THURSDAY www.thestatesman.com 21 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 CHINESE E-TYCOON ENDS SILENCE WITH ONLINE VIDEO MISS BANERJEE'S CHOICE P6 WEATHER Mainly clear sky. Mist/shallow fog in the morning. Strong surface winds during the day. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 19 and 08 degrees Celsius respectively. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max: 100% Min: 07.8°C (+1) SUN SETS 17:52 hrs MOON SETS 0:33 hrs THUMBNAILS Andhra Pradesh NCC Cadets rehearse for Republic day parade at Vijayawada. P9 IANS 14 dead in Jalpaiguri mishap: Fourteen members, including four children, of a marriage party were killed and 10 others injured due to a collision between a stone-laden truck and their three vehicles in Bengal's Jalpaiguri district. The accident occurred in Jaldhaka area in Dhupguri block on Tuesday night, police said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed anguish over the incident and announced exgratia of Rs 2 lakh for the kin of the deceased. State chief minister Mamata Banerjee also announced an ex gratia of Rs 2.5 lakh each to the next of kin of those who were killed. SC rejects pleas on Aadhaar verdict: The Supreme Court has dismissed a batch of pleas seeking review of its 2018 verdict which had upheld the Centre's flagship Aadhaar scheme as constitutionally valid but struck down some of its provisions, including its linking with bank accounts, mobile phones and school admissions. A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Justice A M Khanwilkar, by a majoriP5 ty of 4:1, rejected the review pleas. NEW DELHI, 20 JANUARY India today set in motion the process of delivering Coronavirus shots to neighbouring countries and key partners with shipments of the vaccine reaching the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan and the Indian Ocean archipelago of the Maldives. An AN-32 aircraft carrying Indian shots arrived in Thimphu in the afternoon to deliver 150,000 doses of Covishield vaccine. Bhutan Prime Minister Lotay Tshering and Indian Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj were present at the cere- P12 New expectations as Biden era begins The 46th president of the USA takes the helm of a deeply divided nation, inheriting a confluence of crises not seen before ASSOCIATED PRESS ‘TO HEAL, WE MUST REMEMBER’ WASHINGTON, 20 JANUARY oe Biden became the 46th President of the United States on Wednesday, declaring that “democracy has prevailed.” He swore the oath of office to take the helm of a deeply divided nation and inheriting a confluence of crises arguably greater than any faced by his predecessors. Biden’s inauguration came at a time of national tumult and uncertainty, a ceremony of resilience as the hallowed American democratic rite unfurled at a US Capitol battered by an insurrectionist siege just two weeks ago. On a chillyWashington day dotted with snow flurries, a bipartisan trio of ex-presidents along with the elite of nation’s government gathered, ensuring the quadrennial ceremony persevered, even though it was encircled by security forces evocative of a war zone and devoid of crowds because of the coronavirus pandemic. “The will of the people has been heard, and the will of the people has been heeded.We’ve learned again that democracy is precious and democracy is fragile. At this hour, my friends, democracy has prevailed,” Biden said. “This is America’s day. This is democracy’s day. A day in history and hope, of renewal and resolve.” And then he pivoted to challenges ahead, acknowledging the surging virus that has claimed more than 400,000 lives in the United States. Biden looked out over a capital city dotted with empty storefronts that attest to the pandemic’s deep economic toll and where summer protests laid bare the nation’s renewed reckoning on racial injustice. And he was not applauded by his predecessor. Flouting tradition, Don- mony at which the consignment was handed over to Bhutanese officials. Another consignment arrived at Male where it was received by Maldivian officials and Indian High Commissioner Sunjay Sudhir. The MEA said “supplies under grant assistance” would be shipped to Bhutan, the Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar and Seychelles while Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Mauritius await regulatory clearances to receive the vaccines. Bangladesh said it expected to receive a gift of two million doses of Covishield tomor- Biden to undo major Trump policies PRESS TRUST OF INDIA WASHINGTON, 20 JANUARY US Presidentelect Joe Biden, Vice Presidentelect Kamala Harris, and their spouses attend a memorial event. Biden signalled a new tone for the US government by leading a powerful tribute to the 400,000 Americans lost to Covid-19 as he arrived in Washington on the eve of his inauguration. Thank you and good bye... It's been a great honour, the honour of a lifetime... It won’t be a long goodbye... We will be back in some form DONALD TRUMP OUTGOING US PRESIDENT Joe Biden (top) and Kamala Harris are sworn in as President and Vice-President of the United States (screengrabs). ald Trump departed Washington onWednesday morning ahead of the inauguration rather than accompany his successor to the Capitol. Though three other former presidents ~ Bill Clinton, GeorgeW. Bush and Barack Obama ~ gathered to watch the ceremonial transfer of power, Trump, awaiting his second impeachment trial, instead flew to Florida after stoking grievance among his supporters with the lie that Biden’s win was illegitimate. Biden, in his inaugural address, called on Americans to overcome their divisions, declaring that “without unity, there is no peace.” Biden also pledged that he would be honest with the country as it continues to confront difficulties, saying that leaders have an obligation “to defend the truth and defeat the lies.” He asked even those who did not vote for him to India starts dispatching Covid-19 shots to neighbouring countries STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE P10 J Min: 63% TEMPERATURE Max: 18.3°C (-3) SUN RISES 07:14 hrs MOON RISES 12:47 hrs CLARKE QUESTIONS AUSTRALIA’S APPROACH LAST-MINUTE CLEMENCY: TRUMP PARDONS BANNON row. Dhaka is yet to start its vaccination programme and has ordered a further 30 