Tuesday March 26, 2019
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87 killed, 154 injured including 9 Indians by falling crane in Mecca Grand Mosque

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source: ahram online
source: nbcnews
source: nbcnews

By Newsgram staff writer

Riyadh: At least 87 people were killed after a crane collapsed on to the Grand Mosque in the Saudi Arabia’s holy city of Mecca, which is preparing for the Annual Haj pilgrimage, authorities said.

154 people were also injured in the accident, stated the civil defence on its twitter account. Among them 9 are Indians.

External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted: “We have received reports that 9 Indian pilgrims are injured.

Swarup added that the Indian consulate in Jeddah is “monitoring the situation in Makkah following the tragic accident”.

Senior officers including the Indian consul-general “are on the ground in Makkah. Indian doctors are deployed in all government hospitals and ascertaining more information”, another tweet by Swarup added.

Al Arabiya television reported the cause of the crane falling to be strong sand storms which have been hitting western Saudi Arabia since the past few days.

swarup tweets

Images on social media appear to show part of a huge crane crashed through the mosque roof. After the conclusion of the current and final expansion, the mosque could accommodate more than three million worshipers in one hour.

Mecca, the holiest city for Islam, is preparing for the annual Haj, one of the largest religious gatherings in the world, for which thousands of Muslims are expected to arrive from all over the world later in September.

These gatherings of millions often lead to stampedes, fires or other hazards. Saudi authorities have spent vast sums to ensure better safety and transportation, and prevent disasters.

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Survey Says More Than Half of The Indians Talk to People With Opposing Views

The fieldwork was conducted from November 26-December 7, 2018

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carbon, digital
Multiple apps are displayed on an iPhone in New York.. VOA

Amid allegations of “intolerance” of diverse opinions in the country, a new survey for the BBC’s Crossing Divides season has found that 56 per cent Indians profess to have conversations with people with opposing views on issues like politics, climate change, immigration and feminism at least once a week.

Further, 42 per cent urban Indians polled said that they felt comfortable sharing their political opinion with others even if they have a contrary view to theirs, showed the results on Tuesday, making India the fourth country with such a large proportion of population that feels at ease with political viewpoints.

The other three markets endorsing this view were Turkey (61 per cent), Mexico (45 per cent) and South Africa (43 per cent), according to the survey conducted by market research firm Ipsos.

At the bottom of the heap were Japan (seven per cent), South Korea (27 per cent) and Italy (28 per cent).

“The study shows that Indians are taking the opposing views in their stride and have figured out a mature way of dealing with them by avoiding direct confrontation,” Parijat Chakraborty, Head of Ipsos Public Affairs, Ipsos India, said in a statement.

The study, however, also showed that 43 per cent self-righteous urban Indians believe that those who oppose their views care less about India’s future.

But only two in 10 Indians (22 per cent) feel that people’s divisive views on politics are dangerous for the society.

Just as social media companies have come up with transparency rules for political ads, they should have similar features for influencers so that people can distinguish between commercial space and personal space. Pixabay

Nearly 70 per cent of urban Indians believe that social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are giving a voice to people who would not normally take part in debates and social issues.

Further, 63 per cent Indians credit social platforms like Facebook and Twitter for breaking down barriers between the public and those wielding power.

“Also, majority of Indians exhort the merits of social platforms as interactive mediums. Downside being, social platforms are denounced for being divisive though,” Chakraborty added.

Also Read- Air Pollution Kills Around 6 Lakh Children Every Year, Claims UN

While 43 per cent Indians hail the positive impact of immigration on India, 20 per cent hold the contrary view, the results showed.

The findings were part of a global study carried out online among adults under 65 across 27 countries. Nearly 20,000 adults participated in the survey.

The fieldwork was conducted from November 26-December 7, 2018. (IANS)