From Left: Lady Gaga sings national anthem; singer-actor Jennifer Lopez delivers a power-packed performance; and Katy Perry sings ‘Fireworks’ during Biden’s inauguration ceremony | AP THIRUVANANTHAPURAM l friday l January 22, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 16 l late city EDITION Biden signs 17 orders Immigration 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’ 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 50,000 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 Sensex on a high Directed federal agencies to report on equity in their ranks within 200 days, including how to remove barriers to opportunities in policies World stocks racked up record highs on Thursday on the back of expectations of a major US stimulus. 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 | P10 Ordered agencies to ensure Americans of all backgrounds have equal access to federal government resources, benefits and services | P9 In 2019, Trump had notified the UN that the US would withdraw from the coalition of nearly 200 countries 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 5 die in Serum Institute plant blaze, no impact on Covishield production Five persons 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 under-construction building and all the dead were contractual workers doing electrical works in the building. The deceased were Pune residents Mahendra Ingle and Pratik Pashte, Rama Shankar Harijan and Bipin Saroj from UP, and Bihar native Sushil Kumar Pandey . Nine people were evacuated from the spot. According to a la- 6.8KM ROAD Gadkari & CM to open Alappuzha bypass on Jan 28 bourer who was working in the building at the time of incident, the mishap happened due to sparks from welding works on the sixth floor. However, officials said the cause is yet to be ascertained. “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. According to eyewitnesses, there were over 200 workers in the building. After the fire broke out, they tried to rush out. But the fire and smoke spread so fast that their path was blocked, forcing many to jump out of the windows. Clarifying that the fire broke out in the BCG vaccine section, Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray said, “The fire occurred due to an electric fault during the ongoing construction works. Probe will reveal all details.” Serum has announced `25 lakh compensation to families of perp8 sons who died in the fire. the magical journey continues... Members of the Indian team reached their respective hometowns after that rousing win over the hosts in Brisbane. While captain Ajinkya Rahane and a few of his teammates landed in Mumbai in the afternoon, 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 past five months... E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E @ Alappuzha Forty-five years after it was mooted and nearly six years since its construction works were inaugurated in 2015, the Alappuzha bypass will be opened to the public on January 28. The bypass road will be jointly inaugurated by Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan at 1pm, Public Works Minister G Sudhakaran said on Thursday . “The bypass was built for `344 crore. The 6.8km road includes 4.8km of elevated highway which will bring a relief to , those commuting via NH-66,” Sudhakaran said. Gadkari had inaugurated the construction works of the bypass in April 2015. The project, which was to be completed in September 2017, was delayed due to various reasons. The deadline was then extended to May 2018 and again to August ● More on P5 31, 2018. Tractor rally talks Meeting between farmer union leaders and the Delhi Police on tractor parade on Republic Day inconclusive 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 Workers wearing protective gear walk after a fire broke out at Serum Institute’s plant at Manjri near Pune on Thursday | PTI express read Won’t allow attempts to scuttle K-Rail: CM T’Puram: The K-Rail semi high-speed rail project will be implemented only after allaying the concerns of people who will be affected by it, CM Pinarayi Vijayan has told the assembly. Pinarayi said attempts to scuttle the ambitious project by creating fear will not be allowed. P4 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. P8 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 | P11 Job: Biden’s rights keeper. Roots: Venice of the East journalism from the London School of Economics. Her new asKannankara village and Ka- signment will be a gift to democlathil family of Alappuzha are re- racy because she admires its valjoicing. For the ‘granddaughter’ ues,” said Pappachan, a former of the village has been appointed president of the Federation of to a top post in the National Secu- Kerala Associations in North rity Council (NSC) of the United America (FOKANA). States by President Joe Biden. She had also served as a senior Shanthi Kalathil, daughter of the democracy fellow at the US Agenlate James Kalathil and Taipei na- cy for International Development, tional Lucia, was named the co- associate with the Carnegie Enordinator for Democdowment for Internar a cy a n d H u m a n tional Peace, non-resRights in NSC. ident associate with Born and brought the Institute for the up in the US, 49-yearStudy of Diplomacy old Shanthi was servat Georgetown Uniing as the senior diversity and as a conrector of the sultant for the World International Forum Bank and many for Democratic Studmore. Shanthi Kalathil ies at the National She has authored Endowment for numerous policy and Democracy . scholarly publications, including Pappachan Kalathil, her pater- Diplomacy, Development and Senal uncle, termed it a great acco- curity in the Information Age (Inlade for the family and the village stitute for the Study of Diplomacy , in Muhamma. 