Irene Frachon, a lung specialist whose study was instrumental in highlighting the risks of the Servier pill Mediator | AP kannur l tuesday l march 30, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 16 l city EDITION French pharma major guilty of involuntary manslaughter Court convicts Servier for deaths caused by Mediator, a drug used for diabetes, weightloss treatment between 1976-2009 damaged heart valves, killed at least 500 banned by u.s, Spain & italy before 2009 In 1999, a study linked the pill with damage of heart valves but Servier continued to push the product till 2009 before pulling it out. A French court said the firm misled consumers on the pill for decades, despite being aware of its side-effects. Experts testified that about 500 people have died due to the drug and the number may exceed 2,100 deaths eventually ■ ■ ■ France’s medicines agency ANSM was fined 303,000 euros for delay in action, despite repeated warnings over its side effects Servier’s former deputy boss sentenced to a suspended jail sentence of four years and fined several million euros in damages Mediator was used by 50 lakh people across the world till 2009 $350 mn settled out of court between patients, insurance firms and the pharma 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 High Court stays poll panel’s order, says govt free to distribute rice Govt must not use it to woo voters; EC says action not due to any party’s objection E x p r e ss N e w s S e r v i c e @Kochi People gather in large numbers in Prayagraj on Monday amid a countrywide spike in Covid cases to celebrate Holi | PTI WHO report on Covid-19 origin in sync with China A joint World Health Organization-China study on the origins of Covid-19 went with Beijing’s position on the chances of its leak from a Wuhan lab being extremely unlikely and concluded that the most plausible scenario was its transmission from bats to humans through another animal. The report put together by an international team of experts and seen by the Associ- 68,020 New cases across India on Monday Pawar to go under the knife soon E x p r e ss N e w s S e r v i c e @ Mumbai NCP founder Sharad Pawar will soon undergo surgery at a Mumbai hospital here after it was diagnosed that he has some gall bladder issue, a minister of his party in the state government said here on Monday He is 80. . “Our party president Sharad Pawar saheb was feeling a little uneasy due to a pain in his abdomen last evening and was therefo re t a ke n t o Breach Candy Hospital for a check-up. Upon diagnosis it came to light that he has a problem in his Gall Bladder,” Nawab Malik tweeted. “He is on Blood Thinning Medication which is now being stopped due to this issue. He will be admitted to the hospital on the 31st of March 2021 and an Endoscopy and Surgery will be conducted. Hence all his programmes stand cancelled until further notice,” the minister added. Pawar had a medical check-up after complaining of abdominal pain on Sunday . ated Press proposed further research in every area except the lab leak hypothesis. But WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said all hypotheses on the origins remained open and needed further study . The report is expected to be made public on Tuesday. “We’ve got real concerns about the methodology and the process that went into that report, including the fact that the government in Beijing apparently helped to write it,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a recent CNN interview. China hit back accusing the US of trying to pressure the WHO experts’ group. The report listed scenarios in the order of likelihood, starting with transmission from bats to another animal, which it said was likely to very likely . On direct spread from bats to humans, experts saw it as likely; while spreading to humans from the packaging of cold-chain food products was seen as possible but not likely . 40,414 Of case load from 24,223 maharashtra alone Int’l banks lose billions after fire sale of stocks by US hedge fund E x p r e ss N e w s S e r v i c e Swiss bank silent on quantum Wall Street was in turmoil on Monday after two top global banks — Nomura of Japan and Switzerland’s Credit Suisse — warned they could face significant losses following their exposure to an unnamed US hedge fund. The fund had defaulted last week on certain margin positions held by them and other banks, they said. “Following the failure of the fund to meet these margin commitments, Credit Suisse and other banks are in the process of exiting these positions,” Credit Suisse said. While the banks did not name the fund, media houses identified it as Archegos Capital Management, which had liquidated billions in stocks just last week.Archegos dumped its holdings in top Chinese companies like