AP TIRUNELVELI FRIDAY JANUARY 22, 2021 `7.00 PAGES 16 CITY EDITION Biden signs 17 orders, reversing Trump’s signature policies Hours after his inauguration, US President Joe Biden signed 17 executive orders, reversing some of the key foreign policies and national security decisions of Donald Trump TACKLING PANDEMIC Jeffrey D Zients appointed as the official Covid-19 response coordinator who will report directly to the President US’ ties with WHO restored. Dr Anthony S Fauci will head US delegation to WHO’s executive board The new president restored the National Security Council Directorate for Global Health Security and Biodefense, which Trump had disbanded Biden also launched a ‘100-day masking challenge’ IMMIGRATION Issued directions to fortify Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals programme, which provides temporary relief from deportation to undocumented immigrants who were brought to the US as children The order also calls on Congress to enact legislation providing permanent status and a path to citizenship for these immigrants Ended the so-called Muslim ban, which blocked travel from several predominantly Muslim and African countries to the US Construction of border wall with Mexico halted. Legality of diverting federal money to fund the wall will be reviewed CLIMATE CHANGE ENDING RACIAL DISCRIMINATION Shot off a letter to the UN that will pave the way for the US to re-enter the Paris climate accord, which it will officially rejoin 30 days from now Revoked Trump administration’s 1776 Commission, which recently released a report allegedly distorting the role of slavery in the US Directed federal agencies to report on equity in their ranks within 200 days, including how to remove barriers to opportunities in policies Ordered agencies to ensure Americans of all backgrounds have equal access to federal government resources, benefits and services In 2019, Trump had notified the UN that the US would withdraw from the coalition of nearly 200 countries World stocks racked up record highs on Thursday on the back of expectations of a major stimulus from the new US president. The Sensex also traded high during the initial hours, breaching 50,000 for the first time. It, however, closed 167 points lower at 49,624.76 | P14 SENSEX BREACHES 50,000 I’m not joking when I say this: If you ever work with me and I hear you treat another colleague with disrespect, talk down to someone, I will fire you on the spot. No ifs, ands or buts President Biden’s warning to his political appointees 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 The ‘Nays’ have it, govt offer rejected Five dead in blaze at Serum plant, no impact on Covishield production S U D H I R S U R YA W A N S H I @ Mumbai FIVE persons — four men and one woman — were charred to death after a fire broke out at Serum Institute of India’s plant at Manjri in Pune on Thursday afternoon. The blaze occurred at an underconstruction building and all the dead were construction workers. Nine people were evacuated from the spot. According to a labourer who was working in the building at the time of incident, the mishap happened due to sparks welding works on the sixth floor. However, officials said the cause is yet to be ascertained. CONCERN 3 students test Covid positive in Karaikal, Salem schools “We will carry out further investigation and ascertain the cause of the fire,” said Pune Fire Brigade chief Prashant Ranpise. The Manjari facility is where the Covishield vaccines are made. However, the building where fire broke out is around 1 km away from the Covishield vaccine manufacturing unit. Serum Institute CEO Adar Poonawalla said Covishield vaccine production will not be hit due to the fire incident. It took over two hours for the fire brigade to put out the blaze, which broke out around 2:45 pm on the fourth and fifth floors of the building. It is believed sparks from the sixth floor immediately spread to the fifth and fourth floors due to presence of combustible materials. Clarifying that the fire broke out in the BCG vaccine section, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said, “According to preliminary information, the fire occurred due to an electric fault during the on-going construction works. But people should not jump to conclusions. The probe will reveal all details.” Serum chairman Cyrus Poonawalla said the company will give `25 lakh compensation to families of persons who died in the fire.P10 THE MAGICAL JOURNEY CONTINUES... Members of the Indian team reached their respective hometowns after that rousing win over the hosts in Brisbane. While the captain Ajinkya Rahane and a few of teammates reached Mumbai in the afternoon, the