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Headline USA New York

Yang Calls on Big Banks to Provide Access to Low-Income and Immigrant Communities | The State

Andrew Yang with Congressman Ritchie Torres, near the New York City Hall.

Photo:
A. YANG PRESS OFFICE / Courtesy

NY.– New York City has nearly a million residents who do not have a bank account or do not have access to banking services. This is a disadvantage that the Democratic candidate for mayor of New York City, Andrew Yang, next to Bronx Congressman Ritchie Torres, have been proposed to solve.

Yang and Torres argue that large banks that allow immigrant and low-income communities to open bank accounts using IDNYC, the identification document issued by the city of New York.

According to both political leaders, New Yorkers who do not have access to banking services rely heavily on services such as check cashing, prepaid cards or money transfers. These services are outdated and expensive, often costing New Yorkers without a bank account up to $ 3,000 in fees a year.

Yang promised that, as mayor, he will use the city’s depository power as a lever to hold banks accountable to our immigrant communities, refusing to bank with financial institutions that do not allow undocumented New Yorkers to open a bank account.

He also promised to expand IDNYC to serve as a gateway to a myriad of city services, such as cash aid and access to a New York City ‘People’s Bank’.

“It is outrageous that, in the financial capital of the world, nearly a million immigrants and low-income New Yorkers are excluded from the banking system,” said the Democratic candidate for mayor of New York City. “As mayor, I promise to use the tens of billions of dollars the city deposits in big banks each year as leverage to demand that those banks open their doors to immigrants, often undocumented, living in the Big Apple.” .

The candidate who made his nomination official last week said that as the vision of a ‘Popular Bank’ in New York City progresses on his vision, it is convenient to ensure that no New Yorker is left behind.

“We will ensure that all New Yorkers, regardless of immigration status, are reminded that they belong in our neighborhoods, as part of our economy and as the very fabric of what makes our city great,” Yang added,

Meanwhile, the new congressman Ritchie Torres stressed that to achieve the goal of New York being seen as an inclusive and equitable city, it must be ensured that all New Yorkers, regardless of their income or immigration status, have access to financial services that they need to prosper.

“We need to build on the amazing success of the IDNYC program, which has enabled immigrants, especially, to develop a deeper sense of belonging as New Yorkers. However, the largest banks in New York City continue to refuse to accept IDNYC as a valid source of identification, excluding the most vulnerable – the poor and the undocumented – from our financial system. “

Torres, a former councilman for District 15 in the Bronx, one of New York City’s most economically depressed areas, said he has joined Yang in pushing for banks to open their doors to the most vulnerable.

“We need to put money in the pockets of the poor rather than allow predatory financial institutions to take it from them. There is no place for financial discrimination in the financial capital of the world, ”Torres stressed.

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Technology UK

Man has just two password guesses left to access his £180m Bitcoin account


A computer programmer who lost his Bitcoin password has just two guesses left before he is locked out of his account forever.

Stefan Thomas has lost the slip of paper with the information to unlock his 7,002 digital coins, which yesterday were worth a reported £180million.

The tech worker told the New York Times he cannot remember the crucial code to a small hard drive, known as an IronKey, to unlock his account and cash in.

German-born Mr Thomas, who now lives in San Francisco, said if he doesn’t get the password right within the next two tries, he will lose the fortune forever.

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Investors are scrambling to cash in on Bitcoin

He told the newspaper how he had been the Bitcoin in 2011 in exchange for making an animation.

The crypto-currency’s value has soared wildly since then.

Mr Thomas’ Bitcoin were this week worth around a reported £25,637.95 each.

The computer programmer said he had written down his password a decade ago – but now he cannot find it.

The IronKey only gives users ten tries at a password to access their digital wallet before it locks an account forever.

Computer programmer Stefan Thomas
Mr Thomas is going to put his IronKey into storage until a solution can be found

“I would just lay in bed and think about it,” Mr. Thomas told the NYT. “Then I would go to the computer with some new strategy, and it wouldn’t work, and I would be desperate again.”

He said he plans to put his IronKey in a secure facility until a better way is found to crack it.

Mr Thomas among many Bitcoin investors who have found themselves ready to cash in but locked out of their accounts.

