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  • WORLD

'Defences tend to fade over time': US health agency recommends older to get another COVID shot this

The latest recommendation from Director Mandy Cohen advises US adults aged 65 and older to receive a second annual COVID-19 shot this spring, based on guidance from an expert advisory group to the CDC. This recommendation strengthens the previous ones made last year.

The influential government advisory panel has voted 11-1 in favor of recommending another COVID-19 shot for older adults, even if they received a booster in the fall. The panel suggests that Americans aged 65 and older should get a second dose of the updated vaccine, which became available in September, if at least four months have passed since their last shot. The final decision rests with the head of the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

The decision to recommend another shot for older adults follows discussions on whether it should be stated as a possibility or a necessity, reflecting a debate among experts on the necessity of additional boosters and concerns about vaccine fatigue among the public.

Although some doctors argue that older adults are adequately protected by the fall shot, citing no substantial decline in vaccine effectiveness over six months, others highlight the faster waning of vaccine-induced immunity in seniors. COVID-19 continues to pose a threat, especially to older individuals, with high hospitalization and death rates among those aged 65 and older.

The CDC recommended a new COVID-19 shot recipe in September, targeting the XBB.1.5 variant, for individuals aged 6 months and older. However, vaccination rates remain low, with only a small percentage of children and adults receiving the shots.

Despite concerns about vaccine fatigue and over-recommendation, there is a subset of Americans, particularly those at higher risk of severe illness and death, who are eager for another dose of the vaccine. CDC survey data indicates that the effectiveness of the latest vaccine version is a significant concern among the public, with agency officials highlighting its efficacy in reducing illness after exposure to the virus.

 

मैंंडी कोहेन के निदेशक से आखिरी सिफारिश के बाद आता है, जो कि सीडीसी के लिए एक विशेषज्ञ सलाहकार समूह के बाद आया है, जिसने कहा कि संयुक्त राज्य अमेरिका के वयस्क 65 वर्ष और उससे अधिक वयस्कों को इस वसंत एक और वार्षिक COVID-19 की टीका लगवानी चाहिए, पिछले साल की अपनी सिफारिशों को मजबूत करते हुए।

वॉशिंगटन: प्रभावशाली सरकारी सलाहकार पैनल ने बुधवार को कहा कि अगर पिछले सितंबर में उपलब्ध होने वाली अद्यतित टीका लगवाई है, तो भी अमेरिकी वयस्क 65 और अधिक वर्षों को फिर से COVID-19 की एक और डोज के लिए अपनी आस्था करनी चाहिए। पैनल ने 11-1 के अनुसार वोट किया कि यदि कम से कम चार महीने हो गए हैं तो अमेरिकी 65 और अधिक वर्षीयों को अपडेट की गई टीका की एक और डोज मिलनी चाहिए। परिषद डिजीसीपी के मुख्य को सलाह देती है, जो यह निर्णय स्वीकार करने का निर्णय करेगा।

पैनल का निर्णय एक लंबी चर्चा के बाद आया कि क्या पुराने लोगों को "मिल सकता है" टीके लगवाने की सलाह देनी चाहिए या फिर वे "करेंगे"। यह विशेषज्ञों के बीच एक बहस का परिचय करता है कि एक और बूस्टर कितना आवश्यक है और क्या फिर से एक सिफारिश जनता के बढ़ते टीकाकरण की थकान को बढ़ाएगा।

वैक्सीन की प्रभावकारिता में कोई प्रमुख कमी नहीं: जांच
कुछ डॉक्टर कहते हैं कि अधिकांश बुजुर्ग वयस्कों को गिरोह सुरक्षित रखा गया है, जो कि पिछले टीकाकरणों से प्राप्त प्रतिरक्षा और वायरस खुद के संपर्क से प्राप्त प्रतिरक्षा पर आधारित थी। और प्रारंभिक अध्ययनों में अब तक कोई भी वैक्सीन प्रभावकारिता में कोई प्रमुख कमी नहीं दिखाई गई है।

हालांकि, शरीर की वैक्सीन-उत्पन्न और यह बुजुर्गों में अन्य वयस्कों से तेजी से होती है। समिति ने 2022 और 2023 में बुजुर्गों के लिए COVID-19 बूस्टर डोज की सिफारिश की थी।

COVID एक खतरा बना हुआ है
COVID-19 एक खतरा बना हुआ है, खासकर बुजुर्ग व्यक्तियो

ं के लिए। एक CDC के अनुसार, प्रति सप्ताह अभी भी कोरोनावायरस के कारण 20,000 से अधिक अस्पताल में भर्ती हो रहे हैं और 2,000 से अधिक मौतें हो रही हैं। और 65 और अधिक वयस्कों की सबसे अधिक अस्पताल में भर्ती होने और मौत की दर है।

सलाहकार पैनल के कुछ सदस्यों ने कहा कि "करें" की सिफारिश डॉक्टरों और फार्मासिस्टों को शॉट प्रदान करने के लिए अधिक स्पष्ट रूप से प्रेरित करने के लिए है। "अधिकांश लोग या तो टीका लगवाने के लिए आ रहे हैं या नहीं," डॉ. जेमी लोहर, एक कमेटी के सदस्य और आइथाका, न्यूयॉर्क में परिवार चिकित्सक कहा। "मैं प्रदाताओं को कहने में कोशिश कर रहा हूं, हां, हम यह सिफारिश करते हैं।"

सितंबर में, सरकार ने XBB.1.5 नामक एक कोरोनावायरस संस्करण के खिलाफ एक नई COVID-19 टीका का निर्माण किया। वह एकल लक्ष्य वाली टीका उन संयोजन शॉट्स की जगह लेती है जो मूल कोरोनावायरस स्ट्रेन और एक कहीं पहले ओमिक्रॉन संस्करण को निशाना बनाने वाले थे।

सीडीसी ने हर व्यक्ति के लिए 6 महीने और उससे अधिक आयु वाले लोगों के लिए नए टीके की सिफारिश की और यह अनुमति दी कि जिन लोगों की कमजोर रोग प्रतिरक्षा प्रणाली है, वे पहले की तुलना में दो महीने बाद दूसरा डोज ले सकते हैं। अधिकांश अमेरिकी बच्चों ने टीके लगवाए हैं और लगभग 22 प्रतिशत अमेरिकी वयस्कों ने। टीकाकरण दर बुजुर्गों के लिए अधिक है, लगभग 42 प्रतिशत।

"प्रत्येक अगले टीके में, लेने की प्राप्ति कम हो गई है," केस वेस्टर्न रिज़र्व यूनिवर्सिटी के एक इंफेक्शन रोग विशेषज्ञ डॉ. डेविड कैनडे ने कहा, जो बुजुर्गों में COVID-19 का अध्ययन करते हैं।

"लोग इतने सारे समय में सभी ये टीके पाने की थकान हो गए हैं," कैनडे ने कहा, जो कमेटी में सेवा नहीं करते। "हमें टीका की अधिक सिफारिश करने के बारे में सावधान रहना चाहिए।"

लेकिन यहाँ एक समूह है अमेरिकी - जो गंभीर बीमारी और मौत के अधिक

 खतरे में हैं - जो पूछ रहे हैं कि क्या एक और डोज स्वीकार्य है, डॉ. विलियम शाफनर, वैंडरबिल्ट विश्वविद्यालय के टीकाकरण विशेषज्ञ ने कहा, जो बूस्टर प्रश्न पर एक समिति के कार्यसमूह का सदस्य है।

वास्तव में, सीडीसी के सर्वेक्षण डेटा यह सुझाता है कि समूह की सबसे बड़ी चिंता यह है कि क्या यह पर्याप्त प्रभावशील है। एजेंसी के अधिकारियों का कहना है कि जिन लोगों ने COVID-19 के नवीनतम संस्करण का उपयोग किया है, उनमें से संपर्क में आने के बाद 50 प्रतिशत कम लोग बीमार होंगे जिन्होंने फ़ॉल शॉट नहीं लिया है।"

image source reuters

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  • WORLD

'Russia must win this war': Trudeau's embarrassing gaffe after Ukraine visit

In a cringe-worthy slip-up, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau mistakenly stated, "Russia must win this war," during a public appearance in Warsaw, Poland, immediately retracting and apologizing for the error. Trudeau, who recently pledged nearly $3 billion in aid to Ukraine during his visit to the war-torn nation, made the remark while emphasizing support for Kyiv amid its ongoing conflict with Russian forces.

Trudeau's verbal misstep drew comparisons to US President Joe Biden, with some social media users dubbing him "Biden 2.0." Despite the apology, critics on social media criticized Trudeau for the apparent "Freudian slip," suggesting it could be used as propaganda by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Addressing concerns over defense spending, Trudeau affirmed Canada's commitment to supporting Ukrainian forces against Putin's aggression, asserting, "Putin can't win." He defended Canada's defense expenditure, acknowledging the need for continued investment to equip and support the Canadian Armed Forces and their allies worldwide.

The ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, which began with Russia's full-scale invasion in February 2022, has seen Ukraine facing significant challenges despite international support. Ukrainian forces, though outmatched by the Russian military, have maintained a defensive stance against advancing Russian troops.

Both Ukraine and Russia have attempted to minimize the disclosure of casualties, but it's evident that the toll on Ukrainian civilians has been devastating. Western assistance, including military aid and financial support, is crucial for Ukraine's ability to sustain its defense efforts and address the humanitarian crisis resulting from the conflict.

While the European Union recently approved a substantial aid package for Ukraine, hurdles remain in securing additional support, particularly from the United States, where military aid faces obstacles in Congress. Despite these challenges, Ukraine remains reliant on international assistance to navigate the ongoing crisis and rebuild its shattered infrastructure.

 

शर्मनाक भूल में, ट्रूडो ने कहा, 'रूस को इस युद्ध को जीतना होगा' पहले अपने आप को सही करते हुए और उन्होंने गलती के लिए माफी मांगी। कनाडा के प्रधानमंत्री ने हाल ही में यूक्रेन की यात्रा की थी और युद्ध-पीड़ित देश के लिए लगभग $3 अरब की वित्तीय सहायता की घोषणा की थी।

वारसा: संयुक्त राज्य अमेरिका के राष्ट्रपति जो बाइडेन के एक पुस्तक से एक पत्ता लेते हुए, कनाडा के प्रधानमंत्री जस्टिन ट्रूडो ने एक शर्मनाक सार्वजनिक भूल की जब उन्होंने कहा "रूस को इस युद्ध को जीतना होगा" जिसके बाद उन्होंने उक्रेन की यात्रा के बाद, जहां वह समर्थन को बढ़ावा दे रहे हैं, क्योंकि कीव संघर्ष रूसी सैनिकों के साथ लड़ाई में घुस गया तब तीसरा साल में प्रवेश किया।

वारसा में पोलिश प्रधानमंत्री डोनाल्ड टस्क के साथ एक संयुक्त समाचार सम्मेलन में बोलते हुए, ट्रूडो ने कहा, "हम जानते हैं कि रूस को इस युद्ध को जीतना होगा। क्षमा करें, यूक्रेन को रूस के खिलाफ इस युद्ध को जीतना होगा।" फिर उन्होंने तत्काल जीभ की चूक के लिए माफी मांगी। हालांकि, सोशल मीडिया उपयोगकर्ताओं ने उसे "फ्राडियन स्लिप" के लिए जल्दी ही बाध्य किया।

ट्रूडो की भूल का वीडियो देखें कई नेटिजन्स ने ट्रूडो को 'बाइडेन 2.0' कहकर मजाक उड़ाया। "कनाडा का जो बाइडेन है। केवल बाइडेन 81 साल का है। ट्रूडो का क्या बहाना है," एक उपयोगकर्ता ने कहा, जबकि दूसरा ने कहा, "जस्टिन ट्रूडो ने व्लादिमीर पुतिन को एक बड़ी प्रोद्दोष्ण जीता दी है।"

कनाडा के प्रधानमंत्री ने हाल ही में यूक्रेन की यात्रा की थी और युद्ध-पीड़ित देश के लिए लगभग $3 अरब की वित्तीय सहायता की घोषणा की थी। कनाडा और पोलैंड दोनों यहां तक कि रूसी राष्ट्रपति व्लादिमीर पुतिन के साथ उसके सैन्य के तीसरे साल में प्रवेश करने के बाद यूक्रेन के चारों ओर घिरा बचाव करने के लिए समर्थन किया है।

'पुटिन नहीं जीत सकता': ट्रूडो
ट्रूडो ने अपनी रक्षा खर्च पर भी ख़ुद को बचाया, कहते हुए कि पुटिन के खिलाफ युद्ध जीतने के लिए और भी कुछ करना होगा। "हम यह सुनिश्चित करेंगे कि कनेडियन आर्म्ड फोर्स के महिलाएं और पुरुष - और उन लोगों को विश्वभर में, हमारे साथी, जो उनपर निर्भर करते हैं - वे उन्हें जो उपकरण और समर्थन की आवश्यकता है, वह प्राप्त करते रहेंगे।"

सीटीवी न्यूज के अनुसार, कनाडा को अपनी ग्रॉस डोमेस्टिक प्रोडक्ट का दो प्रतिशत राज्यवाय खर्च करने के लिए घरेलू और अंतरराष्ट्रीय दबाव का सामना करना पड़ा है - एक नाटो-निर्धारित लक्ष्य जिसे अन्य अधिकांश साथियों को वर्ष के अंत तक हिट करने की उम्मीद है। कनाडा का रक्षा खर्च वर्तमान में जीडीपी के लगभग 1.3 प्रतिशत है।

शनिवार को, ट्रूडो ने होस्टोमेल हवाई अड्डे से एक भाषण में कहा "पुटिन नहीं जीत सकता" जहां यूक्रेनी सैनिकों ने 2022 में आक्रमण के पहले दिन रूसी हमले को पीछे किया था। "यूक्रेन विजय देखेगा, जैसा कि दो साल पहले इस जमीन पर हुआ।"

पिछले हफ्ते, उन्होंने पुटिन को "कमजोर" बताया और कहा कि वह अपनी विरोधी ताक़त को कुचलने के लिए पुलिस और सेना का उपयोग करता है और उसे "अमानवीय" व्यक्ति के रूप में आरोप लगाया। "अलेक्सी नावालनी के साथ जो हुआ उससे दिखता है कि जितना पुटिन मजबूत बनने का दिखावा करता है, वह वास्तव में एक कायर है," उन्होंने जारी रखा।

रूस-यूक्रेन युद्ध जारी है रूस ने 24 फरवरी 2022 को यूक्रेन के खिलाफ एक पूर्ण-मात्रा में आक्रमण किया, पश्चिमी देशों के साथ तनाव के हफ्तों के बाद। युद्ध के पहले वर्ष में कई विजयों के बाद, भाग्य उक्रेनी सैनिकों के लिए बदल गया है, जो एक अधिक शक्तिशाली प्रतिद्वंद्वी के खिलाफ उग्रवादी और अधिक संख्या में उपेक्षित हैं।

यूक्रेन ने बहुत-अपेक्षित गर्मी के प्रतिद्वंदी वार में कोई ब्रेकथ्रू नहीं दिखाने के बाद हार का सामना किया। सशस्त्र बल ने पतन के लिए एक रक्षात्मक स्थिति में बदल दी थी ताकि मॉस्को से नई आगे की प्रक्रिया को रोक सके। 17 फरवरी को, रूसी बल्लेबाजी के साथ अव्दीइव्का नगर का नियंत्रण लिया, जहां कीव की सैनिकों को तीन दिशाओं से रूसी दबाव में था।

रूस और यूक्रेन ने युद्धिय संख्या को गोपनीय रखने का प्रयास किया है। 2022 में पूर्ण-मात्रा में आक्रमण होने के बाद यूक्रेनी सैन्य मौत के कुछ विवरण हो गए हैं। लेकिन स्पष्ट है कि युक्रेनी नागरिकों में लड़ाइयों के दलदल में फंसे हुए लाखों की मौत हो गई है।

यूक्रेन वेस्टर्न सहायकों और अंतरराष्ट्रीय संगठनों पर निर्भर है न केवल सैन्य सहायता के लिए बल्कि वित्तीय सहायता और मानवतावादी सहायता के लिए भी। पश्चिमी सहायता के बिना, यूक्रेन के पास जो आवश्यक है, वह हथियार, गोलियाँ और प्रशिक्षण वह युद्ध प्रयास को संभालने के लिए आवश्यक है, न केवल यह, बल्कि वह अपनी पीड़ित अर्थव्यवस्था को भी चालू रखने या लड़ाइयों के घेरे में फंसे हुए यूक्रेनी लोगों को पहुंचाने के लिए।

फरवरी में क्यीव ने सांसदों से मिलकर यूरोपीय संघ ने अंदर 50 अरब यूरो ($54 अरब) की आर्थिक सहायता पैकेज को मंजूरी दी जब हंगरी से विरोध था। वह पैसा अर्थव्यवस्था का समर्थन और देश को बनाने के लिए है, न कि रूस के खिलाफ लड़ने के लिए। हालांकि, राष्ट्रपति जो बाइडेन के अधीनस्थ यूएस प्रशासन को अब भी समर्थन प्रदान करने में संघर्ष कर रहा है क्योंकि $60 अरब की सैन्य सहायता एक विभाजित कांग्रेस में अटकी हुई है।"

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India strongly condemned terror attack but efforts must also focus on seeking two-state solution: Ja

India strongly condemned the Hamas terror attack on October 7 last year, emphasizing that terrorism and hostage-taking are unacceptable. Speaking at the 55th Session of the UN Human Rights Council, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar reiterated India's stance, calling for a sustainable solution to the conflict in Gaza that prioritizes immediate relief for those affected. He emphasized the importance of respecting international humanitarian law and urged against the escalation of the conflict within or beyond the region.

