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‘Praise Allah’ banners for London Buses for Ramadan

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Picture from Islamic Relief

London, May 9,2016:

London’s iconic red buses and public transport in other British cities will carry banner adverts featuring the Arabic phrase “Subhan Allah” (Glory be to God) in a bid to encourage British Muslims to support Syrian war victims.

The posters will appear on hundreds of buses during Ramadan, which begins at sunrise on June 6 and lasts until July 7, the Daily Mail reported.

The start of the campaign will begin a month after London elected the first Muslim mayor of a major Western city, Labour’s Sadiq Khan – who, coincidentally, is the son of a bus driver.

Islamic Relief, a Muslim charity, is funding the campaign, which will be rolled out in London, Manchester, Birmingham and Bradford.

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Organizers hope it will present Islam in a positive way and encourage British Muslims to donate to humanitarian efforts for victims of the ongoing war in Syria.

“In a sense this could be called a climate change campaign because we want to change the negative climate around international aid and around the Muslim community in this country,” director Islamic Relief, Imran Madden said.

“International aid has helped halve the number of people living in extreme poverty in the past 15 years, and British Muslims are an incredibly generous community who give over £100 million to international aid charities in Ramadan.” (IANS)

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London Becomes First City to Use Pollution Charge Zone: Report

London's famous red bus fleet is also being updated as part of these efforts, and all 9,200 vehicles will meet or exceed ULEZ standards by October 2020, according to the mayor's office

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Environmental campaigners from the direct action group Rebellion demonstrate on Westminster Bridge in central London, Britain. VOA

London is the first city in the world to implement a 24-hour, seven day a week Ultra Low Emission Zone, inside which vehicles will have to meet tough emissions standards or face a charge, media reported.

Monday’s introduction of the zone, known as the ULEZ, aims to reduce toxic air pollution and protect public health, according to a press release from the office of Sadiq Khan, mayor of London.

Vehicles are responsible for around half of harmful nitrogen oxide air emissions in the British capital, contributing to a toxic air health crisis that increases the risk of asthma, cancer and dementia as well as causing thousands of premature deaths every year, the release says.

“This is a landmark day for our city. Our toxic air is an invisible killer responsible for one of the biggest national health emergencies of our generation,” Khan said in the statement.

“The ULEZ is the centerpiece of our plans to clean up London’s air — the boldest plans of any city on the planet, and the eyes of the world are on us.”

According to a CNN Business report, under new rules introduced April 8, polluting vehicles will be discouraged from entering the ULEZ thanks to a daily charge of £12.50 (around $16) for some cars, vans and motorbikes and £100 ($130) for trucks, buses and coaches.

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A Facebook billboard advertisement can be seen at Earls Court underground station in London, July 28, 2018. (VOA)

The zone will cover the same area as the existing Congestion Charge — collected from drivers in the city center — until 2021, when it will be expanded to cover the area between the major orbital roads known as the North and South Circular, it added.

Drivers can check whether their vehicle meets ULEZ emission standards using an online tool provided by travel authority Transport for London.

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The ULEZ is the next stage in a plan to clean up London’s air, which started with the so-called T-charge — an extra charge for highly polluting vehicles in the city center — introduced in February 2017.

Since then, the number of vehicles entering the zone has fallen by around 11,000 per day, according to official figures, and there has been a 55 per cent increase in emissions-compliant vehicles in the zone.

London’s famous red bus fleet is also being updated as part of these efforts, and all 9,200 vehicles will meet or exceed ULEZ standards by October 2020, according to the mayor’s office. (IANS)