BHUBANESWAR l wednesday l december 30, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l JEYPORE 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 Contagious UK strain now in India 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 Expanding footprint Countries where the highly infectious UK strain has been found so far Germany Sweden Pakistan India Denmark UK Netherlands France Spain Canada Japan Italy Switzerland Lebanon Singapore Australia 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 Hardeep Singh Puri, Aviation Minister Scaled down Shorter R-Day parade, fewer participants M aya nk 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 re w i l l 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. 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 sixyear-old child. Tamil Nadu sent all its samples 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 sci- entific 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 d o e s d e s t ab i l i s e o u r 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. Six BMC teams to trace elusive UK returnees A day after the Health and Family Welfare department sought report on the UK returnees, the BMC on Tuesday intensified its drive to trace those, who have been unreachable after their arrival in the city | P3 3 GST Supdts held for taking `10L bribe E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar EVEN as large-scale GST frauds have come to fore in the State exposing the loopholes that are being exploited by unscrupulous businessmen, the Central Bureau of Investigation’s Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) on Tuesday nabbed three superintendents of GST and Central Excise for allegedly taking a bribe of ` 10 lakh from a private university official. The CBI raided a star hotel where the GST officers were meeting the accountant to ‘sort out’ a GST inquiry against the university located on the fringes of the city The four were caught . while exchanging the cash. They have been arrested and the bribe money seized. The superintendents were identified as Artabhanjan Kar, Pradip Kumar Acharya and NN Sahoo while the the university’s accounts officer is Ashutosh Padhy On a tip-off, the Central agen. cy’s sleuths raided the hotel in Kharavela Nagar area where the meeting was going on. “The three officials visited the hotel to receive the bribe amount from Padhy in connection with a GST case concerning the university,” said a CBI officer. After apprehending them, the agency’s sleuths conducted search at the residences and offices of the three officials. Searches were also conducted at the resi- dence and office chamber of the university employee. After officers of the GST Audit Commissionerate noticed discrepancies on part of the university they informed the institution , authorities and suggested that it could be sorted out. “A case has been registered in this regard and the four have been arrested. We are also looking into the GST discrepancy on part of the private university. Searches are in progress and further investigation is continuing,” said the officer. Last week, a senior GST officer was apprehended by the State Vigilance for possessing disproportionate assets, a day after he conducted raid on a fake company . A case has been registered in this regard and the four have been arrested. We are also looking into the GST discrepancy on part of the private university. - A CBI officer Rajini bids adieu to politics before entry S K U M AR E SA N @ Chennai POURING cold water on his fans’ expectations, 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 . “Pardon me, members of the Rajini Makkal Mandram (RMM) and the people who expected that I would be launching my political party soon. With a heavy heart, I announce this: Due to health reasons I am not able to enter politics by launching a political party I only know the pain . with which I make this announcement,” said Rajinikanth in a statement, a day after being discharged from the Apollo Hospitals in Hyderabad. The actor, who had kindled his fans’ hopes of launching a party after dilly-dallying for more than two decades with a “now or never” call earlier this month, added, “I will continue to serve people without coming to electoral politics. I never hesitate to speak the truth. I appeal to all my fans and people of Tamil Nadu to accept my decision. RMM will anyway continue to function.” This newspaper had reported on November 30 that the actor may not join politics due to health reasons. Referring to his recent state- ment that he would not go back on his promise made to his fans on his political entry Rajinikanth , said, “Having said so, my present decision will trigger criticisms against me. But I don’t want to make those who have faith in me as