Jaishankar also reiterated India's support for a two-state solution, emphasizing the need for Palestinians to live peacefully alongside Israelis. India has long advocated for a two-state solution to the Palestine issue and believes it is more urgent than ever. India has called for de-escalation and the resumption of direct peace negotiations to achieve this solution.

In response to the escalation of violence, Israel intensified its military offensive in Gaza, retaliating against Hamas militants responsible for attacks on Israeli cities. The conflict resulted in casualties on both sides, with thousands killed and many more injured or displaced. India has consistently urged for de-escalation and the creation of conditions conducive to peace negotiations for a two-state solution.

 

India strongly condemned the terror attack by Hamas on October 7 last year. "एक साथ, हमें स्पष्ट होना चाहिए कि आतंकवाद और बंधक बंधान स्वीकार्य नहीं हैं," जयशंकर ने नई दिल्ली से वीडियो लिंक के माध्यम से अपने भाषण में कहा।

जेनेवा: गाजा में संघर्ष को "बड़ी चिंता" का अंदाजा लगाते हुए, भारत ने सोमवार को कहा कि संघर्ष से उत्पन्न मानवतावादी संकट को एक टिकाऊ समाधान की आवश्यकता है जो उन लोगों को तत्काल राहत देता है जो सबसे अधिक प्रभावित होते हैं। संयुक्त राष्ट्र मानवाधिकार परिषद् के 55वें सत्र के भाषण करते हुए विदेशी मामले मंत्री एस जयशंकर ने कहा कि आतंकवाद और बंधक बंधान स्वीकार्य नहीं हैं और उम्मीद की कि संघर्ष क्षेत्र के अंदर या बाहर नहीं फैलता है।

"भारत ने पिछले साल 7 अक्टूबर को हमास द्वारा आतंकी हमले की निंदा की," उन्होंने नई दिल्ली से वीडियो लिंक के माध्यम से अपने भाषण में कहा। उन्होंने कहा कि अंतरराष्ट्रीय मानवीय कानून का सदैव सम्मान किया जाना चाहिए।

"यह महत्वपूर्ण है कि संघर्ष क्षेत्र के अंदर या बाहर नहीं फैले," उन्होंने कहा, जोड़ते हुए कि प्रयासों को इस ओर भी ध्यान केंद्रित किया जाना चाहिए जहां पालेस्टीनी लोग इजराइलियों के साथ रह सकते हैं।

भारत की इस्राइल-हमास युद्ध में दृष्टिकोण
म्यूनिख सुरक्षा सम्मेलन के इंटरैक्टिव सत्र में बोलते हुए, जयशंकर ने पलेस्टाइन मुद्दे पर भारत की लंबे समय से चल रही स्थिति को हाइलाइट किया। "निश्चित रूप से भारत ने हमेशा दो राज्यों का समाधान पर विश्वास किया है। हमने बहुत सालों तक उस स्थिति को बनाए रखा है और, मुझे लगता है, आज दुनिया के अधिक से अधिक देश न केवल यह महसूस करते हैं कि दो राज्यों का समाधान आवश्यक है, बल्कि यह पहले से अधिक अत्यावश्यक है," उन्होंने कहा।

इजराइल ने अपने संघर्ष का भाग के रूप में गाजा में अपनी सैन्य प्रहार को बढ़ा दिया है जिसका प्रतिसाद हमास के आतंकवादीयों द्वारा इस्राइली शहरों पर अभूतपूर्व हमले के भयानक आक्रमण के संदर्भ में किया गया है। हमास ने इस्राइल में लगभग 1,200 लोगों की हत्या की और और लगभग 220 अन्य को अपहरण किया, जिनमें से कुछ को एक अल्प संघर्षकालीन योधबाणी के दौरान रिहा किया गया। उन्होंने बताया कि इस्राइली हमले में गाजा में लगभग 30,000 लोगों की मौत हो चुकी है, उन्होंने अधिकारियों के अनुसार कहा। भारत ने स्थिति की कम होने की अपील की है और पलेस्टाइन मुद्दे के दो राज्य समाधान की ओर शीघ्र शुरू होने की शर्तों को बनाने के लिए निरंतर शांति बातचीत की अनुमति दी है।

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Maldives: Civilian crew replacing Indian soldiers arrives in line with Muizzu's 'India out' campaign

In a significant development, the initial batch of Indian civilians slated to replace Indian troops and manage New Delhi-provided helicopters for medical operations in Maldives arrived on Monday. As per a statement from the Maldivian Defence Ministry, the civilian crew tasked with operating the helicopter in lieu of the current Indian troops stationed in Seenu Gan (Addu city) arrived in Maldives this evening.

The statement emphasized that the civilians will assume helicopter operation duties starting Tuesday. Additionally, the Defence Ministry highlighted plans to transport a helicopter stationed at Gan International Airport to New Delhi via sea route for repairs. The replacement helicopter is expected to arrive in the same region by Wednesday.

President Muizzu's stance against India

This move against Indian forces aligns with Maldivian President Mohamed Muizzu's anti-India stance, which gained prominence during his election campaign. Muizzu heavily advocated China's perspective while maintaining a firm stance against India, even running an "India out" campaign promising to remove Indian troops from the archipelago nation.

Following his assumption of the Presidency, Muizzu met Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the Climate Summit (COP28) in Dubai, pressing for the withdrawal of Indian forces. Subsequent meetings in New Delhi led to an agreement specifying the withdrawal of Indian soldiers from Addu City before March 10th and from L. Kadhdhoo and HDh. Hanimaadhoo before May 10th.

India's helicopter assistance to Maldives

India's provision of two advanced light helicopters (ALH) and a Dornier aircraft for humanitarian and disaster relief operations in Maldives is noteworthy. These helicopters were supplied during the previous regime, which was perceived as pro-India. However, Muizzu's "India out" campaign aimed to rid the country of foreign interference.

India-Maldives relations deteriorate

Relations between India and Maldives have deteriorated since Muizzu assumed the Presidency, reaching a nadir after contentious remarks by several ministers during PM Modi's visit to Lakshadweep in January. This sparked outrage on social media, leading to flight and holiday cancellations. In response, the Maldivian government issued a statement disavowing derogatory remarks on social media against foreign leaders, clarifying that they did not represent the government's views.

 

मालदीवी रक्षा मंत्रालय ने सोमवार को जारी किए गए बयान के अनुसार, "सीनु गण (अड्डू शहर) में मौजूद भारतीय सैनिकों की जगह भारतीय ट्रूप्स की जगह हेलीकॉप्टर चलाएंगे नागरिक क्रू आज शाम को मालदीव पहुंच गई है।" 

मेले में: एक प्रमुख विकास के तहत, मॉनडे को मालदीव में चिकित्सा कारणों के लिए भारत द्वारा प्रदान की गई हेलीकॉप्टर का संचालन करने वाले पहले भारतीय नागरिकों का पहला समूह आया। मालदीवी रक्षा मंत्रालय द्वारा जारी बयान के अनुसार, "सीनु गण (अड्डू शहर) में वर्तमान में स्थित भारतीय सैनिकों की जगह हेलीकॉप्टर का संचालन करने वाले नागरिक क्रू आज शाम को मालदीव में पहुंच गए हैं।"

बयान में आगे कहा गया कि नागरिकों को मंगलवार से हेलीकॉप्टर के संचालन की जिम्मेदारियाँ संभालनी होंगी। साथ ही, रक्षा मंत्रालय ने यह भी जोर दिया कि गान अंतरराष्ट्रीय हवाई अड्डे पर स्थित एक हेलीकॉप्टर को समुद्री मार्ग से नई दिल्ली ले जाएगा ताकि इसे मरम्मत किया जा सके। परिवर्तन उसी क्षेत्र में बुधवार तक पहुंचेगा।

प्रेसिडेंट मुइजू का भारत-विरोधी अभियान
उल्लेखनीय है कि भारतीय बलों के खिलाफ हाल की कार्रवाई मालदीव के राष्ट्रपति मोहम्मद मुइजू के भारत-विरोधी अभियान के परिप्रेक्ष्य में हुई। अपने चुनावी अभियान के दौरान, मुइजू ने चीन के बयान को व्यापार और भारत पर कठोर रुप से अपना स्थान बनाया। वास्तव में, उन्होंने "भारत बाहर" अभियान चलाया था जिसमें उन्होंने मतदाताओं को वादा किया कि वह द्वीपसमूह राष्ट्र से भारतीय सैनिकों को निकालेंगे।

बाद में, प्रेसिडेंसी हासिल करने के बाद, उन्होंने दुबई में जलवायु शिखर (सीओपी28) के किनारे प्रधानमंत्री नरेंद्र मोदी के साथ एक बैठक की जहां मुइजू ने भारतीय बलों के विपक्ष में सहमति पर जोर दिया। बाद में, नई दिल्ली में एक दौरा हुआ जिसमें दोनों देशों के अधिकारियों ने भाग लिया और इसे स्वीकार किया जिसमें कहा गया: "अड्डू शहर में स्थित भारतीय सैनिकों को 10 मार्च से पहले वापस लिया जाएगा", और एल. कड़ाहू और एचडी. हनीमाधू में स्थित सैनिकों को 10 मई से पहले वापस लिया जाएगा।"

भारत ने मालदीव को हेलीकॉप्टर भेंट की
यह याद रखने लायक है कि नई दिल्ली द्वारा प्रदान किए गए दो उन्नत प्रकार के हेलीकॉप्टर - (एएलएच) और एक डॉर्नियर विमान - को मानव सहायता और आपदा राहत अभियानों के लिए व्यापक रूप से उपयोग किया गया है। दोनों हेलीकॉप्टर पहले रेजीम के दौरान प्रदान किए गए थे जो कि प्रो-भारत के रूप में माना गया था। हालांकि, जब से मुइजू ने "भारत बाहर" अभियान शुरू किया, तब से वह देश को "विदेशी हस्तक्षेप मुक्त" बनाने का आसान हो गया था।

"भारत द्वारा भेजी गई दूसरी उन्नत प्रकार की हेलीकॉप्टर (एएलएच) 27 अप्रैल, 2016 को मालदीव पहुंची। मालदीव के रक्षा और राष्ट्रीय सुरक्षा मंत्री एच.इ. आदम शरीफ और मालदीव के भारतीय उच्चायुक्त ने इब्राहीम नसीर अंतरराष्ट्रीय हवाई अड्डे पर एलएच और इसके क्रू का स्वागत किया," इस सोशल मीडिया पोस्ट में भारत का मालदीव में जब वह दूसरी हेलीकॉप्टर प्राप्त किया था।

भारत-मालदीव संबंध नई निम्न स्तर पर गिरे हालांकि, दो पड़ोसी राष्ट्रों के बीच संबंध मुइजू के राष्ट्रपति बनने के बाद गिर गए थे, लेकिन जनवरी में प्रधानमंत्री मोदी के लक्षद्वीप यात्रा के दौरान कई मंत्रियों के विवादास्पद टिप्पणियों के बाद वे नई निम्नता को जाता। इसने सामाजिक मीडिया प्लेटफ़ॉर्मों पर एक महान कोलाहल पैदा किया जहां यात्रा वेबसाइट्स द्वारा उड़ान और छुट्टी यात्रा की रद्दियों की रिपोर्ट की गई। परिणामों को अनुमानित करते हुए, मालदीव की सरकार ने एक बयान जारी किया कि वह विदेशी नेताओं और उच्च-स्तरीय व्यक्तियों के खिलाफ सामाजिक मीडिया प्लेटफ़ॉर्मों पर अपमानजनक टिप्पणियों के बारे में जागरूक थी और यह सरकार के दृष्टिकोण का प्रतिनिधित्व नहीं करता।"

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'Several Indians already discharged': MEA rejects reports about Indians seeking discharge from Russi

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), in an early morning statement, affirmed its awareness of the issue and emphasized that it had addressed the matter with relevant Russian authorities in Moscow and New Delhi.

New Delhi: Disputing media reports as "inaccurate," the Indian government on Monday clarified that Indians serving in the Russian army seeking discharge was not the case. Instead, the government asserted that several Indians had already been discharged. The MEA, in a statement, reiterated its awareness of the situation and confirmed strong diplomatic actions taken with both Russian authorities in Moscow and New Delhi.

MEA Spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal stated, "We have noticed inaccurate reports in the media regarding Indians in the Russian army seeking discharge. Every such case brought to the Indian Embassy in Moscow has been vigorously pursued with Russian authorities, and those brought to the Ministry's attention have been raised with the Russian Embassy in New Delhi. Consequently, several Indians have been discharged."

This is a developing story; further updates will follow.

"विदेशी मामलों मंत्रालय (MEA), सुबह के वक्त में जारी एक बयान में घोषित किया कि वह इस विषय को जानता है और उसने जोरदार रूप से मान्य रूसी अधिकारियों के साथ यह मुद्दा मानसिकता किया था जो मॉस्को और नई दिल्ली में संबंधित रूसी अधिकारियों के साथ लिया गया था।

नई दिल्ली: सोमवार को भारतीय सरकार ने मीडिया की रिपोर्टों का खंडन किया और उन्हें "अशुद्ध" घोषित किया जो रूसी सेना के साथ भारतीयों को डिस्चार्ज के लिए मदद मांगने का दावा कर रही थीं। वास्तव में, केंद्र ने दावा किया कि कई भारतीयों को पहले ही डिस्चार्ज किया गया है। विदेशी मामलों मंत्रालय (MEA), सुबह के वक्त में जारी एक बयान में घोषित किया कि वह इस विषय को जानता है और उसने जोरदार रूप से मान्य रूसी अधिकारियों के साथ यह मुद्दा मानसिकता किया था जो मॉस्को और नई दिल्ली में संबंधित रूसी अधिकारियों के साथ लिया गया था।

"हमने मीडिया में कुछ अशुद्ध रिपोर्ट देखी हैं जो रूसी सेना के साथ भारतीयों ने डिस्चार्ज के लिए मदद की मांग की है," MEA उपवक्ता रणधीर जयस्वाल ने एक बयान में कहा। "भारतीय दूतावास के ध्यान में लाए गए प्रत्येक ऐसा मामला रूसी अधिकारियों के साथ मजबूती से उठाया गया है और मंत्रालय के ध्यान में लाए गए वे मामले नई दिल्ली में रूसी दूतावास के साथ उठाए गए हैं। कई भारतीयों को पहले ही डिस्चार्ज किया गया है," उन्होंने जोड़ा।

यह एक ताज़ा खबर है। अधिक विवरण जोड़े जाएंगे।"

 

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US Presidential election Donald Trump wins South Carolina, easily beating Nikki Haley in her home st

Haley amassed substantial campaign funds and is set to embark on a nationwide campaign tour starting Sunday in Michigan ahead of Super Tuesday on March 5. However, there's uncertainty about her ability to thwart Trump from securing the required delegates.

Donald Trump, former US President and Republican candidate, clinched victory in South Carolina's Republican primary, defeating Nikki Haley. This win solidifies Trump's path towards a third consecutive GOP nomination.

With this victory, Trump has now won all crucial contests for Republican delegates, including Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and the US Virgin Islands.

Despite her efforts, Haley's chances in the presidential race were diminished by Trump's triumph in her home state, where she served as Governor and later as the UN representative.

Nevertheless, Haley pledged to continue her campaign through at least the Super Tuesday primaries on March 5, although her attempts to challenge Trump's momentum in South Carolina fell short.

Trump's overwhelming support was evident in pre-election polls and confirmed by the Associated Press' analysis of South Carolina primary voters.

South Carolina's primary has historically been indicative of the Republican nominee, with rare exceptions like Newt Gingrich in 2012.

Even some of Haley's former supporters in South Carolina favored Trump, questioning her readiness to compete against him.

Despite the setback, Haley plans to focus on the Michigan primary before Super Tuesday, but doubts remain about her competitiveness in upcoming contests.

