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Amazon fires: Our house is burning, says Macron

Earlier on Thursday, Bolsonaro had said that the country was not equipped to fight the fires, reports the BBC.

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Amazon fires

Paris, Aug 23 (IANS) French President Emmanuel Macron has said the record number of fires in the Amazon rainforest is an “international crisis” that needs to be on the top of the agenda at the upcoming G7 summit, the media reported on Friday.

“Our house is burning. Literally. The Amazon rain forest – the lungs which produces 20 per cent of our planet’s oxygen – is on fire. It is an international crisis. Members of the G7 Summit, let’s discuss this emergency first order in two days,” Macron, the host of this weekend’s G7 summit of some of the world’s most advanced economies, tweeted on Thursday night.

Satellite data published by the National Institute for Space Research (Inpe) has shown an increase of 85 per cent this year in fires across Brazil, most of them in the Amazon region, the BBC reported.

The figures and satellite images showing most of the state of Roraima, in northern Brazil, covered by smoke have shocked many Brazilians and triggered a global Twitter trend under the hashtag #prayforamazonia.

The figures suggest that there have been more than 75,000 fires so far this year for the whole of Brazil, compared with just over 40,000 over the same period in 2018.

Meanwhile, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro responded to Macron’s tweet saying that the French leader was using the issue for “political gain”.

Bolsonaro, who has been blamed by conservationists for the Amazon’s plight, saying that he has encouraged loggers and farmers to clear the land, added that he was open to dialogue about the fires if it was “based on objective data and mutual respect”, but hit out at the calls for it to be discussed at the G7 summit, which Brazil is not participating in.

“The French President’s suggestion that Amazonian issues be discussed at the G7 without the participation of the countries of the region evokes a misplaced colonialist mindset, which does not belong in the 21st century,” he wrote on social media.

Earlier on Thursday, Bolsonaro had said that the country was not equipped to fight the fires, reports the BBC.

“The Amazon is bigger than Europe, how will you fight criminal fires in such an area?,” he asked reporters as he left the presidential residence on Thursday. “We do not have the resources for that.”

The President has suggested that NGOs might have started fires as revenge for his government slashing their funding.

Disaster

Yediyurappa to work from home as staffers test positive

“I am healthy. No one needs to worry. I will give advice and issue instructions through video conference,” tweeted Yediyurappa in Kannada.

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Yediyurappa

Bengaluru, July 10 : Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa would work from his official residence in the city centre for a few days, as some of his staffers at his home office tested Covid-19 positive, an official said on Friday.

“Yediyurappa, 78, will work from his official residence ”Cauvery” for some days after some staff members at his home office ”Krishna” tested positive for the virus,” an official of the Chief Minister’s office told IANS here.

The Chief Minister has cancelled all official engagements till further notice and will hold video conferences with officials and ministers on Covid-19 and other issues.

“I am healthy. No one needs to worry. I will give advice and issue instructions through video conference,” tweeted Yediyurappa in Kannada.

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Disaster

Congress leader Sushmita Dev tests Covid positive in Assam, tally 14,032

Gogoi’s legal counsel Santanu Barthakur told the media, “In the morning, I received the news that Gogoi has tested positive for Covid-19.”

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Sushmita Dev

Guwahati/Silchar, July 9 : While former Congress Lok Sabha member Sushmita Dev has tested positive for coronavirus, the Assam government refuted the media reports that Akhil Gogoi, jailed top farmers leader, tested Covid-19 positive.

On Thursday, Covid-19 death toll rose to 24 and number of cases jumped to 14,032 in the state.

All India Mahila Congress (AIMC) chief and the party”s national spokesperson Dev, daughter of former Union Minister Santosh Mohan Dev, was on Wednesday admitted to the Silchar Medical College and Hospital after she tested nCoV positive.

“I have tested positive for Covid-19. I am asymptomatic as of now,” the 48-year-old Congress leader tweeted. Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra inquired about her health.

On Akhil Gogoi testing Covid-19 positive, Inspector General of Prisons Dasarath Das said he had not received any such report from the health department.

Gogoi’s legal counsel Santanu Barthakur told the media, “In the morning, I received the news that Gogoi has tested positive for Covid-19.”

The Krishak Mukti Sangram Samitee (KMSS) founder is lodged in the Guwahati Central Jail for the past seven months for his role in the protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019.

On Wednesday, two associates of Gogoi, who are in the judicial custody, tested Covid-19 positive.

Meanwhile, during the day two more Covid-19 deaths were reported in the state, taking the toll to 24, while the number of cases rose to 14,032.

Two more Covid-19 patients, aged 70 and 56, succumbed to the infection this morning at the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital, tweeted Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.

The Health Department is conducting door-to-door Covid-19 testing in Guwahati from Tuesday. The campaign in the Pandu area of the Guwahati Municipal Corporation is being personally monitored by Sarma.

According to the health officials, the number of Covid-19 cases in Assam has climbed to 14,032. Of this, 5,279 are active as 8,726 people have been discharged, three migrated to other states and 24 died.

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Cities

Three-day lockdown in UP from Friday night

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Lucknow, July 9 : The Yogi Adityanath government on Thrsday announced a three-day lockdown in Uttar Pradesh from 10 p.m. on Friday to 5.a.m. on Monday.

All markets, food grain markets and other establishments will remain closed during this period and the supply of essentials will be ensured through doorstep delivery.

The movement of trains and air services will continue but road transport will be shut down. Buses, however, will be made available to air and train passengers.

Petrol pumps and hospitals will function normally.

The three-day lockdown is being enforced in view of the spurt in number of Corona cases in the state.

An official statement said that goods carriers will be allowed to operate and construction activities will also continue.

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