News18 Afternoon Digest: Twitter Begins Blocking 'Khalistani' Accounts, US Calls India an Important Partner in Indo-Pacific & Other Top Stories

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After Centre's Warning, Twitter Begins Blocking Accounts with 'Khalistani' Links But Adds 'Free Speech' Rider

Under pressure over 'farmer genocide' remarks made by alleged Khalistani supporters on micro-blogging site, Twitter has finally started blocking accounts flagged by the Centre for "carrying inflammatory and divisive comments". A Times of India report quoted top sources as saying that Twitter has assured the government that it is looking into its concerns, and taking stock of the content on the handles mentioned in the notice sent by the IT Ministry under Section 69A of the IT Act.

'Welcome Your Emergence as Leading Global Power': US Calls India an Important Partner in Indo-Pacific

Describing India as one of the most important partners of the US in the Indo-Pacific region, the Biden Administration on Tuesday said that it welcomes India’s emergence as a leading global power and its role as a net security provider in the region. ”India is one of the most important partners in the Indo-Pacific region to us. We welcome India’s emergence as a leading global power and its role as a net security provider in the region,” State Department Spokesperson Ned Price told reporters at his daily news conference.

Mutant UK Covid-19 Strain May Force Serum Institute to Tweak Vaccine Composition

Serum Institute of India may have to make adjustments in the composition of the vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and British pharma major AstraZeneca after the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) expressed concerns over the effectiveness of the vaccine against the South African mutant coronavirus strain. According to a report by Mint, on Monday and Tuesday, SAGE reviewed the evidence on the vaccine’s effectiveness on new SARS CoV-2 variants, before making significant recommendations.

Mumbai Cylinder Blast: 4 Injured After Explosion in Andheri, Fire Brigade on Spot

Four people were injured after a major fire broke out in a godown where LPG cylinders were kept in suburban Andheri on Wednesday morning, officials said. The blaze erupted around 9.40 am due to a cylinder blast in the godown located on Yari Road in Versova area of the western suburb, they said. Four people were injured and they taken to the nearby Cooper Hospital, a civic official said. At least eight fire engines and seven water jetties were rushed to the spot, he said, adding that firefighting is still on.

1 Dead in Police Encounter After Liquor Smugglers Kill Constable in Kasganj, UP CM Orders Invoking NSA

In what could be termed as a rerun of the Vikas Dubey incident, a liquor mafia killed one police constable and grievously injured a police inspector in Kasganj district when the cops went to serve a notice to the culprits. Following this, the police gunned down Alkar Singh, brother of Moti and the main accused of this murder in an encounter in the wee hours of Wednesday. In addition, the police are also conducting a constant search to nab the other miscreants. Alkar Singh is a history sheeter and has previously gone to jail.

A Smiling Munawar Faruqui's First Instagram Post after Walking out of Jail is What Hope Looks Like Standup comedian Munawar Faruqui walked out of Indore jail late last week after being behind the bars for almost a month. Faruqui, along with four others, was put in jail on accusations of insulting Hindu deities and Union Home Minister Amit Shah during a show in Indore. On Saturday night, when he was finally allowed to go, he walked out of jail in silence, probably to avoid any further backlash. A day later when he spoke to media, he made very brief remarks saying that he has faith in the judiciary system of the country.

'I'm Not a Cat': Lawyer on Zoom Call Failed to Disable Filter, Twitter Trying to Solve the Meow-stery

It really is a modern day meow-stery that's becoming the talk of the Internet today. When Judge Roy Ferguson opened up virtual proceedings of the 394th Judicial District Court in Texas on Zoom on Tuesday, he was not expecting to see two lawyers and a kitten. The cute blue-eyed “cat” in the bottom right corner was actually county attorney Rod Ponton, covered by a filter. “Mr Ponton, I believe you have filter turned on in the video settings,” said the judge. Ponton said his assistant was trying to fix the settings. “I’m here live, I’m not a cat,” he said.