DHARMAPURI MONDAY SEPTEMBER 21, 2020 `7.00 PAGES 28 CITY EDITION TRUMP BLESSES TIKTOK’S DEAL WITH ORACLE AND WALMART The US president has approved a deal under which TikTok will partner with Oracle and Walmart and form a US company ORACLE TO STORE DATA OF AMERICAN USERS JUDGE BLOCKS TRUMP’S WECHAT BAN Oracle and Walmart would acquire a cumulative 20% stake in the new company for an expected $12.5 billion. Oracle will store the data of TikTok’s US users and will have the right to inspect the app’s source code any time. The new company will donate $5 billion to a public fund, satisfying Donald Trump’s demand that the federal government get a ‘cut’ from the deal ■ ■ A US federal judge on Saturday blocked Trump’s ban on Chinese messaging app WeChat, hours before it was due to take effect The judge said the government's ban would affect WeChat users’ First Amendment right to free speech, since an effective ban on the app removes their platform for communication 25,000 JOBS WILL BE CREATED BY THE NEW TIKTOK COMPANY, SAYS TRUMP 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 Critical BJD, AIADMK line put govt in a tight position Ruckus in House; Chair ignores division demand since all members were not in their seats; Oppn says govt did not have the numbers Shocker as RS rams two farm bills by voice vote E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E @ New Delhi TWO of the three contentious farm bills were passed in the Rajya Sabha by voice vote on Sunday amid pandemonium over extension of the day’s schedule. The Farmer’s Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill will now go the President for his assent before they are notified as laws. The third bill, the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, will be moved separately . Dramatic scenes unfolded as Rajya Sabha deputy chairman Harivansh Narayan Singh rushed through the clauses of the two bills with Opposition MPs standing in the well of the House sloganeering, tearing copies of the bills, damaging microphone at the podium and some climbing on to tables. Opposition MPs also sat in protest inside the House after it was adjourned for the day alleg, ing the government violated many rules to get the bills passed because it did not have the numbers. The Centre condemned the ruckus in Parliament. “The kind of attack launched on Deputy Chairman Harivansh, who is an erudite and reputed person, is highly condemnable,” Union Minister Rajnath Singh said in a press conference. “There are attempts to emotionally misguide the farmers on the agriculture bills passed by Parliament,” he added. Terming it a ‘watershed moment’ in the history of Indian agriculture, Prime Minister No-trust motion against Harivansh Complaining they were not allowed to seek voting on two farm bills, 12 Opposition parties moved a no-trust motion against Rajya Sabha deputy chairman Harivansh Narayan Singh Narendra Modi said the bills will ensure a complete transformation of the farm sector. Meanwhile, several BJP MPs demanded action against the unruly opposition lawmakers, following which Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu held a meeting with the Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi. Sources said the Centre is also mulling a resolution against the opposition MPs. The pandemonium started after the deputy chairman extended the duration of the House beyond 1 pm and the Opposition alleged there was no consensus for this. Following this, MPs from the TMC, Congress, DMK, AAP and others rushed to the well of the house. TMC parliamentary party leader in Rajya Sabha Derek O’Brien flashed the rule book at the chair. While some reports said he tore it, O’Brien later denied having done so. Another member tried to pull the microphones from the podium while marshals thwarted it. Many other MPs, including Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’Brien displays the rule book in front of Rajya Sabha deputy chairman Harivansh Narayan Singh on Sunday | PTI QUESTION MARK OVER VOICE VOTE The Congress, CPM and DMK moved resolutions to send the bills to the select committee and demanded division when their resolutions were taken up. However, the deputy chairman said division can only be taken up if the members go back to their seats. Voice vote was taken as Opposition members continued to remain in the well of the House A WATERSHED MOMENT, SAYS MODI Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed the passage of the farm bills, calling it a ‘watershed moment’ in the history of Indian agriculture. He said the bills have the potential to revolutionise the farm sector. The PM asserted the bills will help double the income of farmers DMK’s Tiruchi Siva, were seen tearing off copies of the bill while Congress MP Rajiv Satav and AAP MP Sanjay Singh climbed a table in front of the chair and shouted slogans. The noisy scenes led to adjournment of the House for 15 minutes. As the House reassem- bled, the Opposition resumed their protest. But the deputy chairman continued