TIRUNELVELI TUESDAY DECEMBER 01, 2020 `7.00 PAGES 12 CITY EDITION JOE BIDEN BREAKS HIS FOOT WHILE PLAYING WITH PET DOG The US President-elect has hairline fractures in his mid-foot and may need a walking boot for a few weeks, his doctor said HAIRLINE FRACTURES SHOW UP IN CT SCAN The Democratic leader twisted his ankle on Saturday when he slipped while playing with Major, his two-year-old German shepherd. “Initial X-rays did not show any obvious fracture, but CT scan confirmed hairline (small) fractures of President-elect Biden’s lateral and intermediate cuneiform bones, which are in the midfoot,” Biden’s physician Dr Kevin O’Connor said ■ 78-yr-old ‘GET WELL SOON’, TRUMP TWEETS ■ ■ Biden’s last health record was released by Dr O’Connor in Dec ’19 The physician said Biden is “healthy, vigorous”. Biden does not use tobacco or drink alcohol and exercises five days a week President Donald Trump, a Republican, who has not yet conceded the November 3 presidential election, tweeted, “Get well soon!” BIDEN WILL BE THE OLDEST PREZ IN U.S. HISTORY WHEN HE TAKES OATH ON JAN 20 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 TN beaches to open on Dec 14; colleges to resume on Dec 7 WHAT’S OPEN E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Chennai Bharatiya Kisan Union members protest after the police imposed Section 144 at the Ghazipur border, during their Delhi Chalo march against the new farm laws, in New Delhi on Monday | PTI Ministers in huddle to set up talks table Home Minister Amit Shah could open dialogue; farmers firm on demanding repeal of three new farm sector laws EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi/Chandigarh UNION Home Minister Amit Shah met Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar for the second time within 24 hours on Monday as the farmers’ protest entered its fourth day showing , no signs of abating. Sources said the government is ready to set up a talks table with the farmers unconditionally but is against repealing the three new farm sector reform laws. They added that Shah may hold talks with the protesting farmers in Delhi on Tuesday or the day after. Buta Singh, president of the B h a r a t i ya K i s a n U n i o n , claimed he received a phone call from Shah to resolve the issue but the minister’s office denied the conversation. “I spoke to Shah and he invited the farmers organisations for talks without pre-conditions. A formal invite is yet to arrive. If we get it, then we will decide accordingly said Buta Singh. ,’’ Also, former Punjab minister and senior BJP leader Sur- MODERNA SHOT 100% efficacy in severe cases raises the bar EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi US-BASED biotech major Moderna on Monday said its Covid vaccine candidate COVE showed 100% efficacy in severe cases, while it was 94.1% effective overall, as final results of of its phase 3 study in the US came in. Of the 30,000 who participated in its phase 3 study in the US, 196 developed Covid19. However, 185 of them had received a placebo (dummy drug) while just 11 got the real vaccine. In all, 30 participants got severely ill, including one who died. But all 30 got dummy shots, indicating the vaccine was 100% effective against the novel coronavirus. “We have already, just in the trial, have already saved lives. Just imagine the impact then multiplied to the people who can get this vaccine,” said Dr Tal Zaks, the company’s chief medical officer. Moderna is in the process of applying for emergency use authorisation for its vaccine. Meanwhile, the cost of the Oxford vaccine in the Indian open market is expected to be $4-6. jit Kumar Jayani said he was the conduit for the call between Shah and Singh. “I made Buta Singh speak to Amit Shah. A formal letter inviting farmers for talks will be issued without any conditions, as we met minister Narendra Singh Tomar,” he said. A host of issues were discussed at the meeting Shah had with Tomar, sources said, including the politicisation of the protests, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi criticised in Varanasi. The sparring match between Haryana Chief Minister M L Khattar and his ‘Modi must listen to our Mann ki Baat’ The All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee, an umbrella body of 250 farmer unions, criticised the stout defence of the new farm laws, saying it was the turn of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to listen to their Mann Ki Baat Punjab counterpart Amarinder Singh over the protests also came up for discussion. The meeting happened at a time when the protesting farmers have threatened to block five entry points — Sonipat, Rohtak, Jaipur, Ghaziabad-Hapur and Mathura — into the Capital. Meanwhile, Sombir Sangwan, an independent MLA from the Dadri segment in Charkhi Dadri, announced support to the agitation. He heads the the Sangwan Khap that has influence in 40 villages in Bhiwani and Dadri districts. For his part, Capt Amarinder Singh