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Hong Kong airport occupied by protesters

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Pro Democracy Activists Protest Hong Kong Airport

Hong Kong, Aug 9 (IANS) Hundreds of demonstrators have joined a three-day mass sit-in at the Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) on Friday in a fresh round of anti-government protests in an aim to secure international backing for the movement.

Organisers said they were expecting thousands to show up, and hoped police would respect what they said would be a peaceful protest that was initially billed to last until Sunday, reports the South China Morning Post.

In preparation for the demonstration, the airport had increased security that led to passengers experiencing delays in reaching departure gates, as airlines warned travellers to arrive early for their flights.

A new restricted area has also been created in a large part of the airport that would normally be open to the public.

The Airport Authority, which runs HKIA, said the new measures were “to maintain the smooth process of the departure procedures of passengers and the terminal operation”.

Only departing travellers with air tickets or boarding passes for flights for the next 24 hours and a valid travel document, or airport staff with proof of identity, would be allowed to access the check-in aisles at HKIA’s Terminal 1 from 6 a.m. to 11.59 p.m., between August 9 and 11, the authority announced.

Protesters have been distributing leaflets to travellers explaining the main demands of the movement, which erupted from opposition to the now-abandoned extradition bill, which would have allowed the transfer of criminal suspects to mainland China and other jurisdictions with which the city does not have an extradition agreement.

The demands include a full withdrawal of the draft legislation, implementation of universal suffrage and a retraction of the riot label attached to recent anti-bill protests.

Friday’s protest follows the cancellation of more than 250 flights as part of the citywide strike on Monday, which had a knock-on effect into Tuesday, the South China Morning Post reported.

On July 26, an estimated 15,000 protesters gathered at the airport to try and win international support for the movement against the now-shelved extradition bill.

The measures introduced for Friday and this weekend were not in place for last month’s demonstration.

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Kolkata Metro fare hiked after six years; here are the new rates

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Kolkata Metro

Kolkata, Nov 27 : After six years, Kolkata Metro Railway fares are set to go up.

Presently commuters have to shell out Rs 5 for the first five kilometers. Now the same fare would be charged for the first two kilometres. For the next three kilometres the fare would be Rs 10, Metro sources said.

Between five and ten kilometres, the fare has been fixed at Rs 15.

In the next stage, the fare would be Rs 20 between ten and 20 kilometers.

Above 20 kilometers the fare would be the maximum – Rs 25.

At present, the same maximum fare of Rs 25 has to be paid for distances above 25 kilometers.

The enhanced fare would come into effect from December 5.

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TSRTC employees call off strike after 52 days in Telangana

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Telangana RTC strike

Hyderabad, Nov 25 : The employees of state-owned Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) called off their 52-day long strike on Monday.

TSRTC Joint Action Committee (JAC) leader Ashwathama Reddy asked all the employees to report for duty from Tuesday. He appealed the temporary drivers, conductors and other staff not to report for duty as the regular employees have decided to end the strike.

Nearly 50,000 employees were on strike since October 5 to press for various demands, including the demand to merge TSRTC with the government. About 1,500 employees later returned to duty following an appeal by Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao.

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Telangana RTC employees defer decision to call off strike

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TSRTC employees strike

Hyderabad, Nov 20 : The Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) employees’ strike continued for the 46th day on Tuesday as their leaders postponed the decision on it.

Various employees’ unions held separate meetings here to discuss the course of action as the Telangana High Court directed the Labour Commissioner to take a decision on the strike in two weeks.

The unions authorised their apex body, Joint Action Committee (JAC), to decide on the continuance of strike.

JAC convenor Ashwathama Reddy said the decision would be taken after the HC judgment on a petition challenging the government move to privatise 5,100 TSRTC routes.

During the hearing on the main petitions relating to the strike on Monday, the AJAC counsel had submitted that employees were ready to resume work, but sought direction to the government and the TSRTC to take back all employees and not to take any action against them.

The court declined to give any directions, but hoped no action would be taken against employees.

The HC on Tuesday heard the petition regarding privatisation of TSRTC routes. It wanted to know from the petitioner’s counsel as to how the state cabinet’s decision to privatise TSRTC routes could be faulted.

The Division Bench, headed by Chief Justice R.S. Chauhan, also observed that there was no law against privatisation. Under the Motor Vehicle Act, the state government had the control over RTC, it said.

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