NSE hit by massive tech glitch, markets shut till further notice

The National Stock Exchange (NSE) was hit by another technical snag during the first half of the trading session on Wednesday.

According to stock brokers and dealers, the problem started with rates of Bank Nifty index were not updating and later spread to the Nifty index as well. They pointed out that the issue with Bank Nifty feeds started between 10 AM and 10.20 AM. Around 11.40 AM, the NSE said it was suspending trading across futures and options segment.

In the next few minutes, the NSE said it was suspending trading for the day until further notice.

NSE shut trading for entire markets till further notice.

Both Nifty and Bank Nifty are the largest traded derivative contracts of the NSE and the glitch caused market disruption just a day ahead of the February month futures and options expiry leading to much heartburn among traders.

Option writers benefit the most if markets are shut for trading as those who have bought or sold options loose out on time value, brokers said.

Bank Nifty index had gained 22 percent between February 1 and February 16 and fell by around 8 percent in the next few days. However, just two days ahead of the monthly derivative expiry, the index had started to move up again. On Wednesday, the index was up nearly 2 percent before it was hit by a tech glitch.

Before Wednesday, the NSE was hit by a massive tech glitch in December 2020.

Read more: NSE Clearing suffered a tech glitch before Nifty fell by 3%

NSE Clearing, the trade clearing and settlement arm of the NSE, was hit by a ‘technical glitch’ on December 21 that affected several stock brokers. Before the Nifty index witnessed its worst single day fall in nearly seven months by over 3 percent or 432 points, many brokers saw their trade orders being automatically deleted and some even had their terminals disabled.

In September 2020, the NSE Clearing arm suffered a tech glitch after SEBI introduced new margin norms. Also, pay-in and pay-out was disrupted for three days back then.

Read more: Tech glitches mar SEBI new margin regime

“NSE has multiple telecom links with two service providers to ensure redundancy and we have received communication from both the telecom service providers that there are issues with their links due to which there is an impact on NSE system. We are working on restoring the systems as soon as possible. In view of the above all the segments have been closed at 11.40 and will be restored as soon as the issue is resolved,” NSE Spokesperson said.

Although tech glitch has been a recurring phenomena for NSE for the past few years, SEBI has not made public any of its analysis of it. Last year, brokers association ANMI had even shot-off a letter to NSE alleging severe loss to its members due to tech glitch. In 2017,NSE had to suspend trading for three hours after a tech glitch.

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Staggs’ NRL breach notice over pub row

Brisbane star Kotoni Staggs has been issued with a breach notice by the NRL’s integrity unit after a run-in with a man sparked a pub brawl last year.

The 2020 Dally M centre of the year was alleged to have verbally provoked the altercation that left a man with minor head injuries in Dubbo in November.

Staggs was not charged by police, but two friends pleaded guilty to assault causing bodily harm.

“The NRL has issued Kotoni Staggs with a preliminary breach notice in respect of his involvement which he is currently responding to,” an NRL spokesperson said.

“The breach notice proposes a fine and that Kotoni be required to complete appropriate education and meet with the NRL CEO and integrity unit before playing in the 2021 season.”

Time is on the 22-year-old’s side though, Staggs only just returning to running after an ACL tear in the final game of the 2020 NRL season.

It was already a horror year for the breakout Broncos talent, who was involved in a catfishing episode and the subject of a sex tape that was illegally shared.

Touted for NSW State of Origin duties before his injury, Staggs had also chosen to test the market for 2022 rather than take up an option in his favour with Brisbane.

The breach notice continues Kevin Walters’ rocky start to his coaching tenure at the club after boom forward Payne Haas was arrested earlier this month for allegedly abusing and intimidating police.

Walters had signalled his intent to lead a culture overhaul at Red Hill after the proud club sunk to their first wooden spoon in 2020.

