Latest News Today – COVID-19: India’s Vaccination Rate vs Required Pace:

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India's Vaccination Rate vs Required Pace: Explained In Graphics

New Delhi:

Experts say rapid vaccinations and strict adherence to anti-Covid rules can help avoid a third wave of the pandemic. An analysis of vaccination data suggests most states have not been inoculating enough people. However, over the last few days, the country has witnessed an uptick in daily vaccination figures. Through the following graphics, we explain how much vaccination states require to prevent the third wave, and which state is performing relatively well, which isn’t.

Here are the cumulative and daily vaccine trackers of each state:

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Don’t Dismiss Inflation Fears Just Because They Were Wrong Last | Sidnaz Blog

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There are reasons to think inflation won’t become a major problem. That everybody who said the economy faced an inflation threat over the past dozen years ended up being dead wrong isn’t one of them.

In its report on May personal income and spending Friday, the Commerce Department said that its measure of consumer prices rose 0.4% last month from April, putting them 3.9% above their year-earlier level. Prices excluding food and energy items—the so-called core that economists watch to better understand inflation’s trend—were up 0.5% versus April and 3.4% versus a year earlier.

The Commerce Department’s inflation figures are the ones the Federal Reserve prefers, but even though the on-year rises in overall and core prices are now well north of the Fed’s 2% inflation target, the central bank doesn’t seem particularly worried.

One reason is that, since prices slipped when the Covid-19 crisis struck in the spring of last year, the year-over-year comparisons are a bit magnified. Versus May of 2019, both overall and core prices have risen 2.2% annually. Another is that supply-chain bottlenecks are pushing some prices higher in ways that are unlikely to persist. Friday’s data showed that used-car prices were up by 38% in May from a year earlier, for example, while car-rental prices were up 115%. It is more than a stretch to think those prices will keep soaring like that over the next year.

Still, even though Fed policy makers expect inflation to drift down to about 2% next year, it may well stay heated for a while. Supply-chain problems might persist to the point that higher prices make their way into consumers’ inflation expectations, for example. In their struggle to find workers, employers might also have to raise wages to the point that prices get pushed higher.

A shopper visits Macy’s flagship store in New York City last month.



Photo:

eduardo munoz/Reuters

Given that the Fed and most private forecasters have habitually overestimated how much consumer prices would rise, and considering the regular appearance of false prophets who have predicted dangerously high inflation only to be proved wrong again and again, it is easy to pooh-pooh inflation concerns now.

It is important, however, to recognize how different the circumstances are now than what prevailed in the years since the last recession. The pandemic has elicited not just supply-chain bottlenecks, but shifts in consumer preferences and perhaps an increase in workers’ bargaining power. As a result, the rules for where prices are heading might not be the same.

Inflation might not be a problem a year from now, but the inflationistas’ preternatural habit of being wrong won’t be why.

Recently, the U.S. inflation rate reached a 13-year high, triggering a debate about whether the country is entering an inflationary period similar to the 1970s. WSJ’s Jon Hilsenrath looks at what consumers can expect next. Photo: Alexander Hotz

Write to Justin Lahart at [email protected]

Copyright ©2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

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Latest News Today – Realme Narzo 30 Review: A Worthy Update to the Narzo 20?

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Realme’s Narzo 20 was a decent budget smartphone for 2020, with a focus on delivering the basics at an affordable starting price of Rs. 10,499. As we observed in our review, it was bulky and featured a plastic unibody that did not look or feel premium. In terms of performance, it struggled a bit while running games. Now, in 2021, Realme has released a much-needed update. It’s priced a bit higher, starting from Rs. 12,499 (4GB RAM + 64GB storage), but offers much more than its predecessor, making it a good budget smartphone that’s focused on performance.

However, Realme has also announced the Narzo 30 5G (First Impressions), a different model altogether, which offers 5G connectivity, a better processor, a 90Hz refresh rate display, and a 5,000mAh battery in a slimmer package. It’s competitively priced at Rs. 15,999 and offers 6GB RAM along with 128GB of internal storage. So, which Narzo should you go for? Or are there better smartphones out there?

Realme Narzo 30 price and variants

The Realme Narzo 30 is available in two RAM and storage variants. The base variant offers 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, and is priced at Rs. 12,499, while the second variant offers 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, and is priced at Rs. 14,499. The Realme Narzo 30 5G is available in only a single configuration with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, and is priced at Rs 15,999. The price of the Narzo 30 5G seems understandable keeping in mind that it offers improved specs plus 5G support, but it comes very close to the price of the higher-end Narzo 30.

