Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 8th 2016 Contents • Twitter: @GuardianTT • Web: guardian.co.tt
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2016
New Delhi's toxic
smog causing 'panic'
The toxic smog that has enveloped New Delhi,
turning it into the most polluted city on the planet,
may soon take its toll on the Indian capital's
Over the weekend, Delhi's government announced
unprecedented steps, closing schools for three days
and putting a five-day ban on construction and
demolition in the sprawling capital. The government
also wants to temporarily shut down a nearby coal-
fired power plant.
Yesterday, the Associated Chambers of Commerce
and Industry of India, or Assocham, released a survey
suggesting five to 10 per cent of the national capital's
workforce had called in sick due to respiratory
With public concern at an all-time high---and air
purifiers and air-filtering face masks flying off
shelves in the capital---there is a chance
governments could enact harsher measures to deal
with the hazardous pollution levels, which soared in
the last week after millions of Indians set off
firecrackers for the Hindu festival of Divali.
As the capital of about 17 million people remained
shrouded in a thick smog, analysts said the
automobile, construction and real estate sectors
could be the most at risk if the various levels of
government are unable to overcome a lack of political
coordination and act on air pollution. Bloomberg
100 beheaded civilians
found in mass grave
IRAQ---Iraqi Kurdish fighters exchanged heavy fire
with militants yesterday as they entered a town
held by the Islamic State group east of Mosul, while
troops advancing south of the city discovered a
mass grave with some 100 decapitated bodies.
The offensive to reclaim the town of Bashiqa is
part of the broader push to drive IS out of Mosul,
Iraq's second-largest city, relieving those living
under its occupation from the type of brutality such
as mass killings that the group has committed.
Combat began at dawn with a Kurdish barrage of
heavy artillery, Katyusha rockets and mortar rounds
slamming into IS positions, providing cover for the
advance of armoured columns.
On Mosul's southern front, meanwhile, Iraqi
soldiers advanced into Hamam al-Alil, some 12 miles
from the city center, and the military announced
late Monday it had found some 100 decapitated
bodies in a mass grave near the town's agricultural
Ortega overwhelmingly won re-
election to a third consecutive term as
Nicaragua's leader according to results
yesterday, even as the opposition
called the voting a farce.
With about two-thirds of ballots
counted in Sunday's six-candidate
presidential race, Ortega had 72.1 per
cent of the vote compared with 14.2
for his closest rival.
The president ran with his wife,
Rosario Murillo, as his vice presidential
candidate in a race against five lesser-
known candidates after court rulings
weakened the opposition.
Critics of the government said the
election was unfairly tilted against the
opposition, but Murillo praised the
process. Emerging with her husband
after casting their ballots shortly
before the polls closed, she called the
vote "an exemplary, historic election."
Ortega and his leftist Sandinista
National Liberation Front have
benefited from the Central American
country's modest but steady economic
growth and low levels of violence
compared to neighboring Honduras
and El Salvador.
Many Nicaraguans also cite the
government's social programs as a
major reason for the party's
In Washington, the US State
Department criticised Nicaragua for
sidelining the opposition and urged
Ortega's government to "uphold
democratic practices" such as press
freedom and human rights. AP
WASHINGTON---Black clergy were
taking to the pulpits and the streets
nationwide this weekend in hopes of
energising black voters ahead of elec-
tion day today, aiming to make a dif-
ference in the presidential contest
between Hillary Clinton and Donald
Many expect a drop in black voter
participation this year, primarily because
Barack Obama, the nation s first
African-American president, is not on
the ballot. His historic candidacy in
2008 and re-election in 2012 helped
to fuel record black turnout.
"Voting, for us, is both a spiritual
and a political issue," said Reverend
William Barber, president of the North
Carolina NAACP and architect of the
Moral Monday Movement in North
In battleground states like Florida,
Ohio and North Carolina, other black
clergy are extending "Souls to the Polls"
efforts for a second weekend to get
black churchgoers to cast ballots early
or on election day. Souls to the Polls
events are based around black churches
that encourage their parishioners to
vote---although they cannot tell them
who to support---and try to make it
easier for elderly, busy or just reluctant
voters to cast ballots.
The number of African-American
voters has increased steadily: 12.9 mil-
lion in 2000, 14 million in 2004, 16
million in 2008 and 17.8 million in 2012.
In the last presidential election year,
blacks for the first time voted at a higher
rate, 66.2 per cent, than did whites,
with a rate of 64.1 per cent, or Asian-
Americans or Hispanics, with rates of
about 48 per cent each.
Get-out-the-vote efforts are under
way outside the churches as well, in
vote-rich places like Ohio, where Clin-
ton will appear this weekend with hip-
hop mogul Jay Z and other artistes who
she hopes can persuade black millen-
nials to vote for her. AP
Puerto Rico town suspends
services amid economic crisis
SAN JUAN---A town in northern Puerto Rico has
closed city hall and put nearly all of its employees
on involuntary vacation because officials say they
don't have money to pay salaries.
Toa Baja Mayor Jorge Ortiz says the island's
struggling Government Development Bank owes
the city more than $1 million, though the bank
The city also had its accounts recently frozen by
the IRS because of a $1.5 million debt.
Essential employees such as police officers are
still working in the city of roughly 88,000 people,
but most city workers are idled. A group of
employees protested Monday's closure and
demanded back wages.
The closure comes as Puerto Rico seeks to
restructure nearly $70 billion in public debt the
governor has said is unpayable. AP
First female US attorney
general Janet Reno dies
Janet Reno, the first
female US attorney
general and a lightning rod
for Republican attacks
during Bill Clinton's
presidency, has died in
Florida, US media reported.
She was 78.
Reno died early
yesterday at her Miami
home due to complications
from Parkinson's disease,
her sister Maggy Hurchalla
The top US law
enforcement officer throughout Clinton's 1993-2001
presidency, Reno came under fire barely one month
after becoming attorney general for her handling of
a botched April 1993 FBI raid on an armed religious
cult in Waco, Texas.
Her other actions included ordering the Miami
relatives of six-year-old Cuban shipwreck survivor
Elian Gonzalez in 2000 to surrender the boy to
US immigration officials determined that
Gonzalez's father had the right to take his son from
his estranged exile Cuban Miami relatives, who had
cared for the boy since his rescue months earlier at
sea attempting to immigrate to the United States.
US agents burst into the home and retrieved the
boy at gunpoint, then returned Gonzalez to his
father in communist Cuba.
FILE - In this September 22, 2016, file photo, Rev William Barber speaks during a
news conference in Charlotte, North Carolina. AP PHOTO
Nicaragua's incumbent president Daniel Ortega and his wife, now vice president elect Rosario Murillo,
walk out after casting their ballots in Managua, Nicaragua, Sunday. AP PHOTO
Black clergy push
to get out the vote
Ortega wins third term; wife is VP
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