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Google’s parent company in talks to build massive data hubs in Saudi Arabia – report


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Alphabet Inc. is reportedly negotiating a major deal with Saudi Arabia. The tech giant recently cracked down on RT in the name of democracy, but seems to be OK with Riyadh’s systematic human rights violations, at home and abroad.

Senior executives of Alphabet, which owns Google, have reportedly been negotiating “for months” with representatives of the Saudi state oil giant Aramco, as well as Saudi government officials, including Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reports. The potential deal envisages Alphabet building major data centers in the Kingdom.

Details of the project remain scarce, including the date when the agreement will be finalized, the purpose of the tech hubs and who would control them. Sources familiar with the developments told the WSJ, however, that the size of the potential joint venture could be big enough to list on Saudi Arabia’s stock exchange.

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Google is behind both Amazon.com Inc. and Microsoft Corp. in the business of renting computing power and online storage. The deal might secure a foothold in Saudi Arabia, which could be crucial for outflanking their rivals and attracting local wealthy oil-industry customers.

Amazon, meanwhile, is also seeking to carve out a space in the potentially lucrative market. The company is reported to be close to finalizing a $1 billion deal, which also involves building three data centers in Saudi Arabia.

Alphabet recently ‘championed democracy’ with a crackdown on RT. Citing “RT’s relationship with the Russian Government,” Google said it’s “working on disclosures to provide similar transparency on YouTube,” apparently to better inform its customers about “malicious Russian propaganda.”

In November, Eric Schmidt, the Executive Chairman of Alphabet, said the company is working on de-ranking RT and Sputnik to make their articles less prominent on Google’s news delivery services. The move is also in the name of ‘democracy.’

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Fidel Castro’s eldest son takes own life, state media reports


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He was 68 years old and had suffered from depression in recent months, according to the government website Cubadebate.Tall and bearded like his father, Fidel Castro Diaz-Balart was the only child of the Cuban revolutionary leader and his first wife, Mirta Diaz-Balart.The couple divorced before Castro took power in Cuba. Diaz-Balart's relatives went into exile, becoming prominent figures in Miami's anti-Castro exile community. His cousin Mario Díaz-Balart is a Republican congressman in Florida and a staunch critic of the Cuban government.His mother sent Fidelito to visit his father shortly after Castro took over the island. But Castro never returned the boy, leading his Miami relatives to say he had been kidnapped by Castro.A young Fidelito appeared alongside his father in Havana in a TV interview with CBS newsman Edward R. Murrow, speaking fluent English and showing off a new puppy.Fidelito later studied in the Soviet Union and married a Russian woman, according to his official biography. He led Cuba's nuclear power program until a falling out with his father led to his dismissal.After his uncle Raul Castro took over as president of Cuba in 2008, Fidelito was named as his scientific adviser and he began to make public appearances again.In 2015, Fidelito was photographed at a lavish cigar party in Havana alongside model Naomi Campbell and socialite Paris Hilton.

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Canada moves to make its national anthem gender-neutral


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If you're not familiar with the words to "O Canada," here's how the first few lines of the English version originally read: O Canada! / Our home and native land! / True patriot love in all thy sons command.The bill changes the phrase "in all thy sons command" to "in all of us command."It must now receive "royal assent" from the governor general before it becomes law. The move, sponsored by late politician Mauril Bélanger, was praised by prominent Canadians, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and "The Handmaid's Tale" author Margaret Atwood."Mauril's bill to make O Canada gender neutral passed third reading in the Senate tonight — another positive towards gender equality. #inallofuscommand," Trudeau tweeted."Thank you @SenateCA! 'In all of us command': Senate passes bill approving #genderneutral anthem wording," tweeted Atwood. Not everyone is thrilled about the change. The bill passed Canada's House of Commons in 2016, but spent 18 months under debate in the Senate, where it faced opposition from some members of the Conservative Party. After it passed, some criticized the vote. "Shameful, anti-democratic behavior by #Trudeau-appointed senators, including #SenCA Speaker, as they shut down legitimate debate in Chamber," tweeted Conservative Sen. Denise Batters. "Dissapointed [sic] to hear the Liberals changed our national anthem. Somethings just shouldn't change," tweeted Conservative Member of Parliament Bob Saroya. "#SorryNotSorry but I am NOT changing the way I sing O Canada," tweeted another user."O Canada" became Canada's national anthem in 1980, and since then changes to the lyrics have been proposed several times. This is the first time such a proposal has been successful.

