CHENNAI l THURSDAY l MARCH 05, 2020 l `5.00 l PAGES 28 l LATE CITY EDITION SUPER TUESDAY: JOE BIDEN STAGES SURPRISE COMEBACK Democratic presidential race has narrowed to a direct contest between the ex-US vice president and Senator Bernie Sanders JOE BIDEN BERNIE SANDERS EX-VP WINS 9 OUT OF 14 STATES THAT VOTED The two septuagenarians secured major victories in the ‘Super Tuesday’ primaries held in 14 states across the US as 77-year-old Biden overturned predictions to take the key state of Texas from his main challenger, Sanders, 78. He also won eight other primaries. Sanders is projected to win California, which has a whopping 415 pledged delegates | P15 ■ Nov 3 WHY SUPER TUESDAY IS IMPORTANT ■ Either of the candidates needs at least 1,991 of the 3,979 pledged delegates to win the presidential nomination of the Democratic Party. On Super Tuesday, 1,357 pledged delegates were at stake According to reports and projections, Biden has 553 delegates, while Sanders has 488 WHEN THE 2020 U.S. PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS WILL BE CONDUCTED 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 Scoreline after midnight poaching drama: Kamal Nath: 1. BJP: 0 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Bhopal / Bengaluru IT was a midnight coup that failed big time. What started with 10 ruling Congress and allied MLAs from Madhya Pradesh being allegedly held hostage by BJP leaders at a resort in Gurugram in Haryana, partially ended on Wednesday with six coming back to the fold. Four of them, however, were taken to BJP-ruled Karnataka in a chartered flight, leaving the game open. Sources in Bengaluru said two more Congress MLAs would be poached soon. There were conflicting versions on the number of MLAs holed up in Bengaluru. The four MLAs, who were brought to Bengal- Cryptocurrency gets a lifeline as SC sets aside ban by Reserve Bank KANU SARDA & ANURADHA S H U K L A @ New Delhi THE Supreme Cour t on Wednesday set aside Reserve Bank of India’s order prohibiting banks from offering services for cryptocurrencies, terming such a blanket ban “bad in law”. RBI had through a circular dated April 6, 2018 barred entities regulated by the central bank from providing any service in relation to virtual currencies, including transfer or receipt of money in accounts in connection with the purchase or sale of virtual currencies. The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IMAI) had moved the SC against the RBI diktat. On July 3, 2018 the top court had sought a response from RBI and the Union ministries of finance and information and technology on IMAI’s plea. A three-judge bench headed by Justice R F Nariman found the complete prohibition was disproportionate to the objectives sought to be achieved by the apex banking regulator. “When the consistent stand of RBI is that they have not banned VCs (virtual currencies) and when the Government of India is unable to take a call despite several committees coming up with several proposals including two draft bills, both of which advocated exactly opposite positions, it is not possible for us to hold that the impugned measure is proportionate,” the bench said in its 180-page verdict. RBI BAN ON ‘MORAL GROUNDS’ IMAI argued in SC that RBI banned cryptocurrencies “on moral grounds” since no prior studies were conducted to analyse the effect of virtual currencies on the economy In its circular, the banking regulator had said the prohibition was to protect entities from “activities that pose reputational and financial risks along with other legal and operational risks”. RBI had also said there were risks of terror financing and money laundering through cryptocurrencies. CONTINUED ON: P17 EARLY HC HEARING SC SQUEEZES WINDOW FOR HEARING ON DELHI RIOTS E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ New Delhi TERMING the long adjournment by the Delhi HC as unjustified, the Supreme Court on Wednesday asked it to hear on March 6, a plea filed by 10 Delhi riot survivors seeking FIRs against BJP leaders for their alleged hate speeches. Senior lawyer Colin Gonsalves, representing the petitioners, informed the bench headed by Chief Justice of India S A Bobde that a Delhi HC bench led by Chief Justice D N Patel had on February 27 adjourned a similar plea by activist Harsh Mander to April 13. “What was the reason?” the CJI asked. Gonsalves said the Centre wanted time to file a reply . “Adjournments for such long period are unjustified... The HC should hear this petition by Gonsalves this Friday said ,” Bobde, adding, “In riots, violence can’t be curbed by courts. But just because there is no violence, doesn’t mean courts can give long adjournments.” CONTINUED ON: P11 The drama sparked a war of words, with MP Chief Minister Kamal Nath charging his predecessor Shivraj Singh Chouhan with masterminding defections to recreate a Karnataka. Though six MLAs — Sanjiv Singh Kushwah (BSP), Rambai Thakur (suspended BSP MLA), Rajesh Shukla (SP), Aidal Singh Kansana, Ranveer Jatav and Kamlesh Jatav (all Congress Cong has numbers to win