4 reasons you must embrace push notifications to increase revenue – Best in Australia

Photo: Cristian Dina, Pexels.

You think of expanding your business, suddenly one idea sparks in your mind and that is none other than the mobile app technology and you want to adapt it since you want your business to excel and you don’t want a single stone to remain unturned for the sake of your success. 

But after getting a mobile app you realize that it is turning out to be a hard task for you to retain users.

When the question of app’s success comes the very segment which describes the success of a mobile app is the number of active users on your mobile app, and something which takes this journey one step ahead is the app retention on your mobile app. 

Push notifications can be a tool for the user retention, but only if you decided to proceed with certain tactics, which are mentioned herewith in this blog. Let’s read ahead and experience the difference

App retention is one of the greatest concerns every app has to deal with and needs to find out the best ways out of it in order to make your app survive the app chaos elegantly. 

Indeed there are certain aspects which must be integrated into the app during the app development process, so the app can fit in the requirements of the business and falls as an absolute fit for the users’ expectations as well.

But with so many features, functionalities, it gets more confusing for the app owners to pick the right strategy for the mobile app, which can help the mobile app from getting doomed, so to avoid the cloud of confusion, we have brought this post today, which clearly speaks that how a simple feature in your app, can help your mobile app to survive the game of the app retention…this feature is none other than the Push Notification.

Motivates users to buy products

When a customer plans to buy something from your app, but adds them in the cart and forgets to buy the product, in such scenario when you send a push notification reminder to your targeted audience so they can complete their purchase.

So with a help of simple push notification, you trigger your audience and help them to stay hooked to your services only.

Offers personalized notification

Your users have a different choices, and the different demand from the users, often lead the users to visit the competitor’s mobile app, since they feel the existing app doesn’t have anything new to serve them, so with a push notification you can easily eradicate this possibility by continuously updating your users, about any new feature or the new update which would suit their taste.

With this, you would help your users to stay engaged with your mobile app only and you can experience a much-engaging user experience.

Works on users’ psychology

When you wake up in the morning, and find a notification on your mobile app, telling you the weather forecast, you would definitely feel touched and would start to notice the app. 

This same strategy is integrated by the Facebook as well, wherein on opening the app or the web page in the morning, you are notified by a beautiful message, which states, Hi XXX, today weather will remain clear in Australia, you can enjoy the sunshine!!!, these small notifications which stay on top of your mobile app, keep reminding the users to about your app.

Now the question comes, that how to make the push notification a successful strategy???

Unfortunately push notification can be a deal-breaker or the maker for your app if you skip following the rules. The rules are quite simple and state:

Keep the content simple

When you decide to proceed further with the push notification then you must remember that your users don’t have much time to understand and act on your notification, so the very first strategy suggests, that more your content would be simple, more it would be preferred by the users. So keep the notification content simple yet engaging with some magic words, like ‘ Grab the deal’ or ‘ (name) you should not miss this deal’, by integrating the words like this, you would allow your users to use your app.

Push platform

The selection of the right platform to send the push platform is also mandatory for the successful push notification strategy. There are many push platforms in the market, such as PushWoosh and Parse to name a few, but you need to pick the most appropriate option as per your business needs.

Notifications must have the frequency

You need to understand a very common and most significant fact, that every user has a personal life as well, and you cannot disturb it with your push messages, so you need to understand that your push notification must not turn out to be an irritating factor for your mobile app, so by keeping this in mind you must set a frequency of your push messages.

Switch on/off option

When it comes to push notification, the more you allow your users to use it as per their convenience they would prefer to use it further. To make this happen, you must let the On/Off option in your mobile app, which would allow the users to set the notification-receiving as per their convenience.

Indeed push-notifications can help your mobile app to retain the users, but only if it is planned and managed with the right strategies to yield the best result out of it and can help you to make your app development a cherishing experience for your business goals.

Also, one another fact which equally matters in the success of a mobile app, and cannot be given a miss at any given cost, is the selection of the right mobile app development company for your app.

I know there are many app development companies in the app development market, and which keep on confusing you further, but you need to be sure of picking a right app development partner, which has the impressive technical experience and the technical exposure to handle your app requirements effortlessly.

If you are finding it hard to find such company for your app concept, then you must get in touch with experienced app builder such as Techugo, which has every bit of these requirements coupled with the renowned clientele list, and help your app to grow immensely.

Jason is a senior Android developer in Australia. He holds great expertise in latest and advanced Android technologies, and ensures to integrate his skills into the mobile app development process.

