Thursday, March 31, 2016
JUNKER - TURKEY CAN'T SHUT UP THE EUROPEAN UNION MEDIA.ROB FORDS FUNERAL WEDNESDAY.
TORONTO - Rob Ford, Canada's best-known former mayor, was eulogized Wednesday as a consummate politician and loving father whose serious personal failings garnered international notoriety but only passing mention on a day devoted to saying a final goodbye to him.In a packed downtown cathedral, family, dignitaries and members of the public paid their respects to the leader of "Ford Nation," who captured as much attention in death as he did in life."He's the mayor of heaven now," Ford's daughter Stephanie, 10, told the service as her younger brother Dougie stood by her side. "He helped a lot of people. He was also an amazing dad."Ford, a loved-or-loathed larger-than-life politician, became a certified celebrity in light of his admitted crack cocaine use, alcohol abuse, lewd comments and at times outrageous behaviour that transformed his mayoral office into an unprecedented spectacle.It was left to Rev. Andrew Asbil, rector of St. James cathedral, to note the improbable heights of both adulation and infamy that Ford scaled as mayor."You and I, no matter how hard we try, will never have the same notoriety nor popularity nor household fame as Rob Ford," Asbil said in his homily."Very few of us in this room know what it's like to carry the burden of living your failings and your weaknesses in such a public way as Rob Ford. And — this is important — very few of us will know what it's like to experience the love and admiration of so many for the work that we do in the same way as Rob did."Ford, whose clarion call was "time to stop the gravy train," died last week at age 46, 18 months after a cancer diagnosis scuttled his bid for a second term as mayor, although he easily won election as a councillor in his west-end ward.For two days this week, he was granted the rare honour of lying in repose at city hall, where thousands filed past his Toronto-flag-draped casket.On Wednesday, a procession saw him leave city hall one last time for St. James, where scores who were unable to get inside waited patiently on the lawns.Evelyn Cappelli, among those who made it into the service, called Ford "a man for the people.""He told the truth — a lot of people do not like to hear the truth — but he was just a great guy," Cappelli said. "Unfortunately the press sort of did him in by all that adverse publicity but, on the other hand, the press did him a favour: He got all that free publicity."Former Ontario premier Mike Harris called Ford, mayor from 2010 to 2014, a city hall "breath of fresh air," while his brother, Doug Ford, highlighted how his untimely death had brought people of different views together."Today, we're putting our political differences aside: We're here for the Rob Ford party, the party of the people," Doug Ford said. "Rob, I'm going to miss you like crazy but don't worry: Ford Nation will continue."Earlier, cheers rose from the crowds when Ford's wife, Renata, blew kisses to the masses as her husband's casket was lifted into a hearse outside city hall. Family members — some sobbing quietly — stood nearby.Along the procession route, some in the crowd sporadically broke into song, while others waved "Ford Nation" flags or chanted "mayor for life."Heather Hogben-Bruce, who attended the cathedral service that preceded a private funeral, called Ford a "very loved" man."He has done a lot for the people of Toronto, especially the little people. He was the people's mayor," she said. "Nobody's perfect and I think he's an incredible man."Ford's family planned a Wednesday evening celebration at a west-end hall that has been the site of huge Ford rallies in the past.
