kottayam l saturday l june 03, 2023 l `9.00 l PAGES 12 l city EDITION PM Modi to address U.S. Congress joint session for the second time On June 22, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will share his vision of India’s future and speak on the global challenges facing the two countries Rare honour for Indian prime minister bIDEN TO HOST Modi FOR STATE DINNER Ex-British PM Winston Churchill and South African prez Nelson Mandela are among the few who were accorded this rare honour on two occasions. Earlier, Modi had addressed a joint session in June 2016. Ex-PM Manmohan Singh had addressed the joint session on July 19, 2005, Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Sept 14, 2000, Narasimha Rao on May 18, 1994 and Rajiv Gandhi on July 13, 1985 ■ The invitation to Modi was issued by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell and House Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries ■ US President Joe Biden will host Prime Minister Modi for an Official State visit to the US, which will include a state dinner on June 22 Dec 10, 1824 When The tradition of foreign leaders addressing the u.s. Congress began CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOgGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI At least 30 killed in Odisha train collision 2 coaches of B’luru-Howrah Express derail and ram Howrah-Chennai Coromandel Superfast Express 15 coaches of Coromandel Express go into a tailspin and overturn; toll may go up as many remain trapped Hemant Kumar Rout Hospitals struggling with influx of injured @ Bhubaneswar IN one of the worst railway accidents in recent memory, over 30 passengers are believed to have died, with hundreds trapped, after two express trains derailed and collided at Bahanaga railway station in Odisha’s Balasore district on Friday evening. The incident took place when two coaches of BengaluruHowrah Express derailed and rammed into the HowrahChennai Coromandel Superfast Express. Bahanaga railway station is about 180km from Bhubaneswar. Following the crash, at least 15 coaches of Coromandel Express went into a tailspin and overturned. The casualty numbers could well rise as rescue and relief teams found evacuation extremely difficult as passengers lay crushed under affected coaches. Coromandel Express, which bore the brunt of the impact, can carry 1,516 passengers. Going by preliminary reports, the death toll could go way past 30. Another source said it could reach 70. Odisha government and Indian Railways mounted a massive rescue operation but Ambulances and hospitals were finding it difficult to deal with the large number of injured people Prez, PM express grief President Droupadi Murmu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed grief over the loss of lives in the train accident. Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw has announced ex gratia of Rs 10 lakh to the kin of the deceased Third train involved According to reports, a goods train was also involved in the accident as the coaches of the Coromandel Express hit its wagons after getting derailed Rescue work on at the accident site in Odisha’s Balasore district on Friday | Express found it difficult to move the injured to hospitals in Balasore. Railway sources said two bogies of Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express moving down line first derailed at the station and hit the Coromandel Express coming on the up track at about 7pm. As news of the accident spread, hundreds of local residents rushed to the spot to rescue trapped passengers. Sources said more than 300 injured passengers have been rescued so far with over 600 are still trapped. The state government has directed DG (fire services) Sudhanshu Sarangi to monitor rescue operations. Four teams of the Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force and four teams of National Disaster Response Force teams have been deployed for rescue operations. Balasore Collector Dattatraya Bhausaheb Shinde has Sevenfold spike in microplastic pollution on Kerala coast post 2018 flood, says study E x p r e ss N e ws S e r v i c e @Kozhikode There has been a sevenfold increase in the concentration of microplastics in the surface waters of the Kerala coast, post the devastating 2018 flood, a study by researchers of the Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies (Kufos) and the National Institute of Technology Calicut (NITC) has found. The study assessed microplastic pollution along the 300km stretch from Kozhikode to Kollam, and compared it with data prior to the deluge. “Microplastic pollution was found to be highest off Kochi, followed by Kozhikode and Kollam. Microplastics are plastic particles less than 5 mm size that are rapidly accumulating in the marine environment. They Monsoon likely to keep June 4 date with state E x p r e ss N e ws S e r v i c e @T’Puram The southwest monsoon has advanced and is likely to reach the state around June 4 as announced by the India Meteorological Department (IMD). The monsoon has already made its way to Lakshadweep, the Maldives and Sri Lanka. While the conditions remain favourable, experts are observing a developing cyclonic system in the sea as it could affect the onset. The recent pick-up in rainfall has raised hopes of monsoon onset as per schedule. The IMD sounded yellow alerts for Ernakulam, Idukki, Alappuzha and Pathanamthitta on Saturday, while extending the same to Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam and Kottayam on Sunday . The monsoon onset has been slightly delayed this year. Private weather forecaster Skymet has predicted onset on June 7. What are microplastics? Plastic particles less than 5mm in size The main type of microplastic found is fibre. Synthetic textiles, fishing nets and ropes are major sources of fibre in marine environment are a cause of concern because of their widespread presence in the oceans and the potential physical and toxicological risks they pose to aquatic organisms, said Kufos’ Nikhil V G, lead researcher. How are these dangerous? Widespread presence of microplastics in oceans and the potential physical and toxicological risks these pose to aquatic organisms are a cause of concern These can reduce marine productivity Once these chemicals reach food web, it can Microplastics are known bio-accumulate in to be carriers of toxic higher life forms, chemicals, including heavy including metals to organisms human beings The study found that the concentration of microplastic along Kerala coast was highest during pre-monsoon season. The main type of microplastic found is fibre, with an elongated thread-like structure. ● More on P4 Since 1985 been directed to make all necessary arrangements. The injured passengers have been admitted to Soro CHC, Gopalpur CHC and Khantapada PHC. As many as 50 ambulances and 15 teams of firefighters from Balasore and Bhadrak districts were pressed into service. Oppn cross as panel backs sedition law S h r u t i K a kk a r @ New Delhi Appalled at the Law Commission of India recommending the retention of the colonial sedition law, the O p p o s i t i o n o n F r i d ay charged that the government wants to use its report to make it more draconian. The panel recommended amending the law to enhance the prison term for offenders from three years to seven years, and incorporating a clause on the “tendency to incite violence” or causing public disorder, citing a Supreme Court verdict in the Kedar Nath case. The tendency to incite violence would mean “mere inclination to incite violence or cause public order rather than proof of actual violence or imminent threat to violence”, which would make the law more draconian. In his pushback, Union law minister Arjun Ram Meghwal said the recommendations were persuasive but not binding, adding the final call would be taken only after consulting all the stakeholders. The report said the sedition law is the traditional penal mecha- nism to safeguard the unity and integrity on the country , adding it seeks to prevent violent, illegal, and unconstitutional overthrow of a democratically elected government. The panel headed by former Karnataka HC Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi, in its report, said merely being a colonial legacy cannot be a valid ground for the repeal of Section 124A (sedition) of the IPC. It went on to claim that the law is a reasonable restriction on the fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression. The report also said repealing Section 124A merely because certain countries have done so would essentially mean turning a blind eye to the ground realities in India. It recommended the Centre to issue model guidelines to curb misuse of Section 124A. The Law Commission also suggested amending Section 154 of the Code of Criminal Procedure to the effect that an FIR under Section 124A would be registered only after a police officer, not below the rank of Inspector, conducts a preliminary inquiry .
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