2013), Developing Independent “My elder brother James and I Media as an Institution of Acwent to the US around 40 years countable Governance (The World ago. He served as a professor in Bank, 2008), and The Impact of various universities there, but the Internet on Authoritarian died a few years ago. Shanthi was Rule (Carnegie Endowment for brilliant in studies and completed International Peace, 2003). B I J U E PA U L @Alappuzha Small farmer unions in favour, big ones against proposal mohanLAL GOODWILL AMBASSADOR OF TB ERADICATION CAMPAIGN The state government is implementing the project, ‘My Tuberculosisfree Kerala’, as part of its goal to eradicate the disease by 2025 | P5 16 pages, including 4 pages of THIRUVANANTHAPURAM Express 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 @ 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 Speaker survives resolution test E x p r e s s Ne w s Se r vi c e @ T’Puram THE assembly on Thursday rejected the resolution moved by the UDF seeking re m ov a l o f P S r e e r a makrishnan as speaker amid political slugfest between the treasury and Opposition benches. The speaker said the Opposition was targeting him as they could not touch the government. Manjeri MLA M Ummer of the IUML moved the resolution after Deputy Speaker V Sasi gave nod despite the LDF members raising objection. The UDF members and BJP representative O Rajagopal supported the resolution which invited ‘Co- Li-Bi’ comments from the Left camp. Ummer said speaker represents the honour of the House, but the serious allegations faced by Sreeramakrishnan have dented its reputation. He said the speaker was facing charges in connection with dollar smuggling and proximity to those accused in the sensational gold smuggling case. “The speaker had admitted he has connections with Swapna Suresh. His assistant private secretary (APS) was questioned by Central agencies and media reports say the speaker will be questioned after the assembly session,” he said. ● More on P4 Edit: Race against time for cong in Kerala | P6 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. E x p r e s s Ne w s Se r vi c e 2.67cr figure in state electoral roll CEO Teeka Ram Meena said the enrollment in voters list will continue till 10 days prior to withdrawal of nomination by candidates. P5 2,67,31,509 total voters 1,37,79, 263 female Wheelchair-bound George C K, 82, arrives to vote in the bypoll in ward no.37 of Kalamassery Municipality on Thursday | A Sanesh 1,29,52,025 male 221 transpeople 1,33,005 differently abled 32,14,943 in Malappuram, which is the highest 90,709 NRIs Su d h i r Su r ya w a n s h i @ Mumbai The ‘Nays’ have it, govt offer rejected 6,07,068 2,99,258 in 18-19 yr age group 6,21,401 voters above 80 yrs in Wayanad, which is the lowest 56,759 service voters covid crisis Sabarimala income falls by 92%, TDB turns to other states M a n o j V i s w a n at h a n @Kochi LANDING the finances of the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) in the doldrums, the annual income generated by the Sabarimala Lord Ayyappa temple has dropped by a whopping 92.2 per cent in the wake of the Covid pandemic. The hill shrine’s revenue — which stood at `269 crore in 2019-20 — has nosedived to a meagre `21 crore this year. The Board, which relies on the temple’s pilgrimage season revenue 2020-21 L21.17 crore 2019-20 L269.37 crore 2018-19 L179.22 crore 2017-18 L277.96 crore two-month annual pilgrimage to meet administrative expenses of the 1,248 temples under its ambit, has resorted to knocking on the doors of devotees and neighbouring states to salvage the situation. Including the staff ’s salary , the Board needs at least `40 crore a month to run all 1,248 temples. Though up to 83 of these temples are self-reliant, the revenue from these temples have also diminished. The income, however, has shrunk to `15-20 crore per month, forcing the administration to explore other options. “This is an unprecedented situation. Though the government has already given us `70 crore, we plan to ask for more. The widening revenue-to-ex- penditure gap has forced us to resort to austerity measures,” said N Vasu, TDB president. Most pilgrims who visit the temple are from neighbouring states like Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. “The Board is planning to approach the rich devotees and governments of these states for support. There are also plans to retrench around 200 temporary employees as a cost-cutting meas● More on P5 ure,” Vasu said.
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22-01-2021 of The New Indian Express-Thiruvananthapuram