BHUBANESWAR l tuesday l december 07, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l JEYPORE EDITION with series win over kiwis, India Reclaim top ranking Virat Kohli & Co are No 1 ranked Test team after beating world champions New Zealand by 372 runs at Wankhede Stadium Dominating show continues at home Ashwin chases Murali, Kumble record India’s victory margin is their highest in Tests in terms of runs. The win against New Zealand is their 14th straight series win at home, with their last defeat dating back to 2012 against England. Since 2013, India have lost only two Test matches at home. New Zealand, meanwhile, are without a Test win in India since 1988 | p11 ■ ■ Nine Man-of-the-Series awards for R Ashwin in Tests put him on level with South African great Jacques Kallis. Only Muttiah Muralitharan (11 awards) is ahead of Ashwin now Ashwin now has 300 Test wickets at home, the second Indian to achieve the feat. Anil Kumble, with 350 wickets leads the list 14/225 Ajaz patel’s match figures are the best by a player in a losing side 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 Terror, trade dominate summit We perceive India as a great power, a friendly nation and a time-tested friend - Vladimir Putin Detailed discussion on Afghan situation and cross-border terror; enhanced cooperation in military, oil & gas, petrochem and space M AYA N K S I N G H @ New Delhi express read Suu Kyi sentenced to two years in prison Aung San Suu Kyi, the civilian leader of Myanmar who was ousted in a de facto coup this year, was convicted on two charges on Monday and handed a four-year sentence that was quickly cut in half — in proceedings widely criticised as a further effort by the country’s military rulers to roll back the democratic gains of recent years | P9 Don’t charge-sheet Param Bir: SC New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Maharashtra Police not to file any charge sheet in the cases against former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh but allowed it to continue probing the matters. It asked the CBI to respond on Singh’s plea for transfer of probe in the ongoing cases | P8 Prime Minister Narendra Modi greets visiting Russian President Vladimir Putin before their meeting at Hyderabad House in New Delhi on Monday | Shekhar Yadav Nine govt-to-govt pacts in basket of 28 Four agreements in defence sector signed In all, 28 agreements signed, including nine government-togovernment pacts. The G2G pacts include developing a roadmap for science, technology and innovation; IPR rights; military-technical ties from 2021 to 2031; earth sciences and geological study of subsoil; amendment to recognise seafarer’s identity documents; cultural exchange; peaceful use of outer space plus building and operating space launch vehicles and setting up ground-based space infrastructure India and Russia concluded four major defence equipment deals, including on procuring 6,01,427 AK-203 assault rifles through Indo-Russia Rifles Prt Ltd. The rifles will be manufactured at a cost of around `5,000 crore. The agreements were signed at the 20th meeting of the India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Military and Military-Technical Cooperation. Another pact was on amending the agreement on cooperation in the field of manufacturing of the Kalashnikov series of small arms that was originally sealed in February 2019 Don’t panic, no third wave yet, say experts S U M I S U K A N YA DUTTA @ New Delhi wHILE rising Covid cases in 50 districts of nine states have set alarm bells ringing in the backdrop of Omicron scare, experts say fears of a third wave of the pandemic may be unfounded at this stage. So far, a total of 23 Omicron infections have been confirmed in the country with Maharashtra reporting two more cases on Monday “Two more cases . of Omicron, a 37-year-old South Africa returnee man and his 36-year-old US returnee friend, have been confirmed,” the state gover nment said. Notably neither , of the two patients displayed any Covid symptom. And, both had taken Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine. Over the past 10 days, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Delhi, Karnataka, Jammu & Kashmir, Odisha and Mizoram have reported a notable uptick in active Covid cases, prompting the Union health ministry to shoot off letters asking these states to step up surveillance and disease containment measures. According to public health Jab-o-meter Take your shot Dec 05 24,55,911 doses Dec 06 71,91,939 doses Total: 128,66,56,967 specialists, the spike in cases is the result of increased testing involving those who are seen asymptomatic or mil d ly symptomatic. Health economist Rijo M John, who has been studying Covid numbers since the beginning of the pandemic, said: “There is absolutely no sign of cases going up at the national level at the moment… We would not see a third wave as bad as the second in India.” Epidemiologist and health systems expert Dr Chandrakant Lahariya said he is not worried about the spread of Omicron pushing the wave of infections in the country. “Based on available information on the variant so far-we do not panic yet as in our kind of setting, any big third wave is now highly unlikely,” he opined. “We need to understand that the number of infections in some districts and even the test positivity rate to some extent are bound to rise due to targeted testing and testing of even the asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic people,” Lahariya added. NATIONWIDE dec 05 dec 06 odisha dec 05 dec 06 Fresh cases 8,895 8,306 Fresh cases Recoveries 6,918 8,834 Recoveries Deaths 2,796 211 Deaths 189 257 02 105 248 01 CROSS-border terrorism, the unfolding situation in Afghanistan and military cooperation apart from trade figured in the summit talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir here on Monday . India and Russia inked as many as 28 agreements during Putin’s visit. “President Putin’s visit was short but highly productive and substantive. There were excellent discussions between the two leaders,” said foreign secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla. Briefing media after the summit talks, Shringla said bilateral trade and investment figured prominently in the talks. “This year, we’ve noticed an encouraging trend of growth in our trades compared to last year. Both sides are looking forward to continued increase in trade and investment trajectory he added. ,” During the talks, Modi and Putin decided to continue close consultation and coordination on Afghanistan. “Both sides were clear Afghan territory should not be used for sheltering, training or planning any acts of