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Hong Kong suspends cross-border train services to China

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Hong Kong Airport Protests

Hong Kong, Oct 8 Hong Kong’s Mass Transit Railway (MTR) Corporation has suspended all cross-border services to mainland China after footage emerged of a train enroute to Guangzhou being attacked by more than 20 black-clad assailants, it was reported on Tuesday.

According to the footage, at about 11 p.m. on October 4 the train taking passengers to Guangzhou was surrounded when it reached the station, the South China Morning Post reported.

The video showed attackers using hammers and steel bars to smash the glass windows of the train and the surveillance cameras on the station platform.

The mob was shown throwing large stones, a bicycle and other objects into the platform gap when the train was pulling away from the station.

Reacting to the violence, the MTR Corporation on Monday suspended the through-train services to several mainland Chinese destinations, including Guangzhou, Beijing and Shanghai.

An MTR spokeswoman said 20 glass panels were vandalised and a train compartment was defaced.

The cross-border service has become the latest casualty in the sustained campaign of vandalism by hard-core elements of the anti-government movement against the city’s rail operator.

The destruction escalated on October 4, the day the colonial era anti-mask ban came into force, with fires lit at exits, turnstiles destroyed, MTR workers assaulted and station offices smashed or flooded.

On Monday, the MTR Corp closed 54 of its 94 stations, with all services shut down at 6 p.m. following an unprecedented closure of its entire network on October 5 out of safety concerns for passengers and staff.

Disaster

Global Covid-19 cases top 58.5mn: Johns Hopkins

Brazil currently accounts for the second highest number of fatalities at 169,183.

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Britain Coronavirus

Washington, Nov 23: The overall number of global coronavirus cases has topped 58.5 million, while the deaths have surged to more than 1.38 million, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

In its latest update on Monday, the University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) revealed that the current global caseload and death toll stood at 58,542,174 and 1,386,454, respectively.

The US is the worst-hit country with the world’s highest number of cases and deaths at 12,226,643 and 256,741, respectively, according to the CSSE.

India comes in second place in terms of cases at 9,095,806, while the country’s death toll soared to 133,227.

The other countries with more than a million confirmed cases are Brazil (6,071,401), France (2,191,180), Russia (2,071,858), Spain (1,556,730), the UK (1,515,802), Argentina (1,370,366), Italy (1,408,868), Colombia (1,248,417) and Mexico (1,025,969), the CSSE figures showed.

Brazil currently accounts for the second highest number of fatalities at 169,183.

The countries with a death toll above 20,000 are Mexico (100,823), the UK (55,120), Italy (49,823), France (48,807), Iran (44,802), Spain (42,619), Argentina (37,002), Russia (35,838), Peru (35,549), Colombia (35,287) and South Africa (20,903).

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India

Mahatma Gandhi’s Great-Grandson Satish Dhupelia Succumbs To Covid-19 In South Africa

Satish and his two siblings are descendants of Manilal Gandhi, Mahatma Gandhi’s son who stayed in South Africa to continue his father’s legacy.

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Satish Dhupelia

Satish Dhupelia, the South African great-grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, succumbed to Covid-19 complications here on Sunday, three days after his 66th birthday, a family member said.

Dhupelia’s sister Uma Dhupelia-Mesthrie confirmed that her brother had died of Covid-19 related complications after he contracted the disease in a hospital where he had been under treatment for a month due to pneumonia.

“My beloved brother has passed on after a month of illness with pneumonia, a superbug contracted in hospital and then Covid-19 also contracted while he was being treated.

“He suffered a major cardiac arrest this evening,” Uma said in a social media post.

Besides Uma, Dhupelia leaves back another sister, Kirti Menon, who lives in Johannesburg, where she is active in various projects honouring the memory of Gandhi.

The three siblings are descendants of Manilal Gandhi, who Mahatma Gandhi left behind in South Africa to continue his work after he returned to India after spending two decades.

Dhupelia, who spent most of his life in media, especially as a videographer and photographer, was also very active in assisting the Gandhi Development Trust to continue the work started by the Mahatma at the Phoenix Settlement near Durban.

He was renowned for assisting the needy in all communities and was active in a number of social welfare organisations.

Tributes poured in from his friends and dear ones.

“I am in shock. Satish was a great humanitarian and activist,” politician-analyst Lubna Nadvi said.

“He was also a great friend of the Advice Desk for Abused Women, and always assisted the organisation in whichever way he could,” Nadvi added.

Dhupelia was also a member of the Board of the 1860 Heritage Foundation, which on Monday, November 16 commemorated the arrival of the first indentured labourers from India to work on the sugar cane fields of Durban.

On the day, in one of his last Facebook posts for which Dhupelia was renowned, especially for his humour, he wrote:

“Let us also not forget that we still need to stand together to achieve our final goals of equality for all and an eradication of poverty”.

Funeral arrangements of Dhupelia have not been announced yet.

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India is exceeding Paris Agreement targets: PM Modi at G20

Prime Minister said. “We should do so with a spirit of cooperation and collaboration. The entire world can progress faster if there is greater support of technology and finance to the developing world.”

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Narendra Modi

New Delhi: India is not only meeting its Paris Agreement targets but has also been exceeding them, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at the G20 summit held virtually on Sunday.

In his address at the G-20 Summit side event, “Safeguarding the Planet – The Circular Carbon Economy Approach”, he said that India has taken concrete action in many areas for clean climate.

“We have made LED lights popular. This saves 38 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year. Smoke free kitchens have been provided to over 80 million households through our Ujjwala Scheme. This is among the largest clean energy drives globally,” the Prime Minister told the member countries.

Climate change, he said, must be fought not in silos but in an integrated, comprehensive and holistic way. “Inspired by our traditional ethos of living in harmony with the environment, and the commitment of my government, India has adopted low-carbon and climate-resilient development practices,” Modi said.

Giving details about the efforts made by his government, he pointed out the campaign to eliminate single-use plastics. “Our forest cover is expanding; The lion and tiger population is increasing; We aim to restore 26 million hectares of degraded land by 2030; And, we are encouraging a circular economy.”

India is making next-generation infrastructure such as metro networks, water-ways and more, he said. In addition to convenience and efficiency, they will also contribute to a cleaner environment.

The Prime Minister assured that India will meet its goal of 175 Giga Watts of renewable energy well before the target of 2022. “Now, we are taking a big step ahead by seeking to achieve 450 Giga Watts by 2030.”

The International Solar Alliance is among the fastest growing International Organisations, with 88 signatories. With plans to mobilise billions of dollars, train thousands of stake-holders, and promote research and development in renewable energy, the ISA will contribute to reducing carbon foot-print.

Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI)-18 countries — including 9 from among the G20 and 4 international organisations — has already started work on increasing resilience of critical infrastructure to prevent damage during natural disasters.

This is the best time for further increasing research and innovation in new and sustainable technologies, the Prime Minister said. “We should do so with a spirit of cooperation and collaboration. The entire world can progress faster if there is greater support of technology and finance to the developing world.”

For humanity to prosper, every single individual must prosper, he said. Rather than seeing labour as a factor of production alone, the focus must be on the human dignity of every worker. Such an approach would be the best guarantee for safeguarding our planet, the Prime Minister added.

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