tirupati l sunday l march 14, 2021 l `8.00 l PAGES 24 l late city EDITION Bitcoin breaks records, price soars past `43 lakh The cryptocurrency hit $60,197 (`43,75,675) on Saturday and continues to hover around $60K, according to CoinMarketCap Value trebles in three months Bitcoin has been on a meteoric rise since March last year, when it stood at $5,000, spurred by online payments giant PayPal saying it would allow account holders to use cryptocurrency. From $20,000 in December 2020, the digital currency has tripled in value over the past three months on the back of support from corporate heavyweights such as Tesla and Twitter ■ U.S. Protocol built on blockchain ■ Bitcoins are traded via a decentralised registry system known as a blockchain. The system requires massive computer processing power in order to manage and implement transactions That power is provided by “miners”, who do so in the hope they will receive new bitcoins for validating transaction data STIMULUS PACKAGE TRIGGERED THE LATEST BITCOIN RALLY, SAY EXPERTS 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 Senior citizens can just walk in for Covid vaccine E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Vijayawada PM Narendra Modi chairs BJP’s Central Election Committee meeting in New Delhi on Saturday. Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP president JP Nadda are also seen | pti BJP weaponises defectors to pull Kerala Christians senior citizens and those aged between 45-59 can now walk into any nearby government hospital to get Covid-19 vaccine. Vaccination will also be administered at all the government Aarogyasri network hospitals. The medical and health department Saturday said they need not register themselves on the CoWIN App. They can directly get the vaccination at any of the government hospitals for free. Those who are above 60 years will have to produce their Aadhaar card as proof of their age. Similarly, those in the age group of 45-59 with comorbidities should produce a certificate from a doctor about the ailment they are suffering from. If they do not have a certificate, they can produce blood reports or medical prescription or any other document related to the ailment. The doctor at the government hospital will issue a certificate for getting the vaccination. Vaccination for people above 60 years and within the age bracket of 45-59 with comorbidities commenced in the State on March 1. The annual Amarnath Yatra will start from June 28 and conclude on August 22 with all Covid protocols. Registration process will begin on April 1 at 446 designated branches of the Punjab National Bank, J&K Bank and Yes Bank BJP for privatisation of VSP with riders: Deodhar @ New Delhi All arrangements are in place for the counting of votes for the elections to municipalities and municipal corporations 12 noon 8 am: Counting process to commence March 10: Elections conducted to 70 municipalities, 11 corporations Likely induction into Council An under-construction house for protesting farmers adjacent the highway, at Tikri border in New Delhi on Saturday | PTI Protesting farmers booked for building structures at Delhi gates E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Chandigarh/New Delhi The Haryana Police have booked farmers for allegedly constructing concrete structures and sinking a borewell near Singhu towards Kundli on National Highway-44. The Singhu border near Delhi is the venue where hundreds of farmers congregated in protest against the new farm laws for months. Sources said the state police have registered two separate cases under the National Highway Act and various sections of the IPC for building illegal structures on NH-44 in front of Malwa Motors, obstructing the highway, and digging a borewell in a field near KFC Mall that is close to the highway . However, Harinder Singh Lakhowal, general secretary of BKU (Lakhowal), said, “We are not constructing any permanent structure, but plan to install solar panels in order to save the farmers from the summer.” Labourers though can be seen constructing structures Solar panels to manage summer “This is just the beginning of summer. The government has not provided any power connection, so we are installing solar panels as as to be able to run small fans,” said a UP farmer express read Maha sees 15,602 new Covid-19 cases, 88 deaths ULB poll results expected Following the directions of the AP HC, counting will not be done for Eluru municipal corporation and Chilakaluripet municipality Both the ruling YSR Congress and Opposition Telugu Desam are keen on winning Guntur, Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam municipal corporations Mumbai: Maharashtra on Saturday recorded 15,602 fresh coronavirus cases and 88 deaths, taking the tally to 22,97,793 and the toll to 52,811, the state Health department said. Of these 88 fatalities, 40 occurred in the last 48 hours and 21 in the last week. Rest 27 deaths had occurred in the period preceding the last week, the