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US Masters, US Open champion arrested in Brazil after Interpol red notice, faces extradition to Argentina over charges

The Argentine newspaper Clarín reported last week that Cabrera, 51, nicknamed “El Pato” (“The Duck”), had until recently been in the US on a tourist visa. He had wrist surgery there in October, Clarín reported. But Cabrera’s visa was set to expire, and he couldn’t renew it because of his presence on the Interpol list.

It’s unclear whether US authorities were searching for Cabrera while he was in the country. Comment had been sought from the Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs.

The US has an extradition agreement with Argentina. However, a Justice Department document states that federal law “prohibits the arrest of the subject of a Red Notice issued by another INTERPOL member country, based upon the notice alone” because it does not meet probable-cause standards for arrest under the Fourth Amendment.

Instead, a foreign country must submit an extradition request to the US State Department, which then must decide whether to pass the request on to the Justice Department, the agency responsible for executing the extradition.

An email to the State Department asking whether Argentina had requested that Cabrera be extradited from the US was not immediately returned.

Cabrera is the only South American golfer to win the US Open or Masters. (He also lost in a sudden-death play-off at Augusta to Australian Adam Scott in 2013). But he has played sparingly in recent years, and his last appearance was a withdrawal after two rounds of the Pure Insurance Championship, a PGA Tour Champions event for golfers 50 and older in September.

Cabrera did not play in this year’s rescheduled Masters in November, citing the wrist injury.

Washington Post

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Amazon Web Services gives Parler 24-hour notice that it will suspend services to the company – TechCrunch

Parler is at risk of disappearing, just as the social media network popular among conservatives was reaching new heights of popularity in the wake of President Donald Trump’s ban from all major tech social platforms.

Parler, whose fortunes have soared as users upset at the President’s silencing on mainstream social media outlets flocked to the service, is now another site of contention in the struggle over the limits of free speech and accountability online.

In the wake of the riots at the Capitol on Wednesday and a purge of accounts accused of inciting violence on Twitter and Facebook, Parler had become the home for a raft of radical voices calling for armed “Patriots” to commit violence at the nation’s capitol and statehouses around the country.

Most recently, conservative militants on the site had been calling for “Patriots” to amplify the events of January 6 with a march on Washington DC with weapons on January 19.

Even as pressure was came from Apple and Amazon, whose employees had called for the suspension of services with the company, Parler was taking steps to moderate posts on its platform.

The company acknowledged that it had removed some posts from Trump supporter Lin Wood, who had called for the execution of Vice President Mike Pence in a series of proclamations on the company’s site.

Over the past few months, Republican lawmakers including Sen. Ted Cruz and Congressman Devin Nunes — along with conservative firebrands like Wood have found a home on the platform, where they can share conspiracy theories with abandon.

In an email quoted by BuzzFeed News, Amazon Web Services’ Trust and Safety Team told Parler’s chief policy officer, Amy Peikoff that calls for violence that were spreading across Parler’s platform violated its terms of service. The company’s team also said that Parler’s plan to use volunteers to moderate content on the platform would prove effective, according to BuzzFeed.

“Recently, we’ve seen a steady increase in this violent content on your website, all of which violates our terms. It’s clear that Parler does not have an effective process to comply with the AWS terms of service,” BuzzFeed reported the email as saying.

Here’s Amazon’s letter to Parler in full.

Dear Amy,

Thank you for speaking with us earlier today.

As we discussed on the phone yesterday and this morning, we remain troubled by the repeated violations of our terms of service. Over the past several weeks, we’ve reported 98 examples to Parler of posts that clearly encourage and incite violence. Here are a few examples below from the ones we’ve sent previously: [See images above.]

Recently, we’ve seen a steady increase in this violent content on your website, all of which violates our terms. It’s clear that Parler does not have an effective process to comply with the AWS terms of service. It also seems that Parler is still trying to determine its position on content moderation. You remove some violent content when contacted by us or others, but not always with urgency. Your CEO recently stated publicly that he doesn’t “feel responsible for any of this, and neither should the platform.” This morning, you shared that you have a plan to more proactively moderate violent content, but plan to do so manually with volunteers. It’s our view that this nascent plan to use volunteers to promptly identify and remove dangerous content will not work in light of the rapidly growing number of violent posts. This is further demonstrated by the fact that you still have not taken down much of the content that we’ve sent you. Given the unfortunate events that transpired this past week in Washington, D.C., there is serious risk that this type of content will further incite violence.

