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Bihar election will be the first test of Supreme Court order

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The Supreme Court has asked the political parties to produce details of all criminal cases of their party candidates contesting for the assembly election in Bihar scheduled for later this year.

The challenge for the politicians, said a senior BJP leader in Patna, would be to strike a balance between a candidate’s ability to win elections and also his criminal record.

“Any political party going to the election with promises of transparent and clean politics will now think twice before fielding anyone with criminal antecedents”

The Bihar Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms report revealed that 142out of 243 MLAs in Bihar had criminal cases pending against them in 2015 when assembly polls were last held. Ninety of them had declared serious criminal cases including those related to murder, communal disharmony, kidnapping and crimes against women.

Earlier this month, the police filed a charge sheet against RJD MLA Arun Yadav, who is also accused of raping a minor girl at his residence in Patna. Arun Yadav has been on the run ever since his name cropped up in a sex racket busted in September last year.

The Supreme Court order has made it mandatory for political parties to upload on their website detailed information regarding individuals with pending criminal cases who have been selected as candidates, along with the reasons for such selection.

On the other hand, there is also a possibility that fresh cases are filed on trumped-up charges against political rivals just to scuttle their chances to contest the 2020 Bihar elections.

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Government Bans 59 Chinese Apps in India including TikTok

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Chinese Apps Ban including Tiktok

As tensions along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China continues, the Government of India has decided to ban on 59 Chinese apps, including TikTok.

The government will be announcing a ban on 59 such Chinese apps, including Tik Tok.

List of 59 Chinese Apps

List of 59 Chinese Apps

A government press release announcing the ban stated: “The Ministry of Information Technology, invoking it’s power under section 69A of the Information Technology Act read with the relevant provisions of the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking of Access of Information by Public) Rules 2009 and in view of the emergent nature of threats has decided to block 59 apps since in view of the information available they are engaged in activities which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defense of India, the security of the state and public order”.

The press release further said that the Ministry of Information Technology has received “many representations raising concerns from citizens regarding the security of data and risk to privacy relating to the operation of certain apps”.

“The Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-IN) has also received many representations from citizens regarding the security of data and breach of privacy impacting upon public order issues,” the press release mentioned.

Popular among youngsters, TikTok has the maximum number of users in India, followed by China and the US.

TikTok crossed the 2 billion mark soon after surpassing the 1.5 billion mark in the first quarter of 2020. Out of the 2 billion, India turned out to be the biggest driver with over 611 million downloads.

Full statement from the Indian Govt’s Ministry of Electronics & IT

Full statement from the Indian Govt’s Ministry of Electronics & IT

According to the report by Sensor Tower, TikTok crossed the 2 billion mark soon after surpassing the 1.5 billion mark in the first quarter of 2020. Out of the 2 billion, India turned out to be the biggest driver with over 611 million downloads. The report revealed that TikTok’s surge in popularity was due to the coronavirus pandemic. People found TikTok to be most entertaining and engaging in quarantine.

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Several Districts of UP Including Jhansi, Prayagraj attacked by Locusts

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Locust Attack

Several districts of Uttar Pradesh, including Jhansi, Chitrakoot, Prayagraj, Pratapgarh, Bhadohi, Azamgarh, and Ambedkar Nagar, have been facing locust attacks in the past 48 hours.

In Uttar Pradesh, locust swarms have invaded several districts in the past 48 hours and attacked trees and crops.

The UP Agriculture Department said that the authorities of the neighboring districts like Hamirpur, Banda, Fatehpur, Kaushambhi, Mirzapur, Sultanpur, Mau, and Ballia have been asked to remain alert.

Deoria, the home district of state Agriculture Minister Surya Pratap Shahi, in eastern Uttar Pradesh has also faced locust attacks.

“A swarm of locusts had come to Deoria, but they descended only on the Baisila Mainuddin village. Villagers made noise and chased them away. The swarm has gone towards Kushinagar. We are spraying chemicals to kill the pests and all districts have been put on alert,” he said on Sunday.

Shahi said insecticides are being sprayed through fire department vehicles. People have been told to make loud noise by beating ‘thaalis’ and other utensils, he said. Police sirens will also be blared and smoke would be used to chase the locusts away.

The minister said that “The UP government has given Rs five lakh to each of the bordering districts of the state for spraying chemicals to kill locusts. Apart from this, a monitoring committee has been formed in each district under the chief development officer to continuously monitor the situation.”

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Six People Killed in attack at Pakistan Stock Exchange

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Pakistan Stock Exchange Attack

KARACHI: Pakistani Stock Exchange building in the city of Karachi was attacked by four gunmen on Monday. All of them were killed later.

Two other people were also killed, the military said.

The gunmen attacked the building, which is in a high-security zone that also houses the head offices of many private banks, with grenades and guns, Karachi police chief Ghulam Nabi Memon told Reuters.

“Four attackers have been killed, they had come in a silver Corolla car,” Memon said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility. Pakistan has long been plagued by Islamist militant violence but attacks have become less frequent in recent years.

The gunmen initially threw a grenade then opened fire on a security post outside the building. The four were killed when security forces posted there responses.

“The situation is still unfolding and management, with the help of security forces, is managing the security and controlling the situation,” the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) said on Twitter.

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