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Sikh actor asked to remove turban to meet security demands

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New Delhi: Waris Ahluwalia, American Sikh actor and designer, was barred from boarding a flight home to New York from Mexico on refusing to remove his turban during a security check.

According to the New York Times, Ahluwalia on Monday checked in at the Aeromexico counter at Mexico City’s international airport about 5:30 AM and was given his first-class boarding pass with a code that meant he needed secondary security screening.

He was told to step aside and wait while boarding the flight 408 to New York City, said Ahluwalia.

Following that, his feet and bag were searched and swabbed. He was then ordered to remove his sweatshirt and was patted down. Then, he said, was asked to remove his turban.

“I responded matter-of-factly that I won’t be taking off my turban,” he was quoted as saying in an interview from the airport in Mexico City. “And then they talked among themselves and they said, ‘OK, then you are not getting on the flight.”

He was refused to board any other Aeromexico flight by airline security official until he met their security demands.

“It is a symbol of my faith,” Ahluwalia said, explaining why he would not remove the turban. “It is something that I wear whenever I am in public.”

A statement released by the airline on Monday said that Ahluwalia’s screening was in compliance with Transportation Security Administration protocol and the airline had offered him alternatives to “reach his destination as soon as possible.”

Ahluwalia, 41, who grew up in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, is an actor and a designer based in Manhattan known for his House of Waris jewellery line and other design work.(IANS)(Image courtesy: citizencouture.com)

NewsGram View-In recent time Sikhs have been the victim of racial discrimination in US and other countries, the reason being the ignorance about their religion. Sikhs have been treated like terrorists. This is also a form of racism which should be avoided.

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World Leaders Gathering in New York for United Nations Summit on Climate Change

U.S. President Donald Trump will not be among those attending the summit

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World, Leaders, New York, United Nations
In this photo released by the official website of the office of the Iranian Presidency, President Hassan Rouhani reviews an honor guard at the Mehrabad airport while leaving Tehran, Iran, for New York to attend UN General Assembly, Monday, Sept. 23, 2019. VOA

World leaders are gathering Monday in New York for a United Nations summit on climate change as scientists warn much more ambitious action must be taken to meet targets to mitigate the effects.

Some 60 presidents and prime ministers are due to address the day-long event on topics including shifting away from coal toward renewable energy sources, preventing and responding to disasters, and climate finance.

U.S. President Donald Trump will not be among those attending the summit.  He is spending Monday attending a meeting about the persecution of religious minorities, particularly Christians, before holding separate talks with leaders from Pakistan, Poland, New Zealand, Singapore, Egypt and South Korea.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has sought to highlight the importance of the climate summit and challenged leaders to “come with concrete plans” and not just “beautiful speeches.”

World, Leaders, New York, United Nations
Some 60 presidents and prime ministers are due to address the day-long event on topics including shifting away from coal toward renewable energy sources. Pixabay

Ahead of Monday’s event, the U.N. released a report compiled by the World Meteorological Organization showing there has been an acceleration in carbon pollution, sea-level rise, warming global temperatures, and shrinking ice sheets.

The report says the average global temperature for the period of 2015 through the end of 2019 is on pace to be the “warmest of any equivalent period on record” at 1.1 degrees above pre-industrial levels.

The 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, which has been ratified by 186 nations, calls for actions to prevent global temperatures from surpassing 2 degrees, and ideally remain within 1.5 degrees by cutting greenhouse gas emissions.  One of the world’s biggest emitters – the United States – announced under President Trump that it would leave the pact. The U.S. decision has not stopped climate action at the state, local and private sector levels.

The report warns that in order to achieve the 2 degree target, “the level of ambition needs to be tripled.”

Also Read- Malawi Trying to Find Ways to Contain Overfishing in Its Largest Body of Water, Lake Malawi

Other global issues such as tensions between the United States and Iran; conflicts in Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria, and Kashmir; rising in equality and intolerance all figure to be themes as the U.N. General Assembly session begins Tuesday. (VOA)