Ukraine war: Indian students overcome adversity to reach Romania | Russia-Ukraine war News


Siret, Romania – Ridha was simply two months away from graduating with a medical diploma from a Kyiv college when Russian bombs began falling final week on the Ukrainian capital.

Fearing for her security, the 23-year-old joined hundreds of fellow Indian college students in devising an evacuation plan.

A few of Ukraine’s 20,000 Indian college students have headed to Poland, however Ridha and her pals selected Romania as their vacation spot. They took a direct practice from Kyiv to Chernivtsi in western Ukraine, and from there they solely had 40 extra minutes until they reached the Romanian border on Tuesday. As soon as there, they didn’t encounter any issues had been capable of cross quick, they mentioned.

“I’ve pals who went to the Polish border and I really feel so dangerous for them as a result of they’re caught there for 2 days now,” Ridha advised Al Jazeera from the Siret border crossing with Ukraine, proud of what she described as a “good determination” to go to Romania.

“I really feel so fortunate,” she added. “It means lots to us how the Romanians handled us.”

Two entry corridors

However Sruthi* – a fourth-year medical pupil in Vinnytsia, in west-central Ukraine, who arrived a day earlier on the Siret border crossing – mentioned she needed to look ahead to greater than a day earlier than with the ability to cross.

The Ukrainian border authorities made two entry corridors, the Indian pupil advised Al Jazeera: one for Ukrainians and one for foreigners dwelling in Ukraine.

In keeping with her, about three overseas college students might enter per hour, whereas Ukrainians had been capable of get in a lot quicker.

“It was very onerous to cross the border,” she mentioned. “Folks from India felt that [the Ukrainian border authorities] had been strict with them.”

At one level through the crossing, snow was beginning to fall and the Ukrainian border closed for six hours. However Sruthi didn’t blame the Ukrainians though they gave precedence to their very own folks. They provided them heat drinks and blankets whereas they waited.

“It was onerous however a minimum of we didn’t go to Poland the place I heard Indian college students had been handled badly,” mentioned Sruthi.

Polish officers say anybody from Ukraine is allowed entry into the nation, even those that don’t maintain legitimate passports, however there have additionally been stories of alleged discrimination on the border.

In Romania, a spokesperson for the border police advised Al Jazeera that whereas it’s potential Ukrainian border authorities had totally different procedures for Ukrainian and non-Ukrainians, Romanian authorities processed folks within the order they arrived.

Jenadeen freshly arrived at the border
Jenadeen freshly arrived on the border [Andrei Popoviciu/Al Jazeera]

Jenadeen, a 19-year-old pupil who simply began his medical diploma in January, mentioned he needed to look ahead to 4 days on the border.

“They took a lot time to allow us to in, Ukrainians had been getting in quicker,” he mentioned. “However that’s the benefit that they had; you possibly can’t say something about that.”

By Tuesday, some 3,000 Indian college students had entered Romania from Ukraine, in keeping with an official estimate.

A heat welcome

In the meantime, volunteers on the Siret border crossing supplied these crossing into Romania with blankets, scorching drinks and meals and in addition assisted them find shelter.

One volunteer, Magda, has been coordinating bus transfers of Indian college students to Bucharest or to Milișăuți, a city of 5000 folks simply half-hour away from the border.

In coordination with native authorities, the Indian authorities opted for college kids to be stored at Milișăuți’s sports activities corridor. There, tons of of them have been staying on the ground, ready for buses to switch them to Bucharest the place a constitution flight would take them to India.

In Milișăuți, Mayor Vasile Cărare’s telephone rang repeatedly as he was coordinating along with his neighborhood to supply the scholars with meals, blankets and recent socks.

From Sunday night till Tuesday, Cărare coordinated the lodging of 1,500 college students in complete in his neighborhood’s sports activities corridor. Within the meantime, just below 1,500 college students had been housed on the outskirts of Bucharest.

“At one within the morning, I bought a name from the Indian embassy,” Cărare advised Al Jazeera. “They advised me to cease sending college students to Bucharest as a result of there’s no house left and preserve them right here till they organize a constitution flight from Suceava,” which is the closest metropolis to the border with an airport.

“We’re doing every part potential to assist these youngsters,” the mayor mentioned, as he was displaying volunteers the place to place freshly arrived mattresses.

The 1,500 college students who left on Monday had been housed in neighborhood centres on the outskirts of Bucharest with seemingly higher situations than the sports activities corridor in Milișăuți.

