London City Airport braces for possible shutdown by Extinction Rebellion protesters

Stanley Johnson, second right, father of the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, speaks at an Extinction Rebellion panel on climate change at Trafalgar Square in London on Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019. (AP)
Updated 10 October 2019

London City Airport braces for possible shutdown by Extinction Rebellion protesters

  • About 18,000 passengers are due to arrive or depart from London City Airport, with 286 flights scheduled
  • Extinction Rebellion has targeted government buildings over the last few days

LONDON: London City Airport was braced for disruption on Thursday after climate-change protesters Extinction Rebellion vowed to occupy its terminal and shut down operations for three days as part of its action in the British capital.
London City is the capital’s fifth-biggest — and most central — airport, popular with business travelers, bankers and politicians for short-haul and regional routes.
On Thursday, 18,000 passengers are due to arrive or depart from the airport, with 286 flights scheduled.
Extinction Rebellion, which has targeted government buildings including the Cabinet Office in Whitehall over the last few days, said protesters would lie, sit or glue themselves to “nonviolently use their bodies to close the airport.”


They said they were protesting plans to expand the airport, which aims to have 6.5 million passengers a year by 2022, compared to the 4.8 million in 2018, and which has said there could be demand for as many as 11 million a year by 2035.
“Air travel is an icon of our fragile ‘just-in-time’ economic system. That system will break, as Climate Chaos hits,” group spokesman Rupert Read said in a statement.
“By non-violently shutting down this airport... we are demonstrating the utter frailty of the transport systems that countries such as ours, unwisely, have come to depend upon.”
London police have made hundreds of arrests as the protesters, labelled “un-cooperative crusties” by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, began two weeks of civil disobedience.
London City Airport said it was working with police to prepare for the protests.
“Our shared priority is the safe operation of the airport and to minimize disruption for passengers using the airport over the coming days,” a spokesman said.
All passengers traveling for the rest of this week will have to show their boarding passes to access the terminal.
Extinction Rebellion said that if protesters do not make it into the airport itself, they will occupy the neighboring Docklands Light Railway (DLR) station and access road to blockade it from the outside.
The airport said it is “committed to building a more sustainable future for the airport and the aviation industry” and has said that it will achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

 


China reports 36 new COVID-19 cases

Updated 01 April 2020

China reports 36 new COVID-19 cases

  • Chinese health commission said all but one of the new cases was imported from abroad
  • China has recorded a total of 81,554 cases of COVID-19 and 3,312 deaths from the disease

BEIJING: China’s National Health Commission on Wednesday reported 36 new COVID-19 cases, one day after announcing that asymptomatic cases will now be included in the official count.
The commission said all but one of the new cases was imported from abroad, while seven more deaths from the disease had been reported over the previous 24 hours. The commission did not say if any of the new cases were asymptomatic but on Tuesday reported that, of a total of 1,541 asymptomatic cases now being isolated and monitored for symptoms, 205 had come from overseas.
The move to disclose the number of asymptomatic cases comes amid scrutiny of China’s reported figures, which previously only included people who exhibited symptoms. While the proportion of people who have contracted the virus but remain asymptomatic is currently unknown, scientists say these “carriers” can still pass COVID-19 onto others who do end up getting sick.
As China’s domestic outbreak has largely abated, some questioned whether the country’s failure to count asymptomatic cases would lead to a resurgence of infections. China, where the virus was first detected in December, has recorded a total of 81,554 cases of COVID-19 and 3,312 deaths from the disease.