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Pentecostal church that doesn’t celebrate Christmas is a comic contradiction – Catholic priest — Daily Times Nigeria

Port Harcourt – The Catholic Priest of Abuja Archdiocese, Rev. Fr. Chinenye Oluoma on Thursday condemned comments by some clerics that Christmas was unbiblical

Oluoma, who reacted on his Facebook page said Christmas was celebrated only for its theological mystery.

Oluoma was reacting to statements credited to some renowned clerics.

The statements have continued to raise dust over December 25 set aside by Christians all over the world to mark the birth of Jesus Christ.

“I wanted to pretend that I didn’t read the comments by Pastors Daniel Olukoya of the Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries (MFM) and Williams Kumuyi of the Deeper Life Christian Ministry that `Christmas is unbiblical’.

“It is the same funny mentality of those who confuse terminology with theology.

“Easter as a term is not in the Bible, but we celebrate it, because it is an event and a mystery recorded in the scripture. This is the same with Christmas,’’ he said.

Oluoma said that Christians do not celebrate Christmas for the term or calendar date but rather for the event and mystery.

“If we are not careful, one day, someone will wake up, get intoxicated on anointing and ask me to tell him why I call myself a Catholic since that term doesn’t exist in the bible.

“Same folly can be extended to all churches because no church has a name that’s used as a group of church members in the bible.

“A Pentecostal church that says it doesn’t celebrate Christmas because the term doesn’t exist in the bible but calls itself a Pentecostal church is just a comic contradiction,” he said.

He further pointed out that Pentecost in the bible meant the 50th day of every year set aside to celebrate agricultural feast, which had nothing to do with the Holy Spirit.

The catholic priest, however, said the day became significant only when the Holy Spirit fell on the Apostles as captured in Acts, chapter two in the Holy Bible.

“Even after that, there is no record in scripture that the Holy Spirit fell on other people on Pentecost day,’’ he said.

Oluoma said that the Bible was not a dictionary or history book but a book containing theologies rather than terminologies.

He added that Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Children’s Day, among others were not in the Bible either, adding that the bible doesn’t have anything against their celebration.

“So, when you want to use the bible to validate or invalidate any religious practice, you look for the biblical theology about it, not the terminology.

“If anyone cares to know, there are many things we do in life that are not in the Bible,” Oluoma said. (NAN)

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IBB’s Rumoured Death Enough To Regulate Social Media: Lawmaker

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Chairman of Senate Services Committee, Senator Mohammed Sani Musa, All Progressives Congress, APC, Niger East says enacting Social Media regulation law in the country is a matter of urgency.

The lawmaker cited the rumoured death of former Military President, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida over the weekend, as a good reason to enact the proposed Social Media Bill which he sponsored.

Senator Musa said, “While I join the family and well-wishers of Baba to condemn the rumour, I call on the security agencies to investigate the matter and uncover its source. This nonsense must not be allowed to continue. Perpetrators of such unholy act must be arrested and prosecuted to serve as deterrent to other fake news carriers out there.”

Read Also: It Is Fake News: Spokesperson Reacts To Rumoured Death Of IBB

He added that “Although death is inevitable for every human being, it is however not something to wish someone, not even one’s enemy. It is ridiculous, unthinkable and barbaric for anyone to wish another person death, especially someone of the caliber of General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, one of Nigeria’s legends still living.”

He further explained that, “Many Nigerians I believe now see the reason for the enactment of a social media regulation law. Truly, social media have great advantages. They have ushered in a new way of communication and social interactions which have also transformed and simplified human relations and bridged the gap between nations, regions and even continents of the world. Unfortunately, in the last few years, we have witnessed how this great innovation has also given rise to a worrisome phenomenon called fake news – an intent to deceive.

“Such gross insanity that has taken over social media cannot be allowed to continue. If we do not regulate social media by way of legislation, we would wake up one day to realise that our peace and unity as people have vanished. The social media regulation law, therefore, will help in curtailing the merchandise of fake news.”

The post IBB’s Rumoured Death Enough To Regulate Social Media: Lawmaker appeared first on Information Nigeria.

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IBB’s rumoured death: Senator justify call for enactment of social media regulation law — Daily Times Nigeria

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Following the rumoured death of Nigeria’s former military President, General Ibrahim Babangida, the Senator representing Niger East Senatorial District, Senator Sanni Musa has called for the immediate investigation into the source of the rumour

The Senator described the rumour about the death of General Babangida over the weekend as   unfortunate, mischievous and unholy.

He however said it is a call for the enactment of the social media regulation law championed by himself at the senate.

Reacting to the rumour of IBB’s death in a statement on Monday, the Senator said it was ridiculous and shocking for anyone to wish another human being death.

“Although death is inevitable for every human being, it is however not something to wish someone, not even one’s enemy. It is ridiculous, unthinkable and barbaric for anyone to wish another person death, especially someone of the caliber of General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, one of Nigeria’s legends still living,” Senator Musa said.

