CHENNAI WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 30, 2020 `7.00 PAGES 18 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 | P11 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 Rajini bids adieu to politics before entry S K U M A R E S A 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 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 | P13 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 E E 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 Highway by a P9 day to December 31. after being discharged from the This newspaper had reported Apollo Hospitals in Hyderabad. on November 30 that the actor The actor, who had kindled his may not join politics due to health fans’ hopes of launching a party reasons. Referring to his recent when he made a “now or never” statement that he would call earlier this month, after not go back on his promdilly-dallying for ise made on the politimore than two cal entry he said, “Hav, decades, added, “I ing said so, my present will continue to serve people withdecision will trigger out coming to eleccriticisms against toral politics. I never me. But I don’t want hesitate to speak the to make those who truth. I appeal to all have faith in me as my fans to accept my scapegoats just bedecision. RMM will cause people will A page grab of the article anyway continue criticise me for published in Express on Nov 30 to function.” the decision.” In a detailed statement, he recalled four of the crew members of his current venture ‘ nnatthe’ A testing positive for Covid, despite safety measures put in place, and pointed out that he had tested negative for the infection. He had participated in the shoot, involving about 120 people, despite doctors advising him against it, he said, adding that he later suffered fluctuations in his blood pressure. “Clinically there should not , be any fluctuation in my blood pressure as it would severely affect my alternate kidney and therefore I was under medical observation for three days,” said the CONTINUED ON: P4 actor. 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 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ 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 were 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 , 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- Chief Minister Palaniswami offered prayers at the Anjaneyar temple at Namakkal before launching his campaign in the district 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 Vijay Raghavan, 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 P9 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 Italy Switzerland Japan Lebanon Singapore Australia DON’T PANIC, SAYS HEALTH SECY AS MUTANT ENTERS TN EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Chennai A Chennai man, who returned from the United Kingdom, tested positive for the new coronavirus strain on Tuesday He was . among the six people who have been infected by the new mutant variant in India. Confirming the first case of this new virus strain in Tamil Nadu, Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan said, “He is being treated in a separate wing at the King Institute hospital. The report of the genome sequencing of the man’s sample was confirmed to the State by the Union Government.” However, as many as 15 of his contacts have tested negative for the virus. Radhakrishnan said that there was no need to press the panic button, and that people should continue to wear face masks and adhere to social distancing norms to prevent any spread of the new strain. According to the State health bulletin, six more UK returnees tested positive for the infection on the day. With this, the total number of infected returnees rose to 19 in Tamil CONTINUED ON: P2 Nadu. EPS ON CAMPAIGN TRAIL Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami kick-started his election campaign for the 2021 Assembly polls in Namakkal on Tuesday. Claiming that the AIADMK was the only party that works for people’s welfare, Palaniswami said, “Whatever schemes have been announced by the AIADMK government will be fulfilled” | FULL COVERAGE ON: P4 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 Church dispute: Modi meets Jacobite faction A R S 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’s cumulative market share at 13% If Tatas acquire Air India, it could take its cumulative market share in the domestic aviation market to over 23%. Air Asia India has a market share of 6.6%. Vistara, another JV airline of Tatas, 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 managed to compete against the likes of IndiGo and SpicetJet. It flies to 19 domestic destinations across India with 30 Airbus A320 aircraft. Kochi: Continuing his efforts to find an amicable solution to the 100-year-old Malankara church dispute in Kerala, Prime Minister Narendra Modi met representatives of the Jacobite faction in New Delhi on Tuesday. The Prime Minister had held talks with representatives of the Orthodox faction on Monday | P7 ‘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 | P10 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 | P12
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