Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) : 2020-09-19

Front Page : 4 : 4

Front Page

02 CHANDIGARH SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 19, 2020 Page One Plus { } { } { } TECH WORLD MY INDIA SOCIAL MEDIA REGIONAL TENSIONS BORDER STANDOFF A Instagram user sues Facebook for spying 18 Chinese aircraft enter Taiwanese airspace Committee reviews situation in Ladakh Dispatch {162} Facebook Inc. is again being sued for allegedly A high-powered panel on China reviewed the spying on Instagram users, this time through the unauthoris­ed use of their mobile phone cameras. The lawsuit springs from media reports in July that the photo-sharing app appeared to be accessing iphone cameras even when they weren’t actively being used. Facebook denied the reports and blamed a bug, which it said it was correcting, for triggering what it described as false notificati­ons Instagram was accessing cameras. The complaint contends the app’s use of the camera is intentiona­l. latest developmen­ts in the eastern Ladakh theatre on Friday with a focus on charting the course of future negotiatio­ns to restore status quo ante of mid-april along the contested Line of Actual Control (LAC), officials familiar with the developmen­ts said. The officials said the agenda for the next round of military talks between Indian and Chinese corps commander-ranked officers — expected shortly — was discussed at the high-level meeting attended by defence minister Rajnath Singh. 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 (pictured above) held a day of closed-door meetings on the self-governing island claimed by China. Chinese fighter jets appeared in Taiwanese airspace as Beijing launched maritime and airspace drills near the island, leading Taiwan to scramble its own warplanes. Taiwan’s defence ministry said two bombers and 16 fighter jets from China crossed into its air defence identifica­tion zone. BLOOMBERG →p12 →P8 { } INDIAN PREMIER LEAGUE HERE WE GO! The great gig in the Gulf With IPL 2020 starting today in the UAE, Mumbai Indians look to defend their crown. Offshore, yes, but IPL13 will be the first Indian sporting event since Covid-19 disrupted our lives Covid-19: What you need to know today REUTERS THE FIVE TALKING POINTS OF IPL13 1 HIGH ONMSD He’s back. Since Martin Guptill’s incredible throw shattered a billion Indian dreams in the 2019 World Cup, MS Dhoni has not played competitiv­e cricket. Unburdened of retirement worries, the CSK skipper will step out to toss on Saturday, 435 days after that semi-final in Manchester. Can he last the rigour of another IPL? Will he bat higher up? How deal with the absence of Suresh Raina and Harbhajan Singh? Will he guide CSK to a fourth title? will he STATS: ESPNCRICIN­FO BUBBLE WRAPPED R Sukumar B Seven weeks in a bubble for a Test series had West Indies captain Jason Holder talking about how mentally draining the experience was. From that series through the NBA and US Open, bubbles have been breached. Will IPL13 buck that trend after Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma made pleas to players to not do anything silly? y October or November, Moderna will, on the basis of an ongoing study of tens of thousands of people, decide whether its vaccine is safe and effective – with the only thing holding it back at this time being the fewer infections the US is seeing (the study is comparing rates of infection in vaccinated and unvaccinat­ed people). The company’s chief executive Stephane Bancel, who said this in an interview to The Wall Street Journal, added that if the results are positive, Moderna could seek emergency authorisat­ion for its vaccine from the FDA. Interestin­gly, Bancel’s estimate seems aggressive, even when compared to details in the 135 page-long protocol his company released on Thursday on the clinical testing of its vaccine. The protocol also contained a timeline, which differed from Bancel’s own estimates; it expects initial data to become available for analysis only in December, and the final study (not the Year 2 study) to be ready only by the middle of next year. Pfizer, which is developing a vaccine with Biontech, is also testing it on tens of thousands of people, and it too expects initial data to come in by late October. In an interview to The Washington Post, Pfizer’s CEO Albert Bourla dramatical­ly said that in October “the truth will be revealed”. On Thursday, Pfizer too released a detailed note on the protocol being followed in its clinical tests. The world is pinning its hopes on a vaccine. Sure, cases are down in the US and Brazil, two of the top three countries in terms of case count (both have seen a slight spike upwards in the past week, though), but they continue to rise in India (which is #2 in terms of cases). Worse, Europe is seeing a roaring second wave. France’s current seven-day average of new daily cases, at around 8,800 according to the New York Times database, is twice that seen in the peak of its first wave (in early April). Things aren’t as bad in the UK, although they are still worse than they were through much of the past three months. Daily new cases, at a seven-day average of around 3,400 cases, are at levels not seen since mid-may. The situation in Spain is as bad as in France, though – a seven-day average of almost 10,000 new cases a day, around 2,000 more than the peak of the first wave (in early April). Germany and Italy are better off, although both are seeing a second wave (Germany is where it was in late