German airline Lufthansa has cancelled 800 flights both passenger and cargo flights on Friday after pilots union ‘Vereinigung Cockpit’ announced they are going on a planned all-day strike.Due to the strike, the airline said it would cancel all flights to and from Frankfurt and Munich airports today, affecting 130,000 passengers, according to the statement released by Lufthansa Group on Thursday. Lufthansa said while it was working to normalize the situation, “isolated cancellations or delays” on Saturday or Sunday were also possible.
The pilots’ union Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) confirmed overnight that Lufthansa pilots would stage an all-day strike on Friday both for flights by the core passenger business and its cargo subsidiary, DPA, German News Agency reported.VC says it is demanding a 5.5 per cent pay rise this year for its more than 5,000 pilots, as well as automatic inflation adjustments for 2023, but said discussions had failed.
During the coronavirus crisis, Lufthansa terminated the agreement and started to set up a new airline with lower pay scale conditions, bypassing the collective deal.“We have not received a sufficient offer today either,” said spokesperson Matthias Baier. “This is sobering and a missed opportunity.”
Michael Niggemann, Chief Human Resources Officer and Labor Director of Deutsche Lufthansa AG said, “We cannot understand VC’s call for a strike. The management has made a very good and socially balanced offer – despite the continuing burdens of the Covid crisis and uncertain prospects for the global economy. This escalation comes at the expense of many thousands of customers.”According to the statement, the Group has presented an offer with an 18-month term, in which pilots at Lufthansa and Lufthansa Cargo will receive a total of 900 euros more in basic pay per month in two stages. This will benefit entry-level salaries in particular.
An entry-level co-pilot will receive more than 18 per cent additional basic pay over the duration of the agreement, while a captain in the final stage will receive five per cent. With the agreement for the ground staff, the Group has shown that it is prepared to make significant pay increases.
As an alternative, VC has been offered the option of allocating all or part of this volume elsewhere, for example for structural changes such as adjustments to the pay scale. In addition, the Group is offering VC the opportunity to jointly conclude a new ‘Perspective Agreement’, in which Lufthansa and Lufthansa Cargo cockpit staff have a minimum fleet size.
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Top Pakistani diplomat accused in Europe visa scam: report
Already a “mastermind of human trafficking” to Europe, a top Pakistani diplomat, Israr Husain, has now been accused for his alleged involvement in issuing visas to Pakistani citizens for Europe in exchange for bribes, media reports said.
The complaint was lodged by a senior Pakistani official who is also in charge of issuing visas. It is worth noting that Husain has held top ranks in the past, such as assistant secretary for Europe at the Foreign Ministry in Islamabad and ambassador at the diplomatic office in Prague, a position from which he had to resign following allegations of corruption, Difesa Online reported.
This incident has triggered speculations about whether Islamabad diplomats are carrying out a global scam of fake passports and visas for Europe. Pakistan has long been involved in such activities and therefore this is not the first incident of its kind.
These activities by Pakistanis are spread across various European countries so much so that the European Parliament had to intervene to sound an alarm on the pertinent issue, Difesa Online reported.
For Instance, in 2020, Member of European Parliament (MEP) Dominique Bilde accused Pakistan of leading a racket to grant falsified passports and visas. Already in 2012, the then High Commissioner for the United Kingdom in Islamabad, Adam Thomson, had called Pakistan “the world leader in counterfeiting visas.”
Furthermore, as per the data in 2021, a total of 4,000 Pakistani citizens were reported for trying to obtain passports using forged documents.
North Korea fires missile ahead of Kamala Harris’ visit to Demilitarized Zone
North Korea fired an apparent ballistic missile on Wednesday evening, just a day ahead of US Vice President Kamla Harris’ visit to Demilitarized Zone dividing South and North Korea.
Notably, this is the second launch from nuclear-armed North Korea in four days, The Japan Times reported. South Korea’s military also confirmed the launch of an unidentified ballistic missile into the Sea of Japan.
After the missile launch by North Korea, Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida issued an instruction where it stated that one needs to dedicate maximum effort to gather and analyze the information and provide the public with speedy and adequate information.
The second one was to ensure the safety of aircraft, vessels, and other assets. Lastly,
“Take all possible measures for precaution, including readiness for contingencies.”
Earlier, on Sunday, North Korea launched a short-range ballistic missile for its first major weapons test since early June
This apparent missile launch came as US Vice President is all set to visit the Demilitarized Zone dividing South and North Korea on Thursday, Voice Of America reported.
