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US draws down Ukraine embassy presence as war fears mount

The State Department is ordering the families of all American personnel at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv to leave the country and allowing non-essential staff to leave Ukraine

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Gonzaga University suspends Hall of Famer John Stockton's season tickets over his defiance of Covid-19 mask mandate

Gonzaga University requires fans ages 5 and up to wear a mask while inside their stadium.

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Hanif Abdurraqib, Tom Lin receive Carnegie literary awards

Receiving a literary prize from the American Library Association is a kind of homecoming for the essayist-poet Hanif Abdurraqib

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How a Billionaire’s Cruise Empire Imploded in Hong Kong

(Bloomberg) -- Lim Kok Thay started a cruiseferry and gambling boat business in 1990s Hong Kong and turned it into

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Oil Climbs on Outlook for Rising Demand as Omicron Wave Fades

(Bloomberg) -- Oil pushed higher at the week’s open as investors weighed prospects for rising demand as the omicron virus

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Rams slip past Bucs 30-27 to reach NFC title game

Matthew Stafford threw for 366 yards and two touchdowns and Matt Gay’s 30-yard field goal as time expired lifted the Los Angeles Rams to a 30-27 divisional playoff victory over Tom Brady and the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.

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Penelope Cruz: I love India and I feel a strong connection to it

Hollywood actor Penelope Cruz talks about her connection with India, and why she wants her family to experience the country as well.

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Karan Tacker: I don’t have liberty to make a wrong decision as an outsider

Actor Karan Tacker talks about why he cannot take risks as an actor, taking into account him being an ‘outsider’.

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Meet Bros: Some friends shut down entire companies due to Covid, blessed we can still restart live shows tomorrow

Composer duo and brothers Manmeet and Harmeet Singh of Meet Bros agree that the surge in the number of Covid-19 cases across the country has played spoilsport again, affecting the music fraternity adversely

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Covid takes a toll on Esha Gupta’s mental health; says she is going through slowest road to recovery

Actor Esha Gupta is recovering from Covid-19 in Madrid, while her family is fighting against the virus in Delhi

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Brady, Bucs out of NFL playoffs after Rams late show

Matt Gay kicked a last-gasp field goal as the Los Angeles Rams sent Tom Brady and the reigning Super Bowl

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7 provinces post high COVID-19 growth rate; declining in Metro Manila — OCTA

MANILA, Philippines — Seven provinces posted high COVID-19 growth rates while Metro Manila’s dropped further, independent analytics group OCTA Research reported on Monday.OCTA Research fellow Guido David said that the seven provinces, Mountain Province, Ilocos Norte, Davao del Sur, Apayao, Iloilo, Ifugao, and Cebu have more than 100 percent one-week growth rate.The following are the growth rates of the said provinces:Mountain Province - 226 percentIlocos Norte - 108 percentDavao del Sur - 302 percentApayao - 234 percentIloilo - 139 percentIfugao - 307 percentCebu - 177 percent https://twitter.com/i

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U.S. Orders Families of Diplomats Out of Ukraine Citing War Risk

(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. ordered family members at its embassy in Kyiv to leave “due to the continued threat of

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Boris Johnson’s political future hangs in the balance as MPs await Sue Gray report

Boris Johnson’s political future hangs in the balance as MPs await the findings of a critical investigation into multiple allegations of rule-busting parties held at No 10 during Covid restrictions. Sue Gray, the senior civil servant tasked with investigating events at Downing Street and other government departments, is widely expected to deliver her report to the prime minister later this week. According to reports, Dominic Cummings, the former chief adviser to Mr Johnson at No 10, who has claimed his former boss “lied” to parliament over the events, will also be interviewed by Ms Gray on Monday as part of her inquiries. Police officers guarding No 10 at the time of alleged rule-breaking parties have reportedly already been spoken to for the probe. Asked how significant their information was, a source told The Telegraph: “Put it this way, if Boris Johnson is still prime minister by the end of the week, I’d be very surprised.” Some Conservative MPs have already called on the prime minister to resign over the scandal, including former ministers Caroline Nokes and David Davis, and others have sent no confidence letters to the chairman of the 1922 Committee, Sir Graham Brady. Aaron Bell, the Tory MP for Newcastle-under-Lyme, became the latest backbencher to submit a letter at the weekend, according to The Sunday Times. A total of 54 MPs are required to do so if a no confidence vote is to be triggered. But many are reserving judgement on the prime minister’s future at No 10 until Ms Gray’s findings on multiple events held during Covid restrictions, including the “bring your own booze” gathering on 20 May 2020, are published. Asked whether Mr Johnson’s political future hung in the balance over the report, the senior Tory MP Steve Baker told The Independent on Friday: “I don’t see how anyone can objectively say otherwise.” Speaking on Sunday, Dominic Raab, the deputy prime minister, claimed there had been a “rallying” around Mr Johnson after the dramatic defection of the Bury South MP Christian Wakeford to Sir Keir Starmer’s Labour Party. However, he dodged questions over whether the report would be published in full, telling the BBC that the “process will be for the prime minister to decide”, and claimed he was “not quite sure the shape and form it would come”. “The substance of the findings will be – there will be full transparency,” he added. “Indeed, he [Mr Johnson] has said he’ll come back to the House of Commons and make a statement, so there’ll be full scrutiny.” However, on Saturday, Angela Rayner, Labour’s deputy leader, stressed: “The Sue Gray report must be published in its entirety with all accompanying evidence”. She added that the prime minister “cannot be allowed to cover up or obscure any of the truth when he has insisted on a hugely protracted internal probe to tell him which parties he attended and what happened in his own home”. Ms Gray’s inquiry has also reportedly been widened to examine socialising at the prime minister’s flat above No 11 Downing Street, involving government advisers and close friends of the prime minister’s wife, Carrie. The Cabinet Office declined to comment at the weekend, but Mr Cummings has previously claimed there was a “party” at the flat on 13 November 2020 – the same day he left his government post – while England faced its second lockdown. Read More Where did Dominic Raab go on holiday? Raab insists he won’t quit over failure to make Afghan call on holiday Dominic Raab may keep his job today – but for how much longer? Tory MP says claim minister was sacked over Muslim faith ‘stinks’ Johnson under pressure to hold inquiry into MP’s ‘Muslimness’ sacking claim Welsh ports see 30% fall in traffic due to Brexit, says UK shipping boss

