tirupati l wednesday l december 30, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l late city EDITION Famed French designer Pierre Cardin dies at 98 The iconic French fashion designer, who popularised the ‘space age’ style that became common in the 1960s, died on Tuesday He transformed his name into a brand A licensing maverick, Cardin’s name embossed thousands of products from wristwatches to bed sheets, and goods bearing his fancy cursive signature were sold at 100,000 outlets worldwide. Fashion was just the start of Cardin’s business empire. He went on to sell eyeglasses, umbrellas, perfume, luggage, linens, furniture, mattresses, skis and coffee pots | P9 800 Introduced ready-to-wear women’s line ■ ■ ■ In 1959, Cardin became the first designer to introduce a ready-towear women’s line for a broad audience “Fashion is always ridiculous, seen from before or after. But in the moment, its marvellous,” Cardin famously said in a 1970 interview Born into a poor farmer family, Cardin never married or had kids Licences in 140 countries were in his name during his heydays 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 Consult SEC on holding local polls: HC to govt E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Vijayawada Assembly resolution The State Assembly, on the last day of its sitting on December 4, passed a resolution stating that the present situation is not conducive for conduct of local body elections in February 2021 in view of the Covid pandemic The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Tuesday directed both the State government and the State Election Commission (SEC) to start consultations for conducting elections to local bodies, while disposing of the petition filed by the State government seeking the High Court to direct the SEC to postpone the polls scheduled for February in view of Covid-19 and vaccination campaign. Delivering the verdict in the case, High Court Judge Justice AV Sesha Sai said the State government sought deferment of the COmeback kings After the agony, the ecstacy. Ten days after a historic low, the Indian team exorcised their demons in some style, winning the second Test against Australia by eight wickets. After bowling out the hosts for 200 before lunch on the fourth morning, India chased down the target of 70, with captain Ajinkya Rahane fittingly hitting the winning run. The third Test begins in Sydney from January 7 “I am really proud of all the players. I want to give credit to the debutants (Mohammed) Siraj and (Shubman) Gill, the character they showed was great to see. Character was important for us, especially after losing Umesh (Yadav).” Ajinkya Rahane 4 This was India’s fourth win at Melbourne, nowhere else have they won as many Tests in a single venue away from home 3 India is only the third team to come back from 0-1 down to level a series in Australia 0 No Australian batsman has scored a century against India in the last six Tests Ajinkya Rahane became the recipient of the first ever Mullagh Medal, given to the Man of the Match of the Boxing Day Test. He scored 112 and 27 not out | AFP Farmers harp on repeal before talks time today H a r p r ee t B a j w a @ Chandigarh On the eve of the sixth round of talks to resolve the monthlong agrarian agitation, farmer unions on Tuesday wrote to Centre formally accepting its invite for talks the next day but , insisted on exploring a ‘rational solution’ to the issues flagged by them, including modalities to repeal the three contentious farm laws. While farmers had sought a ‘rational solution’ in their letter on December 26, Union Agriculture Secretary Sanjay Aggarwal had on December 28 stated the government’s commitment to find a ‘logical resolution’ to all topical issues with an open mind and clear intention. The semantics of a ‘rational solution’ vis a vis a ‘logical resolution’ is expected to play out when both sides meet on Wednesday. But going by the tone and tenor of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha’s latest letter to Aggarwal, any optimism of an early breakthrough could be totally misplaced. Union ministers Narendra Singh Tomar and Piyush Goyal, who have been representing the Centre on the talks table, met home minister Amit Shah to finalise the government’s position for the meeting. The Samyukt Kisan Morcha is an umbrella body of 40 farmer unions. Its agenda for the talks includes legal guarantee for procurement of farm produce on a minimum support price (MSP) regime; amendments to the air quality ordinance; and procedure for withdrawal of draft the Electricity Amendment Bill. In view of the talks, the morcha put off its tractor march from the Singhu and the Tikri border to the KundliManesar-Palwal (KMP) Highway by a day to December 31. polls in view of the Covid vaccination campaign, while the SEC plans to conduct local body elections in February . Both the parties should arrive at a consensus on the issue through consultations. The SEC should decide the place and date for the consultations and the gov- ernment should send a team of three officials of the rank of Principal Secretary within three days of receiving the copy of the court verdict to the SEC to explain the government’s objections to conduct of local body polls. The officials should explain the Centre’s advisory to the States Governor prorogues Assembly Vijayawada: Governor Biswabhusan Harichandan on Tuesday issued a notification proroguing the AP