two RS seats With six MLAs back, the Congress strength in the 230-member Assembly now is 117 — one more than the simple majority of 116 and enough to win two of the three RS seats that are up for grabs in March 26 poll MLAs), returned with state finance minister Tarun Bhanot, uncertainty continued over the other four — Surendra Singh (Independent), Raghuraj Kansana, H S Dang and Bisahulal Singh (Congress). The six who were retrieved, landed in Bhopal in the evening were driven straight to the CM’s residence, where they were closeted with Nath and Congress national general secretary in charge for MP Deepak Babaria. Former CM Digvijaya Singh claimed the 10 MLAs were forcibly taken at the behest of Chouhan. “The MLAs were to be paid between `25-35 crore in instalments, first to influence the Rajya Sabha polls and later to bring down the gover nment,” he alleged. P9 Visiting Italian tourists catch the bug in large numbers, raising India’s tally; govt plans to set up testing lab in Iran to evacuate those Indian fishermen who are uninfected; universal screening of all international passengers from now BIG CASE COUNT JUMP IN A DAY DON’T PANIC, LOOK AT DEATH RATE AGE GROUP DEATH RATE 0-9 None E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ New Delhi THE coronavirus count in India jumped by a whopping 23 on Wednesday, taking the total active cases to 26. The latest was that of a digital paywall’s employee who had recently returned from Italy . The spurt came from a group of 15 Italian tourists, their Indian bus driver, six in Agra who came in contact with the Delhi man who had tested positive on Monday, and the paywall’s staffer. All of them are under quarantine. Add to that the two who had tested positive on Monday (Delhi and Telangana), one Italian tourist in Jaipur whose infection was confirmed on Tuesday and three Keralite students who have already recovered, and the total count stands at 29. The spouse of the infected Italian tourist quarantined in Jaipur, too, tested positive, Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Harsh Vardhan informed. As he was part of of a group of over 20 Italian tourists, the 15 possibly got their infections from him, Vardhan added. Contact tracing of the infected Delhi man based in Mayur Vihar established he had visited his relatives in Agra shortly after his return from Italy late last month. On Tuesday six of those relatives were , reported to have “high viral load” and were quarantined in New Del- 10-19 0.2% 20-29 0.2% 30-39 hi’s Safdarjung Hospital. Their swab samples sent to the National Institute of Virology in Pune tested positive for the virus, Vardhan said. In the wake of the rising global footprint of the virus — 82 countries and territories besides a Japanese cruise ship — the Centre has now decided to start universal screening for international flights. Earlier, only passengers from China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore, Nepal, Indonesia, Vietnam, Italy Iran and Malay, sia were being screened. The government has also directed all public hospitals in Delhi to be prepared for more cases, both confirmed as well as suspected. “We will ensure that all facilities are of the highest order to handle patients that require any isolation,” said Vardhan. Iran is high on the priority list as hundreds of Indian fishermen, mainly from Kerala and Tamil Nadu, are stuck in the middle of the outbreak there. Varshan said that India is trying to set up a COVID-19 screening test in Iran itself so as to evacuate those who have not been infected. One scientist has already been sent to Iran, while three more scientists and the testing equipment will go to Iran on Wednesday Vard. han said that the government was seeking Iran’s support for the implementation of the plan. P11 94,364 3,221 51,317 TOTAL DEATHS CONFIRMED CASES 40-49 0.2% RECOVERED CASES No Holi Milan More schools shut 17 infected abroad President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other leaders have announced they will not participate in any Holi Milan in view of the advisory to avoid congregational events Apart from 2 Noida schools, 3 schools in Delhi and its adjoining areas announced holiday for students and staff. Also, two schools advanced their spring break as a precautionary measure Seventeen Indians have been infected with the coronavirus abroad, including 16 crew of a Japanese cruise ship, Diamond Princess, and one from the UAE, the Centre informed Parliament 0.4% New cases Country, Other China S. Korea Iran Japan Germany Spain USA Hong Kong Switzerland U.K. Bahrain Australia Malaysia Norway Netherlands Sweden Canada India Austria Belgium Iceland San Marino Israel Greece Czechia Belarus Romania Portugal Faeroe Islands Poland Total New Cases 131 435 586 26 41 37 8 2 35 34 3 11 14 15 15 5 3 23 3 8 6 6 3 2 3 2 2 1 1 1 1,462 Exams in masks CBSE to allow students to carry masks, hand sanitisers during ongoing Class X and XII board exams, says CBSE secretary All landports have fully equipped medical teams to screen passengers from neighbouring