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Italy's parliament starts voting for president in wide-open race

By Angelo Amante ROME (Reuters) - Italy's parliament will begin voting on Monday for a new head of state, with

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Gunfire near home of Burkina Faso's leader after army mutiny

Residents in Burkina Faso's capital say gunfire has erupted in the same area as embattled President Roch Marc Christian Kabore’s home

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No 10 police officers ‘interviewed in Partygate inquiry’

Police officers who guard No 10 have reportedly been interviewed as part of Sue Gray’s inquiry into parties held at Downing Street during Covid restrictions. A source told The Telegraph their statements to the civil servant in charge of the probe were “extremely damning”. Ms Gray is looking into allegations of a number of parties held at Downing Street while the country was under Covid restrictions. She is expected to publish her findings in the next week. Officers who were on duty outside No 10 at the time of alleged rule-breaking parties have now reportedly been spoken to for the inquiry. Access to Downing Street is controlled by the Metropolitan Police’s parliamentary and diplomatic protection command. According to The Telegraph, members of this branch have given detailed testimonies about what they saw to Ms Gray. Asked how significant their information was, a source told the newspaper: “Put it this way, if Boris Johnson is still prime minister by the end of the week, I’d be very surprised.” Downing Street refused to comment on the ongoing investigation. On Sunday, Dominic Raab, the deputy prime minister, said Tory MPs were rallying behind the prime minister ahead of the Partygate inquiry’s expected publication this week. The Met has previously faced questions over how officers could have been unaware of a “bring your own booze” garden gathering as they stood guard outside Downing Street. Ms Gray is also looking into reports of other gatherings alleged to have happened at No 10 - including two events on the eve of Prince Philip’s funeral. Officials working in No 10 claim they have held back information from the investigation into the partygate scandal due to “culture of fear” surrounding the probe. Three sources told The Independent they had not divulged messages and pictures on their phones after a senior member of staff told them to remove anything that could fuel speculation in the wake of the first party revelations. The Met has been approached for comment. Read More Tory MP says claim minister was sacked over Muslim faith ‘stinks’ Johnson under pressure to hold inquiry into MP’s ‘Muslimness’ sacking claim Nusrat Ghani says government failed to take Islamophobia ‘seriously’ – live

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Rams make it 3 of 3 for road teams, beat Brady's Bucs 30-27

The Los Angeles Rams made it 3 for 3 for road teams in the NFL’s divisional playoff round, setting up an all-NFC West conference championship game with San Francisco by edging defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay 30-27 Sunday

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Taiwan reports new large-scale Chinese air force incursion

TAIPEI (Reuters) -Taiwan on Sunday reported the largest incursion since October by China's air force in its air defence zone,

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Gainsborough’s Blue Boy at the National Gallery review: You’ll be blue if you miss it

