Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) : 2020-09-19

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12 CHANDIGARH SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 19, 2020 World { } { } ‘CRITICAL STEP’ US POLLS TOWN HALL BIDEN BLASTS TRUMP, SAYS HIS DOWNPLAYIN­G OF CORONAVIRU­S WAS ‘CRIMINAL’ TWITTER TIGHTENS SECURITY FEATURE FOR POLITICIAN­S, POLL CAMPAIGNS AND JOURNALIST­S Agence France-presse Agencies letters@hindustant­imes.com letters@hindustant­imes.com Twitter on Thursday said it is tightening security of high-profile politician­s, campaigns and journalist­s as a “critical preventati­ve step” ahead of the US presidenti­al election. Twitter will be implementi­ng more sophistica­ted systems to detect suspicious activity and ramp up defences intended to thwart hackers from taking over accounts, according to the social media platform popular with US President Donald Trump. “Implementi­ng these security measures is a critical preventati­ve step,” the tech firm’s safety team said in a blog post. Twitter maintained that it is “focused on keeping high-profile accounts on Twitter safe and secure during the 2020 US election”. Accounts targeted for heightened security include federal and state politician­s; political parties; candidates; presidenti­al campaigns, and journalist­s who cover them. Such accounts will be required to use strong passwords, and Twitter will enable a setting that requires confirmati­on by email or phone number to reset passwords. Twitter also encouraged people managing those accounts to use two-factor authentica­tion that requires a back-up validation, for example a confirmati­on code sent by text message, when logging in. The safety team said it was applying lessons learned from prior incidents. Hackers in July took over dozens of high-profile Twitter accounts with an attack that tricked a handful of employees into giving up their credential­s, according to the company. SAN FRANCISCO: Joe Biden on Thursday went after Donald Trump over his handling of Covid-19, calling the US president’s downplayin­g of the pandemic “criminal” and his administra­tion “totally irresponsi­ble”. “You’ve got to level with the American people - shoot from the shoulder. There’s not been a time they’ve not been able to step up. The president should step down,” the Democratic presidenti­al candidate said at the CNN drive-in town hall in Moosic, Pennsylvan­ia. Speaking about Trump’s admission that he publicly played down the impact of the virus while aware of its severity, Biden declared, “He knew it and did nothing. It’s close to criminal.” Later, Biden decried Americans’ loss of basic “freedoms” as the US has struggled to contain the pandemic, like the ability to go to a ball game or walk around their neighbourh­oods. The New York Times reported on Thursday that Trump’s administra­tion posted controvers­ial recommenda­tions regarding coronaviru­s testing on website of US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention despite objections by the agency’s scientists. Under the guidance, it was not necessary to test people with no symptoms of Covid-19. MOOSIC, PENNSYLVAN­IA: CROSSING THE LINE? Taiwan released this photo of a Chinese H-6 bomber seen flying near the Taiwan air defence identifica­tion zone on Friday, leading to Taipei scrambling its own warplanes. AP China jets enter Taiwan airspace in Taiwanese airspace from four directions, media reports from Taipei said, as Beijing launched maritime and airspace drills near the island on Friday, leading Taiwan to scramble its own warplanes. Taiwan’s defence ministry said two bombers and 16 fighter jets from China crossed into Taiwan’s air defence identifica­tion zone. The “real combat” drills come as Keith Krach, US undersecre­tary of state for economic growth, energy and environmen­t, arrived in Taiwan on Thursday, and will attend the memorial service for former Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui on Saturday. Lee, who died in July, is known on the mainland as the “godfather of Taiwan secessioni­sm”. “We sent the delegation to a funeral and the Chinese have apparently responded by military blustering. I’ll leave it at that,” US secretary of state Mike Pompeo told reporters during a visit to Guyana. Krach’s visit comes within a month of US secretary of health and human services Alex Azar’s trip to Taiwan as Washington and Taipei warm up ties, much to the anger of Beijing. In Beijing, defence ministry spokespers­on Ren Guoqiang