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Nitish’s Bihar development claim false: Pappu Yadav

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

New Delhi: “The tall claims of development in Bihar by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar are false and he has done nothing for the state except helping corrupt officials and mafias during his tenure”, Jan Adhikar Party chief Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav, the controversial former MP who was last year acquitted in the murder of a CPI-M leader, has said.

pappu-yadav“Nitish has done no development and whatever he claims has no truth in it. Corruption has hit a new high in the state, there is no law and order at all,” said Yadav.

“He played the chief minister who always helped the corrupt bureaucrats and mafias and due to which he ran the government for 10 years. The people of Bihar have suffered due to his political ambitions,” added Yadav, who was previously expelled from Lalu’s RJD.

Asked about the number of seats he was planning to contest in the upcoming state polls, Yadav, once considered a close aide of Lalu Prasad, said, “We have not decided on the exact number of seats we want to contest on. We just want to serve the people of Bihar no matter how many seats we manage to fight on.”

“I have made a party not do petty politics but to bring a change in the state that has been looted by earlier governments. I have always stood for the people of Bihar and will continue to do that till my last breath,” he added.

Talking about former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, Yadav said he was used by Lalu Prasad and Nitish Kumar for their ends. He said they had humiliated Manjhi.

On the reports of him aligning with Samajwadi Party and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and floating a third front to challenge the NDA and the RJD-JD(U)-Congress grand alliance, he said: “I have no ideological differences with SP chief Mulayam Singh-ji. I have been a Samajwadi Party MP from Purnia.

“We have worked together in the past as well. If everything goes well, we can form the third front. Nothing is finalized as of now.”

However, NCP leader Tariq Anwar said that the SP-NCP alliance was finalized and that Pappu Yadav was ready to align with them.

The alliance may see Anwar as its chief ministerial candidate.

Yadav said if voted to power he would address the law and order problems at the earliest and ban the sale of liquor across the state within seven days.

He also expressed his disappointment with the ‘Bahubali’ tag that he has been given.

“Just because I come from a royal Yadav family and serve the youth of Bihar, people call me a Bahubali. It disappoints me a lot. I don’t know why people have given me this tag. I just want to ask is there not criminal cases against other top leaders? Aren’t there cases against Amit Shah? Why don’t people call him a Bahubali,” he asked.

Asked about his controversial comment on people from Manipur, he said: “I have said nothing wrong. It disturbs me when people from northern India, especially Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, are targeted in Manipur. We cannot have different treatment for people in the same country.”

“If the situation does not improve or violence against Bihar migrants continues in Manipur, we will forcibly pull out Manipuri passengers from trains running through Bihar and send them back to Manipur,” Yadav had said.

Yadav won thrice from Purnia – 1991, 1996 and 1999 – and won the 2004 Madhepura bypolls.

Last year, citing lack of evidence, the Patna High Court acquitted Yadav in a case related to the killing Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Ajit Sarkar in May 1998.

His wife, Ranjita Ranjan, is also a former MP.

(With inputs from IANS)

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Google Proposes Its First Urban Development Project

The current agreement leaves ownership of data issues for later shows that it wasn't properly drafted and means patents derived from the data will default to Google.

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A Google logo is displayed at the entrance to the internet based company's offices in Toronto. VOA

Heated streets will melt ice and snow on contact. Sensors will monitor traffic and protect pedestrians. Driverless shuttles will carry people to their doors.

A unit of Google’s parent company Alphabet is proposing to turn a rundown part of Toronto’s waterfront into what may be the most wired community in history — to “fundamentally refine what urban life can be.”

Sidewalk Labs has partnered with a government agency known as Waterfront Toronto with plans to erect mid-rise apartments, offices, shops and a school on a 12-acre (4.9-hectare) site — a first step toward what it hopes will eventually be a 800-acre (325-hectare) development.

High-level interest is clear: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Alphabet’s then-Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt appeared together to announce the plan in October.

Google, cryptocurrency
A Google logo is seen at the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, California, VOA

But some Canadians are rethinking the privacy implications of giving one of the most data-hungry companies on the planet the means to wire up everything from street lights to pavement. And some want the public to get a cut of the revenue from products developed using Canada’s largest city as an urban laboratory.