likes of Mohammed Siraj and T Natarajan reached Hyderabad and Salem, respectively. It was no surprise to see scores of fans garlanding them upon their arrival. All of them had been away from India for the last five months... EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Salem/Karaikal JUST days after reopening, a Class-12 student in Salem tested positive for Covid on Thursday In Karaikal, too, two stu. dents tested positive for the infection on Wednesday. The cases have caused concern among parents and teachers over the safety of students attending real-time classes. In Salem, a 17-year-old girl studying in government model higher secondary at Periya Krishnapuram near Vazhapadi has tested positive. The school and the hostel where she was staying have been shut down. Sources say the girl, a resident of Karumandurai, had exhibited symptoms earlier, and had given samples at a Primary Health Centre for tests even before classes resumed on Tuesday . The health officials reportedly instructed her parents not to send the child to school, but they dropped her off at the hostel. She was declared positive on Thursday and admitted to the Attur GH. There are about 150 students studying in classes 10 and 12 in her school. Officials have collected swabs from 36 students in the hostel for RTPCR test. The health department officials are now planning to collect samples from all students who attended school. The school and hostel buildings were shut and workers sanitised the premises. Officials, however, could not confirm when the school would re-open. Small farmer unions in favour, big ones against proposal Tractor rally talks Meeting between farmer union leaders and the Delhi Police on tractor parade on Republic Day inconclusive Workers wearing protective gear walk after a fire broke out at Serum Institute’s plant at Manjri near Pune on Thursday | PTI EXPRESS READ TN State Assembly session from February 2 Chennai: The first session of the Tamil Nadu Assembly this year will commence on February 2 with the customary address of Governor Banwarilal Purohit. Like the last Budget session, the ensuing session will also be held at the Kalaivanar Arangam to accommodate seats with physical distance for MLAs | P4 New twist to Bengal polls as cleric forms party Kolkata: In what might upset several political equations in election-bound Bengal, Pirzada Abbas Siddiqui of Hooghly district’s Furfura Sharif on Thursday floated a new political outfit called Indian Secular Front, claiming he will be the kingmaker after the polls. The outfit will contest from all 294 seats | P10 PIC: U RAKESH KUMAR BIG CROWD FOR NATTU IN CHINNAPPAMPATTI EMOTIONAL SIRAJ VISITS DAD’S RESTING PLACE The southpaw was given a welcome befitting a king as he was taken on a chariot before he reached his home in Salem district. The 29-year-old, who debuted in all three forms in Australia, took in the adulation by waving to his fans. The first thing Mohammed Siraj did upon landing was to pay respects to his father, who had passed away when he was in Australia. After going home, he addressed a press conference, where he dedicated his performance to his dad | P15 CONCRETE HOUSES ACROSS TN will be provided for farmers, and the poor and downtrodden who do not have houses in rural & urban areas, announced Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami FULL REPORT ON: P4 Not in favour of 10% quota: Centre to HC H A R I S H M U R A L I @ Chennai THE Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Thursday informed the Madras High Court that it was not in favour of granting horizontal reservation to government school students in medical admissions, since it may “undo reform of merit-based admissions”. The Centre made the submission before Justice B Pugalendhi, who was hearing a petition filed by a Puducherry student seeking 10 per cent horizontal reservation for government school students in medical admissions. “Any artificial horizontal reservation is likely to create abnormal incentives/disincentives affecting pre-medical education... which will not be desirable,” the ministry said. It was also pointed out that no reference was made to the Centre for information/concurrence in the matter, when the Tamil Nadu government enacted the 7.5 per cent quota for government school students. The Puducherry Cabinet had approved the exclusive reservation and forwarded the same to Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi, who differed with the view and referred it to the Centre. The limited reply filed by the Centre through Ravi Ranjan, Deputy Commandant, Ministry of Home Affairs, was submitted by the Additional Solicitor General of India, R Sankaranarayanan. SEVERE