VILLUPURAM THURSDAY OCTOBER 08, 2020 `7.00 PAGES 12 CITY EDITION CHEMISTRY NOBEL PRIZE GOES TO TWO WOMEN SCIENTISTS Frenchwoman Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna of the US jointly won the prize for their work on gene editing JENNIFER DOUDNA EMMANUELLE CHARPENTIER TOOL TO CHANGE DNA WITH HIGH PRECISION POTENTIAL TO CURE GENETIC DISORDERS Working on opposite sides of the Atlantic, the two developed a method known as CRISPR/Cas9 that can be used to change the DNA of animals, plants and micro organisms with extremely high precision. The US-French duo’s technology has been transformative for basic science research and it could also be used to treat, or even cure, inherited illnesses | P12 ■ ■ ■ The genome editing tool has contributed to many discoveries; in medicine, clinical trials of new cancer therapies are underway It is also being tested for its potential to treat sickle cell anaemia However, critics say that without regulation, Crispr could be used to create “designer babies”, opening up an ethical minefield FIRST THIS IS THE 1ST TIME CHEMISTRY NOBEL HAS GONE TO A WOMEN-ONLY TEAM 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 Andhra govt firm on Amravati land scam probe, appeal finally listed in SC EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi THE Andhra Pradesh government is unlikely to budge an inch from its decision to probe alleged irregularities committed by the Chandrababu Naidu regime in the execution of the Amaravati greenfield capital city project despite legal hurdles in the high court, delays in the Supreme Court and stiff opposition from the TDP. It is learnt the government’s standing counsel in New Delhi has written to the SecretaryGeneral of the Supreme Court, drawing his attention to the delay in listing the special leave petition filed on September 22 against the high court stay on Government Orders pertaining to the constitution of a Cabinet Sub-Committee and a special investigation team to review decisions taken by the previous TDP regime and probe the alleged Amaravati land scam, respectively . In the missive, he explained all defects in the plea had been rectified but it was yet to be numbered despite repeated follow up. “The matter is of significant importance to the State as it relates to investigation into the conduct of highranking officials,” he said, requesting the Secretary General’s intervention. The SLP in question was filed consequent to the high court’s stay order issued on September 16 on a writ petition filed by TDP leader Varla Ramaiah. The high court order had dismayed the government for it had ruled that “If previous government’s decisions were to be reviewed, the present dispensation ought to have legislative approval. A government on its own cannot do so and no law has conferred such powers on the State government.” The state government filed another SLP in the apex court on September 21 against another high court order that gagged the media from reporting on an FIR filed by the AntiCorruption Bureau against Dammalapati Srinivas, former Advocate General, and 12 others including the family members of a Supreme Court judge, in the Amaravati land scam. The high court had also stayed further probe in the matter. Sasikala’s `2,000-crore worth assets attached Occupying public ways for protest illegal, rules SC on Shaheen Bagh EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE THE Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that public places cannot be occupied indefinitely for protests, which must be carried out in designated areas alone. A bench headed by Justice S K Kaul said, “Democracy and dissent go hand in hand, but then the demonstrations expressing dissent have to be in designated places alone. The present case was not even one of protests taking place in an undesignated area, but was a blockage of a public way which caused grave inconvenience to commuters.” The order was passed on batch of petitions against the EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi @ Chennai THE Income Tax Department has attached assets worth `2,000 crore belonging to VK Sasikala, her sister-in-law Ilavarasi and nephew VN Sudhakaran in Kodanad, Nilgiris and Siruvathur near Chennai. The assets were attached by the Benami Prohibition Wing. All the three owners of these properties are currently serving a four-year sentence in a disproportionate assets case. Sasikala is alleged to have purchased these properties – including a plot near Veda Nilayam in Poes Garden, which was attached earlier – through shell companies. I-T sources said the attachment notice was served to Sasikala at the Parappana AgSasikala rahara Prison in Bengaluru. Notices were served to the benami firms and sub-registrar offices under whose jurisdictions these properties are located. Former CM Jayalalithaa’s niece Deepa and nephew Deepak have also been served notices. The provisional order of attachment has been issued under section 24(3) of the Prohibition of Benami Property Transactions Act, 1988. The tax department had conducted massive raids against Sasikala and a few others in 2017 and it is understood that the documents about these assets were recovered then. TN’S COVID BATTLE 5,447 FRESH CASES 67 6,35,855 DEATHS TALLY Chennai reported 1,369 cases. Its neighbouring districts, Chengalpattu, Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur recorded 324, 138, and 252 cases respectively. Among other districts, Coimbatore reported 473 cases, Salem 322, Erode 149 and Tirupur 182 cases. Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami presents Deputy CM O Panneerselvam with a shawl after being announced as AIADMK’s CM candidate for the upcoming Assembly polls, at the party headquarters in Chennai on Wednesday | P JAWAHAR Palaniswami chosen CM candidate unanimously AIADMK steering committee becomes a reality three years after its announcement; powers of the panel yet to be worked out T M U R U G A N A N D H A M @ Chennai ALLAYING speculation, the ruling AIADMK on Wednesday unanimously elected incumbent Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami as its chief ministerial candidate for the upcoming Assembly elections. “It is with joy that I announce that Palaniswami has been unanimously elected as the victorious CM candidate of the party for 2021 elections,” announced O Panneerselvam amid cheers from the cadre. Thanking the party for announcing him as the CM candidate, Palaniswami tweeted that he would work tirelessly to make the AIADMK a victorious political movement. He also promised to lead the party, taking into consideration the views of the cadre. Meanwhile, the 11-member steering committee also became a reality, three years after it was announced. Palaniswami and Panneerselvam have their members in the ratio 6:5. The powers of the said committee have not been announced. Senior leaders said those details would be worked out during the general council meeting. The details so far were finalised after long parleys that began on Tuesd ay l a s t e d t i l l 3 a m o n Wednesday. Members of the steering committee are: ministers Dindigul C Sreenivasan, P Thangamani, SP My gratitude will not remain in just letters. With cooperation from the party cadre, I will ensure that this political revolution helps AIADMK retain power for a third time Edappadi K Palaniswami Happy development, says BJP Reacting to the matter, senior TN BJP leader, Pon Radhakrishnan, said, “It is a happy development. This has thwarted expectations of those (political adversaries) waiting to take advantage of the differences of opinion among AIADMK leaders. I congratulate Palaniswami on being elected as CM candidate and also greet Panneerselvam who took the decision.” Velumani, D Jayakumar, CVe Shanmugam, and R Kamaraj; organising secretaries JCD Prabhakar, PH Manoj Pandian and P Mohan; election committee joint secretary R Gopala Krishnan; and Sholavandan MLA K Manikam. While former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa used to appoint women to all party fora, this committee has no women in it. After the announcements, Palaniswami and Panneerselvam accompanied by all ministers and functionaries paid respects at the memorials of former Chief Ministers MG Ramachandran and J Jayalalithaa. In the evening, Palaniswami called on Panneerselvam at the latter’s residence and thanked him for announcing his name as the party’s chief ministerial candidate. Most of the members of the steering committee, along with P Ravindranath, son of Panneerselvam, were also present during the meeting which lasted for around 45 minutes. Later, while thanking the party cadre, Palaniswami asked all of them to work unitedly to ensure a third-consecutive victory for the party in the upcoming Assembly elections. “My gratitude will not remain as just words. With the cooperation of the party, I will ensure that this political revolution helps AIADMK retain power for a third time,” Palaniswami said in a letter addressed to the cadre. EPS’ WAY UP: BRANCH SECY TO CM | P4 HC ASKS GOVT @ Chennai THE Madras High Court on Wednesday wondered how college students could be declared “pass” without writing exams. The two-member bench comprising Justices M Sathyanarayana and R Hemalatha made the oral observations while hearing a plea filed by E Balagurusamy, former ViceChancellor of Anna University , who challenged the State government’s decision to cancel arrear exams for final year students. The court added that there would be consequences if students come filing pleas supporting the government’s decision in cancellation of arrears. In such a case, the bench said, the list of arrears in all semesters and marks scored in board exams will be sought from students. The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), in its submissions stated, an exemption from arrear exams as granted by the State is not as per the guidelines of the University Grants Commission (UGC). It said, “The council has not issued any exemption for students from appearing for the exams and pursuing their studies for the next year without being EXEMPTION NOT AS PER UGC GUIDELINES: AICTE The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), in its submissions, stated that an exemption from appearing for arrear examinations as granted by the State government, is not as per the guidelines issued by the University Grants Commission (UGC) Former CBI director commits suicide Chandigarh: Retired CBI director and former governor of Nagaland Ashwani Kumar allegedly committed suicide by hanging on Wednesday. Police sources said he was under depression and took the extreme step at his residence at Brockhorst in Shimla. After 28 days in jail, Rhea granted bail Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Wednesday granted bail to actor Rhea Chakraborty in a drugs case related to the death of her partner Sushant Singh Rajput, 28 days after she was in jail. The court, however, rejected the bail plea of her brother Showik | P8 Phase III trial plan for Sputnik V to be revised New Delhi: India’s drug regulator has rejected a