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Kolkata airport re-opens after cyclone || Extreme heat wave to continue in north India || Two doctors arrested for manipulating minor driver's blood test in Pune Porsche case || Eight new born babies die in fire at children's hospital in East Delhi || 27 killed in fire at gaming park in Rajkot || Three Indians win awards at Cannes film fest || 78 Tory MPs oppose snap poll, quit seat in UK || - India Travel Times.Com   [Estd: 1998]       * * *    Travel, More Travel, Travel Means A Million Things     * * *    
Historic rain floods Dubai airport: Hundreds of flights cancelled

WHAT HAPPENED: With all roads and runways going under, operations at the Dubai airport have been closed since Tuesday morning. Some flight data recorders had noticed cloud-seeding flights on Sunday, which could have been the reason for the unprecedented downpour, but there was no official confirmation. The UAE at times conducts cloud seeding to replenish the dwindling groundwater.

DUBAI, Apr 17: The world's busiest Dubai international airport (DXB) came to a standstill following flash flooding brought by historic storm and rain on Tuesday. All flights were cancelled or diverted. The situation continued to be grim even on Wednesday morning.

The torrential downpour and hailstorm inundating Dubai also played havoc across all of the UAE leading to schools and offices being shut. Nineteen people died in the past few days.

The rain has stopped but "We are working hard to recover operations as quickly as possible in very challenging conditions,” an airport spokesperson said on Wednesday.

Even by late Wednesday the airport and the carriers were still warning travellers not to come to the airport unless absolutely necessary. All flight check-in was still suspended.

During 24 hours till Tuesday evening Dubai had received more than 142 millimetres (5.59 inches) of rainfall. A year's average is 94.7 millimetres (3.73 inches) of rain at the airport. The rain had started Monday evening.

The State-run WAM news agency called the rain Tuesday "a historic weather event" that surpassed "anything documented since the start of data collection in 1949."

People were sleeping in the Metro station and the the airport overnight unable to move in the city that has gone under.

"We advise you NOT to come to the airport, unless absolutely necessary.Flights continue to be delayed and diverted. Please check your flight status directly with your airline.We are working hard to recover operations as quickly as possible in very challenging conditions," the airport said in a tweet on Wednesday.

More than 500 flights were diverted or cancelled due to rains and storms on Tuesday and the situation continued on Wednesday morning as well.

Twenty eight Indian flights were cancelled on Tuesday alone.

Because of flooding of roads passengers were unable to reach the airport either.

"We're working continuously to restore normal operations, and have also arranged refreshments for guests currently at the airport, where possible," the airport said.

"Due to the intense storm, operations at @DXB were temporarily suspended for 25 minutes, but have since recommenced. There is major flooding on roads leading to the airport and forecasts indicate that the unsettled weather will continue till tomorrow morning," the DXB had said on Tuesday.

Flydubai and Emirates had announced cancellations of their flights until 10 am on April 17.

Schools across the UAE were closed. Employees were working from home. Flood water even entered some homes in Dubai. One man died as his car was swept away in Ras Al Khaimah, one of the country’s seven emirates, police said. Fujairah, another emirate, had the heaviest rainfall.

There were reports that the UAE conducts cloud seeding to increase its dwindling, limited groundwater. It is reported that the rain followed six or seven cloud-seeding flights on Sunday.


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A Spicejet passenger had a harrowing experience inside a tiny claustrophobic lavatory aboard a Mumbai-Bengaluru flight when he found to his bewilderment that the door was not opening.

Two days earlier, in a similar incident in the area, a domestic help was bitten by a pet dog in the lift when she was going for work.

Tailpiece: Sometimes appearing to outnumnber men and women on the streets, the stray dogs are turning more and more daring with sections of anti-social elements out there to feed and protect them in order to find a window for their unfulfilled love! There is an all-pervading feeling of lack of authority.

Ankit Tiwari had told the employee that “instructions had been received from the Prime Minister’s Office to conduct an enquiry” and reopen the “already disposed of” case and asked him to appear before the ED office at Madurai on October 30, DVAC said. The doctor was allegedly threatened with arrest and told to pay a bribe of Rs 3 cr to avoid the ED probe, which was later negotiated down to Rs 50 lakh.

Tailpiece: We are made to believe RBI, CBI, ED, Judiciary as sacrosanct and all others like railways, transport, revenue, education, PWD departments are composed of us the mortals, absolutely corrupt! As if in the sacrosanct places the angels descend from the heavens to work in the night and fly away before day-break! Let's be true to ourselves, we are all cut from the same cloth.

