FRIDAY FB ‘UNLIKES’ AUSTRALIA 19 ... OVER A PROPOSED LAW TO FORCE IT TO SHARE AD REVENUE WITH MEDIA. HERE’S WHY IT’S PUTTING THE SQUEEZE FEBRUARY, 2021 FB COUNTERPOINT THE BIG NUMBERS epaper.morningstandard.in 17 million facebook.com/TheMorningStandard Australians disenfranchised from sharing news content twitter.com/TheMornStandard 50% TOOLKIT CASE ‘NOT LEAKING DISHA’S CHATS’ Free referrals Worth revenue for Australian generated for publishers created publishers WHY WORRY Fear Australia’s action can inspire similar laws across the world. Google is already signing deals with publishers in other countries including France | P9 OZ BILL A CAPITAL VIEW OF NEWS PAGE 7 NEW DELHI J8.00 BIG SPLASH L 14.25 cr Glenn Maxwell (RCB) Franchises spent big on all-rounders and bowlers at the IPL player auction in Chennai on Thursday L 16.25 cr Chris Morris (RR) L 14 cr Jhye Richardson (PK) L 9.25 cr K Gowtham (CSK) L 15 cr Kyle Jamieson (RCB) L 8 cr Riley Meredith (PK) L 7 cr Moeen Ali (CSK) UNNAO ECHOES IN ASSEMBLY The Unnao case found its way to the Uttar Pradesh Assembly on the first day of the Budget session on Thursday. CLP leader Aradhana Misra demanded a judicial inquiry into the incident. Police inspect the site where the three girls were found unconscious on Wednesday evening near Baburaha village in Unnao district | PTI Murder case as 2 Dalit girls die, third critical declared dead on arrival. The third girl, aged 17, was referred to the Regency Hospital in Kanpur, where she remains on life support. Regency Hospital official Paramjit Arora said: “On the basis of her medical check-up and condition, the doctors have called it a suspected case of poisoning. No external injury has been found on her body .” It was reported that the hands of the girls were tied with a dupatta belonging to one of the girls, but the police denied that. The SP said while the brother had said the girls were tied with a stole, her mother said that the dupatta was around her neck. “Our investigation has found the bodies had no marks on them either in the hands or legs, suggesting that they were not tied.” The police have filed an FIR under Sections 302 (murder) and 201 (causing disappearance of evidence) of the IPC. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath sought a report from the DGP. The district magistrate has informed the hospital that government will bear the medP5, 8 ical expenses. TENDULKAR SON IN MI The last buy at 2021 player auction was Arjun, the son of Sachin Tendulkar. Mumbai Indians bought the leftarm seamer at his base price of `20 lakh PAGES 12 PACERS ARE THE NEW CRAZE Bowlers capable of generating heat (think Ferguson, Bumrah, Nortje, Rabada Archer) have done well in recent seasons. So it was no surprise to see the likes of Meredith — who touches north of 145 km/ph easily — commanding attention. Put Milne (Mumbai) and Richardson (Punjab) in the same bracket. SPECIALIST OPENERS FAIL If recency bias was anything, Alex Hales, who was an inspiration at the Big Bash, should have got a bid. But he didn’t. One reason maybe he doesn’t bowl. Ditto Jason Roy. Liam Livingstone, a six-hitting machine, got a bid but only because he bowls the odd over | P11 Shah & Didi spice up Bengal polls as son-nephew barbs fly P R A N A B M O N D A L @ Kolkata TWO Dalit girls died while their sister is battling for life at a Kanpur hospital after they were found unconscious on their farm in Uttar Pradesh’s Unnao district on Wednesday . The police have registered a murder case though the initial postmortem report ruled out any physical or sexual assault and suggested poisoning as the cause of death. A three-doctor panel conducted the autopsy The . samples of the girls’ viscera have been preserved for chemical examination. According to Unnao superintendent of police (SP) Anand Kulkarni, the three girls from Babuhara village in Asoha — around 36 km south of Lucknow — had left home around 3 pm on Wednesday to gather fodder. When they did not return till 9:30 pm, the family launched a search and found them unconscious in the field and frothing from their mouths. Police said the three girls were rushed to a community health centre, where two of them — aged 13 and 15 — were People dependent on Google and Facebook for news access 2.8 billion Facebook users worldwide can’t share articles from Australian publishers Police tells Delhi HC after plea claims that her chats are being leaked N A M I TA B A J PA I @ Lucknow 5.1 billion $315 million UNION home minister Amit Shah and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee were on Thursday locked in a war of words while addressing two separate rallies in South 24 Parganas district on the issue of nepotism. With Shah accusing Mamata’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee of siphoning off the Centre’s grants