He recalled that in 2019 alone, rumours about the ‘death’ of IBB has made the rounds more than four times, and wondered why anyone would engage in such act.

He said, “In 2019 alone, rumour about the “death” of Baba has made the rounds more than four times. But, the question most people ask is, who is behind the rumour? Why would he or she engage in such act? What does he or she stand to gain? It is indeed bafflingly.”

Senator Sani Musa however said, the rumour of IBB’s death has also given credence to the need for the enactment of a social media regulation law. He said although the social media has positive impact on the society, the lack of regulation has rather made it injurious to the society.

“Many Nigerians I believe now see the reason for the enactment of a social media regulation law. Truly, social media have great advantages.

“They have ushered in a new way of communication and social interactions which have also transformed and simplified human relations and bridged the gap between nations, regions and even continents of the world.

“However, unfortunately in the last few years, we have witnessed how this great innovation has also given rise to a worrisome phenomenon called fake news – an intent to deceive.

“Such gross insanity that has taken over the social media cannot be allowed to continue.

“If we do not regulate the social media by way of legislation, we would wake up one day to realise that our peace and unity as a people have vanished.

“The social media regulation law therefore will help in curtailing the merchandise of fake news,” he added.

He urged security operatives in the country to investigate the source of the rumour and arrest the perpetrators.

According to him, “While I join the family and well-wishers of Baba to condemn the rumour, I call on the security agencies to investigate the matter and uncover its source.

“This nonsense must not be allowed to continue. Perpetrators of such unholy act must be arrested and prosecuted to serve as deterrent to other fake news carriers out there.”

Meanwhile, Senator Sani Musa has prayed for sound health for General Babangida, wishing him long life.

“We, the people of Niger East are proud to be associated with General Babangida and we pray the Almighty Allah continue to grant him good health and strength. We pray he lives to celebrate many more years,” Senator Sani Musa stated.

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IBB’s rumoured death: Call to enact social media regulation ― Sen. Sani Musa – Vanguard News

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By Henry Umoru

Chairman Senate Services Committee, Senator Mohammed Sani Musa, All Progressives Congress, APC, Niger East has reiterated his call for the urgent enactment of Social Media regulation law in the country.

According to him, with the rumoured death of former Military President, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida over the weekend, it has become very imperative for the proposed Social Media Bill which he sponsored to be passed by the Senate.

Senator  Musa who described the rumour about the death of General Babangida over as unfortunate, mischievous and unholy.

The Senator who urged security operatives in the country to investigate the source of the rumour and arrest the perpetrators, said, “While I join the family and well-wishers of Baba to condemn the rumour, I call on the security agencies to investigate the matter and uncover its source. This nonsense must not be allowed to continue. Perpetrators of such unholy act must be arrested and prosecuted to serve as deterrent to other fake news carriers out there.”

The Senator who was reacting to the rumour of IBB’s death with shock, in a statement he issued on Monday said that it was ridiculous for anyone to wish another human being death.

Senator Musa said, “Although death is inevitable for every human being, it is however not something to wish someone, not even one’s enemy. It is ridiculous, unthinkable and barbaric for anyone to wish another person death, especially someone of the caliber of General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, one of Nigeria’s legends still living.”

The Senator who recalled that in 2019 alone rumours about the ‘death’ of IBB has made the rounds more than four times, and wondered why anyone would engage in such act,  said, “In 2019 alone, rumour about the “death” of Baba has made the rounds more than four times. But, the question most people ask is, who is behind the rumour? Why would he or she engage in such act? What does he or she stand to gain? It is indeed baffling.”

According to Senator Musa, the rumour of IBB’s death has also given credence to the need for the enactment of a social media regulation law. He said although the social media has positive impact on the society, the lack of regulation has rather made it injurious to society.

He said, “Many Nigerians I believe now see the reason for the enactment of a social media regulation law. Truly, social media have great advantages. They have ushered in a new way of communication and social interactions which have also transformed and simplified human relations and bridged the gap between nations, regions and even continents of the world. Unfortunately, in the last few years, we have witnessed how this great innovation has also given rise to a worrisome phenomenon called fake news – an intent to deceive.

“Such gross insanity that has taken over social media cannot be allowed to continue. If we do not regulate social media by way of legislation, we would wake up one day to realise that our peace and unity as people have vanished. The social media regulation law, therefore, will help in curtailing the merchandise of fake news.”

Meanwhile, Senator Sani Musa has prayed for sound health for General Ibrahim Babangida, wishing him long life.

He said, “We the people of Niger East are proud to be associated with General Babangida and we pray the Almighty Allah continue to grant him good health and strength. We pray he lives to celebrate many more years.”

