THRISSUR l Wednesday l October 21, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l city EDITION ANTITRUST SUIT AGAINST GOOGLE FOR STIFLING COMPETITION The US Justice Dept filed a lawsuit on Tuesday alleging Google has been abusing its dominance in online search to stifle competition 90% Regulators want to break up tech giants Apple, amazon, fb could be targeted According to reports, US regulators are keen to break up tech giants to end their monopoly. And Google is their first target. The case is expected to be filed in federal court in Washington, D.C. The suit alleges Google uses billions of dollars collected from advertisers to pay phone makers to ensure Google is the default search engine on browsers | P9 Most of Google’s services are offered for free in exchange for personal information that helps it sell its ads ■ Google insists it holds no special power forcing people to use its free services or preventing them from going elsewhere ■ Apple, Amazon and Facebook are also on US regulators’ radar ■ of global web searches is controlled by google 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 Punjab passes own farm bills, rejects Central laws H a r p r eet B a j w a @ Chandigarh PUNJAB on Tuesday became the first state in India to formally reject the Centre’s contentious farm laws, with the state Assembly unanimously passing a resolution and three bills against the Central laws. The three bills are: the Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Special Provisions and Punjab Amendment Bill; the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services (Special Provisions and Punjab Amendment) Bill; and the Essential Commodities (Special Provisions and Punjab Amendment) Bill. The first bill says no sale of paddy and wheat in the state will be valid unless it is paid equal to or above the minimum support price (MSP). The proposed law also calls for a three-year jail term and a fine in case anybody compels a farmer to sell his agricultural produce below MSP . Doc who called out no-rape UP spin denied extension N a m i ta B a j pa i @ Lucknow Was a temporary doctor at the Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College Hospital (JNMCH) in Aligarh denied service extension because he contradicted the police’s theory in the alleged Hathras gang-rape case? While the UP Police had on October 1 cited a forensic lab report — that said there was no trace of semen or sperm on the victim’s samples — to argue she was not raped, Dr Mohammad Azimuddin Malik had joined issue on October 5, saying the samples were lifted 11 days after her assault and had no evidentiary value. His comments were reported in a section of the media. Dr Malik was a temporary Casualty Medical Officer at the JNMCH run by the Aligarh Muslim University and his tenure ended on OcCONTINUED on P7 tober 10. Keep out officer, create new team: HC on Palathayi probe Palathayi case trial March 15: Case registered March 18: Thalassery Gen Hosp prepares the victim’s medical examination report April 14: The suspect, a teacher of girl’s school, arrested April 24: Police chief directs CB to take over the probe July 14: CB submits final report before the Pocso Court July 17: Suspect granted bail E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @Kochi The Kerala High Court on Tuesday directed the state police chief to appoint a new officer, not below the rank of an Inspector General of Police, to monitor further investigation into the Palathayi child abuse case, replacing IG S Sreejith who is currently supervising the case. The court ordered the DGP to reconstitute the special investigation team (SIT) excluding the present members within two weeks. The team led by Sreejith had come in for severe criticism for the manner of investigation, especially after the accused was released on bail by the court. Justice P V Kunhikrishnan issued the order while disposing of a petition filed by the mother of the survivor, seeking to reconstitute the SIT by appointing a new officer to conduct a proper investigation. The case pertains to the sexual abuse of a Class IV student at Palathayi in Kannur district. A male teacher of her school was arrested in the case. In a three-part series from September 11-13, TNIE had exposed the lapses in the investigation, including the attempts to sideline the medical examination report, which clearly indicated sexual abuse. Senior state prosecutor Suman Chakravarthy submitted before the court that if the mother of the survivor feels that the presence of IG Sreejith is not necessary for the probe, the state has no objection. The state will only protect the interest of the survivor and her family, the prosecutor said. The court recorded the submission. Expressing distrust in the investigation, the mother, in her petition, said that her minor daughter will not get justice from the current investigation team led by IG Sreejith. Though six months have passed since the team launched the probe, there is no headway in the case. The delay in completing the investigation was deliberate and aimed at providing undue advantage to the accused, she