JAB-O-METER TAKE YOUR SHOT July 21 20,83,892 doses July 22 48,86,103 doses TOTAL DOSES: 42,28,26,035 NATIONWIDE Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths TELANGANA The Opening Ceremony will be held without spectators amid Covid concerns on Friday ONLY 26 INDIANS TO MARCH MORE COVID CASES & OFF FIELD DRAMA In what is likely to be a running theme, two more athletes at the Village tested positive for Covid-19 on Thursday. Besides, 12 other Games-related personal were found infected. Meanwhile, Opening Ceremony director, Kentaro Kobayashi, was fired after footage emerged of him making Holocaust-related jokes in a 90s TV skit In a departure from the past, there will only be 26 during the march past. This is to avoid exposure to Covid-19. Two flag bearers will be men’s hockey captain Manpreet Singh and 2012 Olympic medallist MC Mary Kom | P11 JULY 22 42,015 36,977 3,998 JULY 21 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths HYDERABAD FRIDAY JULY 23, 2021 `7.00 PAGES 28 LATE CITY EDITION MUTED, SUBDUED TOKYO 2020 GAMES OPENS TODAY JULY 21 41,383 38,652 507 JULY 22 691 565 5 648 696 3 THE GALA TODAY 4.30PM: OPENING CEREMONY INDIA IN ARCHERY 5.30am onwards: Women’s individual ranking round 9.30am: Men’s individual ranking 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 Big drama in RS. Ex-CBI boss spied upon? Numbers of Alok Verma, Asthana on the database; French President Macron weighs options, reworks security protocols EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi THE Pegasus snoopgate continued to roil governments globally on Thursday, with French President Emmanuel Macron holding an emergency cybersecurity meeting to weigh action and rework security protocols after it emerged that his phone numbers figured among those that were potentially hacked. In Mexico, reports said previous administrations from 2012 to 2018 had spent about $300 million to purchase the spyware from the NSO Group, an Israeli firm. Back home, attempts by the Modi government to shake off charges of using the spyware became that much more difficult, with revelations that former CBI chief Alok Ver ma’s phone numbers were added to the list the day he was chucked out of the hot seat in 2018. Interestingly mobile num, bers of his adversary Rakesh Asthana were added to the list an hour before Verma’s. Meanwhile, Parliament continued to be in turmoil as both Houses witnessed sloganeering and disruptions. The Rajya Sabha witnessed high drama as Trinamool member Shantanu Sen snatched a copy of a statement on the spyware from Electronics and Information Technology minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, tore it up and flung it towards the Chair. Other Trinamool members did likewise and the House was adjourned for the day. Shortly thereafter, minister Hardeep Puri and Sen exchanged sharp words, forcing Marshals to intervene. Sen later said Puri verbally abused and was on the verge of assault before he was rescued. The Centre is learnt to be planning a privilege motion against Sen. The Opposition wants a discussion on Pegasus with Prime Minister Narendra Modi or Home minister Amit Shah speaking on the matter. FLOOD FIEND BACK TO HAUNT STATE SRSP nears full capacity EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Hyderabad THE mighty Godavari is in spate. People in the North Telangana districts are trembling with fear as the river is roaring down its course, filling projects to the brim, inundating villages and colonies and throwing life out of gear. As many as 16 of the 33 districts in the State are affected by the rains and floods. The entire course of the river in Telangana is now open as all the projects have lifted their floodgates. While the Godavari wreaks havoc in North Telangana, the Krishna river is rising menacingly. With Karnataka lifting the gates of Almatti and Narayanpur projects, water is coursing down to reach Jurala, from there to Srisailam and then to Nagarjuna Sagar. Though there are no reports of deaths so far from any corner of the State, the situation is very grim. The IMD has predicted heavy to very heavy BSY drops big hint with end of 2-yr tenure A S H W I N I M S R I PA D @ Bengaluru AMID heavy speculation over his exit after completing two years in office, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Thursday said that so far, he has not received any message from the party high command. “I will be completing two years in office on July 26. The party high command will send a message this weekend and I will abide by their direction,” he said, breaking his silence on the leadership issue. Yediyurappa also said he had decided to resign two months ago itself to make way for others. Last month, he had stated he will quit the day the high command asks him to do so. After his recent visit to the national capital, political circles have been abuzz with speculation over his imminent exit and the names of many BJP leaders are doing the rounds as his successor. As several seers from the Lingayat and other communities continue to extend their support to the Lingayat strongman and warn the BJP central leadership against dislodging him, the 78-yearold CM said Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP president JP Nadda had a ‘special concern’ for him and allowed him to work as CM even after 75 years of age and had also P5 appreciated his work. The Sriram Sagar project (SRSP), which is always near empty in July, is inching closer to its full 90 tmcft capacity and the excess water is being let off downstream into the Godavri river Floodwater gushes out of the gates of the SRSP on Thursday rains in the next couple of days, leaving the North Telangana districts in a state of panic. Residents marooned The residents of the district headquarters of Nirmal are going through an agonising ordeal. They are stuck in their homes as the roads in the town are flooded. Some of them are on their rooftops, crying for help, as the water levels are rising steadily The district re. ceived an average rainfall of more than 20 cm over the last 24 hours. The transportation links in Bhainsa, another town in the district, have been cut off. NDRF teams reached Nirmal late in the night and rescued about 150 people who have been moved to a temporary shelter. The rescue work is in progress. MORE ON P2, P3 Collectorate under water The newly built integrated collectorate complex in Sircilla is now knee-deep in water. MAUD Minister KT Rama Rao visited Siriclla and reviewed the situation with officials STAND BY IT, SAYS AMNESTY With the BJP trying to demolish the snoopgate list claiming it was fake, Amnesty International defended its findings. “Amnesty categorically stands by the findings of the Pegasus Project, and that the data is irrefutably linked to potential targets of NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware,” it said in a statement BID TO DISTRACT ATTENTION Rumours pushed on social media are intended to distract from the widespread unlawful targeting of journalists, activists and others, it added Tax raid on media group draws criticism EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Bhopal/Lucknow TAX sleuths knocked on the doors of Bhopal-headquartered Dainik Bhaskar group and Uttar Pradeshbased Bharat Samachar in the wee hours on Thursday, raiding their premises across various states for alleged tax evasion. Multiple teams of the I-T department from Delhi and Mumbai conducted the searches under Section 132 of the Income Tax Act at business premises owned by the two media groups in Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and UP following spe, cific inputs about tax evasion by these firms. The Bhaskar group, which runs around 65 daily newspaper editions in Hindi, Marathi and Gujarati, had run a series of stories on the alleged cover-up of casualties in MP Gujarat , and UP as well as the vaccine wastage in Rajasthan. After the authorities denied reports of mass graves on the banks of Ganga, it sent an army of reporters to document the same. The raids drew sharp criticism from Opposition leaders as both the media groups had done numerous stories and programmes highlighting the failure of authorities in managing the pandemic. “The attack on journalists and media houses is yet another BRUTAL attempt to stifle democracy tweeted ,” West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee. “Their message is clear that whoever will speak against the BJP government... will not be spared,” said Delhi Chief Minister Kejriwal, adding that the searches are an “attempt to scare the media”. However, government sources said the group evaded huge amounts of tax by claiming bogus expenses and purchases using shell entities.
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