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Trump says saddened by death of civil rights icon

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Washington, July 19 (IANS) US President Donald Trump said he was saddened by the death of civil rights icon and Democratic Congressman John Lewis.

“Saddened to hear the news of civil rights hero John Lewis passing,” Trump tweeted on Saturday, offering his first public remarks about the death of Lewis, which was announced late Friday.

The President said that first lady “Melania and I send our prayers to (him) and his family”, reports Xinhua news agency.

The White House issued a presidential proclamation earlier on Saturday ordering flags to be flown at half-mast throughout the day in commemoration of the late Congressman, who died at the age of 80 after having battled with pancreatic cancer since December 2019.Trump was criticized by his opponents for making a statement on the death of Lewis too late.

Public feud between the two dated back to Trump’s inauguration in 2017, which Lewis refused to attend, calling him not a “legitimate president”.In return, Trump attacked Lewis by saying the district he represented was “horrible”.

Born into a family of sharecroppers in 1940, Lewis was hailed as a civil rights icon for his leadership in the civil rights movement in the 1960s.

A founder and early leader of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Lewis led protests against racial injustice in an era in which apartheid was still rampant in the American South.

He was the youngest and longest surviving speakers at the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom movement, which culminated in Martin Luther King Jr.’s historic “I Have a Dream” speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial.

Tributes have been pouring in for Lewis since his passing. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, called him “a titan of the civil rights movement whose goodness, faith and bravery transformed our nation”.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, lauded him as a “pioneering civil rights leader who put his life on the line to fight racism, promote equal rights, and bring our nation into greater alignment with its founding principles”.

Calling Lewis “a giant walking among us”, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said he wished that his life and legacy may continue inspiring those in pursuit for “justice, equality and what is right”.

Former President Barack Obama awarded Lewis the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011, calling him the “conscience of the US Congress” on the occasion.

India

450 jobless Indian workers forced to begin Saudi, shifted to detention centres

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the situation of the economy of many countries has worsened. The effect can be seen in Saudi Arabia as well. As there are no jobs 450 Indian workers have no other choice but to beg for survival.

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jobless Indian workers in Saudi

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the situation of the economy of many countries has worsened. The effect can be seen in Saudi Arabia as well. As there are no jobs 450 Indian workers have no other choice but to beg for survival.

The workers are mainly from the states of Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Bihar, Delhi, Rajasthan and Karnataka. The work permits of these workers have now expired and thus they have to beg as their situation is worse.

These workers are now being shifted to detention centres. Videos have gone viral where the workers are being taken to the Shumaisi detention centre in Jeddah. Among the workers 39 belong to the state of Uttar Pradesh, 10 belong to Bihar, 5 are from Telangana and four each from the state of J and K, Maharashtra and Karnataka.

Workers said that they have not committed any crime but had to beg as they had lost their jobs and were helpless.

Social worker and MBT leader Amjed Khan told TOI that the workers with an expired work permit were taken to detention centres .

A total of 2.4 lakh Indians were reported to return to the country but only 40,000 have made it so far.

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Families affected by Beirut blasts to be given $300 monthly

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The Lebanese Red Cross (LRC) announced on Saturday that it will provide $300 for seven months for 10,000 families affected by August 4 Port of Beirut explosions.

“We will also make assessments about the families that are very much in need for this amount after the first month,” Xinhua news agency quoted George Kettaneh, secretary general of the LRC, as saying.

Kettaneh said that LRC will cooperate with other associations and the Lebanese army to make sure that support is distributed fairly among all families, while it will continue to provide medicines for chronic diseases.

Two explosions rocked the port destroying a big part of the capital city.It killed around 190 people and wounding at least 6,000 others.

The explosions, caused by 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate detonating at a warehouse in the port, also led to at least 300,000 people being homeless, while plunging more into poverty.

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Vietnam resumes int’l flights after 5 months

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Vietnam on Saturday resumed international flights after a five-month suspension due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

On Saturday morning, a Vietnam Airlines carrying 60 passengers on board took off for Tokyo from the Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi, Xinhua News Agency reported.

Most of the passengers are Vietnamese students and workers going back to Japan to continue studying and working.

The flight also carried a number of Japanese nationals, according to state-media.Passengers exiting Vietnam must have a certificate of negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) Covid-19 test result issued within 72 hours before departure.

In September, Vietnam Airlines is expected to carry out three more flights to Japan, while the reverse route from Tokyo to Hnaoi will be arranged later.Vietnam suspended all international flights in late March.

The country has recorded 1,068 Covid-19 cases and 35 deaths as of Saturday morning. No local transmission has been recorded nationwide in more than two weeks, according to the Ministry of Health.

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