Category Archives: World News

Canada to extend ban on arriving passenger flights from India

The ban was first imposed on April 22 and has already been rolled over several times. The measure does not apply to cargo flights or medical transfers.

Canada will extend its ban on arriving passenger flights from India to September 21 because of the risks posed by COVID-19, the federal transport ministry said in a statement.The ban was first imposed on April 22 and has already been rolled over several times. The measure does not apply to cargo flights or medical transfers.

Earlier, the Canadian government in its global travel advisory issued in July continued to suspend India-Canada direct flights till July 21. However, Indian travelers who have to fly to Canada in this period have to book a flight via an ‘indirect route.’

According to the revised official travel advisory, Canada will not accept the COVID-19 molecular test report from India. Therefore, the travelers have to get themselves tested for the coronavirus in a ‘third country’ before they continue their journey to Canada.

As per the advisory, passengers who have previously tested positive for the COVID-19 virus and are traveling from India to Canada have to now provide proof of a coronavirus test conducted between 14 to 90 days prior to their departure.

“This proof must be obtained in a third country before Indian travelers continue their journey to Canada. You might need to seek entry and stay in a third country for at least 14 days,” the advisory read.

TOP Ten countries kept out Covid-19

Coronavirus has been labelled a pandemic but a handful of countries have not yet reported any cases.

Territories with confirmed cases of COVID-19

Scientists, health officials and governments across the world have encouraged citizens to practise physical distancing and to avoid going out unless for necessary purposes.

According to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, more than 23.7 million people have been infected, and the global death toll is at least 814,000. More than 15 million patients have recovered.

Here are a few countries that have not reported any cases of the coronavirus so far:


Marshall Islands



North Korea



Solomon Islands






Lebanon explosions: Utter devastation as toll from Beirut monster blast tops 100

Rescuers searched for survivors in Beirut Wednesday after a cataclysmic explosion at the port sowed devastation across entire neighbourhoods, killing more than 100 people, wounding thousands and plunging Lebanon deeper into crisis.

The blast, which appeared to have been caused by a fire igniting 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate left unsecured in a warehouse, was felt as far away as Cyprus, some 150 miles (240 kilometres) to the northwest.

The scale of the destruction was such that the Lebanese capital resembled the scene of an earthquake, with thousands of people left homeless and thousands more cramming into overwhelmed hospitals for treatment.

“We’ve had some dark days in Lebanon over the years but this is something else,” said Rami Rifai, a 38-year-old engineer, speaking to AFP from a hospital where his two daughters were receiving treatment after sustaining cuts despite being half a kilometre from the seat of the blast.

“We already had the economic crisis, a government of thieves and coronavirus. I didn’t think it could get worse but now I don’t know if this country can get up again. Everyone is going to try to leave. I will try to leave,” he said, his voice choked by tears.

In the areas closest to the port, the amount of destruction caused by the long years of civil war between 1975 and 1990 was achieved in a second by a blast that levelled buildings within a radius of several hundred metres.

One resident of Mar Mikhail, one of the most affected neighbourhoods, said she saw bodies strewn in the middle of the street, apparently thrown off balconies and rooftops by the blast.
Many people were watching and filming with their phones after an earlier and smaller explosion was heard in the port and ignited a fire.
The resulting footage, which was widely shared on social media, shows a ball of fire and smoke rising above Beirut and a white shockwave engulfing everything around it.
The mushroom-shaped explosion – which seismologists said was logged as the equivalent of a 3.3 magnitude quake — and the scope of the damage drew nuclear analogies in many people’s accounts of the tragedy.

“The Apocalypse” read the headline of L’Orient-Le Jour, the main French-language daily in Lebanon, a country that has seen its share of explosions in its recent past, but none quite this big.

The embattled government of Prime Minister Hassan Diab described the circumstances at the port that led to the explosion as “unacceptable” and vowed to investigate.

“Those responsible for this catastrophe will pay the price,” he said.

Messages of support poured in from around the world for Lebanon, whose economy was already on its knees after defaulting on sovereign debt earlier this year.

A crippling devaluation has sent poverty levels soaring to an estimated 50 percent of the population and for a country so heavily reliant on imports, the obliteration of the main port signalled more hardship ahead.

Criticism of the government was already rife on social media, where Lebanese users argued that a disaster of such magnitude could only strike in a state whose institutions are crippled by incompetence and corruption.

Late Tuesday, thousands of families drove out of Beirut to take their families to safety, but many others were left stranded without a roof, unable to go anywhere or unwilling to leave their gutted homes open to looters.

The rescue effort was slowed at night by the lack of electricity, which was already intermittent at best in much of the city before the explosion.

The security forces sealed off a huge area around the blast site, turning away residents trying to reach their homes to assess the damage.

Johnny Assaf, an estate agent whose home and office were destroyed by the blast, said he lost everything except his life.

“I saw the mushroom first, then the force of the blast swept through my office. It sent me literally flying halfway across the office until my head hit the printer,” he told AFP, nursing a hastily bandaged arm.

