tirupati l thursday l january 07, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l anantapur EDITION Fuel price nears all-time high as oil cos hike rates Petrol price was hiked by 26 paise a litre and diesel by 25 paise, according to a price notification from oil marketing companies Increase in tandem with crude oil prices The price change was effected by state-owned fuel retailers after a rise in crude prices. Brent crude rose to $53.94 a barrel on Wednesday on the back of Saudi Arabia’s decision to cut daily production by 1 million barrels. The highest petrol price in India was recorded on October 4, 2018 when one litre cost `91.34 in Mumbai. At that time, Brent was trading at $85.45 `90.34 Impact on India’s Import bill ■ ■ ■ To cool prices, the government had in 2018 cut excise duty According to reports, every dollar per barrel increase in crude prices will raise India’s oil import bill by `10,700 crore Industry data show that US crude stockpiles fell last week, which further aided the surge in crude prices in the international market The price of one litre of petrol in vijayawada on Wednesday 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 origin tracing WHO rebukes China over blocking virus probe team Express News Service Months after grandstanding at the World Health Organisation, saying it was ready allow an expert team to probe the origins of the deadly coronavirus, China denied them entry drawing a rare re, buke from WHO chief Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Better known as China’s poodle, Tedros said, “Today, we learned that Chinese officials have not yet finalised the necessary permissions for the team’s arrival in China. I’m very disappointed with this news, given that two members had already begun their journeys and others were not able to travel at the last minute, but had been in contact with senior Chinese officials.” In what was seen as sharp line, given his pro-China leaning, Tedros said he had ‘made it clear’ that the mission was a priority for the WHO. Tedros had last year failed to take China to task for delayed reporting of the outbreak and kept dragging his feet on declaring it a pandemic, drawing international ridicule. The virus has since infected over 85 million people worldwide and killed close to 2 million. A 10-member team of experts from Japan, Qatar, Germany, Vietnam, Russia, Denmark, the Netherlands, Australia, the UK and the US was to travel to Wuhan, the epicentre of Covid-19. Since origin-tracing is complicated business, a crack team was put together for the task. Later in the day, an apparently embarrassed China acknowledged that there could be some misunderstanding over granting timely permission to WHO’s experts, but gave no indication about when it will allow them in. Akhila Priya held after kidnap of KCR’s kin P i n t o D e e pa k @ Hyderabad Hyderabad police on Wednesday arrested former AP Tourism Minister Bhuma Akhila Priya and TDP leader AV Subba Reddy in connection with the kidnap of badminton player Praveen Rao and his brothers Sunil Rao and Naveen Rao, who are believed to be relatives of Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao. Police Commissioner Anjani Kumar said that they have rescued the victims within three hours from the time of the crime was reported. Subba Reddy, along with Govt to rebuild temples razed down in tdp regime ples have been identified for reconstruction. On the same day, Jagan will also launch Amid criticism over the `70 crore development works spate of attacks on temples, of Kanaka Durga temple on Chief Minister YS Jagan Indrakeeladri. Mohan Reddy will lay the Endowments Minister foundation stone for recon- Vellampalli Srinivasa Rao, struction to four temples in who held a review meeting the city on January 8. Seet- with officials on Wednesday , hammavari Padalu, said 44 old and new Plan to Dakshina Mukha temples were razed Anjaneya Swamy reconstruct down during the temple, Rahu Ketu 40 temples TDP regime in the temple a n d Apart from the name of arrangeVenugopala temple ments for Krishna demolished were among the Pushkarams. temples in dozens of temples Vijayawada, the The temples demolished by the government has which were demolprevious gover n- also decided to ished and which ment for taking up could not be rebuilt reconstruct 40 constr uction of at the same place temples in Kanaka Durga flyodue development 13 districts of ver and making arworks taken up on the State rangements for those lands, will be Krishna Pushkarams. constructed at alternative The Chief Minister will locations. lay the foundation for con“Officials have been instruction of these four tem- structed to expedite the ples in the first phase at 11.01 process for reconstruction am on Friday . of the temples. The State In the first phase, the gov- government is committed to ernment will spend `1.79 protecting Hindu temples crore on reconstruction of and sentiments of people,” temples. At least nine tem- he said. Express News Service @ Vijayawada No stay