proposal by Dr Reddy’s Labs for Phase III trial for Russian Covid-19 vaccine Sputnik V, in India saying the sample size for its early human trials were “small”. It has sought a fresh proposal for Phase II and III trials in India | P7 assessed. Degrees cannot be awarded to a student who has failed to clear a large number of arrears. This is not acceptable in the industry too.” The court also observed that it cannot take a different stand from that of an expert body like the AICTE. Prior to adjourning the plea, the bench added that it was saddening that several students who passed engineering courses were now working as food delivery agents. The court also ordered notice to the UGC to respond to the issue, and adjourned the case to November 20. Administration ticked off “In what manner the administration should act is their responsibility and they should not hide behind the court orders or seek support therefrom for carrying out their administrative functions,” the bench said @ New Delhi / Bengaluru WITH an eye on next month’s elections, US President Donald Trump on Wednesday announced tightening of non-immigrant visa rules to benefit American workers. The move is expected to impact thousands of IT professionals from India, which is one of the largest beneficiaries of H-1B visas. Already, a large number of Indians on H-1B visas have lost their jobs owing to the coronavirus pandemic that has severely hit the US economy . H-1B is a non-immigrant visa that allows US firms to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require clear that public ways and public spaces cannot be occupied in such a manner and that too indefinitely,” the bench ruled. “Administration ought to take action to keep the area clear of encroachments and obstructions,” the bench said, while calling their inability to resolve the protest as unfortunate. It noted the court was forced to intervene because there was no action by the administration. The bench also highlighted how social media can lead to a highly polarising environment, as in Shaheen Bagh. “We live in an age of technology and development and social media often sees parallel conversations with no constructive outcome,” it said. CALL TO BAN OR POLICE FEST SALE BY E-TAILERS EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi DEEP discounting by ecommerce giants such as Amazon and Flipkart during ‘festival sales’ is “utter violation of India’s FDI policy”, the Confederation of All India Traders alleged in a letter to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. In its letter dated October 7, CAIT, which represents seven crore traders across the country, has sought a ban on the seasonal sales saying such predatory pricing also causes huge loss of GST revenue to the government. The letter, signed by CAIT national general secretary Praveen Khandelwal, said these companies are authorised to do only Business to Business (B2B) act iv i t i e s b u t t h e y a r e conducting Business to Fresh blow to Indians as Don tightens H-1B rules EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE How can one ‘pass’ without clearing arrears? EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE EXPRESS READ anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests in Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh. “While appreciating the existence of the right to peaceful protest against a legislation (keeping in mind the words of Pulitzer Prize winner, Walter Lippmann, who said “In a democracy, the opposition is not only tolerated as constitutional, but must be maintained because it is indispensable”), we have to make it unequivocally expertise. The new rules narrow the definition of ‘specialty occupation’, making it difficult for companies and workers to avail the H1-B visa. Companies will also have to file additional documentation to prove that they genuinely need H-1B workers. The new rules will make it more expensive for US companies to bring in foreign workers under the H-1B visa programme as the minimum wage under H-1B is set to change. With confusion prevailing over whether the new rules will apply to only new visas or to existing visa holders as well, the US Department of Homeland Security will release detailed guidelines next week. Consumers (B2C) sales, which is a clear violation of the FDI policy . The letter noted that it is an open secret that deep discounting is funded by investors of these companies. “They (e-commerce firms) are not the losers, the ultimate loser is the Government,” it pointed out adding that the government must appoint a special task force to monitor the sales and recover the shortfall in GST and other taxes on the basis of the original value of the products sold on the sites. He also drew attention to the fact that these multi-national companies have been making losses after losses for the past many years but they still manage to continue their regular operations unhindered and even have the wherewithal to conduct seasonal sales. KICK-OFF SPORT RETUNRS WITH FOOTBALL I-League Qualifier, beginning in Kolkata on Thursday, is the first national-level event to be held in India after the lockdown. Ten teams will take part in a bio-secure environment | P11 TODAY’S IPL MATCH HYDERABAD VS PUNJAB KXIP have played good cricket, but have not been able to close matches and are bottom of the table. Can SRH, who are not clicking as a unit, get back to winning ways against Punjab? ODDS : SRH 9/10 | KXIP 11/1O LIVE: STAR SPORTS1/HOTSTAR @ 7.30PM
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