Devendra Singh earns a spot in the finals of the IAAF World Championship

Davinder Singh Kang made India proud after earning a spot in the finals of the men’s javelin throw at the World IAAF championship. He is also the only Indian to have achieved this feat. His compatriot, Neeraj Chopra failed to deliver and could not make it to the finals of the event.
Kang achieved the qualifying mark of 83m with his third and final throw that cleared a distance of 84.22m.Finally, he was placed in the 7th position among the qualifiers of the final round.
“Once I came to know that Neeraj did not qualify (for the final round), I wanted to qualify for it. I wanted to do something for the country, I wanted to do something which no Indian has done before. By the grace of God, I did something for the country,” said Kang after finishing his race.
Chopra’s throw of 82.26m fell short of the qualifying mark by a slight margin.
“I tried my best but I could not clear the automatic qualification mark of 83m and I am disappointed. I gave a lot of effort in the first throw but it missed the 83m mark by a few centimeters. There were some problems in the second throw and the third one also did not go the distance (of 83m). I have been training hard for this World Championships but I could not do well in the actual competition,” said Chopra.

Transgender woman sues Amazon for workplace harassment

Online retail giant Inc has been sued by a transgender woman and her husband on Wednesday. August 9. The couple has accused the company of subjecting them to severe harassment and physical threats when they were working at the company’s warehouse in Kentucky.

A group which is representing them said that the couple’s case was striking given the firm’s vocal support of LGBT rights, reported Reuters.

The lawsuit that Allegra Schawe-Lane has filled states that she was subjected to taunts such as “shemale” and “crossdresser” from her co-workers. Even her husband became a victim of this and received crass comments about their sex life.

It also stated that the couple filled a series of complaints with their supervisors while they were working at the warehouse, but no action was taken.

The couple has claimed that the firm violated federal and Kentucky laws banning sexual discrimination in the workplace. In many courts such kind of discrimination is ruled as a form of unlawful sex bias.

Amazon, however, has not given any comments on the lawsuit. Recently, Amazon also released a feature show with a transgender lead titled ‘Transparent’.

Sources: Reuters, NDTV

Google fires author of anti-diversity memo

Search giant Google recently kicked out the male engineer, who has been in the center of turmoil in the Silicon valley, after he wrote an internal memo asserting that there are biological causes behind gender inequality in the technology industry.

Confirming his dismissal, James Damore, wrote an e-mail to Reuters saying that on August 7 he had been fired for perpetuating gender stereotypes.

Damore also revealed that he was exploring all possible legal remedies and before he was fired, he had submitted a charge to the U.S. National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) accusing Google upper management of trying to shame him into silence, reported NDTV.

Talking about the case, Google which is a unit of Alphabet Inc said that it cannot talk about individual employee cases.

A note saying that portions of the anti-diversity memo violate their Code of Conduct and cross the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in the workplace was also sent to Google employees by the company’s Chief Executive Sundar Pichai.

According to the U.S. National Labor Relations Act, workers, whether they are a part of a union or not, are guaranteed the right to engage in concerted activities for their mutual aid or protection.

It is being said that the U.S. Department of Labor is investigating whether Google has unlawfully paid women less than men. The company, however, has denied the charges.

Sources: NDTV, Hindu

20,000 Aadhaar card numbers leaked on Punjab Govt Website

The Aadhaar card numbers of over 20,000 individuals were published on a website of Punjab government, becoming the latest among a series of privacy breaches by government organisations in relation to Aadhaar card.

Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA) had earlier invited applications for low-cost housing from the economically weaker sections in Ludhiana and Jagraon under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) programme. Following this, the names of the applicants, their Aadhaar card numbers and that of their fathers’ were then put up on their website. The GLADA officials, however, seemed unsure as to how these details ended up online. Although the links were removed from the website by Monday evening, the list remained accessible to anyone who had the direct link on Tuesday as well.

The Aadhaar card number is a twelve digit identity number linked to a person’s biometric details that have become increasingly mandatory for citizens to avail any kind of government service. As per Section 29 (4) of the Aadhaar Act, no Aadhaar number or core biometric information can be published, displayed or posted publicly, except for specified purposes and violation of the same is punishable by up to three years of imprisonment.

The Supreme Court is currently determining whether the Aadhaar program is a violation of an individual’s right to privacy.

News Source: Hindustan Times, OneIndia

Image Source: Hindustan Times

Apple steps up the Watch game   

Originally positioned as a luxury brand, Apple Inc. has recently focused more on fitness, and is planning to make its best seller a smarter watch. The company plans to release a version of its smartwatch towards the end of this year, which connects directly to cellular networks. This is to reduce the device’s reliability on its own products, untethering to new range of functionality.

Apple watches currently need wireless connectivity, but this will change. The latest watches come with LTE chips, which are planned for release by the end of this year. The technology jumbo is currently in talks with carriers in the U.S. and Europe to offer cellular networks. But in the wearables market, Apple stands third preceded by Xiaomi and Fitbit. Apple clearly has big plans for Watch both in the health segment and as a gateway to the connected home,” said Carolina Milanesi, consumer tech analyst at Creative Strategies.

According to Bloomberg‘s report, the new Watch gets its modem by Intel Corp. after legal troubles with Qualcomm Inc. This is a big win for Intel, which has been trying to get its components into more Apple gadgets for many years.

Apart from adding a cellular chip, Apple is also looking at software changes – more of Siri enabled features with payment options in iMessage and much more in WatchOS 4.

Sources: Bloomberg, BBC

Karti Chidambaram moves court after CBI issued a lookout notice for him

per which he is required to inform the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate prior to leaving the country. He has appealed to the Madras High Court to withdraw the circular and his plea will be taken up by the court on 7th August.

A business man as well as a Congress leader, Karti, is being probed for corruption and foreign exchange violation in the INX Media case. The company, which was at the time run by Peter Mukerjea and his wife Indrani Mukerjea, had raised around Rs 350 Crores while it had a license for foreign investment worth Rs 4.62 only. The CBI has alleged that Karti Chidambaram had used his father’s influence in the finance ministry to get the approvals. It further claimed that he has received payments amounting to Rs 3.5 Crores in exchange for facilitating the breaking of foreign investment laws.

As reported by NDTV, P. Chidambaram, as well as Karti, has denied all these allegations and said that they were politically motivated.

News Sources- NDTV, Times of India

Pakistan plans to build dams on Indus River

“Cow” a short film made by a Satyajit Ray Film & Television Institute(SRFTI) has own hearts in Hollywood. The film is of 6 minutes and is a critique on eating habits of being forced on people. The film has made it to the film festival in Los Angeles.

Ashok Moorthy, the director of Cow, said, “’Cow’, part of a long-take exercise, shows a person reporting an incident in a house to the police. Cops come to arrest the suspect. As he is whisked off, the camera enters the house, there is blood on the floor. The film ends with the visual of a beheaded cow in the kitchen. “We used a model of a beheaded cow and no animals were injured during filming. In ‘Cow’, I wanted to show that big issues are not getting addressed while the government is more concerned about what you should or shouldn’t eat”.

Commenting on the strict censorship of the films, Director Ashoke Viswanathan, the dean of SRFTI, said, “”As per I&B ministry guidelines, it has been decided that selection of films to various festivals will be done by a core committee comprising faculty members from the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) and SRFTI, besides the deans and directors of the two institutes and possibly an official from the Directorate of Film Festivals (DFF) to coordinate the whole exercise. Probably, this committee will come into effect in 2018.”

As a more careful committee is now being active, SRFTI students fear that this may be their last few anti-establishment films to make it to the SRFTI film festival.