AFP KOTTAYAM l THURSDAY l JULY 02, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l CITY EDITION HONG KONG ARRESTS 9 UNDER CHINA’S NEW DRACONIAN LAW Most of them were arrested for possessing items advocating Hong Kong’s independence from mainland China THOUSANDS DEFY BAN ON GATHERINGS The arrests come as thousands took to the streets on Wednesday, ignoring a ban on large gatherings, to commemorate the 23rd anniversary of Britain’s handover of Hong Kong to China. Over 300 people were arrested—nine of them under the new law—amid clashes that saw police use rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse pro-democracy protesters | P9 10 years U.S. THREATENS COUNTERMEASURES ■ ■ Responding to the development, US top diplomat Mike Pompeo warned China that Washington will not stand idly by as Hong Kong gets swallowed into Beijing’s “authoritarian maw” The new security law makes anti-China dissent punishable and is part of efforts by Beijing to take full control of the city-state IS THE MINIMUM JAIL TERM FOR MAJOR OFFENCES UNDER THE NEW LAW 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 STATE REPORTS HIGHEST NUMBER OF RECOVERIES Kerala on Wednesday reported 131 recoveries, the highest number since the outbreak, even as fresh cases once again crossed the 50 mark. 151 4,593 cases reported on Wednesday cases have been confirmed so far 2,132 2,436 under treatment recovered 25 DEATHS State may revert the tally to 24 following guidelines from WHO & ICMR. P2 52% of 1.43L returned NRKs lost jobs; CM announces project losing their jobs is expected to swell in the coming months, IN a worrying sign for the re- they added. mittance-dependent Kerala “This is not reverse migraeconomy, more than half of the tion. This is just a teaser of 1.43 lakh NRKs who arrived things to come. We’ll have to from abroad in the evacuation wait till December to know the real picture of those who have mission since May following the returned to Kerala,” said Covid outbreak have lost Irudaya Rajan of Centre their jobs. for Development StudRevealing the numbers, Chief Minister ies (CDS). “The Indian Pinarayi Vijayan, during economy is doing really his daily news conferbad, and Kerala is also ence in Thiruvananin a bad financial state. thapuram, said 74,849 of It’s not easy for them to 1,43,147 who returned survive here. In my infrom abroad (52%) have When we had the teractions with a large money, we were number of expats, lost their jobs. spending on To address the situa- consumption. The what I gather is a third tion, the chief minister government has of those who have returned will go back announced a ‘Dream not made the looking for jobs,” said Kerala’ project aimed at state an investmentRajan, an expert on michannelising the skill sets and experience of friendly location gration. He said the jobless returnees will the overseas returnees to K V Joseph, be ready to work for help them set up viable director, IIMD half the salary they projects in the state. “The aim is to tap the potential and earned earlier. K V Joseph, director, Internaexperience of the returning tional Institute of Migration pravasi Malayalis,” he said. However, experts are not con- and Development, added: vinced about the outcome of the “Covid is not going to go away ‘Dream Kerala’ initiative saying soon. And, the Kerala Governthe economic climate in the ment doesn’t have the money. state and in India is not feasible Without funds, it’s not going to for any new projects to take be easy to implement the new ● More on P4 projects.” shape. Further, the number of people who will come back after E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Kochi Covid death toll in state goes up to 25 Kozhikode: The Covid-19 death toll in the state went up to 25 on Wednesday. The test results of the swab samples of Krishnan, a 68-year-old security staff from Nadakkavu in Kozhikode, who had committed suicide last week, turned out to be positive. P2 12 +ve in Ernakulam, 8 through local spread Kochi: Twelve persons tested positive in the district on Wednesday, triggering concern among district authorities and health officials that local transmission cases are on the rise. Among those tested positive, three had arrived from abroad. State borrowings balloon Twenty-four states cumulatively raised D1.67 lakh crore through market borrowings in the current fiscal from April 7 to June 30, which is double the amount in the corresponding period a year ago (D0.82 lakh crore) | P10 Tamil Nadu Maharashtra Andhra Pradesh Rajasthan Telangana Kerala West Bengal Gujarat Haryana Karnataka 28,000 25,500 15,000 16,000 12,461 12,430 10,000 Numbers in 8,580 Amount 9.000 raised (in Lcr) 7,000 TOP TEN Talks complex, no quick-fix solutions Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Army chief General M M Naravane to visit Ladakh tomorrow, meet jawans agreed to strive for speedy resolution of the stand-off. The meeting “was long