Harris is spending most of this week in South Korea and Japan, two East Asian nations the Biden administration sees as alternative options in the region as China grows bolder.
Harris was among dozens of foreign dignitaries in Tokyo on Tuesday to pay respects to assassinated former Japanese leader Shinzo Abe, who was killed on July 8.
“The alliance between Japan and the United States is a cornerstone of what we believe is integral to peace, stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region,” Harris said. “And this is something we prioritize because we also believe it is in the best interest of the American people in terms of their security and prosperity and we do believe the same for Japanese people,” she added as quoted by Voice of America.
In the last week, Kim Song, North Korea’s ambassador to the United Nations, accused the US of compelling the DPRK to adopt a law on the policy of nuclear forces.
While speaking at UNGA, Kim Song said, “The United States compelled the DPRK to adopt a law on the policy of nuclear forces in defiance of the US hostile hostility.”
WFP calls for $1.1 billion aid for food-insecure Afghans
Due to a massive surge in food insecurity amid the Ukraine war, the World Food Programme has called for $1.1 billion to continue delivering monthly food and nutritional assistance for the next six months to 15 million acutely food-insecure people in Afghanistan.
“Our plan for winter is to provide food assistance to more than 15 million every month,” said Wahidullah Amani, WFP Afghanistan Spokesman, TOLOnews reported. The report highlighted the political developments, security, regional cooperation, human rights, and economic development in Afghanistan.
“The sudden stop of aid inflows … accompanied by political uncertainty, inadequate access to services and women’s exclusion from economic participation, continued to lead to slow growth,” the report added.
World Food Programme (WFP) and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) in Afghanistan condemned the ongoing economic crisis in Afghanistan as people in the country are on the brink of starvation and facing poverty.
In a tweet, OCHA in Afghanistan wrote, “19 M people are facing food insecurity, 25M people are living in poverty, 5.8M people are in protracted internal displacement, thousands of houses damaged by floods and earthquakes,” expressing concerns about the plight of Afghans, TOLOnews reported.
“To survive the winter, they require food, nutrition support, warm clothing & a roof over their heads,” tweeted OCHA.
Meanwhile, the World Food Programme has also raised concerns about the economic crisis in Afghanistan. “The economic crisis wiped out jobs, salaries & livelihoods across Afghanistan, helping families & communities support themselves is more important than ever,” wrote WFP on Twitter.
According to a survey, “nearly all Afghans (94 per cent) rate their lives poorly enough to be considered suffering” since the Taliban’s takeover of the country with a population of around 40 million, reported TOLOnews.
The rising crisis in Afghanistan has hit small enterprises the hardest and private companies have laid off more than half of their employees due to a shortage in sales and a drastic decline in the consumer demand for products.
Pakistan spends $450 million on F-16 package amid $28b loss due to floods
While Pakistan at UNGA recently urged the international communities to help it with economic losses amid the unprecedented flooding, which is estimated to be USD 28 billion, on the other hand, it recently received F-16-related equipment from the United States worth USD 450 million.
The recent flooding in Pakistan which created havoc in the country is estimated to cause damage to the extent of USD 28 billion and an upsurge in poverty by 5 per cent, indicating that nine to 12 million people might fall below the poverty line, The News International reported. Pakistan has a total of 160 districts. To date, half of these across the country is declared “calamity hit.” But the Balochistan and Sindh provinces were majorly hit during this unprecedented flooding.
Sindh has suffered the most and its damages stand at a whopping sum of USD 5.9 billion. Balochistan is second with USD 3.04 billion in losses.
The losses in Punjab stand at USD 0.55 billion, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa at USD 0.54 billion, while Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan suffered a loss of USD 0.02 billion and USD 0.03 billion respectively, the officials noted.
Despite this, Pakistan received F-16-related equipment for an estimated cost of USD 450 million from the US while its own people remain in dire need of food and medical assistance.
The locals of the Sindh and Balochistan province claim that no officials have visited the flood-affected area to ascertain the magnitude of the disaster leaving the people to suffer.
There is also an outbreak of diseases in the two provinces, children are dying from cholera.
The stagnant floodwaters have led to widespread cases of skin and eye infections, diarrhoea, malaria, typhoid and dengue fever across numerous provinces, triggering health threats to people.
Myanmar beauty queen seeks asylum in Canada amid threats from military junta
Myanmar beauty queen Han Lay who was facing threats from the military junta is seeking asylum in Canada.