health department said | P7 Sri Lanka to ban burqa, close 1,000 madrasas Colombo: Sri Lankan government on Saturday announced that it will use a controversial anti-terror law to deal with religious extremism and gave itself sweeping powers to detain suspects for up to two years for “deradicalisation”. Muslims make up about 9% of the 22 million people in Sri Lanka, where Buddhists account for more than 70% of the population | P9 WITH THIS ISSUE Silver Linings Playbook PLUS 12 PAGES happy ending Boy abducted in Tirupati found in V’wada E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Vijayawada The six-year-old boy from Chhattisgarh, who was abducted in Tirupati over a fortnight ago, was traced in Vijayawada on Saturday . Sivam Kumar Sahoo, who came to Tirupati along with his parents on a pilgrimage, was abducted from the link bus sta- tion at Alipiri on February 27. Police verified the CCTV footage and identified the abductor as Sivappa, a native of Puttenahalli in Karnataka. The police launched a manhunt in neighbouring Karnataka and Tamil Nadu to nab the accused. Meanwhile, police sources said around 11 am on Saturday, Vijayawada: A 65-year-old person, who took Covid-19 vaccine at the GGH in Eluru two days back, allegedly died of adverse event following immunisation, on Friday night. According to police, Palli Kutumba Rao from Pedavegi mandal, was administered the vaccine at the GGH on March 10 from june 28 to aug 22 E X p r e s s ne w s s e r v i c e Munici‘poll’ results today New Delhi: Air passengers who refuse to wear masks properly or follow social distancing rules during a flight despite being warned repeatedly are likely to be put on no-fly list for a period ranging from three months to two years. New guidelines came amid rising number of cases in most parts of the country Elderly man dies after ‘Covid vaccination’ amarnath yatra Final meeting of CEC clears lists for all the states, popular faces likely to get TN seats Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, defence minister Rajnath Singh and other members. With the full-fledged election The BJP chief held a long campaign set to take off from meeting with Kerala leaders till Sunday, the BJP Central Elec- late on Friday evening. The tion Committee (CEC) on Sat- party plans to go aggressive in urday met to finalise names of the state with professionals and the remaining candidates in Christian leaders imported the poll-bound states. The CEC from the ranks of the Congress. meeting was preceded The meeting was atby two days of maratended by Shah, organthon meetings at the isational secretary B L residence of the party Santosh and other senBJP is keen to chief J P Nadda for ior functionaries. make base among each poll bound state. “All important leadChristians in The meeting contin- Kerala; party will ers, including a few Raued till late Saturday jya Sabha MPs, besides welcome key evening, with the par- leaders from the known faces in the ty leaning on turncoats community from state will contest the the ranks of the and known state faces Assembly elections,” Congress, with to contest elections, said a senior BJP whom informal While details of the functionary . communication meeting were not imIn Tamil Nadu, the has been going on mediately available, it BJP CEC is learnt to for a while is learnt the CEC aphave discussed the Senior BJP leader proved the lists of cannames of candidates didates for all pollfor 17 seats, with the bound states. The party is popular party faces likely to expected to release them in a contest. staggered manner in the comThe party will field a large ing days, leaving scope for a few number of turncoats from the last-minute changes to accom- ruling Trinamool Congress and modate important Opposition the Left in West Bengal, with leaders. party leaders arguing gaining The CEC meeting was chaired cadre strength with such imby Nadda and attended by ported leaders would be key in Prime Minister Narendra the polls. Passengers flouting rules to be on no-fly list some devotees visiting Kanaka Durga temple informed the local traffic police constables that a boy was wandering alone near the ghats. When the police showed the photo grab of the abductor to the boy, the latter told the former that it was Sivappa who left him at the temple. Vijayawada police immedi- ately informed their counterparts in Tirupati, who along with the parents of the boy, rushed to Vijayawada. The boy will be handed over to his parents once they arrive in Vijayawada, police said. Initial investigation by the Tirupati police revealed that Sivappa went into a depression after three of his four children died of health-related issues. on the roadside at various places along the Singhu border. There are four doublestorey houses that are being built at the border. The masons have come from Punjab. At present, the numerical strength of farmers at the protest sites in Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur is thin as many have returned