the UPI, the payments feature on WhatsApp is an India-first, a real-time payment system that enables transactions with over 227 banks.

Twitter shows off new concepts for filtering, limiting replies

(IANS) Micro-blogging site Twitter is working to limit the toxic replies users can get on its website by offering tools that allow them to be more proactive in preventing them from going through.

In the future, those tools could include a feature that lets you filter potentially offensive replies and another that lets you limit potentially unwelcome accounts from replying, Engadget reported on Saturday.

Twitter Senior Product Designer Paula Barcante has released a sneak peek of the features, which are merely concepts at the moment, to seek input from users.

Barcante said Twitter will ask you if you’d like to switch on those controls if it detects potentially harmful replies to your tweets.

If your reply filter is on, Twitter won’t show you or anyone else, except the user who wrote the response, the harmful tweets it detects.

If you decide to limit unwelcome accounts, users who’ve recently shown patterns of breaking rules won’t be able to reply to your tweets at all.

Since the process would be automated, Barcante admits that it may not be accurate all the time and may end up filtering out even respective, non-problematic responses.

That’s why the company is also exploring the possibility of giving you the option to review filtered tweets and limited accounts, the report said.

Instagram update fixes bugs for iOS 15, iPhone 13 users

(IANS) Facebook-owned photo-sharing platform Instagram has released an update for its iOS app in the App Store that fixes two annoying bugs.

The new version fixes the bug that resulted in Stories with no audio on iOS 15 and layout issues for iPhone 13 users, 9To5Mac reported on Friday.

Since the first iOS 15 beta, the Instagram app was no longer playing videos with audio when the iPhone ringer switch was set to silent mode.

Even if the user tried to turn up the volume, Stories and videos shared in the Instagram feed remained without sound.

Luckily, version 206.1 of the Instagram app fixes this bug, the report said.

Multiple users had been complaining about this issue, which has now finally been fixed by the company. Now you can listen to the audio of Instagram videos even when the iPhone is in silent mode — as it should be.

In addition to the fix for the audio bug, the Instagram update also fixes layout issues experienced by iPhone 13 users, the report said.

Because of the new notch design, the top bar of the Instagram app was wrongly placed under the iOS status bar. While the release notes don’t mention which bugs have been fixed, 9to5Mac was able to confirm that both issues are gone.

The latest version of the Instagram app for iPhone is available for free on the App Store.

Xbox gains new features with updated Edge browser

(IANS) With its September Xbox update, Microsoft has brought the new, Chromium-based Edge browser to Xbox Series X/S and Xbox One consoles.

It supports a keyboard and mouse and will introduce new capabilities like access to Google Stadia, Discord, web apps and more, reports Engadget.

Microsoft started testing the Edge update on Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S earlier this year, but now it’s coming to everyone.

Edge has been the default browser on Xbox One, but not the latest Chromium version that enables features like Google Stadia gameplay, the report said.

It promises a “fast, secure and modern browsing experience right from your console,” Microsoft wrote.

It’s nearly identical to the desktop version, with features like vertical tabs, collections and syncing of settings, favourites, history, tabs and more to other signed-in devices.

As Reddit users have noted, though, it is missing extensions — so you won’t be able to use an ad-blocker for now.

With mouse and keyboard support, gamers will find it far easier to use productivity apps, the report said.

More importantly, you’ll be able to play Google Stadia or Steam PC games with either a mouse and/or the Xbox controller. For now, there’s no microphone support for live chats on Discord or other apps, according to The Verge.

The new features are now available to all Xbox consoles.

Main Reasons Why Your Vegetable Garden is Struggling

an elderly man in a vegetable garden
Photo by Kampus Production on Pexels.com

When you start a vegetable garden, there are a few steps you need to take.

First, you have to pick the plants that you will be growing. In order to have a vegetable garden that thrives, you need to grow many different types of plants. When you only have a couple plants, it becomes hard to keep them healthy and they struggle to provide you with all the nutrients you need to have a healthy vegetable garden. When you have a lot of different vegetables growing, you have a better chance of them all growing up strong and healthy. Why? Because they complement each other, and keep the soil health healthy.

Second, you have to spend time keeping the garden clean. A vegetable garden needs a lot of work in order to stay healthy. There are a lot of weeds to pull, disease to kill off, bugs to get rid of, and a whole lot more. When you only have a few hours a week to devote to tending to your garden, it is easy to let the work accumulate and become a burden.

