KOCHI l TUESDAY l MAY 14, 2019 l `7.00 l PAGES 20 l LATE CITY EDITION MYSTERIOUS SABOTAGE ATTACK DAMAGES SAUDI OIL TANKERS Saudi Arabia said on Monday that two of its oil tankers were sabotaged off the coast of the United Arab Emirates U.S. SUSPECTS IRAN HAND IN THE INCIDENT ■ 20% IRAN WARNS AGAINST ‘ADVENTURISM’ Saudi said one of the two vessels was en route to pick up Saudi oil to take to the US. The incident comes a day after the UAE said four commercial vessels of various nationalities were targeted off the coast of Fujairah, which is located close to the Strait of Hormuz. Earlier, the US had warned that sanctions-hit Iran might target commercial shipping in the area | P10 ■ Tehran called for an investigation into the “alarming” attacks and warned against “adventurism” by foreign players The dramatic developments could further complicate the volatile situation in the region. The US has deployed a number of strategic B-52 bombers in response to alleged Iranian threats OF OIL TRADED WORLDWIDE MOVES THROUGH THE STRAIT OF HORMUZ CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOGGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ WARANGAL ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI China strikes back, raises tariffs on US goods worth $60 bn UNITED COLOURS OF POORAM Chinese Foreign Ministry says Beijing will not surrender to Washington’s pressure tactics EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE The colourful Kudamattom in progress at the Thekkkinkad Maidan on Monday | ALBIN MATHEW Lakhs of people PERUVANAM’S COMEBACK Peruvanam Kuttan Marar, who was briefly hospitalised after suffering from fatigue, came back to lead Ilanjithara melam to enthusiasts’ delight throng the streets and spaces in Thrissur to celebrate Pooram For now, Joseph gets KC(M) charge EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Kottayam EVEN as internal squabbles intensify in the Kerala Congress (M) over electing its new chairman and parliamentary party leader following the demise of K M Mani, the leadership has issued a circular stating that working chairman P J Joseph has been given the charge of chairman. The circular, dated May 9, was issued by general secre- Party constitution clearly says that in the absence of the chairman, all his functions and powers will rest with the working chairman — Joy Abraham tary Joy Abraham, who holds the organisational charges, as an obituary reference and to report about the meeting to be organised by the party state committee to commemorate Mani in Thiruvananthapuram on May 15. The circular also stated the post of chairman will be filled through an election. Speaking to Express, Abraham said it is natural that the working chairman is given the charge of chairman. “Party constitution clearly says that in the absence of the chairman, all his functions and powers will rest with the working chairman. At the same time, electing the next chairman is another process which will take place as scheduled,” ● More on P4 he said. Poor demand pulls down Home Dept gives nod to auto sales to 8-year low VARAPUZHA CASE prosecute 9 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Kochi THE Home Department on Monday issued permission to the Crime Branch to initiate prosecution proceedings against the nine accused police officers in the sensational Varapuzha custodial death case. The investigation team had been awaiting the order as it had completed the inquiry a few months ago. Sreejith died in police custody on April 9, 2018, after he was picked up by the Rural Tiger Force (RTF) which was directly under A V George, the then Ernakulam Rural SP. While the police are yet to file a charge sheet, the clean chit to George, who was suspended for his alleged involvement in the case, has raised many eyebrows in the police circles. Though the family members of Sreejith had pointed fingers at George, the Crime Branch investigation team had exempted him. Sources within the state police said the department-level inquiry against George was only an eyewash and he would be promoted once election code of conduct is with● More on P6 drawn. E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ New Delhi MULTIPLE factors including uncertainty around election results, high insurance costs and the liquidity crunch in the economy pulled down passenger vehicle (PV) sales for the month of April to an eight-year low. According to data released by Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers on Monday, domestic PV sales declined 17.07 per cent to 2,47,541 units in April from 2,98,504 units in the same period a year ago. Within the PVs, sale for passenger cars, utility vehicle and vans dropped 19.93 per cent, 6.67 per cent and 30.11 per cent, respectively . Vishnu Mathur, director-general of Siam, said OEMs undertook inventory correction in view of the poor demand. He added the sentiment in the market is not good and consumers seem to have delayed their discretionary purchases till the elections are over. Not just PVs, two-wheeler and commercial vehicle sales also witnessed fall decline in April. Two-wheeler sales dropped 16.36 per cent to 16,38,388 units compared with 19,58,761 units a year ago. KNOW THE ■ 90 majestic elephants ■ 1,500 GRANDEUR extravagantly decorated parasols THIS YEAR ■ 1,000 percussionists ■ 6,000 kg IN NUMBERS of gun powder for fireworks ● More on P5 DAYS after the US announced steep tariff hikes on $300 billion worth of Chinese products, China hit back on Monday raising tariffs on more than 5,000 US products worth $60 billion. The new rates, which will kick in from June 1, range from 5% to 25%. Announcing the decision on Monday Chinese foreign minis, try said Beijing would not surrender to US pressure tactics in an apparent reference to US President Donald Trump’s warning that China “will be hurt badly” if it did not strike a deal with the US. Earlier in the day Trump had , tweeted: “I say openly to President Xi & all of my many friends in China that China will be hurt very badly if you don’t make a deal because companies will be forced to leave China for other countries. Too expensive to buy in China. You had a great deal, almost completed, & you