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Nearly 23 pc of Canadian population reported food insecurity in 2022

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Ottawa, April 27 (IANS) Approximately 8.7 million people, or 22.9 per cent of Canada’s population, lived in households that reported some form of food insecurity in 2022, Statistics Canada has said.

This is an increase of just under 1.8 million from the previous year when the rate was 18.4 per cent, the national statistical agency was quoted as saying on Friday by Xinhua news agency.

The proportion of those who were marginally food insecure remained relatively stable, at 6 per cent, while the proportions of those who were moderately and severely food insecure both increased to reach nearly 17 per cent.

According to the agency, people in one-parent families and unattached non-seniors remained at a particularly high risk of food insecurity. People in non-senior couples and couples with children had somewhat lower rates, though all were higher than the rates for people in senior families or unattached seniors.

The food insecurity data were collected from January to June 2023. Food insecurity is inadequate or insecure access to food due to financial constraints, and refers to the 12-month period prior to the interview, the agency said.

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Meanwhile, 9.9 per cent of the population, approximately 3.8 million Canadians, lived below the poverty line in 2022, up from 7.4 per cent in 2021, Statistics Canada said.

–IANS

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International

Heavy rainfall triggers flooding in 22 rivers in China

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Beijing, June 16 (IANS) Heavy rainfall has caused flooding in 22 rivers in south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, the regional hydrology centre reported on Sunday.

According to the centre, a total of 30 hydrologic stations in 22 rivers in Guangxi reported water levels between 0.03 and 2.63 metres above the warning levels, Xinhua news agency reported.

The Hezhou hydrologic station of the Hejiang River reported the largest flooding in a decade.

From 8 a.m. Saturday to 8 a.m. Sunday, heavy rains lashed about half a dozen prefecture-level cities in Guangxi, including Hechi, Liuzhou, Yulin, Hezhou and Baise.

One township in the city of Hechi and another in the city of Liuzhou saw precipitation of around 140 mm within the day.

The centre also predicted that the water levels in some swollen local rivers will continue to rise by up to one metre in the next 24 hours.

–IANS

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4 killed in road mishap in Afghanistan

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Kabul, June 16 (IANS) At least four people died as a vehicle turned upside down in northern Afghanistan’s Baghlan province, a statement of the provincial police headquarters said on Sunday.

The accident took place on Saturday night in the province’s Baghlan-e-Markazi district after a vehicle veered off the road and turned turtle on the right side of the street, reports Xinhua news agency, citing the statement added.

Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Baryali, police chief of Baghlan-e-Markazi district, was among the victims of the mishap, said the statement.

Reckless driving on congested roads and lack of traffic signs on dilapidated highways are some of the causes of traffic accidents in Afghanistan.

–IANS

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Germany sees steady rise in arrivals via 'Belarus route' this year

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Berlin, June 16 (IANS/DPA) In the first five months of the year, German federal police registered 2,215 migrants arriving by irregular means using the so-called “Belarus route”.

The people were caught at Germany’s borders with Poland and the Czech Republic.

Their numbers have steadily grown over the year: While there were only 26 interceptions in January and 25 in February, the figure rose to 412 in March, 861 in April, and 891 in May.

But this is still significantly lower than last year. By the end of May 2023, the police had logged around 6,000 unauthorised entries via the Belarus route.

Since 2021, the European Union has accused Belarus of deliberately facilitating the travel of migrants from crisis-wracked countries, mainly in the Middle East, by giving them visas and logistics help.

After luring the migrants to Belarus, they are then sent onward towards EU countries like Poland.

Brussels says this is an attempt to destabilise the 27-nation bloc in retaliation for EU sanctions on Belarus over the crackdown on pro-democracy protesters and the country’s complicity in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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Many of the undocumented migrants on the route try to enter Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, after transiting Poland and the Czech Republic.

In Germany, they are put up in accommodations while their asylum applications are reviewed.

Poland has erected a 5.5-metre high fence at its border with Belarus, backed up by cameras and guards.

But more people are trying to cross the border irregularly: The Polish Border Guard has registered 16,500 such attempts since the beginning of the year.

In the same period in 2023, there were 11,200.

–IANS/DPA

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Doctors' group in S.Korea offers to vote on walkout if govt accepts 3 demands

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Seoul, June 16 (IANS) South Korea’s biggest doctors’ group on Sunday offered to hold a vote on whether to go ahead with a mass walkout this week if the government accepts three demands, including revisiting the issue of increasing medical school admissions.

The Korean Medical Association (KMA) made the offer two days before it is scheduled to launch the walkout involving medical professors at the “Big 5” hospitals in Seoul, as well as community doctors, reports Yonhap news agency.

The walkout will be in support of trainee doctors who have remained off the job since February in protest of the government’s medical school enrollment hike plan.

The KMA said it will give the government until 11 p.m. Sunday to respond to its three demands, which also include revising and supplementing key points in the government’s policy package for the essential medical services sector and cancelling all penalties against the trainee doctors.

Should the government accept the demands, the KMA said it would hold a vote among all members on Monday to decide whether to go ahead with Tuesday’s walkout.

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If the government refuses, it added that it will stage the walkout as planned indefinitely.

–IANS

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Yoon returns home from 3-nation Central Asia tour

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Seoul, June 16 (IANS) South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol returned home on Sunday from a week-long trip to Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan that focused on strengthening economic ties with the resource-rich nations.

Yoon paid state visits to all three countries and held summits with their leaders as part of his diplomatic push to secure critical minerals and energy supplies amid global supply chain uncertainties, Yonhap news agency reported.

During the trip, he introduced the “K-Silk Road” initiative, centered on creating a new cooperation model by linking South Korea’s innovative capabilities with Central Asia’s abundant resources and development potential.

South Korea signed critical minerals supply chain partnerships with each country, while South Korean companies finalised major infrastructure deals, including railway manufacturer Hyundai Rotem’s $200 million contract to supply six high-speed trains to Uzbekistan Railways Corp.

–IANS

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