Great Britain players take the knee before the match against Chile on Wednesday as preliminary events begin in Tokyo | AFP KOCHI l thursday l july 22, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 16 l LATE city EDITION women’s skeet World No 1 covid positive, out of oly ‘Devastated’ GB athlete, Amber Hill withdraws days before Games, three others, too, sidelined after contracting virus 6 polish sent back home; sweden stun u.s. teams kneel in fight for equality Six Polish swimmers had to be sent back home after a clerical error that left the contingent stunned. An administrative error by the Polish Swimming Federation saw them send 23 athletes instead of 17. Meanwhile, Sweden handed the US women’s team, the defending Olympic and world champion, a 3-0 defeat on the first day of the preliminary rounds ■ ■ Multiple teams interlocked arms or took the knee as they continue their fight for equality. The IOC, which had a blanket ban on protests, has allowed athletes to ‘protest’ with ‘restrictions’ One more Czech athlete, Pavel Sirucek, tested positive in the Games Village. He’s the third member of the delegation | P11 2032 brisbane will be the host of the 2032 Summer Games CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOgGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ WARANGAL ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI Inter-ministerial Israeli panel to probe Pegasus Parliamentary panel on IT led by Tharoor to question top govt officers next Wednesday Since NSO claims it sells only to vetted governments, the needle of suspicion for the snoopWith the global Pegasus snoop- gate started pointing towards ing scandal snowballing, Israel the ruling dispensations. While is learnt to have set up a senior Pegasus is meant to help thwart inter-ministerial team to exam- threats to national security its , ine allegations of its abuse, possible use against political since the spyware belongs to an opponents to destabilise govIsraeli firm, the NSO Group. ernments or win elections indiParallelly India’s Parliamen- cated its abuse. , tary Standing Committee on InBack home, the Tharoor-led formation and Technology led parliamentary panel has sumby Congress leader moned senior offiShashi Tharoor is cials from the Minexpected to quesistry of Electronics, tion top gover nInfor mation and ment officials on Technology and the who ordered the Ministry of Home snooping, when it Affairs to its meet1.16L kids orphaned meets next Wednesing Covid in India amidon July 28. The Spyware that uSeS your own phone to day said sources. , agenda is citizens’ Spy on you Israel’s National data security and Security Council privacy, according (NSC) has been to a notification tasked to head the from the Lok Sabha P e g a s u s p r o b e Data shows disproportionate impact on South Africa firm to produce Pfizer shots Secretariat. On Wednesday, team. Interestingly Blacks of US’ 50-year war on drugs 12 , Page the global media it is the NSC that oversees NSO exports. For its consortium that is doing the part, the NSO Group said it will spyware expose, added the thoroughly investigate any cred- names of officials of farm giant ible proof of misuse of its tech- Monsanto and other anti-CAA In a first, women stand nologies and “will shutMecca during Haj activists as potential targets of down guard in Pegasus. Six mobile numbers of the system where necessary”. The Israeli action appears to Monsanto were added to the list be part of its attempts to avert in 2018 when it came under the diplomatic flare-ups after sus- radar for allegedly selling gepected abuse of Pegasus was netically modified seeds. Also, found in France, Mexico, India, Samujjal Bhattacharjee, AASU Morocco and Iraq. Prominent member who was at the foreamong the spyware’s targets front of the anti-CAA protests were 10 prime ministers, three in Assam, was on the list along presidents and a king. with ULFA’s Anup Chetia. E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi A study published last week by US scientists at the Desert Research Institute found that coronavirus infection rates increased disproportionately during the country’s wildfire season in 2020. 12 THursday KOCHI newindianexpress com 22 07 2021 l l Pegasus spyware can be covertly installed on your phone by exploiting vulnerabilities in apps and tools, thus using your own phone to spy on you. It has turned into a global focal point as a tool that undermines democratic rights of individuals. Here is an explainer on what the spyware is all about WHAT IS PEGASUS SPYWARE? Pegasus is a spyware that can be installed on mobile phones without the user even getting to know about it It can target Apple iOS and Android devices, and is even able to infect the latest iOS versions, including the iOS 14.6 The spyware can use your phone camera, and even copy/send messages WHAT CAN THE SPYWARE DO? It can monitor all communications from your phone, including emails, text messages, and even the web searches you have done It can help track the user through location identification and can track your calls too Your phone will be used to spy on you, because the phone’s camera and microphone are used for surveillance HOW DOES THE SPYWARE INFECT iPHONES? It impersonates applications downloaded on an iPhone Then it is transmitted through push notifications using the Apple servers The spyware can infect your phone by exploiting the photo app, the Apple Music app, or a zero-click iMessage iMessage is an Apple Inc-developed