COIMBATORE WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 25, 2020 `7.00 PAGES 14 LATE CITY EDITION DONALD TRUMP FINALLY AGREES TO BEGIN TRANSITION OF POWER Don has not formally conceded defeat but has given the nod to begin the transition process for president-elect Joe Biden DON YET TO FORMALLY CONCEDE DEFEAT JANET YELLEN TIPPED TO BE TREASURY SECY On Monday, Trump tweeted, “In the best interest of our country, I am recommending that Emily Murphy, Administrator of the General Services Administration) and her team do what needs to be done with regard to initial protocols”. However, he later hardened his stance: “The GSA does not determine who the next President of the US will be.” ■ ■ ■ President-elect Joe Biden is expected to name former Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen (pic) to lead the treasury department If confirmed, she would be the first woman to hold the position The 74-year-old economist is credited with helping steer the economic recovery after the 2007 financial crisis | P11 30,000 DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE TOUCHED RECORD HIGHS ON TUESDAY 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 STATE BRACES FOR ‘NIVAR’ IMPACT 21.2 feet Chembarambakkam lake water may get released Weather experts say Chennai unlikely to be spared as the storm is moving northwards; city may experience wind speed of 100kmph NEW ORDINANCE Pressured Kerala to kill amendment to Police Act EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ T’Puram A day after putting it on hold in view of widespread criticism, the Kerala government on Tuesday decided to withd r aw t h e c o n t rove r s i a l amendments to the Police Act that gave sweeping powers to the police to prosecute anyone posting objectionable comments on social media. A special cabinet meeting on Tuesday decided to recommend Governor Arif Mohammed Khan to issue another ordinance to repeal Section 118-A introduced last week. The new ordinance will clearly mention that the amendment is being withdrawn in view of widespread concerns and apprehensions, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said. “Opinions cropped up that the amendment will give more powers to the police and there are possibilities of this being misused. The Left government gives due value to opinions emanating from society. In view of such concerns and suspicions, the government feels it would be appropriate to withdraw the same,” he added. He also claimed the amendment to the Police Act was introduced with good intention and that it was not aimed at gaging the media. The CM added that in future, legislations of this nature would be introduced only through debates in the state Assembly . A ATA K AN RN THE slow-moving cyclonic storm Nivar is intensifying in the warm waters of the Bay of Bengal, and is turning into a “very severe” cyclonic storm that will make a landfall between Karaikal and Mahabalipuram late on Wednesday with , wind speed reaching up to 120130 kmph and gust up to 145 kmph. “The storm was moving at 5 kmph, centred over southwest of the Bay of Bengal, about 380 km east southeast of Puducherry and 430 km southsoutheast of Chennai,” said S Balachandran, deputy director general at Regional Meteorological Centre. “Nivar will intensify into a severe cyclonic stor m by Wednesday morning, and then into a very severe cyclonic storm in the subsequent 12 hours. It is very likely to cross between Karaikal and Mahabalipuram coasts on November 25 late evening,” Balachandran said. A further intensification of the storm cannot be ruled out, considering the ocean and atmospheric conditions, said experts. “Chennai will also feel its impact,” says weather blogger Pradeep John. “Though the landfall is likely to happen in the Puducherry-Marakkanam belt, Chennai will experience gust at the speed of over 100 kmph as the storm is moving northwards.” The State has declared Wednesday a public holiday to , reduce the impact. “All government offices, including offices of local bodies, government undertakings/ statutory corporations, boards, banks and financial institutions etc., will be closed on November 25. However, all essential services will KA S V K R I S H N A C H A I TA N YA @ Chennai DH R R AP AD ES H is the water storage level at the lake catchment area. CM Palaniswami has ordered release of water as soon as the level crosses 22 feet. Officials say the reservoir received an inflow of 200 cusecs since Monday night. The storage level now stands at 2,913 mcft Stay indoors, and keep all doors and windows shut Those who live in low-lying areas should move to relief camps Keep documents like Aadhaar card, driving licence, voter ID card, ration card, bank passbooks, etc. safe Here is a list of helpline numbers you may contact In case of emergency: State level - 1070; District level - 1077; Chennai Corporation too released helpline numbers. Residents may call 044 2538 4530/40 or 1913 for complaints Keep batteryoperated torch lights, batteries, candles and matchboxes ready Stock up