Section of Ola, Uber drivers go on strike in Delhi-NCR


The striking Ola and Uber cab drivers will assemble at Mandi House in New Deli to press for their demands, including extension of moratorium on EMI payment till December, an increase in fares and withdrawal of speeding violation penalties.

The strike may pose challenges for commuters (File photo)

A section of drivers working with cab aggregators Ola and Uber went on strike on Tuesday affecting services in some parts of Delhi-NCR as they demanded a fare hike and moratorium on loan repayment.

The striking cab drivers will assemble at Mandi House later in the day to press for their demands, including extension of moratorium on EMI payment till December, an increase in fares and withdrawal of speeding violation penalties, said Kamaljeet Singh Gill, the president of the Sarvodaya Drivers Association of Delhi.

“The strike has led to unavailability of cabs in many parts of the Delhi-NCR including Greater Noida, Dwarka and Uttam Nagar,” Gill said.

The strike may pose challenges for commuters, including students who are to appear in the IIT-JEE Mains exam beginning on Tuesday.

Taxi drivers of various associations in Delhi-NCR, who work with Ola and Uber, decided to go on strike from Tuesday as their appeals for help did not lead to any action by the government, Gill said.

“Due to the acute financial crisis caused by the coronavirus-induced lockdown, drivers are unable to pay their EMIs. The moratorium of loan repayment ended and the banks are already putting pressure on us. Drivers are scared that banks will tow away their vehicles for not paying EMIs,” he said.

The drivers have also demanded that fares should be hiked and their commission increased by the cab aggregators. Gill said the fare should be fixed by the government instead of the cab aggregators.

No reaction was immediately available from Ola or Uber about the impact of the strike on their services.

Amid the pandemic, the strike may cause hardships to commuters as Metro train services are yet to resume and public transport buses are running at reduced capacity in view of social distancing norms.



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Syria says Israeli strike kills 2 soldiers, wounds 7


DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — A Syrian Defense Ministry official said Israel’s military fired missiles Monday night on areas south of the capital Damascus killing two soldiers, wounding seven and causing material damage.

The unnamed Defense Ministry official, who was quoted by state media, said the strikes targeted military posts south of Damascus adding that Syrian air defenses shot down most of the missiles before they hit their targets.

The official said the missiles were fired from the area of Syria’s Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. The missile attack started at 10:40 p.m. (1940 GMT).

Residents of the capital Damascus said they heard explosions south of the city.

An opposition war monitor said Israel’s military targeted military posts south of Damascus. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Syrian air defenses were responding to the attack.

Israel rarely comments on such reports, but is believed to have carried out scores of raids targeting Iran’s military presence in Syria. In the past three months alone, Syria has accused Israel of carrying out at least eight air raids on its territory. The last reported strikes came on July 20.

Iran is a key ally of the Syrian government in the nearly decade-long civil war. Israel views Iran as a regional menace and has vowed to prevent any permanent Iranian military buildup in Syria, particularly near the frontier.

In recent months, Israeli officials have also expressed concern that Hezbollah, an Iran-backed Lebanese militant group that operates in Syria, is trying to establish facilities to produce precision-guided missiles. Tensions have also risen along the Israel-Lebanon border.

During last month’s strikes on Syria, a Hezbollah member was killed and the Lebanese militant group vowed to retaliate against Israel. On Sunday, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah vowed to kill Israeli soldiers whenever Israel kills Hezbollah fighters in Syria.



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Toby Greene’s ‘silly’ strike during Fremantle Dockers clash


Greater Western Sydney Giants star Toby Greene could once again find himself in hot water with the Match Review Officer after striking an opponent during Saturday’s victory over the Fremantle Dockers at Perth Stadium.

In the fourth quarter of the round 14 fixture, Greene was filmed throwing his arm back and making contact with the chest of Fremantle defender Reece Conca.

The off-field incident took place dozens of metres away from the ball, and Conca immediately fell to the turf and grabbed his stomach.

A trainer sprinted onto the ground to assist the 28-year-old, but Conca returned to his feet and played on.

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If MRO Michael Christian believes the strike was intentional and “medium impact”, Greene would cop a one-week suspension and miss the Giants’ must-win fixture against Carlton on Thursday.

AFL LIVE SCORES: Round 14 match centres

Brisbane Lions legend Jonathan Brown argued Greene — who boasts a lengthy MRO incident rap sheet — would be given a suspension.

“It’s always the reaction. We know the AFL’s not that keen on that action, it’s the reaction of the player — and he was clearly hurt. He’s a tough player,” Brown told Fox Footy.

“How do you define low impact to medium impact? Conca’s gone back out there so is that just low impact? No one really knows.”

Western Bulldogs great Brad Johnson elaborated: “It’s just silly from Toby. There’s no need to do it.

“You’re in control of the game and in control of your opponent throughout the day as well.

“There’s just no need whatsoever to put yourself in that position.”

Speaking to reporters after the match, Giants coach Leon Cameron defended Greene: “Spoke to Toby, and he said he just brushed him aside.

