Amidst cost of living crisis, labour unrest spreads across Europe

News Network
June 26, 2022

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Strikes in Europe's transport sector have disrupted air flights and train schedules as transportation companies struggle to cope with rising demand at the start of the peak summer travel season after the COVID restrictions were lifted.

A strike by staff members at Irish airline Ryanair and Brussels Airlines over pay and working conditions forced the cancellation of a number of flights on Saturday.

The workers' strike also disrupted flight schedules in Spain, Italy, France, Portugal and Belgium.

Since Friday, low-budget airline Ryanair has been forced to cancel 127 flights, an airport spokeswoman told AFP on Saturday.

The walkout forced the cancellation of two flights between Lisbon and Brussels.

The airports at Bordeaux and Marseille said nine and 12 flights respectively would be cancelled on Sunday.

Ryanair flights were also cancelled in France. Damien Mourgues of the SNPNC union said 36 out of 80 flights had been cancelled because of a walk-out by air stewards.

In Belgium, the walkout meant that only 41 percent of Ryanair flights left Charleroi airport near Brussels on Saturday.

The situation in Belgium was further complicated by a three-day strike by Brussels Airlines staff ending on Saturday. The strike has forced the carrier, which is owned by German giant Lufthansa, to cancel about 300 out of 500 flights since

Adding to Europe's traveling problems, Austria Airlines said on Saturday it had had to cancel 52 out of 360 scheduled flights.

USO transport union in Spain said 75 flights from six different cities had been cancelled, noting that the striking staff had been replaced by workers brought in from Morocco, which it cited as a violation on Thursday.

Unions have called for EasyJet cabin crew based in Spain to strike for nine days in July as part of a dispute over pay.

The Swiss airline has already had to cancel thousands of flights this summer because of staff shortages at airports.

Staff shortage

The aviation sector is still struggling to recover from the COVID pandemic which led to staff-cuts as international travel was put on hold.

However, a rise in the number of COVID infections reported by Austria Airlines staff on Saturday led to the cancellation of its flights.

"Our crew members are sick, cases of infection are rising," an Austria Airlines spokeswoman told AFP.

Faced with staff shortages, Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport was also forced to announce earlier this month that it would be limiting traveler numbers this summer and cancelling flights.

The shortages have already caused hundreds of flights to be cancelled, while huge queues have angered travelers.

In the UK, the railway system once again came to a halt on Saturday. 

Over the week, tens of thousands of workers have walked in Britain's biggest rail strike in 30 years, with millions of passengers facing days of chaos as both the unions and government have stuck to their guns in a row over pay.

The British transport union, the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT), threatened to continue the industrial action until managers address the workers' grievances, and meet their salary demands.

Despite the ongoing negotiations between representatives from the management and staff, media predicted the strikes to continue.

They attributed further industrial action to the rapidly rising inflation rates exacerbated by sluggish economic growth, saying this combo will likely lead to more workers' strikes across the European continent in the summer ahead.

Unions have said the rail strikes could mark the start of a "summer of discontent" with teachers, medics, waste disposal workers and even barristers heading for industrial action as inflation pushes 10%.

Inflation has soared across Europe on the back of a major rise in energy costs and Britain is not alone in facing strikes. 

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Agencies
August 4,2022

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China's People's Liberation Army has begun biggest-ever military exercises including live firing on the waters and in the airspace surrounding the island of Taiwan following US politician Nancy Pelosi's visit.

The live fire drills began at 12:00 local time (04:00 GMT) on July 4 and in several areas were due to take place within 12 miles of the island.

Taiwan said China was trying to change the status quo in the region.

Ms Pelosi made a brief but controversial visit to Taiwan, which China regards as a breakaway province.

The drills are Beijing's main response, although it has also blocked some trade with the island.

The exercises are due to take place in busy waterways and will include long-range live ammunition shooting, Beijing says.

Taiwan says it amounts to a sea and air blockade while the US said the drills were irresponsible and could spiral out of control.

Analyst Bonnie Lin told the BBC that the Taiwanese military would react cautiously but there was still a risk of confrontation.

"For example, if China decides to fly planes over Taiwan's airspace, there is a chance that Taiwan might try to intercept them. And we could see a mid air collision, we could see a lot of different scenarios playing out," she said.

Taiwan said it scrambled jets to warn off Chinese warplanes on Wednesday and its military fired flares to drive away unidentified aircraft over the Kinmen islands, located close to the mainland.

Several ministries have suffered cyber-attacks in recent days, the Taiwanese government said.

Taiwan has also asked ships to take different routes and is negotiating with Japan and the Philippines to find alternative aviation routes.

Japan has also expressed concern to China over the areas covered by the military drills, which it says overlaps with its exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

In response, Chinese government spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Beijing did not accept the "so-called" Japan EEZ.

On Wednesday, China detained a suspected Taiwanese separatist in the coastal Zhejiang province on suspicion of endangering national security, according to local media reports.

Meanwhile China's Ambassador to France Lu Shaye told French TV that after "reunification" with Taiwan, Beijing would focus on "re-education".

China has previously used the term "re-education" to refer to its detention of mostly-Muslim minorities in its north-western Xinjiang region, where human rights groups say more than a million people have been incarcerated.

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News Network
August 9,2022

Mangaluru, July 9: The Dakshina Kannada police have arrested one more person in connection with the murder of BJP Yuva Morcha leader Praveen Nettaru in Bellare police station limits. 

Praveen was hacked to death by three bike-borne miscreants in front of his chicken stall at Bellare on July 26.

DK Superintendent of Police Rishikesh Sonawane said that the arrested is Abdul kabeer C A ( 33) from Jattipalla House in Sullia. 

With this, the police have arrested seven persons so far.  

The SP said that the investigation is in progress. All the assailants have been identified by the police and a search was on for them.

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News Network
August 6,2022

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Mangaluru, Aug 6: A 15-year-old boy who was being treated at a hospital in Mangaluru after his fall from an apartment building at Boluvaru in Puttur, succumbed to injuries today morning. 

The deceased has been identified as Sushan Rai, son of Manohar Rai, retired manager of Padmunja branch of Canara Bank and president of Boluvaru Shri Durgaparameshwari Malaraya Sparivara Kshethra.

He was a Class 9 student of Sudana residential school. He is survived by his father Manohar Rai, mother Sudha M Rai and brother Sohan Rai.

It is learnt that instead of returning home from school on August 5, Sushan went to the apartment building. 

A CCTV footage shows Sushan entering the premises of the apartment building at 4.20 pm. Within minutes he fell from the 5th floor of the building. His school bag was found on the 5th floor.

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