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Google delays return to office and eyes ‘flexible work week’

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(Last Updated On: December 14, 2020)
Alphabet Inc’s Google will allow its employees to work from home until September next year, the New York Times reported on Monday.
 
Citing the NYT, Reuters reported the company was also testing the idea of a “flexible work week” once it is safe to return to the office, Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai told the company’s staff in an email on Sunday.
 
As part of the plan, Google’s employees would be expected to work at least three days a week in the office while working from home the other days, the report said.
 
“We are testing a hypothesis that a flexible work model will lead to greater productivity, collaboration, and well-being,” Pichai wrote in the email.
 
Google was one of the first companies to ask its employees to work from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 
 
It has previously delayed the timing by when the employees should return to the office from January next year to July.

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Afghan literary expert finds rare book on Pashtun history

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(Last Updated On: December 29, 2020)
Habibullah Rafi, a well-known Afghan writer and member of the Academy of Sciences of Afghanistan, said he has discovered a 400-year-old book on the history of Pashtuns. 
 
He said the 600-page book was found in Germany with the cooperation of Afghans in that country. 
 
According to Rafi the book is about the lives of Pashtuns, covering a 900-year span. 
 
“The book has been published in 600 pages. The book has some stories which are rare in other books,” said Rafi.
 
The book Rafi discovered was published 400 year ago and is about the first mystical and literary movement of the Pashtuns.
 
It was written by Sheikh Mati Baba between the 7th and 10th centuries, he said.
 
Rafi said this is now the second known copy dating back so many years, with the first having been found in Karachi and the work of Sheikh Mati Baba is followed by people in Saudi Arabia, Peshawar, India and Afghanistan.
 
“Two copies of the book have been found – in Karachi and now in Germany. I have evaluated both of them,” said Rafi.
 
Meanwhile, Ehsanullah Aryanzai, another Afghan writer, says his book of 6,000 pages, which is on the history and geography of the world’s continents – in Pashto – has now been translated into Dari. 
 
He said the original version is in its fourth print run. 
 
“I urge the young generation to read the book once to know about our lives and the lives of others,” said Aryanzai.
 
He pointed out that the continuation of war in Afghanistan has had a negative impact on the culture of reading and studying among the people. 
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Afghanistan to ban popular PUBG war game 

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(Last Updated On: December 17, 2020)

Afghanistan Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (ATRA) said Thursday that government will temporarily ban the popular mobile game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) in Afghanistan.

ATRA stated that the decision was made on Wednesday after complaints were received from the Transport and Telecommunications Commission of the Lower House of the Parliament (Wolesi Jirga).

“To address the concerns and find an appropriate solution, ATRA held consultative meetings with the Ministry of Hajj and Religious Affairs, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Public Health, psychologists, parents, school principals, cybersecurity specialists, children’s educational institutions, telecommunications- and information technology companies and associations, PUBG players, lawyers, economists, members of the Wolesi Jirga, and civil society,” the statement read.

ATRA Chairman, Omer Mansur Ansari stated: “After a comprehensive analysis, our team presented the issue to the board of ATRA; where it was decided to temporarily ban the game due to social and security considerations.”

Ansari added that discussions are underway to find a permanent solution for the issue.

He directed ATRA officials to prepare and finalize specific policies and procedures related to the regulation for the markets and the gaming industry in the country.

Ansari also directed the organization to detect all games that negatively affect children, the statement added.

PUBG, developed by Chinese technology giant Tencent, has thousands of active users in Afghanistan.

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Trump knows about aliens, says ex- Israeli space agency chief

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(Last Updated On: December 9, 2020)

Israel’s former Defense Ministry’s space directorate chief told local media last week that aliens from a “galactic federation” had been in contact with earthlings and that US President Donald Trump knows about it.

Citing Israeli media reports, NBC stated that Haim Eshed, a respected professor and retired general who headed up Israel’s space agency, said: “The Unidentified Flying Objects have asked not to publish that they are here, humanity is not ready yet.”

He said aliens were equally curious about humanity and were seeking to understand “the fabric of the universe.”

Eshed also said cooperation agreements had been signed between species, including an “underground base in the depths of Mars” where there are American astronauts and alien representatives.

“There is an agreement between the US government and the aliens. They signed a contract with us to do experiments here,” he said.

NBC reported that according to Eshed, Trump was aware of the extraterrestrials existence and had been “on the verge of revealing” information but was asked not to in order to prevent “mass hysteria.”

“They have been waiting until today for humanity to develop and reach a stage where we will understand, in general, what space and spaceships are,” Eshed said, referring to the galactic federation.

The White House and Israeli officials did not immediately respond to NBC News’ request for comment.

But a spokesperson for NASA told NBC that one of the agency’s key goals was the search for life in the universe but that it had yet to find signs of extraterrestrial life.

“Although we have yet to find signs of extraterrestrial life, NASA is exploring the solar system and beyond to help us answer fundamental questions, including whether we are alone in the universe,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

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