The rivalry between Trump and Biden intensifies as they gear up for a potential face-off in November. Both candidates have launched attacks on each other's policies and capabilities, with Biden increasing his fundraising efforts and direct criticism of Trump.

Haley also criticized Trump, particularly on his NATO stance and for questioning her husband's absence from the campaign trail due to his military deployment.

Despite Haley's criticism, South Carolina Republicans align with Trump on issues like NATO and aid to Ukraine, as indicated by data from the primary.

 

हेली ने अधिक राशि में अभियान धन जुटाया और उसकी योजना है कि वह मिशिगन में रविवार को दक्षिणी मंगलवार को सुपर ट्यूस्डे से पहले क्रॉस-कंट्री अभियान शुरू करेगी, जब अनेक प्रदेशों में प्राथमिकता चुनाव होंगे जो प्रतिनिधियों से भरपूर हैं। लेकिन यह स्पष्ट नहीं है कि वह ट्रंप को पर्याप्त प्रतिनिधियों को प्राप्त करने से कैसे रोक सकती है।

साथ ही, पूर्व अमेरिकी राष्ट्रपति और राष्ट्रपति उम्मीदवार डोनाल्ड ट्रंप ने शनिवार को साउथ कैरोलिना के रिपब्लिकन प्राथमिकी में जीत हासिल की, जिसमें उन्होंने अपने घर के प्रदेश में पूर्व संयुक्त राष्ट्र राजदूत निक्की हेली को आसानी से पीछे छोड़ा। यह जीत ट्रंप के तीसरे सीधे जीओपी निर्वाचन के लिए उसके मार्ग को और भी मजबूत करती है।

साउथ कैरोलिना की जीत के साथ, ट्रंप ने अब रिपब्लिकन प्रतिनिधियों के लिए महत्वपूर्ण प्रतियोगिता में हर स्थान को छू लिया है, जो आईओवा, न्यू हैम्पशायर, नेवाडा और यूएस वर्जिन आइलैंड्स में पूर्व जीतों को जोड़ता है।

हेली ने हाल के दिनों में यह वादा किया कि वह कम से कम 5 मार्च को सुपर ट्यूस्डे के बैच के माध्यम से रेस में बनी रहेगी, लेकिन उसने अपने घर प्रदेश में ट्रंप के प्रति प्रगति को रोकने में असमर्थ रही, हालांकि उसने अधिक अभियान कार्यक्रमों को करने का दावा किया और यह दावा किया कि ट्रंप के खिलाफ लगाये गए दोषपत्र उसे बाइडेन के खिलाफ पीछे की ओर धकेल देंगे।

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United States vetoes Arab-backed resolution demanding immediate cease-fire in Israel-Hamas war

The conflict between Israel and Hamas continues to escalate, with significant developments in the recent United Nations Security Council (UNSC) session. The vote, held on February 20, saw a resolution presented by Arab nations demanding an immediate humanitarian cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza. However, the United States exercised its veto power, blocking the resolution. The voting result stood at 13-1, with the United Kingdom abstaining, underscoring widespread international support for ending the prolonged conflict.

This marked the third veto by the United States of a Security Council resolution calling for a cease-fire in Gaza. In response to the Arab-backed resolution, the US introduced its own draft, proposing a temporary cease-fire linked to the release of all hostages and the removal of restrictions on humanitarian aid delivery. The US emphasized the importance of addressing these key issues to achieve a sustainable cessation of hostilities.

The situation remains urgent, with Arab nations and numerous UN member states pressing for immediate action to halt the violence. The proposed resolutions emphasize the need for a cease-fire, the release of hostages, unhindered humanitarian access, and compliance with international law to protect civilians. Despite diplomatic efforts, significant challenges persist in finding a resolution to the conflict.

The US draft resolution explicitly addresses concerns over Israel's planned ground offensive in Rafah and warns against further displacement of civilians, stressing the potential implications for regional peace and security. US officials have been engaged in ongoing negotiations to secure a deal that would facilitate the release of hostages and allow for crucial humanitarian assistance to reach those in need.

As discussions unfold in the Security Council, the next steps remain uncertain. The Arab Group may consider taking their resolution to the UN General Assembly, where approval is likely but lacks legal binding authority. Meanwhile, the Security Council is expected to deliberate on the US draft resolution, which condemns Hamas' actions and addresses concerns over potential demographic or territorial changes in Gaza.

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Russia never hurt India's interests, always had stable and friendly ties: Jaishankar

Jaishankar emphasized that Europe has turned to the Middle East for energy procurement, unlike India. He also highlighted differences between India's stance on Russia compared to European countries. Additionally, he noted that Western nations previously favored Pakistan over India for arms supply, but this trend has shifted in the last decade.

During the Munich Security Conference, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar reiterated India's commitment to purchasing Russian oil despite sanctions imposed during the Ukraine conflict. He emphasized the longstanding positive relationship between India and Russia, contrasting it with the perspectives of Europe and China. Jaishankar stressed the importance of reforming global governance institutions.

In an interview with German newspaper Handelsblatt, Jaishankar stated that India's view of Russia differs from Europe's and compared it to the varying perceptions of China. He highlighted India's historical stability in its relations with Russia, despite fluctuations in other global power dynamics.

Jaishankar expressed the impossibility of having an identical perspective on Russia compared to European countries. He also discussed India's past reliance on energy from the Middle East, which European countries prioritized during times of conflict in Russia.

India maintains a strong strategic partnership with Russia, particularly in defense cooperation, joint military exercises, and energy collaboration. Jaishankar highlighted the diversification of India's arms suppliers in recent years, moving away from dependence on Western countries.

Regarding global challenges, Jaishankar criticized the current economic model for its instability and unfairness, emphasizing the need for reform in the international order. He called for changes in the United Nations to address the evolving world dynamics, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the Munich Security Conference, Jaishankar defended India's decision to purchase Russian oil and emphasized the complexity of international relationships in the contemporary world. He stressed India's multifaceted approach to diplomacy and the importance of having multiple options in foreign relations.

Additionally, Jaishankar met with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi during the conference and advocated for a "two-state solution" to the Palestine-Israel conflict, underscoring its urgency in light of recent events.

 

 

Jaishankar ने उज्जवल किया कि यूरोप ऊर्जा खरीदी के लिए मध्य पूर्व की ओर रुख किया और कि भारत रूस पर यूरोपीय देशों के समान दृष्टिकोण को साझा नहीं कर सकता। उन्होंने यह भी उज्जवल किया कि पश्चिमी देशों ने हथियार आपूर्ति के लिए भारत की बजाय पाकिस्तान को अधिक पसंद किया, लेकिन इस अंतिम दशक में यह रुझान बदल गया।

म्यूनिख: विदेशी मामलों मंत्री एस जयशंकर ने युक्रेन संघर्ष के दौरान लगाए गए प्रतिबंधों के बावजूद रूसी तेल खरीदने पर भारत की स्थिति को पुनः पुष्टि की, कहते हुए कि मॉस्को कभी भी नई दिल्ली के हितों को क्षति नहीं पहुंचाई है और कि दोनों देशों के बीच हमेशा "स्थिर और मित्रवत" संबंध रहे हैं। उन्होंने रूस की ओर और चीन की ओर यूरोपीय दृष्टिकोणों पर बात की और वैश्विक शासन के सुधारों की मांग दोहराई।

जर्मन अखबार Handelsblatt के साथ एक साक्षात्कार में, जयशंकर ने कहा, "हर कोई अपने अतीत अनुभवों के आधार पर एक संबंध चलाता है। यदि मैं भारत के स्वतंत्रता के बाद के इतिहास की ओर देखता हूं, तो रूस ने कभी हमारे हितों को क्षति नहीं पहुंचाई।" उन्होंने और भी जोर दिया कि यूरोप, अमेरिका, चीन और जापान जैसे शक्तियों के संबंधों में ऊपरी और नीचे के मोड़ आए हैं, लेकिन भारत-रूस के संबंध हमेशा बहुत ही मित्रवत रहे हैं।

"हमें रूस के साथ एक स्थिर और हमेशा बहुत ही मित्रवत संबंध रहा है। और हमारा आज का संबंध इस अनुभव पर आधारित है। दूसरों के लिए, चीजें अलग थीं, और टकराव संबंध को आकार दिया हो सकता है। हम, दूसरी ओर, चीन के साथ राजनीतिक और सैन्य रूप से काफी कठिन संबंध रखते थे, उदाहरण के लिए," उन्होंने आगे कहा।

"यूरोपीय के साथ एक ही दृष्टिकोण नहीं हो सकता: जयशंकर"
विदेशी मामलों मंत्री ने आगे भारत की 2020 में चीन के साथ सीमा संघर्ष के दौरान यूरोपीय समर्थन की आवश्यकता पर भी बात की, कहते हुए

, "जिस प्रकार मैं यूरोप से चीन के एक समान दृष्टिकोण की आशा नहीं करता, उसी प्रकार, यूरोप को समझना चाहिए कि मुझे रूस के बारे में एक समान दृष्टिकोण नहीं हो सकता है। हम यह स्वीकार करें कि संबंधों में प्राकृतिक अंतर होते हैं"।

जयशंकर ने कहा कि भारत और यूरोप ने अपने दृष्टिकोण की बातचीत की है और अपने विभिन्नताओं को जोर नहीं दिया, उन्होंने यह भी उज्जवल किया कि जब रूस में युद्ध खड़ा हो गया था, तो यूरोपीय देशों ने अपनी ऊर्जा खरीद को मध्य पूर्व में बदल लिया था, जो तब भारत और अन्य देशों का मुख्य आपूर्तिकर्ता था।

"हमें क्या करना चाहिए था? बहुत सारे मामलों में, हमारे मध्य पूर्व के आपूर्तिकर्ता ने यूरोप को प्राथमिकता दी क्योंकि यूरोप अधिक मूल्य पर भुगतान किया। या तो हमें कोई ऊर्जा नहीं होती क्योंकि सब कुछ उन्हें चला जाता। या हमें बहुत अधिक कीमत चुकानी पड़ती क्योंकि आप अधिक चुकाते थे। और एक निश्चित तरीके से, हमने उस तरीके से ऊर्जा बाजार को स्थिर किया," उन्होंने जोड़ा, अपने पूर्ववत रुख को दोहराते हुए।

भारत रूस के साथ एक मजबूत रणनीतिक साझेदारी को साझा करता है, जिसमें युद्ध सहयोग के व्यापक सहयोग शामिल हैं। दोनों देश संयुक्त सैन्य अभ्यासों, उन्नत सैन्य प्लेटफार्म के सह-विकास, और प्रौद्योगिकी स्थानांतरण में लगे हैं। हाल ही में, ऊर्जा सहयोग एक और मजबूत स्तंभ बन गया है द्विपक्षीय संबंधों का।

'पश्चिमी देशों ने पाकिस्तान का समर्थन किया, न कि भारत का'
जयशंकर ने भी इस बात पर ध्यान दिलाया कि कई पश्चिमी देश पिछले दस वर्षों में हथियार आपूर्ति के लिए भारत की बजाय पाकिस्तान का समर्थन किया था, लेकिन यह रुझान पिछले दशक में बदल गया है। "यह अंतिम दस या पंद्रह सालों में बदल गया है जब अमेरिका उदाहरण के लिए, और हमारी नई खरीदारी विविध रूप से हमारे प्रमुख आपूर

्तिकर्ता हैं अमेरिका, रूस, फ्रांस, और इज़राइल," उन्होंने कहा।

ईएएम के अनुसार, दुनिया ने एक अस्थिर और अन्यायपूर्ण आर्थिक मॉडल बनाया है, "अत्यधिक संयुक्तता" के कारण। "वैश्विक क्रम वर्तमान में कई प्रकार के तनावों का सामना कर रहा है। कोविड, युक्रेन में युद्ध, गाजा में युद्ध, अफगानिस्तान से नाटो की वापसी और अधिक और अधिक बार घटित हो रही व्यवधानात्मक जलवायु घटनाओं के कारण। यह हमारा चुनौती है। हालांकि, यह केवल अंतर्राष्ट्रीय क्रम को मजबूत करने के बारे में नहीं है, बल्कि इस क्रम को बदलने के बारे में भी है। यह कौन इसे आकार देता है और किस आधार पर? अंतर्राष्ट्रीय क्रम को और भी आगे बढ़ाना चाहिए," जयशंकर ने जोड़ा।

जयशंकर ने संयुक्त राष्ट्र में सुधारों की आवश्यकता को भी बल दिया, कहते हुए कि सुधार को ब्लॉक करने वाले देश नवीनतम दशकों में विश्व क्रम में हो रहे परिवर्तनों के बारे में इनकार कर रहे हैं, विशेषकर कोविड-19 महामारी के बाद। "अंतर्राष्ट्रीय संस्थाओं को कहने का कोई मत है: 'अपना काम बेहतर करो' अगर वे ऐसा करने की संभावना नहीं रखते। देखो कि कैसे इतिहास के तौर-तरीके से बड़ी समस्या जैसे कोविड के दौरान अंतर्राष्ट्रीय क्रम बस सिर गया। हर देश अपने हित में काम किया।" उन्होंने जोर दिया, अनेक देशों ने एक-दूसरे की मदद नहीं की।

"अच्छा था, कुछ सहयोग था, लेकिन अधिकांश देश एक-दूसरे की मदद नहीं कीं। यदि हम विश्व के बड़े हिस्से को छोड़ रहे हैं, तो हमें अंतर्राष्ट्रीय क्रम को बदलने की तत्परता है। आज भी, बहुत, बहुत सारे देश नाराज हैं कि उन्हें वैक्सीन इतनी देर से मिली कि उन्हें प्रवेश प्रतिबंधों का सामना करना पड़ा, कि उनके आर्थिक विकास को गंभीरता से हानि पहुंची," उन्होंने जोड़ा।

जयशंकर ने म्यूनिख सुरक्षा सम्मेलन में शामिल होने के लिए जर्मनी की यात्रा की। एक पैनल चर्चा में अ

मेरिकी राज्य सचिव एंटनी ब्लिंकन और जर्मन विदेश मंत्री एनालेना बेरबोक के साथ बोलते हुए, जयशंकर ने कहा कि समकालीन विश्व में एक एक-आयामी संबंध बनाना मुश्किल है। रूसी तेल पर भारत की स्थिति की रक्षा करते हुए, उन्होंने कहा, "क्या यह समस्या है, ऐसा क्यों होना चाहिए? यदि मैं कई विकल्पों के लिए बुद्धिमान हूं, तो आपको मुझे प्रशंसा करनी चाहिए।" उन्हें निकट में बैठे ब्लिंकन ने मुस्कुराते हुए कहा।

"मैं चाहता हूं कि आप भले ही अनजाने में यह प्रतिष्ठा दें कि हम पूरी तरह से लेन-देन के लिए हैं। हम ऐसा नहीं हैं, हम लोगों के साथ चलते हैं, हमें चीजें पसंद हैं, हम चीजों को साझा करते हैं, और हम कुछ चीजों पर सहमत हैं लेकिन जब आप अलग-अलग स्थानों में स्थित हैं, विकास के विभिन्न स्तर होते हैं, और विभिन्न अनुभव होते हैं, तो सब कुछ उसमें आता है," उन्होंने चर्चा में और कहा।

उन्होंने अपने चीनी समर्थक वांग यी के साथ जर्मनी में कुछ ही समय के लिए मिले, म्यूनिख सुरक्षा सम्मेलन के परिसर में, उनकी पहली मुलाकात में। उन्होंने पलेस्टाइन मुद्दे के लिए "दो राष्ट्रीय समाधान" को पुश्त किया, कहते हुए कि इसे इसराइल-हमास युद्ध के पहले से भी अधिक अत्यावश्यक माना जाता है।

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Donald Trump hit with $355 million penalty, 3-year ban for fraudulently inflating property price to

New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit against Donald Trump and his family businesses, alleging that they inflated his net worth by up to $3.6 billion annually for a decade to deceive lenders into offering him better loan terms.

In a significant setback for former US President Donald Trump, a New York judge imposed a $364 million penalty for fraudulently inflating his net worth to deceive lenders, just before the elections. Additionally, Trump was prohibited from serving as an officer or director of any New York corporation for three years.

The decision by Judge Arthur Engoron came after a two-and-a-half-month trial, during which Trump, the Republican presidential front-runner, vehemently denied under oath that he engaged in fraudulent activities. The hefty penalty marked a win for New York Attorney General Letitia James, a Democrat, who accused Trump of years of deceitful practices as he amassed wealth, fame, and eventually the presidency.

Trump's lawyers had already indicated their intention to appeal even before the verdict was announced.

James initiated the lawsuit against Trump in 2022 under a state law empowering her to investigate ongoing fraud in business dealings. The lawsuit alleged that Trump habitually exaggerated his financial statements to create a false impression of the value of his properties. State attorneys claimed that Trump inflated his wealth by as much as $3.6 billion in one year alone. By exaggerating his wealth, Trump could secure better loan terms, reduce interest payments, and complete projects that might otherwise have been unfeasible, according to state attorneys.