backed out!” SHORTAGE OF COW HIDE LEAVES BALL INDUSTRY SICK AYA N TA N C H O W D H U R Y @ New Delhi WITH cricket in the air and the World Cup approaching, one expected the sports good manufacturing industry of Meerut to be in a happy frame of mind. Big events usually lead to a rise in demand. Not this time. Manufacturers of these goods say the last few years have been difficiult, following the introduction of GST and related complications. Those in the business of making cricket balls are facing an additional problem. The leather used comes mainly from cow hide, which has become tougher to procure in the last few years due to the clampdown on slaughter of cattle. Many units in Uttar Pradesh have shut down, forcing the ball manufacturers to buy leather from other states. From small scale operators to established companies like BDM, almost everyone associated with this trade in Meerut are facing the same problem. “We are importing leather from Switzerland to make cricket balls, which is naturally affecting the costing,” says Rakesh Mahajan, the owner of BDM, which has been in this industry for decades. With established companies finding it difficult, smaller businessmen are faring worse. Fear arising out of incidents stemming from cow slaughter is acting as a deterrent. 2 nabbed for smuggling in 25 kg of gold Xi Jinping Global markets tanked as the news spread, with London’s FTSE 100 down 0.5 per cent. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index lost 1.21 per cent, or 35.50 points. The Shenzhen Composite Index, ended 1.08 per cent lower, or 16.87 points. Back home, the BSE Sensex tanked 372 points. The latest development signals that the trade war between the world’s largest economies could be a protracted one. While Trump had said last week that trade talks with China would continue, there are no official meetings planned in the immediate future yet. SC COLLEGIUM 4 high courts to get new chief justices EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi Best cricket balls are made using cow hide, which has become difficult to find Why not buffalo Buffalo hide is not the best for this because of lack of colour retention and waterproofing issues. It may make the balls harder. T’Puram: The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) arrested two men at the Thiruvananthapuram International Airport on Monday morning while attempting to smuggle in 25 kg gold biscuits from Dubai Sunil, 45, a resident of Thirumala, Thiruvananthapuram, and Sereena Shaji, 42, of Kazhakootam, were arrested on reaching by Oman Air A8.25 cr is the worth of the seized gold The DRI sources said the two, part of a smuggling racket, boarded the flight from Dubai. The gold was found hidden in Sereena’s handbag P6 THE Supreme Court collegium has recommended the elevation of four judges as chief justices of the high courts of Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Telangana. A three-member collegium headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi recommended Justice D N Patel’s appointment as Chief Justice of Delhi High Court since incumbent Chief Justice Rajendra Menon is set to retire. Likewise, promotions of justices A A Kureshi, V Ramasubramanian and R S Chauhan as chief justices of high courts of Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Telangana respectively have been recommended. Justice Ramasubramanian is the senior-most judge of the Madras HC and at present is functioning, on transfer, in the Telangana HC. While recommending his elevation, a collegium said it had taken into consideration the fact that at present there is only one chief justice from the Madras High Court. 20 PAGES, INCLUDING 4 PAGES OF KOCHI EXPRESS SMOOTH SAIL Tide turns in Kochi’s favour as cruise season ends on a high note IN CRUISE MODE No of cruise vessels which reached Kochi No of tourists arrived 2018-19 62, 753 2018-19 49 2017-18 42 2017-18 50,117 2016-17 44 2015-16 33 2014-15 39 59 vessels 15 T O B Y A N T O N Y @ Kochi ships with more than 10,000 tourists reached Kochi in April-May K25.72 crore is the expected cost for the construction of Kochi’s cruise terminal, which might be ready by the end of this fiscal expected to reach in 2019-20, are likely to bring more than 75,000 tourists SPECTRUM of the Seas, the world’s fourth largest cruise liner, departed Kochi’s shores on Saturday bringing the eight, month cruise tourism season in the city to an end. The city looked back at it with joy as it has been a robust season for it, having achieved a 25 per cent growth in the last fiscal. There is more good news as 75,000 tourists are likely to reach the city by luxury liners in the current fiscal. Tour operators said 60 cruise vessels docked in Kochi in the just-concluded season while the number of tourists increased to 62,753. “T he g rowth of cruise tourism is an encouraging trend for Kerala as it brings a lot of foreigners. The local economy will benefit as most tourists spend heavily ,” said Ernakulam District Tourism Promotion Council secretary S Vijaykumar. He said Kochi has the potential to make it bigger. “Mostly aged people come to Kochi in cruise vessels. They prefer to see our heritage sites, mainly museums and old buildings at Fort Kochi and Mattanchery. Some of them travel to Alappuzha while others opt for Kumbalangi and Cherai. Most vessels leave the port after docking here for a day he said. ,” Kochi Port’s close proximity to international sea route is also the reason why more cruise liners reach the city. Ships from Australia-Singapore-Europe prefer Kochi to Mumbai. The authorities believe once the work on the cruise terminal is over, more operators would turn to More on P5 Kochi.
Express Publications (Madurai) Limited publishes the prestigious English language newspaper The New Indian Express from 21 centres in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Orissa.
Express Publications (Madurai) Ltd. also publishes the Tamil daily Dinamani, Cinema Express (Tamil) and Malayalam Vaarika (Malayalam). Through a sister company, Kannada Prabha Publications Ltd., it publishes the Kannada daily Kannada Prabha.
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