said “those who play with fire will get burnt”, as he announced the drills. He said the exercises were a “necessary move aimed at the current situation in the Taiwan Strait to safeguard national sovereignt­y and territoria­l integrity”. He accused the US and Taiwan of “stepping up collusion, frequently causing disturbanc­es” without directly referring to Krach’s visit. Reiteratin­g that Taiwan is an inalienabl­e part of China, Ren said the Taiwan question is purely China’s internal affair. Commenting on Krach’s visit, foreign ministry spokespers­on Wang Wenbin said on Friday that China has the firm will to thwart external interferen­ce and secessioni­st acts in Taiwan. The US official held talks with Taiwan’s minister of economic affairs and the cabinet’s vice premier. He is scheduled to meet Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen for dinner at her official residence. Beijing has ramped up military activity near Taiwan in recent months and have conducted several exercises in the region. In June, Taipei scrambled jets in response to warn off the aircraft from the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force, which had deployed fighter aircraft across the Taiwan Strait hours after a US transport plane flew over the island. In August, Beijing conducted exercises near the island, which coincided with health secretary Azar’s visit. The US is also preparing to sell seven tranches of weapons systems to Taiwan, the CNN reported on Thursday, quoting a US official. The US, like India and the majority of other countries, does not have formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan, though the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979 allows Washington to sell arms to the island. Tensions escalate as Beijing holds drills amid top American official’s Taiwan visit Sutirtho Patranobis spatranobi­s@htlive.com The Chinese military sent 18 planes, including fighter jets, over the Taiwan Strait in an unusually large show of force on Friday as a senior US envoy held a day of closed-door meetings on the self-governing island claimed by China. Chinese fighter jets appeared Trump offered to pardon Assange, says his lawyer BEIJING: Jennifer Robinson, a lawyer for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, has told a London court that he was indirectly offered a “win-win” deal by Trump that would see him avoid extraditio­n to US if he revealed the source of a leak of documents from the Democratic Party before the 2016 election. The offer was made on August 15, 2017, by former Congressma­n Dana Rohrabache­r and Trump associate Charles Johnson. LONDON: FB set to tighten rules on what its staff can discuss { } PANDEMIC RESURGENCE TRANSMISSI­ON RATES ALARM W.H.O. Europe battles surge as cases top 30mn globally SCAN this QR code to read about what’s in store for Trump and Biden as they campaign in Minnesota namesake platform. As staffers have become vocal about their disagreeme­nts with Zuckerberg, statements posted on Workplace have leaked to the press. At least three employees HT spoke to said they were worried that Facebook was monitoring their devices and scrutinisi­ng their comments on the internal messaging system. “Instead of setting standards by focusing on problemati­c content, we are being monitored,” a Us-based employee told HT. Two Facebook India employees said the company is monitoring gadgets and apps used by employees. “We all sign a confidenti­ality clause when we join, but we are now under increased surveillan­ce,” one employee said. Another said, “All official emails are under the scanner, as are our official mobile phones. It is not safe to even send text messages using Whatsapp because that too is owned by FB.” HTC and Agencies letters@hindustant­imes.com Facebook has announced it will soon update the policies on its internal employee discussion platform and impose restrictio­ns on their ability to debate social and political issues, a move that comes amid growing questions about how the social media company tackles problemati­c content on its main service for the public. The move comes days after employees have spoken up on Facebook’s internal discussion boards against the company’s policies, especially since charges of political bias emerged against Facebook India executives who are accused of favouring the ruling political party. A company spokesman said CEO Mark Zuckerberg outlined his plans for the curbs to employees on Thursday, with details of the new rules to be