Even prior to the trial, Engoron had ruled in favor of James, finding that Trump's financial statements were fraudulent. The judge ordered the removal of some of Trump's companies from his control and dissolved them.

An appeals court temporarily halted Engoron's decision. In an earlier ruling, the judge found that Trump's financial statements contained inaccuracies, including inflating the size of his Trump Tower penthouse and overvaluing his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida.

Trump, one of the 40 witnesses to testify during the trial, maintained that his financial statements understated his true net worth and that banks were satisfied with his business practices. He referred to himself as a victim and criticized the judge and attorney general during the trial. Trump and his legal team argued that outside accountants should have flagged any discrepancies in the financial statements, which also came with disclaimers limiting his liability. They also contended that some of the allegations were time-barred by the statute of limitations.

This lawsuit is just one of Trump's legal challenges as he seeks a return to the White House. He has faced four indictments in the past year alone, including allegations of election interference, hoarding classified documents, and falsifying business records. While these criminal accusations have not significantly affected his bid for the Republican presidential nomination, civil litigation has posed financial threats.

In January, a jury ordered Trump to pay $83.3 million to writer E. Jean Carroll for defaming her after she accused him of sexual assault. Additionally, the Trump Organization was convicted of tax fraud in 2022 and fined $1.6 million in an unrelated criminal case.

Letitia James had sought a penalty of at least $370 million, but Engoron ultimately decided the case himself, as neither side requested a jury trial, and state law does not allow for juries in this type of lawsuit. Since it was a civil case, it did not carry the possibility of imprisonment.

James, who ran for office as a critic of Trump, began investigating his business practices in 2019 after his former personal lawyer Michael Cohen testified that Trump had exaggerated his wealth to obtain financing. Previously, James' office sued Trump for misusing his charitable foundation, resulting in Trump being ordered to pay $2 million to various charities and the closure of the Trump Foundation.

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Japan's H3 rocket reaches planned trajectory in key 2nd test after failed debut last year

The H3 had a "successful liftoff" at 9:22 a.m. Tokyo time (0022 GMT) and was "on course" with its engines properly working, JAXA said in a live broadcast that showed scientists clapping and hugging each other at Tanegashima Space Center.

Tokyo: A new Japanese flagship H3 rocket lifted off from a space station in southwestern Japan on Saturday, successfully reaching a planned trajectory and releasing one of the two payloads in a key second test flight a year after its failed debut launch. The H3 rocket blasted off from a launch pad at the Tanegashima Space Center on time Saturday morning, two days after its originally scheduled lift-off which was delayed due to bad weather.

The rocket's initial flight has been smooth as planned and it successfully released the first of two small payloads, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA, said. JAXA will have a news conference later in the day to provide further details. Officials are confirming the status of a second satellite.

The launch is closely watched as a test for Japan's space development after H3 failed in its debut flight last March. JAXA and its main contractor Mitsubishi Heavy Industries have been developing H3 as a successor to its current mainstay, H-2A, which is set to retire after two more flights.

H3 project team members have been under heavy pressure to have the rocket return to flight. The H3 No. 2 rocket was decorated with thousands of stickers carrying cheering messages sent from well-wishers around the country.

As the rocket soared and reached its trajectory and released its first payload successfully, project members at the JAXA command centre cheered and hugged each other in a livestreaming footage. NHK television said some staff at a press centre were seen crying with relief and joy. In its debut flight last March, the rocket had to be destroyed along with its payload, the advanced land observation satellite, or ALOS-3. This time, the rocket will carry a mockup of the ALOS satellite, called VEP-4, though it's not designed to be released.

JAXA says the primary goal of the second test flight is to put the rocket into the intended trajectory. The agency also planned to place two observation microsatellites into orbit. Saturday's success is a major boost for Japan's space programme as the country struggles to stay competitive in the global space race. H3 is designed to carry larger payloads than H-2A at much lower costs to be globally competitive.

Expectations were high following a recent streak of successes. JAXA last month made a historic precision moon landing with a spacecraft that had been launched from the H-2A rocket, days after the 48th H-2A rocket successfully placed a spy satellite into its planned orbit.

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PM Modi thanks Qatar's Amir for release of Indian Navy personnel, invites him to India

PM ne Thursday ko Qatar ke Amir Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani se mulaqat ki aur dono ne doosri tarah ki mulaqat mein doosri tarah ke mamle par mazboot taaluqat ko mazboot karne par charcha ki. PM Modi ne Father Amir Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani se bhi mulakaat ki, jo ne India aur Qatar ke darmiyan ek nira ghaatak rishte ko darust kar diya jise aapas mein bharosemandi aur sahayog ne shahparasti kiya.

PM Modi Qatar mein: Apni Qatar ki doosri din ki yatra ke dauran, Pradhan Mantri Narendra Modi ne Qatari Amir Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani par Bharatiya Navy ke aath personnel ke rihaayi par gehri qadr ka izhar kiya jo pehle jasoosi ilzaamon par saza-e-maut ki saza par band the, aur unhe Bharatiya samuday ki kushhaali ka dekhbhaal karne ke liye unka shukriya ada kiya, MEA ne aaj kaha.

Ye is tarah se aaya jab PM Modi ne Qatar ke Father Amir Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani se aaj Doha mein mulaqat ki aur unhe Qatar ke pichle dashakon mein vikas ki raah ko khole wale unke sochne ka shukriya ada kiya, MEA ne kaha. Dono netaon ne Bharat-Qatar taalluqat par baatcheet ki, jahan PM ne Father Amir ke samajhdaar tajurbaat ke liye apni qadr ka izhar kiya. Father Amir ne tay kiya ki Bharat aur Qatar ek aapas mein bharosemandi aur sahayog se darust rishte ko darust karte hain.

Ek khaas tafreeh mein bayaan karne par, Videsh Sachiv Vinay Kwatra ne kaha, "PM ko Amiri Diwan mein samaarik swaagat diya gaya jahan His Highness Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani ne unka swaagat kiya... Do netaon ne uske baad tafseeli mulaqat ki... Charchaaiyaan shamil thin mukhtalif shetraat jaise ki vyaparik sahayog, nivesh sahayog, urja sahayog, kshetra suraksha mein mukhya prashnon par, sanskritik mel-jol aur logon se logon tak."

Sachiv ne aur kaha ki dono netaon ne urja aur takneek ke kshetra mein raajneetik nivesh aur raajneetik sahayog ki zaroorat par baat cheet ki, jabki kshetraiki aur antarrashtriya mahatvapurna muddon par bhi charcha ki. PM Modi ne Qatar ke Amir ko Bharat aane ki dawat bhi di.

"Pradhan Mantri ki yatra Qatar par Bharat aur Qatar ke darmiyan alag-alag kshetron mein gahre sahayog ka mazbootikaran par dhyaan kendrit hai," Kwatra ne kaha, kehne ke saath ki Amir aur PM Modi ne unke netritva ke tahat agle varshon mein dono deshon ke liye kya prapt kar sakte hain, unhone ek mooladhara rakhi hai.

PM Modi ka Doha mein aagaman
PM Modi ne is Qatar ki rajdhani sheher mein kal raat ko UAE ki pramukh safaltapurn yatra ko samapt karke aaya. Unhe samaarik swaagat mila aur Doha mein Qatar ke Amir se mulaqat hui unke rashtreeya daura ke doosre din par, jahan unhone doosri tarah ke mamle par mazboot taaluqat ko mazboot karne par mulaqat ki, vyapar aur nivesh, urja, antariksh, sanskritik aur logon se logon tak ki gaantho ko gehra karne par dhyan diya.

Unke aagaman ke turant baad, Modi ne Qatari Pradhan Mantri Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani se mulaqat ki. Abdulrahman Qatar ke videsh mantri bhi hain. "Dono netaon ne vyapar, nivesh, urja, vittiya, aur takneek mein sahayog ke kshetron mein vyapak sahayog badhane par apne vichaaron ka aadhan diya," MEA ne kaha. "Unhone haal hi mein pashchim asia mein hui regional vikaason par charcha ki aur is baat ki zaroorat ko zor diya ki kshetra mein aur uske baahar shaanti aur sthirata ka mahatva hai," isne kaha.

Qatari PM ne PM Modi ke liye khana bhi ayojit kiya
Mulaqat ke baad, Qatari pradhan mantri ne Modi ke liye khana ayojit kiya. Indian pradhan mantri ka doosra Qatar ka daura aya dinon ke baad aaya jab Qatar ne Bharatiyon ko riha kar diya. Navy ke purane faujdaaron ko 26 October ko Qatar ke Pehle Mukaadme Adalat ne maut ke saza di thi. 28 December ko, Gulf nation ke Faisla Adalat ne unki maut ke saza ko kam kar diya aur unhe alag-alag avdhiyon ke liye jail ki saza di.

Disambar mein, Pradhan Mantri Modi ne Dubai mein COP28 Summit ke sidelines par Qatari Amir se mulaqat ki aur Qatar mein Bharatiya samudaay ki "welfare" par charcha ki. PM Modi ne June 2016 mein apna pehla Doha ka daura kiya tha.

Purane Bharatiya Navy ke karmachariyon ko jasusi ilzaamon ka muqadma darj tha, lekin na Qatari hukumat ne na hi New Delhi ne unke khilaf ilzaam saamne kiya tha. Bharat aur Qatar ke vyapar aur urja ke rishte tezi se badh rahe hain. Qatar Bharat ki global LNG imports ka 48 pratishat se adhik hissa dene wala sabse bada LNG upkaran hai.

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'Deeply disturbed': White House says ‘closely watching’ Pakistan election results amid delay in PM d

Notably, chunaav mein kisi ke liye spasht bahumat nahi mila, lekin Imran Khan ke saath saath independent ummidwaron ne 264 seat mein se 92 jeet kar unhe sabse bade samuh banaya. Khan ne teen sabse bade parties ke saath gathbandhan ko kharij kiya, jo ki iska matlab hai ki unke ummidwar ko vartamaan mein sarkar banaane ke liye sankhyaon ki kami hai.

Islamabad: White House ne kaha hai ki Pakistan mein haal hi mein hue general chunaav mein matadaataon ke dabaav aur dabav ko lekar chinta hai aur vahaan ki sthiti ko kareeb se dekh raha hai, jabki ek US neta ne State Department se vijeta ko pehchaan dene mein der karne ki agraha ki. "Hum chintit hain, aur humein Pakistan se aise kuch reports ke baare mein chinta hai jo intimidation, matadaataon ka dabav, aise prakaar ki cheezen aa rahi hain. Aur isliye, hum isko bahut dhyaan se dekh rahe hain," John Kirby, White House ke National Security Council ke Strategic Communications Coordinator, ek press conference mein reporters se kaha.

"Jaise main samajh raha hoon, abhi bhi vote gin rahe hain, isliye antarrashtriya nigraniwaale abhi bhi un gintiyon par nazar daal rahe hain. Main us prakriya se aage nahi badh raha hoon," ek prashna ka uttar dete hue Kirby ne kaha. Bharatiya American Congressmember Raja Krishnamoorthi, jo shaktishaali House China committee ka saanjha adhyaksh hai, ne State Department se vijeta ko pehchaan dene mein der karne ki agraha ki.

Notably, chunaav mein kisi ke liye spasht bahumat nahi mila, lekin Imran Khan ke saath saath independent ummidwaron ne 264 seat mein se 92 jeet kar unhe sabse bade samuh banaya. Khan ne teen sabse bade parties ke saath gathbandhan ko kharij kiya, jo ki iska matlab hai ki unke ummidwar ko vartamaan mein sarkar banaane ke liye sankhyaon ki kami hai.

"Gehri chinta"
"Main gehri chinta mein hoon ki Pakistan ke sena matadaata ghotale aur hinsa mein shaamil ho rahi hai taki Thursday ke chunaav ke natije ulat jaayein. Yeh sabse latest kadam hain jo maha taa ki dabav, rajneetik roop se preraak giriftaariyan aur kathor dabav ke mahine ke baad aaye hain," Krishnamoorthi ne House floor par kaha.

"Pakistan ke chunaav ke natije uske logon ki ichha ko darshane chahiye, uske sena ko nahi. Zaroori hai ki har prayaas kiya jaaye ki har vote ko sahi aur nischit roop se ginaya jaaye aur hinsa ko har keemat par roka jaaye," unhone kaha.

"Jab tak hum Pakistan ke natije ko dekhte hain, main State Department ko yeh kahne ki agraha karta hoon ki yeh ilzaam poora tarah se jaancha jaaye tab tak vijeta ko pehchaan dene mein der karein," Krishnamoorthi ne kaha.

Pichhle hafte, PML-N ne agle pradhan mantri ke roop mein Shehbaz Sharif ko prastaavit kiya. Sharif, 72 varsh, apne party aur gathbandhan sathiyon ne ise nuke ke saashit desh ka mukhya mantri banane ke liye chuna gaya, haalaanki unke bade bhai aur teen baar ka pradhan mantri Nawaz Sharif ne sabha mein ek seat jeeti aur chauthi baar shapath lene ke liye priya the.

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'No excuse for violence, Biden govt working hard to thwart any aggression': US on recent attacks on

John Kirby ne America mein Bharatiyon ke khilaaf hinsa ko "manzoor nahi" kaha aur chhatra aur mata-pitaon ko yeh aswasan diya ki President Joe Biden ke netritva mein ki gayi sarkar "bahut mehnat kar rahi hai" kisi bhi anukool ghatna ko rokne ke liye.

Washington: White House ne Ravivar ko Bharatiya chhatron par hone wale tanav mein pratikriya di, jahan se Biden sarkar ke ek pramukh adhikari ne kaha: "Jati, ling ya kisi aur karan par hinsa ke liye koi kshama nahi hai". Yahan ek press conference mein, White House ke Rashtriya Suraksha Parishad mein Strategic Communications Coordinator, John Kirby, ne America mein hinsa ko "manzoor nahi" kaha aur chhatra aur mata-pitaon ko aswasan diya ki President Joe Biden ke netritva mein ki gayi sarkar ne kisi bhi anukool ghatna ko rokne ke liye "bahut mehnat" kar rahi hai.

"Jati, ling, dharm ya kisi aur karan par hinsa ke liye koi kshama nahi hai. Yeh United States mein bas manzoor nahi hai," Kirby ne ek prashna ka uttar dete hue kaha- "Bharat se chhatra bhejne ka ek bada sankhya US mein. Bharat mein aur mata-pita mein thoda sa chinta hai ki kya US ab surakshit nahi hai—bachchon ko yahan bhejna mushkil ho gaya hai."

Kirby ne dawa kiya ki President aur uski sarkar ne "bahut, bahut mehnat" ki hai "is baat ka dhyan rakhne ke liye ki hum sab kuch kar rahe hain rajya aur sthaniya authorities ke saath kaam karke aur aise hamle ko nakaratmak banane ke liye kisi ko bhi spasht karne ka, jo in ghatnaon ko gaur se soch raha ho, ki unhe sahi tarah se jimmedar banaya jayega."

Bharatiyon ko pata hai ki US ek sundar jagah hai padhai karne aur surakshit rehne ke liye: Garcetti
Pichhle saptaah, Bharat mein sthit ek sthitiy vikas par charcha mein shamil hone wale Ameriki Dootaavadhoot Eric Garcetti ne "durbhagyapurn" Bharatiya chhatron ke mrityuon ko manyata di aur jor diya ki Biden ke netritva wali sarkar ne desh ko padhne ke liye ek sundar jagah banaye rakhne ke liye har prayaas kiya hai jabki suraksha ko mukhyaatah maanya jaata hai. "Humein hamesha jab bhi koi aapatti hoti hai, chahe koi vyakti uske dwara jivan liya gaya ho ya koi hinsa ho, chetna hoti hai," Doot Garcetti ne kaha samachar patrakaron se baat karte hue.

"Hum bharatiyon ko yeh batane mein bahut pratibaddh hain ki United States ek sundar jagah hai padhai karne aur surakshit rehne ke liye," ne Doot ne kaha.

The Open Doors ke ek report ke anusaar - ek sanstha jo sanyukt raajya mein antarrashtriya chhatraon aur vidwanon ka rekha rakhti hai aur ameriki chhatraon ke bahar padh rahe bharatiya chhatraon ka - 2022-2023 akademic varsh mein US mein bharatiya chhatraon ki sankhya ek sabse adhik 2,68,923 tak pahunch gayi hai. Yeh pichhle varsh se 35% ki vriddhi hai.