Legislative Assembly and Council. The timing of proroguing the Assembly and Council gave scope for speculations that the government may come up with an ordinance pertaining to Panchayat Raj Act mandating that the local body election schedule should be issued by the SEC in concurrence with the State government. A similar amendment was made to the GHMC Act in Telangna before conducting GHMC polls. with regard to the Covid-19 pandemic to the SEC in writing along with related documents, Justice Sesha Sai said, while admitting that the entire world has been suffering from Covid-19. Government pleader C Suman informed the court that the Centre has initiated steps for the Covid-19 vaccination and Andhra Pradesh is one among the four States selected for the dry run. He requested that the election proceedings in February also be included in the consultations. Justice Sesha Sai directed the government to submit the same to the SEC during the consultations. At least six cases of the variant detected so far after genome sequencing; all of them now in single-room isolation; temporary flight ban to Britain could be extended, says Puri Contagious UK strain now in India E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi India on Tuesday joined a list of nations where the highly infectious UK strain of the coronavirus has been detected so far. In all, at least six fliers from Britain have tested positive for that mutant version, the Centre confirmed. They part of the 114 returnees from the UK on or after November 25 who tested positive for Covid-19. Samples of all 114 were subjected to genome sequencing, which was how the contagious UK strain was identified in six patients in three labs — National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences (NIMHANS), Bengaluru (3), Centre for Cellular & Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad (2) and National Institute of Virology, Pune (1). But the CCMB chief Dr Rakesh Mishra later said three samples had tested positive at his lab, two from Telangana and one from Andhra Pradesh. All three who tested positive for the UK variant at NIMHANS hail from Bengaluru, including a 34-year-old woman and her six-year-old child. Tamil Nadu sent all its sam- Police restrictions Shops and commercial establishments should close their business by 10 pm Places of worship should strictly follow Covid guidelines on January 1 No permission to hotels, bars and restaurants to organise special events Stern action to be taken against those sending abusive New Year messages to women and youth No bursting of crackers at public places Drunken driving to be dealt with sternly ples to the Pune lab, which found one of them with the UK strain. “All these persons have been kept in single-room isolation in designated health care facilities by respective state governments,” said the Union ministry of health and family welfare in a statement. Also, their close contacts are under quarantine and comprehensive contact tracing has been initiated for co-travellers, family contacts and others. K VijayRaghavan, principal scientific advisor to the prime minister, said there is no evidence yet that current vaccines will fail to protect against Covid-19 variants from the UK or South Africa. However, he advised people not to get complacent. V K Paul, member (health), Niti Aayog said, “now that it’s is here it does destabilise our preparations.” As for the UK flight ban that is to end on December 31, Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri indicated it would be extended. “I foresee a slight extension of temporary suspension of India-UK flights... In a day or two, we will find out if any additional steps need to be taken,,” he said. Expanding footprint Countries where the highly infectious UK strain has been found so far Germany Sweden Pakistan India Denmark Canada UK Netherlands France Spain Japan Italy Switzerland Lebanon Singapore Australia AP reports first case of mutant coronavirus E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Vijayawada A UK returnee from Rajamahendravaram was found to have contracted the new SARSCoV-2 variant, which is the first mutant Covid-19 case in AP . Commissioner of Health Katamaneni Bhaskar on Tuesday said the new mutant strain was detected in the sample of the woman returned to Rajamahendravaram from the UK. Though she tested positive for the new strain of coronavirus, her son and other contacts tested negative for Covid-19 and SARS-CoV2. Bhaskar said there is no need to panic as there are no indications that the new strain has spread in the State. “We cannot consider that the new strain is spreading in AP. As on Tuesday, only 12 out of 1,406 (total 1,423) UK returnees, who were traced, have tested positive for Covid-19 and just one among the 12 has tested positive for the new strain. All necessary precautions are being taken to prevent the spread of the new strain. The tracing of contacts of the UK returnees has also been fastP3 tracked,” he said. Covid-19 curbs on New Year revelry E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @Vijayawada/Visakhapatnam In the wake of detection of cases of mutant Covid-19 strain, curbs have been imposed on New Year revelry in Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam. No permission will be given to hotels, restaurants and others to organise special New Year events in the limits of Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam Police