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Monday, June 21, 2021

Daily Briefing: WhatsApp challenges traceability provision of new IT rules; 3 killed as Cyclone Yaas pounds Odisha-Bengal

Cyclone Yaas is the second cyclonic storm to hit the country within a week after 'Tauktae' barrelled into its western coast, causing death and destruction.

By: Express Web Desk |
Updated: May 27, 2021 8:32:54 am
A look at the top news today, May 27, 2021.

Good morning,

The Big Story

On the last day to comply with the Centre’s IT Rules 2021,  Facebook-owned messaging platform WhatsApp moved the Delhi High Court challenging its traceability provision. The provision would require WhatsApp to break its “end-to-end encryption” to identify the first originator of information, which it says infringe upon rights to free speech and expression. And the Centre is seeing the platform’s last-minute challenge as “a clear act of defiance”

Only in the Express 

Kotak Mahindra CEO Uday Kotak on the expectations of opening up of the economy: “The critical question is if we can vaccinate a larger percentage of people and move our vaccination to around 15 crore a month by August. At that rate we will start feeling comfortable about gradual opening up thereafter.”

From the Front Page 

At least three people were killed as strong winds and heavy tides lashed several coastal towns and flooded villages on either side of the Odisha-West Bengal border after Cyclone Yaas made a landfall yesterday morning. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the cyclone has damaged more than 3 lakh houses and affected about 1 crore people.

Seeking fast-track approval for its Covid-19 vaccine, US-based major Pfizer has told Indian authorities that the vaccine has shown “high effectiveness” against the Covid variant prevalent in India, and on people of Indian ethnicity or nationality. It also said its vaccine is suitable for everyone aged 12 years or older.

A majority of the states, barring only four, have agreed to support CBSE’s proposal to hold Class Board exams offline. And most of them are also open to holding the exams in a shorter format. But some states put up riders that the examination should be held only after all students and teachers are vaccinated.

The BJP is divided on Lakshadweep Administrator Praful Khoda Patel over his sweeping proposals for the Union Territory. While he has support from the Lakshadweep BJP president and from leaders in  neighbouring Kerala,  at least two senior leaders at the central level disapproved his actions. 

Must Read 

Soon after the second wave started, the caseload in Mumbai’s sprawling Dharavi slum started to steadily rise until it peaked on April 8, when 99 fresh cases were registered in one day. Since then, Dharavi’s caseload showed signs of waning. On Wednesday, it reported merely three new cases, its lowest daily tally since February 11, indicating that the worst of the second wave might just be over in Asia’s largest slum.  

In Bengaluru, a former rickshaw driver, fondly called Auto Raja, has built a safe haven for the elderly homeless and destitute in the city. Aptly named the ‘Home of Hope’, Raja’s project is now spread across three campuses and houses over 700 residents. The home is now a Covid care centre, too, for those left without care in the middle of a surging pandemic.

While most states struggle to inoculate their adult population as vaccine stocks dwindle, Rajasthan has been able to administer an impressive 1.62 crore doses so far — ranking third in shots overall. But how did the state manage to pull off a vaccination drive of this scale? The answer is simple — early planning.  

And Finally 

From scalping 27 wickets in three Tests against England, to testing positive for Covid-19 but rebounding in time to pull off a decent run at the IPL — it has been an eventful couple of months for Axar Patel. In an interview with The Indian Express, the all-rounder talks about the last year and the journey to get here. 

Delhi Confidential: While taking charge as CBI director on Wednesday, IPS officer Subodh Kumar made sure his double mask did not slip an inch during the proceedings. He even refused to pull down his mask for photographs, saying Covid protocol had to be followed strictly. 

In today’s episode of ‘3 things’, we look at what the state governments of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Kerala got right in their fight against Covid.  

Until tomorrow,
Leela Prasad G and Rahel Philipose

Express Cartoon by EP Unny.

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