April; Italy, early May). Hardly any country, not the US, not France, and not even India, is talking about lockdowns though. It’s almost as if they were one-time-use-only weapons (and the jury is out on whether the timing of their use was right). Now everyone is talking about living with the virus – something that’s possible with strict adherence to the wearing of masks and social distancing. It’s probably the main reason cases are continuing to rise in India. If everyone wore masks outside their homes, and practised strict social distancing and hand hygiene, the number of daily cases in the country would drop drasticall­y in perhaps the next four to five weeks. By how much? My guess (and it is that, not a scientific assessment; but remember, this is Dispatch 162) is to between a fifth and a tenth of the current number of daily new cases. And, of course, a vaccine is the perfect solution. India’s health minister Harsh Vardhan told Parliament on Thursday that a vaccine may be available by early next year, although he caveated that one may not be available in large-enough quantities immediatel­y, and that people should continue to wear masks, follow social distancing rules, and wash their hands often. His estimate on vaccine availabili­ty is similar to the one offered by Robert R Redfield, the head of the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, who said this week that he expects a vaccine to be widely available only by the middle of 2021. In late July, White House coronaviru­s adviser Dr Anthony Fauci offered a similar timeline – that a vaccine won’t be widely available till “several months” into 2021. It has always been clear that a vaccine for Covid-19 will be found. Dispatch 111 on July 22 (bit.ly/3ijlknt) cited research, and indulged in a bit of extrapolat­ion, to arrive at a 50% probabilit­y that a vaccine candidate in Phase 2/3 trials will be found efficaciou­s and safe. There are now 18 candidates in Phase 2 trials; six in Phase 3; and five approved for emergency or limited use (according to HT’S vaccine tracker). The challenge has always been wide availabili­ty. And it could take till late 2021, perhaps early 2022, for at least half of India’s population to be vaccinated. 5 FEWER SIXES LIKELY At Eden and Wankhede, a six is hit every 17 balls in IPL. It takes 49 balls to do that in Abu Dhabi. Wonder how Andre Russell, who hit 52 sixes in IPL2019, will deal with that. The percentage of runs through sixes in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah are 11, 22 and 29 respective­ly. Barring Sharjah, that is lower than all Indian grounds that host IPL except Hyderabad and Jaipur. 3 SPIN PUNCH? If the wickets tire, as Sharma and KKR chief mentor David Hussey have said they could, will spinners come into play more? Abu Dhabi had 6.3 overs of spin in the PSL, but Dubai had 7.3 and Sharjah 7. That is less than the average 8 overs of spin in IPL. Sharma also spoke of pacers getting reverse swing. In short: a lot of adjustment­s in a game tailored for an IPL in India. 29 BENGALURU % OF RUNS SCORED FROM 6S ACROSS VENUES 29 SHARJAH 28 27 27 25 23 22 KOLKATA ? MUMBAI 4 PITCH PERFECT? DELHI CHENNAI How wickets will behave in UAE has dominated conversati­ons. 60 matches spread over Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah in under 50 days got Rohit Sharma saying that ‘pitches will play a big part.’ In 45 games, a score of 179+ has been reached 7 times in Dubai. In Kolkata, it happened in 15 of the last 23 games, and in Delhi it happened 15 of 21 games. MOHALI (T20s SINCE 2017) HYDERABAD Mumbai Indians’ captain Rohit Sharma POINT OF NO RETURN? 22 DUBAI 17 JAIPUR 11 ABU DHABI Hardly any country, not the US, not France, and not even India, is talking about lockdowns now. It’s almost as if they were one-timeuse weapons (and the jury is out on whether the timing of their use was right). Now everyone is talking about living with the virus – something that’s possible with strict adherence to the wearing of masks and social distancing. How will the new farm laws work? Wechat use, Tiktok downloads in US to be banned: Ross TIKTOK EXPRESSED ‘DISAPPOINT­MENT’ OVER THE MOVE AND SAID THE FIRM WOULD CONTINUE TO CHALLENGE THE ORDER HT Correspond­ent letters@hindustant­imes.com Zia Haq { } DR SS JOHL NOTED FARM ECONOMIST zia.haq@htlive.com The Trump administra­tion announced on Friday it will ban China-linked Tiktok and Wechat from US app stores on Sunday and will saddle the apps with technical restrictio­ns that could severely limit their functional­ity in the country, a decision that comes weeks after India banned the apps amid a border standoff. The two apps will not be available for downloads or upgrades from Google and Apple stores from Sunday, the US Commerce Department said in an order that cited national security and data privacy concerns. Tiktok expressed “disappoint­ment” over the move and said it would continue to challenge President Donald Trump’s “unjust executive order”. While restrictio­ns on the use of Wechat come into effect on Sunday, similar curbs on Tiktok aren’t applicable till November 12, ostensibly to give Oracle Corporatio­n, a computer technology giant, sufficient time to wrap up negotiatio­ns to buy a minority stake of 20% in the US operations of the video-sharing app. It means that users who already have Tiktok will still be able to use the app after Sunday, but they will not be able to upgrade or download it as the order prohibits “any provision of service to distribute or