Rob Ford funeral: 'Ford Nation will continue,' brother says in eulogy-[CBC]-March 30, 2016-YAHOONEWS
Rob Ford's brother Doug reassured the former Toronto mayor's supporters Wednesday that they will not be forgotten, as he delivered an emotional eulogy to a packed downtown church filled with supporters, family members and politicians."Rob, I'm going to miss you like crazy, I love you more than anything in the world," Doug Ford said as he stood beside his brother's casket, which was draped in the city's flag. "And don't worry, Ford Nation will continue — continue respecting the taxpayers."Hundreds of supporters joined the Ford family in walking the short journey along King Street from city hall to St. James Cathedral in downtown Toronto.The city councillor and former mayor died of cancer last week at the age of 46. "Rob truly believed he was the mayor of Canada, not the mayor of Toronto," Ford said. He began his address with a message for his brother's wife, Renata, and her children, Stephanie, 10, and Dougie, 8. "Stephanie and Dougie, you'll always be taken care of, you'll always be loved and you have thousands of people that are going to love you and take care of you and Renata," he said."I know my dad is in a better place now. He's the mayor of heaven now," Stephanie later told those gathered, with her mother and brother standing beside her. "I remember at the hospital, he smiled at me and he said, 'Stephanie, I might not be here for too much longer,'" she said. "He said, 'I want you to remember that I always love you."'Former Ontario premier Mike Harris was the first to speak at the funeral service. "What a breath of fresh air he was at city hall," he said. "We're going to miss him."The cathedral was briefly filled with sounds of laughter as people shared anecdotes. Doug Ford recalled a time when his brother delivered a sandwich to a constituent's home late at night, and called it "classic Rob Ford."Clinton Leonard, a former player on the Don Bosco Eagles high school football team, also joked that Rob Ford, their former coach, would hide in the bushes to make sure they didn't make mistakes. "Coach was always about family and jelling as a unit," he said. "No one wanted to get that face red, so we behaved."The burial service for Rob Ford is a private event, but members of the Ford family will host a public celebration of his life at the Toronto Congress Centre between 6:30 and 9 p.m.Mourners gathered outside city hall early on Wednesday morning. Since Monday, Ford's body has been lying in repose in the city hall rotunda, where family members have been receiving dignitaries and members of the public who wanted to pay their final respects. A long list of local politicians and dignitaries, including Toronto Mayor John Tory, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and Lt.-Gov. Elizabeth Dowdeswell attended the funeral. A number of MPs, MPPs, and senators along with former mayors David Miller, Mel Lastman and John Sewell also came to pay their respects, along with police Chief Mark Saunders. Former Mississauga mayor Hazel McCallion, who often butted heads with Ford, also attended the funeral.The family invited members of the public to attend the funeral and join them in the walk to St. James Cathedral.Renata Ford arrived at city hall with her children and blew kisses to the crowd of supporters gathered outside.
WORLD POWERS IN THE LAST DAYS (END OF AGE OF GRACE NOT THE WORLD)
EUROPEAN UNION-KING OF WEST-DAN 9:26-27,DAN 7:23-24,DAN 11:40,REV 13:1-10
EGYPT-KING OF THE SOUTH-DAN 11:40
RUSSIA-KING OF THE NORTH-EZEK 38:1-2,EZEK 39:1-3
CHINA-KING OF THE EAST-DAN 11:44,REV 9:16,18
VATICAN-RELIGIOUS LEADER-REV 13:11-18,REV 17:4-5,9,18
11 The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.(WORLD TERRORISM,MURDERS)(HAMAS IN HEBREW IS VIOLENCE)
12 And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.
13 And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence (TERRORISM)(HAMAS) through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.
11 And the angel of the LORD said unto her,(HAGAR) Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael;(FATHER OF THE ARAB/MUSLIMS) because the LORD hath heard thy affliction.
12 And he (ISHMAEL-FATHER OF THE ARAB-MUSLIMS) will be a wild (DONKEY-JACKASS) man;(ISLAM IS A FAKE AND DANGEROUS SEX FOR MURDER CULT) his hand will be against every man,(ISLAM HATES EVERYONE) and every man's hand against him;(PROTECTING THEMSELVES FROM BEING BEHEADED) and he (ISHMAEL ARAB/MUSLIM) shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.(LITERAL-THE ARABS LIVE WITH THEIR BRETHERN JEWS)
12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer,(SATAN) son of the morning!(HEBREW-CRECENT MOON-ISLAM) how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
14 I (SATAN HAS EYE TROUBLES) will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.(AND 1/3RD OF THE ANGELS OF HEAVEN FELL WITH SATAN AND BECAME DEMONS)
2 They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.(ISLAM MURDERS IN THE NAME OF MOON GOD ALLAH OF ISLAM)
McCallum pledges Canada will expand and help export refugee programs-[The Canadian Press]-Stephanie Levitz, The Canadian Press-March 30, 2016-YAHOONEWS
