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UK Imposes Travel Ban On UAE

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The United Kingdom (UK) on Tuesday announced an outright travel ban on non-citizens arriving from the United Arab Emirates and severe quarantine measures for citizens coming in from there to stem coronavirus cases, hitting Dubai holidaymakers and expatriates.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the UAE has been added to the government’s “red list” along with Burundi and Rwanda from 1.00pm (1300GMT) on Friday.

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Any British or Irish citizens and third country nationals with residence rights returning from the Gulf state will be required to isolate at home, or in a hotel for 10 days.

Everyone else is banned completely, and the government also announced that direct flights between Britain and the UAE were no longer allowed.

“The decision to ban travel from these destinations follows the discovery of a new coronavirus variant first identified in South Africa, that may have spread to other countries, including the United Arab Emirates, Burundi and Rwanda,” said a government spokeswoman.

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The state is home to thousands of British expats and has been a popular destination for social media influencers during the pandemic, who have raised ire by posting their holiday pictures online having travelled under the guise of work.

Dubai last week clamped down on its entertainment scene and suspended non-essential surgery in hospitals after a spike in coronavirus cases.

One of the seven emirates that make up the UAE, Dubai has branded itself this winter as an open, sunny and quarantine-free escape.

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But Covid-19 infections have surged since the New Year.

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Explosion In Chinese Gold Mine leaves Over Twenty Miners Trapped

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Twenty-two gold miners have been trapped underground for nearly two days after an explosion in a mine under construction in eastern China.

The blast occurred on Sunday afternoon at a mine in a town near Qixia city in eastern Shandong province, authorities wrote in a social media post.

The explosion badly damaged the exit ladder from the mine and the communications system, so authorities could not contact the trapped miners, the statement released late Monday said.

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Authorities have sent rescuers to the mine, which is owned by the Shandong Wucailong Investment Co. Ltd.

Mining accidents are common in China, where the industry has a poor safety record and regulations are often weakly enforced.

In December, 23 miners died after being trapped in a mine in the southwestern city of Chongqing — just months after 16 others died from carbon monoxide poisoning after being trapped underground at another coal mine in the city.

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Trump is the worst president in history- American actor, Arnold Schwarzenegger

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American actor and former governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, has called Donald Trump the “worst president ever” as he compared the Capitol riots to the Night of Broken Glass.

In a video released on Sunday the Terminator star slammed Trump supporters who stormed the US Capitol on January 6, in an attempt to disrupt Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s election win.

Discussing his childhood in Austria, Schwarzenegger said that he had grown up with the lasting impact of Kristallnacht, which he described as “a night of rampage against the Jews carried out in 1938 by the Nazi equivalent of the Proud Boys”.

“Wednesday was the Day of Broken Glass right here in the United States but the mob did not just shatter the windows of the Capitol. They shattered the ideas we took for granted [and] trampled the very principles on which our country was founded,” he said.

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Warning that Americans must be “aware of the dire consequences of selfishness and cynicism”, Schwarzenegger then turned his attention to Trump.

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“He sought a coup by misleading people with lies,” he said. “President Trump is a failed leader. He will go down in history as the worst president ever. The good thing is he will soon be as irrelevant as an old tweet.”

Trump was permanently banned from Twitter on January 8, with the social media platform saying there was a “risk of further incitement of violence” if it let him continue to use their platform.

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Elsewhere in the video, Schwarzenegger criticised those in the Republican party, of which he is a member, who “enabled [Trump’s] lies and his treachery”, quoting Teddy Roosevelt: “Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president.”

He concluded the video by wishing Biden “great success” when he takes office.

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North Korea’s ‘biggest enemy’ is US ― Kim Jong Un

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North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un said the United States is his nuclear-armed nation’s “biggest enemy”, state media reported Saturday, as he threw down the diplomatic gauntlet to the incoming administration of Joe Biden.

The declaration comes less than two weeks ahead of the new US president’s inauguration and after a tumultuous relationship between Kim and the outgoing leader Donald Trump.

Kim and Trump first engaged in a war of words and mutual threats, before an extraordinary diplomatic bromance that featured headline-grabbing summits and declarations of love by the US president.

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But little substantive progress was made, with the process deadlocked after their February 2019 meeting in Hanoi broke down over sanctions relief and what Pyongyang would be willing to give up in return.

The North “should focus and be developed on subverting the US, the biggest obstacle for our revolution and our biggest enemy”, Kim told the five-yearly congress of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea, the official KCNA news agency reported.