instant messaging service launched in 2011 to work on Apple platforms like iPadOS, macOS, iOS and watchOS WHO DEVELOPED PEGASUS? Israeli firm NSO group The company is also known as Q Cyber Technologies. The use of Pegasus had been justified by the developers for targetting terrorist organisations and criminals, but it has also found favour among authoritarian leaders to spy on oppo- Pernicious Pegasus nents as well as journalists Human rights group Amnesty International helped reveal this month that the spyware was being exploited for misuse to target political opponents, critiques and journalists in violation of democratic principles HOW CAN YOU KNOW YOUR PHONE HAS MALWARE? It runs slower than usual Noticeable performance drop You notice apps crashing while using them WHAT CAN DETECT PEGASUS? A tool called Mobile Verification Toolkit (MVT) can detect Pegasus. It can help you know if Pegasus has installed itself on your phone The advantage is that this tool can work on iOS and Android devices, but due to more pronounced forensic traces it is easier to do so on the former than the latter WHO DEVELOPED IT? Israel's NSO Group developed it in 2016. It first came out into the open in 2018 when a phone of a human rights activist in Israel was the target of an infection attempt Its popularity grew due to data on its capabilities in maintaining surveillance in a cov- ert manner targeting individuals and organisations In August 2020, NSO Group reportedly sold the spyware to United Arab Emirates to help it maintain surveillance on anti-regime elements and not-so-friendly nations The powerful spyware can sneak into your phone in at least two easy ways. Unlike in the past — when a non-techsavvy generation could be nudged to click on malicious links — Pegasus infections can now be achieved through “zeroclick” attacks, requiring no user interaction whatsoever. These zero-click security breaches can occur via mail apps, p2p device protocols, WhatsApp, or even the graphics library — a simple unanswered WhatsApp call can place the Pegasus code on your device. These attacks often rely on another deeper vulnerability known as “zeroday”, which are the loopholes in an mobile OS that a phone manufacturer doesn’t know about health health FIFTY years ago, then US president Richard Nixon declared a war on drugs. Today with the US mired in a , opioid epidemic that did not abate during the coronavirus pandemic’s worst days, it is questionable whether anyone won the war. Yet the loser is clear: Black and Latino Americans, their families and their communities. A key weapon was the imposition of mandatory minimums in prison sentencing. Decades later those harsh federal and state penalties led to an increase in the prison industrial complex that saw millions of people, primarily of colour, locked up. An Associated Press review of federal and state incarceration data Growing up in st. Louis, the War on drugs disappeared Black people, not drug use. Over the course of two years, I lost 40 to 50 friends to incarceration or death because of the War on drugs. We became so accustomed to loss and trauma that it was our norma Cori Bush, Congresswoman from St. Louis, told the Associated Press shows that, between 1975 and 2019, the US prison population jumped from 240,593 to 1.43 million Americans. Among them, about 1 in 5 people were incarcerated with a drug offense listed as their most serious crime. The racial disparities reveal the war’s uneven toll. Following the passage of stiffer penalties for crack cocaine and other drugs, the Black incarceration rate in America exploded from about 600 per 100,000 people in 1970 to 1,808 in 2000. In the same timespan, the rate for the Latino population grew from 208 per 100,000 people to 615, while the white incarceration rate grew from 103 per 100,000 people to 242. Provisional data from the CDC shows overdose deaths from illicit drug use continued to rise amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The availability of drugs such as fentanyl, heroin and cocaine remained high or plateaued last year. Many elected officials and activists say that in order to begin to unwind or undo the war on drugs, all narcotics must be decriminalised or le g alised, with science-based regulation. FRANKFURT: Covid-19 vaccine makers BioNTech and Pfizer on Wednesday said that they had found a South African partner to produce their jab locally the first such deal , on the African continent. The move comes amid growing Data WASHINGTON: More than 1.5 million children in 21 countries, including 1,19,000 from India, lost their primary and secondary caregivers to COVID-19 during the first 14 months of the pandemic, according to a study in The Lancet. The modelling study funded in part by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), stated that 25,500 children in India lost their mother to Covid-19 while 90,751 lost their father and 12 lost both their parents. The study estimates that 1,134,000 children lost a parent or custodial grandparent due to Covid-19. Of these, 10,42,000 children lost their mother, father or both. Most lost one, not both parents. Overall, 1,562,000 children are estimated to have experienced the death of at least one parent or a custodial or other co-residing grandparent (or other older relative), the NIH said in a media release. The countries with the highest number of children who lost primary caregivers (parents or custodial grandparents) include South Africa, Peru, United