to their villages for harvesting. “A few days after Holi the crowd will swell at the protest sites,” said a BKU member. Small wood pyres for Holika dahan have been set up to celebrate Holi. Elections in West Bengal have become the talking point amongst the groups, with farmer leader Rakesh Tikait touring the state asking people to vote against the BJP . “If BJP candidate, backed by Jana Sena, is elected in Tirupati bypoll, there may be a chance for the person to be a Central minister,” a senior leader revealed Rath Yatra soon The BJP State unit is planning to undertake a Rath Yatra from Kapila Theertham to Ramatheertham against ‘temples’ vandalisation’, said Vizag MLC & State general secretary PVN Madhav Will yatra be a game-changer? It remains to be seen how effective the ‘yatra’ would be as the issue of temple attacks is on the back burner with the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant taking centrestage E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Vijayawada BJP national secretary and State co-incharge Sunil Deodhar asserted that his party was in favour of privatisation of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP), but promised that the rights of the employees will be protected by the Centre. Another national secretary Y Satya Kumar, however, clarified that the State unit will ‘try to influence’ the central leadership for a favourable outcome in the matter. “BJP is for privatisation. It is not only in the case of Rashtriya Ispat Nigam (RINL), Visakhapatnam, but also it is the decision of the Narendra Modi government regarding all public sector undertakings (PSUs) barring those in a few sectors like defence and security The . government has no business to do business. The rights and well-being of employees is 100 per cent responsibility of the Centre. There is no doubt in it,” said national secretary and State co-incharge Sunil Deodhar, ahead of the State office-bearers’ meeting in Vijayawada on Saturday . Y Satya Kumar too aired similar views but claimed the State unit will ‘try to influence’ the BJP central leadership for a favourable result. “All matters of policies will be discussed with the States by the Centre. But, as a political party that fights on public issues, we are committed to address the issues being raised by the employees and other stakeholders. It is the sovereign guarantee of the P5 Centre,” he explained. Heat on Amazon, Flipkart as draft policy targets deep discounting E x p r e s s ne w s s e r v i c e What’s in the draft @ New Delhi In a bid to check the alleged unfair business practices by large e-commerce players such as Amazon, Flipkart and eBay, the Centre on Saturday proposed that they desist from deploying algorithms to promote a select few sellers or offering deep discounts only to a small group of vendors. According to the draft e-commerce policy all vendors regis, tered on their platforms must be treated equally . While the draft policy seeks to tighten the noose around large e-commerce players, it also offers several measures to safeguard consumer interest, counter misleading sales and regulate data usage. “Consumers have a right to be made aware of all relevant details about the goods and services offered for sale including country of origin, value addition in India, and any other such information which may be necessary for making E-commerce players to make their discount policies transparent by explaining the basis of discount rates for different products and suppliers Govt to ensure availability of more service providers and stop digital monopolies misusing their dominant market position Companies to ensure products offered are genuine; liability for counterfeit products will be on the online firm and the seller To ensure that e-commerce is not used to defraud customers, registration with an authority identified by the government would be made mandatory Consumers have the right to know all relevant details about the goods and services offered for sale including country of origin, value addition in India, and any other such info which may be necessary for making an informed purchase decision an informed decision at the pre-purchase stage,” it said. According to a commerce ministry official, the policy will prevent monopoly by large e commerce companies like Amazon. “There have been many reports and complaints of these firms excluding sellers by denying them equal platform, refusing to provide transparency in data sharing and evading some of the foreign investment rules,” said an official. The official, who did not want to be named, added the proposed policy will be discussed with market players before rolling it out. The commerce ministry is likely to hold discussions on the rules next week, he added. The proposals are likely to ruffle foreign e-commerce majors’ feathers as they were already upset about the demand to pay additional 2% for revenue generated from Indian customers.
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