scapegoats just because people will criticise me for my decision not to enter politics.” Although the RMM district secretaries had suggested that the actor could take the digital campaign route for the upcoming Assembly elections, Rajini told them, “Campaigning through media and social media will not help achieve a big political victory. Those who have political experience will not deny this. I need to meet thousands of people during the campaign and through public meetings. Even now, I am taking immunosuppressant medicines. If I develop health complications during my campaign, it would severely affect those who accompany me in politics and they have to face many problems politically and mentally .” UK Covid variant adds to worries of policy makers The presence of the new variant of Covid-19 virus from the UK in India has heightened worries for policy makers and people alike | P7 2020 Reflections | P2 AVINASH KHEMKA 02 BHUBANESWAR WEDNESDAY Cuttack-based industrialist Avinash Khemka tried to ensure that helpless migrants returning home along NH-16 after the lockdown do not go without food. With support from Cuttack Police, he provided cooked meals and packaged drinking water since April 16. Moved by the images of the hungry, tired migrants, Avinash formed teams of his company staff and initially provided at least 1,000 packets of cooked food along with packaged drinking water to all those travelling through the NH. As the reverse migration increased, so did the number of cooked meals and water. He arranged transport for more than 100 distressed migrant workers during the lockdown. 30 12 2020 The Covid-19 pandemic posed the most challenging of times for the whole world and at the same time revealed the best of humanity. Communities came together to support each other like never before. As millions were pushed to extreme poverty and misery due to the sudden lockdown and loss of livelihood, real life heroes stepped out to bring succour to the hapless. They provided food, medical aid and even brought many back home from the alien lands. TNIE salutes these heroes who helped the less fortunate face and survive the pandemic. HEROES SILVER AGE FOUNDATION FOR ELDERS, AJATHUS A group of 100 volunteers of Silver Age Foundation started an initiative to provide support to senior citizens during their self-isolation period. Local volunteers helped them by facilitating supply of essentials, medicines and payment of utility bills. The organisaton also helped them overcome loneliness by calling them up at regular intervals and providing them materials to pursue hobbies. Similarly, founders of Ajathus Software, an IT firm, Girish Prasad Sahu and Janmejay Mohapatra launched a helpline number and a non-profit portal on March 23 through which the elderly and vulnerable could order essentials and medicines during the lockdown. WITHOUT THE CAPES DOCTORS, HEALTH PERSONNEL The men and women in white and blue coats and gowns put themselves on the line to defend humanity from the deadly unknown and unseen enemy called coronavirus. Odisha was no different. When the State was engulfed by the dark clouds of the virus, doctors, nurses, paramedics and health workers professionals stood up to the task. Despite little knowledge about the highly infectious disease that had brought the entire world to a grinding halt, and the high risks involved, they did not back-off. They worked non-stop day and night for weeks together as patients began to flood the hospitals. Many of them got infected and even lost their lives, but the unrelenting saviours proved to be the ultimate barrier between the people and the virus. Along with 8,023 doctors, 4,014 Ayush practitioners and 8,296 staff nurses, 8,296 laboratory technicians and pharmacists, 1,144 MBBS, AYUSH and nursing students, 7,236 clinical staff, 4,900 ambulance drivers and support staff, 1,35,820 ASHAs, Anganwadi workers and ANMs, 500 counsellors, 753 veterinary doctors, 136 veterinary paramedics and 2471 volunteers were engaged for Covid-19 management in the State. They apart, hundreds of doctors and medical staff in general healthcare institutions from PHCs to the medical colleges worked all through the pandemic risking their lives to provide treatment to the ill and suffering. The medical professionals and workers are the ‘Persons of the Year’. TEXT: HEMANT KUMAR ROUT United we fought off the pandemic that struck the world nearly 100 years after the Spanish flu. No one was prepared for a pandemic of such a scale. Every hour was learning for us. Amid the fear of contracting the infection, we saw amazing displays of valour and sacrifice. We stood at each other’s crisis and inspired one another despite tremendous mental pressure and fatigue Dr Kamala Kanta Panigrahi President of