Fish meal factory gutted in Mangaluru; short circuit suspected

News Network
March 28, 2024

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Mangaluru, Mar 28: A fish meal factory in the Baikampady Industrial area in Mangaluru was gutted in a fire incident on Thursday, officials said.

The factory is owned by the company 'Shihar Enterprises', they said.

According to the locals, the fire was first noticed at 4.45 am today, which was immediately reported to the fire department.

The fire engines reached the spot and tried to douse the fire, but it had already spread to other parts of the factory. After almost four hours of fire-fighting operation, the blaze was completely doused, officials.

The reason for the blaze is still being probed, the fire department officials said, adding that they suspect an electric short circuit could have triggered it.

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News Network
April 7,2024

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Israel's relentless aggression against the Gaza Strip has now stretched over six months, and shows no sign of abating despite international calls for a ceasefire.

Israel launched the war on Gaza on October 7 after the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas waged the surprise Operation Al-Aqsa Storm against the occupying entity in response to the Israeli regime's decades-long campaign of violence against Palestinians.

At that time, the Israeli regime said attacking Gaza had two goals: eliminating Hamas and bringing back the hostages taken by the resistance group to Gaza. None of them have been achieved so far.

About 130 of the 250 Israeli captives taken during Operation Al-Aqsa Storm are still in Gaza after a provisional truce deal in December saw the exchange of a number of prisoners between the two sides.

Death toll

The conflict in Gaza has taken a devastating toll on Palestinians, with over 33,200 people, including 13,800 children, having lost their lives in 180 days of war, according to the Gaza Ministry of Health.

On top of that, around 76,000 people have been wounded – about four out of every 100 people in Gaza. The Palestine Red Crescent Society said this week some 1,000 children in Gaza have lost one or both of their legs.

A record-breaking 176 UN staff members and seven foreign aid workers have been killed in Gaza since October 7.

The Israeli army has killed the largest number of journalists of any modern conflict and detained more than 24. More than 140 journalists have been killed during the six months of war in the Israeli military's raids, bombardments and missile attacks across the Gaza Strip.

The humanitarian situation in Gaza has worsened day by day as the Israeli army continues to prevent aid from reaching the region, resulting in starvation being utilized as a tactic of warfare as over a million are at risk of starvation, with international groups warning of an “imminent” famine.

At least 27 Palestinians have already died from malnutrition and dehydration, according to international NGOs.

Displacement

More than 80 percent of Gaza’s population (Over 1.9 million Palestinians) have been intentionally displaced as the Israeli military ordered Palestinians to “go south” from the start of the war.

Some 1.4 million people are believed to be sheltering in Rafah, a small city on Gaza’s southern border with Egypt which is being bombarded by the Israeli forces every day as they have left no safe zone for the Palestinians to live.

Infrastructure damage

The estimated $18.5 billion in damage has affected public service infrastructure, resulting in 26 million tons of debris and rubble.

Over 290,000 housing units, equivalent to 62 percent of all homes in Gaza, have been damaged or destroyed by the war, leaving more than a million people homeless.

Only a fraction of hospitals, 10 out of 36, are operational following severe damage, leading to overwhelming strain on their limited resources.

Al-Shifa Hospital, the largest medical facility in Gaza, has been left severely damaged and burned after enduring a relentless two-week-long siege. The compound, which witnessed the loss of at least 400 lives and the arrest of hundreds, now faces a dire situation.

With an acute shortage of medicine and healthcare professionals on the brink of exhaustion and starvation, the majority of patients in Gaza are unable to receive the treatment they desperately need.

The scarcity of resources has forced medical teams to carry out operations and amputations without the availability of anesthetic, further exacerbating the already dire circumstances.

Political resolutions

On March 6, South Africa filed an “urgent request” with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and requested for additional provisional measures issued on January 26.

In January, the ICJ ordered Israel to refrain from any acts that could fall under the Genocide Convention and ensure its troops commit no genocidal acts against Palestinians in Gaza. Israel described the genocide allegation as baseless.

On Friday, the United Nations Human Rights Council adopted a resolution, calling for a halt to all arms sales to Israel, and for the regime to be held accountable for possible war crimes in the Gaza Strip.

Moreover, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution last month, demanding an “immediate ceasefire” for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The resolution is the first to be approved by the council after three previous attempts during the past five months of war were vetoed by the US.

Meanwhile, during the months of war, protests around the world have been held in support of Palestine, calling for an immediate ceasefire and halt to arms sales to Israel.

