KOTTAYAM l THURSDAY l JULY 09, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l CITY EDITION HARVARD, MIT SUE TRUMP ADMN OVER VISA ORDER The two institutions have sued the Department of Homeland Security and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement CASE FILED IN BOSTON DISTRICT COURT LAWSUIT SEEKS RESTRAINING ORDER The move by MIT and Harvard is in response to the Trump administration’s new guidelines barring foreign students from remaining in America if their universities switched to online-only classes in the Fall. According to a report in The Harvard Crimson, the two preeminent educational institutions filed a lawsuit in District Court in Boston Wednesday morning ■ ■ The lawsuit seeks a temporary restraining order and preliminary and permanent injunctive relief to bar the two federal agencies from forcing international students to leave the US “We owe it to them (students) to stand up and to fight and we will,” said Harvard University President Lawrence Bacow $41 bn INT’L STUDENTS’ CONTRIBUTION TO U.S. ECONOMY IN 2018-2019 ACADEMIC YEAR 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 119 of 600 samples +ve, 54 local spread cases in Poonthura EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ T’Puram PANIC gripped the state capital after 119 of the 600 swab samples collected from Poonthura over five days tested positive for Covid-19. With 54 people from the coastal village contracting the virus through local transmission on Wednesday alone, the authorities have decided to intervene stringently . The state capital reported 64 of Wednesday’s 301 cases, the state’s highest single-day spike since the outbreak. The health department confirmed super spread in Poonthura and said a special action plan is being chalked out to tackle the precarious situation in the village and nearby regions. Super spread was confirmed after a pattern of one person infecting more than five people was identified in more than three cases.A highlevel meeting led by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan reviewed the situation at Poonthura. The Kanyakumari-Thiruvananthapuram border was sealed while commandos have been deployed to strictly enforce the triple lockdown restrictions. The entry points to Poonthura were closed while there will be stringent restriction on the movement of people within the village. The marine enforcement, coast guard and coastal security forces have been asked to ensure that no boat leaves past the Kerala territory or enter it through sea. State police chief Loknath KERALA CASE DIARY 3,559 recovered 301 6,195 cases reported on Wednesday cases have been confirmed so far 27 under treatment DEATHS 2,605 4 MIGRATED Maharashtra requests 2nd medical team from Kerala T’Puram: Kerala is likely to send a second team of healthcare professionals to Maharashtra following a request from Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. P2 Behera discussed the situation with his Tamil Nadu counterpart J K Tripathi and reached an agreement to restrict entry through borders. Minister Kadakampally Surendran said the number of tests in Poonthura will be increased as more cases of local transmission are being reported. “We are also increasing the number of ambulances available in the region. I have spoken to local leaders online and have decided to do massive cleaning in all public places and houses in Poonthura on Friday,” said the minister. ● More on P5 Oppn attacks Pinarayi as he writes to PM The gold smuggling case has more than one angle warranting a thorough investigation, says Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in his letter; Union Minister V Muraleedharan terms the CM’s stance in the case mysterious E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @T’Puram A DAY after Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, by shunting out his secretary M Sivasankar, tried to wash his hands off the high-profile gold smuggling case alleged to have connections to his office, the CPM strongman is feeling the heat. While both the UDF and the BJP targeted the CM, demanding his resignation, Pinarayi wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking an effective and coordinated investigation into the smuggling case. The case has “more than one angle warranting a thorough investigation”, he said in the letter. Noting that the case has serious implications as it undermines the economy of the nation, Pinarayi assured all necessary assistance and support from the state to the agencies involved in the investigation. Meanwhile, three days after the case came to light, the Customs couldn’t make any headway in nabbing the key accused, Swapna Suresh. Even as she continues to elude the enforcement agencies, she is believed to be in Thiruvananthapuram. There are speculations that she has al- ready approached a few advocates to submit an anticipatory bail plea in the High Court, or sur render if the plea is rejected. On Wednesday, the Customs and Central Excise officials took into custody Saumya, wife of Sandeep Nair, a close associate of Swapna’s. She was taken into custody from their residence at Nedumangadu in the state capital and taken to Kochi for questioning, while Sandeep is absconding. At the