with the bills and they were passed by voice vote in 20 minutes. The main point raised by Opposition MPs was the lack of provision for ensuring minimum support price to farmers. LAND DISPUTE? REPORT TO NGT Gang hacks AIADMK man to death in Cheyyur TN SUBMITS ROAD MAP FOR ELECTRIC VEHICLES S V K R I S H N A C H A I TA N YA @ Chennai EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Chennai AN AIADMK functionary and former town panchayat president was hacked to death by an unidentified gang in Cheyyur on the East Coast Road on Saturday night. The police suspected the murder to be the fallout of a land dispute the victim had with a few others. The deceased, Ramachandran alias Arasu (48), of Kolavakkam village, was former president of Edaikazhinadu town panchayat. The incident happened while he was taking a walk in the village. A group of men carrying machetes reached the spot on motor bikes and on seeing them, Ramachandran tried to flee. The gang, however, chased him and hacked him multiple times before escaping. The villagers who saw Ramachandran lying in a pool of blood rushed him to a nearby hospital where the doctors declared him as brought dead. On receiving information, Chunambedu police sent the body to government Marakkanam hospital for autopsy . Agitated over Ramachandran’s death, his relatives and villagers gathered on ECR in front of the town panchayat office and staged a protest, disrupting the traffic for about two hours. Chengalpattu SP Kannan reached the spot and pacified the protestors after which they dispersed. Chunambedu police have registered a case and launched a hunt for the suspects by forming three special teams. Investigation is on to ascertain the motive of the murder. WITH THIS ISSUE THE ESSENTIAL CAMPUS DIGEST YOUR LIFE COACH 28 PAGES, INCLUDING 16 OF edex (TABLOID) claimed it had the numbers to get the legislations passed. Did the treasury benches have During the debate, Amar Patthe numbers to get the farm sec- naik (BJD) argued that the bills tor reform bills passed in the will lead to cartelisation. “ReRajya Sabha on Sunday had the munerative prices will not be ayes and nays been actually the same. Who will fix it? Will counted through a process lead to market capture? Is the called division? bill only for corporates? I would The question is intriguing urge sending it to a select comsince a clutch of regional par- mittee,” he said. ties that generally S R Balasubramonivote with the NDA in yam (AIADMK) althe Upper House like leged that the Centre the Telangana Rashhas bulldozed farm This is like tra Samiti (TRS), the disinvestment in the reforms during CovAIADMK and the Biju id-19. “The Centre Indian farming Janata Dal (BJD), sector... If these bills should ensure farmwere critical in their ers don’t get cheated. are passed, states assessment of the legwill not have any It can establish a Cenpower to check islations. The BJD actral agriculture reguprofiteering, tually echoed the Oplatory authority like position demand that hoarding and black the electricity regulamarketing the bills be referred to tory authority to supa select committee. S R Balasubramoniyam, port far mers,” he While the TRS has suggest. AIADMK seven members in the Echoing them, K House, both the AIADMK and Keshava Rao (TRS) said the the BJD have nine each. Sizea- bills are a brutal assault on the ble figures, given the fractured Constitution and violate the nature of the Rajya Sabha. spirit of federalism. “If this is Also, three NDA votes would the new age (revolutionary), we have gone to the Opposition, as are against it as you are putting the Shiromani Akali Dal is bit- poor farmers against rich corterly opposed to the bills. On the porates... Did you talk to us or flip side, the YSR Congress with did you consult the people? The six MPs backed the bills. bills will turn farmers to landFor the record, the Centre less labourers,” he charged. P7 R I C H A S H A R M A @ New Delhi BACK TO THE BEACH People throng the beach at Foreshore Estate in Chennai to enjoy a pleasant Sunday afternoon as the city witnessed overcast sky | DEBADATTA MALLICK COVID-19 BATTLE Ranipet 42 Tirupattur 68 Krishnagiri 112 Dharmapuri 136 Salem 291 Erode 148 Tiruchy 92 Nilgiris 130 Coimbatore 568 Karur 60 Tirupur 169 Dindigul 82 Theni 53 Madurai 86 Virudhunagar 47 Tenkasi 87 Kanniyakumari 133 FRESH CASES Tiruvallur 207 Vellore 95 DEATHS Kancheepuram 156 Chennai 996 Chengalpattu 283 Tiruvannamalai 104 Villupuram 127 Kallakurichi 55 Cuddalore 297 Perambalur 11 Ariyalur 36 Tiruvarur 96 Nagapattinam 103 Thanjavur 162 Pudukkottai 101 Namakkal 131 Sivaganga 61 Ramanathapuram 15 Thoothukudi 82 Tirunelveli 92 TOTAL CASES 5,516 60 5,41,993 Fewer than 50K active cases in TN The state tested 86,073 samples and 84,338 people on the day. A total of 64,74,656 samples and 62,74,931 people have been tested so far. Among the new deaths, 9 victims didn’t have any comorbidities. As of Sunday, the state had 46,703 active cases including cases under isolation. Total number of