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The Weekly Focus Edition 78

Omicron Variant

As everyone knows, the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on our world in various sectors. The situation was just about looking to get better until now. On the 26th of November, the World Health Organization or WHO declared variant B.1.1.529 a variant of concern; this variant is more commonly known as Omicron. Omicron was first spotted in South Africa and researchers are currently working on finding out more. The decision to label this variant as one of concern was done after mass deliberation by the TAG-VE, a UN body, to gain information on COVID as a whole with the evidence they recovered. Since we are in the early stages of this variant, not even WHO is aware of certain factors such as its rate of spreading. Hospitality rates in South Africa have increased but WHO suggests that this is not because of Omicron only rather due to the increase in spreading of other variants as well. According to WHO, the vaccines remain effective but researchers are working towards gaining more crucial information that could help us combat this variant and defeat it in its early stages.

The ISS changes its orbit

Hours after the astronauts completed the spacewalk and replaced the broken antenna outside the International Space Station (ISS), air traffic control officers left the flight laboratory on Friday due to the threat of space debris. NASA is assessing orbital debris that may fly near the station at 4 pm on the IST, and mission control can perform debris avoidance operations. The operation must be performed at least a few hours before the event. NASA has revealed that the astronauts on board are not in imminent danger. "Mission Control is working with Nasa’s international partners to prepare for a possible debris avoidance manoeuvre. The closest pass is expected at about 5:30 a.m. EST Friday, and the manoeuvre would take place about 3 am. EST if needed," the agency stated in a blog. A pile of debris called Object 39915 was created during the collapse of the Pegasus rocket launched on May 19, 1994. The collapse occurred on June 3, 1996, and the debris has since been floating around the planet in a vacuum.

  • Ajaz Patel becomes the 3rd ever bowler to get all 10 wickets in a test innings.

  • Sindhu enters the semi-final of the BWF World Tour after beating rival Yamaguchi

  • Former All-Rounder Chris Cairns goes through 4 heart surgeries after a health issue arose.

  • Christiano Ronaldo completes 800 goals for his club and his country.

  • Michael Carrick leaves Manchester United after over 15 years as caretaker manager

Other News

  • Cook Islands, which was one of the only nations without a single Covid-19 case, detected one case.

  • Heavy rains and landslides in Vietnam, more than 18 people reported missing

  • Tel Aviv is the most expensive city to live in a list made by the Economic intelligence unit.

  • Barbados becomes the newest republic after it removes the Queen as its head of state

  • Parag Agrawal replaces Jack Dorsey as the new CEO of Twitter

Tech News

  • Google Pixel to launch a smartwatch like the Apple watch in 2022

  • Netflix has launched 3 new android games

  • Google Pixel 6 users are complaining about lots of signal loss

  • There is going to be a new WhatsApp feature for status updates

Fact or Fiction

1. You can hum while holding your nose.

Ans: Fiction (you can’t)

2. The surface area of Russia is slightly smaller than that of the surface

area of Pluto.

Ans: Fiction (it is larger)

3. Anne Frank and Martin Luther King Jr. were born in the same year.

4. Seniors graduating in the class of 2015 have never been alive while The

Simpsons was not on TV.

5. The population of Mars consists entirely of robots.

6. Oxford University is younger than the Aztec Empire.

7. There are more fake flamingos in the world than real flamingos.

8. New York City is further south than Rome, Italy.

9. Mammoths went extinct 1,000 years after the Egyptians finished building

the Great Pyramid.

10. No one was making their way across the United States via Oregon

Trail the year the fax machine was invented.

Book: One Of Us Is Lying

Author: Karen M McManus

Rating: 5/5

Genre: YA & Mystery

Review: Perfect for people who grew up reading Nancy Drew & Agatha Christie, One Of Us Is Lying is a mystery/thriller fiction for young adults. It revolves around 5 high school students who walk into detention together, but only four came out alive. This book explores the stereotypical high school cliques in a deeper way, showing that everyone has secrets. It breaks prejudices and shows the importance of unity. Moreover, it truly explores the downsides of being in a technologically advanced world. Throughout the entire book, McManus keeps us on our toes by leaving small clues to the murder. It truly feels as though you are part of Bayview High as you figure out this mystery with them. The plot twists in the book keep you wanting more. It truly is the epitome of a ‘page-turner’.

Written by Vivaan Dharamshi

Edited by Nirvaan Zaveri

Article 1 by Arhaan Zaveri

Article 2 by Krishnav Bubna

Fact or Fiction by Nikunj Gupta

Review by Navya Mohta

1. Fiction, you can't

2. Fiction, it is larger.

3. Fact

4. Fact

5. Fact

6. Fiction, it is older

7. Fact

8. Fact

9. Fact

10. Fiction, there were some people.

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