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Pakistan was represented at the Inauguration Ceremony of President Ashraf Ghani in Kabul

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Pakistan was represented at the Inauguration Ceremony of President Ashraf Ghani in Kabul . We extend our felicitations. The people of Pakistan are linked to the brotherly people of Afghanistan through immutable bonds of history, geography, faith, kinship, culture, language, and customs and traditions.

We wish our Afghan brethren a future of hope and opportunity, says a press release received from the office of the Spokesperson, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, here today. At this crucial juncture in their national life, we hope the Afghan leaders would proceed with wisdom and foresight, eschew blame-games, resolve mutual differences, and unite in the supreme interest of their country.

The signing of the U.S.-Taliban Peace Agreement in Doha on 29 February 2020 has created a historic opportunity for the people of Afghanistan and a pathway to intra-Afghan negotiations. We believe it is imperative to seize this historic moment and work together constructively for securing durable peace and stability in Afghanistan.

Pakistan, as a shared responsibility, would continue to facilitate the Afghan peace and reconciliation process for bringing an end to the 19-year old conflict through a comprehensive and inclusive, negotiated political solution that is Afghan-led and Afghan-owned. Pakistan reaffirms its support for a peaceful, stable, united, sovereign, democratic and prosperous Afghanistan, at peace with itself and with its neighbors.

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Oil breaks $90/bbl for the first time since 2014 on Russia tensions

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NEW YORK: Oil touched $90 a barrel for the first time in seven years on Wednesday, supported by tight supply and rising political tensions in Russia that raised concerns about further disruption in an already-tight market.

Brent crude rose $2.02, or 2.3%, to $90.22 by 11:21 a.m. EST (1621 GMT), the first time the global benchmark has broken $90 since October 2014. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was up $2.09, or 2.4%, to $87.69.

US President Joe Biden said on Tuesday he would consider personal sanctions on President Vladimir Putin if Russia invades Ukraine. On Monday, Yemen’s Houthi movement launched a missile attack on a United Arab Emirates base.

“World inventories have continued to decline as producers have struggled to restore production to pre-pandemic levels,” said Andrew Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates in Houston. “Mix that in with geopolitical tensions between the United States and Russia over Ukraine and prices have continued their march upward.”

Oil broadly stable as tight supply counters falling US markets

The tensions have only added to worries about the various factors contributing to an already tight market. OPEC+ is having trouble meeting monthly production targets as it restores supply to markets after drastic cuts in 2020, and the United States is more than a million barrels short of its record level of daily output.

At the same time, demand remains strong, suggesting that inventories may continue to decline.

“Historically, markets led higher by tightening product and crude inventories are difficult to solve absent a demand destruction event or an injection of supply. Neither appear on the horizon, currently,” wrote Michael Tran, commodity strategist at RBC Capital Markets, in a note.

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The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies, known as OPEC+, meets on Feb. 2 to consider another output increase.

Inventories in the United States rose in the most recent week, with crude stocks up by 2.4 million barrels, against expectations for a modest decline in stocks. Gasoline inventories rose to their highest levels in almost a year – a needed salve for the market.

US refined product supplied – a measure of demand – surged again, putting the four-week moving average at 21.2 million barrels per day, ahead of pre-pandemic trends. The increases have been led by consumption of distillates like diesel, as gasoline use has fallen off modestly in recent weeks.

Investors across the markets are awaiting the coming policy update from the US Federal Reserve at 2 p.m. EST. The Fed is expected to signal plans to raise interest rates in March as it focuses on fighting inflation.

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Lithops App Brings History to Life With the Power of AI and Rich Storytelling ….Amazing Experience

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The app, Lithops, is a history-telling mobile app that unveils the significance of the world’s statues by digitizing them with AI. The app is designed to reintroduce global audiences to history in an entertaining, highly-informative way, allowing for unprecedented engagement with AI-rendered video narrations by the historical figures themselves. World travelers, art appreciators and history buffs alike can access highly-detailed and historically accurate educational content while earning points, collecting badges and even taking augmented selfies with their favorite statues all via the Lithops mobile app.

The application is being developed by MechaPal, a Tokyo/Hiroshima Japan based startup with a vision of reducing the gap between technological advances and business needs. As their flagship product, Lithops will add the touch of sound, animation, expression and accessibility to historical monuments the world over.

Here’s how it works:

  1. The app first takes a picture of any statue and, using the power of AI and animation, brings it to life with human facial characteristics such as head, eye and mouth movements. They can even reconstruct broken or incomplete statues as well.
  2. Next, the Lithops app generates a verified and historically-accurate script and audio describing the statue’s significance, narrated by the statue itself with lip-syncing AI.
  3. Combining these components, the “Lithop” is then rendered in high-resolution and complete with music and background content.

Users can access all of this content via the Lithops app – where they can explore a map of Lithops scattered within a 50KM radius of their location. Lithops will appear within 100 meters of the user and can be interacted with in a 10-meter radius. Users receive a notification when a Lithop is available to interact with and can choose to meet the Lithop, listen to their story and take an augmented selfie with it as well. Each selfie creates a memory that can then be shared with friends. Interacting with a Lithop also allows the user to earn points which can be redeemed for coupons and other rewards from local vendors. Once earned, the Lithop and all of its content can then be accessed via the app at any time.

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Ready for more? Lithops allows anyone to uncover the history of the world’s statues and monuments with digitized content powered by AI. The team behind the app is currently in an active Kickstarter campaign, where pledges have dedicated $3,862 of their $87,284 goal.

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Conflict

Guterres reaffirms UN stand on Kashmir’s settlement on basis of Security Council resolutions

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UNITED NATIONS, : UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres Friday reiterated the world body’s position on the Kashmir dispute that it should be resolved on the basis of the UN Charter, Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreements between India and Pakistan, with the hope that human rights will be respected in the disputed territory.

“Well, the position of the UN … when the resolutions that were taken … remains the same,” he said in reply to a question from APP correspondent, who reminded him of the statement he made on August 8, 2019, at his first press conference in the new year as he began his second term as the UN chief.

The secretary-general pointed out that the United Nations has a peacekeeping operation in Kashmir — the UN Military Observers Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP), which monitors the Line of Control in the disputed region.

He said he had offered his “good offices” to resolve the dispute several times, and “we hope that this is something that can be solved peacefully, and that the situation in Kashmir is a situation in which human rights are respected and in which people can live in peace and security.”

Pakistan has always welcomed UN secretary-General’s offer of mediation, but India always rejected it.

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