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New Delhi, 11th Feb (IANS): Facebook had cut off its Free Basics service for India three days after the country's telecom watchdog said no to discriminatory pricing of data content.

"Free Basics is no longer available to people in India," a Facebook spokesperson said in an e-mail statement to IANS. No further comment was offered.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), in its February 8 order had disallowed service providers from offering or charging discriminatory tariffs for data services purely on the basis of content.

Free Basics, for which Facebook had tied up with Reliance Communications, is an app that promises free access to the Internet for a host of basic services on topics like news, health, travel, sports, jobs and communication.

As the watchdog was examining the issue of Net neutrality, Reliance Communications had kept the free basic service offering on hold.

"As directed by the TRAI, the commercial launch of Freebasics has been kept in abeyance till they consider all details and convey a specific approval," a Reliance Communications spokesperson had said in a statement December.

Reacting to the TRAI order, Facebook said it was "disappointed with the outcome" but will continue its "efforts to eliminate barriers and give the unconnected an easier path to the Internet".

Later, however, the developments after the watchdog order took a curious turn.

On Thursday, Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg had to disown a controversial statement from his colleague that Free Basics was like colonialism, alluding that the same was good for Indians.

"Anti-colonialism has been economically catastrophic for the Indian people for decades. Why stop now?" Facebook board member Marc Andreessen had tweeted that was later wihdrawn with an apology.

"I want to respond to Marc Andreessen's comments about India yesterday. I found the comments deeply upsetting, and they do not represent the way Facebook or I think at all," Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post.

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London, 10th Feb (IANS): Actress Kate Winslet says she doesn't see her busy career as a job and, instead, prefers to look at it as a "holiday."

"I really do love acting, and as I get older I find myself loving it more and more. I'm so struck by how long I've been doing this. I suddenly feel like one of these people who's been around a long time - and I have!" she told OK! Magazine, reports femalefirst.co.uk

"The great thing about acting is that every role brings different challenges and new mysteries. It's like going on holiday; I love it. I do," she added.

And despite having a catalogue of movies under her belt, the 40-year-old actress prefers to take on only one job a year.

"In terms of being a workaholic, that's not for me. I like to think that I have this way of working which is to just do one thing a year, which often can take four or five months of my life. But in the last couple of years, I seem to have found myself doing a heck of a lot more," the "Steve Jobs" actress said.

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Geneva, 9th Feb (IANS): The Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) on Tuesday said unemployment levels in Switzerland reached 3.8 percent in January -- up from 3.7 percent in December 2015.

With an additional 5,015 people registered as jobless last month, SECO indicated that 163,644 individuals were registered as unemployed in the period under review, an 8.4 percent increase compared to the same period last year, Xinhua reported.

Statistics show that youth (15 to 24 year olds) unemployment rose by 2.7 percent, with 21,180 young adults looking for a job last month.

The number of jobseekers signed up to work in Switzerland increased by 2,542 people from December to January this year, reaching 222,751 people by the end of last month.

SECO said the number of listed job opportunities in the country grew by 1,358 in January to reach 9,391.

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Beijing, 8th Feb (IANS): Self-employed people and private firms create a third of jobs in China, according to the State Administration for Industry & Commerce (SAIC).

An SAIC study showed that about 90 percent of new jobs in urban areas can be attributed to the self-employed and private firms, Xinhua reported.

By the end of 2015, 116.8 million self-employed jobs were created, up 47 percent from 2011, while private firms created about 163.9 million jobs, up 58 percent from 2011, official data showed.

The two sectors see rapid economic growth and more job creation since the government launched a campaign to streamline the administration and delegate power to lower levels, starting a reform for the country's business registration system in 2014.

By the end of 2015, there were 54.08 million self-employed businesses in China, up 44 percent from 37.56 million in 2011. Over the period, the number of private firms almost doubled to 19.08 million, SAIC data showed.

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Visakhapatnam, 7th Feb (IANS): Kapu leader Mudragada Padmanabham and his wife on Sunday continued their indefinite fast for the third day in support of the demand for reservation for the community in education and jobs in Andhra Pradesh.

The former minister and his wife Padmavati have been fasting at their house at Kirlampudi in East Godavari district since Friday. The couple locked themselves up and refused to undergo medical check-up.

Though Joint Collector Satyanarayana and district Superintendent of Police Ravi Prakash along with a team of doctors reached Mudragada's house on Sunday, the couple sent them back. The officers made a similar attempt on Saturday night as well.

The Kapu leader said there was no need for check-up since the couple had decided to dedicate their lives for the Kapu community's cause. He also accused police of preventing people from visiting his house.

Meanwhile, police and paramilitary forces were deployed near the house amid indications that the fasting couple may be forcibly shifted to a hospital to break their fast.

They are demanding inclusion of the Kapus in a list of backward classes and reservation for the community in education and jobs. They are also seeking Rs.1,900 crore for a Kapu corporation.

Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu earlier appealed to Mudragada to call off his fast and assured that the Andhra Pradesh government was committed to fulfil its promise to include the Kapus in the BC list.

The government has said a commission will make a detailed study of the socio-economic status of the Kapus and recommend the quantum of reservation to be provided.

Meanwhile, police have made tight security arrangements across the district and enforced orders banning assembly of 10 or more people.

Deployment of security forces has been made in Tuni town that witnessed large-scale violence last Sunday when protestors set afire a train, two police stations and several vehicles.

The Kapus account for 27 percent of nearly five crore population of Andhra Pradesh.

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