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Tropical Storm Yaas hits India-1.515 million people displaced.

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Tropical Storm Yaas has hit the Indian States of West Bengal and Odisha yesterday 27th May 2021 leaving 5 people dead.

In addition this, reports indicate that around 20,000 mud huts and other shelters has been destroyed . It has also been reported that the tropical storm Yaas caused a storm surge, forcing seawater into the low lying areas in West Bengal. A similar situation is also reported from Odisha, where trees has been uprooted while floods have been reported in the state.

Indian authorities have                 shifted half a million people from Odisha and 1.15 million from West Bengal away from the coastal areas and to  inland temporary shelters. This has meant that the storm Yaas has displaced 1.515 million people in India.

Wind speeds of 130-140km/hour with gusting up to 155km/hour has been reported by the Indian Meteorological Department. They also stated the storm which was categorized as a “very severe cyclonic storm” has been weakened to a “ severe cyclonic storm” but the anti-clockwise movements of the storm will continue to cause storm surges.

Source: Xinhua News Agency.

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Minister Fayyaz Ismail claims new amendment won’t allow foreign investors to operate ATC- amendment says otherwise.

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Following the public outrage over the recent amendment to the Foreign Direct Investment Policy (FDI), Economic Minister Fayyaz Ismail has stated that the “amendment does not allow operation of air traffic by a private investor whether foreign or local.”. However this statement clearly contradicts the amendment now published in the state Gazette.

While Minister Fayyaz Ismail stated that the service would be provided by the state, the current amendment clearly states otherwise.

Allegations are growing that the amendment was made to pave way for an Indian company to operate the Hanimaadhoo airport, which is scheduled to be expanded under a loan from the EXIM Bank of India. Locals of the island and from all over the nation are voicing against the project. The recently announced annexation of 853,937 sqft of public land for the project has also been rejected by the locals. Youths and NGOs have banded together for a petition to the President, calling to cease the project.

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G7 fail to reach consensus on phase-out of coal.

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The G7 has been left stranded on coal as the U.S. and  Japan blocked a deal to end the use of coal in the G7 countries.

Following days of negotiations between the world’s richest and most advanced countries, the G7 leaders’ summit in Cornwall, England failed  as the decision to set a date to phase-out the use of coal was blocked by the U.S. and Japan.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki stated that they sought “language that aligns with the president’s domestic commitments, including a carbon pollution free power sector by 2035”.

According to an EU official, majority of the G7 members were willing to back the phase-out of coal in the 2030s. But Japan which has changed its views on coal following the Fukushima nuclear accident remains in favor of coal.

Criticism has been targeted at the G7 for their lack of commitment on such critical issues while Russia and China has made commitments to go carbon free. China is set to limit the use of coal starting this year and go carbon neutral by 2060.

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COVID 19

G7 to donate 870 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to COVAX.

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The leader of the G7 countries have finally reached a consensus on the agreement to share vaccines with the rest of the world. According to the agreement, the G7 will be donating 870 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to the WHO.

It has been reported that of the 870 million doses, 435 million doses would be delivered to the WHO by the end of 2021.

WHO has confirmed the G7’s commitment in a statement. According to the WHO, the G7 countries will donate a total of 870 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to the COVAX program.

The COVAX program is a WHO led initiative to make COVID-19 vaccine accessible to even the poorest countries.

While the international community has welcomed the decision, they are also calling for the continued donations of vaccines and for the licensing not-for-profit production of the vaccine by other countries. This comes as several countries are facing the worst waves of COVID-19 while the COVAX program is running low on its supply of vaccines.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated that “any other countries are now facing a surge in cases — and they are facing it without vaccines. We are in the race of our lives, but it’s not a fair race, and most countries have barely left the starting line, we need more, and we need them faster.”.

 

Source: Xinhua News Agency.

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