SATURDAY www.thestatesman.com 09 JANUARY 2021 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 12 |` 5|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR OBAMA THE WORST? NITISH TO MAKE WAY FOR TEJASWI, CLAIMS BIHAR JDU MLA P5 WEATHER Partly cloudy sky. Shallow fog in the morning. Tomorrow’s maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 18 and 12 degrees Celsius respectively. WASHINGTON, 8 JANUARY Min:9.6°C (+3) SUN SETS 17:42 hrs MOON SETS 14:10 hrs THUMBNAILS Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee during the inauguration of the 26th Kolkata International Film Festival at Nabanna on Friday. SNS Mamata announces 100% occupancy in theatres: Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee announced that 100 per cent occupancy would be allowed in cinema halls, up from the current 50 per cent, while inaugurating the 26th Kolkata International Film Festival virtually from state secretariat Nabanna on Friday. “Chief secretary Alapan Bandopadhyay will issue necessary notifications in this regard. The cinema hall owners have to abide by all Covid protocols to ensure safety of people. Wearing of masks and carrying hand sanitisers are mandatory for people visiting the cinema halls,” said Miss Banerjee. Bird flu scare: Over 1.60 lakh birds at five poultry farms in Haryana's Panchkula district are set to be culled after some samples tested positive for bird flu, Agriculture Minister J P Dalal said. He said they had sent samples from two Panchkula poultry farms to Bhopal for testing. Five samples of Siddharth Poultry Farm at Kheri village in Raipur Rani block of Panchkula tested positive for H5N8 strain of avian flu. Dalal said poultry birds of five poultry farms falling within 1-km radius of the two farms will be culled. P3 W ith 12 days left in his term, President Donald Trump has finally bent to reality amidst growing talk of trying to force him out early, acknowledging he’ll peacefully leave after Congress affirmed his defeat. Trump led off a video from the White House Thursday by condemning the violence carried out in his name a day earlier at the Capitol. Then, for the first time on camera, he admitted his presidency would soon end ~though he declined to mention President-elect Joe Biden by name or explicitly state he had lost.“A new administration will be inaugurated on 20 January,” Trump said in the video. “My focus now turns to ensuring a smooth, orderly and seamless transition of power. This moment calls for healing and reconciliation.” The address, which appeared designed to stave off talk of a forced early eviction, came at the end of a day when the cornered president stayed out of sight in the White House. Silenced on some of his favourite internet lines of communication, he watched the resignations of several top aides, including two Cabinet secretaries. And as officials sifted through the aftermath of the pro-Trump mob’s siege of the US Capitol, there was growing discussion of impeaching him a second time or invoking the 25th Amendment to oust him 1 NEW DELHI, 8 JANUARY 2 3 many leaders said they have lost hope now that any resolution could be reached even in the next round of negotiations. The meeting at Vigyan Bhawan in the heart of the national capital lasted for little over two hours, during which just about one hour of discussions took place, after which union leaders went on With 18,139 new coronavirus infections and 234 deaths in the last 24 hours, India’s overall tally stood at 1,04,13,417, while the death toll touched 1,50,570, the Ministry of Health and FamilyWelfare said on Friday. Till now, 1,00,37,398 Covi19 patients have recovered. Currently, there are 2,25,449 active cases. The recovery rate stands at 96.36 per cent while the fatality rate is 1.45 as per cent, Ministry data stated. Maharashtra continues to be the worst-hit state till date, while over 79 per cent of the daily new cases are being reported by 10 states and Union Territories ~ Kerala, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan. The number of people who have tested positive for the new UK variant of SARS-CoV-2 has climbed to 82 in India, the Health Ministry also informed. The number of such people stood at 73 till 6 January. Delhi records 444 fresh Covid cases: Delhi today recorded 444 Covid cases following 75,724 tests conducted all over the city. Its Covid caseload thus mounted to 6,29,282, according to the Delhi government's latest health bulletin. The city logged 10 fresh Covid-linked fatalities, which raised its coronavirus toll to 10,654, the health bulletin said. (SEE P2) There was no breakthrough at the end of 8th round of Centrefarmer talks. The next meeting is on 15 January as any headway at present depends on a apex Court hearing on 11 January on a batch of petitions related to the protest Farcical action by Pak: India NEW DELHI, 8 JANUARY PRESS TRUST OF INDIA LAHORE, 8 JANUARY Mumbai attack mastermind and Lashkar-e-Taiba operations commander Zaki-urRehman Lakhvi was sentenced to 5 years in jail on Friday by a Pakistani anti-terrorism court here in a terror financing case, amidst growing international pressure on Islamabad to bring to justice terrorists roaming free in the country. Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) Lahore Judge Ejaz Ahmad Buttar sentenced UN-proscribed terrorist Lakhvi to five years of rigorous imprisonment each on three counts with a fine of PKR 100,000 ($ 620) each on three counts. His punishment will run concurrently. “The Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) Lahore convicted Lakhvi for commission of offences of terrorism financing in a case registered by the CTD for 15 years under different sections of the AntiTerrorism Act 1997, a court official said after the hearing. “In default of payment of fine, he will have to undergo an imprisonment of six months each on three counts. He has been sent to prison to serve the sentences, the official said. 4 UP: Five dead after consuming spurious liquor MEERUT, 8 JANUARY India today termed as ‘farcical’ the sentencing by a Pakistani anti-terrorism court of Mumbai attack mastermind and LeT commander Zakiur-Rehman Lakhvi to 5 years in jail in a terror funding case. Last month, a Pakistani court had sentenced JuD chief Hafiz Saeed, another key planner of the Mumbai attack, to fifteen and a half years in jail in one of the several terror-financing cases against him. “The timing of these actions clearly suggests the intention of conveying a sense of compliance ahead of the APJG (Asia Pacific Joint Group) meeting and next FATF (Financial Action Task Force) plenary meeting in February. It has become routine for Pakistan to come up with such farcical actions prior to important meetings,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said at a media briefing. SNS Lakhvi pleaded before the court that he was falsely implicated. He was accused of running a dispensary and using funds collected for terrorism financing. “He and others collected funds from this dispensary and used these funds for further terrorism financing. He also used these funds for personal expenses, the CTD said. China mulls India’s proposal to end plight of stranded crew STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 8 JANUARY The Indian bulk cargo vessel MV Jag Anand of Great Eastern Shipping company has been on anchorage near Jingtang port in Hebei province of China since 13 June with 23 Indian nationals as crew on board. Another vessel, MV Anastasia, which has 16 Indian nationals as its crew, has been on anchorage near China’s Caofeidian port since 20 September. Both these vessels have been waiting for discharge of their cargo. There is a growing stress on the crew members on account of the long delay. The spokesperson said, “With regard to the request of exploring alternative modes of crew change at sea, this possibility has also been taken up with the Chinese authorities, who have indicated that the details for this option are being worked out. We are awaiting these details from the Chinese authorities.” He said that in view of China’s strict Covid-19 pandemic control as well as various travel restrictions in place, the Chinese authorities have outlined detailed steps to ensure the smooth movement of new crew to China to effect crew change. These steps have to be complied by the concerned shipping companies. On the military stand-off at eastern Ladakh, the spokesperson said the two sides have agreed to hold the next round of senior commanders’ meeting. a maun vrat (vow of silence) holding placards with 'Jeetenge Ya Marenge' (We will win or die) and did not take a lunch break, while the three Union ministers left the room for their own internal consultations. Briefing the media after the talks, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said no decision could be reached as the farmer leaders did not pre- sent alternatives to their demand for the repeal of the laws. Union leaders, however, insisted they do not want anything less than the repeal of the laws and they are ready to fight till death. The union leaders also said the farmers, will continue with their plan to hold a tractor rally on Republic Day on 26 January. Spurious liquor claimed five lives in Jeetgarhi village of Secundrabad area in district Bulandshahar on Thursday night. Condition of five others who also consumed the liquor have been stated to be critical. 