Third, you will find that your vegetable garden does not receive as much attention as it could. It may seem like a simple job to tend to, but when you are planting vegetables, you need to be busy. It takes a lot of energy just to move around the little garden plot. Plus, all the plants that you are growing need their fair share of sunlight, water, and nutrients in order to thrive. It is simply not possible for you to provide everything needed to each plant. That is why some people choose to buy organic vegetable seeds and start their gardens from there.

So why is your vegetable garden failing?

First reason is poor soil. If you have sandy soil or clay soil, you are probably going to struggle. These types of soils do not lend themselves well to growing vegetables. Even if they do, the vegetables are likely to be stunted by the lack of proper nutrition. This means you will have to do more work, which means paying out more money. Unless you are willing to completely change your garden’s layout and introduce more natural materials to it, this might not be the best route for you to take.

You can’t just throw some dirt in and hope for the best. Improving your soil’s structure and adding organic materials will go a long way to improving your garden’s overall health. You need to add humic acids and other nutrients that will help your soil’s productivity. This is a process that takes time, but with the proper tools, resources and guidance, you can accomplish this easily.

Another reason why your vegetable garden is struggling is too much water. We all know that we are told to water the garden daily. However, too much water can actually cause problems with your vegetable plants. Your garden needs water to help carry nutrients to the roots. If you are continually getting too much water, you are likely to have problems with over-watering and poor root growth.

Is your garden getting appropriate sunlight? Vegetables do great in full sun – seven or more hours per day. If your veggies aren’t growing to full size or producing as much as you think they should, lack of sun might be the culprit.

The most important thing you can learn about how to improve your vegetable garden is to avoid these common mistakes and take the proper steps to improve your crops. If you learn what the problems are, you can avoid making them again. With all the information available on NYK Daily about gardening, there is no excuse for doing things incorrectly. Take the time to learn how to properly care for your garden and your plants and you will see your yields improve quickly.

Newly signed Texas law restricts abortion-inducing medications

Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Friday signed a new law that restricts access to abortion-inducing medications, just weeks after the state rolled out a near-total ban on abortion procedures.

The law on medications prohibits mail-order abortion-inducing drugs and says doctors in the state are only allowed to prescribe them up to seven weeks after conception. Previously that restriction was set at 10 weeks.

“Texas continues to lead the way in protecting unborn children and fostering a culture of life,” Abbott said in a written statement. “We have taken monumental steps to save babies from the ravages of abortion.”

Texas is at the center of the debate over abortion in the United States, enacting the most restrictive abortion laws in the country during recent legislative sessions.

On Sept. 1, a new Texas law went into effect that bans the procedure after a fetal heartbeat is detected – which is at about six weeks in most cases. Abortion rights groups say that 85% to 90% of all abortions are carried out after six weeks.

Texas is among a dozen mostly Republican-led states that have enacted “heartbeat” abortion bans that outlaw the procedure once the rhythmic contracting of fetal cardiac tissue can be detected – which is at times before a woman realizes she is pregnant. Courts have blocked such bans.

But the Texas law empowers private citizens anywhere to sue abortion providers and anybody who assists a woman in getting one. That helped shield the law from being immediately blocked as it made it more difficult to directly sue the government.

Abortion providers in Texas on Thursday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene on an urgent basis in their challenge to a state law imposing a near-total ban on abortion.

Leader’s Emotions need attention too: Crying on the job

yellow cube on brown pavement
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

There are a lot of reasons why some leaders are crying on the job. They may have had an unpleasant boss who made them feel useless or they may be stuck in a tough situation where they need support to get through. Regardless of the cause, a leader’s emotional reaction to the job can be draining. Some people even feel as if they are not up to the task at hand because they are so upset. If you are a leader who is upset while you are supposed to be working, there are a few things that you can do to help yourself get through this period.

Crying while you are working is definitely an acceptable human behavior. However, if you are unable to overcome your negative emotions and you continue to let them get the best of you, then you will simply be sabotaging yourself. Instead of crying, find ways to help yourself. Consider seeking help in any number of ways.

Support from others: Sometimes getting emotional support from those around you is more helpful than if you are trying to cry on your own. Even if you are doing a good job, it can be helpful to have others around you that understand what you are going through and are willing to help you. Look for leaders who you can talk to about your situation. Not all leaders are able to do this but it is very possible. Once you have received support from someone else, you should consider seeking it from a higher source.

Go away for a while: Sometimes just leaving your work environment for a few days can help you recoup from the emotional stress that is often caused by being fired from a job. Consider taking a short vacation away from work for a day or two. If you think this would not be a good idea, talk to your boss about it. Sometimes you can be fired for what you are going through emotionally at work, which means you may need to go away from work. Take advantage of this and figure out some alternative methods of taking care of yourself for a short period of time.

