chennai l tuesday l november 30, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l vellore EDITION Parag Agrawal to replace Twitter CEO jack dorsey Agrawal, the micro-blogging site’s chief technology officer and an IIT Bombay graduate, gets Dorsey’s endorsement Jack Dorsey | AFP Parag Agrawal | twitter Agrawal was key for the turnaround Dorsey’s tumultuous leadership Jack Dorsey, a Twitter co-founder who returned to the helm in 2015 and acted as a stabilising force inside the iconic Silicon Valley firm, heaped heavy praise on Parag Agrawal, a veteran techie of Microsoft and Yahoo. “Parag has been behind every critical decision that helped turn this company around,” Dorsey said in a message posted on Twitter ■ ■ Some big investors have questioned Dorsey’s leadership, as he is CEO of both Twitter and payments firm Square, a public company Agrawal has been Twitter’s CTO since 2017. He takes over as CEO and a board member, effective immediately. Meanwhile Bret Taylor, Salesforce.com COO, has been named Chairman | P9 Mar 21, 2006 World’s first Tweet, by Dorsey, read: ‘just setting up my twttr’ 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 Fresh guidelines for flyers as WHO warns of ‘very high’ Omicron risk E x p r ess N e w s S e r v i c e @ New Delhi The Union health ministry announced new guidelines for air travellers on Monday as the World Health Organization warned that the new coronavirus variant Omicron poses a “very high” risk globally . The new guidelines for arrivals in India, which come into effect from December 1, mandate that they first submit their 14-day travel history and a negative RT-PCR report on the Air Suvidha portal before boarding their flight. As reported on Sunday trav, ellers from at-risk countries will be tested on arrival at airports, which will be in addition to the Covid-19 test taken 72 hours before departure. For travellers from countries not in the at-risk group, 5% in each Jab-o-meter Take your shot Nov 28 42,04,171 doses Nov 29 70,85,126 doses Total: 123,15,68,149 flight will be randomly tested. The at-risk countries include the European Union nations, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Singapore, Hong Kong and Israel. Meanwhile, the United Nations expressed concerns over NATIONWIDE nov 28 nov 29 tamil nadu nov 28 nov 29 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 8,774 8,309 9,481 9,905 621 236 736 772 9 730 767 9 the isolation of southern Africa, where Omicron was first detected, as more countries prohibited travel from that region. In a related development, the health ministers of the Group of Seven countries began an emergency meeting over the variant. Japan said on Monday it would bar entry of all foreign visitors, following similar announcements by Israel and Morocco. Portugal, Spain and Scotl a n d h ave re p o r t e d n ew Omicron cases. P7, 12 What travellers flying to India should keep in mind Upload your 14-day travel history and a negative RT-PCR report, taken 72 hours prior to the travel, to the Air Suvidha portal before boarding If travelling from an “at-risk” country, RT-PCR tests are mandatory for all upon arrival at airports, regardless of vaccination status A passenger arrives at London’s Heathrow Airport on Monday | AP Farm laws stubble burnt in 8 mins Opposition demand for discussion on repeal bill disallowed; LS, RS adjourned for the day M A N I S H A N A N D a nd RICHA S HAR M A @ New Delhi NDRF personnel carry oxygen cylinders for a patient who couldn’t step outdoors due to flooding, at Vijay Nagar near West Tambaram on Monday | Ashwin Prasath New weather system may spare State A low pressure area forming over South Andaman Sea is set to concentrate into a depression and move towards coastal AP and Odisha It is unlikely to bring rains to TN However, light to moderate rainfall is likely in Chennai on Tuesday and Wednesday 17 cm rainfall in Cuddalore (highest in TN) in 24 hours till 8.30 am Monday 16 cm recorded in Sivalogam and Kanniyakumari in the same period 1,031 mm rainfall received in Chennai (Nungambakkam) this month. It was 1,049 mm in 2015 Schools in Kancheepuram and Chengalpattu districts will remain closed on Tuesday, while in Tiruvallur district, both schools and colleges will remain shut Rain toll crosses 100 in Tamil Nadu E XPR E S S N E W S S E RVIC E @ Chennai At least 106 people have died in rain-related incidents in Tamil Nadu, Revenue Minister KKSSR Ramachandran said on Monday The . State has provided relief to the tune of `2.36 crore to the kin of 59 of the deceased, and will provide aid to the others following inquiries, he added. Besides, 13 people, who were injured due to the rains, have been given a compensation of `55,900. In the 24 hours ending 8 am on Monday 209 , cattle and 5,600 chickens were killed in rainrelated incidents, and 1,139 hutments and 189 houses were damaged, the minister said at a press conference, adding that `3.43 crore has been given as compensation for loss of cattle, and `10.17 crore for loss of huts. He also indicated that another Central team might visit Tamil Nadu to assess the damage due to the rain. At a recent all-party meeting in New Delhi, DMK parliamentary party leader TR Baalu informed the Union government that a further assessment of the damage is needed. The minister said between October 1 and November 29, Tamil Nadu received an average rainfall of 635.42 mm, which is 80 per cent above the normal rainfall for this period (352.60 mm). In 2015, Chennai received 1,610 mm of rain, and this year, so far, the city