Realme Narzo 30 design

Realme’s Narzo 30 is a sharp contrast to the Narzo 20, which looked very basic. This new phone is offered in two finishes: Racing Silver and Racing Blue. We received a Racing Silver unit, and it looks quite premium. Both options have a shimmering off-centre strip passing through the camera module.

The Narzo 30’s frame and back panel are made of plastic. The glossy back gathers dust and picks up fingerprints easily. It flexes a bit when pressed down on, even with a little pressure. Still, the overall construction does feel quite good and the plastic does not creak. The phone feels a bit thick at 9.4mm but not too heavy at 192g. The seamless design from the display to the frame and to the back panel lends it a nice hand-feel. It’s comfortable to hold, offering a solid grip.

Realme Narzo 30 back silver design ndtv RealmeNarzo30  Realme

The Realme Narzo 30 is not too heavy at 192g

 

There is a 3.5mm headphone jack at the bottom alongside the Type-C USB port, primary mic, and speaker. The volume buttons are on the left side, while the power button with its embedded fingerprint reader sits on the right.

One of the big changes to the Narzo 30 over the Narzo 20 is its screen. It’s still a 6.5-inch LCD panel but now has a 90Hz refresh rate and the resolution has been bumped up from HD+ on the Narzo 20 to full-HD+.

Realme Narzo 30 specifications and software

The Realme Narzo 30 uses MediaTek’s gaming-oriented Helio G95 processor, which has two high-performance 2.05GHz Cortex-A76 cores and six power-efficient 2.0GHz Cortex-A55 cores. Graphics are handled by an integrated Mali-G76 GPU clocked at 900MHz. The phone has either 4GB or 6GB of LPDDR4x RAM and 64GB or 128GB of UFS 2.1 storage depending on which variant you choose, along with microSD card storage expansion up to 256GB. Connectivity options include dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5, and NFC.

Realme Narzo 30 front sofwtare ndtv RealmeNarzo30  Realme

The Realme Narzo 30 runs Realme UI 2.0, which is based on Android 11

 

The Narzo 30 runs on Realme UI 2.0, which is based on Android 11. The software lets you customise icon shapes, system colours, fonts, and even the shapes of the notifications tray icons. There were a few third-party apps like Amazon, Snapchat, Facebook, and Soloop preinstalled on my review unit, but these did not interfere with my day-to-day use unless I used them. There were also several Realme-branded apps such as DocVault, Community, HeyFun, Realme Link, and Realme store. Some of these could be uninstalled, but not all. Save for the Theme Store, most of them did not throw up any promotional notifications.

Realme Narzo 30 performance and battery life

The MediaTek Helio G95 processor handled the OS quite well with no lag or stuttering in daily use. Apps opened and closed in an instant, and multi-tasking was not a problem on the 6GB RAM variant that I tested, with most apps remaining in memory for a while. The Narzo 30 fared well even in terms of benchmarks, managing 3,56,846 points in AnTuTu, and 532 and 1,700 in Geekbench’s single and multi-core tests respectively.

Gaming on the Narzo 30 was smooth and lag-free, but this phone does heat up when stressed. Call of Duty: Mobile ran smoothly at the default High graphics and frame rate settings. The phone remained cool while playing the game at these default settings but changing the graphics to Very High made it heat up quickly. Asphalt 9: Legends was not available for download. I tried the new Space Marshals 3, which looked stunning on the Narzo 30’s screen. With the detail level set to Medium (default) the phone ran quite hot. Switching the setting to Low took care of the heat.

Realme Narzo 30 bottom ports ndtv RealmeNarzo30  Realme

The Realme Narzo 30 charges quickly, going from zero to a 100 percent in little over an hour

 

The Narzo 30 has a 5,000mAh battery, and it easily lasted me through a day and a half during the review period. My usage included browsing through social media apps, email, Slack, a few photos, an hour of gaming, and an hour of video streaming. The bundled 30W adapter made for quick charging, with the Narzo 30’s battery level reaching 55 per cent in 30 minutes, 99 per cent in 60 minutes and a full charge in 1 hour and 10 minutes.