Milisauti sports hall
The sports activities corridor in Milișăuți [Andrei Popoviciu/Al Jazeera]

However Cărare was decided and pulled his neighborhood collectively in a powerful present of kindness and help for the scholars, regardless of missing any monetary or materials help from the Romanian or Indian authorities.

Whereas the optics of accommodating Indian college students on the ground had been dangerous, as many Ukrainians had been accommodated in inns and locals’ houses, Cărare insisted authorities had been making an attempt to respect the directions of the Indian embassy, which wished the scholars in a single place for a better switch to a constitution flight.

Taking issues in their very own fingers

Keerthi and her pals John* and Yulia*, three medical college students freshly arrived from Kyiv on Tuesday, had been sitting on the ground of the sports activities corridor in Milișăuți.

They didn’t belief the Indian authorities would correctly evacuate them, accusing it of doing little to assist them whereas they had been nonetheless in Ukraine. On Monday, India’s embassy in Kyiv issued a press release advising all college students to go to the railway station to catch a practice for Ukraine’s west.

“We’ve been contacting the embassy they usually advised us to flee Kyiv, however didn’t give us any correct help,” Keerthi advised Al Jazeera.

Once they bought to the railway station in Kyiv, Ukrainian ladies and youngsters had precedence, so it took them hours to get on a practice.

“We heard and noticed the bombing, we had been in a bunker each different evening, a constructing actually near us bought bombed,” Keerthi advised Al Jazeera. “It was actually traumatic.”

The three pals determined to rent a taxi and go to Brașov, 400km (almost 250 miles) away from Milișăuți, the place a buddy of Keerthi’s buddy might host them till they discovered a approach to get again to India.

Brandusa Peslar from Milisauti as a Volunteer
Brandusa Peslar from Milisauti as a Volunteer [Andrei Popoviciu/Al Jazeera]

About 500 college students had been within the sports activities corridor when Al Jazeera visited, with extra coming in each hour. All had been in good spirits and grateful they had been sheltered from the snow exterior.

“We tried to supply them no matter they wanted; we gave them socks and blankets,” mentioned Brandusa Peslar, a volunteer from Milișăuți.

“We are able to’t keep at residence; that is our ‘battle’,” she mentioned. “We would not be on the entrance line however we’re combating too right here.”

Peslar was moved emotionally on Monday when the daddy of 1 Indian pupil flew from Los Angeles to Bucharest, employed a taxi, and travelled 500km (311 miles) to achieve Milișăuți and decide up his son.

Upon his arrival, Peslar recalled, the daddy kneeled in entrance of the volunteers, hugged their legs and thanked them for caring for his son.

“Solely after that he hugged his son,” Peslar mentioned. “This actually motivated us to proceed our work.”

*Identify modified to guard their id

The MLB’s season start is canceled as players and owners fail to reach a deal : NPR


A baseball fan stands outdoors Roger Dean Stadium as Main League Baseball negotiations continued earlier this week in Jupiter, Fla.

Lynne Sladky/AP


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Lynne Sladky/AP


A baseball fan stands outdoors Roger Dean Stadium as Main League Baseball negotiations continued earlier this week in Jupiter, Fla.

Lynne Sladky/AP

Main League Baseball introduced Tuesday it is canceling the beginning of the upcoming common season, which was scheduled to start March 31st.

The announcement follows the breakdown of labor negotiations between house owners and gamers, who’ve been locked out because the starting of final December.

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred stated he is canceling every group’s first two collection of the season, totaling 91 video games. Gamers will not be paid for video games they do not play.

That is the primary time common season video games have been cancelled due to a piece stoppage because the disastrous participant’s strike within the 1994-95 season.

“I am actually disenchanted,” Manfred stated after the participant’s union rejected the house owners’ most up-to-date supply Tuesday afternoon. “It is a first time state of affairs. Since we have gone to interleague play, we have by no means cancelled video games.”

Baseball launched interleague play in 1997, the place a Nationwide League group performs one from the American League.

When he was requested why video games are being cancelled, as an alternative of postponed and rescheduled, as has been the case in the course of the coronavirus pandemic, Manfred stated the distinctive nature of interleague play makes it not possible.

“Each single day, you might have an interleague collection, the place these groups aren’t [playing each other] sufficient to make rescheduling possible,” Manfred stated.

