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Pakistan’s former prime minister’s daughter granted bail

NEW DELHI: India’s national capital Delhi on Monday launched a car rationing system amidst menacing increase in the air pollution in the city. Under this system known as odd and even plan- a vehicle, depending on odd and even number plate, will run on the road on every alternate day . On Monday only those…

Pakistan’s former prime minister’s daughter granted bail

NEW DELHI: India’s national capital Delhi on Monday launched a car rationing system amidst menacing increase in the air pollution in the city. Under this system known as odd and even plan- a vehicle, depending on odd and even number plate, will run on the road on every alternate day . On Monday only those motors were allowed which had even number plate. Delhi has more than 6 million private vehicles and rationing system reduces vehicular traffic by more than 30% .

This system will remain in force till November 14.

Supreme Court however was not impressed with the steps the government has taken in addressing the worst pollution problem affecting around 40 million people living in Delhi and the National Capital Region(NCR).On Monday it  came down heavily on the centre and the local government for not doing enough to address the issue of  pollution which is affecting “the fundamental right to life”.

“The time has come to fix responsibility for the situation that is destroying the Right to Life of citizens in gross violation of Article 21 of the constitution. Everybody has to be answerable”, said the highest court in a hearing.

The apex court questioned the efficacy of the car rationing and asked whether such rationing in past has yielded any result.

“What are you achieving by odd and even?”, questioned the court.

The court ordered to stop all construction and demolition activities in Delhi and adjoining areas and fixed a fine of $1350 for any burning of garbage.

It asked the neighbouring states of Panjab and Haryana to stop the burning of crop stubbles which many environmentalist believes is one of the main reasons for the deteriorating air quality in the national capital region.

“Stubble burning must stop. Both Centre and the state must do this. People are dying. The sad thing is that everyone in this country is interested in gimmicks,” the court said while hearing a petition from the pollution control body Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA).

On Monday according to Delhi based US Embassy the levels of particulates measuring less than 2.5 microns –

 PM 2.5 were 613 micrograms per cubic metre of air which is way above the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommended safe daily maximum of 25. The tiny particulars enter the respiratory system and cause long term problem to the health.

At several places in Delhi the Air Quality Index (AQI)  reached 900 mark on Monday mark which is considered to be hazardous. By evening it was hovering around 289 which is also described as “ highly unhealthy”.

Generally an AQI level between 0 to 50 is considered good. 

Most of the schools in Delhi and adjoining areas are closed till Tuesday. Some 5 million masks have been distributed in schools to protect the students.

The World Health Organization (WHO) says a third of deaths from stroke, lung cancer and heart disease are due to air pollution.

 Medical practitioners in Delhi say that 

“air pollution at this level poses serious risk to the respiratory systems of the general population”.In the last three weeks, the number of patients visiting with respiratory problem has seen a sizable jump due to the deteriorating air quality”, says Dr Loveleen Mangla, a leading pomologist in the Metro Hospital and Cancer Institute, Noida, a suburb of Delhi.

“ It’s not that the people with chronic respiratory problems are coming to me those who have no history of lung problems are also visiting me now and most of them are young”, Mangla tells Arab News.

He adds that “if the pollution is not controlled then pregnant women also face the risk of passing on respiratory problem to the foetus. So the problem can become chronic”. 

“ I ask my patients to remain inside most of the time and avoid exposure outside”, he says.

Environmentalist V Selvarajan and founder of Green Circle, an NGO working in the area of air pollution, says that “ car rationing system is a good move but this cannot solve the problem”.

“ I don’t blame stubble burning for this crisis. Environment has not got any territory. The problem is affecting the whole of North India. We should have a comprehensive plan and address the issue in its entirety , says Selvarajan.

“Vehicular traffic is too much in Delhi. The capital city has more vehicles than all the three metro cities in India combined together. Naturally the pollution would be higher and we need to regulate that”, adds the environmentalist.

He tells Arab News that “people should change their mindset and start using public transport more”. 

