Eleven taxi drivers shot dead in South Africa

A minibus with bullet holes on its side is seen on the road between Weenen and Colenso, in KwaZulu Natal province, South Africa, early Sunday, July 22, 2018. (AP)
Updated 22 July 2018
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Eleven taxi drivers shot dead in South Africa

  • Private minibuses provide essential transport for millions of South Africans

JOHANNESBURG: Gunmen have shot dead 11 taxi drivers returning to Johannesburg from the funeral of a colleague in Kwa-Zulu Natal, a police spokesman said on Sunday.
The drivers, who were members of the Gauteng taxi association, were in a minibus driving along the R74 when unknown gunmen launched an ambush and opened fire.
“There was a shooting at about 8 p.m. (1800 GMT) last night. The vehicle was ambushed. There were 11 fatalities and four were seriously injured and are in hospital,” Kwa-Zulu Natal spokesman Jay Naicker said.
“We understand they were from the Gauteng taxi association. There has been a lot of taxi violence in the area but we are still investigating who the perpetrators were.”
Minibus taxis are the most popular form of transport in South Africa and violence is common by rival groups vying for dominance on profitable routes.


Delhi braces for pollution with emergency plan

Updated 17 min 59 sec ago
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Delhi braces for pollution with emergency plan

  • Under the new strategy, restrictions on construction sites and traffic will be imposed depending on the air quality

NEW DELHI, India: Delhi’s biggest coal power plant was set to shut down Monday as a new emergency plan to improve air quality in one of the world’s most polluted cities came into force, Indian officials said.
Under the new strategy, restrictions on construction sites and traffic will be imposed depending on the air quality in the megacity of some 20 million people.
When the air is classed as “poor,” as it was on Monday, authorities will ban the burning of garbage in landfills as well as fire crackers and certain construction activities.
When the air is “very poor” diesel generators will be halted, parking fees hiked and more public transport provided. “Severe” measures include closing brick kilns.
When it reaches “severe+,” a new category, authorities will stop the entry of trucks except those with essential goods and regulate the number of cars on the road.
The Badarpur thermal plant was due to permanently close on Monday because of its high contribution to pollution in the city.
Smog spikes during winter in Delhi, when air quality often eclipses the World Health Organization’s safe levels.
Cooler air traps pollutants — such as from vehicles, building sites and farmers burning crops in regions outside the Indian capital — close to the ground.
Authorities in the sprawling city attempted to implement similar measures last winter but to little avail.
This is partly because authorities are powerless to prevent some sources of pollution.
“Our aim is to stop the air quality from deteriorating further though certain factors are out of our control such as crop burning, wind speed and lack of public transportation,” environment authority official Bhure Lal said.