Top headlines: SC protests farm panel criticism; WhatsApp offers answers

Supreme Court blasts critics of a panel it set up to resolve deadlock over farm laws.
Farm laws panel has no power to judge, 'don't cast aspersions': SC

The Supreme Court Wednesday expressed strong displeasure over the aspersions cast by some farmers' unions on members of the court-appointed committee to resolve the impasse over new farm laws and said it has not given any adjudicating authority to the panel. The Centre, meanwhile, withdrew its petition seeking injunction against the proposed tractor rally by farmers on the Republic Day after the apex court said it was police matter. Read more

Jack Ma emerges for first time in months since crackdown on Ant, Alibaba

Jack Ma resurfaced for the first time since China’s government began clamping down on his business empire nearly three months ago, appearing in a live-streamed video that sent Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s stock soaring but left plenty of unanswered questions about the billionaire’s fate. Ma spoke briefly on Wednesday during an annual event he hosts to recognize rural teachers. In one video of the event circulated online, China’s most famous entrepreneur can be seen touring a primary school in his hometown of Hangzhou. Ma, who had stayed out of public view since regulators suspended the initial public offering of his fintech company Ant Group Co., told the teachers he’ll spend more time on philanthropy. Read more

Biden's immigration bill proposes to scrap country cap, to help IT in India

Joe Biden, hours after being sworn in as the 46th President, will send a comprehensive immigration bill to Congress which among other things proposes to eliminate the per country cap for employment-based green cards, a move that would benefit hundreds and thousands of Indian IT professionals in the US, whose current wait period for legal permanent residency runs into several decades. Called the US Citizenship Act of 2021, the legislation modernises the immigration system, according to an incoming White House official. Read more

Available to answer any question on privacy policy, says WhatsApp

A day after India asked it to withdraw changes to its privacy policy, WhatsApp on Wednesday said the proposed change does not expand its ability to share user data with Facebook and that it is open to answering questions on the issue. The Indian government on Tuesday posed 14 questions to WhatsApp on its "invasive" changes in Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Read more

Pfizer-BioNTech shot may neutralise mutating coronavirus, study shows

Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE built the case that their Covid-19 vaccine will protect against the new variant of the coronavirus that emerged in the UK with results of another lab trial. Like previous work out of the University of Texas Medical Branch, the results published on Wednesday showed that antibodies in the blood of people who had been vaccinated were able to neutralize a version of the mutant virus that was created in the lab. The study was published on preprint server BioRxiv prior to peer review. Read more



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