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News Network
April 3,2024

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Bengaluru: Ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister and state Congress President D K Shivakumar on Wednesday said his party is in a comfortable position as there is no 'Modi wave' in the state.

He claimed that the BJP did nothing in the state during its four years rule and did not fulfill any of its promises.

"Congress is in a very comfortable position as far as Karnataka is concerned. There is no Modi wave in Karnataka because Prime Minister Narendra Modi has not left any footprint in Karnataka during the last 10 years of his rule," Shivakumar said in an exclusive interview to PTI.

He said while crores of rupees had been collected as taxes from Karnataka by the Union government, the state did not get anything in return, even during the severe drought being faced in 230 out of 236 taluks.

On BJP fielding noted cardiologist Dr C N Manjunath against his brother and three-time MP D K Suresh in Bengaluru Rural constituency, Shivakumar claimed that Congress will win with a victory margin of over two lakh votes.

Regarding the BJP-JD(S) electoral tie-up in Karnataka, Shivakumar said it is a failed alliance and the people will reject them.

"(H D) Kumaraswamy (JD(S) leader and NDA's Mandya candidate) and all the JDS candidates will lose," he claimed.

On Union Home Minister Amit Shah reportedly levelling corruption charge against him, Shivakumar said it was a political allegation against him.

"There is nothing against me, they can’t prove anything. These are baseless allegations against me," Shivakumar added.

Shivakumar denied any dissent in the party over ticket distribution for the Lok Sabha polls stating that the entire Congress party is united.

"There is no dissent and within 24 hours we will sort it out. But in BJP, the party is burning from within. The BJP workers are going to kill the BJP itself. The BJP has changed (candidates) in around 10 seats and they know that they are losing in the campaigns," he said.

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News Network
April 4,2024

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Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are wondering how they are going to feed their families as World Central Kitchen (WCK) paused its operations in response to the killing of seven of its aid workers in an Israeli air strike.

Another US charity it works with, Anera, has also suspended work because of the escalating risks faced by its local staff and their families.

Together, they were serving two million meals a week across the Palestinian territory, where the UN has warned that an estimated 1.1 million people - half the population - are facing catastrophic hunger because of Israeli restrictions on aid deliveries, the ongoing hostilities and the breakdown of order.

WCK's decision to pause its work also led to the "freezing" of a maritime aid corridor from Cyprus, which the charity helped set up last month to increase the trickle of aid getting into the north of Gaza and avert a looming famine.

The WCK convoy was hit on Monday night as it travelled south along the Israeli-designated coastal aid route, just after they had unloaded more than 100 tonnes of food from a barge at a warehouse in Deir al-Balah.

That barge was part of a four-vessel flotilla that sailed back to Cyprus with 240 tonnes of supplies that could not be brought ashore in the wake of the strike.

The Norwegian Refugee Council warned that "what happened to World Central Kitchen threatens the entire aid system" and had left it "on the brink".

WCK accused the Israeli military of a "targeted attack" on vehicles clearly marked with the charity's logo and whose movements had been co-ordinated with Israel authorities. The victims were British, Polish, Australian and Palestinian, and also included a dual US-Canadian citizen.

The aid groups say that this was not an isolated incident, with at least 196 Palestinian aid workers already killed since the war began in October.

Jan Egeland, the secretary-general of the Norwegian Refugee Council and a former UN humanitarian chief, said that WCK was "among those who have the closest co-operation with the Israelis", in terms of sharing information about their workers' locations and planned movements.

Before the strike, WCK was playing an increasingly prominent and important role in Gaza, with 400 Palestinian staff and 3,000 people working indirectly in its 68 community kitchens and distribution system across the territory.

WCK provided 12% of the 193,000 tonnes of aid from international organisations that had reached Gaza as of Tuesday, according to data from Cogat, the Israeli defence ministry body tasked with co-ordinating deliveries. However, UN agencies were responsible for 80% of the total.

WCK's founder, the chef José Andrés, said on Wednesday that it was "analysing the situation and how to keep doing the work we do".

Anera - which was providing 150,000 meals a day in collaboration with WCK - said it understood the consequences pausing its own work would have on Palestinians, but that its Palestinian staff had for the first time deemed the risk to their safety and that of their families "intolerable".

It said the charity's logistics co-ordinator and his son had been killed in an Israeli air strike in Deir al-Balah in March, despite the fact that the co-ordinates of the shelter where they were staying had been provided to the Israeli military.

"We've asked for explanation as to why that site was struck and we've received none," Derek Madsen of Anera said. "These sites are known and so I think it is very difficult for us to understand how these strikes happen."

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