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News Making International Headlines: 15 November 2021

War Inside Ecuador Prison Leaves 68 Dead


PHOTO: RELATIVES OF INMATES OUTSIDE PRISON WAITING FOR INFORMATION, TROOPS AND POLICE OUTSIDE PRISON, SOUNDBITES FROM ECUADOREAN AUTHORITIES

INTERNATIONAL: Ecuador's President Guillermo Lasso has called a "crisis cabinet" after another outbreak of brutal prison violence. At least 68 people died and more than two dozen injured on Saturday at Litoral Penitentiary.It is one of Ecuador's largest prisons in the coastal city of Guayaquil.

The same penitentiary, is the same prison where 119 inmates were killed in late September in the country's worst-ever incident of prison violence. The government has blamed disputes between drug trafficking gangs for control of prisons for the violence. So far, 34 bodies have been identified since the Saturday bloodshed.

The Human Rights Secretariat will deliver the coffins to the families while criminology continues to work on the identification of the other deceased. The government is also offering psychological assistance for victims' families.

Ecuador's prison system has come under harsh spotlight in recent years for overcrowding, poor sanitary conditions and organized crime. Lasso in September declared a 60-day state of emergency in the prison system.

Thai Youth-Led Protesters Rally for “No Absolute Monarchy”


PHOTO: PROTESTERS SURROUNDING BURNING EFFIGIES DEPICTING THE CONSTITUTIONAL JUDGES POLICE STANDING IN LINE SOUNDBITES FROM PROTESTERS

Thousands of Thai protesters demonstrated out onto the streets of Thailand’s capital Bangkok on Sunday. They demand changes, including the repeal of a draconian law that criminalizes any criticism of the king.

Youth-led protests, that began last year by calling for the removal of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, a former coup leader. With thousands in attendance, Sunday’s rally was one of the biggest protests in recent months, despite being temporarily disrupted by rain. Protesters held placards reading "No absolute monarchy" and "Reform is not abolition", as they marched through Bangkok.

While it was once taboo to call for reforms to the monarchy, young protesters are becoming increasingly bold in their demands. A 20-year-old protester says, she can’t see their future if they stay under the regime of dictatorship and monarchy. They want to have a voice. They want their government to work for them, not the king. They want humans to be equal. Riot police were seen standing on the streets and in front of the German Embassy.

Since the protests began last year, at least 157 people have been charged under the law, according to records compiled by the Thai Lawyers for Human Rights group. Sunday's protest came in response to the Constitutional Court's ruling last week that a call for reforms to the monarchy by three protest leaders in August last year was unconstitutional and designed to topple the institution. Three protesters were wounded on Sunday.

New Delhi to Close for A Week Amid Severe Air Pollution Crisis


PHOTO: VEHICLES DRIVING THROUGH SMOG FARMERS BURNING STUBBLE SOUNDBITES FROM CHIEF MINISTER OF NEW DELHI, DEPUTY COMMISSIONER OF AMRITSAR

And...Schools in New Delhi will be closed for a week and construction sites for four days.This was announced by the Indian capital's chief minister on Saturday, as the city tries to protect people in a worsening air pollution crisis.

Chief minister of the National Capital Territory of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal says that New Delhi, often ranked as one of the world's most polluted capitals will be physically closed for a week from Monday as severe air pollution blankets the city. He has confirmed that talks on a potential complete lockdown in the capital were also underway, but any decision would only be taken after consultation with the central government.

A thick haze of toxic smog hung over the Indian capital, intensified by a spike in the burning of crop waste in surrounding farmlands. Farmers of India's bread-basket state of Punjab have said they were compelled to burn the stalks as no proper solution or alternative was being provided to them by the government. Stubble or stalks burning in Punjab and Haryana states, part of the farm belt that borders the capital, New Delhi, accounts for 30 to 40 percent of air pollution in October and November, according to air-quality monitoring agency SAFAR.

Air quality in Delhi, often ranked the world's most polluted capital, has declined due to crop stalks burning, emissions from transport, coal-fired plants outside the city and other industry, as well as open garbage burning and dust.


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