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Vande Bharat Mission: Air India’s 7th flight from Moscow to bring home 143 nationals

Moscow, June 3 — : A flight of the national carrier Air India has departed from Moscow with 143 stranded Indian nationals for Gaya, Bihar.

“7th flight under #VandeBharatMission – Air India flight from Moscow to Gaya took off at 0312 hrs today carrying 143 passengers onboard,” the Indian Embassy in Moscow said on Twitter.

More than 57,000 citizens have returned to India since May 6 under the Government of India’s ambitious ‘Vande Bharat’ mission to bring home Indian nationals stranded in various parts of the world due to restrictions over air travel to contain Covid-19 spread.

The exercise began on May 7 and its second phase started on May 16. The Ministry of External Affairs recently announced the second phase of the mission has been extended to June 13.

Civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri said in a tweet on Monday that Air India Ltd will operate 70 flights to destinations in US and Canada under the third phase of the mission, between June 11-30 to repatriate Indians stranded abroad.

“More flights being added to Mission Vande Bharat to enable stranded & distressed Indians to return home. @airindiain will operate 70 flights to destinations in USA & Canada under Phase 3 of the Mission from 11-30 June 2020,” he said.For any query with respect to this article or any other content requirement, please contact Editor at contentservices@htlive.com
Asian News International

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Moscow, June 3 — : A flight of the national carrier Air India has departed from Moscow with 143 stranded Indian nationals for Gaya, Bihar.

“7th flight under #VandeBharatMission – Air India flight from Moscow to Gaya took off at 0312 hrs today carrying 143 passengers onboard,” the Indian Embassy in Moscow said on Twitter.

More than 57,000 citizens have returned to India since May 6 under the Government of India’s ambitious ‘Vande Bharat’ mission to bring home Indian nationals stranded in various parts of the world due to restrictions over air travel to contain Covid-19 spread.

The exercise began on May 7 and its second phase started on May 16. The Ministry of External Affairs recently announced the second phase of the mission has been extended to June 13.

Civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri said in a tweet on Monday that Air India Ltd will operate 70 flights to destinations in US and Canada under the third phase of the mission, between June 11-30 to repatriate Indians stranded abroad.

“More flights being added to Mission Vande Bharat to enable stranded & distressed Indians to return home. @airindiain will operate 70 flights to destinations in USA & Canada under Phase 3 of the Mission from 11-30 June 2020,” he said.For any query with respect to this article or any other content requirement, please contact Editor at contentservices@htlive.com
Asian News International

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Thousands protest in London for Black Lives Matter

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Manila, June 4 — Thousands of people took to the streets of London Wednesday to march in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement and protest the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died last week after being pinned down by a white police officer in the US state of Minnesota.

The protests were focused in Hyde Park, central London and started at 1 p.m. Demonstrators initially practiced social distancing. But as their numbers swelled, the space between protestors shrank. A considerable number of demonstrators wore face masks and gloves, however.

They chanted “Black lives matter,” “We will not be silent” and “No justice, no peace.”

One of the protest organizers told the Evening Standard, a London newspaper: “The injustice in the United States has refocused the similar problems we have here in the United Kingdom.”

“Since 1990, almost one person a week has died at the hands of the police or prison system in Britain, and we need accountability and reform here as well,” he said.

“This crisis has to stop if we don’t want to go in the same direction as the United States.”

At 5:25 p.m., Guardian journalist Mattha Busby uploaded a video of scuffles between protestors and police, and tweeted: “It’s kicking off now. Unclear exactly what started things. Police appeared to attempt to take a man from the crowd and pandemonium ensued.”

Shortly after, he tweeted: “I should add, things have calmed down significantly now after the video was taken. A couple of people were led away by officers. Tensions are growing and protesters here show no signs of heading to Trafalgar Square.”

“The crowd has been thinning out,” he later tweeted. “It would be a shame if earlier’s flash point at all overshadowed what has overwhelmingly been a peaceful and positive demo. Sky News are reporting a police officer was punched, triggering the incident and arrests.”

Commander Alex Murray from London’s Metropolitan Police uploaded a video to Twitter in the evening, where he said: “So we can see feelings are running really high today. It’s been a peaceful protest. We’re really grateful for everybody who has been peaceful, and we are committed to working with the people of London to make London a lot safer and to build trust with all communities.”

John Boyega

London-born British actor John Boyega, who rose to fame for his role in the most recent Star Wars films, attended the protest at Hyde Park and made an impassioned speech. The video of the speech and photos of him went viral on social media.

“We are a physical representation of our support for George Floyd. We are a physical representation of our support for Sandra Bland. We are a physical representation of our support for Trayvon Martin. We are a physical representation of our support for Stephen Lawrence,” he said.

The first three names are of killed African Americans; Stephen Lawrence was a black British teenager murdered in an unprovoked racist attack on April 22, 1993. Five suspects were arrested but none charged at the time. Police and prosecutors were criticized for institutional racism and the case has become a cause celebre, highlighting structural racism in the UK. In 2012, two of Lawrence’s killers were finally convicted of murder.

“Black lives have always mattered. We have always been important. We have always meant something. We have always succeeded regardless. And now is the time. I ain’t waiting,” Boyega said.

“I’m speaking to you from my heart.”

“Today is about innocent people who were halfway through their process. We don’t know what George Floyd could have achieved. We don’t know what Sandra Bland could have achieved. But today, we’re going to make sure that won’t be an alien thought to our young ones,” he added.

