European Parliament clears 2 key digital laws to tame big tech
In a significant move, the European Parliament on Tuesday approved two major pieces of digital regulation that will set out unprecedented standards on the accountability of online companies within an open and competitive digital market.
The Parliament held the final vote on the new Digital Services Act (DSA) and Digital Markets Act (DMA), following an earlier deal reached between Parliament and Council.
The two bills aim to address the societal and economic effects of the tech industry by setting clear standards for how they operate and provide services in the EU, in line with the EU’s fundamental rights and values.
The Digital Services Act was adopted with 539 votes in favour, 54 votes against and 30 abstentions. The Digital Markets Act was adopted with 588 in favour, 11 votes against and 31 abstentions.
“For too long, tech giants have benefited from an absence of rules. The digital world has developed into a Wild West, with the biggest and strongest setting the rules. But there is a new sheriff in town — the DSA,” said Christel Schaldemose, rapporteur for the Digital Services Act.
“Now rules and rights will be strengthened. We are opening up the black box of algorithms so that we can have a proper look at the moneymaking machines behind these social platforms,” he added.
The Digital Services Act (DSA) sets clear obligations for digital service providers, such as social media or marketplaces, to tackle the spread of illegal content, online disinformation and other societal risks.
Very large online platforms and search engines (with 45 million or more monthly users), which present the highest risk, will have to comply with stricter obligations, enforced by the Commission.
They will also have to facilitate access to their data and algorithms to authorities and vetted researchers.
The Digital Markets Act (DMA) sets obligations for large online platforms acting as “gatekeepers” (platforms whose dominant online position make them hard for consumers to avoid) on the digital market to ensure a fairer business environment and more services for consumers.
“We no longer accept the ‘survival of the financially strongest’. The purpose of the digital single market is that Europe gets the best companies and not just the biggest. We need proper supervision to make sure that the regulatory dialogue works,” said Andreas Schwab, rapporteur for the DMA.
Once formally adopted by the Council in July (DMA) and September (DSA), both acts will be published in the EU Official Journal and enter into force 20 days after publication, said the commission.
Atif Aslam, wife Sara welcome baby girl in holy month of Ramzan
Pakistani playback singer Atif Aslam, who is known for chartbusters such as ‘Aadat’, ‘Bakhuda’, ‘Jeena Jeena’, ‘Jaane De’ and several others, has become a proud faher as he and his wife Sara Bharwana welcome a baby girl.
The ‘Tajdar-e-Haram’ hitmaker took to his Instagram on Thursday to share the news of his baby’s arrival with his fans. He posted a picture of his daughter wrapped up in pink colour baby sleepwear.
The baby is named Halima.
He wrote in the caption: “Finally the wait is over. The new queen of my heart has arrived.”
“Both baby and Sarah are fine Alhamdulilah. Please do remember us in your prayers. Ramadan Mubarak from Halima Atif Aslam 23/03/2023.”
He also added #Ramadan in the caption.
Atif has sung many songs in Bollywood films including ‘Tere Sang Yaara’ from ‘Rustom’, ‘Tu Jaane Na’ and ‘Tera Hone Laga Hoon’ from ‘Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani’ and ‘Tere Bin’ from ‘Bas Ek Pal’.
FIRST ROZA ON THURSDAY IN SAUDI ARABIA & JERUSALEM OR PALESTINE
JERUSALEM: The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and Palestine, Mohammad Hussein, declared that Thursday, March 23, will be the first day of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan.
RIYADH: The crescent moon was not sighted on Tuesday evening in Saudi Arabia and Thursday, March 23, will be the start of the holy month of Ramadan, the Kingdom’s Supreme Court has said.
The court called on all Muslims in the Kingdom to look for the Ramadan crescent on Tuesday evening that corresponds to Shaban 29, 1444.
The Ministry of Justice announced it has launched an electronic system for crescent sighting “with the aim of automating and governing the moon sighting processes, and unifying work procedures between the courts of first instance and the Supreme Court.”
The service aims to unify the data source of the observatory through a robust electronic system that provides speed and integration with the relevant authorities, raising the quality of the observatory operations, and speeding up the issuance of the Supreme Court’s decision regarding new moon sightings.
More than 1.9 billion Muslims around the world will mark the holy month, during which believers abstain from eating, drinking and smoking from dawn until sunset.
Indian flag pulled down by pro-Khalistani protesters at London mission; MEA summons UK diplomat
The tricolour flying atop the Indian High Commission in London was pulled down by a group of protesters waving Khalistani flags and chanting pro-Khalistani slogans on Sunday evening.
Scotland Yard, headquarters of Metropolitan Police, said it was “aware” of an incident in the area but is yet to issue an official statement.
India has, meanwhile, registered its strong protest with the British government over the safety of its diplomatic mission and questioned the lack of sufficient security at the premises.
Images of shattered windows and men climbing the India House building were circulating on social media and videos from the scene show an Indian official grabbing the flag from a protester through the first-floor window of the mission, while the protester is seen waving a Khalistan flag hanging off its ledge.
MEA summons UK diplomat
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said the senior-most UK diplomat in New Delhi was summoned late evening on Sunday to convey India’s “strong protest” at the actions taken by separatist and extremist elements against the Indian High Commission in London.
“An explanation was demanded for the complete absence of the British security that allowed these elements to enter the High Commission premises. She was reminded in this regard of the basic obligations of the UK Government under the Vienna Convention,” the MEA said in a statement.
“India finds unacceptable the indifference of the UK government to the security of Indian diplomatic premises and personnel in the UK. It is expected that the UK Government would take immediate steps to identify, arrest and prosecute each one of those involved in today’s incident, and put in place stringent measures to prevent the recurrence of such incidents,” it said.
The banned terrorist organisation, Sikhs For Justice, is conducting a so-called “Referendum 2020” amid a crackdown on pro-Khalistan leader Amritpal Singh in Punjab.
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FIRST ROZA ON THURSDAY IN SAUDI ARABIA & JERUSALEM OR PALESTINE
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