Realme Narzo 30 cameras

The Realme Narzo 30 features a triple rear camera setup, which includes a 48-megapixel f/1.8 primary camera, a 2-megapixel monochrome camera, and a 2-megapixel macro camera. Selfie duties are handled by a 16-megapixel f/2.1 camera. The camera interface is quite intuitive with important controls located just a tap away. Other options such as setting the timer and selecting the frame are a level deeper in a slide-out tray. One detail to note about the camera setup is that only two cameras out of the three are accessible to the user – the monochrome camera is only activated in Portrait mode to calculate depth.

Realme Narzo 30 back camera ndtv RealmeNarzo30  Realme

The Realme Narzo 30 offers a triple, rear camera setup with a 48-megapixel primary sensor

 

Photos taken in daylight came out crisp and saturated with good dynamic range and detail in the darker areas of the frame. At 2X digital zoom, this phone also captured decent photos, but with less detail. Photos taken at 3X digital zoom were not usable and looked like oil paintings. The 2-megapixel macro camera captured average photos with passable detail but inaccurate colour. It’s fixed-focus, making it incredibly difficult to focus on an object if you have shaky hands.

Realme Narzo 30 daytime photo samples. Top to bottom: Standard, 2X digital zoom, 3X digital zoom (tap to see full size)

 

Photos captured using the Portrait mode with the rear camera came out sharp and clear, with plenty of detail in the day, but average edge detection. The 16-megapixel front-facing camera shot decent selfies, but again with below-average edge-detection in Portrait mode.

Realme Narzo 30 low-light camera samples. Top: Auto mode, bottom: Night mode (tap to see full size)

 

In low light, the rear camera struggled to focus when taking regular photos and when using the Portrait mode. The same can be said about landscape photos, which came out quite murky and loaded with noise. Night mode improves the level of detail and brightens up the scene, but with mixed results, and quality is heavily dependent on the light available in the vicinity.

Videos captured in daylight at 1080p looked oversharpened, lacked detail but showed decent stabilisation. Videos at 4K came out looking better, with good detail, but were very shaky as they lacked any stabilisation. In low light, videos recorded at 1080p came out loaded with noise and were mostly unusable. Switching to 4K showed much better detail but there was still plenty of noise.

Verdict

The decision whether to purchase a Narzo 30 or a Narzo 30 5G boils down to your budget and requirements. This is a smartphone market that’s filled with interesting alternatives from other companies as well, and with 5G networks yet to go live, you might choose to prioritise cost savings or other features. If you still desire a future-proof smartphone, then the obvious choice between the two new Narzo 30s is the Narzo 30 5G.

If you are on a tight budget and 5G isn’t a priority, then the Realme Narzo 30 (prices starting at Rs 12,499) is a good budget smartphone that offers a great everyday usage experience, mid-level gaming performance, decent photos and videos in daylight, and good battery life. However, Xiaomi’s Redmi 10S (Review) offers an additional 8MP ultra-wide-angle camera, a Super AMOLED display, 33W charging, stereo speakers, and an IP53 dust and water resistance rating for only an additional Rs. 500. As a package, the Redmi 10S would make better sense for many people.

If you are willing to shell out an additional Rs. 1,500, Poco’s M3 Pro 5G (Review) priced at Rs. 13,999 is also a better choice. You get a future-proof smartphone with hardware like the Narzo 30 5G, but with 4GB RAM and 64GB of internal storage.


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Latest News Today – Government Exempts Tax On COVID-Related Aid, Extends

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Income Tax Exemptions For Covid Expenses: What It Means For The Common Man

The government extended the timelines of filing tax compliances amid COVID-19

The government extended deadlines for various income tax compliances on Friday, June 25, and said that the amount paid by an employer to employees for COVID-19 treatment would be exempted from tax, in order to provide relief amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The payment received from an employer by family members in case of the death of an employee due to COVID-19 would also be exempt from income tax, according to a statement by the Ministry of Finance. (Also Read: Easing Income Tax Norms, Centre Allows Cash Payment Of ₹ 2 Lakh For COVID Treatment )

As per the announcement, this means that any amount spent by a person for the treatment of an employee would become free from taxation. Also, the person who pays for the treatment and the beneficiary of the payment will not face any tax liability.

Tax exemptions on COVID-19 Treatment, Deaths: 

Several taxpayers received financial help from their employers or well-wishers for meeting their expenses incurred in COVID-19 treatment, said the statement, adding that, income tax will be exempted on the amount received by a taxpayer from an employer or from any person.