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24 family members burnt to death, others injured as two vehicles collide in Bauchi – Davina Diaries

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No fewer than 28 persons were burnt to death on Thursday in an auto crash that occurred on the Bauchi-Ningi Expressway in Bauchi State.

The victims, including 24 members of a family, were said to be going for a wedding.

The accident occurred around midnight when two vehicles had a head-on collision, according to Punch.

The Commander, Bauchi Sector Command, Federal Road Safety Corps, Abdulrazak Najume, confirmed the accident to a correspondent in a telephone interview.

He said the crash involved a Peugeot J5 bus with number plate ZRM 91 XA and a Toyota Hummer bus, whose number plate could not be ascertained as it was burnt beyond recognition.

Najume stated that the accident occurred when the driver of the Hummer bus fell asleep and lost control of the vehicle, which collided with the J5 bus, which was conveying cows.

The commander said he led officials of the FRSC to the scene of the crash around 6.49 am for rescue operations.

Najume stated, “Yes, the accident is true, it is not an illusion. The accident occurred at the Gubi Gari village along the Bauchi-Kano Expressway.

“The vehicle conveying the wedding guests took off from Dutsinma in Katsina State and was on its way to Adamawa State when the accident occurred. There were 29 people involved in the crash and only one survived.

“The driver of the Hummer bus dozed off only to suddenly wake up to see an oncoming vehicle, but he lost control and the bus had a head-on collision with the J5 bus.

“Immediately the crash occurred, the two vehicles were engulfed in flames and all the passengers and the cows were burnt beyond recognition. Only the driver of the Hummer bus survived with serious injuries.

“In all, 28 persons made up of 24 in the Hummer bus and four in the J5 bus were burnt beyond recognition. We could only determine that four of them were males, while the sexes of the others could not be ascertained because they were burnt beyond recognition.”

Najume said the charred remains of the deceased and the driver, who sustained serious injuries, were taken to the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital, Bauchi, for confirmation and treatment.

The FRSC boss, who expressed sadness over the accident, cautioned drivers to be more careful on the roads to avoid loss of lives and properties.

He stated, “It is saddening and unfortunate losing 28 persons in a day to an accident. These drivers need a change of attitude.

“The bus driver was sleeping while driving and it was very late in the night. People should avoid night journeys because this accident was very fatal. I went there myself with my men and we saw how people got roasted. We saw a head inside the vehicle but there was no body, it’s very unfortunate.’

A relation of the victims, Abdullahi Yamadi, described the accident as “very sad.”

Yamadi, who is the Secretary, North-West Zone, Nigeria Union of Journalists, said 24 of the deceased were his relatives.

He said they were on their way to Yola, Adamawa State, for a wedding when the crash occurred.

He told correspondent, “Yes, the accident is true and all the deceased in one of the vehicles were my relatives.

“They were travelling to Yola, Adamawa State, for a wedding when the accident happened.

“They left Dutsinma, Katsina State, and they had passed through Jigawa State and were in Bauchi State when their vehicle had a head-on collision with another vehicle. There were 25 persons in the vehicle and all of them died except the driver.

“This is very sad news and very pathetic for 24 people from the same family to die in an accident in one day. It is really sad.”

In a similar incident, four persons lost their lives in a crash that occurred on the Ore-Sagamu Expressway in Ore, Odigbo Local Government Area of Ondo State, on Thursday.

Twenty-six people were said to have been injured in the crash, while the identities of the victims were not known as of the time of filing this report.

It was gathered that the accident involved two 14-passenger buses with number plates ACA 606 XT and AKL 846 YY.

An eyewitness said the vehicles belonged to different transport companies based in Lagos.

The eyewitness narrated that the vehicles were heading for Lagos State from the eastern part of the country, adding that the accident was caused by dangerous driving on the part of the drivers.

“The two vehicles were going to Lagos State. But their drivers were not careful and engaged in excessive speeding. That was why the accident happened,” he said.

Confirming the accident, the Commander, FRSC, Ondo State Command, Mr Rotimi Adeleye, said it was caused by speed limit violation by the drivers of the affected vehicles.

“Thirty persons were involved in the accident; two males and two females died, while 26 were injured,” Adeleye stated.

According to the FRSC boss, the injured victims have been taken to the Ore General Hospital, while the remains of the deceased have been deposited in the morgue of a private hospital in Ore.

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Senate: Why we can’t initiate death penalty bill for treasury looters – TODAY

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The Senate has explained the reasons why it is impossible to initiate a bill that prescribes death penalty for looters.

This is coming after some Nigerians and groups called for a bill that prescribes death penalty for treasury looters instead of the lawmakers devoting time to social media and hate speech bills.

