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German airports strike slashes 600 flights

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FRANKFURT: Almost 640 flights were cancelled in Germany Thursday as security staff went on strike at three airports, meaning disruption for around 100,000 passengers.

The number of flights blocked was more than half the 1,050 planned for Duesseldorf, Cologne-Bonn and Stuttgart.

Duesseldorf — the country’s third-largest airport — said in a statement that 370 of Thursday’s 580 planned departures had to be cancelled.

News agency DPA reported that the walkout, slated to last from 3:00 am (0200 GMT) to midnight (1100 GMT), was expected to affect around 100,000 travellers.

At Cologne-Bonn, where 131 of almost 200 flights were cancelled, union Verdi told DPA the security strike was also slowing freight handling.

Representing 23,000 airport security staff across Germany, Verdi is demanding a pay increase to 20 euros ($23.08) per hour from the present rate of 17 euros, or almost 18 percent.

Employers’ association BDLS meanwhile is offering increases of between two and eight percent.

Passengers’ first taste of the pay dispute came Monday, when Berlin’s two airports Tegel and Schoenefeld suffered “warning strikes” with around 50 departures cancelled.

The next round of Verdi and BDLS negotiations will take place on January 23.

 

 

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Economy

Pakistan seeks greater partnership with WB: PM

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ISLAMABAD:  Imran Khan has told WB that Pakistan looked forward to greater partnership with World Bank (WB) in critical areas including eco-tourism, mountain, and religious tourism.

Talking to a delegation of World Bank headed by Vice President South Asia Hartwig Schafer in Islamabad today Imran Khan said that these sectors which have a huge potential towards the uplift of the poor and poverty alleviation. He highlighted various steps being taken by the government towards economic stability, poverty alleviation and improving ease of doing business in the country. The delegation comprised of Vice President Human Development Annete Dixon, Country Director Illangovan Patchamuthu, Operations Manager Melinda Good and Senior Country Manager IFC Nadeem Siddiqui. Special Assistant of Prime Minister on Political Affairs Naeem-ul-Haq, Secretary Finance Arif Ahmed Khan and others were also present in the meeting.

The delegation appreciated Prime Minister’s vision on the economic stability of the country, human development and addressing the issue of stunted growth due to malnutrition. It briefed the Prime Minister about various ongoing projects of the World Bank in various sectors including water supply, sewerage and waste management, transportation and connectivity, capacity building and ease of doing business in the country.  It also offered WB’s assistance in attracting foreign investments, analytics, sharing of expertise and technical knowledge in various sectors to help the Government translate its vision into reality. Welcoming the offer, the Prime Minister appreciated World Bank’s continued engagement with Pakistan and its support towards capacity building, infrastructure development and economic growth.

 

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World

NATO condemns Russian ‘build-up’ in Crimea

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BRUSSELS: NATO today condemned what it called Russia’s “ongoing and wide-ranging military build-up in Crimea” on the fifth anniversary of Moscow’s annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula.
As Russia celebrated what it terms its “reunification” with Crimea, NATO hit out at Moscow over its plans to further militarise the Black Sea.
The annexation of Crimea in March 2014 and Russia’s role in the Ukraine conflict sent ties between NATO and Moscow plunging to post-Cold War lows. NATO said there would be no return to “business as usual” with Moscow until there was “a clear, constructive change in Russia’s actions.
“We condemn Russia’s ongoing and wide-ranging military build-up in Crimea, and are concerned by Russia’s efforts and stated plans for further military build-up in the Black Sea region,” NATO’s ruling North Atlantic Council said in a statement. NATO holds that it would never recognize Russia’s annexation of Crimea and urged Moscow to return the territory to Ukraine.

 

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Asia

Tokyo stocks open higher!

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Tokyo stocks gain on bargain-hunting

TOKYO: Stocks opened here higher today, tracking gains on Wall Street due to optimism over US-China trade talks, with investors closely eyeing the US Federal Reserve’s meeting later this week.
The Nikkei 225 index added 0.65 percent, or 139.64 points, to 21,590.49 in early trade, while the broader Topix index climbed 0.43 percent, or 6.82 points, to 1,609.45.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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