VILLUPURAM FRIDAY NOVEMBER 08, 2019 `4.00 PAGES 14 CITY EDITION NOW CHINA ADDS WRINKLE TO TARIFF THAW WITH U.S. China on Thursday hardened its stance that no deal can take place without each side cancelling at least some tariffs MINI AGREEMENT IN THE WORKS? ROLLBACK OF LEVIES PART OF TRUCE China said it is close to reaching a mini agreement with the US as part of a wider deal to remove tariffs imposed on two-way goods in stages. “Both sides should roll back existing additional tariffs in the same proportion simultaneously, which is an important condition for reaching the agreement,” said Chinese Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng ■ ■ ■ “The trade war started with tariffs, and should end with the cancellation of tariffs,” Gao said, according to reports China had previously said trade tensions would only end when all additional tariffs were lifted from Chinese products Now, China has nuanced this stand saying partial rollback is cool $360 bn VALUE OF CHINESE EXPORTS TO THE U.S. AFFECTED BY TRADE WAR 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 Kureshi cleared for Tripura HC Celebrated litterateur and Sahitya Akademi Award winner was battling cancer @ New Delhi A thick blanket of smog seen over St Thomas Mount in Chennai on Thursday | A B H I J I T M U LY E @ Mumbai A day after it seemed that the BJP and the Shiv Sena were on the verge of reconciliation, the BJP opted not to stake its claim to form the new government despite meeting Gover nor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari on Thursday indicating it did not , want to fall into the minority government trap. After a meeting of its newly elected lawmakers, the Shiv Sena continued its brinkmanship demanding equal share in governance, challenging the BJP to accept its lack of numbers. It went on to claim it had options to form the government if the BJP could not and herded its MLAs into Hotel Rangasharada near the party headquarters in Bandra to keep the flock safe from poaching. The BJP and the Congress, too, have summoned their MLAs to Mumbai, with the latter calling a meeting of its lawmakers on Friday . For his part, Governor Koshiyari consulted the advocate general to weigh his legal options amid speculation of imposing President’s Rule. Since neither the BJP which , is the single largest party nor the largest pre-poll alliance (BJP-Sena) is likely to stake its claim, whether or not Governor Koshiyari would explore other options like calling a post-poll coalition or any other party to form the government remains to be seen. Caretaker Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is expected to put in his papers on Friday , but it is a technicality since the outgoing 13th Assembly will expire on Saturday . Earlier in the day Shiv Sena , president Uddhav Thackeray POLLUTION LEVELS (Parameter: PM 2.5) Station Min Avg Max Manali 227 318 345 Alandur Bus Depot 120 273 331 Velachery residential area 112 273 340 Overall 271 (8.30 pm) AIR QUALITY INDEX Good Satisfactory Moderately polluted Poor Very poor 101-200 0 201 -30 0 ‘Met Governor to discuss situation’ BJP president Chandrakant Patil (pic) met Governor Koshiyari on Friday and discussed the situation. “However, we did not stake our claim for government formation,” he said CHENNAI on Thursday surpassed Delhi in air pollution. At 9.30am, the city’s air quality index (AQI) was 264, while Delhi stood at 254. Many areas in the city recorded ‘very poor’ AQI. Areas such as Velachery Ramapuram and Anna , Nagar clocked pollution levels as high 341, said Airveda.com. The Central Pollution Control Board’s realtime monitoring station in Manali has been consistently recording AQI around 320. Alandur and Velachery residential areas have registered 273. AQI FAR FROM FRIENDLY between 51-100 is considered satisfactory by the National Ambient Air Quality Standard. All stations witnessed a spike in PM2.5 levels, as high as 345 µg/m3 (micrograms per cubic meter). PM2.5 are particulate matter with size less than 2.5 microns. They can enter human lungs and cause severe respiratory problems and diseases. PM 2.5 levels above 60 µg/m3 is considered unsafe. Met officials say the pollution levels are likely to remain high till Saturday High humidity and lack . of breeze cause pollutants to hang in the air. Ayodhya fortified ahead of verdict S A N A S H A K I L @ New Delhi put the ball of government formation back in the BJP’s court while addressing his party MLAs at his residence. “I don’t want to break the alliance. But, the (CM’s) statement on promises made before Lok Sabha election were wrong. I’m open for talks even today if the BJP leadership is ready to act on its promise,” he said. MARTIN LOUIS CHENNAI AIR WORSE THAN DELHI, SAYS DATA S V K R I S H N A C H A I TA N YA @ Chennai 0 NABANEETA SEN NO MORE EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE 1-40 POET Caretaker CM Fadnavis to put in his papers today; Sena herds its MLAs in a city hotel 30 The Centre has finally cleared Justice Akil Kureshi for elevation as the Chief Justice of Tripura High Court, ending months-long delay over his promotion that led to protests by advocates’ body Pak flip-flop on passport waiver for Sikh pilgrims -1 0 A couple in Manapparai allegedly sold their newborn son for `1.5 lakh through a mediator. The child welfare department on Thursday filed a complaint against five persons | P3 Governor’s game now as BJP does not stake claim 51 5 held for selling newborn KARTARPUR VISIT 0-50 EXPRESS READ THE Centre has rushed 40 companies (around 4,000 personnel) of paramilitary forces to Uttar Pradesh to assist the state government in maintaining law and order ahead of the Supreme Court’s verdict on the sensitive Ayodhya case, which is expected anytime before Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi’s retirement on November 17. A total of 40 companies, which include 16 companies of RAF and six companies each of CISF, ITBP , SSB and BSF, will be deployed in UP till November 18. The Home Ministry has also issued an advisory to all states asking them to remain alert ahead of the verdict on the Ramjanambhumi-Babri Masjid title dispute case. States have been directed to pay special attention to sensitive areas and ensure security home min, istry officials said, adding that there will be close coordination between top security departments of the Centre and states. The central forces are scheduled to reach Ayodhya on November 11, a day ahead of Kartik Purnima. One million devotees are expected to participate in the religious event. The paramilitary forces will be deployed in 12 most sensitive districts and cities of Uttar