• Last Updates : 03:22 PM
National
 WhatsApp to restrict India service as government talks tough (Lead)

WhatsApp to restrict India service as government talks tough (Lead)

New Delhi, July 20 (IANS) Hauled up second time by the government on its failure to check the spread of fake and provocative content on its platform amid growing lynching episodes, the Facebook-owned platform on Friday said it is launching a test to limit message forwarding to five chats that will apply to its users in India.

In its second notice on Thursday, the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) took a tough stand, asking WhatsApp to come out with more effective solutions that can bring in accountability and facilitate enforcement of law in addition to their efforts towards labelling forwards and identifying fake news.

"It has been conveyed to them in unmistakable terms that it is a very serious issue which deserves a more sensitive response," MeitY said in the notice.

WhatsApp reacted: "In India, where people forward more messages, photos, and videos than any other country in the world, we'll also test a lower limit of 5 chats at once.

"We will also remove the quick forward button next to media messages," WhatsApp said in a statement.

The test, once comes to practice, will curtail WhatsApp's services for over 200 million users in India. Globally, the company allows users to forward messages for up to 20 chats (either individuals or groups).

WhatsApp said that with new changes, which it will continue to evaluate, "will help keep WhatsApp the way it was designed to be: a private messaging app".

"We are deeply committed to your safety and privacy which is why WhatsApp is end-to-end encrypted, and we'll continue to improve our app with features like this one," it added.

In its first reply to the IT Ministry, WhatsApp said the company is "horrified" by terrible acts of violence.

The IT Ministry had asked WhatsApp to ensure that the platform is not used for malafide activities over the growing instances of lynching of innocent people owing to large number of irresponsible messages filled with rumours being circulated on its platform.

The mobile messiging service listed several measures -- including labelling Forwarding messages -- in its first reply to control the spread of misinformation and abuse on its platform but failed to meet the requirements from the IT Ministry.

Several people have lost their lives in the past one year by lynch mobs after rumours of child lifting triggered via messages on WhatsApp.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh for the first time admitted in the Lok Sabha on Thursday that fake news on social media has resulted in many mob lynching incidents in the country, saying the government has asked service providers to put a check on rumour mongering on social media.

Expressing concern over the misuse of social media, Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu also asked the government to evolve a national policy after discussing with all stakeholders including political parties to combat the menace.

The Supreme Court also issued 22 guidelines this week for the central and state governments to put an end to "horrendous acts" of vigilantism, lynching and mobocracy and directed them to work in tandem to take "preventive, remedial and punitive measures".

--IANS
na/vm

03:12 PM
 Modi and Xi to meet during BRICS, discuss US trade war

Modi and Xi to meet during BRICS, discuss US trade war

By Gaurav Sharma
Beijing, July 20 (IANS) China and India will discuss the US' trade war and its protectionist trade policy when President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi meet on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit in Johannesburg next week, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Friday.


While China is locked in a trade war with the US, which accuses Beijing of dodgy business practices, New Delhi last month decided to hike tariffs on 30 US products in retaliation to American President Donald Trump's decision to slap more taxes on Indian steel and aluminium.

The ministry said Xi and Modi will have a one-on-one at Johannesburg on the sidelines of the three-day Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) summit beginning July 25.

"President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi will go to South Africa for the BRICS summit... On the sidelines of the summit, Xi will hold bilateral meetings with the leaders of India and other countries. The relevant details (of the meeting) are under negotiation," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said.

This will be the third meeting between Xi and Modi. Earlier, they met during Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in May and then in Wuhan in April. Both leaders will likely take stock of the agreements and deals clinched on the sidelines of the SCO and Wuhan.

Asked if the on-going trade war by the US will be discussed between Modi and Xi, Hua said: "They will exchange views on the international landscape, BRICS cooperation and other issues of mutual interest. As for the US trade protectionism and unilateralism, it has aroused wide concerns from the international community."

"China and India uphold multilateralism and free trade and the open world economy. They hold consensus and common interests in this aspect. I think the leaders will exchange views on the issue of common interests including this issue. This is also the consensus of the BRICS countries," Hua said.

Beijing and Washington have slapped levies of $34 billion on each other's products, a move which was initiated by Trump whose administration accuses China of unfair trade practices.

Trump has also slapped additional tariffs on products from the European Union, which he called a "foe" last week.

--IANS
gsh/soni/sed

03:12 PM
 Joint North-South Korea team defeats Taiwan 3-2 in TT, moves on to finals

Joint North-South Korea team defeats Taiwan 3-2 in TT, moves on to finals

Daejeon (South Korea), July 20 (IANS) Jang Woojin from South Korea and Cha Hyo Sim from the North beat Taiwan's Chen Chien-An and Cheng I-Ching 3-2 in the Mixed Doubles semi-final of the International Table Tennis Federation's (ITTF) Korea Open on Friday.

The Jang-Cha team beat Taiwan in five sets, recovering from an epic third set 16-14 loss to take the final two in relative comfort to seal the win, reports Efe.

The joint team advances to the Finals Gold Medal Match on Saturday.

North and South Korea have fielded four joint teams in mixed doubles and doubles at the tournament that began on Tuesday and is set to wrap up on Sunday.

The initiative is the latest in a series of unified Korean sports teams this year as the two neighbours continue their efforts at a diplomatic thaw.

--IANS
kk/bg

03:22 PM
 Modi and Xi to meet during BRICS, discuss US trade war

Modi and Xi to meet during BRICS, discuss US trade war

By Gaurav Sharma
Beijing, July 20 (IANS) China and India will discuss the US' trade war and its protectionist trade policy when President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi meet on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit in Johannesburg next week, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Friday.


While China is locked in a trade war with the US, which accuses Beijing of dodgy business practices, New Delhi last month decided to hike tariffs on 30 US products in retaliation to American President Donald Trump's decision to slap more taxes on Indian steel and aluminium.

The ministry said Xi and Modi will have a one-on-one at Johannesburg on the sidelines of the three-day Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) summit beginning July 25.

"President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi will go to South Africa for the BRICS summit... On the sidelines of the summit, Xi will hold bilateral meetings with the leaders of India and other countries. The relevant details (of the meeting) are under negotiation," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said.

This will be the third meeting between Xi and Modi. Earlier, they met during Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in May and then in Wuhan in April. Both leaders will likely take stock of the agreements and deals clinched on the sidelines of the SCO and Wuhan.

Asked if the on-going trade war by the US will be discussed between Modi and Xi, Hua said: "They will exchange views on the international landscape, BRICS cooperation and other issues of mutual interest. As for the US trade protectionism and unilateralism, it has aroused wide concerns from the international community."

"China and India uphold multilateralism and free trade and the open world economy. They hold consensus and common interests in this aspect. I think the leaders will exchange views on the issue of common interests including this issue. This is also the consensus of the BRICS countries," Hua said.

Beijing and Washington have slapped levies of $34 billion on each other's products, a move which was initiated by Trump whose administration accuses China of unfair trade practices.

Trump has also slapped additional tariffs on products from the European Union, which he called a "foe" last week.

--IANS
gsh/soni/sed

03:12 PM

Create Account



Log In Your Account