on food, vegetables and fruits Parts of the State received heavy showers ahead of the cyclone’s landfall; A scene from Ennore in Chennai on Tuesday | ASHWIN PRASATH High alert: Response teams deployed, relief camps set up Chennai Mahabalipuram KERALA Karaikal TAMIL NADU NIVAR function as usual,” said a government order issued to this effect. Three ports in and around Chennai have also stalled operations and raised a level-6 warning. The Railways too cancelled 14 pairs of trains run via Villupuram and Tiruchy . Speaking to reporters about the arrangements that have been made ahead of the cyclone, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami assured the public that there was no reason to panic or worry . Don’t step out of the house except for essential needs EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Puducherry/Cuddalore/Vellore Don’t go near electric poles, transformers or touch them Don’t go close to waterbodies Avoid staying in old or damaged buildings; avoid going near such buildings ‘NO REASON TO PANIC OR WORRY’ Don’t stand in the open, don’t use umbrellas or don’t park vehicles under trees during thunder and lightning Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami said the government has taken all precautionary steps. “All district Collectors have already been instructed to provide basic amenities, including blankets and mats, to those sheltered in camps. For children, milk powder would be given.” Enhance cold chain capacity for Covid shots, CMs urged EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi PRIME Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday urged all the chief ministers to augment their cold chain capacity for Covid-19 vaccine distribution and set up a task force at the district and block levels for a smooth immunisation. The special Covid-19 immunisation programme will run parallelly with the existing Universal Immunisation Programme, thogh it will use the latter’s processes, technology and network, officials said. The National Expert Committee on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19 under Niti Aayog Member V K Paul and Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan have already mapped the available cold chain facilities and made projections for additional needs, they added. In a virtual review meeting, Modi laid special emphasis on eight high burden states, including Haryana, Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Kerala, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Gujarat and West Bengal. The modalities of Covid-19 vaccine delivery distribu, Sputnik V 95% effective: Russia The second interim analysis of clinical trials has shown 91.4% efficacy for Covid-19 vaccine Sputnik V, 28 days after the first dose and over 95% 42 days after the first dose, Russia claimed | P9 tion and administration were discussed. Modi urged all CMs to share their Covid-19 strategy in writing, adding no one can impose any view and all have to work together to deal with the pandemic. “Vaccine distribution strategy will be chalked out in collective coordination with states. States must also start working cold storage facilities,” he said. “It’s yet not decided which vaccine will cost how much. Though two India-based vaccines are at the forefront, we’re working with global firms also,” he said, adding, “Even after drugs have been available for years, some people have adverse reactions. So a decision needs to be taken on a scientific basis.” Care will be taken to ensure the chosen vaccines meet all the necessary scientific criteria. Just like the focus in the fight against Covid was on saving lives, priority will be given to ensure that the vaccine reaches everyone, the PM assured. Past experiences, he said, have shown that several myths and rumours are spread around vaccines, adding they need to be tackled through spreading greater awareness, by taking all possible help. On the pandemic situation, Modi said the country needs to bring down the positivity rate to 5% and the fatality rate below 1%. On the controversial PM-CARES fund, he said its special emphasis is on making medical oxygen available. FROM Nagapattinam to Chennai, various district administrations and city corporations are working on a war-footing to ensure that the impact of Cyclone Nivar is minimal. The UT administration in Puducherry and Karaikal has set up control rooms and provided toll free numbers for assistance. A total of 196 relief camps are provided in Puducherry and 50 in Karaikal, to provide shelter for those living in vulnerable and low-lying areas. EXPRESS READ Abdullahs’ house on encroached land Srinagar: Former J&K chief ministers Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah were beneficiaries of the the controversial Roshni Land Act, and a house in Jammu is built over illegally possed land, the J&K administration said on Tuesday CO2 in atmosphere hit a new high in 2019 New Delhi: Levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere hit a new record of 410.5 parts per million in 