meant for people’s welfare and warning that the BJPled government, after wresting power in Bengal, would bring all culprits to book, Mamata hit back saying Shah’s son will also not be spared either for earning crores of rupees. Abhishek represents Diamond Harbour in South 24 Parganas in the Lok Sabha and Jai Amit Shah is the powerful secretary of the Indian cricket board. The Centre’s grants have been siphoned off by the nephew and his men Amit Shah, Union home minister While addressing a rally at Namkhana, Shah said, ‘’Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government gave financial assistance of `3,59,000 crore in the past five years for the people of West Bengal. But the money was siphoned off by the nephew and his men. If the BJP wrests power in Bengal, the new government will find the culprits even if they take refuge under the ground, and put them behind bars.’’ A riled Mamata for the first time responded to the nephew barb. “Every day you (Shah) Your son is earning crores of money. How? Your son will also not be spared Mamata Banerjee, chief minister raise the nephew issue. Your son is earning crores of money . How? Your son will also not be spared,’’ she growled. Alleging corruption in distributing relief to Cyclone Amphan’s victims, Shah said the Centre’s grant was stolen by Abhishek and TMC goons. A few kilometres away from Shah’s rally venue, Mamata gave it back at a gathering in Pailan in the same district. “My family will not do anything that could malign the image of Bengal... Abhishek is facing attacks P8 because of me.’’ Aims to make big tech firms compensate local media for losses in advertising revenue Modi moots spl visas for docs, nurses in India’s neighbourhood EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi PRIME Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday suggested the creation of special visas for doctors and nurses in neighbouring countries to help them respond to health emergencies in the region more effectively . The prime minister was addressing a workshop, initiated by India, on Covid management. “Over the past year, our health cooperation has already achieved so much. Can we now think of raising our ambition further? Can we consider creating a special visa scheme for our doctors and nurses, so that they can travel quickly within our region during health emergencies, on the request of the receiving country?” he said. The workshop assumed significance as for the first time in years, Pakistan attended an event initiated by India. Representatives of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Mauritius, Nepal, Seychelles and Sri Lanka participated. Modi made a slew of other suggestions, including the creation of an air ambulance agreement and a platform for collating, compiling and studying data about the effectiveness of Covid vaccines among the population. Recalling how a Covid-19 Emergency Fund was created last year by the SAARC member states, he sought cooperation for rapid deployment of vaccines. All countries, including Pakistan, supported Modi’s proposals, said sources. They suggested a structured discussion for regional cooperation on these proposals to take them forward. All countries, except Pakistan, thanked India and Modi for vaccine supply, and of medicines, equipment and training in the past. LOCKDOWNS BACK IN PARTS OF MAHARASHTRA With fresh Covid cases spiralling again, Maharashtra ordered a 10-day lockdown in Yavatmal district from Thursday night. Also, weekend lockdown was announced in Amravati district from 8 pm on Saturday to 7 am on Monday. The state reported 4,787 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, the highest one-day count this year. 300 marshals will penalise passengers travelling without mask in suburban railways | P7 ‘WILL BURN CROPS BUT CONTINUE STIR’ EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE Farmers arrange refreshments for passengers affected by rail roko in Greater Noida on Thursday | PTI THERE was no violence or untoward incident, but the nationwide ‘rail roko’ programme called by the farmer unions in protest against agri laws saw some disruptions in train services in a few states. Services were affected as farmers blocked tracks in Punjab, Haryana, Karnataka and parts of UP Ma, harashtra and Bengal from 12 noon to 4 pm. In most other states, the rail roko call received a lukewarm response. While farmer leaders claimed the fourNo big impact hour stir was peaceful and a big success, on train ops the railways claimed it had negligible impact. “A few trains were stopped in some The railways said areas but operations are normal now,” a the agitation passed off without railway spokesperson said. Farmer leaders reiterated the agitation any untoward incident and there will continue. “Even if you have to set your