said, adding that it goes against the Pocso Act which provides for expeditious investigation ● More on P4 and trial. Don’t be lax as virus is still on the prowl: PM Interview ‘In-house probe into Jagan’s charges needed’ Andhra CM Jagan Mohan Reddy’s allegations against Supreme Court judge N V Ramana has shaken the people’s faith in the judiciary. An in-house inquiry must be ordered to look into the charges Urges people not to let their guard down in festival season, says vaccines are on track tions. France, for instance, has imposed night curfew in nine cities while limiting gathering Taking a grim view of wide- to a maximum of 10 persons at spread flouting of Covid-19 pro- a time. Spain has clamped a tocols such as wearing masks state of emergency for 15 days and following social distancing in Madrid. Netherlands, Dennorms, Prime Minister Naren- mark, Belgium, Germany and dra Modi on Tuesday cautioned Italy have all taken restrictive people not to lower measures to combat their guard against the surge in cases. the virus till vaccines Modi’s address to are available in the the nation has come at country . a time when a large “Work on developpart of the country is ing vaccines is going celebrating festivals on at a brisk pace and while Bihar and MadPlasma all preparations are hya Pradesh are in poll therapy to being made to make mode. be scrapped them available to eveLast week, an exrybody in the country Plasma therapy, perts panel had premay soon be in shortest possible dicted, using a mathediscontinued as a matical model, that time,” the PM said. treatment for Modi said he has India is past its peak Covid-19, the come across videos in Covid-19 cases. The Centre said on and photographs panel also warned of a Tuesday. The showing people floutsurge in cases if Covdecision was ing Covid-19 protocols. id-19 protocols such as taken after He called for responsiwearing masks and finding the ble behavrour, saying maintaining social the lockdown has been therapy doesn’t distancing in public lifted but the virus is help patients | P7 places are not followed still in the air. strictly Quoting statis. Citing the examples of Euro- tics, the PM also said that India pean countries and the US, the has done well in combating the PM highlighted how coronavi- pandemic as the country rerus cases have gone up there ported only 5,500 cases per milafter a phase of recovery, as a lion in contrast to over 25,000 direct fallout of lifting restric- per million in the US, Brazil tions and resumption of eco- and other countries. Besides, nomic activities. India reported only 83 per milThe second wave of Covid-19 lion fatalities against 680 per has forced some European million in the US, Brazil and countries to re-impose restric- other countries, he added. E XPR E SS N E WS S E RVIC E @ New Delhi Beating retreat For those who were forced to be cooped up in houses during lockdown, the reopening of tourist places came as good news. But many remain confused about the places that allow visitors and those that don’t. A group of tourists return from Janakikkad Eco Tourism Centre at Maruthonkara near Kozhikode on Tuesday after they were refused entry | T P Sooraj Centre, state playing blame game on Covid-19, says Rahul E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @Kozhikode Former Congress national president and Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi has said both the Central and state governments are playing the blame game on Covid management when the cases are spreading rapidly . Speaking with reporters at Kalpetta in Wayanad on Tuesday he urged the governments , to focus on defeating Covid. After attending a Covid review meeting in the district, he expressed satisfaction over the surveillance measures taken in Wayanad. The Congress leader alleged that probe agencies are being used to score political goals. “The national agencies are for bringing justice to the people but the Centre is using them for political vendetta. I was also a victim of this,” he said. Kerala Covid case diary 6,591 cases reported on Tuesday Rahul Gandhi, MP, attending the DISHA meeting at the Wayanad collectorate in Kalpetta on Tuesday Reacting to the sensational gold smuggling case in Kerala, Gandhi said let the national investigating agencies continue the probe and unearth the truth. Asked about Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan’s criticism that easing of restrictions during Onam celebrations had resulted in the surge in Covid numbers in Kerala, Rahul said the minister’s com- 3,53,472 confirmed cases 53,901 samples tested on Tuesday 91,922 active cases 1,206 deaths ment was unfortunate. He came down heavily on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, accusing him of make the agrarian culture in the country collapse for helping a few of his billionaire corporate friends. “The tragedy is that the anti-farmer laws have been enacted when the country is fighting Covid. A national-level initiative should be launched to save the farmers. Our 12,000 square kilometre of land has been encroached by China but the PM does not admit it,” he