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Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos walks onstage in Seattle. Source-VOA

Taking cognizance of a media report that exposed how Amazon facilitated trade of unsafe, banned products on its platform, three lawmakers in the US have written to the e-commerce giant’s CEO Jeff Bezos, urging him to take swift action to stop wrongful sale of “deadly” products.

“Unquestionably, Amazon is falling short of its commitment to keeping safe those consumers who use its massive platform,” the three Senate Democrats wrote in the latter sent to Bezos on Thursday.


The letter mentioned the recent investigation by the Wall Street Journal that found more than 4,000 items for sale on Amazon’s site that “have been declared unsafe by federal agencies, are deceptively labelled, or are banned by federal regulators.”

The investigation revealed the availability of myriad problematic items on the e-commerce site including defective helmets, toys and cosmetics incorrectly labelled as US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved, unregistered pesticides, and pain relievers lacking appropriate FDA warning labels, among others.

The letter mentioned the traumatic story of a family whose life Amazon’s negligence changed forever.

The incident involved 23-year-old Albert Stokes who died in a motorcycle crash in 2014 when his helmet came off. The helmet, purchased from Amazon, was not compliant with federal safety standards and had been recalled.


Security guards stand at the reception desk of the Amazon India office in Bengaluru, India, Aug. 14, 2015. VOA

While the helmet in question has been removed from Amazon’s site, many other problematic items remain on Amazon’s platform, the letter mentioned.

Senators Richard Blumenthal, Robert Menendez and Edward Markey asked why the safety efforts at Amazon have failed to prevent the sale of mislabelled, recalled and other unsafe products.

Also Read: Nokia Tops the Chart When it Comes to Updating Smartphone Software

They also asked what steps Amazon is taking to identify and remove problematic items from the platform.

The lawmakers asked Bezos to reply to their questions by September 29.

In response to the WSJ report, Amazon is blog post said that it invests “significant resources to protect our customers and have built robust programmes designed to ensure products offered for sale in our store are safe and compliant.” (IANS)


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As the economy continues to recover from the prolonged pandemic.

By Rohit Vaid
The Centre might bestow infrastructure as well as industry status to new sectors to boost several pandemic hit industries in the upcoming Union Budget. Industry insiders said that several sectors and sub-industries such as hospitality, automobile retail, specific diganotics facilities and companies engaged in installation of EV charging stations amongst others might get the status.
The infra tag will enable these sectors to avail tax breaks, incentives and credit on lower interest rates. "Sectors which are in greenfield or which would need capex augmentation to help them overcome the pandemic can be looked from the lens of an infrastructure sector," said Jagannarayan Padmanabhan, Director and Practice Leader, Transport & Logistics, Crisil Infrastructure Advisory. "Also many of the already identified sectors need a sustained policy push which will help them get visibility both in terms of quantum and the time period of applicability."

Till now, activities associated with laying of power and telecom transmission and distribution lines, roads, highways, railways and construction of facilities such as hospitals, affordable housing, power generation units, water treatment plants, SEZs and certain type of hotels amongst others were given such status.

Besides, these sectors are a part of harmonised master list for infrastructure sub-sectors. However, in April 2021, exhibition-cum-convention centre was included in the list. "Given the focus around electric vehicle, and need for significant investment in charging stations, if the government adds the sector in infrastructure list, the benefits arising out of it will be significant," said Vishal Kotecha, Director, India Ratings and Research. "Infra tag on sectors increases ability to raise funds, access to dedicated funds and lenders, foreign capital, lower interest rates among others."

Electric car Given the focus on electric vehicles, the advantages of including the industry in the infrastructure list will be enormous. Free SVG

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A team is working to produce safest medicine for covid treatment.

A team led by chief scientist Ravi Shankar, is working on two combinations to provide the safest medication to coronavirus patients. "Experts say that a combination of antivirals with different mechanisms can be more effective to counter the viral pandemic. We are working on two combinations - Umifenovir with Molnupiravir (an antiviral) and Umifenovir with Niclosamide (anti-parasitic)," he said.

Also read: Antiviral Remdesivir Receives FDA

Molnupiravur drug has received only Emergency Use Authorisation in India and abroad. Though its usage showed reduced hospitalisation during clinical trials, its biggest drawback are the side-effects, he added.

"Now, we are trying to keep a low dosage of Molnupiravir in its combination with Umifenovir which may weed out the side-effects such as the risk of cartilage and muscle damage. If successful, it will make Umifenovir more effective in Covid-19 treatment," said the chief scientist. The other combination is Umifenovir with Niclosamide.

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MEA Jaishankar instructed Indian envoys to Canada and the US, "to urgently respond to the situation."

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar on Friday instructed Indian envoys to Canada and the US, Ajay Bisaria and Taranjit Singh Sandhu, "to urgently respond to the situation" where four Indian nationals including an infant have lost their lives on the US-Canada border. The minister said this in a public tweet. Neither of the two missions have responded on the microblogging site till the time of filing of this report.

In a statement Thursday without identifying the victims, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) stated that "on the morning of January 19, 2022, RCMP officers with the Integrated Border Enforcement Team received concerning information from their counterparts in the United States".

Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) RCMP officers received concerning information from their counterparts in the United States.Wikipedia

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