16 villagers were admitted to the hospital as their condition deteriorated. Taking cognisance in the matter, UP CM Yogi Adityanath has instructed the officials to provide best treatment to those who have fallen sick and directed the officials to take immediate action and book the accused under National Security Act. According to SSP Bulandshahr, the villagers had consumed spurious liquor supplied to them by a person named Kuldeep on Thursday night. Shortly after drinking, their condition started deteriorating. SNS Flights from UK to India resume India completes second vaccine dry run NEW DELHI, 8 JANUARY Farmers during their protest against the new farm laws on a SNS cold day at Delhi’s Ghazipur border on Friday. 18K fresh Covid cases, 234 deaths NEW DELHI, 8 JANUARY 26/11 mastermind gets 5-year jail for terror-financing once he leaves office; White House counsel Pat Cipollone has repeatedly warned the president that he could be deemed responsible A new administration will be inaufor inciting the violence. gurated on 20 January. My focus As for his feelings on leavnow turns to ensuring a smooth, ing office, Trump told the orderly and seamless transition nation that “serving as your of power. This moment calls for president has been the healing and reconciliation honor of my lifetime” while hinting at a return to the public arena. He told supThe president’s video on Thursdayporters“our incredible jourwhich was released upon his return to Twitter after his account was restored~ ney is only just beginning.” Just a day earlier, Trump was a complete reversal from the one he put out just 24 hours earlier in which unleashed the destructive forces at the Capitol with he said to the violent mob: “We love his baseless claims of elecyou. You’re very special.” tion fraud at a rally that Trump at last denounced the demon- prompted supporters to strators’ “lawlessness and mayhem. disrupt the congressional certification of Biden’s victory. After the eventual Silenced on his Democrats are disFears of There’s growwee-hours certification of favourite intercussing whether to act what a desing discussion net lines of com- among US officials quickly to imeach Trump perate presiBiden’s win by the Congress, munication, Trump of impeaching Tru- as soon as next week if dent could do Trump said he would abide watched the res- mp a second time his Cabinet doesn’t first in his final by a peaceful transfer of ignations of several or invoking the try to remove him by days spread in power on 20 January. top aides, includ- 25th Amendment invoking the 25th Amend- the nation’s Transportation Secreing two Cabinet to oust him from ment to the US Constitu- capital and tary Elaine Chao became secretaries. tion beyond. the Oval Office. the first Cabinet member to resign. Chao was one of from the Oval Office. ouncing the House was wilThe president’s video on the lawmakers trapped at Democrats are discu- ling to act if Vice President Thursday~ which was the Capitol on Wednesday. ssing whether to act quick- Mike Pence and other released upon his return Education Secretary Betsy ly to impeach Trump as administration officials to Twitter after his account DeVos followed. soon as next week if his Ca- did not invoke Section 4 was restored~ was a comOthers who resigned binet doesn’t first try to of the 25th Amendment ~ plete reversal from the in the wake of the riot: remove him after he enco- the forceful removal of one he put out just 24 Deputy National Security uraged loyalists who ran- Trump from power by his hours earlier in which he Advisor Matthew Pottinger; sacked the Capitol in a own Cabinet. said to the violent mob: “We Ryan Tully, senior director siege that has left five peoFears of what a des- love you. You’re very spe- for European and Russian ple dead. The articles are perate president could do cial.” His refusal to con- affairs at the NSC; Melania expected to be introduced in his final days spread in demn the violence sparked Trump’s chief of staff on Monday, with a vote as the nation’s capital and a firestorm of criticism Stephanie Grisham, a forsoon as Wednesday, ac- beyond, including specu- and, in the new video, he mer White House press cording to a person famil- lation Trump could incite at last denounced the secretary. Mick Mulvaney, iar with the planning. more violence, make rash demonstrators’ “lawless- Trump’s former chief of House of Representa- appointments, issue ill- ness and mayhem.” staff-turned-special envoy tives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, conceived pardons~ inclAides said the video to Northern Ireland, said discussed the prospect of uding for himself and his was also meant to slow the he had called Secretary of impeachment with her family ~ or even trigger a mass exodus of staffers State Mike Pompeo “to let leadership team Thurs- destabilising international and ward off potential him know I was resigning.” MORE REPORTS ON PAGE 10 day night, hours after ann- incident. legal trouble for Trump PRESS TRUST OF INDIA STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE P12 PEACE OUT?