Pradesh. Apart from Varanasi and Ayodhya, paramilitary forces will be deployed in Kanpur, Aligarh, Lucknow, Azamgarh etc to maintain law and order. The Railway Protection Force also issued an advisory to all its zones on Thursday advising them , to keep a tab on all religious structures near railway stations as they may become ‘flash points’ in case tempers run high. Overruling its earlier order of keeping railway station lighting to 30% to save energy the RPF has , instructed to keep lighting at 100% at all times. TWO days ahead of the opening of the Kartarpur corridor, Pakistan tied itself in knots with flip-flops on whether it intended to honour its Prime Minister Imran Khan’s gesture to allow visa-free visits to Indian Sikhs to the holy shrine. Imran had tweeted his offer on November 1 but there was no bilateral paperwork to support it. In response to India’s request for clarification, Pakistan Army spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor on Thursday said Indian Sikh pilgrims will have to take their passports along. But hours later, Pakistan’s foreign office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal said the waiver was on and would extend to a year to mark the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak. The $20 service fee per pilgrim will also be off between N o ve m b e r 9 and 12, Faisal said, adding: “We have formally conveyed this to India.” In view of the flip-flop, the Indian foreign office advised pilgrims to nevertheless carry their passports. External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said the MoU for the corridor “hasn’t been changed and as per it, a passport is needed”. Amid the drama, a side story playing out was the last minute approval to feisty Congress leader and Punjab MLA Navjot Singh Sidhu to visit to Kartarpur on Saturday He already has . an invite from Imran. Sidhu had thrice written to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on the subject, but the Centre took its time to clear his request. SC stamp on Coimbatore twin murder convict’s death penalty E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ New Delhi Persons with disabilities inspecting the ‘accessible’ bus in Chennai on Thursday | R. SATISH BABU Disabled activist falls off the ramp of ‘accessible’ bus Little space for wheelchair Officials said changes will be made to the final model based on feedback. There is very little space on the bus for wheelchairs in the bus, says Rajiv Ranjan of Ektha Common sense must be used by officials in designing vehicles, right from an initial stage Smitha Sadasivan, Activist S U S H M I T H A R A M A K R I S H N A N @ Chennai IN a shocking case, a person with disability who was invited , to participate in a demonstration and trial of accessible MTC buses, toppled backward from the ramp when she tried to board the vehicle, and hit the back of her head on concrete floor. The incident stirred panic at the function, as other persons with disabilities felt the prototype was a threat to their safety . The government officials have assured that necessary changes would be made to the final model, based on the feedback they receive. A total of 100 accessible buses will operate across various city routes in the coming days. Smitha Sadasivan of the disability rights alliance, who fell off the ramp, said it’s pathetic that initial designs are so unfriendly . “Common sense must be used by officials in designing vehicles, right from an initial stage,” she said. Others too argued that ramps must be smooth, without bumps caused by bolts and joints. “There is very little space for parking wheelchairs in the bus, and a lack of appropriate railing support,” says Rajiv Ranjan, executive director of the disability rights organisation, Ektha. P5 THE Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed the review petition of a prisoner on death row seeking reprieve from the capital punishment awarded to him for raping and killing a 10year old girl, and her brother, in Coimbatore in 2010. A three-judge Bench, by majority of 2:1, held that the crime came under the ‘rarest of rare case’ category, and the conv i c t d i d n o t d e s e r ve a n y sympathy . It was not a spur of the moment or a crime of passion, the bench observed, adding that the perpetrator craftily planned and meticulously executed the details despite having ‘multiple opportunities to cease and desist’. “We are of the view that the present offence of the petitioner is so grave as to shock the conscience of this Court, and of the society, and without doubt, would amount to rarest of the rare.” Justices R F Nariman and Suryakant dismissed the review plea filed by the prisoner; Justice Sanjiv Khanna said he had a different view on the point of the P5 sentence alone. FEWER BUSES Students from Kuruthankulam, Ponnali, Kadambamkudi and Thambulikan villages in Sivaganga district wading through an irrigation tank to reach their school | S BALA SPOT-FIXING Police catch KPL team captain, more to follow E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Bengaluru SIX down. More to go. That’s the message from police officials in Bengaluru, who arrested CM Gautam and Abrar Kazi for their role in spot-fixing in the Karnataka Premier League (KPL). News of the former being detained shocked the fraternity Cap. tain of Ballari Tuskers in KPL, he is a prominent name in domestic cricket, who served Karnataka for distinction for nearly a decade. It takes the tally of arrests in CM Gautam Abrar Kazi this case to six. The Central Crime Branch (CCB) sleuths, who arrested Ballari Tuskers skipper Gautam and Kazi, have found that more players are involved. A senior police officer said, “Investigations are on and we have gathered information about other players involved in match-fixing. Some of them have left the country We have sent teams to gather . information about them.” It has been learnt that Gautam and Kazi, who were active players in the first-class circuit till being arrested, were offered `20 lakh each to bat slowly during the KPL final against Hubli Tigers in Mysuru on August 31. While Gautam made a 37-ball 29 and Kazi a six- ball 13, their team lost the final. Attempt to thwart probe It is said that some influential persons have been putting pressure on the investigating officers. Bengaluru police commissioner Bhaskar Rao confirmed there was interference from influential persons. “We are not caring about who is trying to influence the probe. I have asked investigators to ignore those influential people and carry on with a thorough probe regardless of these threats.”
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