AWS provides technology and services to customers across the political spectrum, and we continue to respect Parler’s right to determine for itself what content it will allow on its site. However, we cannot provide services to a customer that is unable to effectively identify and remove content that encourages or incites violence against others. Because Parler cannot comply with our terms of service and poses a very real risk to public safety, we plan to suspend Parler’s account effective Sunday, January 10th, at 11:59PM PST. We will ensure that all of your data is preserved for you to migrate to your own servers, and will work with you as best as we can to help your migration.

– AWS Trust & Safety Team

Update January 9, 2020: Added a note about Parler users’ reactions.

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Sun Yang is free to swim and the Court of Arbitration is on notice

The Swiss Federal Supreme Court’s decision to set aside the eight-year ban given in February to Chinese world and Olympic swimming champion Sun Yang has made headlines around the globe.

It’s a landmark case that is far from over with questions that go to the very heart of anti-doping, sports justice and athletes’ rights.

The decision is monumental in two ways.

Firstly, it’s not impossible but extremely rare for the Swiss court to set aside findings of the Court of Arbitration (CAS). It does not review findings as you might expect in a traditional appeal process, but only considers matters of “procedural irregularity”.

Secondly, the procedural irregularity in this case centres on one of the senior arbitrators at the CAS — former Italian foreign minister Franco Frattini — who presided over the Sun Yang panel that handed the swimmer the maximum eight-year ban after finding him guilty of an anti-doping rule violation (this will be discussed in more detail later).

Sun’s appeal provided evidence of anti-China sentiments expressed on Mr Frattini’s Twitter feed during 2018 and 2019, with the swimmer’s lawyers questioning the judge’s neutrality.

In a statement the court said it had “approved the request by the Chinese swimmer Sun Yang for revision of the arbitral award of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) … on the grounds of bias of one of the arbitrators of the CAS”.

“The award of the CAS is set aside. The CAS will have to render a new award in the case of Sun Yang in a different composition of the panel,” it said.

The full reasoning will be issued at a later date, but as of now Sun is free to resume swimming and training with his teammates.

If he is fit enough, and so inclined, he may even attempt to qualify for the delayed Tokyo 2020 Games.

The World Anti-Doping Agency has already announced it will head straight back to CAS to have the case heard again “chaired by a different president”.

The CAS is on notice.

CAS director-general Matthieu Reeb told The Ticket: ”The CAS very much regrets that the objections against the president of the panel have not been raised earlier and that they could not be examined during the CAS proceedings.”

“Obviously, the statements published by the president of the panel on his personal Twitter account in 2018 do not represent the view of CAS,” he said.

“In any event, the CAS will accept the ruling of the Swiss Federal Tribunal (SFT) and will immediately resume the procedure WADA v/ Sun Yang & FINA in accordance with the instructions given by the SFT.”

The original CAS hearing ran for 11 hours and was marred by serious translation problems.

Sun is Chinese and speaks Mandarin and a little English, certainly not enough to be able to have a detailed, legal conversation in the sports court.

Despite having numerous registered arbitrators that are fluent in Mandarin, none were selected as part of the three-person panel.

It is difficult to imagine an Australian athlete would ever have to argue his or her case in front of three jurors, none of whom spoke English.

Much commentary around the Sun case has focused on the swimmer and the entourage “smashing vials of blood”.

This is factually incorrect and yet continues to be published again and again.

A full reading of the CAS hearing, or a complete viewing of the 11 hours available on the CAS website, establishes that Sun’s vial of blood remains in existence — stored at the hospital where his doctor works, although inadmissible since it was not taken by drug testers at the swimmer’s home on the night of September 18, 2018.

