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Daily Briefing: Govt frames new rules to hold social media, OTT accountable; First thaw in deep India-Pakistan chill

From the Centre opposing a batch of petitions seeking legal recognition of same-sex marriages, to the latest on the Amazon Prime 'Tandav' controversy; here are today's top stories.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
February 26, 2021 8:37:24 am
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Good morning, 

The Big Story 

In a bid to hold social media and other companies accountable for “misuse and abuse”, the Centre released guidelines that aim to regulate social media, digital news media, and over-the-top (OTT) content providers. The most significant among them are making social media companies more liable for the content being shared on their platform and for “identification of the first originator of the information”.

Only in the Express 

“I will get some sort of closure if the conspiracy angle is proved.” Speaking on the phone from her parent’s home, Anjana Mishra, whose gangrape shook Odisha and forced the state chief minister to step down 22 years ago, says “it is crucial that the involvement of powerful politicians be exposed.” 

From the Front Page 

The joint announcement by the armies of India and Pakistan to observe ceasefire agreements along the Line of Control is the outcome of National Security Advisor Ajit Doval leading back-channel talks with Pakistan’s civilian-military leadership for the last three months. Sources said “more steps” towards peace are likely in the coming weeks. 

Two years after his arrest in London, a UK court ordered the extradition of fugitive jeweller Nirav Modi, who is wanted in the Rs 13,500-crore Punjab National Bank loan fraud case. The court, however, said Modi would have the right to appeal to the High Court against the decision to send the case to the Secretary of State.

Around  20 gelatin sticks were found in a Scorpio parked outside Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani’s south Mumbai residence, Antilla. However, no detonator was found in the car. The police are now looking for the driver who parked the car and left in a white SUV. 

Must Read 

Babulal Chourasia, infamous for his role in setting up a temple for Mahatma Gandhi’s killer Nathuram Godse in the Hindu Mahasabha office in Gwalior, was inducted in the Congress Party in Madhya Pradesh. Justifying the decision, former Chief Minister and state Congress President Kamal Nath said, “If someone wants to reform and realisation dawns on them that they have been on the wrong side and now want to join Congress, they can come.”

A year has passed since riots tore through Northeast Delhi, leaving 53 dead. As part of a series that tracks down the families of the 53 victims, the Indian Express spoke to the women who lost their husbands in the violence. From having to take up a job as a domestic help to depending on in-laws for a paltry sum to run the house — they have barely been able to get their lives back on track over the past year. 

The Centre opposed a batch of petitions seeking legal recognition of same-sex marriages, telling the Delhi High Court there exists a “legitimate State interest” in limiting the recognition of marriage to persons of opposite sex. Living together as partners or in a relationship with a same-sex individual is “not comparable” with the “Indian family unit concept” of a husband, wife and children, the government said. 

The Allahabad High Court rejected the anticipatory bail plea of Aparna Purohit, the India content chief of Amazon Prime Video, who has been booked in 10 FIRs across the country for hurting religious sentiments by streaming the web series Tandav.

ICYMI 

The Income Tax Department raided the offices and residences of Haryana’s Independent MLA from Meham, Balraj Kundu, in Rohtak, with the CBDT saying it has detected alleged tax evasion of around Rs 125 crore during the action.

Months after BJP in Tamil Nadu faced backlash from ally AIADMK for using an image of party founder M G Ramachandran in a video, huge cutouts of MGR and veteran Congress leader K Kamaraj were seen at the venue of PM Modi’s rally in Coimbatore. 

The Indian Newspaper Society wrote to Google asking it to compensate Indian newspapers comprehensively for the use of their content, and to share details of its advertising revenues.

Australia’s laws forcing Google and Facebook to pay for news are ready to take effect, though the laws’ architect said it will take time for the digital giants to strike media deals.

And Finally…

Making pitches must be akin to cooking; there is always the possibility of a pitch getting undercooked just as much as it could be overcooked, underbaked just as a strip could end up being overbaked. The pitch at Motera, which saw batsmen crumble like over-crispy cookies, 30 wickets in under four sessions, might have veered on the side of being undercooked and underbaked, but not unpalatable.

Delhi Confidential: The UK court’s verdict in the Nirav Modi extradition matter may have been a loss of face for former Supreme Court judge Markandey Katju, but it came as a boost for Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, whose words were relied upon while rejecting Katju’s statements.

In today’s episode of ‘3 Things’, we look at the next phase of the Covid vaccination drive, Australia’s new media law, and finally, the UK ruling that says Nirav Modi could be extradited to India.  

Until tomorrow, 

Leela Prasad G and Rahel Philipose

Express Cartoon by EP Unny.

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