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Hey Jude, Touch Chesi Chudu, Phantom Thread and Oru Nalla Naal Paathu Solren hits screens today: LIVE UPDATES


Written by Robby Mathew Cherian | New Delhi | Updated: February 2, 2018 11:25 am Nivin Pauly and Trisha in Hey Jude.

Can’t keep up with the latest Bollywood, Hollywood, TV and South Cinema news? Follow our live blog for all the latest updates from the world of Entertainment.

11:20 am:Aamir Khan and Zaira Wasim starrer Secret Superstar has crossed the Rs 500 crore mark in China:

#SecretSuperstar continues its PHENOMENAL RUN in China… Crosses ₹ 500 cr in 2 weeks… Question is, will it cross $ 100 mn?
[Week 2]
Mon $ 3.43 mn
Tue $ 3.33 mn
Wed $ 3.23 mn
Thu $ 2.82 mn
Total: $ 79.42 million [₹ 509 cr]

— taran adarsh (@taran_adarsh) February 2, 2018

11 am: Planning to watch Kuldip Patwal: I Didn’t Do It!? Before you book tickets, do read Indian Express film critic Shubhra Gupta’s review: Kuldip Patwal: I Didn’t Do It! movie review: This Deepak Dobriyal starrer is a mess

10:30 am: Malayalam film Hey Jude, starring Nivin Pauly and Trisha, has opened to good reviews. Take a look at the early reviews:

#HeyJude Lovely, feel good, breezy & totally different film @Shyamaprasaddir. @NivinOfficial Nails it, perhaps his best ever performance & @trishtrashers simply fabulous along with some quirky characters. Awesome camera (#Girish). Details later pic.twitter.com/NSNGne7yjQ

— Sreedhar Pillai (@sri50) February 1, 2018

I am sure that everyone will be pleasantly surprised and come out of the theatres with a big smile after watching #HeyJude@NivinOfficial is extraordinary as the lovable Jude ❤Don’t miss this lovely movie ?A perfect family entertainer ??@Shyamaprasaddir@trishtrasherspic.twitter.com/f95tdXioYy

Kuldip Patwal: I Didn’t Do It! movie review: This Deepak Dobriyal starrer is a mess


Written by Shubhra Gupta | New Delhi | Published: February 2, 2018 10:50 am Kuldip Patwal: I Didn’t Do It movie review

Kuldip Patwal: I Didn’t Do It! movie cast: Deepak Dobriyal, Gulshan Devaiah, Anurag Arora, Raima Sen, Pravin Dabas, Jameel Khan
Kuldip Patwal: I Didn’t Do It! movie director: Remy Kohli
Kuldip Patwal: I Didn’t Do It! movie rating: 1 star

The film opens with a man in prison for the murder of a politician. The backstory makes up the bulk of the film: who is the accused who goes by the name of Kuldip Patwal ( Dobriyal)? What propelled him to the point of pulling out a gun and shooting someone? And why is he keeping quiet, saying nothing in his defense?

Well made, this kind of plot could lead to a solid crime thriller. The elements are all there: a man who starts off by selling vegetables and ends up manning a tiny ‘parchun ki dukaan’, being thwarted by all-round corruption, and suffering one blow after another. From Kuldip Patwal’s point of view, everyone who doesn’t let him go ahead is the enemy: from the lowly government official who refuses to open his file, to the chief minister whose entourage blocks the road, and leads to a tragedy.

This bunch of actors can be a pleasure to watch: just Dobriyal and Devaiah are enough to raise an indifferent film. It’s not that they don’t try, but they are left floundering, the former as a fellow protesting his innocence, and the latter as his mustachioed defense lawyer. Raima Sen is used all wrong as the prosecutor-with-a-secret. And Pravin Dabas never overcomes his badly written character.

Kuldip Patwal is a mess which never quite comes together, with both story and characters and dialogue meandering all over the place.

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Anushka Sharma cheering for husband Virat Kohli as he scores a ton is beyond adorable


Written by Arushi Jain | New Delhi | Published: February 2, 2018 10:36 am Anushka Sharma could not stop gushing over husband Virat Kohli’s performance in the first ODI match against South Africa.

Every time Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli do something cute for each other, fans fall in love with them all over again. What made us revisit the cutesy moments of Virushka is Sui Dhaaga’s actor latest Instagram posts. The doting wife Anushka was elated with husband and Indian skipper Virat Kohli’s performance in India’s first ODI with South Africa in Durban on Thursday. The skipper scored a ton and led his team to a six-wicket victory in the game. He even got the Man of the Match award.

