Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto (right) and CEO Toshiro Muto attend a press conference on Friday | AFP | P11 KANNUR l saturday l june 19, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l city EDITION big Quarantine headache for india at the Olympics daily Covid tests 7 days before departure A new Games organisers’ manual says everyone from India, including players, must maintain physical distancing for 3 days 11 countries divided into two groups Going by the new rules, athletes from India will be asked to undergo a Covid test for seven consecutive days before leaving for Tokyo. Upon reaching Japan, there is a ban on interacting with athletes from other countries, including training with them. This could scupper both hockey sides’ plans as they have lined up multiple practice matches. ■ ■ ■ Group 1: Afghanistan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka; Group 2: Bangladesh, Egypt, Malaysia, UK and Vietnam Rules are stricter for Group 1 countries. Countries in Group 2 need to test three days before leaving for Tokyo Everyone will have to follow this irrespective of vaccine status July 23 the day Olympics will open. Closing ceremony: August 8 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 Twitter asked to respect, follow law of the land Representatives shouted at for claiming the social media site follows its own policy Express News Service @ New Delhi Appointment of fact-checkers Representatives of microblogging site Twitter on Friday got a mouthful from the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology for claiming they function on the basis of their own policy They . were told to abide by the laws of the land instead. Carrying forward the Centre’s ongoing confrontation with Twitter, BJP MPs shouted at its representatives, saying the “rule of land is supreme, not your policy .” Twitter was represented by Shagufta Kamran, public policy manager, and Ayushi Kapoor, legal counsel in its deposition before the panel. They landed in hot water while responding to searching questions on whether Twitter follows the rules of the countries it operates in. BJP members Rajyavardhan Rathore and Nishikant Dubey BJP members sharply questioned Twitter’s representatives on the policy for appointing fact-checkers, alleging they were not politically neutral. Members of the committee later held a meeting with information and technology ministry officials sought to put the representatives of Twitter on the mat, with sources saying they were extra agg ressive in their grilling. “The chairman of the panel, S h a s h i T h a r o o r, m e r e l y watched as the two BJP MPs shouted at the duo, who mostly maintained silence or replied briefly,” sources said. Opposition MPs, too, questioned the “brazenness of the representatives for saying they have their own policy”, sources said. On war mode: Sudhakaran had plotted to kidnap my children, says Pinarayi E x p r e s s N e w s S e r v i c e @T’Puram Walking into the trap laid by new state Congress president K Sudhakaran, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday unleashed a scathing attack against him and levelled a serious allegation that Sudhakaran had plotted to kidnap his son and daughter while they were school students in Kannur. During the media briefing on the Covid-19 situation, the chief minister took around 20 minutes to reply to the claims made by Sudhakaran in his interview published in a vernacular weekly. The shift of stand to attack mode by Pinarayi who had greeted Sudhakaran’s appointment as the state Congress pres- Congress leaders P Ramakrishnan and Mambaram Divakaran had referred to Sudhakaran as a corrupt person, murderer and kidnapper Pinarayi Vijayan, Chief Minister ident last week is believed to be part of the decision of the leader to take the bull by its horns. Sudhakaran later told reporters that he would reply to Pinarayi’s allegations in a press confer- ence on Saturday It seems that . the war of words between Kannur veterans is set to intensify, giving the decimated Congress a solid platform to challenge the government and its captain head on. Those who had argued within the Congress for bringing Sudhakaran to the helm were mentioning repeatedly that only a macho leader like him can take on Pinarayi. In the interview published by the weekly, Sudhakaran, who had been the leader of KSU in Government Brennen College, Thalassery where Pinarayi also , studied and worked for Kerala Student Federation, claimed that during a student clash at the college, he had kicked Pi● More on P4 narayi down. Be prepared for third wave, cautions CM Decision on lifting curbs E x p r e s s N e w s S e r v i c e @T’Puram The CM said the current curbs will be reviewed next week and relaxations, including permitting reopening of places of worship, will be decided accordingly. “The govt does not hold the view that places of worship should remain shut. However, people should exercise caution when the restrictions are eased,” he said. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has advised people to exercise utmost caution due to the possibility of a third wave of Covid. The third wave could be marked by a genetically-mutated virus that could spread faster than delta virus, the chief minister warned, and added that government was fully prepared to face any eventuality . He said the spread of Covid cases in the state has decreased by 42%. A 15% decline in the test positivity rate was recorded when compared to last week. The average TPR for the last three days stood at 11.5%. The number of new cases during June 11-13 dropped by 4.2% over the previ● More on P2 ous three days. express read Poet-lyricist Ramesan Nair passes away Kochi: Poet and lyricist S Ramesan Nair, who won the hearts of Malayali readers and listeners through his poems, film songs and devotional songs, passed away on Friday while under treatment for Covid. He has over 450 film songs to his credit, some of which found a place in the list of evergreen melodies. P4 ‘Islanders’ visit to Kerala led to Covid spread’ Kochi: The Lakshadweep administration on Friday refuted the allegation that relaxation of standard operating procedures (SOP) in December led to Covid spread in the island and claimed islanders’ visit to Kerala for Ramzan purchase in May 2021 led to the surge. The administration on Friday said the SOP was revised on December 28, to open up the economy as the livelihood of islanders was affected due to Covid curbs.
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