Climate change protesters disrupt London rail services

Robie de Guzman   •   October 17, 2019   •   302

British journalist, George Monbiot speaks to supporters before being arrested during an Extinction Rebellion protest in London, Britain, 16 October 2019. Global climate movement Extinction Rebellion announced climate change protests and blockades worldwide for two weeks starting 07 October. EPA-EFE/FACUNDO ARRIZABALAGA

Climate change activists disrupted rail services in the east of London early on Thursday morning (September 17), sparking a physical confrontation between angry commuters and a protester who had climbed onto the roof of a London Underground train, video on social media showed.

“I’m doing this primarily for my grandchildren because I’ve learned that what we’re heading towards at the moment is an increase in temperature of over three degrees centigrade. Suffering and death on an enormous scale. Loss of food supplies,” said Phil Kingston, an 83-year old campaigner.

“I’m also here because the poorest people in the world who live in the tropics and they are experiencing the worst impacts of climate breakdown and environmental breakdown,” he added.

British Transport Police said they had responded to incidents at Shadwell, Stratford and Canning Town, near to London’s Canary Wharf financial district.

Footage showed protesters unfurling an Extinction Rebellion protest group banner on top of a stationary London Underground train at Canning Town before one was pelted with food and physically dragged off by commuters.

“Arrests have already been made and officers are working to quickly resume services,” the police said in a statement.

Extinction Rebellion launched a wave of civil disobedience on October 7 to highlight the risks posed by climate change and the accelerating loss of plant and animal species.

Police in London said on Wednesday they had arrested 1,642 people since the protests started. (Reuters)

(Production: Tara Oakes)

Locusts swarm across parts of India, attacking agricultural lands

UNTV News   •   May 26, 2020

Huge swarms of locusts took over the skies of Northern and Central India on Monday (May 25) and Sunday (May 24), affecting agricultural lands.

The pests were mostly seen across large states of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan.

On Sunday, actions were taken in the city of Mandsaur, in central India, to contain the swarm by spraying pesticides.

One of the deadliest pests for farms produce, locusts are known to destroy crops and vegetables, and whatever they find in their way, in search of food.

Animals also get affected by eating the same leaves as the locusts and can suffer from diarrhoea.

Locust swarms are not new in East Africa, the Middle East and South Asia. But climate scientists say erratic weather linked to climate change has created ideal conditions for the insects to surge in numbers not seen in a quarter of a century.

If allowed to breed unchecked in favourable conditions, locusts can form huge swarms that can strip trees and crops over vast areas. (Reuters)

(Production: ANI, Hanna Rantala, Gabriela Boccaccio)

PH Embassy in London raises concerns over deaths of 20 Filipino health workers in UK

Robie de Guzman   •   April 21, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Embassy in London has raised its concerns for the welfare of thousands of Filipino nurses in the United Kingdom after 20 of them have died amid the fight against novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the country.

In a statement, the Philippine Embassy said it has brought to the attention of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in the UK the concerns of Filipino health workers such as the need for more personal protective equipment (PPE), especially for those who are assigned in COVID-19 wards.

“We are deeply concerned about the deaths of Filipino health workers who sacrificed their lives as the world continues to fight this vicious disease. They put their lives on the line so that others may heal, live, and be reunited with their loved ones,” Ambassador Antonio Lagdameo said.

As of April 20, around 20 Filipino healthcare workers in the UK have died due to the viral respiratory disease.

Majority of those who passed away worked in hospitals across England, which registered the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the UK at 93,030 out of  124,73 lab-confirmed cases and 14,828 out of 16,509 hospital deaths.

The embassy said the deaths of Filipino medical workers due to COVID-19 “have caused a stir among British society since it is well known that Filipinos represent the third biggest group of National Health Service (NHS) staff after the British and Indians.”

Citing a March 2019 report on the NHS’ workplace diversity, the embassy said that close to 19,000 Filipinos serve the UK’s public health system either as medical professionals such as nurses and allied health professionals or as support staff.

The embassy said that various independent fundraisers have been organized by friends and family of those who succumbed to the disease.

Other Filipino community organizations have also contributed to support those who continue to fight at the frontlines, including the provision of face masks and hot meals.

The embassy said its frontline consular services have been suspended but its consular section, as well as the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO), continue to coordinate with Filipino community organizations in extending assistance and monitoring the condition of those severely affected by the disease.

The embassy also assured it is implementing measures that safeguard public health and that it will continue to render assistance to distressed Filipino citizens in light of the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Teenage boy dies in London after testing positive for coronavirus

UNTV News   •   April 1, 2020

A 13-year-old boy in London who tested positive for coronavirus has died, a hospital said on Tuesday (March 31).

“Sadly, a 13-year old boy who tested positive for COVID-19 has passed away, and our thoughts and condolences are with the family at this time,” King’s College Hospital said in a statement.

“The death has been referred to the coroner and no further comment will be made.”

The number of deaths from coronavirus in the United Kingdom rose by 27% as the UK government said 1,789 people have died in hospitals as of 1600 GMT on Monday, an increase of 381 from Sunday, the largest rise in absolute terms yet. (Reuters)

(Production: Gerry Mey, Michael Fiorentino)

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