Meanwhile, earlier last month, the Income Tax department announced that hospitals, nursing home, COVID care centres, or similar other medical facilities providing treatment for coronavirus could accept cash payment of ₹ 2 lakh or more till May 31, 2021, after receiving a valid identity proof such as PAN card or Aadhaar of the patient and the payee.

this copy is being updated

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Europe’s New Common Bonds Prove a Hit With Investors | Sidnaz Blog

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Investors are lapping up Europe’s new common bonds, proving strong demand for supersafe assets in a region starved of them.

The price of the new bonds have rallied since the first €20 billion worth, equivalent to $24 billion, were sold last week, pushing down their yield.

The new bonds could help narrow the gap in borrowing costs between countries such as Germany and Italy. The EU bonds will likely divert demand away from German bonds, until now Europe’s key benchmark risk-free asset, while also boosting the Italian economy, according to some investors and analysts. A large gap in borrowing costs is seen by investors as a sign of financial stress in the region.

While the U.S. has spent trillions of dollars on stimulus checks and unemployment benefits to carry the economy through the pandemic, Europe has been slower to get its act together, hamstrung in part by the conservative economic attitudes among many northern states and political dysfunction and weak economies in some southern states.

The European Union’s nearly €800 billion recovery plan should start to turn the tide. It is the first major pan-European debt issuance program collectively backed by all the member states. The stronger economies, such as Germany and the Netherlands, are in effect lending the strength of their balance sheets to help fund recovery efforts in the weaker south.

“It will be a key support for the economic recovery as the continent emerges from the pandemic,” said

Dean Turner,

an economist in

UBS’s

Global Wealth Management business.

The EU is expected to start distributing the money over the summer and the spending will be equivalent 0.7% of European gross domestic product this year, rising to 1.2% to 1.3% for each of the next three years, Mr. Turner said.

As well as helping to fund the recovery, the triple-A-rated EU bonds will also help to alleviate a shortage of safe assets, which is one of the reasons that German bonds trade at such deeply negative yields, according to Oliver Brennan, head of research at TS Lombard.

There are only about €2.2 trillion worth of German government bonds outstanding and more than two thirds of those are owned by the European Central Bank and other central banks or foreign reserve managers, leaving just a few hundred billion euros’ worth for all other institutions to buy, according to Mr. Brennan.

But from 2022 onward, the EU recovery fund will likely become the largest source of new bonds, selling roughly €150 billion each year, overtaking Germany, France and Italy.

“The recovery fund will ease the safe-asset shortage by offering an alternative home for foreign reserve managers,” Mr. Brennan said. The amount of German bonds available for other investors to buy will slowly increase and their yields will begin to rise, he added.

The Colosseum in Rome. The new EU bonds will likely boost the Italian economy, according to some analysts and investors.



Photo:

filippo monteforte/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

The moves are nascent so far, but since the EU issuance, German 10-year bond yields have risen to minus 0.215% from minus 0.270%, while the EU bond yields fell as low as 0.03% this week from 0.086%, according to Tradeweb. The EU bonds sold off slightly in line with the rest of the European government bond market on Friday.

More of the recovery fund will be spent on countries like Italy and Spain, where the pandemic has dealt a heavier blow than in countries like France and Germany. Italy is expected to receive more than 25% of the funds, while Germany will get less than 5%.

“Germany is one of the largest net contributors to the fund, while Italy is one of the largest net recipients,” Mr. Brennan said.

He recommends buying Italian bonds versus German bonds to bet on a narrowing of the spread—the difference in yields between the two.

That difference is currently about 1.05 percentage points for 10-year bonds, close to a recent low set in mid-February. The gap was as large as 3.2 percentage points in November 2018 and more than 5.3 percentage points during the worst phase of the eurozone debt crisis in 2012.

Before 2008, the gap was typically less than 0.3 percentage point, according to Tradeweb.

Write to Paul J. Davies at [email protected]

Copyright ©2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

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Pangolin poaching racket busted in Telangana, 3 held | | Live Newspaper Hyderabad

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HYDERABAD: Forest officials on Thursday busted an organised pangolin poaching and smuggling racket after receiving a tip-off from reliable sources about the ongoing trade in Telangana. After a week-long investigation into the crime, forest personnel seized over 200 pangolin scales, a knife, one fake pistol and arrested three persons hailing from Golleti village in Rebanna mandal of Komaram Bheem Asifabad district.
A 10-member team of the forest department headed by district forest officials of Asifabad formed teams to investigate organized wildlife crime. Pangolins fall under the list of critically endangered as per appendix – 1 of CITES and are also listed under Schedule – 1 in Wildlife Protection Act. Hunting and trading of it is a serious offence and punishable with minimum punishment of seven years of rigorous imprisonment and a fine of not less than Rs 5 lakh.

