Tuesday March 19, 2019
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White House cites India’s support to sell Iran nuclear deal

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Washington: The White House has again warned that if the Republican controlled Congress kills the historic nuclear deal with Iran, it would be impossible to assemble an international coalition, including India, to back sanctions against Tehran. 

The Iran deal was backed by at least 86 nations including six — China, India, Japan, South Korea, Turkey and Taiwan — that have voluntarily restricted the amount of Iranian oil that they imported, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters on Thursday.

“It also happens to include all of the countries that had previously imported Iranian oil, but stopped doing it so that they could work effectively with the United States and the rest of the international community to apply pressure to Iran,” he said.

It also includes a significant number of countries that may, in the future, be interested in purchasing oil from Iran, Earnest said as the Obama administration continued its efforts to sell the nuclear deal to sceptic lawmakers, including some from President Barack Obama’s own Democratic party.

“So the number is significant because it serves to illustrate how difficult it would be — basically why it would be impossible for us to re-impose sanctions if Congress were to kill this deal,” he said.

Earnest said he was citing the support of all these countries “to rebut the claim that, well, if Congress is to move forward with killing this deal, that there is some other option available other than the military option”.

“And the fact is, killing the deal only makes the need to use the military option more likely because it’s going to be impossible for us to reassemble an international coalition to reach a diplomatic agreement,” he said.

It would be impossible to do so if the US “stands alone in killing a diplomatic agreement that’s supported by the rest of the world — or at least 86 other countries around the world, including countries like China, India, Japan, South Korea, Turkey and Taiwan”, Earnest said.

It required international pressure, unanimity of opinion across the globe to convince Iran to limit its nuclear programme, he said.

“But if the United States steps away from this agreement, it certainly is fair for Iran to start calling everybody’s bluff,” Earnest said.

“And there’s one thing we won’t be able to do about it. We won’t be able to apply a comprehensive international set of sanctions against Iran.”

The international community was backing the deal, Earnest said, because “they know that the best way to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon is the diplomatic agreement”.

If the deal is subsequently killed by the US Congress, it certainly would affect the US “and our credibility to go and tell China, India, Japan, South Korea, Turkey and Taiwan that they needed to go back to curtailing their purchases of Iranian oil”.

“I think all those countries would say, Why? Why should we do that? You’re not serious about trying to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, so we’re not going to enter into a diplomatic agreement for that reason,” Earnest said.

(IANS)

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WhatsApp and NASSCOM To Come Up With Digital Literacy Training To Curb Fake News

"This training educates people throughout India to be mindful of the messages they receive and to verify the facts before forwarding,"

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The first training will be on March 27 in Delhi and will be followed by more planned interventions like hosting training workshops for representatives from rural and urban areas along with roadshows across numerous colleges. Pixabay

As part of the partnership, WhatsApp and NASSCOM Foundation will train nearly 1,00,000 Indians to spot false information and provide tips and tricks to stay safe on WhatsApp.

The co-created curriculum, which includes real-world anecdote tools that can be used to verify a forwarded message and actions that users can take like reporting problematic content to fact checkers and other law enforcement agencies, will be disseminated in multiple regional languages.

“We are excited to expand our partnerships with civil society to advance crucial digital literacy skills that can help combat misinformation share on WhatsApp,” Abhijit Bose, Head of India, WhatsApp, said in a statement.

“This training educates people throughout India to be mindful of the messages they receive and to verify the facts before forwarding,” he added.

The training will be imparted by volunteers from NASSCOM Foundation who will launch the “each one teach three” campaign that mandates every volunteer to share their learnings with three more persons leading to a network effect.

These volunteers will post their takeaways from the workshops on their social media handles to increase the reach of these safety messages.

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As part of the partnership, WhatsApp and NASSCOM Foundation will train nearly 1,00,000 Indians to spot false information and provide tips and tricks to stay safe on WhatsApp.
Pixabay

The first training will be on March 27 in Delhi and will be followed by more planned interventions like hosting training workshops for representatives from rural and urban areas along with roadshows across numerous colleges.

“The use of technology platforms like WhatsApp are inherently meant to foster social good, harmony, and collaboration, but are sadly being used by a small number of miscreants to entice anger and hatred by spreading false and doctored information,” Ashok Pamidi, CEO, NASSCOM Foundation, said.

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“This training educates people throughout India to be mindful of the messages they receive and to verify the facts before forwarding,” he added. Pixabay

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“I would like to urge all the connected citizens who want to join this fight against the spread of fake information, to come and help volunteer towards the cause,” Pamidi added.

Aspiring volunteers can register at www.mykartavya.nasscomfoundation.org

NASSCOM Foundation is the social arm of the industry body, National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM). (IANS)