Large gaps stay between gamers and house owners

The 2 sides cannot attain settlement on plenty of key points, together with participant minimal salaries, the dimensions of a bonus pool for gamers earlier than they’re eligible for wage arbitration, when gamers change into eligible for arbitration, and the Aggressive Steadiness Tax, often known as a luxurious tax, which basically acts to restrain what groups spend on gamers salaries.

Talking to reporters Tuesday, Manfred apologized to baseball followers.

“Our failure to succeed in an settlement was not because of an absence of effort by both get together,” Manfred stated. “The gamers got here [to Florida for negotiations] for 9 days. They labored exhausting, they tried to make a deal and I admire their effort. Our committee of membership representatives dedicated to the method, they provided compromise after compromise and hung in previous the deadline [originally Monday], to make it possible for we exhausted each chance of reaching an settlement earlier than the cancellation of video games.”

MLB’s union name this a “unhappy day” and stated it will take time

However Tony Clark, the manager director of the Main League Baseball Gamers Affiliation, questioned whether or not house owners actually did put within the most effort.

Talking after Manfred, Clark, who referred to as at present a “unhappy day,” stated the adjustments and enhancements the gamers have wished take time to resolve.

“It is why we began the method after we did [last] April,” Clark stated. “It is why we made the core financial proposals we did within the first a part of Might. It is why we remained out there, whether or not on Zoom or because the pandemic afforded us the chance to satisfy in particular person, we made ourselves out there then.”

“It is why we stood prepared for six weeks after the lockout on December 1st, able to have a dialogue,” he added. “It is remarkably fascinating, in opposition to the backdrop of the issues that wanted to be labored by way of, to search out ourselves on February 28th, [and] over the course of the final week, working by way of the problems that fairly actually should be and will have been and will have been mentioned in additional depth a lot sooner than they have been.”

Manfred stated the earliest the 2 sides can meet once more is that this Thursday, though nothing’s been scheduled.

And with every day of no new contract, baseball’s work stoppage will proceed and extra video games will probably be crossed off the schedule.

Utah, Union Pacific reach deal: Clean switcher engine bill put on hold


An engine on the Union Pacific Roper yard in South Salt Lake is pictured on Feb. 22. Utah lawmakers and Union Pacific look like working by some contentious points, legislators say. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret Information)

Estimated learn time: 4-5 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY — It seems the railroad big Union Pacific and Utah lawmakers are taking part in good once more.

After a dust-up final week — when a Home legislative chief accused Union Pacific of being an unwilling and uncooperative associate in air high quality efforts and fast-tracked a invoice to pressure the corporate to maneuver to cleaner switchers by 2028 — the identical legislator is pushing pause on the invoice.

Home Majority Chief Mike Schultz, R-Hooper, requested the Senate Transportation, Public Utilities, Vitality, and Expertise Committee to carry HB405 on Tuesday, citing now “productive” conversations with Union Pacific.

He learn a letter during which Union Pacific pledged to take away three of its 40 “tier 0” switchers, or railroad locomotives used to maneuver rail vehicles inside a rail yard, from the Roper Rail Yard in Salt Lake Metropolis by the center of the yr. The corporate stated it might substitute them with 4 “tier 2” locomotives, which can assist scale back air pollution within the space, Schultz stated.

Union Pacific has additionally “agreed to work” with lawmakers and “enter right into a partnership” to carry “tier 4” or cleaner locomotive switcher expertise for the Roper Rail Yard, Schultz stated. Moreover, the corporate has “expressed willingness” to check some new electrical expertise in container motion expertise “over the subsequent yr or two.”

“We’ll need to work out what these particulars are, however my understanding is there is a chunk of cash from the federal authorities that would assist offset that so the fee to the state should not be too important,” Schultz instructed the Senate committee.

Schultz’s request to carry the invoice relieves the stress on Union Pacific. HB405, which the Utah Home authorised with none dissenting votes, would have required rail yards which have 4 or extra switchers to energy these switchers “wholly by a hydrogen gasoline cell or electrical energy” by no later than Jan. 1, 2028.

The invoice particularly focused Union Pacific’s Roper Rail Yard, which has “produced sufficient emissions that’s basically equal to I-15 at rush hour” due to its over 40 switchers that use decades-old, “tier 0” expertise, College of Utah atmospheric scientist Dr. Daniel Mendoza instructed lawmakers in a committee listening to final week.

Union Pacific is among the largest “level sources” or highest concentrated sources of air pollution in Salt Lake County, Mendoza stated, noting that these switchers need to idle 24/7 in winter months to stop the engine blocks from freezing or cracking.