The spokesperson for the Senate, Godiya Akwashiki, explained that death penalty for looters is impossible because the Senate President cannot direct any senator to produce a bill.

Akwashiki, however, challenged the executive arm of government, groups or individuals to initiate bills that prescribe the death penalty for treasury looters and see if the upper chamber would not push them through.

“It is not possible for the Senate President to direct any senator to go and produce a particular type of bill. All of us are elected to represent our constituency from various parts of the country,” he told newsmen.

The Senate spokesperson also said different punishments were already prescribed against corruption in the acts that established the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission, as well as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

“We have the ICPC Act and the EFCC Act and there are punishments there for offenders. I want to believe we are going gradually. However, any bill that would criminalise looting is a good proposal that the Senate could consider,” he said.

He also described as untrue insinuations that senators, particularly former governors and ministers in the red chamber, would reject such legislation in order to protect themselves.

He said, “We started a serious fight against corruption a few years ago when President Muhammadu Buhari got into office.

“The issue of a bill against corruption and looters in the Senate is a constitutional right of every senator, the executive arm of government, groups or private individuals.

“Anybody in the country is free to propose a bill through any senator. If you have such a proposal, get in touch with your senator, sit down with him and convince him why you want that type of law to be enacted.”

Stressing that the red chamber would support any bill that criminalises corruption, Akwashiki said, “This country belongs to all of us. Every person in this country has the right to present their opinion in terms of enacting an Act for the benefit of the people.

“When the Senate discovers there are many people requesting a particular bill, one day, one senator will just wake up and initiate a proposal and present it before his colleagues.”

He also said not all former governors or former ministers in the red chamber were corrupt.

He said, “We have 109 senators. How many are former governors or ministers?

“Are you saying we could get 60 senators who are either former governors or ministers?

“Senate is a place where everybody is free to express their opinions, according to the wishes of the people who elected them.

“The Senate chamber is higher than any former governor or minister.”

Meanwhile, the Senate spokesperson said the red chamber had yet to discuss the issue of the death penalty in the hate speech bill because the proposal still remained the personal property of the sponsor until it passed second reading.

He said, “The issue of expunging the death penalty from the hate speech bill is not the decision of the Senate yet. There is a process of enacting an Act. The bill will pass first, second and third readings.

“The hate speech bill has just been mentioned for the first time. It has not come up for a second reading. It is when it is introduced for the second time that the senators will for the first time voice out for or against the bill.

“For now, the sponsor has said he will expunge the clause that prescribes the death penalty for hate speech; that is his own personal opinion.

“I have said it times without number that the hate speech bill is a private member bill. When we get to its second reading, that is when Nigerians will know the position of the Senate on the bill. If the bill does not pass second reading, that will be its end.

“The senators may even decide to remove other clauses apart from the death penalty provision.”

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Stoned to death by her own family: Mysterious grave of 8-year-old girl in Dadu sparks horror

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Another day, another tragedy. The bone-chilling grave of 8-year-old Gul Sama in Sindh’s Dadu has sparked fear and horror. The incident came to limelight on Saturday after police initiated an investigation into the matter.

According to the available reports, the case occurred in the remote village of Wahi Pandi and came to public knowledge after the rumors surfaced that a minor girl has been allegedly stoned to death by her own relatives for dishonoring her family. After kick-starting the investigation, the police detained a man named Maulvi Mumtaz Leghari, who performed final funeral prayers of the victim in a village near Shahi Makan.

Police registered an FIR against six people, Ali Nawaz, son of Shahnawaz Rind, Sami, son of Wahid Bux Rind, and four unidentified persons, based on the information they have collected initially. Maulvi Leghari has also been implicated in the case for ‘hiding the crime’.

Area residents said that a few days ago, a jirga was held and the leader had declared a fatwa to stone the girl to death under the karo-kari tradition.

Karo-Kari is a commonly used name for honor killing in Pakistan. According to the tribal tradition in remote areas of Sindh and Balochistan, if a girl or a boy is found to have extra or pre-marital affairs, they are declared as ‘Kari’ and the death of the victim is viewed as a way to restore the reputation and honor of the family.

“The girl was a minor but her age has not been confirmed even by her parents. The matter is being investigated.”

According to Maulvi Mushtaq, the victim’s relatives came to him at 8 pm on 22nd November and informed that he has to perform her funeral. He went along them to buy the necessities for her final prayers. Then he asked them about the age of the deceased, to which they responded that she is 8-year-old.

On the other hand, Sama’s father says that she was not murdered or stoned to death. They claim that she was playing with her friends when a stone from a mountain fell on her head. However, they are no mountains in the locality.

