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Uber to test flying taxi in Los Angeles, demo flights scheduled for 2020

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San Francisco, Nov 9: In a bid to ease traffic problem, Ride-hailing app Uber has announced that it will commence its ambitious flying taxi project in Los Angeles by 2020. 

According to Xinhua news agency,When Uber’s Chief Product Officer Jeff Holden on Wednesday revealed the plan at the Web Summit, a technology conference in Lisbon, the company also posted a 100-second-long video clip advertising the flying taxi project named ‘Elevate’.

The  video depicts a working mother books a flight through her Uber app and goes to a “skyport” on the roof of a nearby building. After her order code is scanned in her cell phone, she gets into an Uber flying taxi, a plane-helicopter hybrid aircraft with fixed wings and tilt prop-rotors.

The flying taxi takes the woman back to another “roof airport”, where an Uber vehicle taxi is waiting for her. Without any hassle she returns home to her children.

The firm predicted that a one-and-a-half hour car journey from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to the Lakers’ home court Staples Centre could take less than 30 minutes using a combination of flying cars and regular cars.

Not only this, Holden said travelling in flying taxi would be cheaper  than your own car.

With this announcement Los Angeles, became the third county that would be working with Uber on the programme after Dallas-Fort Worth and Dubai.

“Los Angeles is one of the most congested cities in the world today,” said Holden.

“They essentially have no mass transit infrastructure. This type of approach allows us to very inexpensively deploy a mass transit method that actually doesn’t make traffic worse”, he added.

Holden also statedt Uber has signed a Space Act Agreement with NASA to establish a brand-new air traffic control system to manage these low-flying, possibly autonomous air planes.

Wefornews Bureau 

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Azerbaijan says 2,783 soldiers killed in Nagorno-Karabakh fighting

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Azerbaijan said Thursday that nearly 2,800 of its soldiers were killed in recent fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh, the first details it has released of military losses in weeks of clashes with Armenian forces.

The defence ministry in Baku said in a statement that “2,783 servicemen of the Azerbaijani armed forces were killed in the patriotic war,” adding that 100 more soldiers were missing.

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Criminal networks could try to sell fake COVID vaccines physically and on internet, warns Interpol

The Interpol has asked police organisations to ensure “the safety of the supply chain” and said “identifying illicit websites selling fake products will be essential”.

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New Delhi, December 3: The Interpol has warned law enforcement agencies across the globe that organised criminal networks could try to advertise and sell fake COVID-19 vaccines physically and on the internet.

In an Orange notice issued to all 194 member countries on Wednesday, the Lyon-based international police cooperation body warned agencies to prepare for potential criminal activity in relation to “the falsification, theft and illegal advertising of COVID-19 and flu vaccines”.

“It also includes examples of crimes where individuals have been advertising, selling and administering fake vaccines,” a statement from the Interpol said.

The Interpol issues an Orange notice to warn of an event, a person, an object or a process representing a serious and imminent threat to public safety.

The CBI, which is the national central bureau for India, is tasked with coordination with the Interpol.

The warning came on the day the UK became the first Western nation to approve a COVID-19 vaccine, vaulting past the US and the European Union in the race to approve a vaccine.

The Interpol has asked police organisations to ensure “the safety of the supply chain” and said “identifying illicit websites selling fake products will be essential”.

“Criminal networks will also be targeting unsuspecting members of the public via fake websites and false cures, which could pose a significant risk to their health, even their lives,” Interpol Secretary General Jurgen Stock said in a statement.

“It is essential that law enforcement is as prepared as possible for what will be an onslaught of all types of criminal activity linked to the COVID-19 vaccine, which is why INTERPOL has issued this global warning,” the official said.

The Interpol cybercrime unit has analysed that of 3,000 websites associated with online pharmacies suspected of selling illicit medicines and medical devices, around 1,700 contained cyber threats, especially phishing and spamming malware making such operators even more potent of causing financial and health harms.

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Pakistan’s Covid-19 cases surpass 406k mark

Frontline healthcare workers and people over 65 years of age will be the first to get the vaccine administered, he added.

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Islamabad, Dec 3 : Pakistan’s overall coronavirus caseload has increased to 406,810 after an additional 3,499 people tested positive in the last 24 hours, the Health Ministry said on Thursday.

In the same period, a total of 8,205 people died and 346,951 recovered from the disease in the country which is currently battling a serious second wave, Xinhua news agency quoted the Ministry as saying.

The two new figures increased the overall death toll and recoveries to 8,205 and 346,951, respectively.

Sindh province is currently the worst hit with 177,625 cases, followed by most populous province Punjab with 121,083 positive cases, the official figures revealed.

At a press briefing on Wednesday, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister on Health Faisal Sultan said that the government has approved to allocate a budget of $150 million to purchase vaccines.

Frontline healthcare workers and people over 65 years of age will be the first to get the vaccine administered, he added.

Meanwhile, Federal Parliamentary Secretary in the Health Ministry Nausheen Hamid said that the government will provide free of cost vaccine to its citizens and the vaccination will start in the second quarter of 2021.

The Pakistani government has also decided to observe “Covid-19 standard operating procedures compliance week” from Saturday for creating awareness in public about the significance of the SOPs in guarding against the disease.

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COVID-19 affects different people in different ways. Most infected people will develop mild to moderate illness and recover without hospitalization.