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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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Measles Cases in US Continue to Rise, With Most New Cases in New York

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports outbreaks in 24 states

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Measles Cases, US
FILE - Measles, mumps and rubella vaccines are seen in a cooler at the Rockland County Health Department in Pomona, New York, March 27, 2019. VOA

Federal health officials report 41 new cases of measles across the U.S. last week, bringing the number of total cases for the year to 880 — the highest number recorded since 1994.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports outbreaks in 24 states, with only the very Deep South and Northern Plains spared.

The CDC says outbreaks in several states, including California, Georgia, Michigan and New York, are linked to travelers who are suspected of bringing back the virus from countries with large measles outbreaks, such as Israel, the Philippines and Ukraine.

The CDC recommends vaccinations for everyone older than 12 months, except those who already had the disease as children and have become immune.

Measles Cases, US, New York
Federal health officials report 41 new cases of measles across the U.S. last week. Pixabay

The virus has spread among school-age children whose parents have chosen not to vaccinate them. Parents who do not vaccinate their children often cite religious beliefs or the concerns the vaccine may cause autism or other health problems, despite scientific studies that have debunked such claims.

The World Health Organization says parents who refuse to inoculate their children against such diseases is one of the top 10 threats to global health.

The measles vaccine, first available in the 1960s, is considered safe and effective by most public health experts, who say that it also can save lives.

The measles virus is highly contagious and is spread primarily by coughing and sneezing.

Also Read- Ukraine’s New Leader Gets Sworn In, Immediately Dissolves Parliament

It is still a common disease in many parts of the world. It was declared eradicated in the United States in 2000 with only a handful of cases reported in the U.S. most every year since then.

Last week, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) released an update on measles activity in the Americas. It said 12 countries have reported cases in 2019: Argentina, the Bahamas, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Peru, the U.S., Uruguay, and Venezuela. (VOA)