asked the Centre to listen to the farmers. “It is the job of the government to listen to its people. If farmers are joining the agitation from so many states, then they must be really upset,” he said. As for the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee, an umbrella body of 250 farmer unions, it said: “Our demand for the withdrawal of the new laws is not negotiable.” Kerala govt bans PwC from its IT projects for two years E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Kochi THE Kerala government has barred consultancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) from projects promoted by the Electronics and IT Department for the next two years. The government said it found lapses by the consultancy firm in appointing Swapna Suresh, a key accused in the sensational gold smuggling case, as operations manager in the Space Park project under the Kerala State IT Infrastructure Ltd. “PwC didn’t perform a comprehensive background check in the case of appointing an individual in the Space Park. This is a serious breach of contractual obligations on the part of PwC,” the order said. The government also decided not to extend the contract with PwC for the Kerala Fibre Optic Network project. The contract had expired on Monday . Swapna’s appointment at the Space Park was allegedly on the recommendation of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s former principal secretary M Sivasankar, also an accused in the gold smuggling case. PwC has a chequered history in India. It was the auditor of the infamous Satyam Computers, which committed one of the largest corproate frauds in Indian history in 2009 by manipulating account books. PwC was accused of colluding with the Satyam management. After a nine-year probe in 2018, Sebi banned PwC from auditing listed companies for two years. Last year, PwC was fined `230 crore by the Enforcement Directorate for violating FEMA. PM soft on agitators, harsh on Oppn spreading canards N A M I TA B A J PA I @ Lucknow AMID a battle of perception on the three new farm reform bills, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday tore into the Opposition for allegedly misguiding the farmers by spreading canards in the name of baseless futuristic lurking threats to their interests. The PM, however, reached out to the agitating farmers, saying they cannot be blamed for the protests as they were misled by vested interests. Modi was addressing a gathering in Varanasi during a visit to his Parliamentary constituency to take part in the Dev Deepavali celebrations on 84 ghats of the Ganga illuminated with around 15 lakh earthen lamps. “New laws have been brought to realise the promises we made to the farmers of our country. Policies are being framed not to deceive the farmers but with honesty and transparency Modi said. ,” Criticising the previous governments for allegedly deceiving farmers through subsidies, whose benefits never reached them, the PM said: “I feel the farmers should not be blamed for the agitation. It is natural for them to be suspicious as they have suffered deception for decades in the past.” AFTER eight months, the beaches in Tamil Nadu will be made accessible to the public from December 14. Announcing the State government’s plan to ease lockdown curbs further from Tuesday in line with the measures to , revive the economy, Chief Minster Edappadi K Palaniswami said social, political and entertainment events would be allowed in auditoriums from that day . Palaniswami also said that colleges for final year undergraduate students pursuing arts, science, technical engineering, agriculture, fisheries and veterinary sciences will reopen on December 7. Medical and allied colleges will also be permitted to function from that day . Moreover, all hostels will open their doors to be in sync with resuming colleges. However, classes for students admitted for the academic year 2020-21, will reopen only on February 1, 2021. The CM’s statement said the lockdown that has been in force since March 25 this year has been extended till the midnight of December 31, under the Disaster Management Act, 2005, with various relaxations. Standard Operating Procedures prescribed for activities such as movement of passenger trains, air travel, metro trains, schools, hotels and restaurants, malls, multiplex, assemblies and congregations, shall be strictly enforced by the concerned district authorities, the guidelines stated. States told to ensure fire safety at hospitals New Delhi: The Centre on Monday ordered all states and UTs to ensure proper fire safety at hospitals. The order comes in the wake of recent fire incidents in two Gujarat hospitals, which killed 14 people. Meanwhile, the Gujarat govt set up a panel to probe the Rajkot hospital fire in which 5 Covid patients died | P7 ‘Indian economy to contract 9% this year’ New Delhi: S&P Global Ratings on Monday retained its forecast of 9% contraction in the Indian economy for the current