The police said that it is a serious matter and a case has been registered on the state’s behalf. After legal formalities are fulfilled, the body will be dug out of the grave for post-mortem.

SOCIAL MEDIA COMMUNITY DEMANDS JUSTICE FOR GUL SAMA

Grave of 10 year old Gul Sama stoned to death for “honor” in Wahi Pandhi, Dadu, after she was declared ‘Kari’ by the members of a Jirga.
14 year old Huma Masih abducted and forcibly converted in Karachi.
Prosperous, peaceful and tolerant #Sindh has been thrown into dark ages. pic.twitter.com/dyfKoclS9U

— Ayaz Latif Palijo (@AyazLatifPalijo)

Here lies a 10 year old Gul Sama who was declared “KAARI” by the jirga in Dadu, Wahi Paandhi. After the jirga decision, she was stoned to death in the name of “honor” and buried like this. Look at any 10 year old child around you and tell me how a child could be declared Kaari? pic.twitter.com/2lZ74GtgJl

— hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia🌈 (@Kanjarology)

Every animal involved in this gruesome murder of this 10-year old little kid deserves to be hanged in public. These people don’t deserve to be called human. #JusticeForGulSama

Die with shame @BBhuttoZardari @BakhtawarBZ. #بھٹو_مرے_تو_سندھ_جیئے pic.twitter.com/160228FRR4

— Jawad (@WoShakhs)

Why the Government @BBhuttoZardari @OfficialDGISPR consistently failing to protect our innocent children? First we faced barbaric MQM and now honour killings and conversations. Wake up.

— Rafaqat.Sapra (@RafaqatSapra)

Can some one find me a single verse for stonning in Quran..?? Lashes yes according to who and whom adultery was committed … but stoning … I admit my ignorance could not find a single verse about stoning in it…

— Afat qiamat (@afatqiamat)

Sindh has always been in dark ages and it will stay there lest people will stand against pppp and waderas…

— باگڑ بلا (@khalaimakhloq3)

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How ‘The Good Place’ made the cast, creative team and maybe even the viewers better people

creative team and maybe even the viewers better people - CNN

(CNN)“It felt a little bit like what I imagine sending your kid off to college feels like,” says Kristen Bell about wrapping up “The Good Place,” currently in its fourth and final season on NBC. “It’s a good and bad feeling.”