has received 1,866 mm. Statewide, 15,164 people have been lodged in 182 relief camps. Responding to a question, Ramachandran said, “The government is taking the lessons learnt about water stagnation during the current rainy season, and will set things right in the coming days.” Officials have been told to identify stagnation-prone spots and take permanent steps to avoid flooding, once the rains subside. Showing great urgency to wash its hands of the three contentious farm laws that have burnt its fingers, the government on Monday got Parliament approval for its repeal bill within minutes, brushing aside demands for a debate. With that, the three laws entered the dustbin of history. The Centre managed to get the proverbial monkey off its back after a year. When the legislations were rammed through in Parliament last year, the Centre had claimed they would usher in revolutionary reforms that would change the fate of agriculture and farmers in India. While NDA floor managers claimed there was no precedent for discussion on repeal bills, leader of the Congress in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury argued that records since 2014 show both Houses had dis- express read RBI supersedes board of Reliance Capital New Delhi: The Reserve Bank of India on Monday superseded the board of Anil Ambani’s Reliance Capital and said it will initiate insolvency proceedings. This is the third major non-banking financial company (NBFC) against which the RBI has begun bankruptcy proceedings in recent years. The central bank said the company defaulted on payment obligations and has governance issues | P10 RBI proposes digital currency as bank note New Delhi: The Union finance ministry said on Monday it has received a proposal from RBI to include digital currency under the definition of a ‘bank note’. “Introduction of CBDC has the potential to provide significant benefits, such as reduced dependency on cash, higher seigniorage due to lower transaction costs, reduced settlement risk,” it said | P10 cussed such legislations. The process began at 12.07 pm when Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla asked Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar to present item number 14, Farm Laws Repeal Bill, 2021, which proposed negating the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act. By 12.10 pm, Lok Sabha passed the bill by voice vote and adjourned for the day amidst sloganeering by the Opposition, whose members stayed put in the well of the House demanding a discussion on the bill. Two hours later, Rajya Sabha passed the bill in five minutes flat. Leader of the Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge, who was allotted two minutes to make clocking it 5.5 hrs: Spirited debate in Lok Sabha on the three contentious bills on Sept 17, 2020; passed by voice vote. Shiromani Akali Dal walks out of the NDA in protest 2 hrs: Debate in Rajya Sabha on Sept 20, 2020; bills passed by voice vote 3 mins: Time taken by Lok Sabha to approve the repeal bill on Nov 29, 2021 5 mins: Was all Rajya Sabha required to pass the repeal bill on Nov 29, 2021 his point, attacked the Centre for alleged “deaths of 700 farmers during the year long agitation against the farm laws”. Last year, Lok Sabha had witnessed a spirited debate on the laws for five-and-a-half hours during which Shiromani Akali Dal leader Sukhbir Singh Badal announced his decision to walk out of the ruling NDA alliance in protest. Rajya Sabha, too, had discussed the bills for about two hours. In his brief remarks on Monday, Tomar regretted that the government could not convince the agitating farmers about the benefits of the laws, reiterating claims that the Congress-led previous governments had also argued for agrarian reforms. DMK leader Tiruchy Siva said the repeal bill was circulated as supplementary business, but was not even discussed in the day’s Business Advisory Committee meeting. Earlier in the day leaders of , 11 Opposition parties met at Kharge’s office in Parliament to formulate a strategy on matters to be taken up for debate. The Trinamool Congress and the Aam Admi Party abstained. 12 OPPositioN RS Mps suspended, EXPECT Stormy session today RICHA S HAR M A @ New Delhi The second day of the Winter Session of Parliament on Tuesday is expected to be stormy with the Opposition and the Centre on a collision course over the suspension of 12 Rajya Sabha members. Six MPs from the Congress, two each from Trinamool Congress and Shiv Sena, and one each from CPI and CPM were suspended on Monday for the rest of the session for their ‘unruly’ conduct in the previous session in August. The MPs suspended under Rule 256 are: Phulo Devi Netam, Chhaya Verma, Ripun Bora, Rajamani Patel, Syed Nasir Hussain and Akhilesh Prasad Singh of the Congress; Dola Sen and Shanta Chhetri of the TMC; Priyanka Chaturvedi and Anil Desai of the Shiv Sena; the CPM’s Opposition leaders staging a protest in the Rajya Sabha on Monday | PTI Elamaram Kareem and CPI’s Binoy Viswam. As soon as Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi moved the motion to suspend the MPs, Opposition members rose to protest the move, which led to the House being suspended for the day . Calling the suspension unfortunate and unwarranted, a joint statement issued by 14 opposition parties said their floor leaders will meet on Tuesday to discuss future strategy “to resist authoritarian decisions of the government and defend parliamentary democracy”. The TMC was not a signatory to the statement. According to sources, the