Take the knee

Stand Up To Racism, an anti-racism campaign group, called on Brits to “take the knee” on their doorsteps at 6 p.m. as a show of solidarity.

The idea was inspired by American football quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who took the knee in protest in 2016. It has since become linked with the Black Lives Matter group.

The Daily Mail quoted one of Stand Up To Racism’s members as saying: “Racism is the underlying condition that continues to kill black and BAME communities,” referring to Black, Asian and minority ethnic people.

“Take the knee at 6 p.m. because there is a boot on the neck of millions of people in the BAME community.

“Part of the cure for the virus of racism is to embrace anti-racism and anti-fascism.”

Police and politicians

UK police leaders published a joint letter Wednesday, saying: “We stand alongside all those across the globe who are appalled and horrified by the way George Floyd lost his life. Justice and accountability should follow.”

The police added they were “appalled” by the damage and violence in US cities and hoped that “peace and order will soon be restored.”

Turning to policing in the UK, the letter said: “In the UK, we have a long established tradition of policing by consent.”

“Officers are trained to use force proportionately, lawfully and only when absolutely necessary,” the letter said. “We will tackle bias, racism, or discrimination wherever we find it.”

With regards to the protests in London and around the UK, the police said: “We know people want to make their voices heard. The right to lawful protest is a key part of any democracy, which UK police uphold and facilitate.”

The letter added that the novel coronavirus remained “a deadly disease” and urged people to work with police officers and respect restrictions on gatherings.

Tobias Ellwood, a British MP and chair of the House of Commons Defence Committee uploaded a video of protestors from his office window and tweeted: “Moving to see this powerful and peaceful demonstration of solidarity supporting #BlackLivesMatter outside Westminster right now. Scenes like this are happening across the world. Politicians must listen.”

Global movement

On Sunday, thousands of protestors took to Trafalgar Square in central London and outside the US embassy, while hundreds of others marched through the south London districts of Peckham and Brixton on Monday.

The protests in Trafalgar Square led to 23 arrests, according to Sky News, at least three of which were for breaching Covid-19 measures.

BLM protestors have called for further demonstrations in London at Parliament Square on June 6 and the US Embassy on June 7.

The US has seen protests since last week when a video went viral showing Floyd being pinned down by Derek Chauvin, a white police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota, as he was being arrested.

Chauvin knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

Shortly after, Floyd appeared to lose consciousness, but Chauvin maintained his position on the victim.

He died shortly after being taken to a hospital.

His last words were “I can’t breathe,” which became the slogan of the nationwide protests.

Floyd was killed by “asphyxiation from sustained pressure,” an independent autopsy found Monday.For any query with respect to this article or any other content requirement, please contact Editor at contentservices@htlive.com
Copyright 2012. Philippines News Agency

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EU: Unemployment rate rises to 6.6% in April

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Manila, June 4 — Unemployment in the EU was 6.6% in April, the bloc’s statistical office announced Wednesday.

April figure was up from 6.4% in the previous month, while it fell from 6.8% in the same month last year, Eurostat said.

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate stood at 7.3% in the euro area, up from 7.1% in March.

The eurozone/euro area or EA19 represents member states that use the single currency — euro — while the EU27 includes all member countries of the bloc.

The Eurostat underlined that the Covid-19 containment measures applied since March have triggered a sharp increase in the number of claims for unemployment benefits across the EU.

“Compared with March 2020, the number of persons unemployed increased by 397,000 in the EU and by 211,000 in the euro area,” it added.

Nearly 14.1 million men and women in the EU27, of whom 11.9 million in the eurozone, were jobless as of April.

“The unemployment rate for women was 6.8% in the EU and for men was 6.4% in April 2020,” it said.

Eurostat also said there were some 2.78 million unemployed young people — under 25 — in the EU27 in January, making for a 15.4% youth unemployment rate.

Czechia, Poland, and the Netherlands posted the lowest unemployment rates with 2.1%, 2.9%, and 3.4%, respectively in the month.

The highest rates were seen in Spain with 14.8% and Latvia with 9% in April.For any query with respect to this article or any other content requirement, please contact Editor at contentservices@htlive.com
Copyright 2012. Philippines News Agency

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PBA awaits IATF nod on return to practice

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Manila, June 4 — The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) is set to submit a list of guidelines regarding how teams can practice again during the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

PBA board chairman Ricky Vargas said this following the board’s first physical meeting Wednesday at its office in Quezon City. He said that Commissioner Willie Marcial may submit the protocols to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) as early as Thursday.

“There are some people who offered to help us to follow this up with the IATF,” Vargas added.

The proposed guidelines are said to be stricter than the rules provided by FIBA regarding the resumption of training.

Marcial said that only six people, four players, one trainer, and another staff member, will be allowed to practice at a certain time.

Once their time is up, they must quickly leave the practice facility to make way for the next batch of players and staff members.

“It’s a process; dahan-dahan lang (we’re taking it slowly),” said PBA board vice chairman Bobby Rosales.

The practice hall should also be disinfected before and after training.

Vargas and Rosales added that players who have not yet been tested for Covid-19 are not allowed to join the practice.

“Testing is a must. Hindi puwedeng bumalik kung walang testing (They cannot return if there is no testing),” Vargas said.

Players from the San Miguel Corporation-owned clubs have already tested negative for Covid-19, while testing will also be done to the players of the MVP Group-owned teams by next week.

Once approved, teams can return to practice by the end of June provided that all the players are free from the virus.For any query with respect to this article or any other content requirement, please contact Editor at contentservices@htlive.com
Copyright 2012. Philippines News Agency

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