“I refuse to spend my final moments being allowed to play with these people in misery — I think that would be pitiful,” says Bell. “I didn’t want to let that ruin it, because it is a gift. It really does feel like we did it for a reason, and when you see the ending you’ll know.”
When the finale comes, it will mark the end of a long, always fitfully funny but also moving journey of striving for enlightenment and self-betterment in the afterlife of a group of damned souls — Eleanor (Bell), Chidi (William Jackson Harper), Tahani (Jameela Jamil), Jason (Manny Jacinto), plus the reforming demon Michael (Ted Danson) and the ultimate Siri/celestial automaton Janet (D’Arcy Carden). It’s meaty philosophical, territory peppered with silly swear word substitutes.
    “I definitely felt the anxiety of landing the plane more acutely than in previous years,” the show’s creator and executive producer Michael Schur tells CNN. A veteran of “The Office” and “Parks and Recreation” — two series both riotously funny and deeply warm-hearted which also struck pitch-perfect notes as they concluded — Schur admitted his team sweated many details crafting “The Good Place’s” endgame. “We spent a massive amount of time on the ending. Because we really wanted to get it right,”
    “I feel like we had a fairly good handle going into it, where our end point was,” says supervising producer and writer Jen Statsky, who explained that the series’ creative team constantly took a “forward-thinking” approach to the way the story unfolded season by season, neatly set up the story and character arcs to play out in subsequent episodes, which paid off as the final season was conceived. “You want to give the proper ending to these characters.”
    “And to make sure that we had covered all the ground we wanted to, and to be like, ‘Did we explore every facet of these characters and of the world?'” adds co-executive producer and writer Megan Amram, nodding to the rich, comic afterlife mythology the series has constructed. “In some ways we’ve been talking about the ending of the show almost since we started writing the show.”
    Thus the decision to end after four seasons, on their own terms, at a moment in time where broadcast networks tend to mine hit series for as long as they possibility can. When it became apparent that the fourth season would lead to the most organic and satisfying conclusion, NBC deferred to Schur’s creative vision. “We knew why [it was time to end], and it was because of the meaning of the show and it was because we were telling story that deserved its ending,” says Bell.
    entertainment
    As the cast and crew delved into the many ethically and morally thorny issues the show’s characters would have to contend with, they found themselves in an extended learning curve as they routinely consulted academic experts in fields such philosophy, neuroscience and criminal justice to bring nuance and context to the series. “We’ve learned so much about so much stuff,” says Schur. “It’s been like a rotating course of lectures that we’ve had in our writers room, and it’s been so fun.”
    “We’ve all been very lucky to work with various writers rooms before, but this is the first one that felt like a combination writers room/college course,” agrees Statsky. “And for a true dummy like myself, it’s been very enjoyable to just not only get to be at work, but get to be learning about these topics that I had no previous knowledge of.”
    “This is paying us to go to college,” laughs Amram.
    Bell says that by exploring such heady, meaningful topics, even through a comedic lens, had a profound effect on everyone involved in the show, leaving everyone considering seriously what it meant to make a positive impact, both on those around them and on a global scale.
    “There are these opposing theories in my head about ways to be, to state my opinion fighting for good or do it with my art, and I vacillate between the two,” says the actress. “This was one where I felt like I really did it with my art, where I was a part of saying some things that I wanted to put out in the world, and I was really lucky to be able to be offered a job that was both creatively fulfilling and emotionally fulfilling to my sort of maternal instincts towards the world…I hope to get both again, but this is a pretty lucky experience.”
    The show’s conceit, to strive to be better even in the face of eternal damnation, proved downright infectious.
    “In the fabric of the show we talk about, life is a lot of little choices,” says Amram. “The show helped me realize that going through my day, I am presented with a lot more moral decision-making than I had previously thought. And I try to always make this slightly better choice now. And I think that is what the show is about. It’s like, when presented with two things, think about it, and maybe try to make the slightly better choice.” As a result of her involvement on the show, for example, Amram committed to a vegetarian lifestyle.
    “I don’t think that I totally understood the level of which moral decision making can become a factor in your life, where from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to sleep almost everything you do has a moral component,” says Schur. “It can drive you nuts. I’m not necessarily saying this is a good thing.”
    “We do it when we order lunch and when we have any big decision to make. You can get really paralyzed,” adds Schur, noting that the show used the character of Chidi and his inability to resolve micro-ethical considerations to illustrate the point.
    How 'The Good Place' made the cast
    “If you let the idea of making a moral decision infect your life to that level, you become a nonfunctioning human being,” he adds. “The important thing is that you think about it, and then the next most important thing is that you are okay with the idea that you’re going to blow it sometimes…You need to let yourself off the hook when you do things that aren’t exactly perfect.”
    It’s a quandary that resonates deeply for the actor who brings Chidi’s indecision to life.
    “A lot of that is a very intuitive manifestation of a lot of my own stuff,” says Harper. “Maybe it’s more universal than I thought. Maybe a lot of people feel that way, but I personally get stuck a lot, and I think that just seeing what that paralysis looks like can actually be freeing, because sometimes it’s really useful to see it from the outside, the commitment to an action or inaction, how frustrating that can be. Especially to someone who is like, ‘Any choice you make right now will be better than not making one’… The most salient thing about the show and especially about this character for me is that.”
    Harper says that as a result of being a part of “The Good Place,” on screen and off, he couldn’t resist a powerful impulse for self-improvement.
    “I’ve learned in a very visceral way that people make the world, and the world that we are so privileged to inhabit for these past four seasons is beautiful, and wonderful, and full of good feelings and positivity and kindness,” he says. “And there’s no way to have that environment at work and not feel like, ‘Well, why can’t this be what the rest of my life is like?’ So coming away from the show, I want to make sure that I try to put as much good into the world as I can going forward.”
    Much of that is a result of the people Schur invited in to “The Good Place’s” world, says Stasky.
    “Mike’s an expert picker of people to work on projects. He has a very good radar for good people who want to make good things and treat each other well in the process of making those things. He empowers people to feel like they are a part of the project, and that really I think creates this environment where everyone is just happy, they’re happy to come to work, they feel they have a stake in it, and it’s a fertile ground for relationships to grow.”
    Indeed, as the public face of the show, the cast has demonstrated an emotional investment in both “The Good Place” and one another that’s rare among even the oft-self-proclaimed “families” of other TV series. A recent panel at the Television Critics Association’s press tour found the actors all tearing up as Danson waxed poetic about what a gift the series had been to them. And the show’s fans are likely to have similarly intense feelings about its departure.
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    But will it have a lingering effect on the way its viewers choose to impact the world?
    “I am extremely wary about ascribing success or failure to the show in any goal,” says Schur. “People used to ask if I felt like ‘Parks and Recreation’ had convinced people that government could be good or something.”
    “The only thing you can ever do is you can be very specific about what the show is saying. You can’t force people to hear the message or to react to it in any specific way,” he continues. “I don’t know whether people engage with the show purely comedically, or whether they engage with it spiritually, or academically, or whatever. I don’t think you can ever hope to control that. You can only say, ‘Here’s the thing: now it’s yours. You can react to it however you want.’ And we certainly have hopes that that’s true, but I don’t think there will ever be a meaningful way to gauge that.”
    Harper, however, offers anecdotal evidence to suggest otherwise.
      “I remember this one time there was a woman on a train who recognized me from the show, and we started crying,” he says. “I feel like there’s a real desire for people to see other people being good to each other, especially where we’re at right now in the country where it just doesn’t feel like that’s happening very much.”
      “It gives you hope that this is something that is possible, that there’s someone out here that’s thinking about these things, and putting it on television for people to watch.” Harper adds. “It must be comforting for people to know that people like Mike Schur exist.”