Many who invested in the cryptocurrency a decade ago when a single coin was worth a matter of hundreds of pounds have found themselves sitting on a fortune.

And Bitcoin’s soaring value has been on yet another an eight-month streak, despite the coronavirus pandemic ravaging the world economy.

Representations of virtual currency Bitcoin
The currency is now in mainstream demand

The currency plummeted on Monday, along with traditional commodities like gold, due to political uncertainty in the wake of the riots at Capitol Hill.

But the crypocurrency hit a record high last week, prompting a fresh scramble to cash in.

Bitcoin has no central management investors can contact to ask for help.

The virtual currency was created by a mysterious figure using the name Satoshi Nakamoto, who wanted to create a form of currency that could be held in a digital wallet anywhere in the world, unregulated by governments or banks.

A limited number of Bitcoin are ‘mined’ by computers around the world, and transactions recorded on a digital ledger, called a blockchain.

Because anyone can create Bitcoin without having to go through any identity checks, the currency became popular with criminals and on the internet black market.

Expert services have since had to be launched to crack locked accounts as many would-be millionaires find they have lost the key to accessing their cryptocurrencies.

Wallet Recovery Services told the NYT it was fielding around 70 requests a day from people who were struggling to access their accounts.

Another Bitcoin investor, entrepreneur Brad Yasar, told the newspaper he still had several desktop computers containing thousands of Bitcoin he had ‘mined’ during the early days of the crytocurrency.

However he lost his passwords years ago, and has subsequently hidden the computer hard drives in vaccumm-sealed bag.

“Through the years I would say I have spent hundreds of hours trying to get back into these wallets,” Mr Yasar said.

While those Bitcoin are now worth hundreds of millions of dollars, he lost his passwords many years ago and has put the hard drives containing them in vacuum-sealed bags, out of sight.

Bitcoin, which was for years viewed as a renegade currency by traditional markets and banks, is now in mainstream demand.

However early investors trying to cash in their fortunes after its astronomic rise have struggled.

In 2013, a Welsh IT worker said he accidentally threw out a hard drive containing the keys to his 7,500 Bitcoin.

At that time James Howells’ Bitcoin were worth around £4million.

Now, they would be worth more than £185m.





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Technology US

Older adults struggle to access COVID-19 vaccine appointment websites

Buggy websites and complex online tools are being used to schedule COVID-19 vaccine appointments across the United States. The systems are hard to navigate for many people, but they’re particularly inaccessible for older adults. People over the ages of 65 and 75 are prioritized for early waves of vaccination and are most at risk from COVID-19 — but they’re also often uncomfortable and unfamiliar with technology.

“The most vulnerable people are left behind even more so than if we hadn’t used more of a technology-oriented solution,” says Ethan Basch, a medical oncologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and physician-in-chief at the North Carolina Cancer Hospital.

Across the country, registration websites for vaccine appointments have been slammed with demand as soon as they launch, filling up within minutes. Many Florida county health departments turned to the event management platform Eventbrite to schedule appointments. New York City has multiple registration websites, some of which have dozens of fields to fill out and ask people to upload attachments. Navigating those platforms quickly enough to secure an appointment slot may be challenging for anyone not comfortable with computers or the internet and impossible for someone who doesn’t have access to those tools.

Only around half of people over the age of 75 use the internet at all, says Susan Nash, a visiting scholar at the Stanford Center on Longevity studying digital literacy options for older adults. “The great irony of this problem is that the people we need to reach with the vaccine and get information to are the ones who are least likely to be online,” she says.

Through the pandemic, gaps in internet access and digital literacy have made other aspects of health care delivery challenging for people who struggle to use technology. Many doctors moved to telehealth, but people without internet access — who tend to be older, non-white, and low income — are less likely to schedule telehealth appointments and are at risk for cracks in their care. They were left out of other services as well: someone without internet access wouldn’t have been able to order groceries through an online service, for example, Nash says.

“There have been these equity issues all the way through with older people. As we’ve experienced the pandemic, some of the easiest fixes have been to go online — and that leaves this whole population behind,” she says.

