kOLLAM l tuesday l november 03, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 14 l city EDITION NZ PM inducts first-ever indian-origin minister Priyanca Radhakrishnan, who has roots in Ernakulam, bags three key portfolios in PM Jacinda Ardern’s new ministry born in chennai to malayali parents a fighter for domestic abuse victims A second-time MP from the Labour Party, Priyanca is one of the five new faces in PM Adern’s ministry. She’s been given charge of three portfolios— community and voluntary sector; diversity, inclusion and ethnic communities; and youth development. Her parents, originally from Kerala’s Ernakulam district, moved to Chennai where Priyanca was born. P4 ■ ■ ■ In August, Priyanca was noticed in Kerala, when she appeared alongside PM Adern in a live video to extend Onam greetings Prior to becoming an MP in 2017, she had been a social worker, who fought to advance the rights of domestic abuse victims Her great-grandfather was associated with Left politics in Kerala 41-yr-old Has been a memeber of the labour party for 14 years 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 At least 22 dead in Kabul univ campus massacre E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e Afghan security forces prepare to go into Kabul University on Monday | AP rise in Violence as peace process under way Kabul: Monday’s attack on Kabul University comes amid a relentless rise in violence across Afghanistan as the Taliban and the Afghan government are negotiating a peace agreement. Their talks in Qatar have made little progress. President Ashraf Ghani vowed to take revenge. “This attack will not remain without response,” he said. Trump or Biden? Voters to decide today 239 million People eligible to vote this year 94 million Ballots already cast because of the Covid situation. It’s about two-thirds of the overall 2016 vote count of 138.8 million 34.6 60.4 mn million Mail-in ballots, of them are could take days or in-person weeks to be counted votes. Both in some states, so the winner might Trump and not be declared Biden have hours after polls already cast close on Tuesday their ballot Trump set to spend election night at White House Twitter to lean on seven outlets to help determine whether a race is officially called - ABC News, AP, CNN, CBS News, Decision Desk HQ, Fox News and NBC News Bracing for Biden High-net-worth Americans are busy setting up trust funds, giving large gifts to heirs and philanthropies, and even selling family businesses as they brace for the tax hikes a Biden presidency might bring, Axios reports | P11,13 ACTOR ABDUCTION High Court defers trial until Friday E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Kochi THE Kerala High Court on Monday deferred the trial in the actor abduction and sexual assault case pending before the Additional Special Sessions Court, Ernakulam, till Friday. The trial was scheduled to resume on Tuesday . Justice V G Arun issued the order on the petitions filed by the state government and the survivor, seeking to transfer the case to another court. When the case came up for hearing, advocate S Sreekumar, appearing for the survivor, submitted that while she was being crossexamined, the defence counsel asked her various questions to insinuate that her character and conduct are questionable. Those questions were objected to by the prosecutor, but they were overruled by the trial judge and permitted the defence to continue. There were complaints that some of the witnesses too were harassed. ● More on P4 Gunmen stormed Kabul University in Afghanistan’s capital on Monday, killing at least 22 students, including 10 women, and leaving around 24 others wounded. The attack happened minutes before Iran’s ambassador to the country was to arrive for the opening of a book fair. It all began around 11 am local time when a suicide bomber blew up himself inside the campus. Two gunmen then opened fire indiscriminately and and took dozens hostage while hundreds of other stu- dents fled with many scaling the campus’ perimeter walls. Images posted on social media showed what appeared to be the bodies of students lying in pools of blood in classrooms. “They opened fire ... all my classmates were lying in blood, either dead or wounded,” a student said. After six hours of fierce fighting, the two assailants were killed by the Afghan security forces with US support. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the massacre. Pakistan’s foreign ministry condemned the at- Afghanistan Hamid Karzai Airport University of Afghan Kabul University Kabul tack, calling it an “act of terrorism” that was particularly “despicable as it targeted an institution of learning.” “I can’t even name a place that wasn’t attacked. The new frontline is everywhere. Those killed and wounded wanted to be doctors, engineers for tomorrow’s Afghanistan,” tweeted noted Afghan-based journalist Bilal Sarwary . “We were very scared and we thought it could be the last day of our lives... boys and girls were shouting, praying and crying for help,” Ahmadi Samim, a student said. He reported seeing gunmen, armed with pistols and Kalashnikov assault rifles, firing at students in the university’s eastern side, where its law and journalism faculties