Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto (right) and CEO Toshiro Muto address a press conference on Friday | AFP | P11 KOLLAM 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 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. ■ July 23 11 countries divided into two groups ■ ■ 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 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 E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi 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 sought to put the representatives of Twitter on the mat, with sources saying they were extra aggressive 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. Responding to questions on Appointment of fact-checkers 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 its failure to make appointments in line with the Information and Technology Act’s rules, the duo reiterated it was because of the pandemic’s constrinits. They refrained from committing themselves to any specific timeline to abide by the new IT rules, despite being prodded by the panel to do so, sources said. “India isn’t a banana republic,” retorted an MP as , Twitter’s representatives remained evasive to most queries, sources added. Later, Twitter issued a statement saying: “We appreciate the opportunity to share our views... Twitter stands prepared to work with the committee on the important work of safeguarding citizens’ rights online in line with our principles of transparency, freedom of expression, and privacy We . will continue working alongside the government as part of our shared commitment to serve and protect the public conversation.” ‘Islanders’ Ramzan visit to Kerala led to Covid spread’ E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @Kochi New row Amid the raging controversy over the slew of reforms introduced by the island administration, the move to merge the rural development and panchayat departments and abolish around 60 posts has triggered another row in Lakshadweep. Refuting the allegation that relaxation of the provisions of standard operating procedures (SOP) for Covid management in December last year led to Covid spread in the island, the Lakshadweep administration claimed that it was the visit by islanders to Kerala for Ramzan purchase in May 2021 that led to pandemic surge. The administration said in a release on Friday that the SOP was revised on December 28, 2020, with the aim to open up the economy as the livelihood of islanders was affected due to Covid restrictions that brought tourism, fishing and construction activities to a grinding halt. As per the revised protocol, anyone visiting the islands should carry an RT-PCR negative certificate. The first Covid positive case was reported on January 18, 2021, in Kavaratti island. Lakshadweep had only 31 confirmed cases as on April 5, but the number climbed to 2,000 by the first week of June. “Most of the cases were reported during the second wave, and not because of revision of ● More on P3 SOP the release stated. ,” On war mode: Sudhakaran had plotted to kidnap my children, says Pinarayi E x p r e s s N e w s Se 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- Be prepared for third wave, cautions CM Decision on lifting curbs E x p r e s s N e w s Se 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 Slash oil tax, says panel advising PM A n u r a d h a S h u k l a @ New Delhi Amid growing disquiet over high fuel prices, the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC) has suggested to the government to take a political call on taxing oil, warning it could otherwise build inflationary pressure, and its spill-over impact would dampen consumer sentiment and dampen recovery . “Petrol and diesel price cannot be used as cash cow forever. Some political intervention is required as it will finally dampen the consumer spending and will delay the recovery A . delay in intervention will prolong the recovery process. Focus needs to be to promote growth of industry and jobs,” a senior member of the PMEAC told this newspaper. The member added that recovery will be fragmented if private consumption is not stepped up. Similar concerns were raised recently by the RBI, as gleaned from the minutes of its monetary policy meet. “The rising trajectory of international commodity prices, especially of crude, together with logistics costs, pose upside risks to inflation outlook,” the minutes said. Saturday’s matches Hungary vs France 6.30pm friday’s RESULTS Netherlands beat Austria 2-0 Sweden beat Slovakia 1-0 Croatia drew with Czech Republic 1-1 Portugal vs Germany 9.30pm Sunday Spain vs Poland 12.30am fridays’s MATCHES Columbia drew with Venezuela 0-0 Brazil beat Peru 4-0 No matches on Sunday Full coverage page 11 1948-2021 Poet & lyricist Ramesan Nair passes away E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @Kochi Three years ago when S Ramesan Nair was selected for the Kendra Sahitya Akademi award, filmmaker Adoor Gopalakrishnan said he had actually deserved a bigger honour like Jnanpith Puraskar. Poet and lyricist Ramesan Nair didn’t wait for that honour and succumbed to Covid on Friday evening. Over the last 40 years, Ramesan Nair had won the hearts of Malayali readers and listeners through his po- 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. etry film songs and devotional songs. , He has more than 450 film songs to his credit and some of them have found place in the evergreen list of melodies. He died at a private hospital here where he had been undergoing treatment after testing positive for Covid. Ramesan Nair’s masterpiece, ‘Guru Pournami’, the poem based on the life of Sree Narayana Guru, won him the Kendra Sahitya Akademi award in 2018. Malayali readers had tasted the nectar of Tamil classics ‘Chilap- athikaram’ and ‘Thirukkural’ through the translations of Nair. His debut film as a lyricist was Pathamudayam for which he penned songs in 1985. Nair who had worked with Kerala Sahitya Akademi briefly later joined All India Radio as a producer. The radio drama ‘Sathabhishekam’ written by him in 1994 triggered a political storm in Kerala. The devotional audio album, ‘Mayilpeeli’, released in 1993 for which he wrote nine songs — composed by Jayan of Jaya-Vijaya duo — praising Lord Krishna had ● More on P4 created a sales record. 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 NATIONWIDE june 17 june 18 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths Jab-o-meter 67,208 1,03,570 2,330 Take your shot 62,480 88,977 1,587 June 17 29,64,596 doses June 18 29,84,172 doses Total doses: 27,20,72,645 statewide Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths june 17 june 18 12,469 13,614 11,361 12,147 88 90 State sets new record in liquor sale T’Puram: Kerala has once again set a new benchmark in liquor consumption. The reopening day of liquor outlets in Kerala after 51 days’ closure because of Covid surge has seen a record sale of Rs 52 crore through Kerala State Beverages Corporation outlets. The outlets under Consumerfed sold liquor to the tune of Rs 8 crore. P5
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