Baidu Inc, Tencent Music Entertainment Group and Vip- E x p r e ss N e w s S e r v i c e @ Kochi ‘HUMANITARIAN VIEW’ The High Court says the distribution should be strictly in accordance with the model code of conduct The govt had ordered the additional rice required for distribution must be procured from the open market sale scheme of the Food Corporation of India The poll panel said it invariably takes a humanitarian view on the works that are necessitated due to man-made and natural calamities ply to the implementation of ongoing programmes. The decision regarding the special distribution was taken on February 4, much before the election notification. The decision was taken based on the finance minister’s budget speech. In the Kerala Budget - 2021, the government had announced that additional rice of 10kg at the rate of Rs 15 would be provided to 50 lakh families having blue and white ration cards, which means non-priority categories. Hence, it will not fall under the model code of conduct provisions. More on P7 THE High Court on Monday directed the Election Commission and the chief electoral officer (CEO) to ensure that no double voting takes place on the assembly polling day in the state. “We are of the prima facie view that there are discrepancies in the final voters’ list published by the Election Commission. It should make sure that sufficient state and Central forces are posted at all voting places to ensure fair and democratic elections. To implement the order, steps should be taken on a war footing,” said a division bench comprising Chief Justice S Manikumar and Justice Shaji P Chaly . The bench held the court order should be implemented in letter and spirit, without any room for complaint. The court passed the interim order on a petition filed by Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala seeking a directive to the poll panel and the CEO to take immediate steps to delete or freeze There are children in houses of both the LDF and UDF supporters. The food kit is not being distributed with an eye on the elections. Only those who starve know the value of food — Pinarayi Vijayan, CM active cases in kerala p o l l b y tes E x p r e ss N e w s S e r v i c e The Kerala High Court on Monday stayed the order of the Election Commission halting the distribution of rice to nonpriority ration card-holders in view of the Vishu-Easter-Ramzan season. With this order, the state government can continue the distribution of rice as fixed earlier. Justice P V Asha issued the order on a petition filed by the state government through the additional secretary of the Food and Civil Supplies Department seeking to quash the commission’s order. The Election Commission requested the court to ensure that the stay order shall not be used as a weapon in the election by the ruling party to influence the voters. The court made it clear that the distribution should be strictly in accordance with the model code of conduct. All ostentatious functions should be strictly avoided with regard to the rice distribution and no impression should be created that such welfare measures or relief and rehabilitation works are being undertaken by the government so as to influence the electors in favour of the party in power. The state government argued that the model code of conduct does not ap- Take steps to prevent double voting, deploy forces at booths: HC CM speaking against corruption is like devil giving sermons. All the scams which happened in the state recently originated from the CMO. He is protecting the Speaker so as to protect himself — Ramesh Chennithala Extension of old Co-Le-B alliance in state: Pinarayi PM modi to address poll rally in palakkad today ‘Antony should first try to save his own party’ Kannur: More pieces of evidence on the tacit deal between the UDF and the BJP in this election are coming out daily, said Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. Referring to actorturned-politician Suresh Gopi’s comments, the CM said, “The statement of a BJP leader that the UDF will win in Guruvayur is not a slip of the tongue. It exposes the deal. This is the extension of the old Co-Le-B alliance in the state.”P5 Palakkad: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will arrive in Palakkad on Tuesday morning as part of the NDA election campaign. After touching down at the Indira Gandhi Stadium at 10.45am, the PM will travel by road to the venue at Fort Maidan and will address an election rally there. All 12 NDA candidates in the district will take part in the rally. P5 T’Puram: The central probe agencies are resorting to unfair means like pressuring an accused to come up with false depositions, said CPM secretary in-charge A Vijayaraghavan. In an interview with TNIE, Vijayaraghavan said senior