x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Clearing the air over second-hand smoke

Passive smoking is a health issue for everybody, a reader says. Other letter topics: US-Canada relations, challenges for India's political leaders and jaywalking fines.

A reader says second-hand cigarette smoke poses a health risk to non-smokers. Fatima Al Marzouqi / The National
A reader says second-hand cigarette smoke poses a health risk to non-smokers. Fatima Al Marzouqi / The National

In reference to Three years and war on road deaths gains ground (June 29), I received a jaywalking fine a few weeks ago on Hamdan Street.

As I reached the far kerb, a police officer stepped out of an unmarked car and asked for my ID. I was confused as to why because there are white crossing lines on the road, but no further explanation was given.

I went to the traffic department to query the fine and after getting the usual runaround, I was told that I'd been fined because there isn't a sign to say that I can cross the road.

So, technically, there should either be a sign that says I can't cross or the crossing on the road should be removed altogether.

I suppose the 50 per cent discount I was given on the fine was meant to soften the blow.

Michelle Smith, Abu Dhabi

Morsi faces many tests of leadership

Eyes of the World are on Morsi (July 2) was good to read. Not only does the world expect reform in Egypt but it expects a better lifestyle and more employment opportunities for the Egyptian people.

This is not an easy task for Mr Morsi to accomplish immediately, but I think he can certainly deliver in due course.

Egypt also needs good governance and good relationships in the region.

K Ragavan, India

Pamper yourself while pregnant

Baby on the way stirs panic assessment (July 2) made me smile. I have just become a new mum and I can sympathise as I went through the same thing while pregnant.

My one tip is to not buy loads of clothes at first - just some all-in-one suits will do because you are going to be so busy feeding, changing, burping and cuddling that you won't have time for fancy outfits.

He/she will grow so quickly that the newborn stuff will be needed for only a few weeks, and your friends and family will buy you loads of things.

My other tip is to treat yourself now. Go for a massage and a manicure/pedicure because you soon won't have time to do these things. Honestly, at first, getting dressed before midday is an achievement!

It's all worth it, though.

E Baxter, Dubai

Passive smoking a risk to mall users

Second-hand smoke is recognised as a health hazard globally (The mall smoking ban illusion, July 1).

Enforcement of the smoking ban is necessary to continue to improve the quality of life and health care initiatives in Abu Dhabi.

We need to ensure that the air quality indoors is high, especially given the summer climate forces most to stay inside, with the malls being popular venues.

Timothy Strother, Abu Dhabi

Both sides in India face challenges

Regarding Steps to halt rupee's slide fail to convince (June 26), the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), being the leading political parties of the Indian government and opposition respectively, are both facing hefty challenges from within.

The second-term United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, in which Congress is the major coalition partner, has faced several issues recently that have even put its continuity in doubt. However, the weak opposition has failed to make use of such opportunities, allowing the UPA to continue at the helm.

The century-old Congress has lost its charm, mainly due to internal strife and the increasing dishonesty among its members, but the people of India have also lost confidence in the BJP.

Both Congress and the BJP desperately need experienced and mature leaders who understand the worries of the common people. At the same time, if the BJP wants to lead a secular India, it must dilute policies that attract a certain section of the electorate but do not help India as a whole.

Ramachandran Nair, Oman

US is not always so neighbourly

As a Canadian I enjoyed your light-hearted article about the US-Canada relationship, 145 years old and still getting no respect (June 29).

But on behalf of all Canadians I must tell you that the old line you used, about Canada and the US having the "longest undefended border in the world" is no longer quite true.

Since the September 11 attacks of 2001, successive US administrations have "thickened" the border with a long list of new security measures - drones, passport requirements, scanners - so clumsy and yet imperfect that many in Canada consider them to be nothing short of paranoid.

Canadians are good neighbours but Americans throw their weight around and try our patience quite regularly.

William Aberhart, Canada