In the photos which we saw in Anushka’s Instagram story, the actor cheered for her beloved husband and was all praise for the man he is. Clearly, Anushka was a proud wife as Virat scored his first century in South Africa. This was Virat’s 33rd ton in 50-over cricket. Well, if you think it is only Anushka who is a hopeless romantic then you might have missed Indian skipper’s gesture when he reached his 150-runs against the Proteas in Centurion Test match.

anushka sharma virat kohli Anushka Sharma cheered for Virat Kohli during Thursday’s ODI match.

As soon as the cricketer reached the landmark, he removed his helmet and kissed the wedding ring that he wears around his neck in a chain. Virat professed his affection for his ladylove and credited his performance on the cricket field to Anushka. Isn’t it cute? Virat will play his last match in South Africa on February 24 and we are eagerly waiting to see the adorable couple back together soon.

virat kohli kisses wedding ring Virat Kohli kissed his wedding ring after scoring 150 runs in Centurion.

The couple who is head over heels in love with each other tied the knot in a secret ceremony in Italy. The duo returned to India and organised two grand receptions in Delhi and Mumbai for friends and family. Post the wedding festivities, Anushka accompanied Virat to South Africa for the test series and was present in the stands cheering for him on Day 1 of the first test match in Cape Town.

On the work front, Anushka is prepping up for her next Sui Dhaaga opposite Varun Dhawan. Her first look pictures from the sets of the film made headlines as she looked almost unrecognisable in her de-glam avatar. Also, her home production Pari is scheduled to hit the theaters on March 2.

For all the latest Entertainment News, download Indian Express App

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Kristen Bell Gets Real About Childbirth in Her New Web Series


A watermelon the size of a newborn has a starring role.

As a wife and mother of two, actress Kristen Bell has never been shy about dishing on the realities of domestic life. Now she has her own show, which focusing on giving birth and becoming a mom—and based on the hilarious first episode, it's a must-see.

Momsplaining with Kristen Bell is the latest web series from Ellen DeGeneres’s Ellentube. In the six-episode show, Bell gives viewers an uncensored look at what pregnant women and new moms can expect, from Lamaze class to what it's like delivering a watermelon-size baby to the ins and outs of kid birthday parties.

RELATED: The Internet Is Freaking Out Over This Video of a Woman's Baby Bump Being "Flipped"

“I’m super excited today because I’m gonna to spend the day with a first-time expectant mama,” Bell says in the first episode. “And there’s a lot of information to receive, you know, and it’s weird. She’s gonna s–t her pants today. I’m just kidding…she’ll do that on the delivery table!”

Bell and Rya, the real-life mom in the episode, attend a Lamaze class. They also stop in to see Bell’s ob-gyn, who spills the beans on childbirth and the recovery process. (“It’s gonna look like an autopsy,” Bell assures the expecting mom.)

Bell’s Bad Moms costar Kathryn Hahn joins the duo for a lunch outing that gets, well, out of hand. In an Instagram post, Bell shared a teaser from the hilarious scene.

“Child birth can be a crime scene—and parenting isn't much easier,” she wrote. “And yet, it's still my VERY favorite thing I've ever done on on earth. I thought there should be a bit more real talk surrounding the subject, so I made a show with @ellentube to help real mom's get real information, and hopefully make them laugh along the way.”

RELATED: 10 Foods Pregnant Women Shouldn't Eat

Later in the episode, Bell uses a hairband and a watermelon to demo exactly what will happen during delivery. “This is your vagina,” she says, holding up the rubber band. “And this is what happens.” Maneuvering it through the tiny band, Bell “pushes” the watermelon until it snaps.

U.S. training Army for tunnel combat in North Korea


Despite recent moves ostensibly aimed towards peaceful diplomacy with North Korea, the U.S. military has begun training to fight in tunnels. There is a warren of thousands of tunnels beneath North Korea’s surface that was built in the 1970s, so this new training is a preparative measure for war with North Korea.

Some tunnels stretch across the 38th parallel; the system extends just south of Panmunjom (27 miles from the South Korean capital, Seoul) and is estimated to accommodate 30,000 soldiers per hour. Other tunnels located hundreds of feet below North Korean territory are safe from aerial attacks and could be used to stow troops and hardware.

Many worry that the tunnels could also shelter chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons. Retired Army colonel Dave Maxwell, who served in the Korean War and now works with a non-profit Korean educational and research group, has cautioned that proficiency in tunnel operations would thus be an essential part of military conflict with North Korea.

There are 4 tunnels out of around 5,000 in North Korea that reach past the DMZ and into South Korea. The 3rd tunnel ends close to Seoul, and could be used for a surprise attack on the South Korean capital. Photo by Rishabh Tatiraju.