terrorism,” the foreign secretary said. Six returnees from ‘at risk’ countries test Covid +ve in Odisha E x p r e ss N e w s S e r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar Six foreign returnees have tested positive for Covid-19 in Odisha since November 26, the day WHO announced emergence of Omicron. Official sources on Monday said persons who tested positive had returned from Dubai, Uganda and Saudi Arabia. The State government has sent a total 260 Covid positive samples from 134 districts, including those of the six returnees, to Institute of Life Sciences (ILS), Bhubaneswar, for genome sequencing. The sequencing data is awaited. ILS Director Dr Ajay Parida said the samples tested positive will undergo RT-PCR tests once again to ensure there is no false positive. “The Covid-19 positive sample having CT value of below 28 will be sequenced to ascertain the variants. The result is expected in the next couple of days,” he said. Surveillance on travellers from overseas has been intensified across the State after the detection of Omicron variant in 23 samples from five states/UTs - Karnataka, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Delhi. Health officials are, however, in a tight spot as more than 300 travellers of the 800-odd people who had recently returned from ‘at risk’ countries, are untraceable after their arrival in Odisha. Director of Public Health Dr Niranjan Mishra said around 40 per cent (pc) of the international travellers are not cooperating with the officials engaged to track them and arrange their testing on the eighth day of their arrival. “While some of the mobile numbers of the foreign returnees are found switched off, some of them have entered wrong addresses and contact numbers in the Air Suvidha portal. Some others claimed to have moved to other cities. Districts have been asked to send a list of foreign returnees tested positive so far,” he said. Last week’s genome sequencing data indicated that Delta variant continued to be the dominant lineage for new cases across the State. Of the 288 samples, including 242 from Odisha and 46 from Chhattisgarh, 59 were detected with AY.44 sublineage, 41 with Delta, 26 with AY.102 and the rest are of the sub-lineage of Delta variant. 900 employees of Better.com axed on Zoom S amiksha G o e l @ New Delhi Call it Worse.com if you will. The CEO of US-based firm Better.com, Vishal Garg, laid off 900 employees during a bizarre Zoom call, shocking the company’s staff ahead of the festive season. The sacked employees comprised about 9% of the digital mortgage lender. Reports said the lay-offs are mainly in India and the US, and that the Zoom call lasted just three minutes. the call came out of the blue. “If you’re on this call, you are part Garg, an abrasive executive, had of the unlucky group being laid off. once called his employees “a bunch of Your employment here is termiDUMB DOLPHINS” in a staff nated effective immediately,” email. Garg said in the one-way video TechCrunch speculated that call on December 1. An employthe lay-offs may have been a ee filmed the call and leaked it condition for Better.com’s recently on social media. backers — which include SoftOne of the laid-off workers Bank — greenlighting a soontold this newspaper that they er-than-expected cash infufelt cheated and devastated, as Vishal Garg sion of $750 million. Indo-Russian cooperation in the strategic area of energy was discussed in detail. “We have expressed our interest in further investments in the oil & gas sector, and in petrochemicals,” Shringla said. Putin said Russia’s cooperation with India in the military and technical spheres is unique. “By that I mean we develop technologies together as well as produce in India.” he said. On cross-border terrorism and Afghanistan, Putin said, “We continue to cooperate jointly on global agenda… our positions are similar. Naturally we , are concerned about everything that has got to do with terrorism. I mean fight against terrorism, drug trafficking, organised crime etc. We are concerned about the developments and situation in Afghanistan.” Sources said Putin called India a great nation. He also laid stress on boosting economic cooperation while giving his opening remarks during the meeting between the two leaders. ModiPutin summit talks were held after the foreign and defence ministers of the two countries held their inaugural ‘2+2’ dialogue. This was Putin’s second visit abroad since the lockdown. P7 Army tried to hide bodies: Naga govt P r asan ta M a z u m d a r @ Guwahati Special forces of the Army not only shot dead civilians in a case of mistaken identity in Nagaland’s Mon on Saturday they also tried to hide the , bodies under tarpaulin, a report by the state’s Di‘Mistaken rector General of Police T John Longkumer and identity’ Commissioner Rovilatuo Mor revealed. A parallel first information report filed on the Home Minister incident by the police was equally damning. Amit Shah Claiming that the Army did not inform them of admitted in the operation against insurgents, it alleged that Parliament “it is obvious that the intention of (the) security that the forces is to murder and injure civilians.” Nagaland The report of the DGP and the Commissioner firing was a said the unarmed civilians were “ambushed and case of killed by security forces (reportedly 21 Para based mistaken in Assam) at random, apparently without any atidentity and tempt for identification.” Six civilians were killed expressed regret over the on the spot and two critically injured. What followed was a cover up attempt by hidcivilian killings ing the bodies and possibly taking them to the Army camp. “On hearing the gunshots, the villagers went to the spot being apprehensive that the individuals did not return home from work… AFSPA gives They found the pickup truck and the special forcunbridled es personnel trying to hide the dead bodies...by powers to security forces. wrapping and loading them in another pickup truck, apparently with the intention of taking the They can visit dead bodies to their base camp.” Violence broke your house, frisk and arrest out when the villagers found the bodies hidden people without under a tarpaulin sheet, the report said. a warrant. If A mass funeral for the victims was slated for they kill Sunday but put off by a day without any clear someone, there announcement, which enraged the locals and rewill be no case. sulted in an attack on an Assam Rifles camp in This has to go Mon, which left one protestor dead and six others Neiphiu Rio, with bulled injuries. Army men firing blanks furNagaland CM P7 ther enraged the mob, the report added.
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