OTTAWA - The Liberals are committing to finding new ways to get Syrian refugees to Canada and into other countries as the United Nations seeks nearly half a million spaces for Syrians by the end of 2018.But Canada did not directly pledge any more spaces at a high-level conference in Geneva on Wednesday devoted to finding new solutions for the refugee crisis.That will come later this year, when the Liberal government intends to unveil a new approach to immigration, moving away from setting levels for a single year in favour of a plan that will cover 2017-2019."We will continue to pursue solutions to ensure the humanitarian treatment and resettlement of Syrian refugees," Immigration Minister John McCallum told the conference, which included the United Nations secretary general, the high commissioner for refugees and representatives of over 90 countries.The conference resulted in about 6,000 more spots opening up for Syrians over the coming years, bringing the current total to 185,000 worldwide.UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi framed it as a "start," saying he was also he was encouraged by commitments to open up what's referred to as other pathways for legal migration for refugees, such as expanded family reunification programs, labour or study opportunities.Canada pledged to explore one of those routes — expanding an existing program that brings refugees in as post-secondary students, so they can continue their education and perhaps settle here.World University Service of Canada, which runs the program, says this year they are bringing in over 80 Syrians to study."Opportunities for higher education are few and far between for refugees, but such opportunities can play a pivotal role in advancing resettlement and integration efforts," Chris Eaton, executive director of WUSC said in a statement.McCallum said Canada also wants the private sector more engaged in helping Syrians integrate. He said Canada will provide technical training and support to other countries to help them establish programs that will open up more spaces for the estimated 4.2 million Syrians fleeing the five-year-old civil war.In an interview with The Canadian Press ahead of his speech, McCallum said Canada also wants to wants to work with other countries to find a way to get more people out of Syria.Syrians still inside the country cannot be registered as refugees. The only way they can legally get out is through family reunification or economic immigration programs.Reaching them would require working with the International Organization for Migration, in places where it is active inside Syria, as well as the co-operation of the Syrian government."Where they work tends to be where the Assad government is in control," McCallum acknowledged, but said there is precedent for such a program in the Vietnamese refugee resettlement efforts of the late 1970s and early 1980s.After Geneva, McCallum headed for Germany, one of only a handful of countries in the world with a private sponsorship system like Canada's.The UN says Germany has offered just over 41,000 spaces for Syrians in total since 2013. Meanwhile, over 160,000 Syrians made formal claims for asylum there last year. Canada has offered just over 38,000 spaces for Syrian refugees since 2013; 581 Syrian sought asylum here last year.As of March 28, 26,207 Syrian refugees had arrived in Canada since November.Only Canada, Germany and Norway have taken their "fair share" of Syrian refugees, Oxfam said Wednesday, a determination calculated by measuring the commitment to resettlement or other forms of humanitarian admissions against a country's economy.Follow @StephanieLevitz on Twitter
Belgian airport to resume flights By Andrew Rettman-EUOBSERVER-MAR 30,16
BRUSSELS, Today, 09:29-Belgium’s national airport plans to resume its first flights on Thursday (31 March) since the 22 March attacks, but its CEO has warned that it will take “months” to get back to normal operations.Arnaud Feist, the airport director, told Belgian media in a series of interviews published on Wednesday that it would reopen with a capacity of 800 to 1,000 passengers per hour instead of the usual 5,000 per hour.He said preferential treatment would be given to flights inside the EU’s Schengen passport-free zone and to Africa, with Brussels Airlines, the national carrier, to take up most of the initial availability.He noted that the airport had installed a temporary structure, using prefabricated units, to cover up the damage.He said luggage would have to be transported from the departures hall by hand for the time being and that it was still unclear if the car parks, where up to 700 vehicles remain stranded after last week’s attacks, would reopen.“Although the structure of the [departures] building is intact, it will all have to be rebuilt, from the air conditioning to the check-in desks,” he said.“We must be sure that it is technically running well and that everything can proceed safely for both passengers and staff. Only if the government gives the green light, we start [operations]."Afterwards, we go step by step, as parts of the damaged terminal can be returned to service, increasing our capacity. But that will be a process of months.”He said Belgian firms had showed “huge solidarity”, with one offering to replace damaged windows for free and with another offering free food to airport staff.Feist added that in the long term the airport wouldn’t suffer loss of business.