Bharatiya chhatraon ki maut videsh mein badh gayi
Halaanki, US mein bharatiya chhatraon ne apni dukhad mrityuon ke baad khabro mein aana shuru kiya. 2024 mein keval paanch chhatra mare gaye, jismein do bharatiya the aur teesre teen ameriki nagrik the lekin bharatiya mool ke. Pichhle saptah, 23 saal ka ek vyakti ko Indiana ke Purdue University mein mrit mila. Chhatra ko Sameer Kamath ke roop mein pahchana gaya tha. Halaanki, baad mein prashasan ne dawa kiya ki usne atmahatya ki thi aur kisi bhi badmashi ki khabar nahi thi. Vastav mein, Videsh Mantri Dr S Jaishankar ne bhi videsh mein bharatiyon par haal ke hamlon ka vistrut adhik badh gaya hai. Unhone bataya ki 2018 se 403 bharatiya chhatra videsh mein alag-alag karanon jaise prakritik karanon, durghatanaon aur chikitsaee sthitiyon ke kaaran mare gaye hain. Unhone sadan ko bataaya ki Canada mein bharatiya chhatraon ki sabse adhik mauten huyi hain, 91, jabki Unified Kingdom doosre sthan par 48 maamle ke saath hai.

Neel Acharya keval ke saame university mein mrit paaya gaya tha
Pichhle saal disambar mein, ek aur bharatiya chhatra, Neel Acharya, jo ki Indiana raajya ke Purdue University mein do pramukh padho mein tha, maut ki khabar mili thi. "Hamara beta Neel Acharya kal se laapata hai 28 January (12:30 AM EST) Use Purdue University mein padhai kar raha hai. Use Purdue University mein drop karne wale Uber driver ke dwaara pichhli baar dekha gaya tha. Hum uske baare mein koi bhi jaankari dhoondh rahe hain. Kripaya agar aapko kuch pata ho to hamein madad karein," unki ma Goury Acharya ne Neel ke laapata hone ke baare mein X par post kiya tha.

Unke post ka jawab dete hue, Chicago ke Bharat ke Mahasandhi Adhikari ne kaha: "(Mahasandhi) Mahasandhi Purdue University prashasan aur bhi Neel

image source ap

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India's first response over Iran's airstrikes in Pakistan: 'We understand actions taken in self-defe

New Delhi: India responded on Wednesday to Iran's recent attack on Pakistani soil. In an official statement, the foreign ministry termed Iran's action against Pakistan as a matter solely concerning Islamabad and Tehran. However, it acknowledged the move as an act of self-defense. Foreign ministry spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal stated, "This is an issue between Iran and Pakistan. As far as India is concerned, we have an unwavering zero tolerance towards terrorism. We comprehend actions taken by countries in self-defense."

As reported by al-Arabiya News, the militant group was established in 2012 and is labeled as a "terrorist" organization by Tehran. It has a history of launching numerous attacks on Iranian security forces. Iranian media reported an attack on a police station in Sistan-Baluchistan, resulting in the death of at least 11 policemen. Subsequently, the group claimed responsibility for the assault.

Later in the day, Islamabad recalled its ambassador from Iran, and the visiting Iranian ambassador to Pakistan will not be permitted to return. Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch, addressing a press briefing in Islamabad, stated, "Pakistan has decided to recall its ambassador from Iran, and the Iranian Ambassador to Pakistan, currently in Iran, may not return for the time being.

 

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US launches another barrage of missiles at Houthis, relists Iran-backed group as terrorists

The United States has launched another series of missile strikes against Houthi-controlled sites in Yemen. Simultaneously, the U.S. has reinstated the "Specially Designated Global Terrorist" (SDGT) label for the Houthi rebels. This move is intended to curb the funding and weapons used by the Houthis in attacking and hijacking ships in the crucial Red Sea shipping lanes, which has led to disruptions in global shipping and commerce.

The latest military action involved a drone attack launched from a Houthi-controlled area, targeting the U.S.-owned ship M/V Genco Picardy in the Gulf of Aden. Despite previous sanctions and military responses, the Houthi rebels remain committed to their campaign against commercial and military ships.

The decision to relist the Houthis as terrorists carries harsh sanctions against the Iran-backed group. The U.S. aims to restrict their access to financial markets and impede terrorist funding. However, it is noteworthy that the designation does not classify the Houthis as a "foreign terrorist organisation," which entails stricter prohibitions and automatic travel bans.

In response to concerns about the impact on Yemen's population, the U.S. administration has issued exemptions to avoid disrupting food imports and humanitarian aid. The Houthis, despite facing sanctions, have vowed to continue their operations, which they claim are in support of the Palestinians and target Israeli ships.

The ongoing conflict in the Red Sea region has escalated tensions, with the U.S. warning Iran to cease providing weapons to the Houthis. The crisis has disrupted global commerce, raised fears of inflation, and heightened concerns about the wider destabilization of the Middle East. The U.S. Treasury Department has issued licenses permitting certain transactions involving the Houthis, particularly in areas such as agriculture, medicine, telecommunications, and personal remittances.

The conflict has deepened with successive attacks, including the U.S. striking Houthi rebels and the rebels targeting a U.S.-owned ship. The Houthis have threatened to expand the range of their attacks, linking them to Israel's bombardment of Gaza. This situation poses a broader risk of regional conflict, with the Red Sea corridor becoming a focal point of tension affecting energy and cargo shipments between Asia and the Middle East.

image source reuters/file

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India becomes first responder in providing relief packages to Nepal earthquake victims

Indian Ambassador Naveen Srivastava, representing the Government of India, has delivered essential relief supplies to Nepal. The handover took place in the presence of Chief Minister Raj Kumar Sharma of Karnali, as Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Purna Bahadur Khadka accepted the assistance.

Nepal Earthquake Relief: Indian Air Force C-130 Delivers Aid

A special Indian Air Force C-130 flight arrived in Nepal, bringing the initial batch of emergency relief materials valued at Rs 10 crore. These supplies encompass tents, blankets, tarpaulin sheets, along with crucial medicines and medical equipment.

This inaugural relief shipment touched down in Nepalgunj on a Sunday, as confirmed by the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu.

Indian Ambassador Naveen Srivastava presented the relief materials to Nepal's Deputy Prime Minister & Defence Minister Purna Bahadur Khadka, accompanied by Chief Minister Raj Kumar Sharma of Karnali.

India's Ongoing Support to Neighbors in Times of Crisis

India consistently extends its helping hand to its neighboring countries during times of crisis. This assistance aligns with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's commitment to aiding earthquake victims in any way possible.

Nepal recently experienced a 6.4 magnitude earthquake, causing the loss of 157 lives and injuring more than 250 individuals.

Anticipated Relief Deliveries

Additional relief supplies from India are set to arrive in the coming days, demonstrating India's unwavering support as a close friend and neighbor.

First to Respond

India has a track record of being the first to respond with relief aid during natural disasters in Nepal. In the aftermath of the 2015 earthquake, India initiated its largest foreign disaster relief operation, Operation Maitri.

Additionally, India pledged USD 1 billion to Nepal as part of its long-term commitment to post-earthquake reconstruction in various sectors, including housing, education, health, and cultural heritage. This initiative also encompasses the reconstruction of 50,000 houses in Nepal's Gorkha and Nuwakot districts.

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Amid Israeli Offensive, Hamas Chief Ismail Haniyeh Meets Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei

Ismail Haniyeh, the leader of the Palestinian group Hamas, recently had a meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian in Qatar. During the meeting, both leaders agreed to collaborate in pursuing the goals of Hamas and supporting the Palestinian people.

After meeting with the Iranian foreign minister, Haniyeh mentioned that he believes a new chapter in history is about to begin following the recent conflict. He stated, "What comes after this battle is a new history that will not be at all the same as it was before it."

On the other hand, Amirabdollahian described Hamas's actions, including the targeting of civilians and soldiers in Israel, as 'glorious.'

Israel has accused Iran of involvement in the Hamas attacks, but Iran has denied any connection while expressing its support for Hamas. Meanwhile, Israel claimed to have targeted Ismail Haniyeh's residence in Gaza during an airstrike. The Israeli Air Force and ground forces have been making significant advances in northern Gaza since the October 7 terror attack.

The conflict has resulted in a significant number of casualties, with at least 1,400 people losing their lives in the Hamas attacks on Israel and over 3,000 people being injured. On the other hand, more than 10,000 people have been killed in Gaza as a result of Israel's counter-offensive.

source zee media

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Germany’s Hamburg Airport witnesses hostage situation as armed man breaches security, flights halted

A startling incident unfolded at Germany's Hamburg Airport, where a man reportedly breached airport security with a child in his car, leading to a tense hostage situation. Authorities swung into action, deploying a significant number of specialized forces to handle the situation.

Hamburg Airport in Germany was forced to shut down, and flight operations were disrupted on the night of November 4th due to a vehicle driven by an armed man breaking through the airport's security perimeter. This information was reported by the Associated Press, citing the German news agency dpa. The Federal Police revealed that the armed intruder fired shots into the air using his weapon. Interestingly, the man's wife had earlier alerted the police about a possible child abduction.

According to various local German media reports, the man had two children in his car.

Federal Police spokesperson Thomas Gerbert informed dpa that a substantial contingent of officers from both state and federal police was present at the scene and in the vicinity of the vehicle.

As per CNN, an official spokesperson for the Hamburg Police stated that the German Police made efforts to resolve what they referred to as a "family drama" at the heart of the hostage situation.

The 35-year-old man managed to breach airport security by driving his car right under an airplane, as reported by CNN. The spokesperson mentioned that the driver had his 4-year-old daughter with him in the car.

The situation called for a significant deployment of specialized forces on the ground, according to the spokesperson. CNN also reported that the man's wife had previously informed the police about her missing child.

(With AP inputs)

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Nepal earthquake: Death count rises to 129, expected to rise as rescue ops continue

Strong tremors shook New Delhi and various other regions of India due to a massive earthquake that struck northwestern districts of Nepal.

Nepal Earthquake: On the midnight of Friday, November 3, a powerful earthquake rattled the northwestern districts of Nepal, resulting in the loss of at least 129 lives and leaving many injured, according to official reports. The death toll is expected to rise, as authorities mentioned on early Saturday that communication was disrupted in several areas. Prime Minister of Nepal, Pushpa Kamal Dahal, is set to visit Rukum and Jajarkot by helicopter, with three helicopters prepared to transport medical teams and medicines to the earthquake-affected regions. These helicopters will be dispatched from Kathmandu as soon as the weather permits.

The tremors were also felt in New Delhi, the National Capital Region, and several other locations across India around the same time when many were asleep in their homes. The earthquake's impact extended to other districts in northern India, including Prayagraj, Faridabad, Gurugram, Bhagpat, Varanasi, Sultanpur, Kushinagar, Gorakhpur, and Mirzapur.

Details of the Earthquake and Casualties:
"The earthquake had a magnitude of 6.4 and occurred on November 3, 2023, at 23:32:54 IST, with its epicenter located in Nepal at Latitude: 28.84 & Longitude: 82.19, at a depth of 10 km," as posted by NCS on social media. Nepal's National Earthquake Monitoring & Research Center identified Jajarkot as the epicenter, approximately 250 miles northeast of Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal.

The quake claimed at least 37 lives in the Rukum district, where multiple houses collapsed, as reported by the police. In the same district, thirty injured individuals were already brought to the local hospital.

In the neighboring Jajarkot district, the police confirmed 92 casualties. A rescue operation is underway, with security personnel and local villagers working in darkness to retrieve the deceased and injured from the debris. However, certain areas are challenging to reach due to landslides triggered by the earthquake and its aftershocks.

Nepal frequently experiences earthquakes due to its mountainous terrain. In 2015, a massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake claimed nearly 9,000 lives and caused extensive damage to approximately 1 million structures.

(With inputs from the Associated Press).

image source india tv

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Putin signs bill revoking Russia's ratification from global nuclear ban treaty

In a move that could worsen tensions between Russia and the United States, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a bill on Thursday that cancels Russia's agreement to the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). Moscow claims this step aims to restore balance in nuclear arms control agreements, as the United States has signed but not ratified the treaty.

Russia initially signed the CTBT in New York on September 24, 1996, and ratified it by May 2000. Despite the CTBT's intention to prevent nuclear testing, it hasn't become effective because eight out of the 44 countries with nuclear weapons, including India and Pakistan, haven't ratified the treaty.

The concern surrounding Russia's withdrawal revolves around the possibility of Russia resuming nuclear testing as a deterrent to the U.S. from providing military support to Ukraine. Some Russian hardliners have advocated for a return to nuclear tests.

Vladimir Putin has acknowledged that some experts argue in favor of conducting nuclear tests, but he hasn't formed a clear opinion on the matter. However, he mentioned in early October that Russia had tested a nuclear-powered cruise missile, the Burevestnik.

Putin stated, "We conducted the last successful test of the Burevestnik nuclear-powered global-range cruise missile," without providing further details. The Burevestnik missile had been tested by the Russian armed forces and was first mentioned by Putin in 2018.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov declared last month that Moscow would only resume nuclear tests if Washington did so first while pledging to adhere to the ban. Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov recently reiterated this stance.

Shortly after Putin's announcement, NATO Chief Jens Stoltenberg announced that the international military alliance would conduct a significant nuclear exercise. Stoltenberg criticized Russia, stating, "This demonstrates Russia's lack of respect and continued disregard for its international commitments. This is reckless and threatens global norms against nuclear explosive testing."

Stoltenberg also accused President Vladimir Putin of using nuclear rhetoric to dissuade NATO allies from supporting Ukraine. However, he emphasized that NATO's support for Ukraine was in their security interest and would not be swayed by such tactics.
Image Source : AP

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Jaishankar arrives in Italy, holds meeting with Defence Minister Guido Crosetto

Jaishankar mentioned that he's been focusing on advancing the strengthened defense and security alliance between India and Italy during his four-day visit to key European nations, Portugal and Italy.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar arrived in Italy from Portugal, marking the second leg of his four-day visit to these important European countries. He held a meeting with Italian Defense Minister Guido Crosetto.

Taking to social media, Jaishankar shared that he's been actively working to further strengthen the renewed defense and security partnership between India and Italy. He also expressed his appreciation for Italy's suggestions regarding defense industry cooperation.

Jaishankar initiated his visit to Rome with a Senate interaction session, where they discussed the deepening partnership between the two nations.

He shared his experience on social media: "Began the Italy visit with a Senate interaction on our deepening partnership. Thank Sen. Giulio Terzi & Sen. Roberto Menia for co-chairing. Appreciated the warm sentiments for India across party lines."

Jaishankar is also scheduled to meet his Italian counterpart, Antonio Tajani. He will address the Joint Session of the Senate’s External Affairs and Defense Commission, the EU Affairs Commission, and the India-Italy Parliamentary Friendship Group. Additionally, he will meet with members of the Indian community residing in Italy.

The relationship between India and Italy was elevated to a 'Strategic Partnership' during Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni's visit to New Delhi in March.

Reflecting on his visit to Portugal, on the last day of his trip, Jaishankar emphasized the need for direct air connectivity between India and Portugal to enhance bilateral exchanges. He also addressed the Indian diaspora in Portugal.

During his address, alongside his Portuguese counterpart Joao Gomes Cravinho, Jaishankar highlighted Portugal's contribution to fostering stronger ties between India and the European Union (EU). He also discussed the ongoing transformation in India.

He stated, "Highlighted Portugal’s contribution in promoting closer India-EU ties. The Porto 2021 Summit is a milestone. Recognized the relevance of the Migration and Mobility Partnership in a Global workplace."

Earlier, Jaishankar held discussions on "contemporary challenges" and the further development of bilateral ties with Prime Minister Antonio Costa.

"We see a lot of new energy and activities across several sectors. Trade and investment is clearly a strong driving force. Indian companies, especially IT firms, have left their mark in Portugal," Jaishankar mentioned during a joint press statement with Portugal's foreign minister on Tuesday.

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India-US relationship destined to deepen as long as...: Indian-American adviser Ashley Tellis

While relations between the US and China worsened over various issues such as trade, COVID-19, and Taiwan, India-China ties took a sharp downturn following a fierce clash in Galwan. India and America have strengthened their strategic partnership amid shared tensions with Beijing.

Ashley Tellis, a prominent Indian-American expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, recently stated that the bond between India and the United States is set to grow as long as China remains a threat to both countries.

Addressing an audience in Washington this week, Tellis said, "The India-US relationship is bound to grow as long as China remains a challenge for both nations."

He also mentioned that the upcoming years will not only witness a deepening of ties between the two countries but also between their societies. Notably, the US has been increasingly focused on enhancing relations with India, one of the world's fastest-growing economies, amid tensions with China.

It's important to note that relations between Washington and Beijing have become increasingly strained in recent times due to issues such as trade, climate change, the South China Sea, Taiwan, and the COVID-19 pandemic. The two nations have been locked in an escalating trade dispute since early 2018, resulting in increased import tariffs on each other's goods.