During the vaccine rollout, the need for speed and scale pushed officials toward digital scheduling tools. But local health departments around the US have been underfunded for the last decade, and they haven’t been given the funding over the past few months to create vaccine distribution systems. When the shots first became available, many scrambled to set up platforms to allocate the doses to people who were eligible.

Many small departments, particularly in rural areas, are overwhelmed, says Charles Wallace, an associate professor of computer science at Michigan Technological University who runs digital literacy programs. “Some poor person has had to take some time out of what’s got to be an incredibly busy schedule to put this information on the web, and designing a good interface takes time,” he says.

Quickly developed, jury-rigged digital registration platforms are likely to have elements that are challenging or stressful to people less familiar with technology, Wallace says. One local Michigan health department, for example, sent people to a second webpage through a pop-up warning users that they were leaving the health department’s website. “These pop-ups and warnings are exactly the kind of thing that throws people off when we’re dealing with newcomers,” he says.

Many registration sites in Florida and New York City forced people to move as quickly as possible to input their information or they’d lose a selected appointment slot.

“We can easily lose sight of how thin people’s competencies are,” Wallace says. “There’s a false sense of accomplishment. We put everything on the website and can say, great, we’re done. For a lot of people, the assumptions that people are up for adding attachments and things like that are wildly off.”

Asking people to use these complex systems to schedule something as important as a COVID-19 vaccination appointment compounds the anxiety, Nash says. “There’s more to be worried about, and there’s more reason for someone to talk to a human to find out, ‘Do I really have an appointment? Tell me about the side effects,’” she says.

Basch and his colleagues recognized that problem for their patients at the North Carolina Cancer Hospital — a public facility that serves a rural population and groups with low levels of education and health literacy. The state just opened up vaccination to people over 75, and their patients in that age bracket who have cancer are especially in need of vaccination.

The hospital planned to contact patients through their electronic health records and patient portals, but many patients don’t use that system to communicate with their physicians. “We realized that we would leave people behind,” he says. They’ve started compiling a list of every patient over 75 that doesn’t use the portal, and they plan to call them by phone to schedule vaccination appointments.

Outsourcing to doctors to contact patients directly is one way to sidestep the problem of the digital divide, Nash says. But that puts the burden on already overtaxed health care providers. “It’s another thing to place on them, but it does work,” she says.

Older adults are also turning to children or grandchildren to navigate webpages or schedule appointments on their behalf. That’s another temporary solution, Nash says — but it only solves the problem for people who have relatives who can access the internet.

In the chaos and inconsistency of the initial vaccine rollout, there isn’t a defined group taking responsibility for connecting people with vaccine resources. Guidelines are changing quickly, and there isn’t clear communication to support people who need help. Instead, many of the people who would benefit most from the vaccine are being left to figure out how to get one on their own.

“Is it on the patient to make themselves aware, and get themselves connected? Or is it the health system, or the state?” Basch says. “There’s a lack of clarity about whose responsibility it is.”

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Technology US

Ubiquiti, maker of prosumer routers and access points, has had a data breach

Ubiquiti, the company I bought networking gear from because I wanted Wi-Fi that’s totally under my control, now tells me something may not have been under my control after all: my basic account information. According to an email it’s sending out to users today, a “third party cloud provider” was accessed by an unauthorized user, and that provider might possibly have some of our data.

While the company says it isn’t hasn’t found any evidence that our user data has been accessed, it also “cannot be certain that user data has not been exposed”. The potential data at risk will be familiar if you’ve received these kinds of emails before: names, emails, phone numbers, addresses, and (encrypted, hopefully unreadable) passwords. You’ll want to change your password now.

It doesn’t sound like that bad a breach as breaches go, but it’s annoying news to hear from a company that prides itself on giving users control. If I had wanted my data on someone else’s server, I might have picked a router that gave me some benefit for it, like plug-and-play setup. The database of customer info, it seems, is hard to get away from.

The full email text, which can also be viewed on the Ubiquiti forums, is below:

We recently became aware of unauthorized access to certain of our information technology systems hosted by a third party cloud provider. We have no indication that there has been unauthorized activity with respect to any user’s account.

