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Saudi crown prince’s alleged hacking of Bezos raises freedom

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The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) joined U.N. human rights experts in calling for an investigation into the alleged hacking of The Washington Post owner and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. The U.N. experts called the alleged hacking “an effort to influence, if not silence, The Washington Post’s reporting on Saudi Arabia.”

Agnes Callamard, U.N. special rapporteur on summary executions and extrajudicial killings, and David Kaye, U.N. special rapporteur on freedom of expression, said in the joint statement that they had received information suggesting spyware “such as the NSO Group’s Pegasus-3 malware” was installed on Bezos’ phone via a WhatsApp message from an account “utilized personally by Mohammed bin Salman,” the crown prince of Saudi Arabia.

“We are deeply alarmed by the allegation that the Saudi crown prince used spyware to undermine or suppress The Washington Post,” said Sherif Mansour, CPJ’s Middle East and North Africa Program Coordinator. “An independent investigation is urgently needed into the allegations that Mohammed bin Salman was personally implicated in a hacking attack on Jeff Bezos.”

Callamard and Kaye said the hacking allegations “are relevant as well to ongoing evaluation of claims” that the prince was involved in the 2018 murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.” The University of Toronto-based Citizen Lab has published research suggesting an actor in Saudi Arabia used Pegasus to surveil Omar Abdulaziz, a close associate of Khashoggi, as Abdulaziz described to CPJ in 2018.

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India To Grant Tourist Visas To Foreigners From Nov 15

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Due to the dangerous coronavirus pandemic, tourists are not going anywhere and even if they book for any place, they have to follow strict protocols. In a recent development, the Ministry of Home Affairs said that India is going to grant tourist visas to foreigners who are coming to the country via chartered flights with effect from October 15. The foreigner tourists who are coming to India from other flights can get visas from November 15. “All Covid-19 protocols and norms notified by Ministry of Health & Family Welfare to be adhered to by foreign tourists, carriers bringing them into India, and other stakeholders at landing stations,” an official statement said.

All the visas that have been granted were suspended in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The central government has imposed many restrictions on the travellers to control the spread of coronavirus. It is said that many state governments, as well as stakeholders in the tourism sector, have been sending requests for the approval of tourists visas also so that foreign tourists can come to India. The MHA consulted all major stakeholders like the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Ministry of Tourism, and various State Governments where foreign tourists are expected to arrive.

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National

What Is Captain Amarinder Singh’s Next Move!

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Former Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh met Union Minister Amit Shah. Today, he made it clear that he is not going to join the Bharatiya Janata Party and also stated that he had no intention of continuing in the Congress as well. He changed his Twitter bio on Thursday and it reads, “Army Veteran; Former Chief Minister Punjab; Continuing to serve the State”. Everyone wants to know what is Punjab CM’s next move.
Amarinder Singh
In an interview with news channel, he said that, “So far I am in the Congress but I will not remain in the Congress. I have already made my position very clear. I will not be treated in this manner. I have made my stand very clear to the Congress. I will not stand for it. I have not resigned from the Congress yet, but how can one continue in a place where there is a trust deficit? When there is no trust, one cannot continue.”

To a question that whether he would resign, then he answered, “I have not resigned from the Congress but I will resign. I am not a person who takes split-second decisions. But I am not joining the BJP.”

He called Sidhu as an immature person and said that he is not a stable man. He further stated that, “He is not a team player. He is a loner. How will he handle the Punjab Congress as its chief? For that you need to be a team player, which Sidhu is not.”

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UP Cabinet Expansion: New Minister Take Oath Today

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Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s cabinet expansion took place this evening. A total of seven ministers took oath today.  Jitin Prasada, who joined BJP in June this year, takes oath as a minister in the Yogi Adityanath’s cabinet. MLA Chhatarpal Gangwar takes oath as a Minister of State (MoS).

Paltu Ram, MoS SC, Balrampur; Sangeeta Balwant Bind MoS Bind, Ghazipur; Dharamveer Prajapati MoS, Agra; Sanjeev Kumar Gaur ST Sonbhadra; and Dinesh Khatik MoS SC, Meerut also took the oath of office. The oath-taking ceremony was conducted at 5:30 pm in the Raj Bhavan. There are a total of 14 Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha MPs as ministers and Uttar Pradesh has more cabinet ministers. The Cabinet expansion appears to be an attempt to balance caste and regional aspiration, months ahead of the assembly polls.

At the Centre, the BJP has 84 MPs from Uttar Pradesh-62 in the Lok Sabha and 22 in the Rajya Sabha. For the first time, the state of Uttar Pradesh has a large representation in the central government. Winning of 2022 Uttar Pradesh Assembly election is very important for the saffron party as its outcome is likely to decide the result of the 2024 Lok Sabha election.

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