VIJAYAWADA l SATURDAY l SEPTEMBER 19, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l LATE CITY EDITION U.S. TO BAN WECHAT, TIKTOK CITING NATIONAL SECURITY The White House will ban the use of WeChat as well as the downloads of popular video-sharing app TikTok on Sunday TIKTOK GETS TIME TILL NOVEMBER 12 BAN COVERS WECHAT PAYMENT SERVICES From Sunday, both apps will be removed from app stores in the US. While the Tencent-owned WeChat faces an outright ban starting Sunday, TikTok owner ByteDance has been given time till November 12 to strike a deal with a US company. The deal must grant the US firm a full control over the app’s source code to prevent snooping by Chinese govt, the White House insists ■ The order also requires WeChat to end its payment services in the US, likely affecting millions of private users as well as businesses ■ “The Chinese Communist Party has demonstrated the means and motives to use these apps to threaten the US national security,” US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a statement 19 million DAILY ACTIVE USERS FOR WECHAT IN THE UNITED STATES 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 Army indicts its own in Shopian encounter case Polavaram R&R to be completed in 6 mths: NGT EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Vijayawada THE principal bench of the national green tribunal (NGT) has directed the Water Resources Department and the commissioner of rehabilitation and resettlement (R&R) to expedite the R&R related to Polavaram Irrigation Project and complete it within six months. The tribunal, however, did not entertain one of the recommendations of the committee it formed in February to look into R&R and submergence issues in the application filed by Telangana BJP leader Ponguleti Sudhakar Reddy, to transfer the case to the Supreme Court as the matter with regard to impact on ups t r e a m states was sub-judice in the court. The principal bench of the NGT, headed by Justice AK Goel, considered the panel’s report on Friday and approved and ordered eight of the nine recommendations. The committee held two meetings with stakeholders in August on various allegations made by the applicant, including change in the project scope without consent from the authorities, increase in flood discharge from 36 lakh cusecs to 50 lakh cusecs, that displacement of people in Telangana, Odisha and Chhattisgarh was not considered, and that there was an increase in irrigation potential which would increase submergence including Bhadrachalam town. P5 Finds prima facie proof of exceeding powers under AFSPA in ops that killed three persons F AYA Z W A N I @ Srinagar HUES OF NATURE A farmer tills his field on a pleasant Friday morning at Tanapalli in Tirupati on Friday. Several parts of the state received rains since Wednesday, and the Met department has predicted more showers in the next four days as a low-pressure area is forming in the Northeast Bay of Bengal | MADHAV K Cost of petrol, diesel up by `1 in state EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Vijayawada THE state government on Friday promulgated an Ordinance amending the APVAT Act, 2005 to levy and collect Road Development Cess of `1 per litre on petrol and diesel, which will be in addition to the existing levies. The new cess will be implemented from midnight on Friday . Expecting a revenue of around `500 crore per year with the Road Development Cess, Special Chief Secretary (Commercial Taxes) Rajat Bhargava said income generated on the cess will be transferred to the A P Ro a d D eve l o p m e n t Corporation. Stating that the lockdown severely affected the revenues of the state, the official explained that in April, the revenue realised was `1,323 crore, as against `4,480 crore realised in April, 2019, which accounts for only 29.5 per cent of the expected revenue. Similar trends were observed in May, June, July and August, he added. Besides the fall in revenues, the Central government has not released the GST compensation for 2020-21, and there has been a steep increase in expenditure on health services to combat Covid-19, he said. The government’s decision drew flak from the AP Lorry Owners Association (APLOA). Speaking to TNIE, APLOA General Secretary Y Eeswara Rao said the cost of fuel is already higher than in neighbouring states. “The prices are `1.50-3 more per litre of petrol and diesel,” he pointed out. He added that despite the fall in crude oil prices, the Centre recently increased the cost of fuel by up to `12 per litre through different taxes. Bars must pay 20% Covid fee, likely to reopen today considering a request of the AP Wine Dealers Association, said the licence fee and BARS in the state are likely non-refundable registration to open from Saturday for the charge with 10 per cent infirst time since March 22. crease for the lockdown peThe state governriod from March 22, ment on Friday ‘Will hamper 2020 to June 30, (101 g ranted per misdays) will be adjustbusiness’ sion for this, but ed towards future The wine dealers with a catch. They licence fee and nonassociation said will have to pay a refundable regis‘Covid fee’ on each the