States, India, Brazil, criticism of vaccine inequality that has seen poor countries fall behind richer ones in protecting people from the virus. Under the agreement, Cape Townbased Biovac will complete the last step in the manufacturing process of the vaccine, the companies said in a statement. and Mexico, it said. The countries with rates of Covid-associated deaths among primary caregivers (>1/1000 children) include Peru, South Africa, Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Iran, United States, Argentina, and Russia, it added. “Though the trauma a child experiences after the loss of a parent or caregiver can be devastating, there are evidencebased interventions that can prevent further adverse consequences, such as substance use, and we must ensure that children have access to these interventions,” said NIDA Director Nora D Volkow. According to the report, 2,898 Indian children lost either of their custodial grandparents while nine lost both of their custodial grandparents. However, the 0.5 rate of loss of primary and custodial parents per 1,000 children in India is much less than other countries like South Africa (6.4), Peru (14.1), Brazil (3.5), Colombia (3.4), Mexico (5.1), Russia (2.0), and the US (1.8). “We found that, with the exception of South Africa, deaths were greater in men than women in every country, particularly in middle-aged and older parents,” the report on The Lancet journal’s website said. The project will take time to get off the ground however, with the first African-finished vaccines not expected before 2022. Once up and running, Biovac is set to churn out more than 100 million doses annually that will be distributed to the 55 countries in the African Union. FACT OF THE MATTER Virus cases up 12% last week Data T Samar, recently deployed for security of pilgrims, stands alert in front of the Kaaba | AP Worship DOzENS of women soldiers are guarding worshippers in the annual Haj pilgrimmage in Mecca and Medina, the birth places of Islam, in a first for Saudi Arabia. Mona, one of the soldiers, told Reuters that she was inspired by her late father’s career. “I am following the steps of my late father to complete his journey, standing here at the Grand mosque in Mecca, the holiest place. To serve the worshippers is a very noble and honourable task,” she told the news agency, while declining to give a last name. The soldiers, dressed in military khakis and black berets, patrol the Grand Mosque in Mecca. Scaled back pilgrimage Once drawing some 2.5 million Muslims from across the globe to the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia, the pilgrimage has been dramatically scaled back due to the virus. This year’s Haj has been limited to 60,000 vaccinated Saudi citizens or residents of Saudi Arabia. On Tues- day, pilgrims wearing masks and maintaining social distancing performed the symbolic stoning of the devil in the valley area of Mina — using sterilized pebbles they received ahead of time. Another image-altering move by Saudi Arabia’s de-facto leader, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was to allow women of all ages to make the pilgrimage without a male relative, known as a “mehrem”, on the condition that they go in a group. Since his rise to power, women have been allowed to drive and to travel abroad without a male guardian -- even against a backdrop of a relentless crackdown against critics of his rule, including women’s rights activists. “It’s like a dream come true. My childhood dream was to make the Haj,” Shah told AFP, before setting off from her home in Jeddah, the major port city in western Saudi Arabia. The Haj, one of the five pillars of Islam, is a must for able-bodied Muslims with the means to do so at least once in their lifetime. express read US issues security alert for its citizens in India New Delhi: The US has issued a security alert for its citizens in India, advising them to avoid crowds along with taking steps for their own safety in view of the farmers’ protest here on Thursday. CAA won’t harm Indian Muslims: Bhagwat Guwahati: Asserting that the CAA and the NRC are issues that have nothing to do with Hindu-Muslim divide, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat has emphasised no Indian Muslim will face harm due to these | P8 NATIONWIDE july 20 july 21 Fresh cases 30,093 41,637 Recoveries Deaths 45,254 38,742 374 510 stateWIDE july 20 july 21 Fresh cases 16,848 17,481 Recoveries Deaths 14,131 105 12,052 104 16 pages, including 4 pages of KOCHI Express he WHO says there were more than 3.4 million new global cases of the coronavirus last week, a 12% increase from the previous week. The UN health agency says the number of deaths is continuing to decline, with about 57,000 in the last week. “ this rate, it is expectAt ed that the cumulative number of cases reported globally could exceed 200 million in the next three weeks,” WHO says. It notes the highest increases in were in the Western Pacific and European regions. In the past week, WHO says the highest coronavirus infections were in Indonesia, Britain, Brazil, India and the US. China official mixes 3 doses MeDicine W hile scientists across the globe are debating on the need for a third booster jab against Covid-19 and whether the shots can be mixed, China’s top disease control official said he has taken three different shots against the infectious disease, the media reported. “I was among the first to have a domestically developed Covid-19 vaccine when I got