Congress leader A K Antony has lost his credibility and he should first try to save his own party. P2 Already hit by the collapse of British short-term corporate loan specialist Greensill earlier this year, Credit Suisse warned its losses could be “highly significant,” without giving a figure.The bank referred to links to a US fund which had defaulted on margin calls last week shop Holding plus US giants such as ViacomCBS and Discovery after their share value fell last week. This hurt Archegos’ bottom line, forcing it to seek fresh funding. Nomura shares plunged by 16% in Tokyo after it warned of a potential $2 billion loss while Credit Suisse shed 14%. Investor concerns drove down prices of other European banks, too. Nomura, however, said ‘there will be no issues related to the operations or financial soundness’. express read Tusker Guruvayur Valiya Kesavan dies at 51 Police make pregnant woman walk 3km K’taka bans all kinds of protest amid Covid surge Thrissur: Tusker Guruvayur Valiya Kesavan, which commanded a huge fan following in his prime, died due to various ailments at Guruvayur Devaswom yard at Punnathur Kotta on Monday. The tusker used to carry the idol of Lord Krishna during the Guruvayur temple fest for many years. Baripada: A nine-month pregnant woman was made to walk 3km after she was found riding pillion without a helmet to the hospital. Officer Rina Baksal allegedly forced the woman’s husband Bikram to go to the police station to pay the fine leaving the wife at the spot. Bengaluru: With surging Covid cases, Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa said on Monday the government has decided to ban all kinds of protests in the state for 15 days, as he ruled out any lockdown. Officials have been instructed to take strict measures against those not wearing masks. the fake and multiple entries of names in the final electoral rolls published for the assembly polls. Chennithala’s counsel T Asaf Ali had submitted that there are about 3,24,441 double votes and 1,09,601 bogus voters, spreading over 131 assembly constituencies, and 4,34,042 double/fake voters in total in the final electoral rolls. Though complaints were lodged with the poll panel to correct the electoral rolls, no steps have been taken. The poll panel’s counsel said that immediately after receipt of the complaint from the petitioner, the CEO had directed the district electoral officers to carry out a detailed inquiry to find out the factual position and report whether there had been any deliberate attempt to register the same voter more than once in electoral rolls. It pointed out that at times, when a voter shifts his residence and goes to some other place, there are possibilities of registering twice. More on P7 Suez free Tugboat crew sounded foghorns in celebration on Monday after dislodging a ship stuck in Suez Canal for a week The head of the Suez Canal Authority announced the resumption of shipping traffic in the canal, bringing relief to a tailback of over 425 vessels, which will take 4-5 days to clear No sooner had the news of Ever Given refloating trickled out than the oil prices started easing. The 190-odd-km canal channels 10% of world trade MP apologises Raja’s premature birth comments on TN CM refuses to die down S K u m a r e s a n @ Chennai/Ariyalur AS the controversy surrounding DMK MP A Raja’s comments on Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and his mother refused to die down, the former Union minister issued an apology on Monday, a day after he was booked for his remarks. Raja said he only referred to the public life of Palaniswami while likening his emergence as a leader to a “premature birth,” compared to DMK president M K Stal i n , wh o h a d r i s e n through the party ranks in a “proper way .” In a written statement, Raja said that he was anguished to hear that Palaniswami was hurt by his remarks. On Sunday, the CM broke down while campaigning, alle ging Raja insulted his mother. He had also wondered aloud how women would be treated if the DMK came to power. DMK chief M K Stalin on Sunday told cadre not to pass “undignified” remarks that political opponents could twist to their advantage. Gold smuggling: NIA court allows 5 to be approvers Kochi: The NIA court in Kochi on Monday completed the proceedings to turn five accused persons in the gold smuggling case as approvers. The five are Sandeep Nair, Muhammad Anwar, Musthafa, Abdul Aseez and Nandagopal. While prime accused Sandeep volunteered to become an approver in the case, he had levelled allegations against ED officials in a letter written to District Principal Sessions Court that he was threatened to name CM Pinarayi Vijayan and other ministers involved in the incident.
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