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Prince Harry’s wife Meghan returns to Canada amid royal storm

LONDON: Prince Harry’s wife Meghan has returned to Canada following the couple’s bombshell announcement that they were quitting their frontline royal duties, their spokeswoman said on Friday. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex spent an extended Christmas break in Canada with their baby son Archie, before returning to break the news that has rocked the…

Prince Harry’s wife Meghan returns to Canada amid royal storm

LONDON: Prince Harry’s wife Meghan has returned to Canada following the couple’s bombshell announcement that they were quitting their frontline royal duties, their spokeswoman said on Friday.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex spent an extended Christmas break in Canada with their baby son Archie, before returning to break the news that has rocked the royal family.
“I can confirm reports that the duchess is in Canada,” the couple’s spokeswoman told AFP, without providing further details.
The Daily Mail newspaper reported that the royals left eight-month-old Archie with his nanny in Canada when they flew to Britain earlier this week.
It said Meghan, a former US television actress, headed back to rejoin him on Thursday and “she may stay there for the foreseeable future.”
An unnamed source was quoted as saying by the domestic Press Association news agency the duchess had traveled to the UK “to attend some meetings” before returning to Canada
Senior royals were caught off guard by Wednesday’s announcement that the couple wanted to “step back” from their roles.
Queen Elizabeth II reportedly held crisis calls on Thursday involving Harry, his brother Prince William and their father Prince Charles, the heir to the throne.
William, Harry and their wives have been viewed as the modern face of the royal family, hailed for bringing fresh energy into the institution.
But Harry and Meghan last year admitted to struggling with the spotlight following their wedding at Windsor Castle in May 2018 and Archie’s birth a year later.
The couple have lashed out at negative news coverage — Harry calling some of it racist — and taken several papers to court.
The prince also confirmed he was growing apart from his brother, who is second in line to the throne.
The couple said they wanted to forge “a progressive new role,” split their time between Britain and North America and become financially independent.
A palace source on Thursday said the queen had instructed aides to work “at pace” with Meghan and Harry and the government “to find workable solutions.”
Key questions include whether they will keep their royal titles and how much of their funding — mostly from Prince Charles — they will maintain.
The couple’s decision follows a turbulent year for the wider royal family.
Prince Andrew announced he was retiring from public duties after a disastrous TV interview about his friendship with the late US sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
 

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Deadlock over Nile dam as Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan look to Washington for talks

LONDON: Prince Harry’s wife Meghan has returned to Canada following the couple’s bombshell announcement that they were quitting their frontline royal duties, their spokeswoman said on Friday.The Duke and Duchess of Sussex spent an extended Christmas break in Canada with their baby son Archie, before returning to break the news that has rocked the royal…

Deadlock over Nile dam as Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan look to Washington for talks

LONDON: Prince Harry’s wife Meghan has returned to Canada following the couple’s bombshell announcement that they were quitting their frontline royal duties, their spokeswoman said on Friday.The Duke and Duchess of Sussex spent an extended Christmas break in Canada with their baby son Archie, before returning to break the news that has rocked the royal family.“I can confirm reports that the duchess is in Canada,” the couple’s spokeswoman told AFP, without providing further details.The Daily Mail newspaper reported that the royals left eight-month-old Archie with his nanny in Canada when they flew to Britain earlier this week.It said Meghan, a former US television actress, headed back to rejoin him on Thursday and “she may stay there for the foreseeable future.”An unnamed source was quoted as saying by the domestic Press Association news agency the duchess had traveled to the UK “to attend some meetings” before returning to CanadaSenior royals were caught off guard by Wednesday’s announcement that the couple wanted to “step back” from their roles.Queen Elizabeth II reportedly held crisis calls on Thursday involving Harry, his brother Prince William and their father Prince Charles, the heir to the throne.William, Harry and their wives have been viewed as the modern face of the royal family, hailed for bringing fresh energy into the institution.But Harry and Meghan last year admitted to struggling with the spotlight following their wedding at Windsor Castle in May 2018 and Archie’s birth a year later.The couple have lashed out at negative news coverage — Harry calling some of it racist — and taken several papers to court.The prince also confirmed he was growing apart from his brother, who is second in line to the throne.The couple said they wanted to forge “a progressive new role,” split their time between Britain and North America and become financially independent.A palace source on Thursday said the queen had instructed aides to work “at pace” with Meghan and Harry and the government “to find workable solutions.”Key questions include whether they will keep their royal titles and how much of their funding — mostly from Prince Charles — they will maintain.The couple’s decision follows a turbulent year for the wider royal family.Prince Andrew announced he was retiring from public duties after a disastrous TV interview about his friendship with the late US sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. 