We are not currently aware of evidence of access to any databases that host user data, but we cannot be certain that user data has not been exposed. This data may include your name, email address, and the one-way encrypted password to your account (in technical terms, the passwords are hashed and salted). The data may also include your address and phone number if you have provided that to us.

As a precaution, we encourage you to change your password. We recommend that you also change your password on any website where you use the same user ID or password. Finally, we recommend that you enable two-factor authentication on your Ubiquiti accounts if you have not already done so.

We apologize for, and deeply regret, any inconvenience this may cause you. We take the security of your information very seriously and appreciate your continued trust.

Thank you,
Ubiquiti Team

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Canada

School support: community organizations demand access to premises

While community organizations will no longer be authorized to offer tutoring from Monday, the Regroupement des organizations communautaire québécois de Lutte au déshochout (ROCLD) called on Saturday morning for access to the premises to be maintained.

• Read also: COVID-19: year-end ministerial exams canceled

• Read also: COVID-19: No to air purifiers in schools

• Read also: Prolonged school closures: the first report card postponed for a second time

“We ask Minister Roberge to recognize the important role of the community sector in education. We are here to contribute too. Please do not close the doors of schools to us when students need our support the most, “Melanie Marsolais, Director General of ROCLD, said in a statement.

In parallel with this decision, the Minister of Education also launched on Friday an appeal to the population to recruit volunteer tutors, who will come in to replace these organizations.

“We would like to work with the Minister of Education to ensure the success of his plan to set up a tutoring network that is accessible to all young people who need it,” added Marsolais.

About sixty Quebec community organizations are recognized as competent resources for their role in the fight against dropping out of school.

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Tech News

Realme UI 2.0 Open Beta Early Access Available for Realme 6 Pro


Realme is testing Android 11-based Realme UI 2.0 for Realme 6 Pro, Realme 7, Realme X2 Pro, and Realme Narzo 20 Pro via an open beta in India. While applications for early access to Realme UI 2.0 for Realme 7, Realme X2 Pro, and Realme Narzo 20 Pro has closed, users can still apply to be a part of the early access programme for Realme 6 Pro. Realme UI 2.0 will bring new customisation options for the device as well as Android 11 features.

Since Realme is testing UI 2.0, based on Android 11, on a number of phones, it seems likely that the final release of the update will be out soon. Users can still choose to be a part of the early access programme for Realme 6 Pro, as noted in a Realme community forum post.

To be a part of the early access programme for Realme UI 2.0, Realme 6 Pro users are required to first update their phones to the required UI version – RMX2061_11.A.39. Then, go to Settings, tap on software update, click on the settings icon in the top right corner, select trial version, submit your details, and click on Apply Now.

As this is an unstable version of UI 2.0, Realme warned users that the early access version may have an unpredictable impact on the device. Before updating, users are required to have more than 60 percent battery on their phones. Realme also noted that the device should have more than 5GB of storage available and that the phone should not be rooted.

Realme 6 Pro users are invited to give their feedback and suggestions about the new UI via this feedback form.

Realme released a roadmap for Realme UI 2.0’s early access and has kept up to its word, with Realme 6 Pro, Realme 7, Realme Narzo 20 Pro, Realme X2 Pro receiving the open beta version of Realme UI 2.0 in December


Is Realme TV the best TV under Rs. 15,000 in India? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.



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UAE

GymNation gives People of Determination access to fitness in UAE

Marwan Mansoor, Kieran Carter and Verano Field at GymNation.
Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: GymNation, a gym operator in UAE, has tied up with inclusive sports community NPO, Heroes of Hope to give opportunity to People of Determination employment and access to fitness.

The partnership comes in response to Abu Dhabi’s launch of a comprehensive five-year strategy for People of Determination, aiming to create an integrated and enabling environment for them with the participation of over 28 local and federal government entities.

The partnership has created ‘GymNation Heroes’ and is split into two key activities. “Both elements of the partnership provide a fully inclusive fitness community, where individuals of all abilities can experience the positive impact that involvement in fitness can generate,” said Ant Martland, Co-Founder of GymNation said.