said. Gandhi also disapproved Congress leader Kamal Nath’s re por ted sexist remarks against a minister in Madhya Pradesh. On Tuesday, Rahul Gandhi also participated in the District Development Coordination and Monitoring Committee meeting. Actor Prithiviraj Sukumaran on Tuesday tested positive for Covid-19. The actor was shooting for Queen director Dijo Jose Antony’s new movieJana Gana Mana in Kochi. P2 Covid norms ‘yes’, but don’t hamper pilgrimage: HC E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @Kochi Temporary shelter The Kerala High Court on Tuesday observed that the Covid-19 safety protocol should not hamper a smooth Sabarimala pilgrimage. The endeavour should be to avert inconveniences and difficulties and not for creating them, it said. If the facilities presently available at Nilakkal, which is the base camp, are not sufficient to accommodate the devotees who want to stay back for some hours before proceeding to Sabarimala or on their way back home after darshan, such facilities should be provided, The HC said the decision to not allow devotees to put up temporary shelter (viri) at Sabarimala and Pampa can be understood, but the same cannot be restricted at Nilakkal. and the failure to make such arrangements would cause undue hardships to the pilgrims, it said. A Division Bench comprising Justice C T Ravikumar and Justice K Haripal issued the order after examining the the reports of Sabarimala Special Commissioner and the government regarding the arrange- ments being made for the coming pilgrimage season. The Bench observed that Travancore Devaswom Board should realise that it is the only body which can weigh the pain and passion of the devotees for the purpose of bringing all relevant aspects before the government. In matters not connected with Covid-19 protocol and security, the board should have its own views and decisions. The court directed the TDB to take appropriate steps to ensure supply of Annadanam to the pilgrims. The court also ordered the government to take a relook at its decision to give Annadanam “in a limited quantity” to pilgrims. It said that pilgrims from far-away places who reach Sabarimala, after the tiresome trekking, should be given food to satisfy their appetite. The concept of giving Annadanam “in a limited quantity” is alien to the concept itself, especially ● More on P5 in Sabarimala. Q&A: p7 express read Sivasankar feigned illness: Customs Kochi: Opposing M Sivasankar’s anticipatory bail plea, Customs on Tuesday told the High Court that the former principal secretary to CM pretended illness and got himself admitted to the hospital where his wife works to avoid interrogation. Balabhaskar’s band members quizzed T’Puram: CBI, probing the death of violinist Balabhaskar, on Tuesday interrogated the members of his music band ‘Big band’ and his long-time friend and musician Ishaan Dev for six hours to collect the details of his foreign trips for musical events. Covid patient’s death MCH doctor says ventilator tubes were not connected properly E XPR E SS N E WS S E RVIC E @Kochi Sabarimala Justice A P Shah Delhi High Court chief justice (retd) A day after a nursing officer with the Government Medical College Hospital (MCH) in Ernakulam was suspended for having posted a voice clip alleging negligence by the hospital authorities in the death of Covid-19 patient C K Harris, an MCH doctor has come out with a startling revelation.Implying that the suspended nursing officer, Jalaja Devi, was telling the truth, Dr Najma Salim said the ventilator tubes were not connected properly to the patient. “Though the patient had a facemask on, the ventilator was not connected properly. While the doctor on duty informed senior doctors, they asked the duty doctor not to make an issue of it. I too have faced similar instances,” Dr Najma alleged. She said it it was wrong to initiate disciplinary action against Jalaja. The doctors who didn’t report the issue are guilty too and should be held responsible Dr Najma Salim was wrong to initiate disciplinary action against Jalaja. “The doctors who didn’t report the issue are guilty too and should be held responsible,” she said. Dr Najma expressed fear that she too will have to face action for having spoken out. However, MCH refuted the allegations. Addressing a news conference here, Dr V Sathish, the MCH principal, said Harris was suffering from comorbidities, including diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity, which may have accentuated health issues, resulting in his death. “On the day he died, Dr Najma was not on duty in the ICU. The doctors on ICU duty that day didn’t report any such incident,” he said. Earlier, Dr Najma told a TV channel that she was not citing negligence as the reason for the patient’s death. “What I’m saying is that there have been recurring instances of negligence on the part of the medical staff at the MCH. I was expecting at least senior doctors to take note of the laxity and initiate measures to correct the errors. But to my disappointment, that didn’t happen,” she said.
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