How a routine test turned into one of sport’s biggest scandals

In a nutshell, Sun’s mother phoned him late in the evening to tell him testers had arrived and he should get home within the allotted hour. He did so. He provided a blood sample before noticing anomalies with the testing party’s accreditation and documentation.

An hours-long stand-off ensued.

Sun offered to wait until a properly accredited party arrived to test him, which they declined to accept, and in response the swimmer’s legal and medical advice was not to let his blood sample — now locked in a tamper-proof casing — be taken away.

The doping control party refused to leave without the casing.

The only option was for a security guard at the compound where Sun lives to break open the container to allow Sun’s doctor to take custody of the blood sample and allow the doping control officers to leave with their casing.

The night in question was Sun’s ninth drug test in 12 days. Until his ban he was the most tested athlete on the planet, asking to provide urine or blood, on average, once every two weeks.

He knows the rules and he is familiar with the process.

If Sun was concerned about “failing” a test, he need only have not gone home. An athlete can miss two tests in a calendar year without incurring a sanction.

But he didn’t choose that option. He chose to go home.

As WADA successfully argued in the CAS hearing, though, the minute Sun refused to let the doping control officers leave with his blood — despite serious questions over their accreditation and paperwork — he had committed an “anti-doping rule violation”.

The CAS decision, at different times, notes “the panel considers that an eight-year period of ineligibility is, although justified in application of the rules … a severe sanction”.

Also, “there is no evidence before the panel that the athlete may have engaged in doping activity between 4 September 2018 and the date of the present arbitral award” and “on balance the panel concludes that the results in the period prior to the sanction taking effect should not be disqualified”.

These are not findings generally associated with a “drug cheat”.

Separately, it noted the “attitude” of the swimmer and his lack of contrition: “It was striking that, in the course of his testimony, at no point did the athlete express any regret as to his actions.”

Given the Swiss Supreme Court’s judgment that the neutrality of the panel chair is questionable, it is reasonable to consider whether some of the findings he presided over may have been influenced by his alleged bias.

It is a fair assumption that an athlete who believes he is innocent, in an 11-hour hearing in which none of the arbitrators can understand what he is saying, may become animated, even frustrated — an attitude that might be understandable given the circumstances.

Not only must justice be done; it must also be seen to be done.

The CAS has work to do to ensure its legitimacy is not undermined.

The panel also noted that once the new World Anti-Coping Code comes into effect on January 1, 2021, Sun could apply to have the eight-year ban reduced.

That won’t be necessary now, as WADA’s promised re-hearing of the case will be conducted in 2021 under the new code — that includes an Athletes’ Anti-Doping Rights Act that speaks of fair testing programs, accountability and data protection.

Fair, impartial and operationally independent hearings and disputes must also be resolved reflecting the principles of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

The Court of Arbitration will now be able to offer decisions that take into account the facts of a particular case, rather than the previous “one size fits all” form of justice where the only question was not guilty or innocent but guilty by how much?

No doubt the reaction to the ongoing case will differ between east and west.

How different nations responded to the news

Sun Yang holds his gold medal and Mack Horton his silver
Mack Horton’s protest at the 2019 World Swimming Championships attracted widespread attention.(Reuters: Stefan Wermuth)

There were almost 4 million comments on Weibo, China’s social media support, by midday on the same day the news broke of Sun’s ban being put aside just hours earlier.

“No matter what foreigners say, I support Sun Yang [all the way],” wrote one supporter.

Another fan was looking forward to the Tokyo Olympics.

“Come on, come on! Come on cutie Sun! ! ! ! ! ! ! Looking forward to your appearance in the Olympics!” they said.

However, not all of the comments posted were positive.

“[Sun Yang has] the lowest ever EQ (emotional intelligence), no regard to legal process, and didn’t care about rules and regulations. The General Administration of Sports of China would not hire him again.”