standing crop on fire, you should be was negligible or prepared for it,” BKU leader Rakesh minimal impact Tikait told a mahapanchayat in Hisar. “The government should not be under any misconception that farmers will soon leave the protest sites to harvest crops. If they insist, then we will burn our crops. The government should not think that protest will end in two months. We will harvest our crops as well as protest… There will be no ‘ghar wapsi’ till then,” he said. Tikait advised the farmers to “keep your tractors filled with fuel and facing towards Delhi” saying “you can get a call to move at any time”. Metro Man’s next mission: Powering Holy cow! NRIs log in for online bovine test BJP’s engine in God’s own country TAIL UP R I C H A S H A R M A @ New Delhi THE cow has come to be recognised as the official animal of great academic curiosity Near. ly 5 lakh candidates have registered to take the Kamdhenu Gau Vigyan exam that will be conducted by the Centre’s cow welfare body on February 25. There has been an overwhelming response from Indians living abroad and even foreigners. A record number of NRIs and foreigners from 51 countries and applicants from almost all districts of the country have registered for the exam. Nearly one lakh NRIs have registered to take the test while at least 15% overseas applicants include foreigners. The Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog (RKA), the organising authority, said registrations have picked up in the last two-three days with at least 5,000 people enrolling per hour. The registration deadline was to end on Thursday, but has now been extended till Saturday. A mock exam will be conducted on Sunday . According to the registration data by RKA, around 4.9 lakh people have registered for the exam, with most registrations coming from children up to 8th standard. The Aayog has reached out to the UGC, Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan and the AICTE to encourage students to enrol. “We were expecting at least 1% of our population to register for the exam, but the response has been lukewarm. The registration climbed steeply after we reached out to Huge hoofed population As per the 2012 livestock census, India had 300 million bovines out of which 191 million were cows and 108.7 million buffaloes. The cattle and buffalo genetic resource is constituted by 43 breeds of cattle and 16 breeds of buffaloes. As many as 5.2 million cattle were abandoned various educational bodies,” said an RKA official. The purpose of the exam is to spread awareness about the unexplored potential and business opportunities the cow can offer. It will be an hour-long online exam, with cash rewards and certificates to applicants. Constituted on February 21, 2019, the RKA is a high-powered permanent apex advisory body with a mandate to help the Centre in developing appropriate programmes for conservation, sustainable development and genetic upgrading of indigenous breeds of cows. It can suggest measures for optimum economic utilisation of the bovine wealth for enhanced production and productivity . EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Kozhikode E SREEDHARAN, the ‘Metro Man’ who transformed the way Delhiites commuted, is all set to join the BJP saying only the saffron party can take the country forward. His entry will give a much-needed boost to the BJP ahead of the assembly polls in Kerala. The 88-year-old technocrat said he was ready to contest the state assembly elections if asked by the party . BJP state president K Surendran announced that Sereedharan would be officially joining the party during the Vijaya Yatra commencing on February 21 to “expose the misrule” of the LDF government. The much-admired technocrat said both the LDF and the UDF in Kerala were not doing anything for the state’s development. “All the time, they are in confrontation with the Centre. The state should go in tandem with the Centre to pursue development. Both fronts are not focusing on Kerala’s development but that of their parties,” he lamented. “I’m joining BJP to do something for the state.” The for mer DMRC managing director expressed hope that his non-corrupt image would attract more persons to the BJP in Kerala. Speaking to this newspaper, Sreedharan said PM Narendra Modi “is one of the best country heads the world has ever seen”. “What was needed was to deliver on the promises made and develop the country as a whole. He has done both of them amazingly The major . highlight of the development under Modi is that it has taken place without the evil of corruption accompanying it.” Both fronts (LDF & UDF) are not focusing on Kerala’s development but that of their parties. I’m joining BJP to do something for the state E Sreedharan, former DMRC chief
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