Get support from others: Do not stay at home over your rough spot because of the stress you are causing yourself. The more support you receive, the better off you will be. Consider talking to your co-workers about your situation. You will find many are willing to help you in whatever way they can because they too are going through a rough spot of their own. If your leaders are crying on the job, you may need to get additional emotional support from the people in your company.

Consider asking for some emotional support from your seniors as they see how you are handling the situation. Sometimes just a simple “I am feeling lonely and isolated” or “I am hurting and feeling angry” can be all it takes. Once you start to receive some real emotional support, your anger will go away and your depression will dissipate.

Another thing that leaders are crying on the job is that they are frustrated and unhappy. If you notice that they are constantly brooding and have a constant state of anger, frustration, or sadness, they are feeling that way. It is important to try and set up some kind of structure so they can vent for a short period of time. If you cannot do this, consider writing them a letter of frustration explaining the problem and how you can help them solve it. You will find that after several rehashed letters, they will eventually cry on the job.

In Iceland’s election, political stability again at stake

Iceland's Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir leaves Downing Street after attending a reception hosted by Britian's Prime Minister Boris Johnson, ahead of the NATO summit in Watford, in London, Britain

Icelanders started voting on Saturday in an election that could have a messy outcome with a record nine parties likely to enter parliament, making it difficult to find common ground on topics like climate change and healthcare.

The North Atlantic island of 371,000 citizens has seen a period of stability since 2017 under the ruling left-right coalition, after years of political scandals and distrust of politicians following the 2008 financial crisis.

The current government coalition led by Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir’s Left-Green Movement won its mandate on a promise to secure stability after Icelanders went to polls five times from 2007 to 2017.

In 2017, the Left-Greens, who call themselves a “radical left wing party,” teamed up with unlikely partners – the pro-business Independence Party and the centre-right Progressive Party – to the anger of some in the party grassroots.

While Jakobsdóttir remains popular, polls suggest her party will lose support, marking the end of her coalition. Support for the Independence Party, Iceland’s biggest party, is also declining, but the election result may still give former Prime Minister Bjarni Benediktsson a mandate to form a new government.

A shattered political landscape will make it difficult to form a new government, but Jakobsdóttir may seek a coalition with other left-wing parties that opinion polls suggest will gain support.

“If we get a such a government, we are going to see some changes when it comes to taxation of the rich, and environmental questions are going to be more important,” said Baldvin Bergsson, political analyst at broadcaster RUV.

Climate change is an important issue for Icelanders, who like to call their nation the “Land of Fire and Ice” because of its other-worldly landscape of volcanoes and glaciers used in the HBO TV series “Game of Thrones”.

Iceland has already pledged to achieve carbon neutrality by 2040, well ahead of most other European nations, but especially younger voters are pushing for even bolder steps.

Left-wing parties are also calling for more government spending on healthcare, which has been the most important topic in the election.

Successful weathering of the pandemic and the lifting of coronavirus restrictions has reopened borders, providing a needed boost to the vital tourism sector, which attracted some 2 million foreign visitors in 2019.

“The pandemic was a huge blow to the important tourism industry,” said Stefania Oskarsdottir, a political scientist at University of Iceland, adding that high public spending has fuelled optimism.

“Despite coming out of a deep recession, the average Icelander feels that these are good times,” she said.

Polls were due to close at 2200 GMT, with a final result expected on Sunday morning.

How to Launch a Military Coup?

soldier near concrete pillars holding semi automatic gun with scope
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

A coup d’état, usually shortened to coup, is the removal and seizure of a government, constitution and its powers. Normal, it is an unconstitutional,illegal seizure of power by a political faction, a dictator, or the military. Many scholars consider a coup successful when the usurpers seize and hold power for at least a week.

A 2016 study categorizes four possible outcomes to coups in dictatorships:

  • Failed coup
  • No regime change, such as when a leader is illegally shuffled out of power without changing the identity of the group in power or the rules for governing
  • Replacement of incumbent with another dictatorship
  • Ousting of the dictatorship followed by democratization (also called “democratic coups”)

Launching a Military Coup

The study found that about half of all coups in dictatorships—both during and after the Cold War—install new autocratic regimes. New dictatorships launched by coups engage in higher levels of repression in the year that follows the coup than existed in the year leading to the coup. One-third of coups in dictatorships during the Cold War and 10% of later ones reshuffled the regime leadership. Democracies were installed in the wake of 12% of Cold War coups in dictatorships and 40% of post-Cold War ones.