CHEST INFECTION Sasikala tests Covid positive, TN return to be delayed? B A L A C H O U H A N @ Bengaluru VK Sasikala being taken to Victoria Hospital from Bowring Hospital, in Bengaluru, on Thursday | EXPRESS VK Sasikala, the one-time confidante of former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, has tested positive for Covid. She has been shifted to the Trauma Care Centre (TCC) at the Victoria Hospital, an exclusive Covid treatment ward. Sasikala, who is likely to be released from the Parappana Agrahara prison in Bengaluru on January 27, may now have to stay longer in the city until her recovery is complete. “She is being given oxygen, but is not on ventilator support. We are closely monitoring her,” said Dr CR Jayanthi, Director cum Dean of Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute. Sasikala’s test results have caused panic among prison authorities. “We do not know how and from where she could have caught the virus,” said sources in the prison department. She was sharing a room with her co-accused and sister-in-law, Ilavar- asi, in the high-security block. On Thursday, Sasikala was shifted to the Victoria Hospital from Bowring and Lady Curzon Hospital for CT Scan. She was being treated for suspected severe acute respiratory infection (SARI) because tests taken at Bowring showed her negative for Covid. Victoria Hospital had repeated her RT-PCR test to confirm her Covid-19 status after her CT scan of the chest area indicated “severe” CONTINUED ON: P4 infection. Farmers firm on holding the rally on the Outer Ring Road in Delhi, while police wary of disturbing law and order, want them to call it off Thousands of tractors for the rally from Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan already parked on Delhi’s borders The SKM pays homage to the 143 farmers who have been martyred in this movement so far. .. Their sacrifice will not go in vain and we will not go back without the repealing of these farm laws Samkyukt Kisan Morcha’s statement EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi/Chandigarh THE government’s hopes of ending the deadlock over the farm laws before Republic Day were dashed on Thursday with the farmers unions rejecting the proposal to suspend the laws for two years or more and forming a joint panel to examine the entire gamut of issues. In a statement issued after two rounds of meetings, the first among the 32 Punjab unions followed by all the organisations under the Samyukt Kisan Morcha banner, the farmers said “the proposal put forth by the government yesterday was rejected.” “A full repeal of (the) three central farm laws and enacting a legislation for remunerative MSP for all farmers were reiterated as the pending demands of the movement,” the morcha said. But sources said the decision was not unanimous, with some smaller unions, who were in a minority, in favour of accepting the Centre’s proposal but with several conditions, while the bigger ones, mainly from Punjab, firm on continuing with the agitation. The sources said the majority view to reject the proposal was mainly two-fold. First, the protest was peaking and if they withdrew at this point, they may not be able to build up another movement in the future for a repeal of the laws in case the proposed committee rejects this demand. Second, 143 farmers had died during the agitation and if they were to accept the offer without getting the laws repealed, their sacrifice would have gone in vain. The split in opinion led to some heated exchanges during the meeting, the sources said, forcing a vote over the issue. “The consensus was that we should stick to our stand of repeal. Voting took place in the meeting of all the 40 unions in which most voted for rejecting the proposal,” a leader said. Joginder Singh Ugrahan, the leader of the largest union, said “we want the Centre to enact a legislation for remunerative MSP and also a law with the provision that the government procures these crops at MSP as it has been doing to date.” “The Punjab unions decided to reject the Centre’s proposal. They informed this at the joint meeting. There was a feeling that 143 farmers have sacrificed their lives and there is no point in settling for anything less than a repeal,” said All India Kisan Sabha general secretary Hannan Mollah The morcha paid homage to the farmers who have died in the movement so far.
Express Network Private Limited publishes thirty three E-paper editions of The New Indian Express newspaper , thirty two E-paper editions of Dinamani, one E-paper edition of The Morning Standard, one E-paper edition of Malayalam Vaarika magazine and one E-paper edition of the Indulge - The Morning Standard, Kolkatta.