fiscal, saying even though there are now upside risks to growth but it will wait for more signs that Covid infections have stabilised or fallen. S&P projected the Indian economy to grow at 10% in the next fiscal places to reopen for public on Dec 14 Exhibition halls to function, only for business purpose Social, political, entertainment and religious gatherings permitted in closed spaces, with a maximum of 50% of the hall capacity or with 200 persons, from Dec 1 to 31 For events in Chennai, prior permission to be obtained from the Commissioner, and in other districts, from the respective collectors Entry into swimming pools permitted for sports training WHAT’S RESTRICTED All international air travel, except for the purposes permitted by the Ministry of Home Affairs, to be prohibited till the midnight of December 31 Existing e-registration system to continue for all those coming into TN, except from Puducherry, Karnataka and AP Other rules and regulations to be followed in containment zones as per the earlier instructions without any relaxations CROSS-BORDER TERROR IS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE “Terrorism is truly the enemy of humanity. It is a scourge we need to collectively combat,” Vice President Venkaiah Naidu said at the virtual SCO meet hosted by India| P7 Today we are now working to relieve the stress on farmers and our intent is as pure as river Ganga and as holy as Kashi - Narendra Modi, Prime Minister EXPRESS READ Beaches, other tourist RED ALERT IN SOUTH TN AS ANOTHER STORM APPROACHES EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Chennai/Thiruvananthapuram HOT on the heels of cyclone Nivar that hit Tamil Nadu and Puducherry last week, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) on Monday confirmed the formation of another cyclonic storm in the Bay of Bengal. It has sounded a red alert in southern TN and Kerala, warning of extremely heavy rainfall. The depression formed over the south Bay of Bengal will intensify into a deep depression in the next 12 hours and then into a cyclone storm by Tuesday night, said the IMD bulletin. The latest satellite and ship observations indicate that the depression Chennai Ramanathapuram Kanniyakumari has moved west-northwestwards and lay centred about 710 km east-southeast of Trincomalee (Sri Lanka) and 1,120 km east-southeast of Kanniyakumari. The storm is likely to cross the Sri Lankan coast during the evening/night of Wednesday, and thereafter, move nearly westwards and emerge into the Comorin area on Thursday morning, the bulletin said. As per the current projection, the cyclone will not make any landfall. But the exact path would be known only by Tuesday evening. The wind speed is likely to reach over 45-55 kmph, gusting to 65 kmph over Comorin area, Gulf of Mannar and the coasts of Tamil Nadu and Kerala from Wednesday forenoon, for subsequent 24 hours. S Balachandran, Deputy Director General of Meteorology, said heavy rains are likely to occur in Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi, Kanniyakumari and Ramanathapuram CONTINUED ON: P3 districts. WILL HE? WON’T HE? Rajini delays entry, yet again; says ‘right time’ shall come S K U M A R E S A N @ Chennai THE high expectations of a closure to the three-decade-long uncertainty over film star Rajinikanth’s decision to take the political plunge was put on hold, yet again, as he did not say anything concrete during his meeting with district secretaries of the Rajini Makkal Mandram (RMM) on Monday . Addressing reporters at his Poes Garden residence after the meeting, Rajinikanth said, “District secretaries have ex- District secretaries have expressed their opinion and I have shared my views as well. Whatever my decision would be, they have assured that they will stand by me. I will take a decision as soon as possible - Rajinikanth, actor pressed their opinion and I have shared my views as well. Whatever my decision would be, they have assured that they will stand by me. I will take a decision as soon as possible.” Earlier this morning, 36 district secretaries of the RMM gathered outside Raghavendra Mandapam in Kodambakkam at 9 am, and were let inside after a thermal scan. The actor came in around 9.45 am, despite rumours that he might address them via video conference from his home. Sources said the district secretaries set the ball rolling by first enquiring about the actor’s health following media reports and tweets. The actor also asked the functionaries about the status of Covid-19 in their respective districts as well as the impact of Nivar cyclone. The discussion organically led to the actor broaching the mostanticipated theme of the meeting: possible launch of a party . Most of the actor’s fans said that the State had been handling Covid-19 better than the other states, as if indicating that the pandemic need not be the reason to put off the launch CONTINUED ON: P4 of a party .
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