In Australia it was plenty of negative commentary, although a little mute considering the number of articles, interviews and general backslapping that occurred when Sun’s career-ending ban was first announced.


At that time it was suggested a pool be named after Australia’s Mack Horton, and a statue erected in his honour, since it was his high-profile protest at the 2019 World Swimming Championships — when the Australian refused to stand on the podium to receive his silver medal behind Sun’s gold — that attracted such widespread attention ahead of the initial CAS hearing.

It’s easy to see this as another case of China versus Australia as the relationship between the two has soured.

But it’s not that at all.

It’s a case of the legitimacy of anti-doping and sports justice being meted out fairly, and consistently, for all.

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SA paramedic union concerned about long drives as emergency departments close on short notice

The South Australian Ambulance Employees Association has expressed its concern for paramedics and volunteers working in the South East, saying they are travelling long distances to deliver patients to emergency departments.

Some of the region’s emergency departments, such as at the Naracoorte Hospital, are staffed by contracted medical officers, which can temporarily close if none of those doctors are available.

The Naracoorte ED was closed over a weekend in October because the Kincraig Medical Clinic could not provide a medical officer for the service.

The association’s industrial officer Leah Watkins said the situation was exacerbated by the closure of the emergency department at Penola.

The department was co-located with an aged care facility and was closed earlier this year as a protective measure against COVID-19.

SA’s ambulance association says transporting patients to the Mount Gambier Hospital from other parts of the South East adds significant travel time.(ABC South East SA: Kate Hill)

Ms Watkins said these closures meant local paramedics would be forced to travel further to deliver patients to available emergency departments.

“The combination of those two [the closure of the Penola and Naracoorte emergency departments] tends to exacerbate the problem in that all of a sudden you can have a number of patients who all need to be transported down to the Mount Gambier Hospital,” she said.

“They can’t turn around from one job and be available for the next job as quickly.”

Ms Watkins said it meant longer waiting times for patients.

Lack of resources

Ms Watkins said what was needed was more resources for regional hospitals and clinics.

“There’s no CT availability at Bordertown Hospital, so quite often a Naracoorte crew will have to drive up to Bordertown, pick a patient up, and take them all the way down to Mount Gambier for an appointment,” she said.

Ms Watkins said regional areas could be overlooked by policymakers and miss out on funding.

“[People] shouldn’t be disadvantaged by having a second-level health care just because they live in a regional area,” she said.

The front of a building with the tiled roof and garden out the front, a sign reads "Penola War Memorial Hospital Inc"
The emergency department at the Penola Hospital is co-located with an aged care facility, and has been closed since March due to COVID-19 concerns.(ABC South East SA: Bec Whetham)

The association also said it was concerned for the long-term future of the emergency department at Penola.

“While we absolutely appreciate the risk there and the need to do that [close the facility due to COVID-19], we are concerned that service might not become available again in the near future,” Ms Watkins said.

The Limestone Coast Local Health Network issued a statement but did not address when or whether the emergency department at Penola Hospital would reopen.

“The Limestone Coast Local Health Network has not closed any emergency departments, apart from Penola Hospital ED to protect the elderly from the spread of COVID-19,” it said.

“Our ED nurses are able to continue to provide emergency services, with support from the South Australian Virtual Emergency Service (SAVES) program.”

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Kids Notice Racial Differences Long Before Adults Want to Talk About It

A new study reveals that very young children, even infants, are aware of racial differences, but many adults believe children should be almost 5 years old before talking to them about race.

The findings are published online in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General.

Delays in these important conversations could make it more difficult to change children’s misperceptions or racist beliefs, said study co-author Jessica Sullivan, Ph.D., an associate professor of psychology at Skidmore College.

“Children are capable of thinking about all sorts of complex topics at a very young age,” she said. “Even if adults don’t talk to kids about race, children will work to make sense of their world and will come up with their own ideas, which may be inaccurate or detrimental.”