on anti-love jihad law, but SC to examine it Express News Service @ New Delhi The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to stay new laws introduced in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand to punish interfaith marriages based on religious conversion but agreed to examine them. A bench headed by Chief Justice of India S A Bobde issued notices to both state governments on petitions challenging the love jihad ordinance in Uttar Pradesh and the Freedom of Religion Act, 2018 in Uttarakhand. The court also issued notice to the Centre on two petitions filed by advocate Akhila Priya’s family members wait at Gandhi Hospital in Hyderabad during her medical tests after arrest I EXPRESS Vishal Thakre and Teesta Setalvad’s NGO Citizens for Justice and Peace. Thakre’s PIL said, “The Ordinance passed by the State of Uttar Pradesh and law passed by Uttarakhand are against the public policy and society at large and violates basic structure of the Constitution.” Senior advocate C U Singh, who appeared for Setalvad’s NGO, sought a stay on the UP ordinance, saying “Rampaging mobs are moving around lifting people from marriage ceremonies. This ordinance requires prior reporting of marriages and the burden of proof is on the individual.” Akhila Priya and her husband Bhargava Ram, conspired and had the victims kidnapped in connection with a dispute over ownership of a 25-acre land at Hafeezpet near Hitech City Po. lice are on lookout for Bhargava Ram. “Based on the complaint from the victims’ family the ac, cused have been identified. We have evidence against them,” the police commissioner said. During the investigating, police found that a parcel of land measuring about 25 acres in Hafeezpet was purchased by Praveen, the paternal uncle of the complainant. Swift action by police leads to rescue of kidnapped Hyderabad: As soon as police got an alert about the three missing persons, they swung into action, analysed the available clues and confirmed it was a case of kidnap due to property disputes. Accordingly, special teams comprising the Task Force, Special Branch, Law & Order personnel were deputed and all police stations in the three commissionerates were alerted. The toll plazas were also alerted to inform about any suspicious vehicle movement. “As a result of the joint efforts, the suspects understood they cannot escape the city and abandoned the victims on the outskirts and fled away,” Police Commissioner Anjani Kumar said. Probe points to political angle Suspecting the hand of some locals in Ramatheertham idol vandalisation, DGP says it is too early to comment on a possible political conspiracy behind the attacks on temples Express News Service @ Vijayawada Police are understood to have achieved some progress in the probe into attacks on temples in the State by tracing the mobile phone calls made by some of the suspects to some politicians. Highly-placed sources said the investigators, after questioning some of the suspects in the temple attack cases, had analysed their call records during which they found that calls were made to some politicians. When contacted, Director General of Police D Gautam Sawang, however, said it was too early to comment on a possible political conspiracy behind the spate of attacks on temples. Explaining what steps are being taken to protect temples, he said that for the first time in the country the AP Police has tak, en up a massive exercise of geotagging 50,000 temples in the State as part of a security audit. The police came up with the initiative as the issue (at- DGP Gautam Sawang felicitates father-daughter duo CI Shyam Sunder and Jessy Prasanthi at the AP Police Duty Meet in Tirupati on Wednesday I Madhav K tacks on temples) is linked to public sentiments, the DGP explained. It is also learnt that there is disquiet among police officials after a few political leaders from the Opposition parties cast aspersions on them, citing their religious affiliations. Sources told TNIE that such comments by responsible lead- AK Goswami sworn in as Chief Justice of AP HC Covid test to cost `230 only E x p r e s s N e w s S e r v i c e @ Vijayawada The State government has reduced the rate of rapid antigen test in private labs from `750 to `230 In a GO issued on Wednesday, Medical and Health Principal Secretary Anil Kumar Singhal stated that the Covid test rate was reduced in view of the increased availability of rapid antigen kits in the market as more pharmaceutical firms started manufacturing them Justice Arup Kumar Goswami was sworn in as the Chief Justice of Andhra Pradesh High Court on Wednesday Gover. nor Biswabhusan Harichandan administered the oath of office to Justice Goswami at a ceremony held at Tummalapalli Kalakshetram. Justice Goswami was the Chief Justice of Sikkim High Court prior to his appointment as CJ of AP HC, in place of Justice JK Maheshwari, who was shifted to Sikkim. Later, Governor Harichandan and Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy felicitated Justice