India's relations with China have also deteriorated significantly following the intense clash in the Galwan Valley in June 2020, marking the most serious military conflict between the two sides in decades.

"So, in a way, success is predestined, simply because the structural factors do not allow us to drift apart. ...However, there's a caveat, and the caveat should also remind us of the possibility of that success. If something happens to China, this relationship could take a different turn, right? So the structural factors work in both directions," Tellis remarked.

Tellis further stated that both Indian and American societies will be interconnected in terms of labor mobility and technology, although differences will exist in values and interests at times. He also cautioned that the Indian diaspora is more divided than ever before.

"In the past, you didn't really care about the political views of individual Indian Americans. Today, I'm concerned that the divisions in the diaspora are becoming more pronounced, and in the coming years, they may not be as united as they used to be," he added.

India-China Relations The border dispute in eastern Ladakh, which began in May 2020, severely strained relations between India and China. Indian and Chinese troops have been involved in a conflict in eastern Ladakh for over three years, despite disengagement in several regions after prolonged diplomatic and military discussions. India has consistently stressed that maintaining peace and tranquility along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) is crucial for normalizing overall relations.

India has repeatedly urged China to adhere to international norms, respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of other nations.

At a recent Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) event, External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar indirectly criticized China when he emphasized the need for countries to collaborate to promote stability and prosperity in the region by strictly following international law, respecting sovereignty, and encouraging economic cooperation.

The strained relationship between India and China has been fueled by recent Chinese provocations, including the release of the 2023 edition of its "standard map," asserting claims over Arunachal Pradesh, the Aksai Chin region, and denying visas to Indian athletes at the Hangzhou Asian Games.

India recently surpassed China as the world's most populous nation, and the two countries are rivals in fields such as computers, steel production, space exploration, and other high-tech sectors.

source ani

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PM Modi Speaks With Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi As Israel-Hamas War Intensifies

At least 7,326 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli attacks since October 7, while more than 1,400 people were killed in a Hamas attack on Israel.

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a conversation with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, discussing the escalating Israeli military operations in the Gaza Strip. They exchanged views on the threats arising from the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas.

The Spokesman for the Egyptian Presidency posted on Facebook, stating, 'PM Narendra Modi had a telephonic conversation with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi. They exchanged views on the developments of Israeli military operations in the Gaza Strip and the risks associated with the ongoing escalation, including its impact on civilian lives and regional security.'

PM Modi's conversation with the Egyptian president coincided with the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict. Earlier in the week, PM Modi also discussed a similar issue with His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan. During their conversation, they expressed concerns about terrorism, violence, and civilian casualties. Both leaders emphasized the importance of united efforts to address the security and humanitarian situation promptly.

In an unexpected attack on October 7, approximately 2,500 terrorists from Hamas breached the border into Israel from the Gaza Strip, resulting in casualties and the seizure of hostages. Israel described its Gaza offensive as aimed at targeting Hamas' infrastructure with the goal of eliminating the entire terrorist group while trying to minimize civilian casualties. According to The Times of Israel, at least 7,326 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli attacks since October 7, and more than 1,400 people were killed in the Hamas attack on Israel."

Please note that it's important to handle sensitive topics with care and avoid biased language when discussing conflicts and casualties.

source ANI

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32 workers killed after fire erupts at coal mine in Kazakhstan, several missing

In the latest occurrence, this mishap signifies the most recent in a series of workplace accidents at facilities run by ArcelorMittal. The Prosecutor General of Kazakhstan has disclosed an inquiry into possible safety breaches in the coal mine.

Kazakhstan has confirmed the takeover of ArcelorMittal Temirtau, which manages the nation's largest steel plants and several coal and ore mines, after a coal mine fire claimed the lives of at least 32 laborers on Saturday, as per emergency services. Additionally, 14 workers are still unaccounted for. At the time of the incident, nearly 252 individuals were laboring at the Kostenko coal mine in the Karaganda region, according to a statement from the site's operating firm, ArcelorMittal Temirtau. They suspect that a pocket of methane gas triggered the fire.

Approximately 252 workers were present at the Kostenko coal mine when the fire erupted, which, as per the company, appears to have been sparked by some amount of methane gas. ArcelorMittal manages eight coal mines in the Karaganda region and four iron ore mines in central and northern Kazakhstan.

In their announcement, the company conveyed their sorrow for the lives lost and revealed that their current efforts are concentrated on ensuring that affected employees receive comprehensive care and rehabilitation. They also expressed their intention to closely collaborate with government authorities.

ArcelorMittal Temirtau is the local representative of the Luxembourg-based multinational ArcelorMittal, the world's second-largest steel manufacturer. This incident is the most recent in a string of workplace fatalities at sites administered by the local company.

In August, four miners lost their lives when a fire broke out at the same mine, and in November 2022, five individuals perished due to a methane leak at another site.

Meanwhile, on Saturday, Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev declared that his country is discontinuing "investment cooperation" with ArcelorMittal Temirtau. The office of Kazakhstan's Prosecutor General has also declared an examination into potential safety breaches at the coal mine.

(With inputs from AP)

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India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor possible reason for Hamas attack on Israel: Joe Biden

These statements were made by the US President during a joint press conference with Australian PM Anthony Albanese on Wednesday (US local time) as the Israel-Hamas war entered its 20th day.

#### United States (US) President Joe Biden's Perspective on the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor

During the press conference, US President Joe Biden claimed that the recent announcement of the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor, which aims to connect the entire region through a network of rail, ports, and roadways, played a role in Hamas' attack on Israel on October 7. Biden expressed his belief that Hamas attacked Israel due to the progress being made towards regional integration in Israel and the overall region. Although Biden acknowledged that he did not have concrete evidence to support this claim, he emphasized that it was his instinctual understanding. He stressed the importance of continuing the work towards regional integration.

#### Israel-Hamas War Enters 20th Day

The statements were made during a joint press conference with Australian PM Anthony Albanese on Wednesday (US local time) as the Israel-Hamas war reached its 20th day. This ongoing conflict has significant implications for the region and international relations.

#### The India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor: An Overview

The India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor, which was announced during the G20 Summit in New Delhi, India, involves the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the United States, UAE, Saudi Arabia, France, Germany, Italy, and the European Union. The corridor aims to promote and expedite economic development by enhancing connectivity and fostering economic integration between Asia, West Asia, the Middle East, and Europe. It comprises the East Corridor, connecting India to West Asia/Middle East, and the Northern Corridor, linking West Asia/Middle East to Europe.

#### Features and Benefits of the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor

The corridor will not only leverage existing multi-modal transport routes but also incorporate a rail line that will provide a reliable and cost-effective cross-border ship-to-rail transit network. This infrastructure improvement is expected to enhance the transhipment of goods and services between Southeast Asia, India, and West Asia/Middle East Europe. President Biden recently praised the corridor, highlighting its potential to stimulate investment opportunities across two continents. He views the rail port project as part of a broader initiative to construct an integrated and sustainable Middle East.

#### Biden's Stance on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

During the press conference, President Biden also condemned the attacks on Palestinians by Israeli settlers in the West Bank. He emphasized that there can be no return to the "status quo" in Israel and the region following the deadly attack by Hamas earlier in the month. Biden expressed support for a two-state solution and stressed the right and responsibility of Israel to respond to the attack. He acknowledged the anger and hurt felt by the Israeli people but also called for an end to the attacks on Palestinians by Israeli settlers. Biden reaffirmed his commitment to providing humanitarian aid to Gaza.

*(With inputs from AP)*

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Qatar court sentences 8 former Indian Navy officials to death, MEA to explore legal options

Verdict in the Case of 8 Indians Detained in Qatar: The Court of First Instance in Qatar has pronounced a shocking verdict of the death penalty for eight former Indian naval officers detained in Doha. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) expressed its deep concern and is now eagerly awaiting the detailed judgment.

The MEA officially stated, "Today, the Court of First Instance in Qatar delivered a judgment in the case involving 8 Indian employees of Al Dahra company. We are profoundly dismayed by the death penalty verdict and eagerly anticipate the detailed judgment. We are in constant contact with the family members and the legal team, and we are exploring all available legal avenues."

The MEA emphasized the importance of this matter, saying, "We give utmost importance to this case and have been closely monitoring it. We will continue to provide consular and legal support. We will also engage with Qatari authorities regarding the verdict." The MEA added, "Given the confidential nature of these proceedings, we cannot provide further comments at this stage."

Learn More About the Case:

Since October 2022, eight Indian nationals have been imprisoned in Qatar, accused of spying on a submarine program. New Delhi has been granted consular access to these individuals and has been working diligently to secure their release. The first trial for these Indian nationals took place in late March.

Meetu Bhargava, the sister of one of the detained officers residing in Gwalior, sought assistance from the Indian government to bring her brother back. On June 8, she made a heartfelt plea to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying, "These ex-Navy officers are a source of pride for our nation, and I humbly request our Hon'ble Prime Minister to bring them back to India without further delay. @narendramodi @AmitShah @rajnathsingh @MOS_MEA."
image source PTI

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US shooting: 16 killed, dozens injured in Maine's Lewiston city, death count may rise

A gunman unleashed a deadly attack on local businesses in Lewiston, Maine, resulting in the tragic loss of 16 lives, with many others sustaining injuries. The Central Maine Medical Center swiftly responded to the incident, working in conjunction with nearby hospitals to care for the wounded.

Reports from US media inform us that at least 16 individuals lost their lives and numerous others were injured in a series of mass shootings that unfolded in Lewiston, Maine. According to local sources, this distressing event occurred at three different locations: Schemengees Bar and Grille Restaurant, a Walmart store, and Sparetime Recreation.

Meanwhile, Maine State Police have issued a Facebook post, indicating an ongoing active shooting situation in Lewiston, a city housing 36,000 residents, situated 35 miles north of Portland. The police have urged the public to stay clear of the roads to facilitate access for emergency responders.

Central Maine Medical Center, on its official website, reported that its staff was actively responding to a mass casualty event resulting from a mass shooting. They were also collaborating with neighboring hospitals to admit patients. The sheriff's office recommended that businesses secure their premises and possibly close while the investigation proceeds.

A spokesperson for the Maine Department of Public Safety has implored residents to remain within their homes, ensuring that their doors are locked. Shannon Moss stated, "Law enforcement is presently conducting investigations at two different locations. Once again, we urge the public to avoid venturing onto the streets and grant law enforcement the space to resolve the situation."

Prior to this incident, another tragic event occurred on July 3 when a shooter opened fire in Philadelphia, claiming four lives and injuring two others. Police disclosed that the assailant was wearing a bulletproof vest and was subsequently apprehended.
image sorce AP

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'Israelis Can Make Their Own Decisions...': Biden On 'Delay In' Gaza Ground Invasion

UK Prime Minister Joe Biden has stated that Israel has the autonomy to determine whether to initiate a ground invasion of Gaza, demonstrating unwavering support for its ally amidst reports of an impending assault. Biden made this statement on Tuesday when queried by a reporter during a photo session with the visiting Australian Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese. When asked if he was encouraging Israel to postpone its ground invasion, the reporter inquired. Biden's response was, 'The Israelis are free to make their own choices.'

Current Situation in Gaza:

The most recent conflict was ignited by unprecedented attacks from Hamas militants against Israel on the 7th of October, resulting in the loss of over 1,400 lives. Israel has retaliated with a substantial counteroffensive against the Islamic extremist group that has governed Gaza since 2007. Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant disclosed the plan to change the 'security regime' in Gaza, essentially referring to the removal of Hamas. He outlined the plan's three stages, with the first stage involving aerial strikes conducted by the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF). The subsequent stage is a ground incursion, followed by the final phase of altering the security situation in Gaza.

The casualties in Gaza have been severe, with over 5,000 Palestinians losing their lives, including more than 2,000 children and 1,100 women, along with journalists, medical personnel, and first responders. Furthermore, more than 16,000 individuals have been injured, as reported by the Gaza Ministry of Health.

Actions of the United States:

John Kirby, the Coordinator for Strategic Communications at the National Security Council in the White House, informed the press that the United States is committed to ensuring that Israel possesses the necessary tools and capabilities for self-defense. He expressed the intent to continue delivering humanitarian aid and facilitating the safe evacuation of individuals from Gaza.

Kirby additionally emphasized that an immediate ceasefire would primarily benefit Hamas and refrained from making speculations about the future. He affirmed the ongoing communication with Israeli counterparts regarding the significance of averting civilian casualties, respecting innocent lives, and minimizing collateral damage while targeting legitimate Hamas objectives.

Acknowledging the brutal and chaotic nature of war, Kirby admitted that innocent civilians would inevitably suffer. He stressed the importance of expressing concerns and providing support to minimize the impact, although this does not diminish the inherent nature of conflict.

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Sri Lanka approves visa-free entry for visitors from India, China, Russia and four other countries

Sri Lanka Approves Free Visas for Select Countries in Tourism Boost

In a significant development, Sri Lanka has given the green light to grant complimentary visas to visitors from India, China, Russia, Malaysia, Japan, Indonesia, and Thailand, effective immediately, in a pilot scheme set to run until March 31. As per reports from Sri Lankan media, this decision aims to invigorate the tourism sector. The ministry expressed its hopes to see a surge in tourist arrivals over the upcoming years, with a target of reaching five million.

Sri Lanka, an island nation, heavily relies on the tourism industry, which plays a vital role in the country's GDP. However, this sector faced severe setbacks due to the successive challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and the flawed execution of agricultural reforms, ultimately leading to a national crisis.

The Ministry of Tourism recently announced that a Cabinet Paper was presented in a previous Cabinet meeting, proposing the issuance of cost-free tourist visas to individuals from the mentioned countries who plan to explore Sri Lanka as tourists, as reported by Daily Mirror Online.

Please note that this is a developing story, and additional details will follow.

source AP

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In Major Policy Shift, China Acknowledges Israel's 'Right To Self Defence' Amid War With Hamas

BEIJING: China: In a notable policy shift, China has officially recognised Israel's 'right to self-defence' in the ongoing conflict with the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas. This acknowledgment comes as China faces criticism for its previous stance on the conflict, and Foreign Minister Wang Yi prepares for a high-profile visit to Washington. During a telephone call on Monday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi conveyed to his Israeli counterpart, Eli Cohen, that every country has the right to self-defence, emphasizing the importance of adhering to international humanitarian law and protecting civilians. This statement, as reported by China's state-run Xinhua News Agency, marks a notable departure from China's previous position on the issue.

China Acknowledges Israeli Action Against Hamas

This acknowledgment represents the first time Beijing has publicly recognized Israel's right to take action against Hamas, an organization designated as a terrorist entity by both the United States and the European Union. In a related development, China's President, Xi Jinping, recently called for an immediate cease-fire in the conflict and offered to collaborate with Egypt and other Arab nations to expedite a comprehensive, just, and lasting resolution to the Palestinian issue.

It's worth noting that China had refrained from condemning Hamas, even as the conflict resulted in the deaths of over 1,400 people, including many civilians. During a visit to Beijing, US congressional leaders, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, pressed China to stand with Israel and denounce the attacks. Schumer had criticised Wang for not showing support for Israel during these challenging times.

In response, Israeli officials openly expressed their disappointment with China's stance. Deputy Director-General in charge of Asia-Pacific Affairs, Rafi Harpaz, conveyed Israel's dissatisfaction during a call with Special Envoy on the Middle East Issue, Zhai Jun, as stated in an Israeli Embassy statement from October 13.

Concerns Over Escalating Conflict

During Monday's call, Wang Yi reiterated China's deep concern about the escalating conflict and the resulting humanitarian crisis. He expressed sadness over the significant number of civilian casualties and condemned acts that harm civilians, emphasizing China's commitment to upholding international laws.

This shift in China's position comes just ahead of Foreign Minister Wang's scheduled visit to the United States this week for high-level meetings. Wang is set to be in Washington from October 26 to October 28, where he will meet with Secretary of State Antony Blinken and White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, according to senior Biden administration officials.

Ambassador Nicholas Burns, speaking in Beijing, highlighted the differing views between the U.S. and China on the Israel-Hamas conflict. President Joe Biden reaffirmed the strong support for Israel during his recent visit to the country, while China aligned itself with the Palestinian cause and refrained from condemning Hamas.

In his recent statement, Wang Yi emphasised that China's position is based on a genuine desire for a peaceful resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict. China does not pursue any selfish interests in the matter and sincerely hopes that the differences between Israel and Palestine can be comprehensively and fairly resolved based on the two-state solution. Wang Yi expressed support for anything that promotes peace and reconciliation between Palestine and Israel.

"China will firmly support anything that is conducive to peace and will do its best as long as it is conducive to the reconciliation between Palestine and Israel," he added. This recognition of Israel's right to self-defence by China marks a significant shift in China's stance and sets the stage for further developments in the ongoing conflict. Foreign Minister Wang Yi's upcoming visit to the United States is anticipated to be a crucial moment for discussions on the issue."

