CHENNAI SATURDAY FEBRUARY 22, 2020 `4.00 PAGES 14 VELLORE EDITION FRESH COUNTDOWN FOR U.S. PEACE DEAL WITH TALIBAN The signing of the historic deal is contingent on the success of a seven-day ceasefire, which is set to begin on Saturday WAIT AND SEE, KEEP FINGERS CROSSED A peace deal would require the US to pull out its troops from Afghanistan in return for a Taliban pledge to negotiate the country’s future with the elected government. However, it is not certain whether the push for a deal would succeed this time. President Trump was close to signing a deal in September 2019, but a wave of violence by Taliban scuppered the plan ■ Feb 29 ADVANTAGE INDIA IF IT MATERIALISES ■ A deal would benefit Trump, who faces reelection in November and has repeatedly called for troop withdrawal from Afghanistan The deal would also potentially help India as it would force Pakistan to redeploy its armed forces along its western border for bigger powerplay in Afghanistan, easing jihadi push into J&K WHEN THE TWO PARTIES ARE EXPECTED TO MEET TO SIGN THE DEAL 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 Nothing to fear about in the CAA, says Uddhav after meeting Modi Calls on Sonia, says Centre is ready to amend NPR queries, suggests dropping agitation EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi/Mumbai AFTER a nearly hour-long meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Friday said there’s nothing to fear about the Citiz enship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Population Register (NPR), reaffirming their consonance on the two prickly issues. He later met Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and shared that the Centre was amenable to changes in the NPR questionnaire, also suggesting it was time the Opposition drops its agitation against the CAA and the NPR, the grand old party’s leaders in Mumbai revealed. He is learnt to have told So- Uddhav Thackeray Narendra Modi GST, crop insurance Thackeray discussed several other issues with the PM, including GST and crop insurance and other Central schemes. “The PM assured to extend all possible help,” he disclosed nia that questions in the NPR on parents’ background and place of birth could be amended to make them optional. Con- gress general secretary Mallikarjun Kharge and Shiv Sena’s Aaditya Thackeray were present during the meeting with Sonia. “Nobody will be thrown out of the country on account of the CAA or the NPR,” Thackeray said, reiterating a position he had taken a few days ago much to the discomfiture of his allies in the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA), the Congress and the NCP. But Thackeray claimed there is no problem within the MVA. “If there are issues, they would be amicably settled through discussions.” Thackeray later tweeted saying, “CAA is an Act by Parliament. As it seems, it won’t take away anybody’s citizenship in Maharashtra. However, questions remain about its imple- vestment potential to diplomats from 38 countries during THREE companies are plan- the diplomatic outreach event, ning to invest a whopping Palaniswami also laid the foun`1,254 crore in Tamil Nadu in dation for Tamil Nadu Polymer projects that could genPark, a project of TIDerate around 15,000 CO and SIPCOT on 257 jobs. MoU were signed acres of land in Puwith these three firms zhuthivakkam in Tiruon Friday by Chief vallur district. With an Minister Edappadi K investment of `217 Palaniswami at a diplocrore, the Park is exmatic outreach event. pected to attract investInvestors Korean firm Hanon ments worth `3,000 guide Automotive will invest crore and generate `500 crore to set up a over 7,000 new jobs. The CM facility in MalA pact was signed to released a rosapuram in begin works on the guide Kancheepuram disChennai-Bengaluru Inhighlighting trict, while US-based the investment dustrial Corridor. A Jogo Health, which inimaster plan for the potential of tially signed a pact to Ponneri Node of the the State invest `15 crore, has corridor is being preupped the ante to a mega `250 pared by the Delhi-Mumbai Incrore. Mitsuba Sical will invest dustrial Corridor Trust. State `504 crore in SIPCOT Industri- government’s TIDCO and Cenal Complex, Gummidipoondi. tral agency NICDIT have joined Showcasing the State’s in- hands to develop Ponneri. P4 E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Chennai Man sets woman friend on fire at her workplace for refusing to talk to him SUMMIT TALKS Indian tariffs hitting US very hard, says Trump EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Cuddalore EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi DAYS ahead of his visit, US President Donald Trump claimed New Delhi has been hitting Washington very hard on trade tariffs for many years, adding he would talk business with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to promote US products during their forthcoming summit meeting in New Delhi on Tuesday . Speaking at the Keep America Great rally in Colorado, Trump said, “I am going to India next week and we are talking trade. They have been hitting us very hard for many, many years,” Trump said. T r u m p said India’s tariffs were the among the highest in t h e wo rl d . “We’ve got to talk a little... We’ve got to talk a little business. It’s been hitting us hard. They give us tariffs, one the highest in the world is India,” he said. While there were expectations of a trade deal, negotiations between Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal and US Trade Representative Robert Lightizer broke down. The US President also spoke glowingly about the anticipated turnout