Friday November 22, 2019
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Pope, World leaders’ visit puts New York on high alert

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New York: Pope’s visit and the presence of many world leaders at the same time in New York has developed a state of high alert.

Pope Francis spoke at the plenary before the world leaders could assume the stage for the summit. Several streets around the UN were blocked and pedestrians were not allowed in without credentials or proof of living in the area.

Many with credentials were made to take long diversions to get to the appropriate UN entrance. Package delivery services warned customers that in some areas there would not be deliveries till next week.

Boats from security forces patrolled the East River behind the UN building. Visitors were subjected to at least three searches before they could enter the General Assembly hall.

Personnel from half-a-dozen New York City and federal law enforcement agencies were deployed for the security operations. They were backed by bomb-sniffing dogs and also by various agencies.

(With inputs from IANS)

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Toxicity in Air Affects Children’s Brain Development: UNICEF

UNICEF has warned that air pollution affects a child's brain development

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Brain Development
According to UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore, air pollution toxicity can affect children's brain development. Pixabay

Unicef Executive Director Henrietta Fore has warned that air pollution toxicity can affect children’s brain development and called for urgent action to deal with the crisis gripping India and South Asia.

“I saw first-hand how children continue to suffer from the dire consequences of air pollution,” Fore, who recently visited India, said on Wednesday.

“The air quality was at a crisis level. You could smell the toxic fog even from behind an air filtration mask,” she added.

Air pollution affects children most severely and its effects continue all their lives because they have smaller lungs, breathe twice as fast as adults and lack immunities, Fore said.

Brain Development
Air pollution damages brain tissue and undermines brain development in babies and young children. Pixabay

She added that it “damages brain tissue and undermines cognitive development in babies and young children, leading to lifelong consequences that can affect their learning outcomes and future potential. There is evidence to suggest that adolescents exposed to higher levels of air pollution are more likely to experience mental health problems”.

“Unicef is calling for urgent action to address this air quality crisis,” affecting 620 million children in South Asia.

Also Read- Snowfall in Jammu and Kashmir to Help Bring Pollution Down in Neighbouring States

Schools were closed in Delhi till Tuesday because of the severe environmental situation caused by post-harvest burning of stubble in neighbouring states.

The Air Quality Index (AQI) on Sunday touched 625, considered “severe plus” level. (IANS)