“No matter who is in power, the true nature of its policy against North Korea will never change,” it quoted him as saying, without mentioning Biden by name.

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“The check has come due on the Singapore and Hanoi Summits,” tweeted Ankit Panda of the Carnegie Endowment. “And the Biden administration gets to pick up the tab.”

The change of leadership in Washington presents a challenge for Pyongyang, which has previously called Biden a “rabid dog”, while he characterised Kim as a “thug” during the presidential debates.

The US is expected to return to more orthodox diplomatic approaches under Biden, such as insisting on extensive progress at working-level talks before any leaders’ summit can be considered.

Kim “sees a stalemate that won’t change anytime soon”, said Harry Kazianis of the Center for the National Interest.

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The process with Trump was brokered by South Korean President Moon Jae-in, but Kim said Seoul was in breach of inter-Korean agreements and “and disregarding our warnings that it should stop joint military drills with the US”.

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COVID-19: Saudi Arabia suspends international flights, closes land and sea borders

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Saudi Arabia suspends international flights

Saudi Arabia has stopped international flights and also suspended entry through its land and sea ports due to the rising cases of COVID-19.

According to an official source at the Saudi Ministry of Interior on Sunday, Saudi Arabia has suspended all international flights for a week, extendable for another, amid mounting concern over a new strain of COVID-19.

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The statement reads,

”Based on what the Ministry of Health raised about the spread of a new mutated type of the COVID-19 in a number of countries, until medical information about the nature of this virus becomes clear, and a desire to take urgent measures to protect public health of citizens and residents and ensuring their safety, the Kingdom’s government has decided to take the following precautionary measures:

First, suspending all international flights for travelers – except in exceptional cases – temporarily for a period of one week, which can be extended for another week, with the exception of foreign flights that are currently in the Kingdom’s territory, so they are allowed to leave.

Second, suspending entry to the Kingdom through land and sea ports temporarily for a period of one week, which may be extended for another week.

Third, everyone who returned from one of the European countries or any country where the epidemic appeared, as determined by the Ministry of Health as of December 8 and to that date, must adhere to the following:

1. Home isolation for a period of two weeks, starting from the date he/she arrived in the Kingdom.
2. Undergo an examination for the COVID-19 during the isolation period, with a repeat examination every five days.

Fourth, anyone who returned from or passed through a European country or any country where the epidemic appeared – during the past three months – must undergo a test for the coronavirus.

OFFICIAL STATEMENT BY Saudi Ministry of Interior

BEFORE YOU GO READ:

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Gates of Hell: Inside The Man-Made Hole That Has Been Burning for More Than 49 Years

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Darvaza gas crater

Have you ever had a random thought about the portals to Hell or even Heaven? While we are made to believe otherwise. There are some creepy and scary places around the universe that makes one feels like there might be doors. The Darvaza gas crater  also called the Door to Hell or Gates of Hell, is a natural gas field collapsed into a cavern located in Derweze, Turkmenistan, this pit attracts hundreds of tourists every year, apart from its inferno local spiders are seen moving into the pit in thousands—always attracted by its glow.

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Darvaza gas crater
The gas crater has a total area of 5,350 m2. Its diameter is 69 m (226 ft), and its depth is 30 m (98 ft). (Wikipedia)
WHAT REALLY HAPPENED?

In 1971, when the region was still part of the Soviet Union. A group of Soviet scientists in search of oil fields saw the site as a good oil field. They set up the area for drilling, unfortunately after the preliminary survey, they found the area to be on top of a cavernous pocket of natural gas, which couldn’t support the weight of their equipment. The ground beneath the drilling rig and camp collapsed into a wide crater and the rig was buried with no casualties.

The Scientists soon found a bigger problem on their hands as the natural gas was escaping from the craters (the largest of these craters measures about 230-feet across and 65-feet deep) into the atmosphere. Natural gas consisting primarily of methane would displace the oxygen, making it difficult to breathe. Soon after, animals roaming around the Karakum Desert began to die, the escaping gas posed a bigger threat due to its inflammability. They considered it advisable to burn the gas off, estimating that the gas would burn out within a few weeks, but it has instead continued to burn for 49 years and is expected to keep on burning.

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In April 2010, the President of Turkmenistan, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, visited the site and ordered that the hole should be closed. He recommended that measures be taken to limit the crater’s influence on the development of other natural gas fields in the area. In 2013, he declared the part of the Karakum Desert with the crater a nature reserve.

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If you ever consider visiting the Darvaza gas crater, it’s best you do so at night.

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