Coups occurring in the post-Cold War period have been more likely to result in democratic systems than pre-Cold War coups, although coups still mostly perpetuate authoritarianism. Coups that occur during civil wars shorten the war’s duration.

Dictators, Rulers, and International terrorists all use the same technique. When they see that the target country is soft, that nation becomes an easy target and the leader of the coup d’etat will gain instant support from their base of support. It’s as simple as that, yet many people do not understand the technique. In this article we will discuss how to launch a military coup using this very technique.

The first step in all of this is to have your military coup leader become a head of state or leader of a country. Once they are appointed, they then make their way into the capital city. They hold a rally and use a megaphone to relay their message to the masses. They also plan what actions they are going to take from here on out.

The next step is to get the masses to side with them. They do this by reassuring the public and media. Leaders use words such as; “This is only a misunderstanding, and that there are no weapons going off.” This is an extremely appealing message and one that has a deep appeal to the public. The leaders convince the public that their leadership is right and the public is wrong for reacting in that way.

In fact, many people believe that how these military coups work is similar to the methods used by international terrorists. Leaders encourages the public to express outrage at the news and publicly support them. They tell everyone that it’s only a misunderstanding, and then release information about the weapons they have and where they are located. Many people believe that these leaders who are designated as legitimate government leaders use the tactics of international terrorist groups in the same manner as these groups do.

Of course, we know that many people who become supporters of terrorist groups also use the Internet, social networking sites, and other venues to communicate with supporters and recruit new members for their cause. It is interesting how many people use these types of venues to communicate these ideas and desires. If so, why does the leadership use public platforms to convince the public that their cause is right? Is it not more important for them to convince the public of their legitimacy as leaders?

If history is any indication, however, future leaders might not have much of a problem once they start removing those leaders who are perceived as illegitimate. It would seem to be something of a slippery slope if the current leaders can’t stick it out long enough to prove that they can be trusted with power. Then, of course, they wouldn’t have anyone left to stand up to them.

South Korea’s daily COVID-19 cases top 3,000 for first time after holiday

People take a walk on a cold winter day, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, at a park in Seoul, South Korea

South Korea’s daily COVID-19 infections topped 3,000 for the first time as an outbreak fuelled by this week’s three-day holiday spreads, authorities said on Saturday.

Friday’s 3,273 coronavirus cases surpassed the previous high a day earlier, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said, taking the nation’s tally to 298,402 infections and 2,441 deaths.

Domestically transmitted cases accounted for 3,245 of the new infections, while 28 were imported. More than 77% of the former were in Seoul and areas neighbouring the capital, which is home to about half the population of 52 million.

“We estimate that the surge in travel during the Thanksgiving holiday, as well as the increase in person-to-person contact, could be major reasons for the sharp increase,” said the agency’s director, Jeong Eun-kyeong.

The current outbreak of the highly infectious Delta variant has contributed to the jump in infections, she told a briefing.

Daily infections may continue to surge over the next one or two weeks, she added, urging people to delay or cancel private gatherings over the period.

The mortality rate and the number of severe cases remain relatively low and steady at 0.82% and 339, respectively, helped by vaccinations that focused on older people at high risk of severe infection, the KDCA said.

The number of coronavirus tests jumped more than 50% to 227,874 from a week earlier, it added.

Authorities have urged those returning from the holiday to get tested even for the mildest symptoms similar to COVID-19, especially before going back to work.

By Friday, 73.5% of the population had received at least one dose of vaccine, with nearly 45% fully inoculated.

Red hot lava spews from La Palma volcano as eruption intensifies

Lava and smoke rise following the eruption of a volcano on the Canary Island of La Palma, in El Paso, Spain

Rivers of lava raced down the volcano and exploded high into the air overnight on the Spanish island of La Palma and the airport was closed as an eruption intensified and entered its most explosive phase so far.

Since it began erupting on Sunday on the small island in the Atlantic, the Cumbre Vieja volcano has spewed out thousands of tons of lava, destroyed hundreds of houses and forced the evacuation of nearly 6,000 people.

Authorities said on Saturday that the 160 people evacuated from three more towns on Friday would not be able to return to their homes to retrieve their belongings because of the “evolution of the volcanic emergency”.

Experts said the volcano had entered a new explosive phase.

“Volcanic surveillance measurements carried out since the beginning of the eruption recorded the highest-energy activity so far during Friday afternoon,” emergency services said in a statement on Friday evening.

Spanish airport operator Aena (AENA.MC) said on Saturday the island’s airport had been closed.