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Australia bushfires flare as heatwave brings renewed misery

LONDON: Britain’s royal family is hurt and disappointed by Prince Harry and his wife Meghan’s surprise announcement that they will step back from their senior roles and spend more time in North America, a royal source said.Harry and Meghan’s decision to step away from royal duties sent shock waves through the royal family as neither…

Australia bushfires flare as heatwave brings renewed misery

LONDON: Britain’s royal family is hurt and disappointed by Prince Harry and his wife Meghan’s surprise announcement that they will step back from their senior roles and spend more time in North America, a royal source said.Harry and Meghan’s decision to step away from royal duties sent shock waves through the royal family as neither Queen Elizabeth nor Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, had been consulted on the announcement, made on Instagram.Elizabeth, who has devoted her life to the public duty of monarchy since she became queen in 1952, and other senior members of the family felt hurt and disappointed by the move, a royal source said.“We have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution,” Harry and Meghan said in their statement.“We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family, and work to become financially independent.”They said the decision was taken after months of reflection and discussion, and that they would split their time between the United Kingdom and North America to allow their family the space it needs.Cast by the couple as an exciting next step, it was not immediately clear how the couple will become what royal biographers said was akin to being a “half royal” — and who will pay for their transatlantic lifestyles.No senior royal has yet commented on the decision. British tabloids said the announcement had left senior royals such as Prince Charles and Harry’s brother, Prince William, incandescent with rage.Buckingham Palace said discussions with Harry and Meghan were at an early stage and that such complicated issues took time to work out.“MEGXIT” read The Sun’s front page headline. The Daily Mail said Queen Elizabeth was furious about the move.While the manner in which Harry and Meghan have tried to exit the spotlight cast on the world’s most famous family drew criticism, Prince Charles has long sought a slimmer and leaner royal family.The haste of their decision, though, raises questions for a family which had in Elizabeth’s words a “quite bumpy” year that included her son Prince Andrew’s decision to step down due to his relationship with disgraced US financier Jeffrey Epstein.Royal commentators drew parallels with the abdication crisis of Edward VIII who gave up the throne in 1936 to marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson and lived out his life in France.Opponents of the monarchy were scathing and even supporters questioned how one could be a part-time royal.“This really is wanting to have your cake and eat it,” said Graham Smith, head of Republic which wants to abolish the monarchy.“They have said they will dip in and out of royal duties as it suits them but won’t stop taking public money until they find other sources of income.”Meghan, known for her role in the TV legal drama “Suits”, could return to acting in the United States though it is unclear how that would be viewed by the Palace.“Perhaps she’d have to be careful about what roles she’d do because she is a member of the royal family, so she couldn’t do too many racy sex scenes for instance,” said Royal biographer Penny Junor.Harry and Meghan, an American divorcee, met on a blind date but fell in love in Botswana. They married in May 2018 in a lavish ceremony in Windsor Castle that was heralded at the time as a sign of a more modern monarchy.Yet their relationship with the media turned sour as they struggled to deal with the intense scrutiny it brought.Educated at the exclusive Eton College, Harry’s teenage years were overshadowed by negative headlines. Harry and his brother disliked the press because of the way it had hounded their mother, Princess Diana, who died in a Paris car crash in 1997 while being chased by paparazzi.There have been negative stories criticizing Harry and Meghan’s use of private jets while promoting environmental causes and the 2.4 million pound ($3.08 million) taxpayer-funded renovation of their new home.The couple, whose titles are the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, began legal action against some tabloid newspapers in October over historic phone-hacking and invasion of privacy.Harry described the treatment of his wife as “bullying,” and likened it to that of his mother before her death.

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