This development comes on the heels of potential progress for US-DPRK relations. Last week, President Trump told South Korean President Moon Jae In that the U.S. is open to talks with North Korea, under the right circumstances. President Moon subsequently expressed gratitude towards Trump, saying that he “deserves big credit” for applying pressure to North Korea. Moon said that the new inter-Korean talks could be a result of U.S.-led sanctions.

The first inter-Korean talks in two years concluded last Tuesday, and President Moon’s administration hopes to dramatically improve relations between Seoul and Pyongyang. Also last Wednesday, a North Korean official visited the International Olympic Committee in Switzerland to formalize an agreement for sending athletes to the 2018 Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, another sign of goodwill between the East Asian states.

South Korean President Moon Jae In, left, aspires to soon establish basic relations with the administration of North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un, right. Photo by The Associated Press.

U.S. officials report that the Pentagon is mass-purchasing specialized gear for tunnels, such as night vision goggles, radios, bolt cutters, and acetylene torches. Additionally, for the past several months, the U.S. military has been stocking up on Patriot missiles and PGMs (smart weapons that are more accurate than past bombs and precisely hit chosen targets, minimizing risk and collateral damage). High-ranking military officials conveyed a desire to be prepared for combat following President Trump and Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un’s inflammatory exchanges.

[Title Photo: U.S. soldiers are training for tunnel operations. Photo: AP/Ahn Young Joon]


Lima Charlie provides global news, insight & analysis by military veterans and service members Worldwide.

For up-to-date news, please follow us on twitter at @LimaCharlieNews

Turkey attempts to reset relations in Europe with meetings in France, Germany


This Friday and Saturday both Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Turkish foreign minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu were in Europe, France and Germany respectively, attempting to improve strained relations with their European allies.

Friday, Erdoğan met with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris. Nominally, the meeting was an attempt to secure several deals, including a tentative deal for Turkish Airlines to buy 25 A350-900 aircraft, and a French-Italian deal for the development and production of a long range air and missile defense system.

In fact, the trip was part of a larger push on Erdoğan’s part to call relations with Europe back from the brink. Turkey, a NATO member, has for years sought membership in the European Union (EU). Erdoğan commented, at Friday’s press conference with Macron,

“Unfortunately, we did the first steps in 1963. And it’s now been 54 years that Turkey has been waiting in the antechamber of the EU.”

Macron said that human rights issues in Turkey have effectively prevented any chance of Turkey becoming an EU member. According to Macron,

“As far as the relationship with the European Union is concerned, it is clear that recent developments and choices do not allow any progression of the process in which we are engaged.”

Je ne pense pas que le processus d'adhésion à l'Union européenne puisse aboutir dans les prochaines années. Mais ma volonté est bien de préserver l'ancrage de la Turquie et du peuple turc dans l'Europe, et de faire plus ensemble. pic.twitter.com/6WKZY9wTRT

— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) January 5, 2018

The biggest sticking point, the status of media freedom and human rights in Turkey, prompted Macron to present the Turkish leader with a list of journalists and non-government workers believed to be wrongly targeted.

“Terror doesn’t form by itself. Terror and terrorists have gardeners,” Erdoğan said in response during a joint press conference with Macron. “These gardeners are those people viewed as thinkers. They water … from their columns on newspapers.”

Cuba: Fidel Castro’s son ‘takes own life’


The 68-year-old son of Cuba's former leader Fidel Castro has died in Havana after taking his own life, according to Cuban state media.

Fidel Ángel Castro Díaz-Balart was found on Thursday morning and is said to have suffered from depression.

The first-born son of the late president was nicknamed "Fidelito", or Little Fidel, because of the family resemblance.

He was a nuclear physicist, trained by the former Soviet Union.

"Fidel Castro Díaz-Balart, who had been treated by a group of doctors for several months due to deep depression, took his life this morning," Cuba's official newspaper Granma reported.

State television said he had been receiving medical treatment as an outpatient in recent months, following a hospital stay.

At the time of his death, he was a scientific adviser for the Cuban Council of State and he served as vice president of Cuba's Academy of Sciences.

He headed the island's nuclear programme from 1980 to 1992, before it was suspended after the Soviet Union's collapse.

Castro Díaz-Balart was born during his father's brief first marriage to Mirta Díaz-Balart, the daughter of a prominent pre-revolution politician.

His maternal family went on to become prominent figures in the anti-Castro community in Florida. His cousin Mario Díaz-Balart is a US congressman.