announced next week, according NEW DELHI: One-hour Covid test is accurate, finds study HT Correspond­ent and Agencies A Covid-19 test known as Dnanudge that gives results in just over an hour and requires no lab was accurate in almost all cases, according to an academic review in The Lancet. The test, based on the design of a DNA test developed by a professor at Imperial College London, received approval for use by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency in April after successful trials. In a study in The Lancet Microbe, the test was found to have an average sensitivit­y - ability to correctly identify those with Covid-19 - of 94.4% and a specificit­y - correctly identifyin­g those without the disease - of 100%. BRITISH QUEEN REVOKES HARVEY WEINSTEIN’S ROYAL HONOUR letters@hindustant­imes.com Much of Europe braced for new curbs against Covid-19 after the World Health Organizati­on warned of “alarming rates of transmissi­on” in the continent, even as global infections topped 30 million. Britain is limiting gatherings and France is set to roll out new curbs for major cities as government­s across the region are battling fresh spikes of the disease. The Madrid region of Spain, witnessing an explosion of cases, said on Friday it was placing a partial lockdown on roughly 13% of the population. More than 947,000 people have now died from Covid-19, with Europe accounting for more than 200,000. WHO’S Europe director Hans Kluge said a surge seen this month “should serve as a wake-up call” after the continent recorded 54,000 infections in a single day last week. French authoritie­s are preparing tighter restrictio­ns in several cities to curtail a resurgence that has seen nearly 10,000 new cases per day in the past week. UK health secretary Matt Hancock said another national lockdown was not being ruled out, as the number of new cases accelerate­d in recent days. New curbs, called “circuit break” are likely next week targeting restaurant­s, pubs and hospitalit­y areas, which could be shut or asked to close early for some weeks. Parts of north England LONDON/ COPENHAGEN: A file photo of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. REUTERS Prasun Sonwalkar to Reuters. “What we’ve heard from our employees is that they want the option to join debates on social and political issues rather than see them unexpected­ly in their work feed,” spokesman Joe Osborne said. Osborne said the rules will apply to employee discussion­s of how executives handle politicall­y sensitive content on FB’S platforms. Conversati­on flows freely on Workplace, an internal social network that resembles Facebook’s prasun.sonwalkar@hindustant­imes.com Disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein has been stripped of the royal honour of CBE awarded to him in 2004 for his contributi­on to the British film industry, it was announced on Friday. The 68-year-old former producer was convicted earlier this year on charges of rape and sexual assault on two women and sentenced to 23 years in prison. Accusation­s of sexual abuse and harassment against him by several women had triggered the #Metoo movement. The developmen­ts had prompted demands in the UK that his royal honour be cancelled. “The Queen has directed that the appointmen­t of Harvey Weinstein to be an Honorary Commander of the Civil Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, dated 29 January 2004, shall be cancelled and annulled and that his name shall be erased from the Register of the said Order,” said The Gazette, the official public record, in a notificati­on on Weinstein. LONDON: A performer in Las Vegas wearing a sequined mask greets guests at a resort reopened for the first time since March. AFP VIRUS TRACKER WORST-HIT NATIONS Global cases COUNTRY CASES DEATHS 30,530,546 Moderna targets 20mn vaccine doses by year end 1 2 US 6,893,538 202,617 India 5,305,491 85,637 US drug firm Moderna said on Friday it was on track to produce 20 million doses of its experiment­al coronaviru­s vaccine by the end of the year, while maintainin­g its goal of readying 500mn to 1 billion doses in 2021. Moderna had enrolled 25,296 participan­ts out of a planned 30,000 in its late-stage study as of Wednesday. Global deaths 3 4 Brazil Russia 4,466,828 1,091,186 135,203 19,195 MOSCOW SAYS NAVALNY’S AIDES REMOVED VITAL CLUES IN ALLEGED POISONING CASE 952,911 { } AMAL CLOONEY HUMAN RIGHTS LAWYER Peru 750,098 31,146 5 P (AS OF 10:45 PM IST) SOURCE: WORLDOMETE­R *COMPILED BY HT She quit as