Goswami. The ministers, HC judges, MPs, MLAs, MLCs and senior officials attended the ceremony . `750 July 2020 70% Decline in rate The revised rate includes test charge and PPE cloudy skies Dark clouds hover over Tirupati on Wednesday before a downpour | Express Why the runoff? Georgia rules mandate that the winning candidate gets at least 50% of the votes polled, which did not happen in the November polls What is the situation now? Democrats are coursing towards creating a 50-50 tie with Republicans in the Senate, picking up one seat and leading in another Which party stands to gain? Democrats of course, since Vice President-elect Kamala Harris would hold the tie-breaking vote in the Senate Since when will the Senate be in Democrats’ control? The Senate will be in Democrats’ control for the first time since 2014 What does it mean for Presidentelect Joe Biden? The Senate win will help him carry out his early legislative agenda since the House of Representatives is already in Democrats’ pocket What does it mean for Trump? He is already being blamed by Republicans for mess up, as he kept peddling baseless claims that Georgia’s electoral systems were rigged, turning off the voters Dems set to control Senate too Express News service The Democratic Party is on course to taking control of the Senate, which is crucial for United States President-elect Joe Biden to push his legislative agenda, with the Georgia elections tipping the balance in the party’s favour. Major US media outlets have already declared Pastor Raphael Warnock as the winner, while fellow Democrat Jon Ossoff is comfortably leading in the second seat over Republican Senator David Perdue. Another horror as woman raped, killed in U.P. temple N a m i ta B a j pa i @ Lucknow crucial gain Key questions ers could demoralise the force and also dent public confidence in the department. It is understood that the police, in the future, may book leaders for hate speech if they make inflammatory comments. Asked about the Ramatheertham incident, the DGP who is , in Tirupati for the AP Police Duty Meet, replied that the po- lice had already installed 16 CCTV cameras at the main temple. A new electricity connection has been given to the temple which is located on a hillock. In the process of security audit, four CCTV cameras were to be installed at the temple. Before the installation of CCTVs, the idol of Srirama was vandalised. “We suspect the hand of some locals behind the attack,” he said. Pressed further, he reasoned that a pattern could be seen in the attacks with the possible motive of creating communal unrest. “The government directed us to speed up the probe as it involves religious sentiments of people,’’ he said. The department is planning to bring temples run by private people also under the purview of the security audit to strengthen surveillance. On denial of permission for the ‘Chalo Ramateertham’ call given by BJP, Sawang said if permitted it might have created a law and order problem due to gathering of about 15,000 people at the temple. Warnock Ossoff Warnock beat Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler to become the first African-American to represent Georgia — a slavery state in the US Civil War — in the US Senate. He is also the first Democrat to win the Senate race from Georgia in over 20 years. The election in Georgia is being rerun thanks to the state’s rule that a candidate must take 50% of the vote to win. In the November 2020 general election, none of the candidates could meet that threshold. As things stand now, Democrats would need to take both the seats in Georgia to gain full control of Congress, while the Republicans need to win just one to retain the Senate. Ossoff has declared victory but no major news outlet has projected him as the winner. THE badlands of western Uttar Pradesh saw yet another gangrape and murder, this time of a 50-year-old anganwadi worker in Badaun district, with horrific brutalities perpetrated on her in a reminder of the Nirbhaya case. The woman was alle gedly raped and brutalised within a temple premises by three men, including the priest, and left to die outside her house on Sunday. While the priest, Baba Satyanarayan Das, is on the run, the other two perpetrators — Ved Ram and Yashpal — have been arrested. The incident was reported from a village in the Ughaiti police station. The victim’s post-mortem examination revealed grievous injuries in her private parts. Her left ribs and a leg were also broken while one lung had ruptured as it was apparently hit with a heavy object. A rod was inserted into her private parts causing fatal damage to her internal organs. The autopsy said the woman died due to excessive bleeding. The villagers and the victim’s family alleged SHO Ravindra Pratap Singh did not reach the spot even after a complaint was lodged. Initial investigation revealed the victim’s body was sent for post-mortem on Monday afternoon, 18 hours after the incident.
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