“In hospital they stitched me up without anaesthesia and then stopped before they were done because too many serious injuries were being rushed in. I saw people die in front of me,” he said.

Hospitals that had already been stretched to the brink by a spike in the number of coronavirus cases in recent days were pushed to new limits by the influx of wounded and forced to turn many away.

Saint-Georges hospital was badly damaged by the explosion and lost several members of its staff.

The Red Cross said on Wednesday morning that more than 100 deaths had been confirmed. It also reported around 4,000 injured, prompting fears that the death toll could rise significantly.

In a country where smallholders have been unable to withdraw even limited amounts of cash from banks since the start of the year, there was little hope of compensation for those whose property was destroyed.

Crippled by debt and political paralysis, Lebanon, which was due to celebrate its centenary next month, looked ill-equipped to tackle the new crisis.

Grassroots solidarity was still alive however, with initiatives swiftly set up on social media to help people locate missing loved ones or assist victims with free accommodation.

International Flights on July 24: Check Out Repatriation Flights Leaving For And From India to Bring Back Stranded Indians Today

National carrier Air India will continue operating special flights ex-India to various destinations and ex-foreign stations to India for Evacuation of stranded Indian citizens on Friday under the Phase 4 of the Vande Bharat mission. Also Read – International Flights: Air India to Operate 30 Flights in a Week to US, 4 Flights to Germany, 3 Flights to France | Details Here

Earlier in May, the Narendra Modi-led Centre government had started the ‘Vande Bharat’ mission to help stranded people reach their destinations using special repatriation flights, in the wake of coronavirus pandemic.

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Coronavirus Update: India tally crosses 900,000 mark; 540 deaths in one day

Coronavirus latest news: Total number of cases in India has now crossed the 900,000 mark. Maharashtra has 260,924 cases, Delhi 113,740, and Tamil Nadu 142,000. 

Coronavirus India Update:

India has recorded over 28,000 new cases in a day to take its total number of Covid-19 cases to 907,645. This is the third consecutive day when India has recorded over 28,000 new cases. The country’s death toll stands at 23,727. Maharashtra has seen a spike of 6,497 cases in the past 24 hours, while Delhi has added 1,246 cases to its tally.

Coronavirus World Update:
As many as 13,236,252 people have been diagnosed with Covid-19 around the world so far. While more than 7,691,451 have recovered, 575,540 have died, according to Worldometer. 
Country-wise, the United States remains the most affected. It has recorded over 65,000 cases in a day and now has 3,479,483 coronavirus cases and 138,247 deaths. Brazil has 1,887,959 cases, and 72,921 deaths, while India is the third-worst-hit with 907,645 cases and 23,727 deaths.

Pakistan plane, about to land, crashes near Karachi; 107 on board

There were more than 90 passengers on board the Airbus aircraft. Black smoke could be seen from afar at the crash site in Karachi, say eye witnesses.

A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight on its way from Lahore to Karachi, crashed in the area near Jinnah International Airport on Friday, according to Civil Aviation Authority officials.

Geo News reported that the plane crashed at the Jinnah Ground area near the airport as it was approaching for landing. There were more than 90 passengers on board the Airbus aircraft. Black smoke could be seen from afar at the crash site, say eye witnesses.

There were no immediate reports on the number of casualties. The aircraft arriving from the eastern city of Lahore was carrying 99 passengers and 8 crew members, news agency AP said, quoting Abdul Sattar Kokhar, spokesman for the country’s civil aviation authority.

Witnesses said the Airbus A320 appeared to attempt to land two or three times before crashing in a residential area near Jinnah International Airport.

Flight PK-303 from Lahore was about to land in Karachi when it crashed at the Jinnah Garden area near Model Colony in Malir, just a minute before its landing, Geo News reported.

Local television reports showed smoke coming from the direction of the airport. Ambulances were on their way to the airport.

News agency PTI said Sindh’s Ministry of Health and Population Welfare has declared emergency in all major hospitals of Karachi due to the plane crash.

It’s the second plane crash for Pakistani carrier in less than four years. The airline’s chairman resigned in late 2016, less than a week after the crash of an ATR-42 aircraft killed 47 people. The incident comes as Pakistan was slowly resuming domestic flights in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Bloomberg reported.

Reference: HindustanTimes

Jakarta Floods: Recovery Effort begins as city counts cost of worst deluge in a decade

Indonesian soldiers spray disinfectant to battle disease as death toll passes 60, with thousands more living in emergency shelters.

Mudslides and power blackouts have hampered the search for people missing in massive floods in Indonesia’s capital, where more than 60 people have died and some of the tens of thousands of evacuees are living in damp, cramped emergency shelters.

More than 1,000 soldiers and health workers sprayed disinfectant in hard-hit areas on Sunday to fend off the spread of disease. Monsoon rains and rising rivers submerged a dozen districts in the greater Jakarta area after extreme New Year’s Eve rains, causing landslides in hilly areas on the outskirts of the capital that buried scores of people.

