kollam l monday l January 11, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 28 l city EDITION U.S. LIFTS BAR ON INTERACTION WITH TAIWANESE OFFICIALS The US has lifted the ‘self-imposed restrictions’ on contacts between American and Taiwanese diplomats and officials No need to appease China, says Pompeo 2nd impeachment move to start today The restrictions were introduced decades ago to appease the Chinese government, which lays claim to the island, the US state department said. “The US-Taiwan relationship need not, and should not, be shackled by self-imposed restrictions of our permanent bureaucracy,” Pompeo said. China termed it an attempt to sabotage the next administration ■ ■ The Democrats plan to introduce an article of impeachment against President Donald Trump on Monday, in a bid to stop him from running for president again in 2024 On Sunday, Pennsylvania’s Pat Toomey became the second GOP senator to demand that Trump “resign and go away” 10 days left for Donald Trump to remain U.S. president 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 Chhattisgarh first state to block Covaxin State health minister says he is not confident of asking people to take the jab as it is yet to finish phase 3 trial axin without seeing its phase 3 efficacy data. In Delhi, the Union health ministry held a video conference with officials from states and Union Territories to get feedback on the Co-WIN software that was trialled during the dry runs. Ram Sewak Sharma, the chairman of Empowered Group on Technology and Data Management to combat Covid-19, asked the states to urge the beneficiaries to seed their current mobile number with Aadhaar for registration on Co-WIN. Vaccination at 133 centres in Kerala on January 16 Polio immunisation drive postponed @ Raipur/New Delhi Agitating farmers ransacking the venue of Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar’s Kisan Mahapanchayat, at Kaimla village in Karnal district on Sunday | PTI Farmers ransack venue of Haryana CM’s meet where Khattar’s helicopter was to land. While most of them Haryana Chief Minister squatted on it, some others Manohar Lal Khattar was on damaged the helipad, forcing Sunday forced to cancel a Kisan Khattar to call off the trip. Mahapanchayat that aimed to The farmers held black flags drum up support for the three and shouted slogans against contentious Central agricul- the BJP-led government as they ture laws, as protesting farm- pushed towards the venue. Karers ransacked the event venue nal’s Superintendent of Police at Kaimla village in Gang a Ram Punia Karnal district. 20 booked tried to pacify the The administration for stoning farmers but to no avail. had anticipated trouThe protestors initialThe police ble as farmers belongly staged a sit-in near registered an ing to the Bharatiya the second barricade attempt to Kisan Union (Charubefore breaking it. murder case ni) had on Wednesday The police claimed it against 20 last said they would had made elaborate sefarmers who not allow the event to curity arrangements, allegedly stoned but the situation went take place. the vehicle of Yet, the intensity of out of control as farmthe protest as the farm- Deputy Speaker ers were adamant on Ranbir Singh ers broke through two not allowing Khattar levels of barricades on Gangwa during to address the event. his visit to a the road leading to the L a t e r, K h a t t a r village in Hisar village and kept movblamed the Congress ing ahead despite the and the communists police firing tear gas shells and for the vandalism. “These peousing water cannons, left the ple have defamed the farmers. I administration overwhelmed. am an elected representative. Upon reaching the venue, the We have never stopped anybody farmers vandalised the stage from expressing their views. and broke chairs, tables and But violation of constitutional flower pots, while the police provisions is not right,’’ he was a mere spectator. said, adding the Centre will not The protesters also took con- repeal the laws but was open to trol of a makeshift helipad introducing amendments. H a r p r eet B aj w a @ Chandigarh immediately known. “The vaccine has been approved for emergency use (by the Drug Controller General of India). But its use should be avoided until its complete results are out,” Chhatisagarh health minister T S Singh Deo said. “In my opinion, it should not be allowed in the state. As of now, I am not confident of asking people to accept this vaccine,” he added. “We mustn’t rush headlong into starting its widespread use but wait for completion of phase 3 trials and its apprais- al. Else, it would set a precedent for other companies seeking copycat approvals before completing trials,” Singh Deo said, adding there was no point in risking human lives. India recently g ranted emergency use authorisation to two vaccines, Oxford-AstraZeneca’s Covishield manufactured by Serum Institute in India and Covaxin. Both vaccines achieved parameters set for safety and immunogenicity, the regulator said. However, experts severely criticised the regulator