IMA (Odisha chapter) NILACHAL PARIDA SABYASACHI MISHRA CHHAYARANI SAHU Test your number crunching skill with our unique puzzle THE PHANTOM This is a day for diplomacy, for sharing your feelings, plans and any good fortune with partners. This doesn’t just mean spreading your net to include close friends, but also paying attention to people, perhaps at work, who could do with some emotional support. Barbil: Where there is a will, they say, there is a way. In Keonjhar’s Thakurani reserve forest, where there is a mine, there is a way too. Forest officials, to their surprise, have stumbled upon a motorable road constructed in the reserve forest which was being used by mining mafia from Jharkhand to smuggle manganese ore to Haldia port for export | P4 ‘Dilip Chhabria’s firm duped finance firms’ 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 NPAs rise in urban co-op banks, says RBI 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 “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 0 India is only the third team to come back from 0-1 down to level a series in Australia 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 CROSS WORD On the eve of the sixth round of talks to resolve the month-long 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 Kundli-Manesar-Palwal (KMP) Highway by a day to December 31. SU DO KU HI AND LOIS The Moon is now aligned with your sign, so you can finally afford to dictate the pace. Your actions will be determined by your rapidly changing moods, so other people may be bewildered or perplexed when you alter your ideas. Perhaps they should be more flexible! TAURUS (Apr. 21 - May 21) IMTIAZ KHALIFA Landlords Murli and Imtiaz, belonging to Berhampur and Rourkela respectively, waived off house rents of their tenants during the lockdown. Murli, a former FCI manager, had given out a portion of his house on rent to 12 families, mostly street vendors who lost their livelihood to the lockdown. Considering their situation, Murli relaxed the house rent and provided each of them a bag of rice and dal. Imitiaz, who runs a garment store, has rented out his house at Idgah lane of Ward 18 to five persons who eke out living by driving vehicles, tailoring and selling balloons. When the tenants ran out of work during the lockdown, he decided to waive off the rent. The 57-year-old farmer of Kuruda village under Basudevpur block in Bhadrak district distributed free vegetables to the rural populace when they were reeling under the lockdown. Immediately after the lockdown in April, she distributed 50 quintal of vegetables in 15 villages under five panchayats. Accompanied by a group of volunteers, Chhayarani moved around in a van with packets of vegetables which were distributed at the doorsteps of villagers. Chhayarani also distributed milk among the villagers and police personnel deployed in lockdown duty when the local dairy society was closed. P E T E R V I DA L LIBRA (Sept. 24 - Oct. 23) MURLI MOHAN ACHARYA, IMTIAZ KHALIFA MURLI MOHAN ACHARYA Mountaineer Nilachal Parida gave up on his dreams to climb Europe’s highest peak, Mount Elbrus and contributed his bit to help people deal with the pandemic. He started selling vegetables near Delta Chowk in the last week of March to raise money for the Covid relief funds of the State and Central governments and support his family. Nilachal also helped senior citizens in the Capital City by delivering vegetables to them free of cost throughout the lockdown period. Odia actor Sabyasachi Mishra turned a messiah for thousands of helpless people stranded in different parts of the country. Responding to distress calls and messages on social media, he made arrangements for bringing them back to their native places in the State. He facilitated the travel of around 1,500 people during the lockdown and postUnlock, the actor has been helping people in distress by arranging funds for medical treatment, facilitating travel and accommodation. He is also supporting livelihood generation activities for many. 30th December : I am fascinated by the fact that, in some places, such as Myanmar, today counts as two days. The reason is that they have an extra ‘planet’ - the spot in the sky where the Moon’s path crosses the Sun’s. It’s represented by a dragon, and is said to rule the whole of today after noon. So there you go - there are indeed eight days in the week! Mining mafia build a road to loot Thakurani 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 H a r p r ee t B a j w a @ Chandigarh ARIES (Mar 21 - Apr. 20) express read COmeback kings SCORPIO (Oct. 24 - Nov. 22) High stake sale ‘Keep busy and stay active’ should be your motto over the next two days. The Moon’s angle to your sign is one of those which may not bring drama, but can push