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      Rudy Giuliani Laughs At Subpoena On Fox News: They Seem To Forget That Im A Lawyer

      Just hours after being issued a subpoena from top congressional Democrats, Rudy Giuliani appeared on Fox News to defend his involvement with Ukraine, actions that have become central to an impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump

      Trump’s personal attorney appeared on Sean Hannity’s program as part of his latest effort to distance himself from the political whirlwind surrounding Trump’s July 25 call with the Ukrainian president.

      During the “Hannity” segment, Giuliani appeared to question the motives behind the subpoenas while defending his communications with officials in Ukraine about investigating former Vice President Joe Biden, a top Trump rival in the 2020 presidential campaign. He also reminded viewers that he was a professional lawyer as he pushed unfounded conspiracy theories targeting a spate of his boss’s political rivals.

      “These people are such intellectual heavyweights, I don’t know if I could handle Schiff,” Giuliani said Monday, appearing to joke about Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the chair of the House Intelligence Committee who recently sent him a subpoena.

      Giuliani went on to push unfounded claims about the Biden family, Trump’s 2016 political rival Hillary Clinton and former President Barack Obama.

      “Wake up, Democrats. You are covering up corruption, and by the time this is over, you’re going to be the party of corruption,” Giuliani said. Earlier in the show, he noted that lawmakers “seem to forget that I’m a lawyer. If I were defending a terrorist, they’d be going crazy that I was called before a committee.”

      The chairs of multiple House committees subpoenaed Giuliani and three of his associates Monday as part of the inquiry, demanding he produce communications and other documents related to his work for the president. The subpoena pertains to material from Jan. 20, 2017, the day before Trump’s inauguration, to the present.

      “Our inquiry includes an investigation of credible allegations that you acted as an agent of the president in a scheme to advance his personal political interests by abusing the power of the office of the president,” said the letter, signed by Schiff and two other Democratic congressmen: Eliot Engel (N.Y.), chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Elijah Cummings (Md.), chair of the House Oversight and Reform Committee.

      Giuliani must comply with the subpoena by Oct. 15, although the former New York City mayor has already pushed back on its merits, claiming on Twitter that it raised “significant issues concerning legitimacy.”

      House Democrats are investigating Giuliani’s role in the unfolding scandal over Trump’s call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky as part of their impeachment inquiry.

      During the July conversation, Trump repeatedly pressured Zelensky to investigate Biden and his son Hunter Biden, who served on the board of a Ukrainian energy company for five years. A reconstruction of the call released last week showed Trump asking Zelensky for a “favor” shorty after Zelensky brought up millions in military aid the U.S. had appropriated for Ukraine.

      Neither Biden has been accused of any wrongdoing, despite Giuliani’s claims.

      Giuliani appears to be one of the central figures related to that favor, which Democrats have called an unprecedented quid pro quo for political dirt. The attorney is mentioned multiple times in a formal whistleblower complaint about the call, and he has admitted in television interviews that he met with Ukrainian operatives. But Giuliani has recently said he did so at the behest of the State Department. Trump has also denied any impropriety and moved to discredit the unnamed whistleblower.

      Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has also been issued a subpoena by House Democrats.

      Giuliani’s whirlwind media appearances have prompted frustration from Democrats in recent days, including from the Biden campaign. The former vice president’s staff recently asked news executives to stop booking Giuliani on their shows, saying he was using the appearance to spread “false, debunked conspiracy theories.”

      “Giuliani is not enlightening your viewers in any way. He’s not offering a unique or informed perspective,” the Biden camp wrote in the letter last week. “He’s certainly not introducing new facts, since his relationship with the truth is casual at best.”

      House Democrats have, however, pointed to the lawyer’s own statements on CNN to back up their request for the subpoena.

      “You stated more recently that you are in possession of evidence ― in the form of text messages, phone records, and other communications ― indicating that you were not acting alone and that other Trump Administration officials may have been involved in this scheme,” they wrote.

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