Daily Briefing: Anti-govt protestors storm Sri Lanka’s presidential palace; lawsuits against Uber over Delhi rape case | #socialmedia

In today’s edition: The latest on the Sri Lanka crisis, lawsuits against Uber over the Delhi rape case, a new Digital India Act, and more

Big Story

The surging anti-government protests in Sri Lanka prompted by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa fleeing in the dead of night have thrown the country into a turmoil. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, made Acting President in Gotabaya’s absence, appointed a new committee comprising the Chief of Defence Staff, Tri-forces Commanders and Inspector General of Police, to control the situation.

As protesters swarmed the streets of Colombo, The Indian Express visited the President’s “Palace”, which was stormed by demonstrators on July 9. A volunteer managing the visiting crowds says, “We have to take care of (the property) and then hand it over to the relevant authorities, once the leadership issue is settled.”

Only in the Express

The Express investigation into the Uber Files has revealed that the 2014 Delhi rape case trailed the cab-hailing company for several years. Here’s what we found:

🔴 The victim had filed an original compensation case in 2015, followed by an invasion of privacy suit in 2017 over Uber’s top executives accessing her medical records.

🔴 The second suit detailed how Eric Alexander, then the company’s Vice President for Asia, travelled to New Delhi and managed to “illegally” obtain the victim’s private medical records prepared by physicians who examined her after the rape.

🔴 The victim received substantial compensation from Uber for the legal actions after “settling” both cases — the amounts were never made public. 

Meanwhile, The Indian Express has learnt that the government is considering regulation of “deliberate” misinformation and doxxing as offences under a fresh legislation which is expected to replace the IT Act, 2000. The new law, being referred to as the Digital India Act, is expected to have provisions to ensure data privacy and algorithmic accountability of social media platforms.

From the Front Page

National Testing Agency (NTA) director Vineet Joshi told The Indian Express that the Common University Entrance Test for undergraduate courses (CUET-UG) has been designed to ensure that students taking the test earlier than their peers in the staggered format will not be placed at any disadvantage as the scores will be based on a normalisation process.

In light of a warning by Al-Qaeda that it would orchestrate suicide bombings in different parts of India over comments on the Prophet made by suspended BJP leader Nupur Sharma, the Delhi Police initiated a mock infiltration exercise. It “planted” 30 dummy improvised explosive devices (IEDs) over the past month, of which only 12 were detected by security personnel.

Over Rs 1.74 crore for food and catering, including Rs 35 lakh for bananas; Rs 49.5 lakh in daily allowances; Rs 11 crore spent during the Covid lockdown; non-payment of players’ dues; dodgy selection policies. And then, extortion and death threats. The Cricket Association of Uttarakhand (CAU) is in the middle of a storm of allegations, ranging from financial impropriety to intimidation of players.

Must Read

The Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena approached the Election Commission of India, requesting it to hear its side before deciding claims to the party’s bow-arrow symbol. In today’s explained, we elaborate on:

  • How does the EC decide who gets the symbol when parties split?
  • What are the EC’s powers in such a dispute?
  • And how did the EC deal with such matters before the Symbols Order came into effect?
  • What happens to the group that doesn’t get the parent party’s symbol?

The Global Gender Gap Index for 2022, released by the World Economic Forum (WEF), ranks India at 135 out of 146 countries. In 2021, India was ranked 140 out of 156 countries. The Global Gender Gap index “benchmarks the current state and evolution of gender parity across four key dimensions (Economic Participation and Opportunity, Educational Attainment, Health and Survival, and Political Empowerment)”. We take a look at how India has fared on different sub-indices.

And Finally

🤫 Delhi confidential: Will senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad be the joint Opposition candidate for the post of Vice President? Well, some Opposition parties are not averse to the idea. But the Congress has not yet revealed its mind on the candidate as senior party leaders insist it is not going to suggest a name and will go by the consensus choice. 

🎧 In today’s episode of the ‘3 Things’ podcast, we take a deeper look into how Uber bypassed regulators and exploited loopholes in its effort to expand internationally.

Until next time,

Sonal Gupta and Srishti Kapoor

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