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US embassy and Students promote Air Quality Awareness in Delhi

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New Delhi, April 23, 2017: Hundreds of volunteers including students and officials of the US embassy were out on the streets here on Saturday to promote air quality awareness among people of the national capital and conduct a survey.

As part of the “Earth Day” activities, the US embassy, in cooperation with programme partner Clean Air Asia organised a two-day campaign ‘Better Air, Better Earth’ to promote air quality awareness.

The campaign involved volunteers from the embassies of the US, Sweden, Spain, the High Commission of Canada and Clean Air Asia’s Youth Clean Air Network (YCan), who were placed at various locations here to record PM 2.5 levels and take a perception survey.

The campaign would also be continued on Sunday when volunteers would record people’s perception of air pollution in the city.

“We are proud to support Clean Air Asia’s efforts to raise awareness about air quality in India. Projects like these really are at the heart of this year’s Earth Day theme — environmental literacy,” Richard Pinkham, Director of Programmes, New Delhi American Centre said.

Prarthana Borah, who is India Director of Clean Air Asia, said that the survey would help them to understand the views, opinion and perception of the people towards pollution.

“The campaign will also help in finding solutions for better air quality in the national capital,” she said.

“The campaign is involved in creating awareness on air quality through a variety of programmes, as well as local innovative solutions to meet the challenge of air pollution.”

Clean Air Asia’s Air Quality Researcher Vasundhara Bhojvaid said that various teams were formed to conduct the perception survey in the city.

“We are conducting survey in 15 locations in the city depending on the kind of pollution,” Bhojvaid said.

She added that they have divided and sent the team to five locations — North Delhi, South Delhi, Central Delhi, East Delhi and West Delhi.

Bhojvaid, who was leading a South Delhi team, said that based on research, they have picked up Satya Niketan observing the occurrence of dust due to metro construction.

Likewise, we have chosen other areas based on traffic, industry and other aspects, she said.

She said that students who have volunteered to be part of the campaign would ask people 13 different question related to pollution.

Manaswi Singha, a student of Delhi University and Nishant, an engineering student of Delhi Technological University, who were conducting the survey, said that they chose to be a part of the campaign as they wanted to create awareness and understand the real cause of pollution. (IANS)

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US to begin Jerusalem Embassy move preparations: Tillerson

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Washington, Dec 7. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has stated that the State Department will “immediately” act on President Donald Trump’s order and start preparations to move the American embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Earlier on Wednesday, Trump announced in a televised speech that he officially recognises Jerusalem as the Israeli capital and instructed the State Department to relocate the US embassy to the city, reports Xinhua news agency. (Read: Trump to Announce US Recognition of Jerusalem as Israeli Capital, Move Embassy)

Tillerson, who is on a Europe visit, said in a statement on Wednesday night that the US has consulted with “many friends, partners and allies” about the relocation ahead of Trump’s decision.

Though hailed by Israel, Trump’s announcement immediately drew strong opposition and widespread criticism from Arab and European countries that such a move would inflame tensions and fuel violence in the Middle East.

Tillerson said that the US had taken measures to protect Americans in the region.

“The safety of Americans is the State Department’s highest priority, and in concert with other federal agencies, we’ve implemented robust security plans to protect the safety of Americans in affected regions.”

Trump’s announcement marked a dramatic departure from his predecessors’ foreign policy.

Although the US Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 which required the relocation of the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, former Presidents, including George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, consistently renewed a presidential waiver to delay the relocation out of consideration for national security interests.

The status of Jerusalem, revered by Muslims as the third holiest site in Islam and the holiest site by Jews, lies at the core of the dispute between Israel and the Palestinians.

The international community does not recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and no foreign countries have their embassies in the city.(IANS)

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