maintain”. The axe will come down on it on November 12, with a complete shutdown, unless the app has an American partner. The action is the Trump administra­tion’s latest attempt to counter the influence of China. Since taking office in 2017, Trump has waged a trade war with China, blocked mergers WASHINGTON: P The government’s ambitious farm-liberalisa­tion agenda in the form of three bills, currently being enacted into laws, could see new ways of engagement between producers of food and their buyers. How will the new system work? “The government’s design is that all three bills will work towards the same goals i.e. removing inefficien­cies through efficient investment and enabling freer trade. Big companies will meet small farmers,” a senior official said, requesting anonymity. The three bills are The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitati­on) Bill, 2020, The Farmers (Empowermen­t and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 and the Essential Commoditie­s (Amendment) Bill 2020. The first two were passed by a majority voice vote on Thursday in the Lok Sabha, while the third had already been passed on Tuesday. The two bills will now have to be passed by Rajya Sabha. The Farmers (Empowermen­t and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 is a law that creates a new legal framework for contract farming. It is this law that has the biggest potential to change the game. The contract farming bill provides for a national framework on farming agreements. According to the bill’s preamble, it seeks to protect and empower farmers to engage with agri-business firms, processors, wholesaler­s, exporters or large retailers for farm services NEW DELHI: Punjabis must unite for their survival and struggle for their Constituti­onal rights. involving Chinese companies and restricted the business of Chinese firms such as Huawei, a maker of phones and telecom equipment. “At the President’s direction, we have taken significan­t action to combat China’s malicious collection of American citizens’ personal data, while promoting our national values, democratic rules-based norms, and aggressive enforcemen­t of US laws and regulation­s,” said US department of commerce secretary Wilbur Ross in a statement. The US targeted these Chinese apps in August through two presidenti­al executive orders, saying they posed a threat to its national security. The country had earlier welcomed the ban India had enforced on Chinese apps, including Tiktok and Wechat, along with 57 others following border clashes with the Chinese army; 118 more have since been added to the list by New Delhi. President Trump’s August executive order had given Tiktok 45 days to find an American buyer for its US operation. Friday’s order also bans financial transactio­ns through Wechat, which is widely used by American companies for marketing in China, Additional­ly, US firms will not be allowed to provide internet hosting and cloud services for the app either. A and sale of future farming produce at a mutually agreed remunerati­ve price. Contract farming is not new to the country but has seen limited success. Snacking firms, for instance, often enter into contracts with farmers for produce for potato wafers and crisps. However, the new legislatio­n seeks to create a new legal framework. Currently, in states permitting the practice, contract farming requires registrati­on with the agricultur­al market produce committees (APMCS), which also act as dispute settlers. Market fees and levies are to be paid to these APMCS. The new law frees up farmers and agri-business companies to engage directly, bypassing APMCS. Agribusine­sses are quite cautious about entering into contracts because of the way the political economy works. “They feel if farmers fail to deliver or violate the contract, the political system will always side with farmers. There are issues with prices agreed to be paid. If they are set too low, it could attract political criticism,” said Amira Tandon, partner, Agstock, a firm that offers agriconsul­tancy. Last year, Pepsico sued Gujarat farmers for almost ₹1 crore for illegally growing and selling a potato variety registered by Pepsico. Pepsico withdrew the cases after the state government intervened. The new contract farming law’s intent is to make sure investment flows into farms. By clearly defining the legal framework, the new law could inspire confidence of both the farmers and agribusine­sses. Once contract farming becomes mainstream, agribusine­sses will pool farmers together, invest in their land, provide them with know-how and technology without farmers having to fear adverse impact on land titles or corporatio­ns fearing sunk investment­s. As per government’s report on doubling farmers’ income, the Dalwai committee report, contract farming “will allow smallholde­rs to integrate their production into the supply chains of processing plants” leading to efficient supply chains. AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL The world is pinning its hopes on a vaccine. Sure, cases are down in the US and Brazil, two of the top three countries in terms of case count, but they continue to rise in India. Worse, Europe is seeing a roaring second wave. It has always been clear that a vaccine for Covid-19 will be found. The challenge has always been wide availabili­ty. And it could take till late 2021, perhaps early 2022, for at least half of India’s population to be vaccinated. (With agency inputs)

© PressReader. All rights reserved.