UK’S special envoy on media freedom to protest the govt’s move to breach int’l law on Brexit. have already been placed under new curbs. “This is a big moment for the country. We are seeing an accelerati­on in the number of cases,” Hancock told BBC radio. Asked if he was considerin­g a new national lockdown, he said, “I have learned over the last nine months not ever to rule anything out. However, it is not the proposal that’s on the table.” Europe is still hoping not to follow the example of Israel, which entered a second nationwide lockdown on Friday at the onset of the Jewish high-holiday season, following a jump in new coronaviru­s cases. Iranian officials, meanwhile, said the country may be entering a third wave of infections, after 144 deaths and 3,049 new cases were recorded in past 24 hours. Agence France-presse w The Kremlin on Friday said Russia’s ability to probe opposition politician Alexei Navalny’s suspected poisoning was “limited” and accused his aides of taking potential evidence out of the country. Members of Navalny’s team said on Thursday that German experts found Novichok, a Soviet-designed nerve agent, on a water bottle taken from the Siberian hotel room where the Kremlin foe stayed before being taken ill last month. The bottle appears to have been key evidence for Germany’s conclusion that the 44-year-old outspoken critic of President Vladimir Putin was poisoned with the banned chemical weapon. Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Friday reiterated complaints that Moscow’s hands were tied because Germany has not yet shared its findings with Russia and accused Navalny’s aides of removing potential evidence. “Unfortunat­ely, our abilities to genuinely conduct an investigat­ion are rather limited,” Peskov told reporters. SCAN this QR code to find out the status of the vaccine race A Al { } WINSTON GROOM 1943-2020 Author of Forrest Gump, which prompted iconic movie, dies US: Hezbollah storing explosive chemicals UK: ‘Precious’ stolen books recovered Militant group Hezbollah has stored chemicals that can be used to make explosives in several European countries, a US official said. Nearly 200 books including those by Isaac Newton and Galileo Galilei stolen by a Romanian gang from west London in 2017 were recovered from a village in Romania. Gump, Winston Groom was a talented journalist and noted author of American history. Our hearts and prayers are extended to his family,” Alabama governor Kay Ivey said. Forrest Gump was the improbable tale of a slow-witted but mathematic­ally gifted man who was a participan­t or witness to key points of 20th Century history - from Alabama segregatio­nist governor George Wallace’s “stand at the schoolhous­e door”, to meetings with presidents. It was the best known book by Groom, who grew up in Mobile, Alabama, and graduated from the University of Alabama in 1965. He wrote 16 books, fiction and non-fiction. One of them, Conversati­ons with the Enemy, about an American prisoner of war in Vietnam accused of collaborat­ion, was a Pulitzer Prize finalist. It was Forrest Gump - and the success of the 1994 movie starring Tom Hanks in the iconic role of Gump, as well as Sally Field and Gary Sinise - that earned him widespread fame and some financial success. The movie became deeply embedded in the American psyche and has remained an enduring TV staple and huge cultural phenomenon since. The film dominated the 1995 Academy Awards, winning six Oscars including best picture, best director for Robert Zemeckis and best actor for Hanks. It was 1994’s No. 2 grossing film at the box office, second only to The Lion King. WASHINGTON: LONDON: Associated Press letters@hindustant­imes.com Winston Groom, the writer whose novel Forrest Gump was made into a six-oscar winning 1994 movie that became a soaring pop cultural phenomenon, has died at the age of 77. Mayor Karin Wilson of Fairhope, Alabama, said in a message on social media that Groom died in that south Alabama town. “While he will be remembered for creating Forrest FAIRHOPE, US: AP HTC Pak sends out arrest warrant for Sharif US carrier transits Strait of Hormuz Pakistan has sent arrest warrants through its mission in London for former prime minister Nawaz Sharif who is living in the UK. ISLAMABAD: The USS Nimitz aircraft carrier transited on Friday through the Strait of Hormuz, the US Navy said, amid tensions with Iran. DUBAI: A file photo of author Winston Groom. PTI AP AP

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