“Clearly he went down, but all the talk in our locker room was just, ‘You’ll be fine’.

“Because it’s Toby, it’s going to be a headline, but we’re used to that. We’re not worried.”

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Having returned from a three-week absence due to injury, Greene managed 14 disposals and kicked a critical goal during the Giants’ convincing 14.7 (91) to 8.5 (53) victory over Fremantle.

Meanwhile, Giants young gun Jake Riccardi made his mark by kicking four goals in just his second AFL match.

“This bloke looks like Wayne Carey … he has been outstanding,” Brown said.

“I can’t think of a key forward who has been able to burst onto the scene like this early in his career over the last few years.”

ABC Grandstand broadcaster Ben Cameron tweeted: “For all of their top-end talent, the GWS Giants have found a player in Jake Riccardi. Compliments what they have in their forward line already too. Diamond in the rough.”



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Self-strangulation – As natural disasters strike, North Korea cuts itself off | Asia




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Big grocers face more potential trouble as Dominion workers in Newfoundland strike


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The local union president, Carolyn Wrice, said the Loblaw proposal addressed some employee concerns, so the bargaining committee opted to put it to a vote. But members “overwhelmingly” rejected it, according to Unifor.

Wrice said Loblaw’s proposed wage increase — a total of about $1 an hour accumulating over the course of a three-year agreement, according to Unifor — fell short of expectations, especially since it came in well below the extra $2 an hour that staff were receiving as pandemic-related bonuses.

Loblaw declined to comment on the details of the proposed Dominion agreement.

“That (extra $2) was a lot to these people. That let people get extra groceries, it helped them pay an extra bill they couldn’t pay,” Wrice said, adding that 80 per cent of her members are part-time workers, many of them single parents who earn minimum wage, which is $11.65 in the province. “Now they’re back to square one … How would that make you feel?”

Unifor is also currently in negotiations with Loblaw on behalf of employees at a warehouse in New Brunswick, and more negotiations are scheduled for employees at Metro-owned Food Basics in Ontario.

“It’s come to a head already in Newfoundland and it’s going to continue,” Dias said. “There’s a lot of momentum. There’s a lot of support for grocery store workers. I would argue more so today than in the past.”

Teamsters Canada, which represents between 2,000 and 3,000 grocery workers in the country, also suggested that the cancelled pay bonuses will cause more “friction” between unions and supermarket chains as collective agreements for local bargaining units start to come up for renegotiation.

“There will be some very difficult negotiations coming up with grocery stores across the country,” Teamsters spokesperson Christopher Monette said. “Labour relations will be far more strained than they were before the pandemic because pandemic pay was taken away in such a bizarre and sudden manner.”



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Fend-off, but no strike: Lynch cleared by tribunal


“I want to keep separation on him so I lean in and push on his chest,” Lynch said, giving evidence via a video link from the Tigers’ Queensland hub.

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Of Lynch’s actions, Gleeson said that “either he’s a terrible aim” or that he landed his blow where he wanted and that it was clearly a strike.

Gleeson added that “Hurley immediately clutched for his throat, saying that had there been no contact to the throat or chin, it was a “rather miraculous” piece of thinking from Hurley to clutch at his throat.

As part of their defence, the Tigers relied on behind-the-goal footage to help argue that Lynch had been aiming to get separation on his opponent.

“Hurley whacks my hands,” Lynch said, referring to the footage.

“He’s got his back to the ball and facing towards me.”

Lynch’s advocate Sam Tovey said: “It’s incontrovertible evidence that he’s trying to get separation to get the ball, not to get into a fight.”

An Essendon medical report tendered to the tribunal said that Hurley had not required treatment or ongoing investigation.

Lynch had been sent straight to the tribunal after being cited for striking for the third time this month, having been fined for separate strikes to Gold Coast pair Sam Collins and Jarrod Witts. Lynch had also accepted a fine for an incident involving Brisbane Lions defender Alex Witherden in round 10.

Because the case had been sent straight to the tribunal under the league’s provisions for recidivism, match review officer had not given the alleged strike a classification as per an ordinary offence.

Lynch had only been suspended once previously across his decade-long AFL career, rubbed out for bumping Greater Western Sydney’s Matt Buntine in 2015.

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Tribunal chairman David Jones gave clear instructions to jurors Shane Wakelin, Paul Williams and Wayne Henwood that Lynch’s record would only be taken into account if he was found guilty of striking.

Meanwhile Geelong’s Luke Dahlhaus has been offered a one-match ban for a dangerous tackle laid on Adelaide’s Matt Crouch on Sunday. The Cats face the Western Bulldogs on Friday night.

Port Adelaide are set to challenge Sam Powell-Pepper’s one-match suspension for a dangerous tackle laid on Hawthorn’s Ben McEvoy.

Several other players including West Coast star Tim Kelly have been offered fines stemming from matches on Sunday.

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University staff vote to take unprotected strike


“Striking is the tried and tested means of securing rights for working people and advancement for society.”

