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Twitter in India faces criminal charges for Kashmir map ‘treason’ | India

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Twitter is facing criminal charges in India after the site published a map that incorrectly showed the turbulent Indian region of Kashmir as a separate country.

On Monday night a report was filed to police in the state of Uttar Pradesh against Twitter’s head in India, Manish Maheshwari, calling the publication of the distorted map “an act of treason”.

The error was a sensitive one. The state of Jammu and Kashmir has been rocked by a separatist insurgency fighting for independence from India for decades. In August 2019, the Indian government unilaterally stripped the region of its semi-autonomous powers, to the anger of many living in the state.

After the map error was flagged by a user, it prompted a backlash against Twitter, which then quietly removed the map from its “tweep life” section.

Nonetheless, the error has further heightened tensions between Twitter and Indian authorities, which are engaged in a standoff on multiple fronts.

This was the second time in less than a month that Twitter’s head in India has had a police case filed against him in Uttar Pradesh. Last week, Maheshwari was summoned by police over activity on Twitter relating to the alleged attack of a Muslim man in the state.

High profile Indian journalists and political leaders who had tweeted about the attack were named in the police report, which accused Twitter of publishing posts that provoked “communal sentiments”.

Maheshwari has not tweeted about the attack himself and a state high court granted him protection from arrest in the case, but Uttar Pradesh police are now challenging the order in the supreme court.

India’s central government, led by Narendra Modi, has repeatedly ordered Twitter to remove tweets that are critical of government actions and policies. Twitter attracted the ire of ministers by refusing to comply with many of the demands for the removal of tweets and in May, police visited Twitter’s India headquarters in the capital, Delhi, to serve the company a legal notice.

Along with other social media sites and messaging apps, Twitter has also been accused of not fully complying with new rules passed by the government that heavily increase state regulation and control over social media sites.

Twitter could not be reached for comment regarding the furore over the incorrect map. However, in a statement last month, Twitter said that the harassment of its employees in India and the introduction of new IT laws had left the company “concerned by recent events regarding our employees in India and the potential threat to freedom of expression”.

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Power Capital takes majority interest in Terra Solar’s portfolio

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Terra Solar, a NovaUCD start-up founded in 2016, is giving up its sites in Wexford and Cork to Power Capital to develop solar farms.

Dublin-based company Power Capital Renewable Energy (PCRE) has announced plans to acquire majority interest in Terra Solar’s 400MW portfolio.

This will bring the company’s total solar assets to 840MW and boost its presence in the Irish solar power space.

A start-up that sprung out of NovaUCD, the University College Dublin accelerator, Terra Solar was founded by David Fewer and André Fernon in 2016. State-owned ESB was one of Terra Solar’s early investors, putting up €2.5m for a stake in the company.

Paris-based VC firm Omnes Capital will back the development of the solar sites over the next few years, which require around €200m to build out. Irish and international lenders will also back the development.

Power Capital director Peter Duff said that his company’s aim of becoming Ireland’s leading independent power producer has come a step closer with the deal.

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“Both Terra Solar and PCRE share common values and ambitions to help Ireland meet its 2030 targets and we are excited that Terra Solar chose us as a partner to bring these sites through construction,” he said.

The solar farm sites, located in Wexford and Cork, are a culmination of more than four years of engagement with local landowners, communities and planners, said Fewer.

“We will be retaining an equity stake in the developments and will be working intensively with all stakeholders over the coming few years to ensure that these sites are successfully constructed while equally continuing to grow our remaining development pipeline of 600MW.”

Justin Brown, co-founder of Power Capital, said that the company is currently in talks with other industry bodies about “increasing our foothold in the sector and we expect to see renewable energy being the dominant generator of electricity across Ireland within the next decade”.

Construction on the solar farms is set to begin in 2022 and the project is expected to be completed in the next five years.

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2021 iPhone photography awards – in pictures | Technology

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The 14th annual iPhone photography awards offer glimpses of beauty, hope and the endurance of the human spirit. Out of thousands of submissions, photojournalist Istvan Kerekes of Hungary was named the grand prize winner for his image Transylvanian Shepherds. In it, two rugged shepherds traverse an equally rugged industrial landscape, bearing a pair of lambs in their arms.

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With Alphabet’s legendary commitment to products, we can’t wait to see what its robotics biz Intrinsic achieves • The Register

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Alphabet today launched its latest tech startup, Intrinsic, which aims to build commercial software that will power industrial robots.

Intrinsic will focus on developing software control tools for industrial robots used in manufacturing, we’re told. Its pitch is that the days of humans having to manually program and adjust a robot’s every move are over, and that mechanical bots should be more autonomous and smart, thanks to advances in artificial intelligence and leaps in training techniques.

This could make robots easier to direct – give them a task, and they’ll figure out the specifics – and more efficient – the AI can work out the best way to achieve its goal.

“Over the last few years, our team has been exploring how to give industrial robots the ability to sense, learn, and automatically make adjustments as they’re completing tasks, so they work in a wider range of settings and applications,” said CEO Wendy Tan White.

“Working in collaboration with teams across Alphabet, and with our partners in real-world manufacturing settings, we’ve been testing software that uses techniques like automated perception, deep learning, reinforcement learning, motion planning, simulation, and force control.”

Tan White – a British entrepreneur and investor who was made an MBE by the Queen in 2016 for her services to the tech industry – will leave her role as vice president of X, Alphabet’s moonshot R&D lab, to concentrate on Intrinsic.

She earlier co-founded and was CEO of website-building biz Moonfruit, and helped multiple early-stage companies get up and running as a general partner at Entrepreneur First, a tech accelerator. She is also a board trustee of the UK’s Alan Turing Institute, and member of Blighty’s Digital Economic Council.

“I loved the role I played in creating platforms that inspired the imagination and entrepreneurship of people all over the world, and I’ve recently stepped into a similar opportunity: I’m delighted to share that I’m now leading Intrinsic, a new Alphabet company,” she said.

The new outfit is another venture to emerge from Google-parent Alphabet’s X labs, along with Waymo, the self-driving car startup; and Verily, a biotech biz. ®

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