In an online study with a nationally representative sample, more than 600 participants were asked the earliest age at which they would talk with children about race. They were also asked when they thought children first develop behaviors and cognitive abilities relating to race and other social factors. More than half of the participants were parents and 40% were people of color.

The respondents believed conversations about race should begin near a child’s fifth birthday even though children begin to be aware of race when they are infants. Prior research has shown that 3-month-old babies prefer faces of their own race if they live in a mostly homogeneous racial environment; 9-month-olds use race to categorize faces; and 3-year-old children in the U.S. associate some racial groups with negative traits. By age 4, American children associate whites with wealth and higher status, and race-based discrimination is already widespread when children start elementary school.

Respondents who thought children’s abilities to process race developed later also believed conversations about race should occur later. The team was surprised that the participants’ race did not affect the age at which they were willing to talk with children about race. The participants’ parental status, gender, education level, or experience with children also didn’t have any bearing on the findings.

In a second experiment, the researchers found that when participants learned about children’s developmental abilities regarding race, they said adults should start talking about it when children are 4 years old. This was approximately a year earlier than in the previous experiment.

Many white parents often use well-meaning but ineffective strategies that ignore the realities of racism in the United States, said study co-author Leigh Wilton, Ph.D., an assistant professor of psychology at Skidmore College.

Some harmful approaches include a colorblind strategy (e.g., telling children “Skin color doesn’t matter,” or “We’re all the same on the inside”) or refusing to discuss it (e.g., “It’s not polite to talk about that”).

The study didn’t address exactly when or how adults should talk with children about race, but Wilton said this can begin early.

“Even if it’s a difficult topic, it’s important to talk with children about race, because it can be difficult to undo racial bias once it takes root,” she said. “Toddlers can’t do calculus, but that doesn’t mean we don’t teach them to count. You can have a conversation with a toddler about race that is meaningful to them on their level.”

Parents, especially white parents, need to become comfortable talking about race or it will only get more difficult as their children get older, Wilton said.

“If we wait until a child is old enough to ask a tough question about the history of racial violence, then it will be that much harder to talk about if there haven’t been any meaningful discussions about race earlier in their lives.”

Source: American Psychological Association

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Significant pay cut gap “hasn’t escaped our notice”: AFLCA CEO

AFL Coaches Association CEO Mark Brayshaw has commented on the significant gap between the pay cut that is being taken by the players and the coaches.

The AFLPA confirmed last week that players would take a 3.5 per cent cut in 2021, while list sizes have come down by only one or two depending on the team.

By contrast, club soft caps will be cut by 37 per cent, down from $9.7 million to $6.1 million.

This will have a significant impact on club officials, including coaches, with teams making cuts across the board to get under the cap.

“It certainly hasn’t escaped our notice,” Brayshaw told SEN Afternoons when asked about the 3.5 per cent pay cut offered to players for 2021.”

Brayshaw wonders whether they will adjust the heavy soft cap cut given the better financial position the league now finds itself in, with Australia mostly ridding itself of COVID-19.

“I think it’s an interesting consideration because the league and all the chief executives were in lockstep that we were facing a financial wipe-out and so we have to concede that the mighty job the industry has done … the losses are nowhere near what they thought they were going to be,” he said.

“I think that’s in part because the league put in place draconian cost-cutting measures and I don’t think anybody can be critical of that.

“The question I’ve got now is, in light of the fact that money looks as though it’s going to be cheap for the next few years and the red ink isn’t as bad as we all thought, what does the future look like and how quickly can the clubs expect to bounce back?

“Because on balance I think there’s been about a third of the coaches that have left, those that have remained in the job have had to take significantly bigger pay cuts than the players.

“Having said that, there’s a certain sense that the players remain the star acts in the game and so three quarters of our coaches used to be players and they don’t need to be reminded that the game is about the players.

“I don’t begrudge the players and where they’ve got to, it’s going to be interesting to project the next few years in light of the fact that the losses aren’t anywhere near as bad as we all feared.”

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