for the “Namaste Trump” rally at Motera stadium in Ahmedabad on Monday but scaled the figure , up to 10 million from the 7 million he had initially stated. “Prime Minister Modi said, we will have 10 million people greet you,” he said adding the event will be held at the largest cricket stadium in the world, which is brand new. mentation, practicality and settlement. They need to be answered by the Centre.” On the NPR, he said, “The NPR is proposed along with Census. It happened in 2010 too. Census happens every 10years in our country If there . are any new columns proposed in the NPR, they will be scrutinised by our government & if it seems problematic we won’t take it ahead.” A third tweet was clearer, saying: “NRC is problematic to every citizen, irrespective of caste, creed, religion any which way, and won’t let it come to Maharashtra.” Thackeray’s meeting with Modi was their first after the Sena snapped its alliance with the BJP to for m the state government. CM signs pacts to bring `1,254-cr investments SPECIAL GUEST Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu greeting Sadhguru at 26th Mahashivaratri celebrations at Isha Yoga Centre in Coimbatore on Friday | A RAJA CHIDAMBARAM IN a shocking case, a 26-yearold woman was set on fire at her office in Vadalur by a private bus conductor, allegedly because she had stopped talking to him since a few days. The woman has been admitted to the Cuddalore Government Hospital with about 20 per cent burns. The victim, J Salomi, lives with her two children in Neyveli, and works with a private firm. She is married to John Victor, who is in the Army, for over a decade. Salomi used to take a private bus to work every day, and according to police sources she was friends with the bus con- SHORT OF NOTHING Poonam Yadav bowls India to victory in its first WT20 outing S R I N I D H I P R @ Chennai POONAM Yadav could be dismissed as a young girl on the field. All of four-foot-eleven, she is not among the taller members of the squad. Playing against Australians, with an average height over fivefoot-six, only made her look smaller. However clichéd it may sound, looks are deceptive. The Aussies learnt the hard way in the first World T20 match in Sydney on Friday . Plundering runs with elan, the hosts were expected to overhaul India’s modest target of 133 in no time. Not until the 28-yearold Poonam stepped in with her lazy loopy leg-spinners, turning either way without fuss. Her staggering figure of 4/19 helped India win by 17 runs. Miles away in Agra, Poonam’s coach Manoj Singh was glued to his TV following her each move. , “Some might consider being a player of short height as a weakness,” said Singh from Agra. “But not Poonam. She turned it into her strength. When you are of that height, you need to provide a good flight to make the ball travel. That (flight) has become her weapon now. Today (Friday) when she bowled those wrong’uns, Australian batters couldn’t read it.” The leg-spinner used her weapon, googly judiciously and , bamboozled the defending champions. Though she was introduced into the attack after nine overs, the 24 deliveries that she bowled were enough for India. From 67/2, Australia lost a flurry of wickets to eventually bundle out for 115. Brief scores: India 132/4 in 20 ovs (Deepti 49) bt Australia 115 in 19.5 ovs (Alyssa 51). It was great for me to come back from injury and perform like this. It was the third time that I was on a hat-trick but satisfied that I was able to do the job for the team Poonam Yadav ductor Sundaramurthy, a native of Arasur. Police sources say that while Salomi was friendly with him, Sundaramurthy thought they were heading towards a relationship. When Salomi found this out, she stopped talking to him. “Upset that she had stopped talking, Sundaramurthy kept following her to her workplace, trying to convince her, in vain,” said the po- lice. “He went to her office again on Friday morning. He demanded that she talk to him. When she refused, he threw petrol on her and set her on fire.” People nearby rescued Salomi and took her to the Government Hospital, while Sundaramurthy was caught and handed over to the police. He has been booked under Sections 307, 354, 294 (b) and the SC/ST Act. SHE REPEATEDLY REFUSED TO TALK TO HIM Sundaramurthy had befriended the victim, Salomi, who is employed in a private firm at Vadalur. Police said Sundaramurthy got upset when Salomi suddenly stopped talking to him. He kept trying to convince her to talk to him, but in vain. Upset over this, Sundaramurthy went to Salomi’s office, threw petrol on her and set her afire. With the world scrambling to assess the long term economic impact of China’s deadly novel coronavirus, here are some indicators Crushing blow to global economy 92% Drop in retail passenger car sale in China in the first 16 days of February. Last year, China sold over BIG TECH Apple, Amazon, FB have already said their businesses have been impacted 25 mn vehicles MARKETS Spooked as more companies warn the virus could hurt earnings $27.8 billion REVENUE LOSS ANTICIPATED IN 2020, AS DEMAND IS EXPECTED TO CONTRACT BY 8.2% FROM THE PREVIOUS YEAR IMPACT ON GDP In China could between -0.2% and -0.5% if virus is contained by next month; else it could be -1%, say analysts PEAK Of the virus yet to arrive, Chinese President Xi Jinping warns. Its toll has already reached 2,236 PHARMA DROP IN SUPPLY OF BULK DRUGS SOURCED FROM CHINA TO HIT THE SECTOR HARD, INCLUDING IN INDIA JACK MA China’s richest man teams up with Columbia University to find cure for P11, 13
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