teach. It is not clear how many stu- dents were at the university at the time of the attack. By one account there were at least 800 students in the social studies wing alone. Most students were in their respective classrooms when the attack began. They were besieged for hours before being rescued. The attack on Afghanistan’s oldest university with nearly 17,000 students comes a week after 24 students were killed in an attack on a school in Kabul, which was also claimed by IS. Iranian diplomats have been targeted previously, too, in Afghanistan. Agencies executing pre-decided plan: CM Green shoots? Spl court extends Bineesh’s ED custody till Saturday E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ T’Puram CHIEF Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who has been justifying the probe by various central agencies into the gold smuggling and related cases all these days, lashed out at them on Monday saying they were encroaching into the state government’s executive powers. Under pressure after probe agencies zeroed in on his office, Pinarayi said they were acting like political opponents, according to a script written with vested motives. “The state government’s constitutional powers and the right to take policy decisions won’t be surrendered before anyone,” said a visibly enraged Pinarayi. “If the investigation agencies start probing all prog rammes and policies of the state governments, that would only weaken the democratic system,” said Pinarayi, in an apparent reference to the move to probe the K-Fone project. The CM said it should be suspected whether the investigation agencies are being used to pull up the state government. “Efforts are on to in- E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @Bengaluru If the investigation agencies start probing all programmes and policies of the state governments, that would only weaken the democratic system Pinarayi Vijayan, Chief Minister spect the K-Fone project. It’s a move clearly aimed at subverting this initiative,” he said. Pinarayi said the Centre and the state governments share equal responsibility to implement the directive principles. “ H o w e v e r, t h e r e a r e attempts to appropriate such rights and to keep state government’s development projects in the dark. The government won’t allow party politics to supersede constitutional proceedings,” he ● More on P7 said. Chennithala asks why Pinarayi backtracking now T’Puram: Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala said the CM knows the probe would reach him. “Pinarayi was initially ready for any sort of probe, but why should he backtrack now? He can’t put the blame on the agencies and the media and go scot-free,” he said. Bineesh Kodiyeri, who has been arrested on charges of funding a drug cartel, has been remanded in Enforcement Directorate (ED) custody for five more days, till Saturday, by the Special Court for ED cases. Bineesh, son of CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, was arrested by the ED under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002, last Thursday . As his custody ended on Monday, the ED officials produced him before the court in the evening. The court had earlier remanded him in ED custody for four days. The ED submitted to the court that the accused was not cooperating with the investigation and dodged inquiry citing health problems, due to which they could not question him for two-and-a-half days. The central agency also informed the court that Bineesh was a habitual offender and had 10 cases against him in Kerala and one more in Dubai. It brought to the notice of the court that the investigations had revealed the accused had created various shell companies and had made unaccounted transactions to the tune of `3.5 crore. The agency told the court that besides funding the drug racket, the accused himself was consuming drugs, as per the statement of drug peddler Mohammed Anoop. ● More on P7 Experts say the numbers need to be read with caution as festive cheer may fade E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi ‘Bineesh not cooperating’ 1 ED submitted to the court that the accused was not cooperating with the investigation The agency said Bineesh was a habitual offender and had 11 cases against him 2 3 Bineesh will be questioned over the D3.5 crore unaccounted transactions he made Mullappally feels heat over anti-women remarks T’Puram: KPCC president Mullappally Ramachandran is feeling the heat over his anti-women comments. LJD’s Salim Madavoor and solar scam accused Saritha Nair have lodged complaints before state police chief Loknath Behera and the Kerala Women’s Commission. P4 dramatic pic of the thumb grab A handout picture by the Istanbul fire department shows Elif Perincek, a threeyear-old survivor, holding the thumb of a rescue worker as she is carried out of a collapsed building three days after an earthquake in the Aegean port city of Izmir. The rescue worker found her lying motionless and asked for a body bag when she suddenly opened her eyes and grabbed his thumb | AP E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ T’Puram Meet the three-year-old Thumbelina of Turkey W A day after the GST collection figures for October showed a