~ QUESTIONS REMAIN Ghar waapsi only after law waapsi: Farmers The government’s negotiations with farm unions to end over-a-month-long agitation appeared heading nowhere at the eighth round of talks on Friday as the Centre ruled out repealing the three contentious laws claiming nationwide support for reforms while the farmer leaders said they are ready to fight till death and their ‘ghar waapsi’ will happen only after ‘law waapsi’. The next meeting has been fixed for 15 January, amidst indications that any headway will now depend on a Supreme Court hearing scheduled for 11 January on a batch of petitions related to the protest. The farmer groups have also decided to meet on January 11 to decide their next course of action, even as P7 Cornered, Trump gives up amidst talk of early ouster ASSOCIATED PRESS Min: 78% TEMPERATURE Max: 16.9°C (-3) SUN RISES 07:15 hrs MOON RISES 04:10 hrs P6 Democrats ask Vice-President to move to remove Trump; explore impeachment options RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max: 100% WHEN SMITH FOUND HIS BEARINGS ‘VACCINES ARE GLOBAL PUBLIC GOOD’ PRESS TRUST OF INDIA The Chinese authorities have indicated to India that they were considering the option suggested by New Delhi of alternative modes of crew change at sea of the two cargo vessels on which 39 Indian sailors have been stuck for months in China, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said today. “We will continue to remain in touch with various relevant Chinese authorities as well as shipping companies to ensure that the humanitarian needs of the crew are taken care of and that crew changes can be effected at the earliest,” he said at a media briefing. NEW DELHI, 8 JANUARY 1,01,13,417 2,25,449 18,139 20,539 1,50,570 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. FRIDAY 08 JANUARY 2021 Passenger flights resumed from the UK to India in limited numbers from Friday onwards after remaining suspended for 16 days due to the emergence of a new coronavirus variant in that country. The first flight to land at the Delhi airport from London on Friday was Air India’s AI112 that had 256 passengers in it, said Gauri Agarwal, founder of the Genestrings Diagnostic Center, which is handling coronavirus testing of all passengers at the Delhi airport. One Vistara flight with 291 passengers will come from London to Delhi on Saturday and two flights~ British Airways and Air India will land at the Delhi airport on Sunday. PTI The second dry run on Covid19 vaccination was conducted on Friday in 736 districts across 33 states and Union territories with Union Health minister Harsh Vardhan, who oversaw the dry run in Tamil Nadu, saying inoculating the country’s entire population would soon become a reality. He said vaccines would be made available in the next few days and those at risk such as healthcare professionals would be given priority. The Health Ministry said the objective of the dry run was to simulate the actual vaccine administration event. The entire planning of the vaccination drive, including ben- Trial for Covaxin preservation at Central medical stores in Kolkata on Friday. SNS eficiary registration, microplanning and vaccination at the planned session sites was tested under the leadership of district collector or district magistrate. The dry run also aimed to familiarise the state, district, block and hospital level officers on all aspects of Covid-19 roll-out. After reviewing the dry run at the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital in Chennai, Vardhan said the Centre has started a new Covid platform to track particulars of potential vaccine beneficiaries and also issue electronic certificates to them. “We are in the process of ensuring that in the next few days, also in the near future, we should be able to give this vaccines to our countrymen, starting with of course prioritising those who are most at risk,” he added. The first nationwide dry run was held on 2 January. India’s drugs regulator has approved the Oxford-Astra-Zeneca’s Covishield, being manufactured by the Serum Institute, and indigenously developed Covaxin of Bharat Biotech for restricted emergency use. PM Narendra Modi will interact with chief ministers of all states on Monday to discuss the Covid-19 situation and the vaccination roll-out in the country, the PMO said. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation, on the other hand, issued guidelines to all aircraft operators who plan to transport Covid-19 vaccines. If vaccines packed in dry ice is being transported in the passenger cabin of an aircraft, then the flight crew should be properly trained on the hazards and risks of its transportation, it noted.
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