countries Union home ministry 50-59 1.3% 60-69 3.6% 70-79 8.0% 80+ 14.8% NOTE: Comparatively high casualty only in the advanced age group. Death rate is calculated as the number of deaths divided by the number of cases in percentage. The percentages do not have to add up to 100%, as they do not represent share of deaths by age group | Source: worldometers A worker helps a suspected coronavirus patient shift to an isolation ward at the Safdarjung Hospital after screening at the airport, in New Delhi on Wednesday | PTI Masks and hand sanitisers part of shooting World Cup I N D R A N E E L D A S @ Chennai DON’T be surprised if you find N95 masks, hand sanitisers and a list of dos & don’ts as part of the kit during the shooting World Cup in New Delhi from March 15-26. Due to the coronavirus outbreak, the National Rifle Association of India has decided to distribute these to ensure athletes are protected at all times. The international shooting federation withdrew ranking points from the event on Wednesday but the NRAI is prepared to host the event. “We will host the event as per schedule,” NRAI president Raninder Singh told this daily The minimum qualification stand. ard attained by shooters at the event will however remain. India have already secured the maximum 15 quota places. Athletes are expected to land by March 10. The NRAI president also said that all precautions will be taken during the event. “We will distribute masks to athletes and officials. There will be lists of dos and don’ts across the venue and hotels. We will try and organise skits by local university students to raise awareness,” Singh said. In Qatar, where the India table tennis players are playing, handshakes and high fives have given way to bows. Even most of the athletes prefer to stay in single rooms rather than share. P18 ‘Will hold talks with Telangana Is this love? Stalker slits minor’s throat & AP CMs on my dream project’ EXPRESS READ Packaged water units call off strike Chennai: Packaged drinking water units finally ended their strike on Wednesday, hours after the Madras High Court allowed the sealed units to submit fresh applications to obtain licence within the next 15 days. The High Court, however, has asked the erring units to deposit `50,000 each, for the illegality committed by them till date. It has also ordered the formation of district-level monitoring committees to keep a tab on these units. P3 uru on Tuesday were whisked away to Chikkaamagaluru by road and brought back to Bengaluru on Wednesday morning after the Karnataka Congress unit launched a manhunt for them. “We had checked all resorts, homestays and hotels in Chikamagaluru, but couldn’t find them,” a Congress source said. E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Chennai E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Salem CM Edappadi K Palaniswami laying the foundation for Mettur-Sarabanga Lift Irrigation Project | EXPRESS CHIEF Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Wednesday called the interlinking of Cauvery-Godavari rivers his “dream project” and said he would soon discuss modalities for its implementation with his Andhra Pradesh and Telangana counterparts. Speaking after laying the foundation stone for Mettur-Sarabanga Lift Ir rig ation Project in Salem, Palaniswami said the `64,000-crore river interlinking project would bring approximately 200 tmcft of water to the State. The Union government is in the process of preparing a Detailed Project Report. “I have sought appointment from Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, who has also accepted the invitation. As first step, today our Ministers D Jayakumar and SP Velumani have gone to Andhra Pradesh to deliver a letter in this regard,” Palaniswami said, adding that an appointment has also been sought from Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao. P4 IN a shocking case, a youngster is on the run after allegedly slitting the throat of a minor schoolgirl on Wednesday evening for turning down his love proposal. The girl was admitted to Kilpauk Medical College and her condition is said to be stable. Police say Nityananthan (26) and the girl, a class-8 student, lived in the same building in Aminjikarai. They have been neighbours for the past six years. Nityananthan was working as a food vendor. Police, quoting the girl’s family, said he had proposed to her a few months back, and had been harassing her ever since she turned him down. “On Wednesday evening, the girl returned from school and was alone at her first floor apartment when the suspect barged in and attacked her,” said the police. Hearing her screams, neighbours rushed in and took her to the hospital. The suspect managed to escape in the melee. Suspecting he might have sexually assaulted her before the attack, police have also booked a case under POCSO Act against him. Nityananthan is absconding. EXPRESS ILLUSTRATION
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05032020 of The New Indian Express-Chennai
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