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Tradition since 1964, a 24-meter-high Capitol Christmas Tree Lit on Tuesday afternoon on West Lawn of U.S. Capitol

This year, the Capitol Christmas Tree, a tradition since 1964, was taken from Idaho's Payette National Forest near McCall

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The U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree is lit up during a ceremony on the West Front of the Capitol in Washington, Dec. 6, 2016. VOA
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December 7, 2016: The Capitol Christmas Tree, a 24-meter-high Engelmann spruce from Idaho, was lit on Tuesday afternoon on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol.

This year, the Capitol Christmas Tree, a tradition since 1964, was taken from Idaho’s Payette National Forest near McCall.

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The 84-year-old tree was cut November 2 and arrived in Washington on November 28.

The Capitol Christmas Tree is a nearly 80-foot Engelmann Spruce from the Payette National Forest in Idaho. It's pictured Dec. 6, 2016. VOA
The Capitol Christmas Tree is a nearly 80-foot Engelmann Spruce from the Payette National Forest in Idaho. It’s pictured Dec. 6, 2016. VOA

The U.S. Air Force Band was on hand, playing Christmas carols as U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan and Isabella Gerard, 10, a fifth-grader from Boise, Idaho, lit the tree at a ceremony on a cold and drizzly afternoon.

Isabella was among about 200 Idaho schoolchildren who entered a contest to attend the lighting.

Senator Mike Crapo, who led the Idaho congressional delegation in sponsoring the tree, chose the fifth-grader for her poem “Pristine Idaho Mountains.”

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In a statement to the news site Roll Call, Idaho Senators Jim Risch and Crapo said, “We extend our gratitude to the countless individuals who made this a reality, particularly the Idaho students who hand-decorated thousands of Christmas ornaments, and the Payette National Forest officials who selected this year’s tree and ensured its safe arrival in Washington.”

In addition to 18,000 handmade ornaments, the tree is adorned with 9 kilograms of glitter and thousands of lights.

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Idaho also sent nearly 70 other trees to be distributed to various congressional offices and federal agencies, according to the Idaho Statesman.

Sponsors paid the roughly $600,000 cost of moving the tree nearly 4,000 kilometers.

The tree will be lit up every night after nightfall until January 1. It will then be composted. (VOA)

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Aadhaar Helpline Mystery: French Security Expert Tweets of doing a Full Disclosure Tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App

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Google adds support for hashtags on Maps for Android devices. Wikimedia Commons

Google’s admission that it had in 2014 inadvertently coded the 112 distress number and the UIDAI helpline number into its setup wizard for Android devices triggered another controversy on Saturday as India’s telecom regulator had only recommended the use of 112 as an emergency number in April 2015.

After a large section of smartphone users in India saw a toll-free helpline number of UIDAI saved in their phone-books by default, Google issued a statement, saying its “internal review revealed that in 2014, the then UIDAI helpline number and the 112 distress helpline number were inadvertently coded into the SetUp wizard of the Android release given to OEMs for use in India and has remained there since”.

Aadhaar Helpline Number Mystery: French security expert tweets of doing a full disclosure tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App, Image: Wikimedia Commons.

However, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended only in April 2015 that the number 112 be adopted as the single emergency number for the country.

According to Google, “since the numbers get listed on a user’s contact list, these get  transferred accordingly to the contacts on any new device”.

Google was yet to comment on the new development.

Meanwhile, French security expert that goes by the name of Elliot Alderson and has been at the core of the entire Aadhaar controversy, tweeted on Saturday: “I just found something interesting. I will probably do full disclosure tomorrow”.

“I’m digging into the code of the @Google SetupWizard app and I found that”.

“As far as I can see this object is not used in the current code, so there is no implications. This is just a poor coding practice in term of security,” he further tweeted.

On Friday, both the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as well as the telecom operators washed their hand of the issue.

While the telecom industry denied any role in the strange incident, the UIDAI said that he strange incident, the UIDAI said that some vested interests were trying to create “unwarranted confusion” in the public and clarified that it had not asked any manufacturer or telecom service provider to provide any such facility.

Twitter was abuzz with the new development after a huge uproar due to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman R.S. Sharma’s open Aadhaar challenge to critics and hackers.

Ethical hackers exposed at least 14 personal details of the TRAI Chairman, including mobile numbers, home address, date of birth, PAN number and voter ID among others. (IANS)

Also Read: Why India Is Still Nowhere Near Securing Its Citizens’ Data?