for clearing Cov- E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e Chhattisgarh’s Congress government on Sunday said it was not inclined to use Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin unless the vaccine successfully completes the recommended testing process, thus becoming the first state to indicate it may refuse the jab ahead of the national rollout of the vaccination programme on January 16. Whether or not other opposition states would adopt a similar approach was not 3.5L registered Over 3.5 lakh people have registered for the vaccination They include 1,68,685 people in the government sector and 1,89,889 in the private sector The vaccination drive involves doctors, nurses and other workers in the allopathy and Ayush wings in government and private sectors E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @T’Puram The health department has prepared an elaborate action plan to provide Covid-19 vaccine at 133 centres in the state on January 16, the launch date. Ernakulam, Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode will have a dozen centres each, while the remaining districts will have nine centres each. Arrangements have been made to vaccinate 100 persons Please ensure there are no proxies at all; the beneficiaries need to be uniquely and undeniably identified Ram Sewak Sharma, head of tech and data management group on Covid-19 in each centre on the day Each . centre will have a waiting area, vaccination room and observation room. Health Minister K K Shailaja on Sunday said the details of the centres will be finalised soon and more centres will be added. The collectors will be in charge of the vaccination drive in their respective districts. A control room will be set up in each district to coordinate works related to vaccination. “The cold storage IG to probe Pocso case against woman, CWC refutes police claim E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @T’Puram Maradu out of sight and mind A year after four highrises were demolished for violating CRZ norms, the owners of the flats and nearby residents continue to wait for authorities to fulfil their promises | P2 e x p r e ss r e a d Heavy rain likely in parts of state T’Puram: Isolated heavy rain, ranging from 64.5mm to 115.5mm within a span of 24 hours, has been forecast for the next few days in some parts of the state. The Disaster Management Authority has sounded a yellow alert in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Idukki, Pathanamthitta, Thrissur and Palakkad districts for Tuesday. The sea is likely to be rough near the shore. P5 Jacobites denied entry into churches again Kochi: Jacobite faction members of the Malankara Church tried to re-enter several churches across the state, which were handed over to the Orthodox faction following the Supreme Court verdict, for the fifth consecutive Sunday. In most of the churches, the priests and laity members were stopped at the gates and denied entry by the police. P5 WITH THIS ISSUE THE ESSENTIAL CAMPUS DIGEST 28 PAGES, INCLUDING 16 OF edex (TABLOID) YOUR LIFE COACH on target Facundo Abel Pereyra of Kerala Blasters FC and Ricky Lallawmawma of Jamshedpur FC in action during the Indian Super League match at the Tilak Maidan Stadium, Goa. Kerala Blasters won the match 3-2 | ISL ‘Nasty’ Sydney at it again, six offenders evicted S w a r oo p S w am i nathan @ Chennai THE Sydney crowd it seems has always been hostile. Hurling abuses at players can reach a different level. If Saturday was nasty with allegations of racist abuses against two India players, Sunday turned out to be extremely sour as Mohammad Siraj, who was allegedly racially abused on Saturday as well, had to face the brunt again. He and standin skipper Ajinkya Rahane approached the on-field umpires chain has been fully prepared for the drive and alternate arrangements have been made to replace faulty cold storage units. Workers involved in the drive have been imparted training,” Shailaja said. “Health workers have a major mission for Covid-19 vaccination. All should work to ensure it is error free,” Shailaja said while presiding over a high-level meeting to decide on the action plan for the vaccination. T’Puram: The pulse polio immunisation programme, scheduled to be held on January 17, has been postponed due to the launch of Covid vaccination programme. Health Minister K K Shailaja said the decision was taken based on the directives of the Union Health Ministry and a new date will be announced later. The pulse polio immunisation programme is held nationally for children below five years of age. to complain about the behaviour of a section of the crowd at the Sydney Cricket Ground. At least six people were evicted over allegations of racism that is threatening to overshadow the keenly-contested third Test between India and Australia. Just before the hosts declared at tea on the fourth day, Siraj was targeted by the crowd. The security officials, who had instructed the India team to bring such incidents to their notice as and when it happens after Saturday