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London: Micro-blogging platform Twitter has warned Britain’s Conservative Party that it will take “decisive corrective action” against it if it continues to mislead the public after it temprarily renamed its Twitter handle as a fact-checking organization during a key political debate.

The Conservative Party came under fire for rebranding one of its official Twitter accounts @CCHQPress as “factcheckUK” during a live TV debate between its leader Boris Johnson, and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn on Tuesday.

After the debate, the account reverted to its original branding, reports Metro.

“Twitter is committed to facilitating healthy debate throughout the UK general election.

“Any further attempts to mislead people by editing verified profile information — in a manner seen during the UK Election Debate — will result in decisive corrective action,” the micro-blogging platform said in a statement.

UK-based fact-checking agency Full Fact also criticized the Conservative Party.

“It is inappropriate and misleading for the Conservative press office to rename their twitter account ‘factcheckUK’ during this debate,” it said.

The CCHQPress account carries a blue verified badge by Twitter.

“The badge remained in place after they changed the name and branding during the debate. Though the handle stayed the same, only the name “factcheckUK” showed up for users on retweets,” the report said.

Conservative Party chairman James Cleverly defended the rebranding. “The Twitter handle of the CCHQ press office remained CCHQPress, so it’s clear the nature of the site,” he told the BBC.

The Labour Party tweeted: “The Conservatives’ laughable attempt to dupe those watching the #ITVDebate by renaming their Twitter account shows you can’t trust a word they say.”



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5 Taliban militants killed in Afghanistan

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alat (Afghanistan): Five militants were killed after the Afghan security forces targeted Taliban hideouts in Afghanistan’s Uruzgan and Kandahar provinces on Sunday, Afghan Army said in a statement.

The security forces backed by fighter planes struck the militants’ hideouts outside Tirin Kot, the capital of Uruzgan province, killing two insurgents and wounding three others, early Sunday morning, Afghanistan’s Army was quoted as saying by Xinhua news agency.

Similarly, the security forces targeted a Taliban hideout in Khakriz district of the neighboring Kandahar province in the wee hours of Sunday, killing three armed insurgents.

Taliban militants have yet to make a comment.

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Arms (Amendment) Bill turns law, gets President’s nod

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Ramnath-Kovind-

New Delhi: The new Arms (Amendment) Act has come into force with President Ram Nath Kovind’s assent to a Bill cleared by Parliament earlier this week to help the government in controlling proliferation of illegal arms and ammunition in the country.

Kovind gave his approval on Saturday to the Act which provides for enhancement of period of arms licence from three years to five years and issuance of arms licence in its electronic form for rationalising and facilitating the licensing procedures for use of firearms by individuals as well as to curb crimes committed by using illegal firearms.

The Act aimed at providing effective deterrence against violation of law.

“In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (2) of section 1 of the Arms (Amendment) Act, 2019 (48 of 2019), the Central Government hereby appoints the 14th day of December, 2019, as the date on which the provisions of the said Act shall come into force,” a Gazette notification issued on Saturday reads.

The Arms (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was cleared from Rajya Sabha on Tuesday, a day after it was passed from the Lok Sabha, proposing stringent punishment for illegal weapons and ammunition traffickers.

The Act is an amendment to the six-decade-old Arms Act, 1959 to effectively curb crimes committed by using illegal firearms in the wake of spurt in illegal arms smuggling.

It bans the manufacture, sale, use, transfer, conversion, testing or proofing of firearms without a license. As per the amendment, even the punishment for offences under the act has been increased to between seven years and life imprisonment, and a fine.

Previously, the punishment for offences under the act was between three to seven years, along with a fine. The security forces this year, seized 438 illegal guns and 30,480 ammunition, said the Minister, adding that in coming years the government will add provision to give licence in form of smart card and will do away with the licence book.

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Shooter Vartika Singh wants to hang Nirbhaya killers

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Lucknow:International shooter Vartika Singh has written a letter in blood to Union Home Minister Amit Shah, expressing her desire to execute the capital punishment to the four convicts in the Nirbhaya rape case who are facing a death sentence.

Vartika Singh told reporters on Sunday that she wanted to hang the four convicts in order to send a message that a woman can execute men if they violate her.

She further said that she wanted support for her initiative from women actors, lawmakers and other celebrities.

Reports of the imminent hanging of the four men convicted in the infamous Nirbhaya rape and murder case have been gaining grounds as the convicts are running out of legal options.

The Tihar Jail officials, where the four are presently lodged, have asked the Buxar Jail in Bihar to prepare ropes for the hanging and the Uttar Pradesh government has been asked to provide hangmen.

The Buxar Jjail has expertise in making ropes suitable for hanging while Uttar Pradesh has a ‘certified’ hangman Pawan in Meerut.

Vartika Singh had made news a few months ago when Babri plaintiff Iqbal Ansari had accused her of heckling him to concede the then disputed land to Hindus. She had accused him of attempting to assault her.

Besides Singh, 42-year-old Tamil police Head Constable S. Subash Srinivasan, a police gallantry medal winner and grandson of INA veteran, has also volunteered to hang the killers of Nirbhaya in Tihar Jail. Srinivasan has also written a letter to the Tihar Jail authorities on December 6.

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