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 Misty morning in Delhi, air quality 'very poor'

Misty morning in Delhi, air quality 'very poor'

New Delhi, Nov 20 (IANS) The national capital on Tuesday witnessed a misty morning with the air quality remaining in the 'very poor' category for the fourth consecutive day.

The minimum temperature was recorded at 13.5 degrees Celsius, a notch above the season's average, the weather office said.

"The sky will be mainly clear with shallow fog and mist in the morning and haze thereafter," an India Meteorological Department (IMD) official said.

The humidity at 8.30 a.m. was 91 per cent, with the weather office predicting the maximum temperature to hover around 29 Celsius for the day.

According to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR), the overall air quality for Delhi was recorded in the 'very poor' category in many parts of the national capital.

Monday's maximum temperature settled at 28.2 degrees Celsius, the season's average, while the minimum temperature was recorded at 15.3 degrees Celsius, three notches above the season's average.


10:04 AM
 China sends 5 satellites into orbit on single rocket

China sends 5 satellites into orbit on single rocket

Beijing, Nov 20 (IANS) China launched a new space environment research satellite and four nanosatellites on a single rocket on Tuesday.

The satellites were carried by the Long March-2D rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre at 7.40 a.m., reports Xinhua news agency.

The satellites have successfully entered their preset orbit, according to the center.

Shiyan-6 will be used for conducting space environment exploration experiments.

The term nanosatellite refers to a small artificial satellite weighing between 1 and 10 kg.

It was the 292th mission of the Long March rocket series.


10:15 AM
 IAAF announces finalists for female world athletes of the year

IAAF announces finalists for female world athletes of the year

Beijing, Nov 19 (IANS) The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) on Monday announced the five finalists for female world athlete of the year.

Dina Asher-Smith of Britain is European champion in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m, and finished second in the 100m in the IAAF Diamond League final and IAAF Continental Cup, reports Xinhua news agency.

Beatrice Chepkoech from Kenya is the current world record holder in the 3000m steeplechase, and became the first woman to break 8:50 and 8:45 barriers with a time of 8:44.32 this year.

Caterine Ibarguen of Colombia won the Central American and Caribbean championship at both long jump and triple jump.

Shaunae Miller-Uibo from the Bahamas remained unbeaten across five events in 15 races, including a 200m and 4x100m double at the IAAF Continental Cup. She grabbed three wins in the 400m, with the world's fastest time since 2009.

Nafissatou Thiam of Belgium is world number three in the high jump, and is unbeaten in the heptathlon this season.

Both male and female World Athletes of the Year will be announced live on stage at the IAAF Athletics Awards 2018 in Monaco on December 4.

The male finalists will be announced on Tuesday.


10:16 PM
 Indian peacekeeper injured in DRC rebel attack

Indian peacekeeper injured in DRC rebel attack

By Arul Louis
United Nations, Nov 20 (IANS) An attack by a rebel group has injured an Indian police peacekeeper serving an UN operation in a Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) area facing the Ebola crisis, an UN official said.

Stephane Dujarric, the spokesperson for Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Monday that the attack was carried out by "suspected" Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) late on Friday evening in the Boikene area in North Kivu Province.

"The member of the Indian police unit stationed there was "lightly wounded," he said. He, however, did not identify the injured person.

The outbreak of Ebola disease has intensified the crisis in the DRC that has been in the throes of ongoing battles with marauding rebel forces that have claimed the lives of 154 peacekeepers, 15 of them Indians.

The World Health Organisation said it evacuated 16 of its staff dealing with Ebola in the area after their residence was hit on Friday by a shell that, however, did not explode.

Last week, one Tanzanian and six Malawaian peacekeepers were killed by the AFD in the Beni territory near Boikene.

The latest victims were members of the Force Intervention Brigade made up of South African, Malawian and Tanzanian peacekeepers, which operates jointly with DRC military.

The Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, told IANS in an interview on Friday that although Indian peacekeepers "are not part of the Force Intervention Brigade," they were active in other areas.

"Violence is not limited to North Kivu, even though it is currently one of the most affected," he said.

For example, "the Indians played a major role in repelling when the town of Uvira was attacked", he said.

Mai-Mai militias attacked Uvira, the second largest town in the South Kivu province, in 2017.

There were 276 Indian police personnel serving as peacekeepers in the UN Organisation Stabilisation Mission in the DRC that is better known by its French initials, MONUSCO.

In addition, the 2,627 Indian troops serving in the mission make up its second largest contingent.

MONUSCO radio gave details of an ADF group attack in the area but it was not clear if the Indian police peacekeeper was injured in that action.

The radio said that the ADF raided the Boikene area of Rwenzori in North Kivu's Beni, and attacked a MONUSCO base on Friday evening.

The peacekeepers reacted immediately and repulsed the attack after exchanges of fire, the radio said.

"The UN Mission and the Congolese armed forces (FARDC) have increased security measures in the Beni area, including around hotels occupied by UN personnel and humanitarian workers who are focused on the Ebola response, and they have also expanded their support of police operations in the Beni area," Dujarric said.

The Force Intervention Brigade intensified its campaign against the ADF on Tuesday last week "in response to repeated attacks against the civilian population of the Beni region," according to MONUSCO.

(Arul Louis can be reached at arul.l@ians.in and followed on Twitter @arulouis)


08:48 AM

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