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The strike is in protest against, what NHEAN says is, inadequate federal government support for universities and job cuts in the sector which university managers have imposed in response to the loss of international student revenue.

The motion endorsed on Monday calls for “serious planning of future unprotected national industrial action as part of the campaign to secure adequate government funding for universities”.

Dr Riemer said the federal government had refused to support universities through the pandemic to prevent the job cuts.

He said NHEAN would now start planning an industrial campaign in response to proposed federal government funding reforms which include reducing student fees for science, teaching and health courses while dramatically increasing the cost of popular humanities, law and commerce degrees.

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Universities Australia has objected to the overhaul, warning the current legislation could result in the sector’s funding being slashed by the government.

The federal government said its overhaul of student and government contributions would fund an extra 39,000 university places by 2023 and 100,000 by the end of the decade in response to surging demand for tertiary education.

When the proposal was first announced, Education Minister Dan Tehan said it would “deliver cheaper degrees in areas of expected employment growth” while students who studied more popular degrees would “make a higher contribution”.



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Strike three sends Lynch to tribunal as Tigers cop diving fines


Then, last week, Lynch copped two separate striking fines for blows landed at Gold Coast pair Jarrod Witts and Sam Collins respectively. Lynch has been cited on this occasion under MRO provisions which allow Christian to effectively accumulate a player’s strikes and send them to the tribunal.

Lynch will face the tribunal early this week and is in danger of missing the Tigers’ match against fellow premiership contenders West Coast at Metricon Stadium on Thursday night.

Grimes and Vlastuin are both alleged to have exaggerated contact at critical stages of the Tigers’ 12-point win over the Dons. Vlastuin has been offered a $500 fine, while Grimes, who has previously been found guilty of staging, has been offered a $750 fine.

Grimes said he received “death threats and suicide suggestions” among a barrage of abuse after an umpiring decision in the second quarter that saw Essendon’s Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti denied a goal.

Grimes was awarded a free kick for a push in the back when he fell forward, as McDonald-Tipungwuti took a chest mark over the back of a pack and ran into an open goal.

Grimes took to Instagram in the early hours of Sunday morning to highlight some of the abuse he received, reminding Essendon fans who had messaged him that “this is a game we play for fun”.

Vlastuin posted about similar messages in his Instagram story but thanked those who had sent positive messages, too.

Players have been highlighting abuse they have received in recent weeks, since Callan Ward said he had received death threats from fans angry at the controversial free kick he was awarded earlier this month against Essendon.

Essendon coach John Worsfold said the decision to overturn McDonald-Tipungwuti’s goal had a huge impact on the direction of the match, making it clear he thought it was a dubious decision.

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He said the decision had a “massive impact”.

“It obviously was something pretty drastic to overturn a kick like that. Unfortunately that is the way the umpires called it and we have to cop that, but it was a pretty critical part of the game,” Worsfold said.

If the goal had remained Essendon’s they would have led by 11 points with the momentum, but instead the Tigers immediately kicked the next two goals and went into half-time with a seven point lead.

Worsfold was less willing to judge whether the umpires made the right decision in awarding Vlastuin a 50-metre penalty midway through the final quarter, with the margin just 10 points after he took the mark.

The premiership defender, who copped contact on the shoulder late from Essendon ruckman Tom Bellchambers, threw his head back before accepting the penalty and kicking the crucial goal to steady the Tigers.

Meanwhile Port Adelaide enforcer Sam Powell-Pepper has been offered a one-match suspension for a dangerous tackle applied to Hawthorn big man Ben McEvoy. Port are due to face Sydney on Saturday.

A host of other players can accept fines stemming from Saturday’s games.

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EU gives in on lobsters to strike trade deal with Trump – POLITICO


Lobsters are on the table | Pochard Casabianca/AFP via Getty Images

Move seen as attempt to calm trade tensions with US President Donald Trump.

EU trade chief Phil Hogan has agreed to lower the EU’s tariff on lobsters, in what his team said was an attempt to calm trade tensions with U.S. President Donald Trump.

The European Commission and the White House on Friday announced they had struck a mini-deal under which the EU will lower its tariff on lobsters for all World Trade Organization countries, including the U.S.

In exchange, the U.S. will lower its global tariffs on selected items of comparable value, which it mainly imports from Europe, such as fine wine glasses, lighters and certain paints.

With this deal, Hogan is departing from the stance of his predecessor Cecilia Malmström, who last year rejected a U.S. offer for a similar agreement, arguing the EU would only do so as part of a broader deal, according to a letter from Malmström obtained by POLITICO.

Hogan is facing increasing pressure in his native Ireland to apologize after he apparently broke coronavirus rules by attending a golf club dinner.

But Hogan’s team rejected any suggestion that he was announcing the deal now to turn media attention away from that episode.

“This is absolutely ridiculous,” said one senior Commission official when asked about the timing of the announcement, adding the timing was “no more than an unfortunate coincidence.”

“We have been planning [the deal on lobsters] for weeks … this is not something that can be turned around in five minutes after an emergency decision to kind of change the headline.”





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