involved the stadium , officials who interviewed the fans before ejecting the offenders. As per protocol, New South Wales police, as well as Cricket Australia opened an investigation into the matter. After the day’s play, India spinner R Ashwin said the team was happy with the action taken. However, he also revealed that the crowd in Sydney has always been like this — hostile and nasty “This . has been a continuous thing at Sydney,” he said. “I have experienced it as well. They do tend to get nasty. I don’t know why and for what reason.” Ashwin, who visited Australia on three previous tours, said, “If I take myself back to the first tour in 2011-12, I had no clue what racial abuse was or how you can be made to feel small in front of so many people.” In the end, Ashwin’s words aptly sums it up: “disappointing is actually a very very mild , P11 word, I must say .” Police have ordered a highlevel probe into the allegation that a Kadakkavoor native woman was arrested and booked on fabricated Pocso charges. State Police Chief Loknath Behera said IG Harshita Attaluri will probe the allegation raised by the family members of the woman, who is a mother of four children. The police had on December 28 arrested the woman on charges of sexually abusing her minor son three years back. The complaint was filed by her estranged husband, who claimed that he came to know of the incident from the boy himself. However, the case turned on its head after the woman’s family members questioned the police’s charge and said the boy was coerced into giving the statement by her husband. The woman had given a case against her husband for domestic violence and marrying another woman without legally divorcing her. Meanwhile, the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) has refuted the police’s claims that the panel had sent a report directing the police to register a case against the woman. CWC Chairperson N Sunanda on Counter charges The woman’s family members had questioned the police’s charge and said her husband had coerced the boy into giving the statement. Women’s Commission says if the allegations raised by the woman’s family members are true, it’s a grave issue Sunday said the committee had not sent any such report to the police indicting the woman and it had only provided counselling for the boy . Reacting to the developments, the Women’s Commission said if the allegations raised by the woman’s family members are true, it’s a grave issue. “If it turns out that the man had prompted the child to give a false statement, then he is liable to be booked under Section 22 of the Pocso Act,” said commission member Shahida Kamal. She said there has been instances of children being used as a pawn in the domestic tussle between couples and that’s not at all acceptable. “In such a scenario, the children are the ultimate victims. The kids who are forced to give false statements of abuse would suffer mental agony that will linger on,” she said. farmers’ woes State’s MSP on 16 agri produce yet to result in price stability R A J E S H A B R A H A M @Kochi Mathew Sebastian, a farmer in Karuvarakundu in Malappuram, is a devastated man. He is letting this season’s banana harvest in his 15-acre plot go waste after the prices plummeted to `12/kg. “To break even, we need to get at least `30 per kg,” he said. On paper, Sebastian is entitled to get `30/kg for the crop under the state government’s minimum support price (MSP) scheme for 16 agriculture commodities including banana, which came into effect from November 1. However, the woes of Sebastian exposes the hitches in the much-touted support price announced by the state government in October. For instance, to avail of the MSP the farmers have to regis, Drawbacks in MSP Restriction on land/farmer at 15 acres Procurement only by govt markets/agencies Payment delay of 2-3 weeks MSP does not result in price stability ter with Agriculture Department’s portal (aims.kerala.gov. in) with all the supporting doc- 68,000 farmers have registered to avail of the MSP. The government has approved 600 markets across the state to procure the 16 agri produce at support prices V S Sunil Kumar, Agriculture Minister uments (title deeds, land tax payment details, etc), the crops have to be insured, it should be sold at government-approved agencies/markets and the scheme is limited to not more than 15 acres’ crops a season. “There is a large section of people in Kerala who are farming on leased land of 50 to 70 acres or even more,” said James George, president of Vazhakulam-based Pineapple Farmers’ Association. “The land limit of 15 acres is a deterrent as in Vazhakulam, for instance, 3-4 farmers pool resources to undertake pineapple cultivation in over 100 acres,” he said. James said there is also a delay of 2-3 weeks to receive the payment. “As most farmers avail of loans from private money lenders, any delay in getting the money may force the farmers to offload the commodities at distress prices,” said George. ● More on P4
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