As part of the first activity, GymNation Heroes internship initiative will provide People of Determination the opportunity to take part in an ongoing paid internship scheme within their chosen GymNation location. Throughout the internship, regular assessments will be put in place along with certificates of achievements for reaching various success milestones. All GymNation Heroes will be remunerated monthly at the same rate as full time GymNation staff. The aim of the internship is to provide foundations in the form of invaluable life and workplace skills, to all GymNation Heroes, with the goal of full time employment at GymNation in the near future.

First GymNation Heroes

After undergoing the standard interview process with a member of GymNation’s management, and a full induction into the GymNation team; Marwan Mansoor, Kieran Carter and Verano Field were all selected to be the first GymNation Heroes. The three Heroes began their internship at GymNation Motor City in mid-November. GymNation Hero Kieran Carter said “I love being part of the GymNation team, I love learning new things each time I visit GymNation and we are all having a lot of fun carrying out all the tasks in the gym.”

The second activity in place as part of the partnership is centered around creating and maintaining a safe and inspiring environment where People of Determination across the UAE have the opportunity to exercise. Under the guidance of fully trained and qualified instructors, GymNation and Heroes of Hope are working together to create an ongoing series of fitness classes, events and training programmes dedicated to championing inclusion in fitness for as many of the 110,000 People of Determination within the UAE as possible.

Martland said: “As a UAE homegrown brand, a key mission for GymNation is to align with and support other homegrown organisations that are doing unbelievable things within the local community. Heroes of Hope epitomise that. Following the recent opening of our Khalidiyah Mall and Mirdif gyms, there are now six GymNation locations across the UAE, with at least five more planned for 2021 opening. We are looking forward to working with Heroes of Hope on a number of initiatives across these locations that will further support the five-year strategy for People of Determination, that was announced by the UAE government in September this year.”

Hollie Murphy, Founder of Heroes of Hope added: “When I started out as PE teacher in Dubai, 12 years ago, People of Determination were not given the opportunity to be as involved with sports and fitness as they are now. After the latest round of successful interns, I am looking forward to more opportunities with GymNation, to not only provide People of Determination with the opportunity to thrive in the workplace but to create a base where People of Determination can take part in fitness across the whole of the UAE.”

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UAE

New Year’s Eve fireworks at Burj Khalifa: Get access to Downtown through ‘U By Emaar’ app

Fireworks at Burj Khalifah is a much awaited spectacle every New Year
Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/ Gulf News

Dubai: Emaar, the master developer of the Burj Khalifa, has unveiled its seamless access for visitors to Downtown Dubai for its grand masterpiece of fireworks and light & laser show on New Year’s Eve. The public viewing area is the Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard, where social distancing rules will apply, while the restaurants and hotels on Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard, Souk Al Bahar, Dubai Opera and The Dubai Mall Promenade are available for dining reservations.

Emaar NYE 2021 will be a New Year’s Eve spectacle to remember, as the world’s tallest building provides the perfect backdrop to create one of the most iconic New Year’s Eve shows in the world. Emaar NYE 2021 will be broadcast live globally and live-streamed from 08:30pm local time on mydubainewyear.com, a statement by the developer said.

Access to Downtown Dubai for all guests will be through U By Emaar app and its easy-to-use pre-registration process. Guests, including Emaar Boulevard residents and hotel guests, simply log on to the U By Emaar app and follow the straightforward steps for access to all locations in Downtown Dubai. After successfully registering, guests will receive individual QR codes that will be used to gain access to Downtown Dubai on New Year’s Eve. A helpful video outlining the process is available here [insert social media link]

All restaurant reservations for F&B venues on the Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard, Souk Al Bahar, Dubai Opera, The Dubai Mall Promenade must be made through the U By Emaar app. Those who already have restaurant bookings are required to register on the U By Emaar app.

Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard will have limited capacity and guests can book on the U By Emaar app for groups of up to 12 people, subject to availability.

Emaar NYE 2021 will have several health and safety measures in place, including thermal cameras, social distancing, contactless payments and frequent deep cleaning and disinfection, in line with Dubai Government guidelines and directives.

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Canada

The access route paid by the promoter

The Quebec Ministry of Transport (MTQ) would like the promoter of the La Pignoronde tourism project in Baie-Saint-Paul to assume the costs for the construction of a protected lane to access the site by route 138.

