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INDIA IS CRACKING DOWN ON ECOMMERCE AND FREE SPEECH
WHEN IT COMES to cracking down on tech giants, India is on a roll. The country was the first to reject Facebook’s contentious plan to offer free internet access to parts of the developing world in 2016. Since December, Indian policymakers have taken a page from China’s playbook, enacting sweeping restrictions in an attempt to curtail the power of ecommerce behemoths like Amazon, and pushing proposals that would require internet companies to censor “unlawful” content, break user encryption, and forbid Indian data from being stored on foreign soil. In the past week alone, Indian officials have demanded that Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey come before Parliament to answer accusations of bias, called for a ban on TikTok, and opened an investigation into claims that Google abused its Android mobile operating system to unfairly promote its own services.
For all its good intentions, India’s tech backlash could backfire, with potentially dire consequences for all tech companies—big and small—operating in India, not to mention free speech online. “There is an element of nationalism which is creeping into tech policy in India,” said Apar Gupta, executive director of the Internet Freedom Foundation, a digital-rights group. Gupta says this has resulted in a number of India-First-style tech policies being rushed through the government using the much quicker executive notification process rather than seeking parliamentary approval, which could have resulted in laws that would be more comprehensive and enforceable.
Illinois Prosecutors Reportedly Preparing to Indict R. Kelly Over Another Tape
Chicago prosecutors are investigating a VHS tape of what appears to be, according to lawyer Michael Avenatti, singer R. Kelly raping a girl.
“My client knows the identity of the girl and R. Kelly,” Avenatti, who previously represented Stormy Daniels, told CNN. “He identified the two of them on the videotape. He worked for and has known R. Kelly for decades and he met the girl on a number of occasions. Avenatti turned the tape over to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office in Chicago last weekend, CNN reports.
White Flag - Bishop Briggs
2 Malnourished Texas Children Found Living in Dog Crates as Mom, Boyfriend Are Charged
When authorities responded to an alleged domestic violence incident near Fort Worth, Texas, on Tuesday morning, they found a disturbing scene.
According to a police report first obtained by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, a couple had allegedly gotten into a fight. While authorities began investigating it, they heard children crying inside.
A 5-year-old boy and a 4-year-old girl were allegedly found locked inside a dog kennel inside the family home, police say. The kennel was approximately 3 feet by 3 feet. They appeared to be malnourished. Two other boys, ages 3 and 1, were also found malnourished, according to police. The younger children were not in kennels, according to WFAA-TV.
Six Gay, Bi Men Sue USC Doctor for Sexual Battery, Harassment
The University of Southern California and a doctor recently employed there were hit with a lawsuit from six gay and bisexual men who accuse the physician of sexual battery, gender violence, sexual harassment, negligence, and fraud.
Dr. Dennis A. Kelly, who retired from USC two years ago, denies the claims, telling the Los Angeles Times that he always acted "professionally and without any other motive."
The plaintiffs allege Kelly targeted gay and bi male students, subjecting them to "demeaning and derogatory" terms and inquiring if they used sex toys and watched internet porn. The accusers — some of which attended USC between 2009 and 2014 — also said they were subjected to "intrusive and medically unnecessary rectal examinations."
Four suspects arrested in brutal attack on Texas gay couple
Four men were arrested Tuesday in connection with the brutal beating of a gay couple in downtown Austin last month. Police say an anonymous tip sent to their Crime Stoppers line helped them apprehend the suspects.
The four men allegedly beat Spencer Deehring, 23, and Tristan Perry, 22, after the couple left a gay club holding hands in downtown Austin in the early hours of Jan. 19. The suspects are accused of hurling anti-gay slurs at Deehring and Perry before attacking them. Perry suffered a broken nose after being punched in the face and kicked in the head, and Deehring was knocked unconscious. A bystander called 911, and both men were hospitalized after the attack.