2019 and are expected to keep rising this year while lockdown-related fall in emissions is just a tiny blip on the long-term graph, the World Meteorological Organization said | P7 Govt blocks 43 more Chinese mobile apps New Delhi: India on Tuesday blocked 43 more Chinese mobile apps, including AliExpress, in a fresh wave of web sanctions amid its border standoff with China. The banned apps were a threat to the “sovereignty and integrity of India”, an official statement said | P12 In Cuddalore, a police team has been deployed at every 10 km on State and National Highways, along with ambulances and other necessary equipment. There are 126 NDRF personnel stationed in the district. In Tiruchy, the district administration has identified 154 spots, including 3 high-risk zones, as prone to inundation and deployed special teams for rescue and relief operations. In Vellore, a contingent of 210 personnel of State Disaster Response Force has been pressed into service and the district placed on high alert. Public holiday declared to reduce cyclone impact The State government on Tuesday declared Wednesday a public holiday. “However, all essential services will function as usual,” said a government order 30 boats stranded off Karaikal; rescue ops on Of the 83 boats that previously left for sea from Karaikal, as many as 30 remain stranded. The coast guard has been alerted and efforts are on to trace fishermen INSIDE SECTION 144 IMPOSED IN PUDUCHERRY | P4 FISHERS ASKED TO WAIT AT EMERGENCY HALT POINTS | P4 UP govt clears draft law against ‘love jihad’ Singh said if anyone wants to change religion after marriage, he or she can THE Uttar Pradesh Cabinet do so. But the district magison Tuesday cleared a draft trate has to be informed two ordinance that seeks to months in advance. check religious conversions In recent weeks, BJP-run for the sake of marriage. H a r ya n a a n d M a d hya The proposed law entails se- Pradesh have also revealed vere punishment up to 10 plans to enact laws to counyears for violators. ter alleged attempts Confir ming the at converting Hindu Other development, state women into Islam in states minister Siddharth the guise of marArunachal Nath Singh said, riage, which Hindu Pradesh, “The way in which activists call ‘love Odisha, MP, religious converjihad’. Himachal sions are done using The development Pradesh, deceit, lies, force and comes days after the Jharkhand, dishonesty is heart Allahabad High wrenching, and it Chhattisgarh, Court said the right Uttarakhand was necessary to to live with a person and Gujarat have a law in this of one’s choice, irrealready have regard.” spective of religion, antiPunishment unis intrinsic to right conversion der the new law is a to life and personal laws jail term of 1-5 years, liberty . and a fine of `15,000. The Yogi AdityIf the girl involved is a mi- anath government had renor or belongs to Scheduled cently set up a special invesCaste or Scheduled Tribe, tigation team to probe into then the jail term will range at least 14 cases, where Musfrom three to 10 years with lim men have allegedly conthe fine increasing to cealed their religious iden`25,000. tity to lure Hindu girls. EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi PUSHED TO THE BRINK Bullied online by money-lending app company, Chennai man kills self S A H AYA N O V I N S T O N L O B O @ Chennai ON the one side, the pandemic has pushed many in the working middle-class to the brink of economic crisis. On the other, a crop of new-age financial companies is pushing these people into massive debts. This is what happened in the case of 23-yearold Sai Aravind, an IT profes- sional from Chennai, who died by suicide unable to cope with pressure exerted by money lenders. Aravind had taken a loan from money-lending app, Rupee Bazaar, but he could not return the sum within the allotted time. What happened next was full-scale cyber-bullying by the otherwise soft-spoken lenders, allege the friends and fam- ily of Aravind. “As part of the formality to obtain a loan, Aravind had given the app access to all the contacts in his phone,” says a friend. When Aravind could not return the money the lenders al, legedly started calling random numbers in his contact list and harassing them. At times, they intimidated and used derogatory words on Aravind and his contacts, alleges the friend. Express has accessed screenshots from his phone that show how the company had created multiple WhatsApp groups with the title “Aravind is a fraud” and put up his pictures in it to pressure him to return the money. On Monday, Aravind was found hanging dead from the ceiling of his room by his father. A few weeks ago, Aravind is understood to have complained to the Adambakkam police about the cyber-harassment that he was facing from his money-lending company How. ever, no action has been taken on the complaint. Today, they seemed to have booked his suicide as a case of suspicious death, causing outrage among his friends and family .
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