revised liquor tration charge paybar license, which tariff will hamper able for the period their business as will be 20 per cent from September 19 customers will of the base license to June 30, 2021. have to pay more. fee and non-refundS p e ci a l C h i e f able registration A `200 beer bottle Secretary (Comwill be sold at charge. mercial Taxes and `250, they said Licenses will be Excise) Rajath renewed from SepBhargava said that tember 19 to June 30, 2021 for instructions have been isall 840 bars provided they pay sued to excise officials in all the Covid fee and license fee. districts to allow bars to reoHowever, the government, pen once the fees are paid. EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Vijayawada Time for Whistle Podu The beautiful greens of Abu Dhabi cricket stadium are ready to welcome their favourite stars, so are the millions back home. The most watched sporting spectacle of India will begin with CSK taking on Mumbai Indians today THE RIVALRY THE NEW NORMAL Players and support staff may sit in the stands to maintain distancing Electronic team sheets instead of physical ones. No handshakes during toss ‘Sathumora’ resumed at Tirumala on Friday for the first time since Mar 22 | EXPRESS Stage set for Tirumala Brahmotsavams today EXPRESS NEWS SERVICES @ Tirumala THE annual Brahmotsavams of Lord Venkateswara in Tirumala will be held from September 19, and for the first time, will be performed in ‘Ekantham’, with no public participation due to Covid-19. All preparations have been made, Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) Trust Board chairman YV Subba Reddy said. Speaking to the media in Tirumala on Friday, along with TTD executive officer (EO) Anil Kumar Singhal, chief priest Venugopala Deekshithulu, and additional EO AV Dharma Reddy he said , Brahmotsavams will commence with dwajarohanam between 6.03 pm and 6.30 pm in Meena Lagnam, as decided by the Agama scholars. “On Garuda Seva per- formed on September 23, Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy will offer the traditional ‘pattu vastrams’ to Lord Venkateswara on behalf of the state government. The next day, he and Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa will have darshan and participate in nada neerajanam before performing bhumi puja for Karnataka Satram in Tirumala,” he said. The chairman said Vahana Sevas will be observed in Kalyanotsavam mandapam from 9 to 10 am and 7 to 8 pm. Garuda seva will be performed from 7 pm to 8.30 pm. In place of swarna ratham and ratharanga dolotsavam, sarva bhoopala vahanam will be used. On September 27, the Brahmotsavams will conclude with chakra snanam. “Vahana sevas and special rituals will be telecast live on SVBC for devotees,” he added. P4 After-match formalities will be without touch to maintain distance Don’t be surprised if you see players fetch balls hit for a six. Recovered ball will be sanitised Saliva can’t be used to shine the ball; players will have own water bottles Umpires won’t collect players’ caps, towels and goggles The two of the most successful franchises in the IPL history — Mumbai have won the title four times and Chennai thrice — have fought close encounters numerous times in the past 12 editions. Both the teams boast of star-studded line-ups and start as favourites this edition as well | P11 Fan walls across venues Fans can virtually be present in the stadium as the BCCI has set up four fan walls. Ninety-six fans will get to watch it virtually with their volumes turned down. Virtual tickets are available on bookmyshow.com L I V E O N S TA R S P O R T S 1 / H O T S TA R 7. 3 0 P M THE Army on Friday admitted there was prima facie evidence of overreach under the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) by its troops in an alleged fake encounter in south Kashmir’s Shopian district two months ago that left three persons dead. Those involved in the July 18 operations at Amshipora village of Shopian will soon face disciplinary action under the Army Act. While the slain persons were labeled as unidentified militants at that time, their families had challenged the spin, saying they were actually innocent labourers hailing from Rajouri. Defence spokesman in Srinagar Colonel Rajesh Kalia said a high-level Court of Inquiry that probed the incident also found that the troops had violated the guidelines issued by the Army chief and the Supreme Court on handling encounters. On July 18, the Army and the police claimed to have killed three unidentified militants in a joint operation at Amshipora. The police had said the operation was launched on specific intelligence input shared by the Army’s 62 Rashtriya Rifles, adding arms and ammunition and other incriminating materials were recovered from the site of encounter. The bodies were buried at a graveyard in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district. However, in first week of August, three families from the border district of Rajouri said their wards — Imtiyaz Ahmed, Abrar Plan to let pvt hosps offer standalone PG courses S U M I S U K A N YA D U T TA @ New Delhi IN what could open the door to a major shift in the way