suspended MPs are planning to meet Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu and apologise for their behaviour. If the suspension is not revoked, the Opposition may boycott House proceedings on Tuesday . Many of the suspended MPs termed it as “murder of democracy” where they are being punished for raising people’s voice in the House. “We were not even called to explain our stand,” said an agitated Chaturvedi. Passengers who tested negative will have to undergo home isolation for seven days, followed by repeat testing on eight day of arrival, followed by seven days of self-monitoring sharp posture TMC is main Oppn party, so act like one, Didi tells MPs E x p r ess N e w s S e r v i c e @ Kolkata The Trinamool Congress will emerge the main anti-BJP political force in national politics, TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee said in the party’s working committee meeting on Monday . She directed the party MPs to act accordingly during the winter session of Parliament. “The thumping majority of the TMC in the recent Assembly polls showed clearly that no one can challenge the BJP other than our party Many speak. ers in the meeting echoed the same in their speeches,” said Derek O’Brien, national spokesperson of TMC. He said the next working committee meeting would be held in Delhi. The TMC, which recently enrolled many leaders from other parties, especially the Congress, in Goa, Tripura, Meghalaya and Haryana, plans to expand its footprint outside Bengal ahead of the 2024 LS polls. “ We h o p e the defection from other parties will send a negative message to the vote-bank of the affected political outfits but will work in favour of the TMC. As a result, in the states where the Congress was main opponent of the BJP our party will , get elevated to the saffron camp’s main contender,” said a TMC leader, adding that there would be more defections in the coming days. On Monday the TMC skipped , the meeting of opposition parties convened by the Congress, saying the grand old party has miserably failed to contest the BJP in recent elections. During her three-day visit to Mumbai starting Tuesday, Mamata will meet NCP supremo Sharad Pawar and her Maharashtra counterpart Uddhav Thackeray . Madurai cop arrested for intercepting, AIADMK will challenge HC order on Jaya home: EPS raping woman returning from movie M S a b a r i @ Salem E x p r ess N e w s S e r v i c e @ Madurai A police constable was arrested in Madurai on Monday night for allegedly raping a woman who was returning from a late show of a movie. Departmental action is being initiated against him. Sources said the woman went for a movie with five colleagues on Saturday night. One of them was dropping her home on a bike. On the way around 2am on Sunday, two cops, including constable Murugan of the Thilagar Thidal (Crime) police station, allegedly intercepted the duo. The policemen made insinuations about their relationship, asking if they were married, and if their families knew they were “together”. Murugan allegedly took the man’s mobile phone and sent him off, the sources said. He then allegedly told his colleague he would send the woman home in an auto and left with her. Then, he allegedly took her to a lodge, and raped her before sending her home by auto. Sources said the woman didn’t open up about the incident till Monday morning when she told her colleague. He lodged a complaint with the AWPS South. City Commissioner of Police Prem Anand Sinha inquired about the case. A senior police official said Murugan was being remanded and would be suspended soon. P Thamarai Kannan, Additional Director General of Police, Law and Order, said Murugan has been booked under Section 376 of the IPC. AIADMK joint coordinator and former chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami (EPS) on Monday said the party will appeal against the Madras High Court judgment setting aside the Tamil Nadu government’s order to acquire Veda Nilayam (the residence of late former chief minister J Jayalalithaa) and convert it into a memorial. The party’s executive committee will take a call on this when it meets on December 1, he added. The development assumes significance as EPS does not want anyone to get political mileage by gaining possession of Veda Nilayam, said political observers. “The legal heirs may allow (Jaya’s confidante) VK Sasikala into Poes Garden as a permissible occupant. But EPS doesn’t want J Deepa (Jaya’s niece) or Sasikala there since he sees them as hurdles to his political career,” political analyst Raveendran Duraisamy told TNIE, adding that EPS wants to project himself as a leader like M Karunanidhi or Jayalalithaa. Duraisamy added that the AIADMK does not have any locus standi to appeal against the verdict. “Only the government can do it. The high court verdict is crystal clear. So the DMK government may go by it.” Echoing this view, former AIADMK MP KC Palanisamy said, “It is an issue between the legal heirs and the government. We don’t know what right the AIADMK has to appeal against the verdict. The party may talk to the legal heirs, buy Veda Nilayam, and convert it into a memorial, since there are chances the Income Tax (IT) Department would attach the property for IT arrears and bring it up for auction. This is the only opt i o n t o s o l ve t h e i s s u e amicably .” However, former AIADMK minister D Jayakumar supported EPS’ views, saying, “The DMK government didn’t argue the case strongly due to political vendetta.” P4
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