same time, there are indications that, following pressure from the Ministry of External Affairs, the Customs probe into the role of C o n s u l at e o f f i c i a l s would be slowed down. In a day full of political developments, Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala demanded the CMO be included under the purview of investigation. KPCC president Mullappally Ramachandran shot off a letter to the PM demanding a case under COFEPOSA and investigation by Central agencies like NIA and RAW. Union Minister V Muraleedharan termed the CM’s stance in the case ‘mysterious’. He said the Centre will carry out a foolproof probe. Swapna still on the run Customs intensifies search for key suspect Swapna Suresh 1 Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala demands investigation by CBI and wants CMO to be included under its purview 2 Customs takes into custody the wife of Sandeep Kumar --- a friend of Swapna --- whose shop in Nedumangad was inaugurated by speaker P Sreeramakrishnan 3 A petition has been filed before Kerala High Court seeking a probe by central agencies — CBI or NIA — into the gold smuggling. The petitioner has made CM Pinarayi Vijayan and former IT Secretary M Sivasankar as respondents in the case 4 @ New Delhi GREENER PASTURES A man fishing at Peruvannamuzhi reservoir at Kariyathumpara in Kozhikode on Wednesday. With the trawling ban on and lockdown restrictions stringent at many places, fishers are turning to rivers, reservoirs and other water bodies which are rich again following the monsoon rain | T P SOORAJ ONE-TIME MEASURE After uproar, CBSE says syllabus snip only for a year @ New Delhi HOURS after a huge uproar over the choice of topics slashed for classes IX-XII to prune the syllabus by 30% in view of the pandemic, the Central Board of Secondary Education on Wednesday sought to allay all misgivings, saying it is a “one-time measure” for a year to reduce exam stress. In the process of rationalising about 190 subjects for classes IX-XII, the Board slashed various important chapters like secularism, democratic rights, gender, religion and caste and food security, creating a major controversy . But the Board pointed out that the topics being mentioned “as dropped are either being covered by the rationalised syllabus or in the Alternative Academic Calendar of NCERT”. “Each of the topics De-mon chapter axed For Class XII, chapters on India’s relations with neighbours, demonetisation, changing nature of economic growth & social movements in India have been dropped that have been wrongly mentioned in the media as deleted have been covered under Alternative Academic Calendar of NCERT which is already in force for all the affiliated schools of the Board,” its statement read. The list of omitted topics in THE UAE foreign ministry had conducted inquiries twice on the working of the country’s consulate in Thiruvananthapuram after receiving a slew of complaints, including charges of financial irregularities. Some of these complaints were against Swapna Suresh, then executive secretary of the consulate, but no strong action was taken against her owing to her clout in the diplomatic mission, highlyplaced sources told TNIE. The sources said the inquiries were held during 2018-2019, but nothing happened thereafter as Swapna, a key suspect in the gold smuggling case, managed to stay put using her influence in the mission. However, those who had complained had to go and even the diplomats, who stood up against her, had to go through the mill. The UAE officials were not available for response despite efforts. A diplomat, who was then the attache, had tried to straighten her out. Sources said the diplomat, a UAE citizen, had tried to apprise the higher-ups of Swapna’s baleful influence in the office to no avail. “He had informed them about Swapna meddling in certain activities, but her influence was so strong that his complaint did not get any favourable response and he had to quit midway,” a source said One of the complaints was about the abuse of power and amassing of wealth by Swapna. ● More on P4 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE BJP leader, family shot dead in J&K EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE S H A N A S @ T’Puram A diplomat named Talib Al Sabi had informed his higher-ups about Swapna meddling in certain activities, but her influence was so strong that his complaint did not get any favourable response and he had to quit midway — A source Involvement of major racket Bare facts in the T’Puram gold smuggling case are enough to indicate the involvement of a major racket that has influence in higher echelons of the UAE and Kerala. Central govt sets up panel to probe funds to Sonia Gandhi’s 3 NGOs EXPRESS READ Srinagar: Sheikh Waseem Bari, a local BJP leader, his father Basheer Ahmad and brother Umar were shot dead by suspected terrorists in Kashmir’s Bandipora district on Wednesday. Police said the attack took place at his shop in Bandipore, 60 km from Srinagar. Militants opened fire on Bari, former BJP district president, outside his shop near police station Bandipora at around 9 pm, DGP Dilbagh Singh said. Bari’s brother Umar and father Bashir Ahmad were injured in the firing. They