“I have not heard any airline that does not want to come here [any more],” he said.Bernard Gustin, the head of Brussels Airlines, said in a separate interview with Belgian daily L’Echo that his company had lost €5 million a day since the airport closed.He said the first flights might be empty but would have “symbolic” value and that he expected the planes to fill up quickly.Belgian authorities said on Tuesday that 32 people had died in the attacks, when two suicide bombers detonated explosives at the airport and a third man blew himself up in a metro station in the city’s EU district.It had earlier said the death toll was 35, but then revised its figures. It said 96 people were still in hospital, about a third of whom were being treated for burns injuries.At least 16 out of the 32 deceased were Belgian nationals. The three suicide attackers are not being counted among the victims.A third target may have been the Belgian PM’s office, on the Rue de la Loi near to the US embassy to the EU, Belgian police said, referring to data found in a computer which had been abandoned by one of the attackers.The Brussels metro system is also running at below full capacity, with trains operating between 7AM and 7PM and stopping at 39 out of the system’s 69 stations only.The performance of Belgium’s security services and EU security cooperation more broadly have come under scrutiny since the attacks.In the latest twist, Belgian authorities on Tuesday released a terrorist suspect, named in Belgian media as Faycal Cheffou, for lack of evidence.Dutch authorities also confirmed that the US law enforcement agency, the FBI, had warned them that Belgian authorities were seeking the arrest of Ibrahim El Bakraoui and Khalid El Bakraoui - two brothers who carried out suicide attacks in Brussels - less than one week prior to the blast.Turkey had deported Ibrahim El Bakraoui to The Netherlands last July amid warnings that he might constitute a terrorist threat. But Dutch airport authorities let him go because he wasn’t on an official blacklist.Koen Geens, Belgium’s justice minister, who last week offered his resignation, defended police and intelligence services in a Belgian parliament debate on Tuesday.He said: “Stop repeating that we were guility of gross failures. It’s out of place given what we managed to deliver.”He also urged Belgium’s regions to stop infighting after Yvan Mayeur, the left-wing and French-speaking mayor of Brussels, accused the interior minister, Jan Jambon, a Flemish nationalist, of not doing enough to stop Flemish skinheads from disrupting a memorial service in Brussels at the weekend.“It is not the image of Brussels that has been tainted by Sunday’s events ... it is Flanders that has come to taint Brussels with its extremists,” Mayeur said.
Juncker says Erdogan can't silence EU media By Andrew Rettman-MAR 30,16-EUOBSERVER
BRUSSELS, Today, 17:24-The European Comission joined Berlin on Wednesday (30 March) in rejecting Turkey’s appeal to quash a song which makes fun of president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.Mina Andreeva, a spokeswoman for commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker, told press in Brussels that Turkey’s request for German authorities to order the song off the air is out of touch with EU norms."This move doesn't seem to be in line with upholding the freedom of the press and freedom of expression, which are values the EU cherishes a lot,” she said.“[Juncker] believes this moves Turkey further from the EU rather than closer to us.”She added that the EU “appreciates” Turkey's agreement to take back irregular migrants from Greece.But she noted that the EU-Turkey statement which governs the migrant deal says the EU offer to open new parts of Turkey’s accession talks is “without prejudice to member states' positions in accordance with the existing rules.”The two-minute long German song, which mocks Erdogan on corruption and authoritarianism, had 3 million hits on YouTube as of Wednesday.It had earlier been shown on 17 March by German public broadcaster NDR, prompting Ankara to call in Germany’s ambassador to ask him to take the song off the air.But the German foreign ministry refused to do it, adding in a statement that: “Protection of basic freedoms, including freedom of the press and speech are important commodities that we must all protect together.”-Press crackdown-Erdogan’s attempt to silence satire in the EU comes amid a protracted crackdown on press freedom at home.On 25 March it began the trial, behind closed doors, of two well-known journalists - Can Dundar and Erdem Gul - who face multiple life sentences for exposing Turkish arms shipments to Syria rebel groups.EU and US diplomats attended the first day of the trial, also prompting Turkish complaints.Earlier this month Turkey sentenced Bulent Kenes, the founding editor of Zaman, an opposition newspaper, to 21 months in prison for “insulting” Erdogan.It also seized and shut down Zaman itself.Erdogan arrived in the US for a nuclear non-proliferation summit on Wednesday, but his visit was also marred by protocol and communications disputes.The White House snubbed him by declining to call an official meeting with US president Barack Obama.-#WeLoveErdogan-Pro-Erdogan Turkish media accused the US-based firm Twitter of suppressing a hashtag - “#WeLoveErdogan” - which had been trending ahead of his visit but which suddenly vanished.Bystanders also filmed Erdogan security staff jeering and yelling next to anti-Erdogan protesters in the US capital in what appeared to be an attempt to drown out the protesters’ slogans.The EU-Turkey migrant deal is supposed to enter into life on 4 April, when Greece is to start sending back people who crossed the Aegean to Turkey.Andreeva said Greece is expected to pass a law "in the next few days" to allow foreign judges to handle asylum claims on its territory.EU states have promised to lend Greece 34 judges to help process migrants' appeals against being sent back to Turkey.Andreeva said the appeals cases will be "expedited" as fast as possible, but will follow "due process" and will respect the fact that "some cases are more complex than others."Turkish diplomats have declined to comment on the press crackdown in Turkey. But they say that Turkey will be more open to EU criticism after the accession process gets moving again.