“The Waterfront Toronto executives and board are too dumb to realize they are getting played,” said former BlackBerry chief executive Jim Balsillie, a smartphone pioneer considered a national hero.

Complaints about the proposed development prompted Waterfront Toronto to re-do the agreement to ensure a greater role for the official agency, which represents city, provincial and federal governments.

So far the project is still in the embryonic stage. After consultations, the developers plan to present a formal master plan early next year.

Google
Trump Also Expands Google Criticism to Include Facebook, Twitter. VOA

Dan Doctoroff, the CEO of Sidewalk Labs, envisions features like pavement that lights up to warn pedestrians of approaching streetcars. Flexible heated enclosures — described as “raincoats” for buildings — will be deployed based on weather data during Toronto’s bitter winters. Robotic waste-sorting systems will detect when a garbage bin is full and remove it before raccoons descend.

“Those are great uses of data that can improve the quality of life of people,” he said. “That’s what we want to do.”

Sidewalk Labs promotional materials promise “a place that’s enhanced by digital technology and data, without giving up the privacy and security that everyone deserves.”

Doctoroff said the company isn’t looking to monetize people’s personal information in the way that Google does now with search information. He said the plan is to invent so-far-undefined products and services that Sidewalk Labs can market elsewhere.

“People automatically assume because of our relationship to Alphabet and Google that they will be treated one way or another. We have never said anything” about the data issue, he said. “To be honest people should give us some time. Be patient.”

Google
Google has collaborated with Getty images. Wikimedia Commons

But that wasn’t good enough for Julie Di Lorenzo, a prominent Toronto developer who resigned from the Waterfront Toronto board over the project. Di Lorenzo said data and what Google wants to do with it should be front and center in the discussions. She also believes the government agency has given the Google affiliate too much power over how the project develops.

“How can [Waterfront Toronto], a corporation established by three levels of democratically elected government, have shared values with a limited, for-profit company whose premise is embedded data collection?” Di Lorenzo asked.

Di Lorenzo asks who will own the autonomous vehicles. “Is the municipality maintaining the fleet or forcing you to share your vehicle?” She also asks if people who don’t want their data collected will be allowed to live there.

The concerns have intensified following a series of privacy scandals at Facebook and Google. A recent Associated Press investigation found that many Google services on iPhones and Android devices store location-tracking data even if you use privacy settings that are supposed to turn them off.

Google
The Alexa Echo Dot devices include the official Saint Louis University logo and are equipped with specific skills to provide information on local events and campus life. VOA

“It gives all of us pause,” Waterfront board chair Helen Burstyn acknowledged.

Bianca Wylie, an advocate of open government, said it remains deeply troubling that Sidewalk Labs still hasn’t said who will own data produced by the project or how it will be monetized. Google is here to make money, she said, and Canadians should benefit from any data or products developed from it.

“We are not here to be someone’s research and development lab,” she said, “to be a loss leader for products they want to sell globally.”

Ottawa patent lawyer Natalie Raffoul said the fact that the current agreement leaves ownership of data issues for later shows that it wasn’t properly drafted and means patents derived from the data will default to Google.

“We just can’t be too trusting of corporations,” she said.

Capitol hill, google
An empty chair reserved for Google’s parent Alphabet, which refused to send its top executive, is seen as Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg accompanied by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on ‘Foreign Influence Operations and Their Use of Social Media Platforms’ on Capitol Hill. VOA

But Burstyn, the Waterfront Toronto chair, said the upcoming master plan will address data concerns. The agency wants to make Toronto a global hub of a rising new industry, she said.

“Everybody gets worried about the digital and technology aspects that might run amok,” she said. “I don’t worry about that as much as I see the opportunities for developing a really interesting, innovative community.”

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Adam Vaughan, the federal lawmaker whose district includes the development, said debate about big data and urban infrastructure is coming to cities across the world and he would rather have Toronto at the forefront of discussion.

“Google is ahead of governments globally and locally. That’s a cause for concern but it’s also an opportunity,” Vaughan said. (VOA)