‘Victory or martyrdom’: Gazans vow to stay put in Rafah amidst Israel’s inhuman aggression

News Network
February 11, 2024

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Palestinians in Rafah, in which more than half of the Gaza Strip's population have been forced to seek refuge from an ongoing genocidal Israeli war, vow to remain in the city, despite the imminent threat of an all-out Israeli assault.

More than one million people have fled to the southern Gaza city amid the October 7-present war that has so far killed around 28,000 Palestinians, mostly women, children, and adolescents.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the Israeli military on Friday to prepare to evacuate civilians from Rafah ahead of a planned ground operation against the city. Aid organizations, however, say such a move will be nearly impossible to fulfill, given the scale of devastation elsewhere in Gaza, and the huge numbers of people trapped in the besieged area.

In a statement on Saturday, Palestinians in the city asserted that "we will not leave Rafah under any circumstances. We have decided to either die here or return to our homes victorious when the war has stopped."

"We will not leave Rafah. And we will die standing tall. Either victory... or martyrdom," they said.

"On behalf of every displaced person and on behalf of the people of Rafah, we call on all world powers to act forcefully to curb the aggression, stop the massacres, and prevent the Rafah catastrophe."

Philippa Greer, head of Legal Office at UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, in the Gaza Strip, meanwhile, posted on X, underlining the appalling humanitarian condition in the city.

"1.4 million people are amassed in deteriorating conditions, many displaced multiple times," she said, underlining that "the population has already endured intolerable pain, suffering, hunger & fear," and noting that the city suffered from "acute shortages of shelter, clean water, food & medicine."

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News Network
February 26,2024

Mangaluru: The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation's Mangaluru and Puttur divisions will introduce eco-friendly electric buses on prominent routes in Dakshina Kannada district as well as inter-district destinations soon.

The state govt has sanctioned 45 electric buses to Mangaluru division and 40 buses to Puttur division. The process of handing over the vehicles is under progress.

Rajesh Shetty, senior divisional controller, KSRTC Mangaluru division said that the new electric buses sanctioned by govt are expected to arrive soon.

“Govt has sanctioned AC and non-AC electric buses. Based on a survey, we are planning to introduce the electric buses on the Mangaluru-Dharmastala, Mangaluru-Manipal and Mangaluru-Kasaragod routes. The buses will have the capacity to run about 200km after each recharge cycle of nearly two hours. Hence, it will be difficult to introduce electric buses on long- distance routes like Bengaluru and Mysuru,” he said, adding that the division also expects the arrival of more buses in the near future.

“The division has been preparing to set up charging stations at various depots and a tender process in this regard has also been initiated. While a station with the capacity of five charging points will be set up in Mangaluru depot at Bejai, another with 15 points will be opened at Kuntikana,” he said.

“Meanwhile, Dakshina Kannada district has been selected under the PM-eBus Sewa Scheme too. Accordingly, 100 electric buses will be sanctioned to the district and it is likely to arrive by next year. 

Meanwhile, Mangaluru division is also likely to receive non-AC Ashwamedha Classic buses from the state govt in the next phase. The state govt is likely to sanction at least 20 Ashwamedha Classic buses to the division,” he added.

Jayakar Shetty, KSRTC Puttur divisional controller, said the 40 eco-friendly electric buses sanctioned to the division will be introduced on Subrahmanya-Dharmastala and Dharmastala-Mangaluru routes.

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News Network
March 1,2024

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Mangaluru, Mar 1: Veteran local journalist, artist and anchor Manohar Prasad, who worked for Udayavani Kannada daily newspaper for nearly four decades, passed away early this morning. He was 64.

Prasad, who hailed from Karvalu village in Karkala taluk, had settled in Mangaluru.

After completing his college education in Mangaluru, he began his career in journalism with the ‘Navabharat’ newspaper. 

He later joined ‘Udayavani’ as a correspondent. He gradually rose to become the chief of newspaper's Mangaluru bureau and then served as assistant editor.

With an illustrious career spanning 36 years of dedicated service at Udayavani, he retired two years ago.

Recognizing his immense contribution to the print media, Manohar Prasad was honored with numerous awards, including the district Rajyotsava Award, for his outstanding service.

His invaluable service to the field of journalism, showcased through his contributions to print media, has earned him accolades and respect from various quarters.

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News Network
February 23,2024

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New Delhi: Google's AI tool Gemini's response to a question around Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in direct violation of IT rules as well as several provisions of the criminal code, minister of state for electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar said on Friday.

The minister took cognizance of the issue raised by verified account of a journalist alleging bias in Google Gemini in response to a question on Modi while it gave no clear answer when a similar question was tossed for Trump and Zelenskyy.

"These are direct violations of Rule 3(1)(b) of Intermediary Rules (IT rules) of the IT act and violations of several provisions of the Criminal code," Chandrasekhar said on social media platform X.

The minister marked the post to Google and the Ministry of Electronics and IT indicating further action in the matter.

According to a screenshot shared by a user on social media platform X, Gemini was asked whether PM Modi is a ‘fascist’, to which the platform responded that he has been “accused of implementing policies some experts have characterised as fascist,” which based on factors like the “BJP’s Hindu nationalist ideology, its crackdown on dissent, and its use of violence against religious minorities”.

However, as per the screenshot, when it was asked a similar question about former US President Donal Trump, Gemini responded with: “Elections are a complex topic with fast-changing information. To make sure you have the most accurate information, try Google Search.”

 Responding to the post, Minister of State for Electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar said, “These are direct violations of Rule 3(1)(b) of Intermediary Rules (IT rules) of the IT Act and violations of several provisions of the Criminal code”. These rules pertain to basic due diligence that is required of intermediaries like Google to enjoy immunity from third-party content.

A senior IT Ministry official said that this was the second time that Google’s AI system presented “answers replete with biases”. “We are issuing a show cause notice to them, seeking information on why Gemini is generating such problematic views on certain individuals. If we do not find their answers satisfactory, they will stand to be prosecuted,” the official added, requesting anonymity.

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