Washington: The US on Friday issued orders to ban popular Chinese social media apps TikTok and WeChat from Sunday to safeguard national security, weeks after India banned them, saying they were prejudicial to the sovereignty, integrity, and security of the country.
The move comes a day after US President Donald Trump said he is looking into American major Oracle’s reported bid for the Chinese-owned video-sharing app TikTok and wants to ensure there is no compromise on national security before approving the deal.
Last month, Trump signed an executive order to ban TikTok and WeChat by September 15 unless the ownership of the two Chinese companies changed to American.
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, US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said.
The Department of Commerce warned other social media apps of replicating WeChat or TikTok’s illicit behaviour. The president has the authority to consider whether additional orders may be appropriate to address such activities.
Beginning September 20, the US has banned any provision of service to distribute or maintain WeChat or TikTok mobile applications, constituent code, or application updates through an online mobile application store in the US. It also bans any financial transactions including transferring funds or processing payments within the US, the department said in a statement.
From September 20, for WeChat and from November 12, for TikTok, the US has banned any provision of internet hosting services enabling the functioning or optimization of the mobile application in the US; content delivery network services enabling the functioning or optimization of the mobile application in the US.
India banned 59 Chinese apps, including TikTok, We Chat, and UC Browser on June 29, saying they were prejudicial to the sovereignty, integrity, and security of the country. It was expanded to 224 Chinese apps later. The ban was imposed in the backdrop of a tense standoff along the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh with Chinese troops.
President Trump had also cited India’s action against the Chinese apps while announcing his plan to ban them last month.
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has demonstrated the means and motives to use these apps to threaten the national security, foreign policy, and the economy of the US, the statement said.
The announced prohibitions, when combined, protect users in the US by eliminating access to these applications and significantly reducing their functionality, it said.
Today’s actions prove once again that President Trump will do everything in his power to guarantee our national security and protect Americans from the threats of the Chinese Communist Party, Ross said.
The president has provided until November 12 for the national security concerns posed by TikTok to be resolved. If they are, the prohibitions in this order may be lifted, the department said.
While the threats posed by WeChat and TikTok are not identical, they are similar, the Department of Commerce said, alleging that each collects vast swaths of data from users, including network activity, location data, and browsing and search histories.
Each is an active participant in China’s civil-military fusion and is subject to mandatory cooperation with the intelligence services of the CCP. This combination results in the use of WeChat and TikTok creating unacceptable risks to our national security, it said.
On August 6, Trump signed executive orders which determined that the apps capture vast swaths of information from US users, leaving the data vulnerable to CCP access for nefarious purposes.
As per the executive order, the Department of Commerce was required to identify transactions within 45 days to protect national security and the private data of millions of people across the country.
The US has also banned any provision directly contracted or arranged internet transit or peering services enabling the function or optimization of the mobile application within the US; and any utilization of the mobile application’s constituent code, functions, or services in the functioning of software or services developed and/or accessible within the US.
Bharat Ratna awardee and true gem Lata Mangeshkar Ji is no more
The nightingale of the music industry, Lata Mangeshkar Ji passed away on February 6 at the age of 92 in the Breach Candy Hospital in Mumbai. She was born on September 29, 1929. Very few singers have achieved the admiration that she did in her life.
She sang thousands of songs in more than 20 different languages. Not only in India, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Pakistan, she was also admired and praised in western countries.
PM Modi was among the first ones to share the sad news. “The kind and caring Lata Didi has left us. She leaves a void in our nation that cannot be filled. The coming generations will remember her as a stalwart of Indian culture, whose melodious voice had an unparalleled ability to mesmerise people,” he tweeted.
Apart from Bharat Ratna, she received numerous honors like the Daughter of the Nation award, the Legion of Honour award from the French government, and many more. Lata Mangeshkar truly was a gift that India will never cease cherishing.
We at Giveupnot pay our heartly tributes to her and wish that “unki aatma ko sadgati prapt ho”, OM SHANTI.
A man in New Zealand finds insects in his Domino’s pizza
A man in West Auckland, New Zealand says he was left feeling sick after allegedly discovering maggots (insects larva) on his takeaway pizza order from Domino’s. However, the Domino’s Pizza outlet where Reginald Thalari says he bought the pizza denied the claim.
On Tuesday afternoon, Thalari purchased four pizzas from Domino’s Pizza outlet in Avondale for his employees. But it was after they had eaten a few slices that Thalari alleges they made a stomach-churning discovery.
“It was disgusting. We ordered four pizzas but when we opened the box with pepperoni we saw maggots on the ham. I felt like spewing, to be honest. If someone says would you like some pizza I think I’ll turn them down next time.”
However, a Domino’s spokesperson said that it is extremely unlikely maggots would have been in store pre-purchase and said it would be “impossible” for eggs to survive the temperature of their ovens.
“Domino’s takes food health and safety extremely seriously, and ensures these standards are upheld through regular audits and inspections of stores throughout the year,” the spokesperson said.
The Domino’s Pizza spokeswoman further said that “Upon learning of this customer’s experience, we contacted the customer directly and have organised a deep clean of the store, as well as for our pest control company to further inspect,”
US Northeast digs out after massive snow storm, Two dead
People across the U.S. Northeast were digging themselves out on Tuesday after a powerful storm blanketed parts of the region with more than 2 feet of snow, prompting airlines to cancel flights and contributing to at least two deaths.
The nor`easter – an East Coast storm whose winds blow from the northeast – cut power to thousands of households, and halted some subway and train service in and around New York City. It dropped about 30 inches (76 cm) of snow in parts of New Jersey and Pennsylvania and up to 18 inches (46 cm) in New York City.
The snowy weather was expected to continue in parts of the Northeast, with a stretch from upstate New York to northern Maine hit the hardest, the National Weather Service said in its latest forecast on Tuesday. Snow could develop in the Upper Midwest on Wednesday before the storm runs its course, it said.
In Allentown, Pennsylvania, a 67-year-old woman suffering from Alzheimer`s disease was found lying dead in the snow on Monday after wandering away from her home, police said.
A man in Newark, New Jersey, died after being found lying in the snow on Monday, according to police officials, who said the death was not considered suspicious.
In New York City, public transit was coming back to life. Outdoor subway service, which had been suspended, resumed, buses were running on reduced schedules, and the area`s major commuter railroads had resumed partial or full operations.
The city`s LaGuardia Airport and John F. Kennedy International Airport, where flights were canceled on Monday, both said they were working to clear the snow and that they expected activity to pick up later on Tuesday.
The storm prompted widespread closings of schools and COVID-19 vaccination sites. In Connecticut, about 10,000 vaccination appointments were canceled on Monday, with plans to reschedule them for later this week.