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Latest News Today – Arvind Kejriwal On Report On Exaggerated Oxygen Need: My

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'My Crime Is...': Arvind Kejriwal On Report On 'Exaggerated Oxygen Need'

Arvind Kejriwal rubished claims that the Delhi government asked for more oxygen than it needed.

New Delhi:

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday hit back at a contentious report that claimed his government had “exaggerated oxygen need” at the peak of the second wave of the coronavirus. “My crime is I fought for the lives of Delhi’s 2 crore people,” the Chief Minister said in a tweet in Hindi.

A report circulated in the media from sources close to the BJP had claimed that the Delhi government had “exaggerated” the capital’s oxygen needs by four times at the peak of the second wave of COVID-19 and the supply of excess oxygen to Delhi “affected other states”.

Central government sources said it is the interim report of a Supreme Court audit team. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which governs Delhi, however, insists there is no such report and the claim is part of “malicious and false” propaganda.

“When you were addressing election rallies, i was awake all night arranging for oxygen. I fought and pleaded to arrange oxygen for people,” Mr Kejriwal said, in a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s election rallies in West Bengal.

“People have lost their loved ones due to shortage of oxygen. Please don’t call them liars. They’re feeling very bad,” he added.

Earlier, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia denied the existence of any report by the Supreme Court-appointed Oxygen Audit Committee criticising the Delhi government.

At an online press briefing, he accused the BJP of lying about such a report.

“There is no such report. We have spoken to the members of the Oxygen Audit Committee formed by the Supreme Court. They said they have not signed or approved any such report. The BJP is presenting a false report that it prepared at its party headquarters. I challenge them to present such a report which has signatures of the members of the oxygen audit committee,” Mr Sisodia said.

By doing this, the BJP is not abusing Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, but “those who lost their family members due to oxygen shortage when coronavirus cases were at its peak, he said and accused the Union government of mismanagement “which led to the oxygen crisis”.

Delhi was devastated by a brutal second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in April and May, claiming hundreds of lives daily, with a shortage in oxygen supply at various city hospitals adding to the crisis.

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Latest News Today – PUBG Mobile Is Back as Battlegrounds Mobile India, but

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PUBG Mobile is back in a new avatar, Battlegrounds Mobile India, in the country as a result of its months-long ban. Though Krafton claims the new game is designed to address concerns over its original version, it’s actually not new — it is just what Chinese audiences have had all along. Battlegrounds Mobile India has emerged more like a marginally tweaked version of PUBG Mobile, with just a handful of (unnecessary) differences. And there’s no India-specific changes here, with those tricolour posters relegated to the marketing teasers.

This week, host Akhil Arora talks about Battlegrounds Mobile India on Gadgets 360 podcast Orbital with Deputy Video Head Cyrus John, who played Battlegrounds Mobile India, and Deputy News Editor Veer Arjun Singh, one of the most experienced PUBG Mobile players in the team.

Battlegrounds Mobile India is currently available in early access for Android users. Game publisher Krafton claimed just hours after the release of the battle royale title that it crossed the mark of 5 million downloads. But it has not been a smooth initial success for the game.

Weeks ahead of Battlegrounds Mobile India’s formal launch, Arunachal Pradesh Member of Legislative Assembly Ninong Ering urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ban the game. The government did not publicly respond to Ering.

Shortly after its release, the Indian avatar of PUBG Mobile was found to be sending data to servers outside the country, even in China. That data-sharing issue was, however, fixed when it was reported online. It’s funny because the ties to China were allegedly among the concerns that resulted in the ban of the original title in September last year. Traders’ body Confederation Of All India Traders (CAIT) has also demanded a ban of the new game citing it was sending user data outside the country.

Battlegrounds Mobile India First Impressions: PUBG Mobile Similarities and Differences

Gameplay in Battlegrounds Mobile India is essentially as it was with PUBG Mobile. The changes are merely due to porting over the Chinese version. For instance, gore and violence effects have been removed as the Chinese government doesn’t allow that in its games. Even traditional red animation of blood has been replaced with green leaves. Yes, leaves.