million doses of the shot. “The Pharmacy of the World will deliver to overcome the Covid challenge,” External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Twitter. Prior to the delivery of vaccines to other countries, India also conducted a training programme, covering administrative and operational aspects, for immunization managers, cold chain officers, communication officers and data managers of the recipient nations, both at national and provincial levels. give him a chance. He said, “Hear me out as we move forward.” As he did frequently during the campaign, Biden pledged that he will be a “president for all Americans” and will “fight as hard for those who did not support me as for those who did.” He added, “We must end this uncivil war that pits red against blue.” Biden, in his third run for the presidency, staked his candidacy less on any distinctive political ideology than on galvanizing a broad coalition of voters around the notion that Trump posed an existential threat to American democracy. On his first day, Biden will take a series of executive actions ~ on the pandemic, climate, immigration and more ~ to undo the heart of Trump’s agenda at a moment with the bonds of the republic strained. Biden will come to office with a well of empathy and resolve born by personal tragedy as well as a depth of experience forged from more than four decades in Washington. At age 78, he was the oldest president inaugurated. More history was made at his side, as Kamala Harris became the first woman to be vice president. The former US senator from California is also the first Black person and the first person of South Asian descent elected to the vice presidency and will become the highest-ranking woman ever to serve in government. The two were sworn in during an inauguration ceremony with few parallels in history. Tens of thousands of troops are on the streets to provide security precisely two weeks after a violent mob of Trump supporters, incited by the Republican president, stormed the Capitol in an attempt to prevent the certification of Biden’s victory. The tense atmosphere evoked the 1861 inauguration of Lincoln, who was secretly transported to Washington to avoid assassins on the eve of the CivilWar, or Roosevelt’s inaugural in 1945, when he opted for a small, secure ceremony at the White House in the waning months of World War II. The day began with a reach across the aisle after four years of bitter partisan battles under Trump. At Biden’s invitation, congressional leaders from both parties bowed their heads in prayer in the socially distanced service just a few blocks from theWhite House. Biden was administered the oath by Chief Justice John Roberts; Harris was sworn in by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first Latina member of the Supreme Court. Trump is the first president in more than a century to skip the inauguration of his successor. In a cold wind, Marine One took off from the White House and soared above a deserted capital city to his own fare- Hours after being sworn in as the 46th US president, Joe Biden would sign 15 executive orders, including rejoining the Paris climate agreement, a 100-day mask mandate and reversing the Muslim ban, undoing some of the major policies of his predecessor Donald Trump. Biden’s first presidential actions would also include sending a comprehensive bill on immigration to the Congress. The immigration bill proposes a eight-year pathway to illegal immigrants and removing the per country cap for employment-based green cards, a move that would benefit hundreds and thousands of Indian IT professionals in the US, whose current wait period for legal permanent residency runs into several decades. “President-elect Biden is taking historic action on day one to advance his agenda, including signing 15 executive actions and asking agencies to take steps in an additional two areas. This compares to two day one executive actions from Biden's four predecessors well celebration at nearby Joint Base Andrews. There, he boarded Air Force One for the final time as president for the flight to his Florida estate. “I will always fight for you. I will be watching. I will be listening and I will tell you that the future of this country has never been better,” said Trump, India’s active caseload drops below 2 lakh STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 20 JANUARY In a significant milestone in India's Covid-19 trajectory, the country's active caseload of infections has fallen below 2 lakhs after 6 months and 24 days. According to data from the Union Health Ministry, India on Wednesday recorded 13,823 new coronavirus infections in the last 24 hours, while a total of 16,988 people recovered in the same period, leading to a net decline of 3,327 in the total active caseload. Active cases now number 1,97,201. This is the lowest after 207 days ~ on 27 June 2020 the total active cases were 1,97,387. The overall tally of A total of 7.86 lakh healthcare workers have been vaccinated against the coronavirus till Wednesday evening Covid-19 infections stands at 1,05,95,660. The Union health ministry said 162 deaths were reported in the past 24 hours, taking the overall Covid-linked death toll to 1,52,718. As many as 1,02,45,741 people have recovered so far. In the ongoing vaccination drive against Covid-19, a total of 7.86 lakh healthcare workers have been vaccinated till the evening of the fifth day, according to the health ministry. On Wednesday, 1,12,007 beneficiaries were vaccinated till 6 p.m. across 20 states and Union Territories. Ten cases of adverse events following immunisation ~ four in Delhi, two in Karnataka, and one each in Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan andWest Bengal ~ have required hospitalisation so far. Delhi adds 228 cases,10 deaths: Delhi today recorded 228 fresh coronavirus infections and 10 deaths, even as the total number of Covid tests conducted in the city till date crossed the one-crore mark, according to the Delhi government's latest health bulletin. The city's Covid caseload climbed to 6,33,049 while its toll (SEE P2) mounted to 10,774. 