The 23-year-old who took refuge in Thailand after criticizing her home country’s ruling military junta has left Bangkok for Canada where she is expected to seek asylum, Thai immigration officials told CNN. Han Lay captured international attention with an emotional pageant speech during the finals of the Miss Grand International Myanmar competition in 2021 when she held up a banner with the words “Pray for Myanmar” to raise awareness of human rights atrocities committed by junta officials. She received death threats after the speech and decided not to return home after the competition – which was held in Thailand. However, she appeared to face the threat of deportation after returning to Thailand last Wednesday following a trip to Vietnam, reported CNN.
She was stopped by officials at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport who said they had discovered a problem with her passport and since then she had been in limbo.
Archayon Kraithong, deputy chief of Thailand’s immigration bureau, told CNN on Wednesday that Han Lay had left Bangkok on Tuesday night.
Why Investing In Toowoomba Real Estate A Wise Choice?
Toowoomba is a popular real estate hotspot located in Queensland, Australia. The region is home to 160,777 residents. The median home listing price in the destination is $459,000. Families are moving to Toowoomba to live a better life, and many wage earners have access to jobs that pay well in the nearby Surat Basin. So, if you want to buy or invest in properties in the place, you can get the help of a Toowoomba real estate company that picks the best listings for you with all the needed amenities and negotiates a fair deal between you and the seller while undertaking all the paperwork.
The town is constantly developing into a regional centre for business and government and is becoming the primary economic driver for the region. Due to the following reasons, it is a perfect decision to invest in the booming place with the help of a Toowoomba real estate professional.
Investment Properties In Toowoomba
Properties in the city are prized possessions, and the growth in rental demand has caused rental yields to spike. The city frequently ranks within the top 10 hotspots and has seen its value increase by 25% in the last three years.
Common properties available in the city centre and surroundings are houses, villas, and commercial shopping centres.
Homeowners can easily relocate to properties near markets, education centres, hospitals, and malls. Most homes consist of about 3 to 6 inbuilt spacious bedrooms, one modular kitchen with all these essential supplies, three bathrooms, open dining and living space, separate storage room, media rooms, remote lock garage, concrete paths and driveway, etc.
Property Experts Are Ready To Help
To conveniently locate and invest in Toowoomba, homeowners can use professional help like a land or house investment expert who assists them in the selection of the most fruitful investment options with an upscale standard of living.
These expert agencies’ services include property management, rental inspections, purchasing and selling properties, etc. These and other services ensure that customers get the most luxurious spaces in the town.
Toowoomba is close to the Surat Basin, with many expanding work opportunities. Surat Basin is only 127km west of rapidly growing Brisbane. It is The Gateway and Service Town to the Basin. More than $1 billion annually is being pumped directly and indirectly into the region’s economy due to its industrial activities.
The city has more than 23 private schools in the town and vicinity. Technical colleges and the University of Southern Queensland Campus make it the perfect city to raise and educate your children. The excellent quality of education is also an important attraction for people who move to the area.
The region is well-served via Bus Queensland with frequent inter-city train and bus services. The air services are on the verge, with planned new airport investments. The acquisition is $1.055 billion for restoring the region’s transportation network, which finished on June 15, 2015.
The airport and the business park’s total expense is approximately $300 million. It is in addition to the investments in the airport after the work is complete.
In the region, $3.5 billion is being invested across Infrastructure and Services. The building boom includes new retail areas: The $25 million North Point Shopping Centre was recently ready, as has the $20 million Drayton Shopping Centre and ready to go are the Garden Town and Grand Central cutting centres that are worth $150 million.
Reasons To Invest Here
Town stats show a population rapidly growing each year, and it will continue to expand at a rate that matches the population’s growth. It also opens many employment opportunities for low-skilled and even high-skilled workers. Employment has a high and high success rate of 98.5 per cent. It is considered one of the most desirable locations in Australia as it is home to multiple-faceted industries (not dependent on any specific industry). In Toowoomba, ample affordable housing and commercial space options are available in the large vicinity, and residents can enjoy convenient and peaceful living.
With all such features, Toowoomba real estate has proven to be a profitable opportunity because it checks most investors’ boxes and has all of the basic requirements for living.
Toowoomba is a city with a booming economy, with the highest employment rate, continuous population increase, high demand for homes, and a healthy rental yield. If you choose Toowoomba right now, you could start looking for properties in this area. However, if you’re ready to invest in an opportunity that will harvest capital growth and higher rental yields, in that case, Toowoomba is anticipated to be a long-term investment hotspot.
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