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Twitter CEO: Banning Trump right, but sets dangerous precedent

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SAN FRANCISCO: Twitter Inc chief ecxecutive Jack Dorsey said on Wednesday that banning President Donald Trump from its social media platform after last week’s violence at the US Capitol was the “right decision,” but said it sets a dangerous precedent.
San Francisco-based Twitter last week removed Trump’s account, which had 88 million followers, citing the risk of further violence following the storming of the Capitol by supporters of the president.
“Having to take these actions fragment the public conversation,” Dorsey said on Twitter. “They divide us. They limit the potential for clarification, redemption, and learning. And sets a precedent I feel is dangerous: the power an individual or corporation has over a part of the global public conversation.”
The ban drew criticism from some Republicans who said it quelled the president’s right to free speech. German Chancellor Angela Merkel also warned through a spokesman that legislators, not private companies, should decide on potential curbs to free expression.
In his Twitter thread, Dorsey said that while he took no pride in the ban, “Offline harm as a result of online speech is demonstrably real, and what drives our policy and enforcement above all.”
Even so, he added, “While there are clear and obvious exceptions, I feel a ban is a failure of ours ultimately to promote healthy conversation.”
Twitter has introduced a series of measures over the last year like labels, warnings and distribution restrictions to reduce the need for decisions about removing content entirely from the service.
Dorsey has said he believes those measures can promote more fruitful, or “healthy,” conversations online and lessen the impact of bad behavior.
The Twitter CEO added that bans by social media companies on Trump after last week’s violence were emboldened by each other’s actions even though they were not coordinated. But in the long term, the precedent set “will be destructive to the noble purpose and ideals of the open internet,” he said.
Supporters of Trump who has repeatedly made baseless claims challenging Democrat Joe Biden‘s victory in the November election, stormed the USCapitol on Wednesday, trying to halt the certification by Congress of Biden’s Electoral College win.
On Wednesday, Trump became the first president in US history to be impeached twice.

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India eases rules for getting new type of aircraft

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NEW DELHI: India has simplified the process of getting new types of aircraft as it opens its skies to flying machines not seen here commonly earlier like seaplanes and four-seater planes.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has removed the requirement of giving type acceptance of aircraft for short term wet leasing (hiring with operating crew) of aircraft in a bid to improve the ease of doing business in this crippled by Covid sector.
“Wet leasing of foreign aircraft under any exigency is permitted for a limited period of three months, which is extendable for another three months. Type acceptance of an aircraft type was mandatory for import and registration of aircraft in India, (including) for short term leasing of foreign aircraft by Indian operators. This requirement has been removed,” a senior DGCA official said.
Under the subsidised regional connectivity scheme, India is opening up new routes that will require small aircraft, seaplanes and choppers. The change, brought about by amending the civil aviation requirement for “criteria for leasing of aircraft by Indian operators,” is aimed at simplifying leasing of those types of planes not seen here earlier or commonly.
The amendment does not change the maximum age requirement of 18 and 25 years for aircraft being brought in for passenger transportation and cargo operations, respectively.
“Wet, damp or dry lease is only permitted in emergency situations by DGCA. Situations cover unexpected grounding of aircraft of an existing (airline, charter operator), aircraft under unscheduled maintenance or checks or any other unforeseen circumstances. Such leases are not permitted for capacity or route expansion of an air transport (passenger) service except for cargo operations,” the amended rule says.
However, the DGCA can give exemption from the maximum age condition for bringing in aircraft. Fo instance, SpiceJet wet-leased an almost 50-year-old 15-seater DHC-6 Twin Otter seaplane from Maldivian Aero, the country’s national airline, last October for operating between Ahmedabad’s Sabarmati riverfront and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s Stature of Unity in Kevadia.
Following PM Modi’s direction, Airports Authority of India is developing water ports. The Centre had last year approved subsidised flights from six water airports that include Guwahati riverfront, Nagarjuna Sagar, Shatrunjay Dam and Umrangso reservoir under the third round of ude desh ka aam nagrik (Udan) scheme.
The first to take off will be the seaplane service between Ahmedabad Sabarmati riverfront and the State of Unity.
The routes awarded for seaplane operations include Sabarmati riverfront to Stature of Unity and Shatrunjay Dam; Guwahati riverfront to Umrango reservoir, Jorhat and Shillong and Nagarjuna Sagar to Vijaywada and Hyderabad.
In August-end, the aviation ministry had approved 78 new routes under the fourth round of UDAN which could see Kavaratti water aerodrome in Lakshadweep also getting flights. Agatti, Kavaratti and Minicoy islands of Lakshadweep have also been connected by the new routes of UDAN 4.
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IndiGo 8th biggest airline in terms of flights

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NEW DELHI: The UAE-India corridor has emerged as the second busiest country pair this month, with Mexico-US the biggest in terms of seats deployed by airlines flying between two countries, according to UK-based air consultancy firm OAG.
IndiGo is currently the world’s eight biggest airline globally and Delhi Airport the 12th biggest, in terms of capacity deployment by airlines.
OAG data airlines flying between Mexico and US have deployed 33 lakh seats this month. India-UAE is at second spot with almost 10 lakh seats. Mexico-US seat deployment this January by airlines has returned to almost the same level of same month last year month with marginally 1% lower.
However, India-UAE seats deployment is 48% lower than January 2020.
Almost all big Indian carriers like IndiGo, Air India, SpiceJet, Vistara and GoAir and UAE ones like Emirates, Etihad and flydubai currently flights operate between the countries under an air bubble arrangement.
In terms of number of flights scheduled to be operated this January, American Airlines is at number one with 1.1 lakh flights (43% less than January 2020) followed by Delta, United and Southwest at a lakh, 77,000 and 62,500, respectively.
The big four US carriers are operating the maximum number of flights this month. They are followed by the three Chinese carriers — China Eastern, China Southern and Air China.
India’s IndiGo is at number 8 with 36,525 flights scheduled for this month — down 24% from January 2020.
The airports seeing airlines deploy maximum capacity in terms of seats, OAG data shows, this month are Guangzhou (over 35 lakh seats) which has displaced the pre-pandemic busiest air globally — Atlanta — to the second spot with 34 lakh seats.
The next four busiest airports are all in China — Beijing, Chengdu, Shenzhen and Chongqing. Delhi’s IGI Airport is at 12th spot with 24 lakh seats deployed by airlines, down 36% from same month last year.
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