He’s back. Blue Boy, all in satin, his hand resting on his hip with tremendous assurance, has returned to London after a century, looking – it would seem – as good as new. For it is exactly 100 years tomorrow since Sir Thomas Gainsborough’s most famous painting left England for the US, having been sold to the Californian railway magnate, Henry E Huntington, for the then fabulous sum of £182,000. The deal was engineered by Joseph Duveen, the brilliant art dealer from Hull, thanks to whom a great many British and European masterpieces ended up on the wrong side of the Atlantic (do read SN Behrman’s hilarious biography of him, Duveen: The Most Spectacular Art Dealer of All Time). Just before Blue Boy left for America, the painting was put on show in the National Gallery, where it attracted 90,000 visitors. The Times noted sadly, quoted in the room where the painting is now on show: “We have been to say ‘goodbye’ to a boy who is leaving England, in a day or two, forever. He received us dressed in a beautiful blue satin suit.” In an optimistic gesture, the National’s then director, Sir Charles Holmes, wrote on the reverse of the painting: “au revoir”. And now he’s here, back in the National Gallery, waiting to receive the crowds again. The return of the painting, which has been on display at the Huntington in San Marino, California for the last century, is, of course, wonderful (and unlikely to happen again for another century once he goes home in May). Blue Boy appears in countless reproductions but there is nothing quite like sitting before the original, meeting that frank, direct gaze, admiring the shimmering blue of his Van Dyck-esque satin suit (Gainsborough often dressed his sitters in such clothes, in homage to the artist, whom he very much admired), all set against a sombre background with the light breaking around the boy. Oddly, it didn’t attract much acclaim when it was first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1770. The National has turned the exhibition into a chance to demonstrate Gainsborough’s well known debt to Van Dyck and his grand manner portraiture. So, next to Blue Boy there are two of the Flemish master’s superb portraits from the gallery’s collection, both of two brothers, both finely composed, both revealing character in stance. The little sons of the Duke of Buckingham, George and Francis Villiers, were most obviously the models for Gainsborough: George, in particular, with his hand on hip and dressed in the most fabulous rich rose pink satin. Next to them are Lord John Stuart and Lord Bernard Stewart, models of aristocratic hauteur; like Francis Villiers, they would die for the king in the English civil war. Opposite them are Gainsborough’s ladies: the famous portrait of Mrs Siddons, and Elizabeth and Mary Linley. So, five portraits in all, a splendid little show. Small, and free to visit (with a ticket), but spectacular in its way. Blue Boy’s departure for America caused universal gloom. Well, he’s back with us until May. Go and see him while you can. National Gallery, to May 15; nationalgallery.org.uk Read More Leigh Bowery finest looks are on show in London KAWS: New Fiction at Serpentine Gallery review - unspeakably awful London’s non-profit art galleries - where the art world goes to feed

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Episode 13 of Korean drama ‘Snowdrop’ rises in ratings; finale set on Jan. 30

“Snowdrop,” the JTBC Korean drama starring Jung Hae-in and BLACKPINK’s Jisoo, posted slightly higher ratings for episode 13. According to Nielsen Korea, episode 13 of “Snowdrop” on Jan. 23 garnered a nationwide rating of 2.798 percent and placed 10th among the top 10 shows under the general programming cable TV for the day based on total households subscribed to paid platforms in South Korea. This is slightly higher by 0.277 percentage point from 2.521 percent the drama got for episode 12 on Jan. 22. Based on the number of viewers, episode 13 was watched by 664,000 people (sixth place) nationwide, down by 39,000 people compared to 703,000 people (4th place) for episode 12. On Jan. 23, Oh Jung-se’s drama “Uncle” grabbed first place again, garnering 9.329 percent, higher than 8.856 percent it received for the Jan. 22 episode. In the Seoul metropolitan area, episode 13 recorded a rating of 2.851 percent (seventh place), slightly higher by 0.046 percentage point compared to 2.805 percent (seventh place) for episode 12. Based on the number of viewers, episode 13 was watched by 286,000 people (seventh place) in the Seoul metropolitan area, a slight dip by 2,000 viewers compared to 288,000 for episode 12. There are three episodes left for “Snowdrop,” which will air this week. Episode 14 will be aired on Jan. 29 while episodes 15 and 16 will be aired on Jan. 30. JTBC changed the airing date of episode 16 or the finale as it would be the only episode left to air in the first week of February. In “Snowdrop,” Jung Hae-in plays the role of Im Soo-ho, a 27-year-old graduate student who is a North Korean spy sent to South Korea for a mission. Jisoo is 20-year-old Eun Young-ro, a first year college student at Hosoo Women’s University. They meet during a group blind date after which Eun Young-ro falls in love with him. The drama is about political conspiracy and espionage against the backdrop of the 1987 Korean presidential election and romance. In the drama, the South and North Korean governments conspire for political power.

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Odette and Omicron underscore need for adequate insurance coverage

Written by: Rahul Hora, AXA Philippines CEO2022 has started completely on the wrong foot, with the nation still reeling from the devastation of typhoon Odette, new cases of COVID-19 now routinely break the 30,000 mark and the daily positivity rate averages around 50%. Just a little over a month ago on December 10, 2021, the DOH reported that nearly half of the hospitals in the country had no new cases of COVID-19. This resurgence should serve as a sobering reminder that our fight is far from over. Every dark cloud has a silver lining. In this resurgence, we now have strong evidence that the collective measures that we had been taking to control the spread of the virus were ac

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Delivery race among Indian grocery startups brings road safety risks

By Aditya Kalra and Abhirup Roy NEW DELHI (Reuters) -Indian grocery startups are luring tech-savvy customers with the promise of

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In Ukraine, one question looms: What will we do if Russia attacks?

This military build-up that was perceived as mere chatter a couple months ago has since become a resounding alarm bell for Ukrainian society, writes Olesia Markovic. There's a desperate search for answers to a very crucial question: What should we do as citizens if Russia attacks?

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Exclusive-Iran nuclear agreement unlikely without release of U.S. prisoners -Malley

By Francois Murphy and Arshad Mohammed VIENNA (Reuters) - The United States is unlikely to strike an agreement with Iran

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