and held in a businesslike manner keeping in view the Covid-19 protocols. The discussions reflected the commitment of both sides to reduce the tensions along the LAC.” The Corps Commanders had earlier met on June 6 and 22 and agreed on a phase wise de-escalation, which was seen as long drawn, stretching up to winter. In Ladakh, Rajnath Singh is expected to meet commanders and jawans and visit the Leh hospital, sources said. This will be the first visit by a political leader to Ladakh after the situation became tense. The LAC situation got aggravated when Chinese and Indian troops clashed at Finger-4 on the intervening night of May 5 and 6 along the northern flank of the Pangong Tso. Chinese troops began their stand-off there and gradually expanded it to Gogra Post in Hot Spring sector, Patrolling Points 14 and 15 in Galwan Valley and at Y-Junction of Depsang Bulge. M AYA N K S I N G H @ New Delhi THE disengagement of Indian and Chinese troops in Eastern Ladakh is a “complex” process, government sources said — indicating the difficulties in easing the stand-off along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) — even as they announced that Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Army chief Gen M M Naravane will visit Ladakh on Friday . The third meeting of the Corps Commanders of India and China on Tuesday did not lead to any immediate change on the standoff situation but both sides agreed to meet in future to restore peace and tranquility on the border. Sources said the “process of disengagement along the LAC is complex. More meetings are expected both at the military and at the diplomatic level in future to arrive at mutually agreeable solution and to ensure peace and tranquility along the LAC as per bilateral agreements and protocols.” Both sides, sources said, The Congress on Wednesday charged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UP CM Yogi Adityanath are upset with Priyanka for criticising their “antipeople” policies Any stay beyond 1.08.2020 will attract damage charges or penal rent — Union housing and urban affairs ministry notice @ New Delhi CONGRESS leader Priyanka Gandhi was on Wednesday asked to vacate a government bungalow in Delhi’s ultraposh Lutyens’ area, where she had been living since 1997, as the Centre cancelled the property’s allotment to her. A notice issued by the Union housing and urban affairs ministry says, she has time till August 1 to vacate the 35 Lodhi Estate residence. “Any stay be- Modi exits Weibo; highways projects, MSMEs to be purged of Chinese firms EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi TWO days after the government banned 59 Chinese apps, Prime Minister Narendra Modi exited social networking platform Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter. Modi had joined it in 2015. All 115 messages Modi had posted thus far were manually removed over the last two days. BJP leaders saw in it a powerful personal message to China to stop messing around. Also, US Secret a r y o f S t at e M i ke Pompeo applauded the app ban, saying promoting clean apps will boost national se- curity and integrity . Another similar emphatic message came from Union road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari, who said India will not allow Chinese companies to be part of highway projects, including through joint ventures. “We will not give permission to joint ventures that have Chinese partners for road construction. We have taken a firm stand that if they (Chinese companies) come via joint venture, we will not allow it,” he said and added that the Centre will ensure that Chinese investors are not included in sectors like MSME. Gadkari also holds the MSME portfolio. He said rebidding would happen in projects that have Chinese participation. “We have taken a decision to relax norms for our companies to ensure that they qualify in bidding in large projects,” he informed. On stopping of consignments from China at Indian ports, the minister said it is not arbitrary . The government is initiating path-breaking reforms to help MSMEs to make the country self-reliant, he added. Even if we have to go for foreign joint venture in the areas of technology, consultancy or design, we will not allow Chinese firms - Nitin Gadkari, Union road transport and highways minister FARE CHART Class Ordinary service City fast Minimum charge (old) Fare stage Charge per km (old) L8(L8) 2.5km 90 paise/km (70 paise) L10(L10) 2.5km 94 paise/km (75 paise) Fast passenger L14(L11) 5km 95 paise/km (75 paise) Super Fast L20(L15) 10km 98 paise/km (78 paise) E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ T’Puram THE Kerala government on Wednesday approved a hike in bus fare. The interim measure was taken after bus operators complained of losses due to rise in fuel cost and restriction on the number of passengers in the wake of Covid-19. The minimum charge for ordinary buses will remain at `8, but the fare will be applicable only for the first 2.5km, instead of 5km. The fare for every subsequent kilometre has been increased from 70 paise to 90 paise. Hence travelling the first five kilometres in an ordinary bus will cost `10. The fare has been increased for other types of services too. The new fare structure is expected to come into force within two days. Transport Minister A K Saseendran said the hike would be applicable only during the pandemic period. Justice M Ramachandran Commission, which was appointed to study the bus sector, had recommended a 30%-50% hike in the minimum fare of ordinary services in its interim report. It had also recommended the government to increase the students’ concession rate to 50% of the revised fare, but the Cabinet re● More on P4 jected it. ‘State robbing citizens’ The LDF government is robbing the state’s citizens by increasing the bus charges, said BJP state president K Surendran. “The ordinary man relies on buses f or his daily commute,” he said. P4 Priyanka to lose posh Lutyens bungalow EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE BSNL issued a notice on Wednesday cancelling its 4G network upgradation tender for which it had earlier proposed Chinese equipment major ZTE and Finnish communication giant Nokia as vendors. The action follows the Department of Telecom’s decision to exclude all Chinese equipment firms from participating in tenders of state-run telcos following the face-off on the Ladakh border | P10 Bus fare increased to offset losses; operators say it’s ‘not enough’ OVER AND OUT Cong slams ‘vendetta politics’ BSNL notifies tender scrub to dial out Chinese participation yond 1.08.2020 will attract damage charges or penal rent.” The notice comes six months after the government amended the Special Protection Group Act 1988, restricting the top-level SPG security cover to the sitting prime minister and former PMs for a period of five years after they demit office. The type VI bungalow was allotted to Priyanka in 1997 as she was under SPG cover, which mandates suitable government accommodation for protectees. Since her security cover has been downgraded from SPG to Z-plus, she is no longer eligible to receive a government bungalow. While party sources said she will vacate the property, they assailed the Centre for what they called vindictive politics. RECLAMATION? A fisherman unloads clams on the side of the backwaters at Panayilakkadavu near Vakkom in Thiruvananthapuram. Sale of clams, which had been on the wane over the past few months due to the lockdown, has picked up recently | B P DEEPU EXPRESS READ Nehru Trophy Boat Race & CBL unlikely The Champakkulam Moolam Boat Race, which marks the beginning of the season, has been cancelled in view of the pandemic, signalling that Champions Boat League and Nehru Trophy may also have to be abandoned. P5 ‘Jose K Mani faction only suspended’ T’Puram: Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala has clarified that the UDF leadership has not ‘expelled’ the Jose K Mani faction of the Kerala Congress (Mani) from the front, but only suspended it from the meetings. P4 6 KILLED IN NLC’S BOILER EXPLOSION IN TN 17 others were injured after a boiler exploded at Neyveli Lignite Corporation’s thermal plant on Wednesday. P5 Wild jumbo falls into farm well, protesting locals delay rescue E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Kochi A WILD elephant that strayed into human habitation and fell into an open well at Pooyamkutty, on the forest fringe area of Kuttampuzha panchayat in Er nakulam district, early Wednesday morning was rescued. Though the Forest Department rushed to the spot immediately after coming to know of the incident, the rescue was delayed due to protests by local residents, who demanded steps to ensure the safety of their lives and property. The locals relented only after they were given an assurance in writing that trenches would be dug to stop wild elephants from entering the village. “Two wild elephants crossed the Pooyamkutty river and entered the village on Tuesday night. They destroyed crops and the local residents tried to drive them back into the forest. Around 6.30am, as the elephants were retreating to the forest, a 15-year-old male jumbo The wild elephant that fell into a well located on the farmland at Pooyamkutty in Kuttampuzha panchayat on Wednesday morning | EXPRESS accidentally fell into the fourmetre-deep well in a farm,” said Kuttampuzha range officer Libin John. The forest officials brought an earthmover and dug a slope breaking the well’s sidewall to help the animal climb out of the well. “The elephant didn’t sustain many injuries. It only damaged a scooter parked on the road on its way back to the forest around 11am,” said deputy range officer Bensilal. The villagers stopped the forest officers from rescuing the elephant. ● More on P4
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