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News in Short

News in Short - 24-July-2021

Karnataka HC dismisses Flipkart and Amazon’s petition to suspend antitrust probe

Date: 24 July 2021 Tags: Judiciary & Judgments
  • Karnataka High Court has dismissed an appeal by Amazon.com Inc and Walmart's Flipkart that sought to stall an antitrust investigation into their business practices.
  • The Competition Commission of India (CCI) last year ordered a probe following allegations that the U.S. firms promote select sellers on their e-commerce platforms and use deep discounts to stifle competition.
  • The investigation was on hold for several months after companies challenged it, denying wrongdoing and arguing that the CCI lacked evidence.

China opposes move to reinvestigate virus origin

Date: 24 July 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • China is blocking the World Health Organization's call for a new investigation into the origins of the coronavirus, which includes looking into whether it leaked from a lab.
  • China warned that a WHO plan to inspect Chinese labs as part of a larger investigation into the origins of the coronavirus outbreak demonstrates "disrespect" and "arrogance toward science."
  • Following increased pressure from the US for an investigation into a biotech facility in Wuhan, the WHO stated last week that a second stage of the international probe should include audits of Chinese facilities.

Israel appoints commission to investigate NSO

Date: 24 July 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • Israel has established a commission to review allegations that the NSO Group’s controversial Pegasus phone surveillance software was misused.
  • Pegasus has been implicated in possible mass surveillance of journalists, human rights defenders and 14 heads of state.
  • Their phone numbers were among some 50,000 potential surveillance targets on a list leaked to rights group Amnesty International and Paris-based Forbidden Stories.
  • Pegasus can hack into mobile phones without a user knowing, enabling clients to read messages, track location and tap into the phone’s camera and microphone.

Microplastic pollution in Ganga

Date: 24 July 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • An analysis of the stretches of the river Ganga by Delhi-based environment NGO Toxics Link has revealed pollution by microplastics.
  • The Ganga flows across five States and has been at the centre of a massive multi-crore undertaking by the Centre, in the form of the National Mission for Clean Ganga, to rid it off contamination.
  • Microplastics are recognised as a major source of marine pollution. Untreated sewage from many cities along the river’s course, industrial waste and religious offerings wrapped in non-degradable plastics pile pollutants into the river as it flows through several densely populated cities.

Central University to be set up in Ladakh

Date: 24 July 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • The Union Cabinet has approved the establishment of a central university in Ladakh at a cost of ? 750 crore.
  • The new institution will correct regional imbalances and improve the quality of higher education in the Union Territory since both Jammu and Kashmir have one central university each. The jurisdiction of this university will cover the regions of Leh and Kargil.
  • The Education Ministry is expected to bring two amendments to the Central Universities Act, 2009 for this purpose.
  • The Union Cabinet’s decision is in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement during his Independence Day speech last year.