In recent years, the former hostel of the same name has been demolished to make way for tourist residences. A total of 44 condos were built in a four-storey building. The investment totals approximately $ 20 million. The promoter would like to launch the second phase to double the number of units.

A westbound lane would be needed to secure access to La Pignoronde, at the entrance to Baie-Saint-Paul, in Charlevoix. The sponsor is unhappy with the response so far.

” It’s absurd “

“The MTQ insists on telling us that to do an additional phase, we have to widen the road. You can’t accept the increased traffic without making an alternate lane. It’s not up to me to do this at my own expense, ”explains Yves Doyon of the Norplex Group.

The inn once housed some 35 rooms with a restaurant that once attracted a very good clientele. Commercial traffic is not new, argues Mr. Doyon. According to him, the protected way project is expected to cost more than a million dollars.

“My land existed before. It’s quite astonishing as a request. I just can’t get over the idea. It’s absurd. We pay taxes for that. And as a promoter, I pay a portion of it. The government will not be able to print money for long. Private investments in the regions have a certain value, ”adds the businessman.

The municipality decides

The Town of Baie-Saint-Paul has also asked the MTQ to proceed at its own expense to the development of the protected road.

“The mayor supports us and they made a resolution in our favor. The Municipality is asking the MTQ to assume its responsibilities, ”concludes Mr. Doyon.

Ultimately, the value of the investments there will be approximately $ 35 million. Norplex purchased the iconic inn in 2011. The domain name has been retained.

Despite our request, the MTQ was unable to answer questions from Newspaper.

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Delhi Jammu and Kashmir The Buzz

Allow access to war histories: NN Vohra


Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 18

Former Governor of Jammu and Kashmir NN Vohra on Friday made a strong pitch to make public histories of the wars fought by the Indian armed forces, saying reading these would help the younger generation of soldiers.

Vohra, a former Punjab cadre IAS officer who was the Defence Secretary from March 1990 to April 1993, was speaking at the inaugural session of the 4th Military Literature Festival. The annual event was conducted virtually from Chandigarh this year.

Narrating an anecdote, Vohra said in the late 1980s when Lt General Harbaksh Singh, the former Western Army Commander, wrote a book on the 1965 war, the first instinct was how to stop his pension. “The opinion was — how dare he write on the war without prior permission!” said Vohra. Certain maps of the western border were used in the book, which meant he should have sought permission.

But things have changed, said Vohra as he went on to commend the plethora of writings in newspapers and journals, saying these showed commendable insight of officers of the services.

Vohra said, “We had unfortunately not allowed access to documents by being secretive and confidential.” He gave the example of his three-year tenure as Defence Secretary, saying, “We finalised the military histories of the wars fought in 1948, 1962, 1965 and 1971. But when we tried to get these published, there was enormous opposition and the plan had to be abandoned.”

The younger generation would not benefit if the experiences of war and combat were not recorded well in time and made available to the cadets in military academies or at places like the National Defence College.

The nation, he said, had been guilty of not allowing certain reports like the one by Henderson Brookes on the 1962 India-China war to be made available. These could at least be used in the military for learning. He suggested that after 30 years, a document could be made available in an archival repository and scholars be allowed to go and examine those with prior permission. This could be done in case the document could not be put in public domain.

Talking of the future, he said, “We need thinking generals, admirals and air chief marshals as the wars of tomorrow will be different from the wars of yesterday. We have reached a stage where senior military echelons need to understand the situation not just within the country, but across the world.”

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, who was also present at the virtual session, commended the forces for the 1971 war victory, saying the country was celebrating its golden jubilee.

He lavished praise on the experience of the veterans, asking the young people to learn from retired soldiers instead of playing ‘war linked’ games on mobile phones. “The veterans are like living institutions,” he said.

Rajnath asked the organisers to devote the next year’s theme to cyber war and tackling misinformation campaigns. “The enemy can reach our people through mobile phones,” he said.

The Governor of Punjab and the Administrator of Chandigarh, VP Singh Badnore, said the festival was unique in its fabric. Chandigarh, he said, was the most appropriate venue to conduct the festival.





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