Commissionerates on Thursday night. Police have asked the people to avoid mass gatherings and celebrate the New Year in their houses in view of the Covid-19 pandemic. In a statement on Tuesday, Vijayawada City Police Commissioner Bathina Srinivasulu said that stringent action will be taken against revellers who resort to eve-teasing or create nuisance on the roads in the name of New Year celebrations. “Drunken driving will be dealt with sternly the Com,’’ missioner added. Speaking to TNIE, Visakhapatnam City Police Commissioner Manish Kumar Sinha said that public gatherings and cake cuttings on roads are strictly banned. There should not be any inconvenience to the general public. “All shops and commercial establishments should be closed by 10 pm,” he said. No relaxations to bars, wine shops No relaxations have been given to wine shops and bars to operate beyond the stipulated timings in the two Police Commissionerates. Wine shops will be open till 8 pm and bars and restaurants till 11 pm strictly adhering to Covid-19 norms issued by the government. Scaled down Shorter R-Day parade, fewer participants and viewers M aya n k S i n g h @ New Delhi The government has decided to scale down the 2021 Republic Day celebration in view of the coronavirus pandemic, sources said. For one, the Republic Day Parade marching distance has been cut short to 3.5 km from 8.5 km and the Parade will culminate at the National stadium instead of the Red Fort. Keeping the social distancing in mind, the number of soldiers in each marching contingent has been cut down to size. Instead of 144 marchers in each contingent, 12 rows, and 12 columns, there will be only 96 marchers, 12 rows and 8 columns. This has been done to allow ample space between each row to follow social distancing norms. T h e r e will also be age restrictions on children desirous of attending the Parade display . As a mark of special gesture, Bangladesh’s band will be participating this year. The neighbouring country is celebrating the Golden Jubilee of its Independence. India had supported the people of East Pakistan to gain independence from Pakistan and form Bangladesh back in 1971. The spectator strength has also been drastically cut down from 1.25 lakh to 25,000 this year and all participants and spectators will wear masks. There will be three groups of 40 children each from four schools as against the usual practice of allowing 100 children to participate. Only those above 15 years will be allowed to take part in the parade this year. High stake sale express read Air India on mind, Tatas take full control of AirAsia India I’m not able to enter politics, says Rajini ARS H A D K H A N @ New Delhi Malaysian airline AirAsia Group Berhad has decided to sell 32.67% of its shares in AirAsia India to its Indian partner and majority shareholder Tata Sons for $37.7 million. This deal will take Tata’s shareholding in AirAsia India to 83.6% from 51% while AirAsia Group’s holding comes down to 16.33% from 49%. Tatas also have the option to acquire the remaining 16.33% stake for $18.83 million. This development comes two weeks after the Tata Group had submitted an Expression of Interest for Air India. The deadline to submit a physical bid gets over on December 29 and industry sources believe Tatas may use AirAsia India as the vehicle to buy Air India. As for Air Asia, the sale would allow it to focus on its recovery in its key Southeast Group’ cumulative market share at 13% If Tatas acquire Air India, it will take the Group’s cumulative market share in the domestic aviation market to over 23%. Air Asia India has a market share of 6.6%. Tata’s other JV airline Vistara has a market share of 6.3% while Air India’s market share is pegged at 10.3% Asian markets after being hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. AirAsia had previously shut down operations in Japan due to pandemic-related issues. Bo Lingam, president (airlines) at AirAsia Group, said, “This transaction will allow us to use cash to grow market share in our core markets in Asean as well as for our future expansion into Cambodia, Myanmar and Vietnam.” He added, “This transaction will ensure strict cost containment for AirAsia Group in the short term, and strengthen our presence in Asean while continuing our market dominance for travel from Asean to India and North Asia.” Air Asia entered the Indian Market in 2014 but it never competed against the likes of IndiGo and SpicetJet. It flies to 19 domestic destinations across India with 30 Airbus A320 aircraft. Chennai: Actor Rajinikanth on Tuesday pressed the ‘never’ option as he walked out of the political race ‘with a heavy heart’ even before making an entry. “I am not able to enter politics. I only know the pain with which I make this announcement,” he said, a day after being discharged from the Apollo Hospitals in Hyderabad. | P5 ‘Dilip Chhabria’s firm duped finance firms’ NPAs rise in urban co-op banks, says RBI Mumbai: Car designer Dilip Chhabria’s company is suspected to have cheated several finance companies by obtaining loans fraudulently, city police said on Tuesday. Chhabria was arrested on Monday evening | P8 Mumbai: The proportion of gross non-performing assets of urban co-operative banks saw a rise in FY20 to 10.8% against 7.3% in the previous year, the Reserve Bank said in the “Trends and Progress of Banking in India” report | P10
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