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Tensions flare up at disputed South China Sea again as Philippines and Chinese vessels collide

A Chinese coast guard vessel collided with a Philippine supply boat, and later, a Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) vessel was struck by a Chinese maritime militia ship. This incident marks the latest escalation in territorial disputes between China and the Philippines.

On Sunday, the Philippines accused a Chinese coast guard ship and an accompanying vessel of colliding with a Filipino coast guard ship and a boat carrying military supplies in two separate incidents near the highly-contested Second Thomas Shoal, further intensifying tensions in the disputed South China Sea.

A Philippine official reported that there were no injuries among the Filipino crew members, and an assessment of the damage to both vessels is currently underway. The official emphasized that the situation could have been more severe if the vessels were unable to maneuver swiftly.

In an official statement, Jay Tarriela, the spokesperson for the Philippines Coast Guard (PCG), stated, "Today, two separate incidents of perilous maneuvering by Chinese Coast Guard and militia vessels resulted in collisions during the latest routine and regular rotation and resupply (RORE) mission to BRP SIERRA MADRE (LS57)."

Tarriela accused the Chinese vessel of recklessly and irresponsibly conducting illegal and dangerous blocking maneuvers and actively engaging in harassing and obstructing Philippine vessels. He also emphasized that the Philippine vessels were operating legitimately within their exclusive economic zone, in accordance with international law.

Philippine National Security Adviser Eduardo M. Ano declared, "We will not be deterred, and we will continue to resupply our troops in BRP Sierra Madre despite provocations." The PCG confirmed that the crews of the Philippine vessels involved in the collisions were safe and unharmed.

Vice Admiral Alberto Carlos, Commander of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Western Command (WESCOM), stated, "Over the years, our resupply missions have always been routine and systematic. Our sailors have consistently responded to the dangerous maneuvers of Chinese vessels with patience, competence, and professionalism to prevent accidents or untoward incidents."

Additionally, PCG Commandant Admiral Ronnie Gil Gavan, newly appointed, urged the Chinese Coast Guard (CCG) to adhere to maritime safety regulations and international norms to ensure the safety of both parties.

China's Response:
In response, the Chinese coast guard asserted that the Philippine vessels had "trespassed" into what they considered Chinese waters "without authorization," despite repeated radio warnings, leading to the collisions. The Chinese coast guard blamed the Philippine vessels for causing the incidents.

The Chinese coast guard issued a statement on its website, stating, "The behavior of the Philippine side seriously violates international rules for avoiding collisions at sea and threatens the navigation safety of our vessels." They further accused the Philippine vessels of carrying "illegal construction" vessels.

This marks the first time that Philippine officials have reported their vessels being involved in collisions with Chinese ships. In previous incidents, Chinese officials had downplayed claims that Chinese vessels enforcing Beijing's territorial claims were actually paramilitary ships disguised as fishing boats.

Despite Chinese attempts to stop them, one of the two boats managed to maneuver and deliver supplies to the small contingent stationed on the BRP Sierra Madre warship, according to a Philippine government task force. They stated that the actions of the Chinese ships blatantly disregarded international regulations and the United Nations Charter and Convention on the Law of the Sea, which are designed to prevent sea collisions.

This incident is another manifestation of the longstanding territorial disputes between the Philippines and China in the South China Sea, one of the world's busiest trade routes. China has reportedly surrounded the Second Thomas Shoal with coast guard ships and militia vessels to prevent the Philippines from delivering materials or supplies to reinforce the long-marooned BRP Sierra Madre stationed there.

Earlier this month, tensions escalated when a Chinese coast guard ship nearly collided with a Filipino patrol vessel while attempting to block it. The Philippine side claimed that the Chinese vessel came within a meter of their vessel.

China's aggressive actions in the South China Sea have resulted in conflicts with multiple Asian countries and the potential involvement of the United States, which has pledged to defend the Philippines in the event of any attacks on Filipino forces, ships, or aircraft.

The Philippines' claim to the 200-mile Scarborough Shoal was upheld by an arbitration decision in 2016 under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. However, China has refused to acknowledge this ruling, leading to continued tensions and standoffs in the region.

In light of these developments, Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has reaffirmed the country's commitment to defending its waters against Chinese aggression, while also emphasizing the historical rights of Filipino fishermen in the disputed areas.

Image Source : AP

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India Sends 6.5 Tonnes Of Humanitarian Aid To Palestine Amid Israel-Hamas War

In the midst of the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, India has dispatched 6.5 tonnes of humanitarian aid to Palestine, particularly for the people of Gaza. It's worth noting that Gaza's civilian population is enduring a humanitarian crisis due to the protracted conflict. The Ministry of External Affairs of India has relayed this information. Arindam Bagchi, the MEA spokesperson, has reported that an Indian Air Force C-17 flight has set out with relief supplies destined for El-Arish airport in Egypt.

"India sends humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian populace. An Indian Air Force C-17 flight, transporting nearly 6.5 tonnes of medical aid and 32 tonnes of disaster relief materials for the people of Palestine, has taken off for El-Arish airport in Egypt. The supplies encompass vital life-saving medications, surgical equipment, tents, sleeping bags, tarpaulins, sanitary necessities, water purification tablets, and other essential items," as stated by the MEA spokesperson.

This action follows Prime Minister Narendra Modi's conversation with President of Palestine Mahmoud Abbas on October 19. During this phone call, PM Modi expressed his profound condolences for the loss of civilian lives at the Al Ahli Hospital in Gaza. The Prime Minister emphasized the traditionally close and historic relations between India and the region, expressing deep concern about terrorism, violence, and the deteriorating security situation in the area. He reiterated India's steadfast and principled stance on the Israel-Palestine issue, as reported by the Prime Minister's Office (PMO).

The PMO stated that President Mahmoud Abbas, in turn, provided his assessment of the situation to PM Modi and expressed gratitude for India's support. During the call, PM Modi affirmed India's commitment to providing humanitarian aid to the Palestinian people.

Shortly after the October 7 terrorist attack by the Hamas militant group on Israel, PM Modi extended India's support to Israel in its fight against terrorism. While India stands with Israel, it also upholds its enduring support for the establishment of a sovereign, independent, and viable state of Palestine through diplomatic dialogue.

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Israeli Air Strike Decimates Hamas' Al-Ansar Mosque Command Centre

The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) conducted an airstrike on the Al-Ansar Mosque in Jenin, which was reportedly being used as a command center by terrorist groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad. The IDF revealed that this mosque had been utilized as a base for terrorist activities since July 2023. According to the IDF, the Hamas organization had been using the mosque to plan a significant and imminent terror attack, posing a serious threat to regional security. The Al-Ansar Mosque was found to have an extensive underground infrastructure and a stockpile of weapons. These findings have raised concerns about the extent of terrorist networks operating within civilian structures.

"The IDF & ISA just conducted an aerial strike on a Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorist compound in the Al-Ansar Mosque in Jenin. Recent IDF intel revealed that the Mosque was used as a command center to plan and execute terrorist attacks against civilians," said the IDF.

"The terrorist cell also carried out a terror attack on October 14th in the area of the security fence, where an explosive device was detonated by a cellular activation of terror forces who arrived at the scene. No injuries were reported. Intel was recently received which indicated that the terrorists, that were neutralized, were organizing an imminent terror attack. The mosque was used by the terrorists as a command center to plan the attacks and as a base for their execution," said the Israeli Air Force in a statement.

Earlier today, IDF soldiers thwarted a terrorist cell's attempt to launch anti-tank missiles towards northern Israel. This operation underscores the ongoing efforts by Israeli security forces to combat threats from such groups.

Meanwhile, the IDF said that it has no intention of considering the safety of civilians who are not evacuating to Wadi Gaza. "The translation from Arabic that has now spread across platforms is imprecise. To clarify, the IDF has no intention of considering those who have yet to evacuate as a member of a terrorist group. The IDF states, once again, for the safety of Gazan civilians, that they should evacuate to the south of Wadi Gaza. All those who remain are endangering themselves due to the Hamas’ terrorist activities within civilian areas," the IDF said on X (formerly Twitter).

The Israel-Hamas war has entered the 15th day with thousands of casualties on both sides since the October 7 terror attack on several Israeli cities.

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China, Russia to work on two-state solution to resolve conflict between Israel and Palestine

Both China and Russia are significant rivals of the United States and have longstanding connections with Palestine. Their leaders have called for an immediate cessation of hostilities, with Beijing criticizing Israel for exceeding the bounds of self-defense.

China's special envoy to the Middle East, Zhai Jun, stated on Friday that Beijing shares the same stance as its ally Russia on the Palestinian issue and intends to collaborate to facilitate a peace agreement and a two-state solution for Israelis and Palestinians.

Zhai stated in a release from the Chinese foreign ministry on Friday, one day after a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin's special representative Mikhail Bogdanov in Qatar, 'The root cause of the ongoing Palestine-Israel conflict is the failure to secure the lawful national rights of the Palestinian people.'

The top Chinese envoy also conveyed China's readiness to sustain communication and coordination with Russia to reduce the tensions. China aims to play a constructive role in restarting peace talks between the two conflicting nations in the Middle East.

Zhai represents China's endeavors in the Middle East to achieve a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, following the latter's severe and unprecedented assault on October 7, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of civilians and soldiers. China and Russia have reaffirmed their unwavering focus on a political resolution to the long-standing conflict.

China has not yet condemned the Hamas attack on Israel but has instead opposed attacks on civilians and called for an immediate ceasefire to safeguard civilians amid Israel's relentless bombing of the Gaza Strip in retaliation for the Hamas attack.

'In addressing international hotspots, we believe that major powers should be fair and impartial,' said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning on Friday.

It is widely believed that China, a significant rival of the United States, aims to position itself as a mediator to exert influence in the Middle East in light of the waning global attention from the US. However, the latest conflict has drawn Washington back into the Middle East, with a visit from President Joe Biden to Israel.

Meanwhile, Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly conveyed to Chinese President Xi Jinping that Arab nations highly appreciate China's 'consistent and just position' on the Palestinian issue and expect China to play a more substantial role in the future.

Notably, China has substantial economic interests in the Middle East and the Arab nations, particularly in the oil market and the Belt and Road Initiative. It also seeks to counter US influence in the region, as Washington is a key ally of Israel. China has supported the cause of an independent Palestinian state for decades and aims to safeguard its interests. It has criticized Israel for going 'beyond the scope of self-defense' and for punishing Gaza's civilians.

Russia's stance on the Israel-Palestine conflict
Recently, Kremlin leader Putin, who has also called for a ceasefire, stated that Israel has the right to defend itself but maintained his position on an independent Palestinian state.

'The goal of negotiations should be the implementation of the United Nations' two-state formula, which implies the creation of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, coexisting peacefully and securely with Israel. Israel has the right to defend itself, as we have seen, it has come under an attack of unprecedented brutality,' said the Russian President at an event.

Russia also called for the immediate release of all hostages held by Hamas militants and advocated for the unhindered provision and distribution of humanitarian aid, including food, fuel, and medical treatment. Russia also called for the creation of conditions for the safe evacuation of civilians in need.

Russia is also a significant rival of the US and attributed the conflict to 'US policy failures.' Its cautious stance on the war reflects its long-standing ties to Israel, Palestine, and other Arab nations.

During the Cold War, the Soviet Union strongly supported the Palestinians and other allies in the Arab world against Israel, providing them with military and political support. However, relations with Israel were reestablished under Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev shortly before the collapse of the Soviet Union.

(with AP contributions)

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India making life 'unbelievably difficult' for millions of people, alleges Canada PM Justin Trudeau

A day before Trudeau's remarks, Canada announced that it had recalled 41 diplomats in response to India's decision to revoke their diplomatic status.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau alleged on Friday that the Indian government's move to strip 41 Canadian diplomats of their diplomatic immunity is causing hardship for millions of people in both countries. He stated, "The Indian government is making it exceptionally challenging for normal life to continue for millions of people in India and Canada. They are doing so by violating a fundamental diplomatic principle," as reported by the Canada-based television network Global News, citing the news agency ANI.

What Justin Trudeau said? He went on to express his concerns for the well-being and happiness of the millions of Canadians with roots in the Indian subcontinent. A day before Trudeau's comments, Canada had announced the removal of 41 diplomats in response to India's decision to revoke their status.

India's response to Canada's accusation On October 20, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) responded, stating that India had not violated any international norms by seeking parity in diplomatic representation in New Delhi and Ottawa. Canada had accused India of violating the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly had announced the removal of 41 diplomats and their 42 dependents from India amidst the ongoing dispute. The MEA rebutted these claims, saying, "We reject any attempt to depict the implementation of parity as a breach of international norms."

The MEA statement pointed out that the state of relations between India and Canada, as well as Ottawa's interference in India's internal matters, justify a "parity" in diplomatic representation in New Delhi and Ottawa. The statement from the ministry read, "We have observed the statement by the Government of Canada on October 19 concerning the Canadian diplomatic presence in India." It further added, "The state of our bilateral relations, the significantly larger number of Canadian diplomats in India, and their continued meddling in our internal affairs necessitate parity in mutual diplomatic presence in New Delhi and Ottawa."

Deteriorating India-Canada relations It is worth mentioning that India has engaged in discussions with Canada over the past month to work out the details and procedures for implementing this parity. The MEA statement stressed that India's actions align with Article 11.1 of the Vienna Convention on diplomatic ties. Relations between India and Canada have soured since Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asserted in September that the Indian government was responsible for the fatal shooting of terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a member of the Khalistani movement. India has vehemently denied these allegations, dismissing them as "baseless" and "biased." Notably, Canada has not presented any public evidence to support the claim about Nijjar's killing.

(With inputs from ANI)

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Hamas releases two citizens of the United States on humanitarian grounds

Two American hostages, Judith Raanan and her 18-year-old daughter, Natalie Raanan, have been released by Hamas on Friday. Israel stated that Hamas has taken 203 people from Israel into Gaza.

On October 20th, Hamas announced the release of two American (United States) citizens they had held captive in Gaza since their raid on Israel on October 7th. The Palestinian militant group, in cooperation with the Qatari government, cited humanitarian reasons for freeing a mother and daughter.

Judith Raanan and her 18-year-old daughter, Natalie Raanan, were released by Hamas on Friday.

Both US and Israeli officials have not issued immediate comments on the statement. Israel has reported that Hamas has taken 203 people from Israel into Gaza.

Meanwhile, two weeks following their abduction, the families of the hostages and missing individuals held an emotional Kabbalat Shabbat in the Hostages and Missing Plaza. There were 203 empty chairs symbolizing all the individuals currently held by Hamas terrorists in Gaza.

In the presence of these families, Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau and singer Kobi Aflalo performed songs, 'Michtav Le'achi (Letter to My Brother)' and 'Shir Lama'alot (A Song of Ascents),' leaving many with tears in their eyes.

Among the families of the hostages and missing individuals were the Leshem family, the Shem Tov family, the Marciano family, the David family, the Argamani family, the Louk family, the Gilboa family, the Or family, the Samerano family, the Albeg family, the Levi family, and others.

Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau stated, 'The earth trembles beneath us, and our loved ones are there. We came here to send them a blessing of life and to extend to you, dear families, hands of hope, faith, and love. We are a people with nowhere else to go. We are a people who believe that this long journey has a happy ending.'

Representatives of the families expressed, 'No one could have imagined such a Kabbalat Shabbat. A simply heartbreaking moment. We hope that next Shabbat we will celebrate together with our loved ones who will return home.'

The families of the hostages have pledged to intensify their pressure campaign on the government following Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's decision to permit humanitarian aid into Gaza through Egypt without first ensuring the release of the 200 to 250 captives, as reported by The Times of Israel. These hostages were taken by Hamas on October 7 during an attack on Israel, which resulted in the deaths of over 1,400 people and left thousands wounded.

One of the most widely adopted tactics by the families of the hostages has been the distribution of 'Kidnapped' posters worldwide in multiple languages, featuring the faces and stories of each known captive. Now, the tradition of leaving an empty seat for prisoners is poised to become another symbol of the captives' plight, joining these posters. The practice of leaving an empty seat as a symbol of solidarity with prisoners has been a part of the global Jewish protest tradition since the 1960s, especially during the movement to free Soviet Jews.

Earlier this year, some Jewish individuals left an empty seat at their Passover seders to symbolize their support for Evan Gershkovich, a Jewish-American journalist imprisoned in Russia. On the second weekend since the tragic events, another initiative is an appeal for a worldwide Sabbath of solidarity and unity for the Jewish people. This is aimed at supporting and strengthening the residents of southern Israel, expressing solidarity with the security forces defending Israel's borders, and offering prayers for the safety of the abducted and missing individuals, as reported by The Times of Israel.