were taken to the Bandipora district hospital where they succumbed to injuries. According to reports, Bari’s securitymen have been arrested. UAE twice probed Kerala consulate irregularities Class IX Political Science syllabus includes democratic rights and structure of the Indian Constitution. From the Economics syllabus, the chapter on Food Security in India has been dropped. For Class X, from the History syllabus, lessons on ‘Everyday Life, Culture and Politics’ and ‘Print Culture and the Modern World’ are out. In Geography, chapters on Forest and Wildlife, Water Resources and Mineral and Energy Resources have been partially cut. Only maps will be part of exams. As for Class XI students, they need not study chapters on federalism, citizenship, nationalism, secularism and growth of local governments in India. Many prominent people, including West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, shared their anguish. Jadhav coerced to reject review plea, says India PUSHKAR BANAKAR AND KANU S A R D A @ New Delhi INDIA on Wednesday hit out at Pakistan for its reluctance to implement the ICJ judgment in letter and spirit. The comments from External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava came after the Pak government said former Indian Navy of ficer Kulbhushan Jadhav has “refused” to file a review plea for his death sentence and granted a second consular access to him. “We have been pursuing through diplomatic channels full and effective implementation of the ICJ judgment in the case of Jadhav. The media statement made by Pakistan today in the case seeks to mask its continuing reticence to implement ICJ judgment in letter and spirit,” Srivastava said. Terming Pakistan’s statement a continuation of the farce that has been in play for four years, the MEA spokesper- India reviewing options According to sources, India is looking at all options to deal with the matter. The government is in touch with India’s lead counsel at the ICJ Harish Salve, they added son said, “Pakistan has obviously coerced Jadhav to forego his rights to seek an implementation of the judgment of the ICJ.” Jadhav, who is currently on death row, was arrested in March 2016 on charges of espionage in Balochistan. He was later sentenced to death by a Pakistan military cour t. CONTINUED ON: P8 The face-off between the Congress first family and the ruling BJP deepened on Wednesday with the Union home ministry constituting an interministerial panel to probe funding violations by NGOs controlled by the former — Rajiv Gandhi Foundation (RGF), Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust (RGCT) and Indira Gandhi Memorial Trust. The probe comes in the backdrop of complaints by the BJP that money from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund was diverted to RGF. “MHA sets up inter-ministerial committee to coordinate investigations into violation of various legal provisions of PMLA, Income Tax Act, FCRA etc by Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust & Indira Gandhi Memorial Trust. Spl. Dir of ED will head the committee,” a home ministry spokesperson tweeted. The CBI will also be part of the probe panel, sources said. Set up in 1991, RGF’s stated purpose is to promote education while RGCT, a not-for- POLITICAL HEAT ON THE GANDHI FAMILY l It all began as a BJP counterattack to the Congress raising questions over Chinese companies sending donations to the PM-CARES Fund l BJP alleged that Sonia controlled Rajiv Gandhi Foundation received funds from the Chinese Embassy a few years ago, wondering whether it was a bribe for lobbying for FTA between India and China l On July 1, govt cancelled allotment of a bungalow to Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, saying she was not entitled to it after the withdrawal of her SPG security cover l BJP chief J P Nadda put out a list of donors to RGF, pointing out that money from even the PM’s National Relief Fund went to it in 2005-06 l Priyanka’s husband Robert Vadra is already under the lens of ED and CBI for dodgy land deals profit organisation set up in 2002, seeks to address the development needs of the underprivileged. Among the trustees of RGF are Congress leaders Manmohan Singh, Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi and P Chidambaram. PULLBACK TOTAL AT TWO SPOTS, ONE ON M AYA N K S I N G H A N D P U S H K A R B A N A K A R @ New Delhi DISENGAGEMENT of troops along the LAC is complete at two locations while the process is still on at another one, sources said on Wednesday even as China chose to ramp up tensions through its mouthpiece The Global Times, warning India against misjudging the situation like it did in 1962. “The disengagement process is complete at Patrolling Point (PP) 14 at Galwan Valley and PP 15 with the troops of both India and China receding to the agreed distance away from the standoff position held till Monday sources said, ,” adding the retreat from Patrolling Point 17A (Gogra) in Hot Spring Sector is about to culminate. Talking about Finger 4 along the Northern Flank of Pangong Tso, sources termed the backward movement from the Chinese side as intangible as only a few vehicles have gone back.
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