EU 'welcomes' Israeli settler exports By Andrew Rettman-EUOBSERVER
BRUSSELS, 29. Mar, 09:26-Europe welcomes exports produced by Jewish settlers on occupied Palestinian land, the EU’s envoy to Israel has said, while insisting that the best way to stop boycotts would be to make peace between Israel and Palestine.Lars Faaberg-Anderson made the remark at an event in Jerusalem on Monday (28 March) where speakers were criticising the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement - a Palestinian-led international campaign to stigmatise Israel’s occupation of Palestine.The EU recently tightened up rules on grants and trade perks for settler firms as well as on retail labels for settler-made food, wine, and cosmetics.Faaberg-Anderson said, according to Israeli media: “The settlements are not part of Israel, and for that reason products from the settlements, although they are welcomed in the European market, they are not given the same preferential treatment.”He added: “The EU is against BDS. Our policy is totally the opposite - one of engagement with Israel, and we have a long track record to prove it.”He said the BDS movement has had a “marginal” impact on Israel.“The most effective antidote to BDS is to solve the Palestinian issue. If it were solved, there would be no BDS movement. It would shrink into virtually nothing,” he added.EU states last week also tried to defeat a project to create a UN list of companies that profit from settlements.The UNHCR, the UN’s human rights body, went ahead anyway after the project was approved by a large majority of member states, including China, Russia and Switzerland, as well as African, Arab and Latin American countries.It means the Geneva-based body will “produce a database of all business enterprises involved in the [settlement] activities … to be updated annually”.All eight EU members who currently sit on the UNHCR - Belgium, France, Germany, Latvia, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, and the UK - had abstained.EU-aligned members - Albania, Georgia, and Macedonia - also abstained.The list passed despite the fact the British and Dutch ambassadors spoke out against the idea at the UNHCR meeting last Thursday. The British envoy said it would be “damaging” to the peace process, according to Israeli daily Haaretz.However, EU states were less united on a separate UNHCR resolution, which endorsed a preliminary investigation into the 2014 war in Gaza by the International Criminal Court in The Hague.Belgium, France, Portugal and Slovenia voted Yes to the text, while the other four EU members abstained.Mahmoud Nawajaa, a spokesman for the BDS movement, said in a statement that Faaberg-Anderson’s remarks on Monday meant the EU was “complicit in Israel’s serious violations of international law”.Nawajaa was also angry the EU diplomat had agreed to sit on the same panel as Dani Dayan, a hard-right Israeli politician-But the EU envoy told journalists at the anti-BDS conference: “I’m totally undeterred by allegations against me.”The event, which was organised by Israeli media Ynet and Yediot Ahronoth, also heard from the US envoy to Israel Daniel Shapiro, who echoed his EU counterpart.“One of our most effective tools to defeat boycotts and de-legitimisation is the presentation of a political process, negotiations or some political horizon that gives hope for a two-states-for-two-peoples resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” Shapiro said.The BDS movement recently claimed that a decision by British private security firm G4S to sell off assets in Israel was due to its campaign, but the firm denies this.Dutch and Norwegian pension funds as well as French water-management and telecommunications firms have also divested Israeli assets in recent years.Israeli settler exports to the EU are worth less than 1 percent of bilateral trade.The EU institutions have indicated they will not prosecute countries that ignore the retail labels regime, even though it is grounded in binding EU consumer protection laws.