“La Palma airport is inoperative due to ash accumulation. Cleaning tasks have started, but the situation may change at any time,” it tweeted.

La Palma, with a population of over 83,000, is one of an archipelago making up the Canary Islands.

On Friday, firefighters retreated from clean-up work in the town of Todoque, airlines cancelled flights, and authorities evacuated the towns of Tajuya, Tacande de Abajo and the part of Tacande de Arriba that had not already been evacuated after a new vent opened up in the flank of the volcano.

Videos shared on social media showed a massive shockwave emanating from the eruption site on Friday.

No serious injuries or fatalities have been reported in the volcano’s eruption, but about 15% of the island’s economically crucial banana crop could be at risk, jeopardising thousands of jobs.

Ecuador’s Lasso proposes economic reforms to reactivate economy

Ecuador's President Guillermo Lasso speaks during the annual gathering in New York City for the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, U.S.

Ecuadorean president Guillermo Lasso on Friday proposed new labor regulations and a tax reform targeting some $700 million in new revenue as part of a broad economic growth plan that will require approval from a skeptical legislature.

The oil exporting nation’s economy has for years struggled under low crude prices, and the pandemic left 5.8 million people without permanent employment. Lasso this year renegotiated a $6.5 billion financing agreement with the International Monetary Fund in order to speed up disbursements.

The labor and tax reforms will have to be approved by the National Assembly, where Lasso’s party does not have a majority. Lawmakers have already asked Lasso’s administration to make changes to the proposed budget for 2021.

“The proposal I am leaving in your hands today is of an urgent economic nature, and it is unpostponable,” said Lasso upon delivering the “Creating Opportunities” plan to the legislature. “What we are presenting is reasonable.”

The new labor regulations would seek to stimulate telecommuting and allow work hours to be distributed in different ways, according to the plan. Unions have complained that the changes could undermine workers’ rights, which Lasso denies.

The plan seeks an increase in income tax deductions for citizens who earn more than $24,000 annually, which Lasso says would affect 3.5% of the economically active population. It would also create a two-year tax for people with more than $500,000 in assets and a one-time tax on companies with more than $1 million in assets that turned a profit in 2020.

Rwandan troops cannot stay in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado forever, Kagame says

Rwanda's President Paul Kagame. President Communications Office

Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame said the country cannot stay forever in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado province, where allied Rwandan and Mozambican troops have been recapturing areas from Islamist militants since July.

“As much as we cannot be here forever, I think the problem we are dealing with with our friends in Mozambique cannot stay here forever too,” Kagame said at a joint media conference with Mozambique’s President Filipe Nyusi on Saturday.

“Every time, every step, we are assessing what needs to be done… The need to stay and for how long, that comes out naturally as progress is made.”

Palm prices seen firm until Feb, but could ease from March

A worker holds palm oil fruits while posing for a picture at an oil palm plantation in Slim River, Malaysia

Malaysian crude palm oil prices, which have hovered near last month’s record highs, will stay firm until February, but start to ease from March, on rising output in the top two producer nations, leading industry analyst Dorab Mistry said on Saturday.

Benchmark crude palm prices have jumped nearly a quarter this year, rallying for a third consecutive year as a pandemic-induced labour shortage crimped output in Malaysia, the world’s second largest producer.

The contract touched a record of 4,560 ringgit a tonne in mid-August, but the high prices have hurt demand in price sensitive markets, such as India, the world’s top buyer of edible oils.

Mistry, the director of Indian consumer goods company Godrej International, unveiled a bullish outlook for the next five months, because of Indonesia’s high export levy and a peak in supply tightness expected at the start of 2022.

He pegged palm oil prices in a range from 4,000 ringgit to 4,400 ringgit during October to February before they ease in March.

“High prices (will) finally end from April 2022,” Mistry said at the Globoil India conference in the resort state of Goa.

He forecast prices to decline from 3,800 ringgit to 3,200 ringgit during April to September, underpinned by Indonesia’s biodiesel mandate and export levy.

“Palm oil production in Malaysia will only recover post-Ramadan in 2022,” Mistry said. The Muslim holy month is expected to begin around April 2.

Mistry lowered his 2021 estimates for Malaysia’s production to 18.2 million tonnes. Production next year is likely to rise to 19.2 million tonnes if the government alleviates the acute labour crunch, he said.

Output in Indonesia, the world’s largest producer, will rise in 2022 by at least 1 million tonnes from 2021, he added.

World palm oil supply is seen rising by 2.5 million tonnes in the 2021/22 season, up from an increase of 1 million in the previous season as demand for food and fuel grows, Mistry said.

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