you step by step to a new and much more successful state of being. You might even hear something that makes you sit up and take notice of an old friend! GEMINI (May 22 - June 21) You have learned a lot more about self-preservation lately, probably due to Saturn’s slow transit through your chart. A momentary lack of confidence will be overcome with renewed effort and determination. And if you do face insurmountable obstacles, it might be time to pause for breath. HARD BEETLE BAILEY Solutions to Yesterday’s puzzle Fill in the grid with digits in such a manner that every row, every column and every 3X3 box accommodates the digits 1 to 9, without repeating any. SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 23 - Dec. 22) Air India on mind, Tatas take full control of AirAsia India You may go through the day with a spring in your step, young at heart and confident that it is indeed possible to shrug off most cares and woes. It might be difficult to alter the attitudes of a lifetime, but you really should give it your best shot. CANCER (June 22 - July 23) It’s time to consider exactly what to do about putting a deep-seated ambition into practice. There’s no need for action just yet, but it will do you good to sort your ideas out and check the facts. And then you need to reassure a loved one who is feeling especially insecure. LEO (July 24 - Aug. 23) It’s decision time, but the choices you’ll make will probably be quite unimportant. You can therefore afford to take it easy, just as long, that is, as your communication skills are functioning on top form. What I mean is, you need to keep family members informed of your movements. VIRGO (Aug. 24 - Sept. 23) You should pay very careful attention to the financial situation. On a purely mundane level it’s a fine day for picking up bargains, but what could be more significant is what other people decide about your monetary future - and that may be out of your hands. 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 You will finally convince other people that you do need their help and support. At work you may concentrate on the long-term picture, and don’t let trivial details obscure your vision. And you should get on with practical improvements at home - after a momentary lapse. CAPRICORN (Dec. 23 - Jan. 20) Each sudoku has a unique solution that can be reached logically without guessing. ACROSS Long-distance developments seem to be the most important, and it’s a suitable moment to get in touch with family members overseas. The legal situation may also need some attention, so check up on your rights. But that also means you have to be aware of your responsibilities. LOCKHORNS DENNIS THE MENACE PISCES (Feb. 20 - Mar 20) Nobody seems to be able to lighten your burden at the moment. With Mars so active, only you can take the necessary steps to secure an independent future, and that means not relying excessively on partners for emotional support. Stand on your own two feet and your confidence will climb sharply. DOWN 1 Brandy and beer a sailor swallows very quietly (9) 8 How pointless to follow a girl in a state (5) 9 Spy ring broken up yet able to take shape again (7) 10 Sets out conditions (6) 11 Gives introduction to runners on the track (6) 12 Might it come to a palmist’s rescue? (8) 15 Sailor found the right answer and was acquitted (8) 18 The cad is out to break the engagement (6) 20 Top people landed in Scotland (6) 21 One hundred years in the Roman army (7) 22 Shoot out from hiding (5) 23 Adam and Eve did so to cause uproar (5,4) BLONDIE Your main bone of contention relates to career or professional interests, but with the Moon so active you can probably make a success out of playing the diplomat. Realise that it is less important to push your own interests than to get other people to agree. AQUARIUS (Jan. 21 - Feb. 19) 2 Copy appearing in public relations publication (5) 3 Not put out when one did some hoarding (4,2) 4 Broken oval jugs of foreign derivation (8) 5 Garment out of kilter (6) 6 Bird dog will do it when happy (7) 7 Robert gets his leg broken by a toboggan (9) 11 With everything to throw around there’s nothing left (5,4) 13 Musical swindlers (8) 14 Sold by chemists in Paris perhaps (7) 16 Defect in the hose ﬁremen use (6) 17 Still the cause of poor reception (6) 19 Some microscopic or giant breed of dog (5) YESTERDAY’S SOLUTIONS Across: 1 Eases up, 4 Sadly, 7 Veal, 8 Received, 10 Spotlights, 12 Clever, 13 Breech, 15 Obituaries, 18 Mandrake, 19 Eden, 20 Needy, 21 Retired. Yesterday’s Down: 1 Eaves, 2 Seasoned, 3 Pledge, 4 Sweetbread, 5 Dove, 6 Yiddish, 9 Elderberry, 11 Bewilder, 12 Caveman, 14 Stoker, 16 Synod, 17 Knee. 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.
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