robust uptick, rising past the `1 lakh crore mark, results of a monthly survey on factory output on Monday brought more cheer to the economy . As sales continue to surge in the ongoing festive season, India’s manufacturing sector activity improved for the third straight month in October, a monthly survey among purchasing managers of 400 manufacturers said on Monday . The IHS Markit India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to 58.9 in October — the highest since mid-2008. In PMI parlance, an index reading above 50 indicates growth. “New orders and output at Indian manufacturers continued to recover from Covid-19induced contractions seen earlier, with PMI results for October highlighting historically sharp monthly rates of expansion,” said Pollyanna De Lima, economics associate director, IHS Markit. While the latest PMI data along with the impressive GST numbers released on Sunday may give the impression the economy is recovering, experts advise caution. Accord- Job cuts continue for 7th month in a row The survey said companies cut staff for the seventh month in a row, a streak not witnessed since the survey began in 2005. It, however, did not indicate the quantum of job loss ing to them, festive season can spur the economic activities but one needs to watch if the trend continues beyond the festive season. “One needs to be cautious while reading this number. This is festive season and we are coming from a severe lockdown, which needs to be taken into account. One should watch post December trends, after the festive season,” said Madan Sabnavis, Chief Economist, CARE Ratings. Premature release cancelled, 30 prisoners to be back in jail shock & awe hen firefighter Muammer Celik reached a t h re e - ye a r- o l d g i rl trapped for three days under the rubble of a deadly earthquake in a Turkish coastal city his heart sank. She was , lying motionless, covered in dust, and he asked a colleague for a body bag. But as Celik extended his arm to wipe her face, the child opened her eyes and grabbed hold of his thumb. “That’s where we saw a miracle,” Celik of the Istanbul fire department’s search-and-rescue team told The Associated Factory output hits decade high Press, recounting Monday’s operation 65 hours after the quake hit, killing at least 93 people in Turkey and Greece. It was the second dramatic rescue on Monday after 14-yearold Idil Sirin was also pulled out alive. Onlookers applauded with joy and wept with relief at both scenes in the Turkish city of Izmir, where the vast majority of the deaths and nearly 1,000 injuries have occurred. The US Geological Survey rated the quake 7.0, though other agencies recorded it as less severe. Many buildings were completely reduced to rubble or saw several floors pancake in on themselves in Turkey, which has a mix of older buildings and cheap or illegal construction that do not withstand earthquakes well. Celik, whose team was among several who traveled to Izmir, said he found Elif Perincek lying on her back between her bed and a closet in a space that was just big enough for her. “At first I was very upset,” he said. “Then I stretched out my hand to clean her face and she grabbed my thumb. ... I froze because right before that mo- ment, I had asked my team for a blanket and a body bag.” His voice breaking with emotion, he added: “This is a firefighter’s joy .” The child spent nearly three full days in the wreckage of her apartment and became the 106th person to be pulled alive from the rubble. Her mother and two sisters — 10-year-old twins — were rescued two days earlier. However, her six-yearold brother did not survive. Both Elif and Idil are doing well. The girls who lived have reenergised the rescue teams to look for more survivors. In a rare development, the state government has cancelled the premature release of 30 prisoners and decided to bring them back to jail. Those who were involved in criminal cases after release are being brought back to the jail to complete the remaining part of their earlier sentence, as per an order issued by the Home Department. In February 2011, during the fag end of the V S Achuthanandan government, 209 prisoners -- including those involved in political murders -- who were serving life term, were given premature release for good conduct. Curiously, the decision had then led to a major furore for political reasons. Following the gover nment decision, three writ petitions were filed before the High Court terming it an arbitrary move. In 2019, the HC quashed the government decision and directed it to examine the proposal afresh. The government then constituted a four-member panel under the Additional Chief Secretary (Home) to examine each case. After individual examination of cases, police and probation officer reports, the panel found out that of the 209, 22 people died while 27 were involved in criminal cases after their release. It was unanimously decided to recommend to incarcerate the 27 persons, involved in criminal cases after release, again to complete the remaining part of their sentence and to allow the other 160 persons to continue to be free in view of their satisfactory conduct, ● More on P7 said the order.
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