1,05,95,660 1,97,201 13,823 16,988 1,52,718 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. WEDNESDAY 20 JANUARY 2021 in the White House combined, incoming White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said. Biden will continue to take action over the next 10 days and over his entire time in office to address the four crises that he's laid out, she said. Biden will sign executive orders, memoranda, directives and letters to take initial steps to address Covid-19 pandemic, providing economic relief, tackling climate change and advancing racial equity, officials said. Biden will take action, not just to reverse the gravest damages of the Trump administration, but also to start moving the country forward. These actions are bold and begin the work of following through his promises to Americans, according to a fact sheet issued by the Biden Transition. Biden will also take action to cease the Trump administration's process of withdrawing from the World Health Organisation. The Biden-Harris administration with Dr Antony Fauci as the head of the delegation will participate at the WHO executive board meeting. who wished the incoming administration well but once again declined to mention Biden’s name. Trump did adhere to one tradition and left a note for Biden in the Oval Office, according to the White House, which did not release its contents. More on Page 10 Budget session: PM to chair all-party meet on 30 January NEW DELHI, 20 JANUARY Prime Minister Narendra Modi will chair an allparty meeting on January 30 during which the government will put forth its legislative agenda for the Budget session of Parliament, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said on Wednesday. He said the meeting will be held virtually and an invitation has been extended to floor leaders of all parties. The Budget session of Parliament is starting from January 29.PTI Govt-farmer leaders meeting fails to end Impasse as both sides adamant f PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 20 JANUARY The government on Wednesday offered to amend the three contentious farm laws at their 10th round of talks with protesting unions but farmer leaders stuck to their demand for a complete repeal of the Acts and alleged that the Centre was avoiding discussion on a legal guarantee for MSP. Farmer leaders said there was no breakthrough in the first two sessions as both sides were stuck on their stated positions vis-a-vis the three farm laws and there was little hope of any outcome other than fixing the date for the 11th round. Sources also said the government proposed to keep the three farm laws suspend- ed for a fixed time period of one year or so and form a committee comprising of farmer union leaders and government representatives. The ministers proposed that the laws would remain suspended till the committee gives its report and urged farmer unions to suspend their agitation till that time, sources added. The proposal, however, did not find much support from the farm leaders, but some unions said a final decision would be taken after their own internal consultations on Thursday. The laws have already been stayed till further orders by the Supreme Court, which has formed a committee to resolve the deadlock. The committee, which had its first meeting on Tuesday and will begin its consultations with various stakeholders on Thursday, has been asked to give its report in two months. Farmer leaders also raised the issue of NIA notices being served to some farmers, alleging it was being done just to harass those supporting the agitation, to which the gov- ernment representatives said they will look into the matter. The two sides took a break after around one hour of discussions when farmer leaders had langar food. During the break, Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) general secretary Yudhvir Singh said, “The stalemate is continuing over the three laws and I don't think any solution will emerge from today's meeting. Both sides are adamant on their position.” He said the government is insisting on first discussing the three laws and wants to take up the MSP (Minimum Support Price) matter later. “We will insist on a discussion on MSP after the tea break and also try to seek the next date for meeting before January 26,” Singh said. SC irked over aspersions cast by farmers’ unions on members of panel Farmer leaders reject rally route suggestion PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 20 JANUARY NEW DELHI, 20 JANUARY The Supreme Court Wednesday expressed strong displeasure over the aspersions cast by some farmers' unions on members of the courtappointed committee to resolve the impasse over new farm laws, saying no adjudicating authority has been given to the panel of experts who are “brilliant minds in the field of agriculture”. The top court said that it has serious reservations that committee members were called names and branded, which has “become a cultural thing now”. Meanwhile, the hopes of Delhi Police to get a judicial order to stop the proposed tractor rally by the protesting farmers on the Republic Day in the national capital were dashed as the top court asked the Centre to withdraw the plea, saying it was a police matter and was not an issue for the court. A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde said, You malign people according to public opinion. I am very disappointed and sorry to see the kind opinion which has been appearing in this press and questioned, How can you malign them just because they have expressed some views in the past? The bench also comprising Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian issued notice and sought response from Centre in two weeks on a separate plea of Kisan Mahapanchayat', seeking removal of three remaining members of the apex-court appointed panel and the replacement of Bhupinder Singh Mann, who had recused himself from the panel. Farmer unions opposing the Centre's new agri laws on Wednesday rejected a suggestion by police officers to hold their proposed January 26 tractor rally on the Kundli-Manesar-Palwal Expressway instead of Delhi's busy Outer Ring Road. There might be another round of talks on Thursday, a farmer leader, who attended the meeting with officers of the Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana police at the Vigyan Bhawan here, said. PTI
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