specialist doctors are trained in India, the country’s top medical education regulator is considering allowing private hospitals to offer standalone postgraduate degrees without having the prerequisite of an MBBS programme. At present, only medical colleges that have been offering the MBBS programme for at least three years are allowed to offer PG (MD and MS) courses, once they fulfill the specified criteria. The Medical Council of India’s (MCI) Board of Governors has recently constituted a fivemember committee, under AIIMS, Delhi director Dr Randeep Guleria to examine the pro- posal and finalise its modalities. “The move is aimed at fulfilling the wide gap between demand and supply of specialist doctors within a few years,” said a senior member of the MCI Board of Governors. Certain private hospitals are allowed to offer two-year DNB degrees under the National Board of Examination, now considered equivalent to PG, but the training offered through the pro g ramme is often viewed as inferior when compared to PG degrees, said sources in MCI. Officials in the medical education regulator said the proposal was being taken forward to ensure the issue of shortage of specialists in even states with limited numbers of medical colleges P8 is addressed. VIRAL IMPACT Covid-19 turns school principal into tea seller K M A D H U S U D H A K A R @ Kurnool FOR more than 22 years he strived to mould his students into good citizens of the country Under his guidance, the pri. vate school he worked at came to be known for its high standards. His efforts won him the ‘Best Teacher’ award from the students’ parents. But today, S Venugopal runs a tea stall to support his family . The former principal of Cat- tamanchi Ramalinga Reddy Residential School in Kurnool lost his job due to the Covid-19 crisis, and believing in the dignity of labour, he held his head high and started a tea stall on NH 44 near Krishna Nagar in Kurnool city . A native of Velugodu village in Kurnool district, Venugopal started teaching in 1994 after completing BSc and BEd. His first stint as a teacher was at Pendekanti Public School in S Venugopal makes tea at his stall near Krishna Nagar in Kurnool | EXPRESS Bethamcherla. He later taught in other schools in Nandyal town and Velugodu, before joining Cattamanchi Ramalinga Reddy Residential School in 1998 as a biology teacher. He went on to become the principal, and served until May this year. Under pressure from the school management to work for less pay and ask his staff to do the same, while striving to get more children admitted to the P5 school, he left the job. Ahmed and Mohammad Ibrar — who were working as labourers in Shopian and living in rented accommodation there, had been missing since July 17. They identified the photos of the slain trio on social media as their wards. The families then registered a missing report with the Rajouri police on August 9. Subsequently , a police team took their DNA samples to match them with those of the slain trio. While the DNA report is await- ‘Disciplinary action must be transparent’ “The families of the three murdered men had continued to proclaim their innocence. Disciplinary action initiated by the army would suggest the army agrees with the families. The process must remain transparent,” NC president Omar Abdullah said ed, evidence collected by the Court of Inquiry prima facie indicated that the slain persons were indeed Imtiyaz Ahmed, Ibrar Ahmed and Mohammad Ibrar, the defence spokesman said. “Their involvement with militancy or related activities is under police investigation,” he added. Sources said a Summary of Evidence will now be initiated against the erring Armymen after which court martial proceedings would start. The Army and the police had launched separate inquiries into the encounter. Paytm back after Google axes it from Play Store B I S M A H M A L I K @ New Delhi INDIAN digital payments app Paytm, which was removed from Play Store on Friday morning over violation of Google’s sports betting policy, was restored hours later, after Paytm removed a ‘cashback’ feature from a recentlylaunched game on the app. Paytm said Goo gle approached it over the cashback feature on the ‘Paytm Cricket League’ game on the app. The game allows users to get player stickers after each transaction, collect them and receive a cashback, which Google found was in violation of its policies on gambling. “While it is clear that all activities on Paytm are completely lawful, we have temporarily removed the cashback component in an effort to meet the Play Store policy requirements,” Paytm wrote in a blog post, published on Friday . Paytm CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma lashed out at Google, accusing the tech giant of singling out Paytm for action, when several other apps offering cashback prizes continue to be hosted on Play Store. For its part, Google said it does not allow apps facilitating sports betting and will remove them from its Play Store. “We don’t allow online casinos or support any unregulated gambling apps that facilitate sports betting,” Google said.
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