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Canada bans removing passengers from overbooked airplanes

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Ottawa, April 14: The Canadian government has finally restricted all airlines in the country to forcibly remove passengers from overbooked flights, officials said.

In a letter issued on Thursday to the heads of all airlines that fly in and out of the country, Transport Minister Marc Garneau also asserted that an incident like the one injuring a passenger aboard a United Airlines flight earlier this week is not allowed to occur in Canada, Xinhua news agency reported.

“I am sure that you were as disturbed as I was, and as all Canadians were, over the appalling incident that took place onboard a United flight earlier this week, when a passenger was forcibly removed from his seat,” he wrote.

“I am writing to you today to convey that such an incident would be unacceptable in Canada.”

The decision is not only for Canadian airlines such as Air Canada and WestJet, but also to all international airlines that fly in and out of the country.

The minister’s move comes after a passenger named David Dao, 69, was dragged off an overbooked United flight in Chicago on Sunday after refusing to leave his seat to accommodate airline crew members.

Dao was seriously injured by security officers who forced him off the plane against his will, banging his head on armrests in the process.

The minister’s warning comes ahead of expected legislation to introduce a passengers’ bill of rights in Canada.

The legislation will outline what passengers can expect from airlines in situations such as bumping from overbooked planes or for lost or damaged luggage.

Wefornews Bureau

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DJ Avicii dead at 28

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Madrid, April 21: World-renowned Swedish DJ and electronic music producer Avicii was found dead in Muscat, Oman, his agent said on Friday. He was 28.

“It is with profound sorrow that we announce the loss of Tim Bergling, also known as Avicii,” Efe quoted Diana Baron as saying.

“The family is devastated and we ask everyone to please respect their need for privacy in this difficult time,” Baron said. “No further statements will be given.”

Bergling had struggled with health problems, some caused by excessive drinking and was hospitalized for 11 days in 2012 for treatment of acute pancreatitis.

In early 2016, he announced his temporary retirement from touring, citing a desire to “explore other interests.”

“To me it was something I had to do for my health,” Bergling told The Hollywood Reporter in 2016, adding that he had taken on board “too much negative energy” from the music scene.

Avicii achieved global fame in 2011 with the release of his smash hit “Levels,” which was followed by other chart sensations, such as “Wake Me Up” and “Hey Brother”.

He was known for his collaborations with other artists, including Coldplay, David Guetta, Lenny Kravitz, Robbie Williams and Rita Ora.

In 2014, he teamed up with Carlos Santana, Wyclef Jean and Alexandre Pires on the official FIFA World Cup anthem, “We Will Find a Way”.

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IMF expects India’s role to expand in Indo-Pacific region

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International Monetary Fund

United Nations, April 21: The International Monetary Fund expects India’s role in the Indo-Pacific region’s development to continue to expand because of its robust growth, but it has to carry out more trade reforms, Ken Kang, the deputy director in IMF’s Asia Pacific Department said on Friday.

“Given our robust growth forecast where we see India’s growth rising from 7.4 per cent in 2017-18 to 7.8 per cent in 2019, we do expect India’s role in the region to continue to expand,” he said at a news conference in Washington.

“That being said, India does have room to expand its export orientation and to reduce further trade and non-trade barriers,” he added.

“The statutory tariff rate in India is relatively high at about 15 per cent, and higher than those in the rest of the region,” he added. “So there is room to do more on trade reform.”

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China defends Pakistan against Modi’s ‘terror export factory’ remark

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Beijing, April 20: China on Friday defended Pakistan against Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remark that Islamabad was a “terror export factory”, saying the country must be supported in the fight against “terrorism”.

Beijing also hinted the issue of terrorism will be on the agenda of discussion at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) when the eight-member block, joined by India and Pakistan last year, holds its annual meeting at Chinese city Qingdao in June.

At an event in London on Thursday, Modi said India will not tolerate those who export terror.

“When someone has put a terror export factory in place, attacks my people, has no power to fight a war so attempts to attack behind the back… in such a case Modi knows to how to give a reply in the same language,” the Indian leader had said in an obvious reference to Pakistan.

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Asked about Modi’s remark, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said: “Terrorism is an enemy faced by all. The international community should work together to combat terrorism.”

Die chinesische Außenamtsministerin Hua Chunying spricht von „internen Sachverhalten“. Quelle: picture alliance / AP Photo

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying

“Terrorism is an enemy faced by all. The international community should work together to combat terrorism. The international community should also support the efforts of Pakistan in fighting terrorism and cooperate with it,” Hua added.

China always comes to the rescue of its “all-weather ally” Pakistan when it is pilloried for sheltering terrorists. Beijing has invested over $50 billion in various infrastructure projects under its ambitious Belt and Road programme.

Asked if the issue of terrorism will be discussed at the Foreign Ministers’ meet of the SCO, Hua said: “As for the Foreign Ministers’ meeting on terrorism, I believe it is a purpose of the SCO to promote relevant cooperation in the field.”

India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will arrive in Beijing on Saturday and attend the foreign ministerial-level meeting of the SCO on Monday.

However, Hua said the security issues will be the agenda of the main SCO meet in June, which will be attended by Modi.

“Security has been a priority of the SCO since its inception. So the upcoming Prime Minister’s SCO meeting will see participants exchanging views on the relevant issues. All participants will uphold the SCO spirit to take forward the development of SCO,” Hua said.

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