Ghomeshi's lawyer Marie Henein rejects suggestions she betrayed women-[The Canadian Press]-The Canadian Press-March 30, 2016-YAHOONEWS
TORONTO - Jian Ghomeshi’s lawyer says she was just doing her job in representing the former CBC radio star in a high-profile sexual assault case, and that she was thrilled with the result.Marie Henein spoke with Peter Mansbridge on CBC’s The National on Tuesday night in her first interview since Ghomeshi was acquitted of sexual assault charges in Toronto last Thursday.Henein said it was the right result, and rejected accusations that she betrayed women by defending Ghomeshi.She said female judges are not traitors when they acquit in sexual assault cases, nor supporters of women when they convict. Henein says they are just doing their jobs and that’s what she does.Ghomeshi had pleaded not guilty to assaults alleged to have happened against three women from 2002 to 2003. There were protests after his acquittal and accusations that it was the three women who made the complaints against him who were put on trial.Henein would not discuss specifics of the case because there is a 30-day window in which an appeal could be filed.“I think justice was served,” Henein said.“I think it is pretty significant that in one of the highest profile cases, in one of the cases where everybody had an opinion … that you knew, that you could walk into court and that there would be an impartial person that would decide on the evidence that is heard.”
Volcanic ash from Alaska halts 3 WestJet flights out of Regina-[CBC]-March 30, 2016-YAHOONEWS
Dozens of travellers had to be rebooked on new flights out of the Regina International Airport early Wednesday.Volcanic ash in the upper atmosphere forced WestJet to cancel some morning flights heading to Edmonton, Calgary and Toronto.The ash cloud that's moving across North America right now — thanks to a volcano in Alaska — can cause real problems for jet engines, prompting the airline to cancel the flights.The airline also cancelled at least one flight from Calgary to Regina yesterday afternoon, rebooking passengers on a flight Wednesday morning.A WestJet spokesperson said the passengers from the three cancelled flights had been transferred onto extra flights the airline will bring in to Regina today in the afternoon and evening.- An Air Canada spokeswoman said all flights have been operating normally out of Regina for the past 24 hours.She said that "with the volcano situation, we are indeed monitoring it closely, and will adjust flight paths as required. At this time, we have determined there is no impact to our operations at YQR."Travellers should check with their airlines before heading out today to ensure all flights are leaving as scheduled.
Mexico City temporarily restricts all cars after smog alert-[The Canadian Press]-Peter Orsi, The Associated Press-March 30, 2016-YAHOONEWS
MEXICO CITY - Metropolitan authorities on Wednesday temporarily ordered all cars to remain idle one day a week in response to this notoriously smoggy capital's worst air-quality crisis in over a decade.Until now vehicles have been exempt from Mexico City's "no circulation" rules if owners obtain a holographic sticker from a smog-check centre certifying them as lower-emission.But the Environmental Commission of the Megalopolis, a cross-government agency comprising the capital and surrounding suburbs that together are home to more than 20 million people, said via Twitter that all cars must now comply, even if they have the exemption sticker.Vehicles will also be forced from the roads one Saturday a month.The measure will begin Tuesday and run until June 30, around the time that summer rains typically arrive and improve the region's air quality significantly.Officials have been meeting to consider anti-pollution measures since a Phase 1 emergency due to high ozone levels — the first since 2005 — was declared two weeks ago, when warm temperatures and still air left pollution trapped in Mexico City's volcano-ringed valley.At the time, government officials and environmental activists pinned at least some of the blame on a Supreme Court decision last year that overturned a rule barring all cars over eight years old from the streets one day a week.The ruling is said to have put an extra 1.4 million vehicles back on the roads each day.Smog levels dropped significantly during Easter Week, when much of Mexico City empties out due to the holiday. But on Wednesday afternoon authorities were reporting a pollution index of 108 — officially "bad," though about half the levels recorded at the peak of the Phase 1 alert.The commission said that starting July 1, more modern technology will be put in place at smog-check centres. Vehicles are supposed to get checked every six months, though it's common knowledge that for a bribe of $20 or so drivers can ensure a car comes out "clean.""The definitive 'no circulation' program will align with the new rule for vehicular verification that will be presented soon," federal Environment Secretary Rafael Pacchiano tweeted.Pacchiano said that in addition to Wednesday's emergency measures, authorities are working on medium-term solutions including improvements to public transportation.
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