the shot in May last year,” the South China Morning Post quoted Gao Fu, head of the Chinese CDC, as saying to the Global People magazine. “I have now had three shots that used different technology and were from different manufacturers and I haven’t felt any discomfort,” Fu added. Bank officials formed cartel, forged papers to loot `300 cr B SR E E J A N @T’Puram The report of a probe team led by cooperation department assistant registrar Omana K L had unearthed illegal activities in Karuvannur Service Cooperative Bank near Irinjalakuda since 2011 which led to a few officials and their relatives availing of loans worth over `100 crore. The nexus formed by a few bank officials who had helped each other to siphon off money and invest the same in their personal businesses was revealed in the report with evidence. As the probe focused on loans that had been overdue, several loans which were granted earlier flouting norms and settled by the customers concerned before the probe commenced hadn’t come under its purview. According to Suresh Kumar, who was a staffer of the bank and the whistle-blower in the case, the total fraud would exceed `300 crore if all illegal transactions are accounted for. Suresh Kumar said the fraud began in 2003 and he had Co-op dept sat idle on fraud report for 9 months Top officials of the cooperation department were fully aware of the large-scale financial fraud at Karuvannur bank at least since October last year. P4 @ Kolkata/New Delhi for a year using fake ID Giving a call to uproot the BJP in the 2024 general elections, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday urged the Opposition to keep aside all other interests and unite against the Modi government, which she alleged wants to ‘turn India into a surveillance state’. Representatives of nine Opposition parties attended the live screening of her speech at Constitution Club in Delhi. They included Sharad Pawar and Supriya Sule (both NCP), P Chidambaram and Digvijaya Singh (both Cong), Ram Gopal Yadav and Jaya Bachchan (both SP), Tiruchi Siva (DMK), Dr Keshava Rao (TRS), Sanjay Singh (AAP), Manoj Jha (RJD), Priyanka Chaturvedi (Shiv Sena) and Sardar Balwinder Singh Bhunder (Shiromani Akali Dal). Taking her Khela Hobe pitch to the national stage, she said Khela (game) will happen in all other states in the 2024 elections until the BJP-led government is derailed from the Centre. She requested all non-BJP parties to start planning from now as only two- Barath Khan was suspected to be an Afghan citizen, while his IN a major security lapse, an Af- mother Dalero Begum hailed ghan national managed to work from Assam. in the Cochin Shipyard (CSL) According to preliminary for more than a year using a probe, Khan came to India in fake identification document 2018 on medical visa. Later, he that showed him as forged his identity an Indian. documents to reach Idgul, alias Abbas Kochi and secure a job Khan, 24, had been under a sub-contracworking in the shiptor in Cochin yard under a sub-conShipyard. tractor since 2020. He Khan came to Kochi had gone absconding because a few of his Abbas Khan after he suspected his relatives from Assam real identity was exwere already working It’s not the posed. A special team in the shipyard under first breach o f Ke r a l a p o l i c e the sub-contractor. Earlier, NIA had nabbed him from There are also ruarrested two Kolkata and produced mours that he had former contract before court, which some issues with his employees for remanded him in jucousins and it was one dicial custody on stealing electronic of them who leaked components from his real identity to the Tuesday . an indigenous Ernakulam South shipyard security . aircraft carrier Police Inspector M S A CSL spokesperFaisal said the ac- under construction son said one of the cused, who possesses at the shipyard in workmen of a subSeptember 2019 an Afghan passport, contractor was known claimed he was from by a different name Assam. “He had been abscond- than what was submitted in his ing for the past few days. We documents. During a re-verifitraced his mobile location and cation of the documents by the nabbed him from Kolkata,” the shipyard security it was found , officer said, adding his father that he had absconded. E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Kochi I propose Sharadji (Sharad Pawar) and Chidambaramji (P Chidambaram) to call a meeting of Opposition leaders. I will act as a worker and follow the instructions given by the leaders of the alliance Mamata Banerjee and-a-half-years are left. The call for Opposition unity comes ahead of her scheduled four-day visit to Delhi starting July 25. Buoyed by the massive Bengal victory the Trinamool for , the first time organised the screening of Mamata’s virtual address in Delhi, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and other states, showcasing her as an anti-BJP leadership face. Underlining the national emphasis of her speech, Mamata spoke for 45 minutes in Bengali, Hindi, and English. Referring to her party’s stupendous victory in the 2021 Assembly elections, Mamata said: “The game is not over yet. The game will continue until the BJP is uprooted from the Centre.’’ Aiming to unite all oppositions under one umbrella, Mamata said, “We have no time to waste... Forget your all-other interests. Now we should focus on one interest, which is saving the country If . we form an alliance shortly before polls, it may not work. I will be in Delhi shortly I pro. pose Sharadji and Chidambaramji to call a meeting of Opposition leaders. I will act as a worker and follow the instructions given by the leaders of the alliance.’’ Interestingly, she did not urge the Gandhi family to initiate Opposition unity. Her call is her first move to venture into national politics ahead of the 2024 elections. Oppn up in arms A n u s h a Ra v i @ Bengaluru E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ T’Puram A delegation of pontiffs headed by Sri Siddalinga Swami meets B S Yediyurappa at his residence on Wednesday his last breath.” While prominently displaying the support he enjoys from religious seers, Yediyurappa appealed to supporters to refrain from protesting in his name. “I urge everyone to act in accordance with party ethics & not indulge in protests/indiscipline that is disrespectful & embarrassing for the party (sic),” he tweeted. Despite the hectic activity, the party central leadership has not allayed speculation of leadership change. DESPITE mounting pressure from the Opposition UDF, Forest Minister A K Saseendran, who is accused of intervening to settle a molestation case, is unlikely to step down. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and the CPM leadership feel there is no need for the NCP minister to quit, with his party leadership too standing firmly behind him. With the assembly session set to begin on Thursday, the Congress has approached the gover nor urging him to direct the CM to oust the minister. Saseendran met Pinarayi at his residence on Wednesday and is learnt to have convinced him that he intervened in the matter as it was an issue between two party workers. In a phone conversation leaked through the media, the minister was heard trying to settle the harassment case against NCP leader G Padmakaran by talking to the ● More on P4 father of the victim. Ananya’s death sparks protest, govt swings into action E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Kochi The death of activist Ananya Kumari Alex, 28, the first transgender candidate in the state to contest the assembly elections, has snowballed into a controversy after her friends and family members alleged negligence by Renai Medicity, where she underwent sex reassignment surgery . Members from the transgender community staged a protest in front of the hospital on bank or own land in that region (Porathissery, Madayikonam and Irinjalakuda villages) are eligible for A class membership, we found that members were added even from outside Thrissur district, violating provisions in the bylaw. While their identity documents and address proof were kept in the file, the address in the application form was corrected to suit the criterion,” ● More on P4 the report notes. Didi enters national ring Afghan worked at shipyard Yediyurappa lines up more call for resignation CM throws weight seers to protect his chair behind Saseendran, IN what political observers interpret as a public display of strength amid the buzz of leadership change in Karnataka, prominent seers continued to call on Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa for the second straight day on Wednesday ostensibly to press him to continue as CM. “PM Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP president J P Nadda have an immense special concern for me. Nobody has been given the opportunity to work as Chief Minister after the age of 75, but I have been extended that courtesy Yediyurappa was quoted ,” as saying by Siddalinga Swamy , head seer of the all-important Siddaganga Mutt. Talking to reporters after his meeting with Yediyurappa, the seer said, “The CM did not say anything about his resignation, but we insisted that he continue in the post. He told us he will work tirelessly for the party till flagged the malpractices to senior CPM leaders in 2005, but they ignored the complaint. The probe report says the malpractices in the bank began from the stage of enrolling new members. “Memberships were granted flouting norms in the cooperation law and rules concerned and the cooperative bank’s bylaw. Though it is specifically said that only those who reside under the jurisdiction of the Wednesday demanding action dering separate investigations against the authorities. Anan- into the circumstances that led ya was found hanging to Ananya’s death. in her apartment in Ananya had underEdappally on Tuesday . gone the surgery at the The hospital has rehospital a year ago. Her futed the allegations recent social media post and absolved the team revealed she was sufferthat carried out the suring from immense pain gery of any lapses. and facing several issues Ananya Meanwhile, the govfollowing the surgery . Kumari Alex ernment swung into ac“There was clear negtion with Health Minisligence by the hospital ter Veena George and Social and the doctor who performed Justice Minister R Bindu or- the surgery Ananya’s death is . mysterious and she should get justice. Action must be taken against the hospital authorities for negligence,” said Shyama S P r ab h a , a t r a n swo m a n activist. “The emotional trauma she underwent after the surgery was beyond imagination and certainly played a part in her death,” said Nadira Mehrin, another transgender activist. The Kalamassery police have registered a case of unnatural death in the incident. ● More on P5 There was clear negligence by the hospital and the doctor who performed the surgery. — Shyama S Prabha, a transwoman activist
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