Apart from cash, Gill had also taken three planes as bribe and two of them were leased out to Redbird Aviation Academy. With the result, flying schools compromised on safety requirements and trainers met with accidents several times.

Five people were arrested from a banquet hall in Sector 51 Noida on Thursday where they were called to hold a rave party in a trap laid by the animal rights group, PFA. They named Yadav but he was not present.

Betting through Dubai-based Mahadev Book in India is conducted through a countrywide network. Probes reveal that the online gambling is worth several millions and top politicians, officials and celebs have been beneficiaries.

TAILPIECE: Polling dates for some States are round the corner. Top politicians have begun their acrimonious debate who looted more, even as Mahadev is washing their dirty laundry in the open ghat. Come what may, one needs to seize power to amass "thy wretched pelf!" One simple question is, why else one should spend lakhs or crores to get elected! A question every Indian should ask to oneself at least once a day!

His inaction amounts to defeating the rights of the people of the State to welfare measures sought to be implemented through the Bills, the Kerala Government's petition submitted, while the State of Tamil Nadu remarked that its "Governor is acting as a political rival."

Tailpiece: Coming up back to back, the petitions in their totality seem to question the provision of Raj Bhavan, and not motives of a Governor as a person.

Hundreds of cars piled up behind the wreckage of crashes occurring one after other in backing up - continuous crashes to the rhythm of metallic clanks and bangs back to back. According to reports, some ops required 'Jaws of Life' to pull apart the mangled cars to save lives inside.

The pilots struggled with Emerson to thwart a shut-off as he reached for the T-handles (see pix). Later he admitted to police he had taken psychedelic mushrooms and had a "nervous breakdown."

Doctors reasoned how the incidence of heart attacks is spiking over time and advise the simple way to play safely is to take a break and rehydrate yourself.

But how come ten people, including children, die of cardiac arrest at Garba in 24 hours, and that at different places of Gujarat? Garba had been going on for six days, and every year it is celebrated.

The killing of a teacher in France by an Islamic radical last Friday is linked to the Israel-Hamas war in West Asia, say authorities.

Shocking news from the UK: Leading grocers have started bribing policemen with free food and drinks to persuade them to take action against shoplifters.

Shoplifting has risen by about 27 per cent in 10 major cities across the UK this year. The cost of retail crime last year was $2.15 billion. Besides, “We are seeing organised gangs threatening staff with weapons and emptying stores," Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, said. Data shows that the police failed to respond to 73 per cent of serious retail crimes that included assault and abuse of workers, apart from shoplifting.

Isar Mohammad allegedly picked up a banana offered to Ganesh idol on Chaturthi at a makeshift temple in Delhi and consumed it.

Harris said hip-hop is “the ultimate American art form” that “shapes every aspect of American popular culture.” “Hip-hop culture is American culture,” she said in a talk at her official residence at the US Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C.

The social media had mixed reaction. There was much appreciation that she dances better than any VP in American history. But some called her "moves" as “cringe” while others did not like her pink pants - "pink pants don’t look good.” In fact, her ensembles have always been incongruous.

"Let’s see how the (Governor's) Vice-Chancellors are given salary." Mamata's extreme statements will put the Marxist Government in Kerala, which is also facing similar issues, to shame. Has she begun the countdown for a war on the streets?

It's true Mamata has come to see a conspiracy to demolish the established systems across the country, but lacks the ability to foresee what exactly is being pushed.

Brandishing a sword, Mahant Paramhans told reporters on Tuesday he himself will behead MK Stalin's son for his remarks against Sanatan Dharma in case nobody came forward to accept his offer he made in his video. Udhayanidhi reacted to the saint's Monday video, "I will speak more. I am the grandson of the artist who put his head on the rail track for Tamil Nadu."

Somanath elaborated, "I am an explorer. I explore the Moon. I explore the inner space. So it's a part of the journey of my life to explore both science and spirituality. So I visit many temples and I read many scriptures. So try to find the meaning of our existence and our journey in this cosmos. So it's a part of the culture that we are all built to explore, find out the inner self as well as outer self. So for the outer, I do science, for the inner I come to temples." (See videos)

Rao the mathematical legend had fathered the path-breaking Rao-Blackwell theorem, one of the most important theorems in mathematical statistics, at the age of 25. That brought him global fame. He is also famous for his Cramér-Rao Bound inequality theorem relating to quality of estimators in statistics which has had a profound bearing on applications of modern economics and several other diverse fields. Simply put, with the pioneering statistician computation became a tool to analyse even socio-economic challenges of modern times.

The alleged incident has received such a flash publicity that a standardised city's hugely middle class population will have second thoughts about eating outside for some time. Now everything on the table looks suspicious!

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