Krafton has allowed existing PUBG Mobile users to move their original saved game data to Battlegrounds Mobile India. However, it is important to point out that friends with whom you were playing matches on PUBG Mobile are not automatically added when you move to the new game – the friends list has been lost in the changeover.

Further hurting the community side of things is the fact that many PUBG Mobile players have moved to PUBG Mobile alternatives, such as Call of Duty: Mobile and Garena Free Fire, in the months that it was banned. Those aren’t likely to easily move to Battlegrounds Mobile India — considering the fact that they’ve already made their communities on those other games.

PUBG Ban in India: Young Indians’ Aspirations Hit the Pause Button​

Krafton has not yet provided any details about when exactly it would make Battlegrounds Mobile India available out of beta or on iPhone. However, the gaming community does have some information. You can check that out in our discussion.

You can listen to the full Orbital episode on PUBG Mobile’s India avatar Battlegrounds Mobile India by hitting the play button on the Spotify player above. You can also follow the Gadgets 360 podcast on Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and wherever you get your podcasts. Please rate us and leave a review.

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Netflix Bets on Even Stranger Things | Sidnaz Blog

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A scene from the Netflix show ‘Sexy Beasts.’



Photo:

Netflix

Netflix


NFLX 1.04%

and romance have long been a match made in heaven, but now the streaming giant is taking things to another level.

Perhaps emboldened by the success of recent shows like “The Circle” and “Love Is Blind,” Netflix is now doubling down on dystopian reality dating. According to the trailer, released this week, the new concept will feature “real life singles,” sporting “elaborate makeup and prosthetics” and putting blind date chemistry to the test.

After reporting disappointing subscriber numbers for the first quarter, Netflix needs new alluring content. Analysts expect the streaming giant to add about 15 million subscribers in the second half of the year, nearly three times the number it is forecasting for the first half.

As if dating weren’t already hard enough, contestants on “Sexy Beasts” are expected to find love while looking like a panda or a mouse. The trailer features a suave alien in a bowling alley chatting to his date, an apparent cross between a dolphin and a platypus, stating that “personality, for me, is everything.” Others—especially a beaver who candidly describes his favorite physical feature—are at least honest.

If nothing else, viewers will be in it for catfights.

Write to Laura Forman at [email protected]

Copyright ©2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8



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Latest News Today – Sensex, Nifty Gain For Second Straight Session Led By

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Sensex, Nifty Gain For Second Straight Session Led By Banking Shares

The equity benchmarks gained for second straight session on Friday, led by strength in banking and financial services shares. The benchmarks traded in a narrow band in the first half of trade and jumped in noon deals on the back of gains in ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, Infosys, State Bank of India and Tata Steel. The Sensex rose as much as 274 points and Nifty 50 index touched an intraday high of 15,870.80.

The Sensex ended 226 points higher at 52,925 and Nifty 50 index advanced 70 points to close a 15,860.

Both the indexes posted their fifth weekly gain in six weeks, helped by declining COVID-19 cases, easing of restrictions and a recent record surge in daily vaccinations.

Nomura said in a research note on Thursday the country’s vaccination rate “skyrocketed” this week, averaging six million doses per day.

Buying was visible across the board as all the 11 sector gauges barring the index of FMCG shares ended higher, led by the Nifty PSU Bank index’s nearly 3 per cent gain. Nifty Metal, Bank, Private Bank and Financial Services indexes also rose between 1.25-2.5 per cent.

Mid- and small-cap shares also witnessed buying interest as Nifty Midcap 100 index rose 1.1 per cent and Nifty Smallcap 100 index rose 0.54 per cent.

Tata Steel was top Nifty gainer; the stock rose nearly 5 per cent to close at Rs 1,113. Axis Bank, State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, Hindalco, Maruti Suzuki, Coal India, Tata Motors, JSW Steel and Bajaj Finserv also rose 1.3-3 per cent each.

On the flipside, Reliance Industries was top Nifty loser, the stock dropped 2.4 per cent to close at Rs 2,102. NTPC, Titan, Hindustan Unilever, Asian Paints, UPL, ONGC, Nestle India, Britannia Industries, Bajaj Auto and UltraTech Cement also declined between 0.5-2 per cent.

The overall market breadth was positive as 1,789 shares ended higher while 1,418 ended lower on the BSE.

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