Schultz took purpose at Union Pacific, criticizing the corporate for seeing its largest revenue yr in 2021 — raking in $6.5 billion — whereas making an attempt new expertise for freight switchers in different states like California and Nebraska however not Utah, despite the fact that elements of the state stay nonattainment areas underneath the EPA.

Schultz stated for years Utah lawmakers together with Rep. Steve Useful, R-Layton, have tried to work with Union Pacific for years, however conversations have amounted to nothing.

He additionally stated the corporate tried to strong-arm him this yr, telling him if he did not drop considered one of his different payments (HB181, which he stated seeks to stop Union Pacific from “holding hostage” widening of roads round railroad crossings by refusing to pay for upkeep of these crossings), “that they might not transfer ahead on these discussions with regard to freight switchers and a number of the different issues within the state.”

“And so I’m fairly disheartened, truthfully, about their willingness to have interaction on this,” Schultz stated final week.

However Tuesday, Schultz indicated the strain between himself and Union Pacific has eased.

“I simply need to thank Union Pacific for having these discussions and making the commitments they’ve made up to now,” he stated. “We look ahead to having these discussions and coming into into some contracts over the interim to cut back the emissions that is coming from the Roper Rail yard.”

Schultz then requested the Senate committee to carry the invoice.

“If we have to proceed speaking about it throughout interim we positive can, however I like the place it is going,” he stated. “I feel Union Pacific’s willingness to have an sincere, open dialogue and work collectively to handle the issues, I feel is greatest for the state.”

Sen. Jake Anderegg, R-Lehi, thanked the corporate for its cooperation.

“My expertise with Union Pacific is it is taken some time, however you guys have turn out to be way more engaged and lively in working by issues,” Anderegg stated. “I additionally perceive these switchers are tremendous costly items of kit, and it is actually laborious to transition. So the willingness to take action, figuring out that it will be an expense to you guys, is kind of actually a very good present of religion in your aspect.”

The committee adjourned with out taking motion on the invoice, successfully abandoning it for the 2022 Legislative session that ends on Friday at midnight.

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US women’s national team reach agreement with US soccer over equal pay


USA women celebrate winning the 2019 World Cup
The USA ladies’s crew gained a fourth World Cup in 2019

United States ahead Alex Morgan says a “monumental step ahead” has been taken after the ladies’s nationwide crew (USWNT) reached settlement with governing physique US Soccer on equal pay.

The gamers will obtain $24mexternal-link (£17.7m) and US Soccer has pledged equal pay for the boys’s and ladies’s groups throughout all competitions, together with the World Cup.

All 28 squad members filed a discrimination lawsuit in March 2019.

“It’s an unbelievable day,” Morgan instructed Good Morning America.

The 2-time World Cup winner added: “That is simply such a monumental step ahead in feeling valued, feeling revered and simply mending our relationship with US Soccer that is actually been stuffed with rigidity.

“It is nice to take that step ahead. I not solely see this as a win for our crew or ladies in sport however for ladies basically.”

USA team-mate Megan Rapinoe mentioned: “I feel we will look again on this present day and say that is the second that US Soccer modified for the higher.

“One thing like that is by no means going to occur once more and we are able to transfer ahead in making soccer the most effective sport we probably can on this nation and establishing the following era so significantly better than we ever had it.”

America gained the Ladies’s World Cup for the fourth time in 2019 and have claimed Olympic gold 5 instances.

5 senior members of the USA’s World Cup-winning crew, together with Morgan and Rapinoe, initially filed a criticism towards the nationwide federation for wage discrimination in 2016.

The bid for equal pay – through which they sought $66m (£52.8m) in damages – was dismissed by a courtroom in Might 2020, resulting in an enchantment.

The US Soccer Federation provided an identical contracts to its males’s and ladies’s nationwide groups in an try and resolve its gender pay dispute in September.

In a joint assertion on Tueday, US Soccer and USWNT mentioned: “We’re happy to announce that, contingent on the negotiation of a brand new collective bargaining settlement, we may have resolved our longstanding dispute over equal pay and proudly stand collectively in a shared dedication to advancing equality in soccer.”

It added: “Attending to this present day has not been straightforward. The USWNT gamers have achieved unprecedented success whereas working to realize equal pay for themselves and future athletes.

“As we speak, we acknowledge the legacy of the previous USWNT leaders who helped to make this present day doable, in addition to all the ladies and ladies who will comply with.”