patients discharged so far is 4,86,479 MOVING a step closer to creating the infrastructure for electric vehicles in the state, the Tamil Nadu government has submitted an action plan to the National Green Tribunal (NGT), detailing the measures it plans to take up for a smooth transition to electric-powered vehicles. This comes almost a year after the state unveiled its Electric Vehicle Policy-2019 which focuses on creating charging infrastructure and attracting start-ups. As per the plan which was submitted to the NGT by Principal Secretary and Transport Commissioner TS Jawahar, the government plans to give 100 per cent tax exemption and waive off permit fees for all electric vehicles (EV) attached to educational institutions till December 2022. Jawahar said the government was making efforts to set up grid-charging stations at six major cities — Chennai, Coimbatore, Tiruchy, Madurai, Salem and Tirunelveli. “The charging stations will be set up at every 25 km along both national and state highways. Also, EV-related manufacturing industries in the state will be provided 100 per cent exemption from electricity tax till December 31, 2025, and stamp duty exemption during purchase of land,” the official said. Meanwhile, the transport authorities said the state is planning to attract `50,000-crore investment under the EV Policy - 2019 and in the next decade all autos and taxis in six major cities will be converted to EVs. P4 COMPRESSED BIOGAS IN SALEM, NAMAKKAL TAKEN OFF THE LIST One private lab, Sri Samraj Health Services Pvt Ltd, Tindivanam, removed from ICMR list of approved testing labs In another important development, the Indian Oil Corporation has come up with a new project, making available CBG (Compressed Biogas) in Salem and Namakkal districts for use in automobiles. No stay on Class X exams for disabled students: HC EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Chennai DURING a special virtual hearing on Sunday, the Madras High Court refused to grant interim stay on conducting the state board Class 10 examinations for private candidates with physical and mental disabilities, scheduled from September 21 (Monday). The court, however, granted liberty to the candidates to approach it individually if they are not able to appear for the exam due to any health risk. The parent of a disabled student had filed a review petition against the order dated September 3 of the High Court which directed the state to conduct Covid-19 tests on the candidates prior to starting the exams. The petitioner’s counsel said the issues raised by various disabled candidates have not been addressed and under the present circumstances, the safety of the candidates are at risk. However, the special government pleader submitted that all the arrangements have been made by testing the candidates and their scribes as per the directions of the court. VIRAL VIDEO ‘Covid-hit’ headmaster alleges fleecing by private hospital in Tiruchy J AYA K U M A R M A D A L A @ Tiruchy A private hospital in Tiruchy has come under the scanner for allegedly fleecing a patient in the name of Covid-19 treatment. The incident came to light when the headmaster of a private school in Pudukkottai posted a video on WhatsApp groups, alleging that despite remitting an advance of `1 lakh at the time of his admission, the hospital demanded an additional `1.42 lakh for the six-day treatment, without informing whether he had tested positive for the virus. In the video that went viral, the HM, J Nicholas (55), is seen demanding action against the hospital. Speaking to TNIE, he said, “I was asked to get admitted on September 13 after I had fever. Although my health got better the next day the doctors took a , CT-scan and told me that I contracted Covid and needed treatment for at least five days. In the subsequent days, without taking the RT-PCR test or providing me any information, the hospital staff continued to provide some tablets and demanded me to pay an additional `1.42 lakh in the name of treatment. Till now, I have no idea whether I contracted Covid or not.” The headmaster added that despite his requests to deduct the remaining amount from his government insurance scheme, the hospital allegedly compelled him to pay the entire amount directly . “I was not allowed to leave until the Health Department officials intervened. How can I pay for the treatment when I have no idea if I had the disease or not. The hospital forcibly made me stay for more than six days and added more charges to my bill,” he complained. On taking note of the video that got widely circulated, the Health Department intervened and demanded the hospital to discharge the patient without charging any extra amount. However, the hospital authorities dismissed the allegation and said they had all the proof to justify the charges. District Collector S Sivarasu said he has sought a report from the Health Department. “We will issue a showcase notice to the hospital,” he said.
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