It’s the worst flooding in the area since 2007, when 80 people were killed over 10 days. More rain is forecast, with the potential for more extreme rainfall in the next month.

National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Agus Wibowo said on Monday that the death toll from flash floods and landslides in and around Jakarta had risen to 66 and rescuers were still searching for two people reportedly missing in Lebak, a district in neighbouring Banten province.

Flash floods and mudslides have swept away or damaged more than 2,000 houses in several villages in Lebak district. Zainal Arifin, a local search and rescue agency chief, said rescuers were still searching for a seven-year-old boy reportedly dragged away by flash flooding that killed at least nine people.

He said mudslides that covered much of the area, blackouts and lack of telecommunications were hampering search efforts.

About 11,000 health workers were deployed to provide medical care for people affected by the flooding, the health minister, Terawan Agus Putranto, said in a statement. He said there had been no recorded cases of serious waterborne diseases, after disinfectant spraying started Sunday.

Waters have receded in most parts of greater Jakarta, allowing many residents to return and clean up, but scores of tightly packed settlements close to rivers that often suffer from floods during the rainy season remained inundated or covered in mud and debris.

Government data on Monday showed some 35,500 people were still unable to return home after houses were submerged in filthy waters up to 1.5 meters (5 feet) high.

In an emergency shelter at a sports centre in south Jakarta, mothers breast-fed their babies near piles of smelly wet garbage.

A temporary clinic was treating patients close to where Yuniarti was sleeping, including many suffering from respiratory illnesses.

Indonesia’s meteorology agency said more downpours were forecast for the capital in coming days, and that the potential for extreme rainfall would continue until next month across the vast archipelago nation.

Indonesia is hit by deadly floods each year, and this year’s have been particularly bad in Jakarta, with nearly 400,000 people seeking refuge in some 270 shelters across the greater metropolitan area as floodwaters reached up to 6 meters (19 feet) in some places.

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Florida supporters on why they want Trump to win in 2020

On Tuesday night in Orlando, Florida, Donald Trump “officially” kicked off his presidential re-election bid.

Of course, everyone knew he was going to run for re-election. That was hardly a surprise. He filed his 2020 paperwork the day after his January 2017 inauguration, and he’s been holding regular campaign-style rallies across key battleground states ever since.

And so on Tuesday in Florida – one of the biggest of electoral battlegrounds, a state the president absolutely must win in 2020 – it wasn’t about whether Mr Trump was going to seek re-election. It was about how he’s going to do it. The event was an unveiling of sorts – a trial run of his pitch to the American people for four more years, before a raucous, red-hat-wearing crowd packing a 20,000-seat arena.

Trump rallies are always a give-and-take affair, with the president trying out lines to see how his supporters react. And the crowd’s response to Mr Trump’s 78-minute speech offered some clues of what could be in store.

There were the expected boasts about the state of the American economy, which he called “perhaps the greatest economy in the history of our country”. He talked about regulation-cutting, boosts in military spending, trade negotiations, tax reform, border security and judicial appointments. All received a warm reception from the audience.

“What he’s done for this country, the manufacturing jobs coming back, our steel industry coming back, wages for the average American going up, Americans are getting back in homes again – it’s a beautiful thing,” said Robert Adamson, an insurance salesman from Merritt Island, Florida. “This is the only platform he really gets where he gets a fair shake at being able to divulge his achievements.”

The Trump phenomenon has always been about more than policies, however – more than just “promises made and promises kept,” as Vice-President Mike Pence said in his exceedingly conventional introductory speech.

Mr Trump’s success has been about attitude and the ability to connect with his supporters, to make them feel like they’re a part of his movement. And that was once again on display in Orlando.

“I think he resonates with people because he comes across as a regular person,” said Paul Barka, a maintenance worker for a college in Tampa, Florida. “He doesn’t talk like a polished politician. It doesn’t matter if he comes across as being rash or harsh or even ignorant at times.”

At one point, the president polled the audience on whether he should keep “Make America Great Again” as his 2020 campaign slogan or opt for “Keep America Great.” The deafening response to the latter option seemed to surprise even him.

Similar levels of audience approbation came when he thanked outgoing press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who briefly took the microphone to say how honoured she was to have a front row seat to history.

She has been one of the president’s most ardent defenders, and the crowd showed their love.

“She’s been a fighter,” says Christopher Dunn, a graduate student who travelled to the rally from northern Florida with some friends. “It’s not conflict we want, we want somebody who won’t roll over.”

Then there was the airing of grievances. If Tuesday’s rally was any indication, the overriding theme of the president’s re-election campaign will be a bid for vindication – vindication against his critics in the “fake news” media, in the Democratic Party and among the nation’s elite. It’s all part of “the swamp,” which he said has been fighting back against him “so viciously and violently”.

It’s Mr Trump and his faithful against the Democrats, the media, the world – and, if his speech is a guide, that’s just the way president wants it.