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US ‘concerned’ over departure of Canadian diplomats from India, cites obligations under Vienna Conve

The Ministry of External Affairs in India has declined Canada's endeavour to depict the withdrawal of 41 Canadian diplomats from the nation as a breach of international norms.

On Friday, October 20, the United States expressed its concerns over the Indian government's choice to revoke the diplomatic immunity of 41 Canadian diplomats in India and their subsequent departure from the country. They insisted that New Delhi should honour its responsibilities under the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.

This situation emerged following Canada's withdrawal of 41 diplomats from India in response to New Delhi's threat to strip them of their diplomatic immunity by Friday. Melanie Joly, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, had previously declared this move amidst a diplomatic standoff involving the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar.

Matthew Miller, a spokesperson for the State Department, commented, "We are troubled by the departure of Canadian diplomats from India in reaction to the Indian government's request for Canada to substantially reduce its diplomatic presence in India."

He further stated, "Resolving disagreements necessitates diplomats on the ground."

The official from the State Department conveyed the US's appeal to the Indian government not to persist in demanding a reduction in Canada's diplomatic representation and to cooperate with the ongoing Canadian investigation.

Miller asserted, "We anticipate that India will honour its responsibilities under the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, which includes the privileges and immunities granted to accredited members of Canada's diplomatic mission."

India's Response to Accusations of Breaching International Standards: The Ministry of External Affairs, on Friday, dismissed Canada's effort to depict the withdrawal of 41 Canadian diplomats from the country as a breach of international norms.

India argued that ensuring two-way diplomatic equality is entirely consistent with the provisions of the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations.

In a statement, MEA stated, "We repudiate any effort to portray the enforcement of parity as a violation of international norms."

Response from the Canadian Prime Minister: Shortly after India rejected Ottawa's attempt to portray the enforcement of parity as a breach of international norms, the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, contended that India's decision to revoke the diplomatic immunity of Canadian diplomats violates the Vienna Convention and complicates normal life for millions in both nations.

He commented, "The Indian government is creating incredibly challenging circumstances for millions of people in India and Canada. They are doing so by contravening a fundamental diplomatic principle."

(With PTI contributions)

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China's nuclear arsenal expanding faster than before, currently at 500 warheads: US Report

The report suggests that China is rapidly expanding its nuclear stockpile, aiming to reach 1,000 warheads by 2030, which is faster than anticipated. Additionally, China has completed the construction of three new solid-propellant silo fields with 300 ICBM silos.

China's nuclear arsenal has grown significantly, surpassing 500 operational warheads in the past year, exceeding earlier predictions. The US Department of Defense's report highlights that China is progressing slightly ahead of schedule towards its 2030 target.

The Pentagon report asserts that the People's Republic of China (PRC) will continue to modernize, diversify, and expand its nuclear capabilities, dwarfing previous efforts in both scale and complexity.

In 2022, Beijing accelerated its nuclear expansion, with the PRC estimated to possess over 500 operational nuclear warheads as of May 2023, on track to exceed previous projections.

These efforts align with President Xi Jinping's goal of achieving a "world-class" military by 2049 and ensuring that the People's Liberation Army modernizes substantially by 2035.

Moreover, China has completed the construction of three solid-propellant silo fields with at least 300 Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) silos, enhancing its nuclear force's readiness during peacetime. The Pentagon also notes China's deployment of longer-range JL-3 SLBMs, capable of reaching the US.

The report speculates that China may be exploring conventionally-armed intercontinental-range missile systems, which could potentially threaten targets in the continental United States, Hawaii, and Alaska.

However, the Pentagon emphasizes that China's nuclear force strategy is centered on deterring an enemy first strike and initiating a counterstrike if deterrence fails, posing a threat to an adversary's military capability, population, and economy.

Regarding military aggression in the Indo-Pacific region, the Pentagon report underscores China's dangerous and provocative actions. China has engaged in over 180 coercive and risky air intercepts against US aircraft in the Indo-Pacific, surpassing the previous decade's total.

Examples of China's aggressive behavior include lasing, reckless maneuvers, close aerial and maritime approaches, discharging chaff or flares near aircraft, and other actions.

China has also conducted approximately 100 instances of coercive behavior against US allies and partners in the air domain to impede "lawful operations" in the region.

India has consistently advocated for an open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region, adhering to international norms. China's territorial claims in the South China Sea, along with its aggressive actions in the region, have contributed to rising tensions between the US and China.

The report highlights China's increased provocative actions near the Taiwan Strait in 2022, including ballistic missile overflights and more frequent incursions into Taiwan's air defense identification zone.

China has also deployed vessels in disputed areas, such as the Scarborough Reef and Thitu Island, engaging in coercive actions against the Philippines in the South China Sea.

The report notes China's strong partnership with Russia, which it views as vital to its development and emergence as a great power. However, Beijing has taken a discreet approach to supporting Russia in its conflict with Ukraine to avoid potential consequences.

Beijing has become a significant purchaser of Russian energy exports, supporting Russia's economy affected by sanctions and ensuring Russia's continued participation in international organizations.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin recently met in Beijing, emphasizing the importance of foreign policy coordination amid concerns about conflicts with the West over Russia's actions in Ukraine and China's threats to Taiwan. Putin mentioned discussions on sensitive matters, and both leaders pledged to enhance their strategic coordination and mutually beneficial cooperation.

source india tv

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US vetoes UN Security Council resolution on Israel and Hamas war, Russia abstains

The United States has also declared sanctions against a group of 10 Hamas members and the Palestinian militant organization's financial network spanning Gaza, Sudan, Turkey, Algeria, and Qatar.

Amidst the ongoing conflict in the Middle East, the United States has exercised its veto power at the United Nations (UN) to reject a resolution condemning Hamas attacks on Israel, along with all acts of violence against civilians, while also calling for assistance to Gaza. In the 15-member Security Council, 12 votes were in favor of the resolution, the United States voted against, and two members abstained.

Following the vote, US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield noted that President Joe Biden was in the region actively engaging in diplomatic efforts. She stressed the importance of allowing diplomacy to take its course and criticized the resolution for not acknowledging Israel's right to self-defense.

The council members dismissed two amendments proposed by Russia before voting on the resolution, one advocating for a "humanitarian cease-fire" and the other condemning indiscriminate attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure in Gaza, including hospitals and schools.

Furthermore, the United States has also announced sanctions against a group of 10 Hamas members and the financial network of the Palestinian militant organization, spanning Gaza, Sudan, Turkey, Algeria, and Qatar. This decision was in response to the unexpected attack on Israel, which resulted in the loss of over 1,000 lives or kidnappings.

The individuals targeted for sanctions by the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control include those responsible for managing a Hamas investment portfolio, a financial facilitator based in Qatar with close ties to the Iranian regime, a prominent Hamas commander, and a virtual currency exchange based in Gaza. Iran is the primary sponsor of Hamas, as reported by the Associated Press (AP)."

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Israel-Hamas war: Tel Aviv denies involvement in Gaza hospital blast, Biden-led Jordan summit cancel

Israel and Hamas exchanged accusations following an airstrike on a Gaza hospital that claimed the lives of over 500 individuals. The most devastating attack occurred just hours before the visit of US President Joe Biden to Israel and Jordan. Outraged by the hospital assault, Jordan cancelled a crucial summit with Biden and Palestinian leaders.

The Israeli military, on Wednesday, disavowed any involvement in an explosion that resulted in the deaths of more than 500 individuals at a hospital in Gaza City. RAdm. Daniel Hagari, the spokesperson for the IDF, asserted that the blast was the result of a misfired Palestinian rocket.

Contrarily, the Hamas-controlled Health Ministry in Gaza contended that the explosion was caused by an Israeli airstrike, which claimed the lives of approximately 500 people, many of whom had sought refuge from the ongoing Israeli offensive.

The IDF Spokesperson stated, 'I can confirm that an analysis by the IDF operational systems indicates that a barrage of rockets was fired by terrorists in Gaza, passing in close proximity to al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza when it was hit. Intelligence from various sources indicates that Islamic Jihad is responsible for the failed rocket launch that hit the hospital in Gaza. This is the responsibility of Islamic Jihad, which resulted in the loss of innocent lives in the Gaza hospital.'

Jordan Cancels Summit

According to reports from the news agency Reuters, Jordan's Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi revealed that King Abdullah of Jordan cancelled a summit scheduled to be held in Amman on Wednesday, where he was set to host US President Joe Biden and leaders from Egypt and Palestine to deliberate on the situation in Gaza.

Joe Biden's Response to the Hospital Attack

US President Joe Biden expressed his outrage and deep sorrow at the tragedy in Gaza following the hospital explosion. He stated, 'I am outraged and deeply saddened by the explosion at the Al Ahli Arab hospital in Gaza and the tragic loss of life that ensued. Upon learning of this incident, I immediately spoke with King Abdullah II of Jordan and Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel, directing my national security team to continue gathering information about the incident. The United States stands firmly for the protection of civilian lives during conflicts, and we mourn the patients, medical staff, and other innocent individuals who lost their lives or were injured in this calamity.'

Palestinian President Withdraws from Meeting with Biden: Sources

Reports suggest that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has withdrawn from a meeting scheduled for Wednesday with President Joe Biden and other leaders from the Middle East. Abbas was meant to join King Abdullah II of Jordan and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi at the Amman summit to discuss the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict with Biden. The senior official stated that Abbas's withdrawal was in protest of an alleged Israeli airstrike on a Gaza hospital. The official chose to remain anonymous because the cancellation has not been officially announced.

Earlier, the Palestinian health ministry reported that 200 people had lost their lives in the Israeli airstrike on the hospital in Gaza City, where hundreds had sought refuge amidst a dire humanitarian crisis. Pictures sent to AP purportedly depicted the hospital engulfed in flames, shattered glass, and body parts strewn across the area.

image source AP

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Biden to visit Israel and Jordan tomorrow as Netanyahu vows to 'wipe out Hamas militants'

US President Joe Biden is all set to embark on a journey to Israel and Jordan this Wednesday. He aims to have meetings with leaders from both Israel and the Arab world, amidst growing concerns that the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas might escalate into a wider regional crisis.

In the midst of the intense battle against Hamas, the United States has officially confirmed that President Joe Biden will visit the war-torn region and subsequently head to Jordan on Wednesday. This significant announcement came just a moment ago from the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, who emphasized that Biden's visit would provide a much-needed boost to the spirits of the war-affected nation.

Blinken made this announcement bright and early on Tuesday, following over seven hours of discussions with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other high-ranking Israeli officials.

Furthermore, Biden is slated to meet with Egyptian and Palestinian Presidents. In Washington, shortly after, John Kirby, the spokesperson for the White House National Security Council, also revealed that Biden would be paying a visit to Jordan to meet with King Abdullah, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

"We've been absolutely clear about the necessity for the uninterrupted flow of humanitarian assistance into Gaza," Kirby stated. "This has consistently been stressed by President Biden and the entire administration."

Israel has agreed to facilitate the transfer of humanitarian aid into Gaza. Truckloads of aid sat idle at the Egypt-Gaza border on Monday, blocked from entry. Residents and humanitarian organizations implored for water, food, and fuel to keep generators running in the beleaguered Palestinian territory, which had been sealed off by Israel after last week's Hamas offensive, pushing it to the brink of total collapse. However, following the meeting with Netanyahu, the US's top diplomat has declared that they have reached an agreement to formulate a plan that will enable humanitarian aid from donor nations and international organizations to reach Gaza's civilians, including the possibility of establishing safe zones to protect civilians from harm.

The White House has conveyed that Biden had originally planned to visit Pueblo, Colorado, on Monday but decided to postpone his trip so he could consult with his advisors and engage in discussions with fellow leaders regarding the unfolding situation in the Middle East.

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War between light and darkness: Netanyahu tells Knesset, warns Iran and Hezbollah in Gaza

Benjamin Netanyahu stated that Israel's quest for independence remains ongoing, citing recent Hamas attacks that resulted in the deaths of hundreds of Israelis. Opposition leader Yair Lapid affirmed that Israel will persist in its conflict with Hamas, regardless of international criticism.

As the Israel-Hamas conflict continues, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the Knesset, the Israeli Parliament, characterizing the ongoing struggle as a battle "against the forces of darkness," as reported by The Times of Israel.

In his speech, Netanyahu declared, "Even after 75 years, the war of independence is far from over... We will emerge victorious because our existence here is at stake." He also likened Hamas to Nazis, framing the current conflict as a showdown between "forces of light and forces of darkness, between humanity and animalism."

The Israeli Prime Minister also reiterated that the top priority is to defeat Hamas and dismantle its rule over the Gaza Strip. He acknowledged Israel's need to learn from its mistakes on October 7 when Hamas launched a brutal attack, firing thousands of rockets and infiltrating the country, resulting in the deaths of numerous civilians and soldiers.

Netanyahu also issued a warning to Iran and the Lebanon-based Hezbollah group, cautioning them against intervening in Israel's potential operations against Hamas in Gaza. He stated in the Knesset, "Do not attempt to challenge us; the consequences will be severe."

Meanwhile, opposition leader Yair Lapid emphasized that Israel will press on with its campaign against Hamas, even if it faces international criticism. He stated, "It wasn't the world's children who were killed; our children were killed."

Rocket attacks disrupt Knesset session
A significant rocket barrage was launched from Gaza towards Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, prompting the sounding of warning sirens. Hamas claimed responsibility for firing long-range rockets at Israel's largest cities. At present, there are no immediate reports of damage.

The winter session of the Knesset was interrupted due to the rocket barrage, compelling lawmakers and attendees to seek refuge in bomb shelters. The session resumed after a 40-minute break.

Iran's warning to Israel
Iran, which is purportedly supportive of Hamas, has recently threatened an "expansion of war fronts" if Israel continues its conflict with Gaza. Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, in a media interview, conveyed that Iran "cannot stand by idly and watch" as the war escalates towards a potential ground invasion by Israel.

Amirabdollahian had met with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh in Qatar on Saturday night and agreed to cooperate in "fully achieving" the goals of Hamas and the Palestinian people.

He also issued a warning to Israel about 'a significant upheaval,' stating that if Hezbollah were to become involved, the ongoing war with Hamas could spread to other Middle Eastern countries. The Iranian Foreign Minister remarked, "I am aware of the scenarios that Hezbollah has prepared. Any action taken by the resistance (Hezbollah) will have a profound impact on the Zionist entity."

Hezbollah fighters have been on high alert along Lebanon's borders with Israel following the militant Palestinian group Hamas's attack last Saturday, which resulted in the deaths of numerous Israeli civilians and soldiers. Hezbollah praised the Hamas attack, asserting that it had "divine support."

Iran's Supreme leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei claimed that Israel's "Zionist regime" had "suffered an irreversible defeat in both military and intelligence terms," as reported by the Iranian News Agency, Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA). He denied any Iranian involvement in the Hamas attacks on Israel.

Situation in Gaza
More than a week after Hamas initiated an unprecedented attack involving rocket fire and infiltration into Israel, the death toll on both sides of the Gaza border has surpassed 4,100. The Gaza Health Ministry reported 2,750 Palestinians killed and 9,700 wounded, while over 1,400 Israelis have been killed in Hamas attacks on the Jewish state since October 7.

Israeli airstrikes have devastated entire neighbourhoods as Palestinian militants continue to launch rockets into Israel. The Israeli military has instructed 1.1 million Palestinians to evacuate to the south to avoid a campaign against Hamas militants in Gaza. Despite efforts, there has been no progress in facilitating the evacuation of civilians through the Rafah border crossing with Egypt, as agreed upon by the United States and Israel.

Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden is contemplating a visit to Israel in the near future following an invitation from Netanyahu. However, the trip has yet to be finalized. Should the President travel, it would serve as a powerful symbol of sympathy and support in the aftermath of the brutal Hamas attack, affirming the unwavering support of the United States for the Israeli people.

Biden has also issued his most forceful public statements to date, urging Israel to exercise restraint following the October 7 attack, which claimed over 1,400 lives, including at least 30 US citizens. In an interview with CBS' 60 Minutes, he warned that Israel should refrain from reoccupying Gaza.

He remarked, "I believe it would be a major mistake. What happened in Gaza, in my view, is that Hamas, and the extremist elements within Hamas, do not represent all of the Palestinian people. Nevertheless, Biden stated, "Taking out the extremists... is a necessary requirement."

image soucrce AP

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Israeli Forces Eliminate 6 Top Hamas Commanders As War Enters Next Phase

Israeli fighter jets have been targeting Hamas operational centers, further disrupting the group's activities in Gaza.

Tel Aviv: In a significant setback for Hamas, the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) have claimed to have successfully eliminated at least six prominent commanders of the Palestinian militant organization during the ongoing conflict, which entered its tenth day on Monday. This action follows a violent assault by Hamas on Israeli border regions, resulting in the loss of numerous innocent lives and the abduction of several individuals. Over the past 24 hours, the IDF has been actively conducting "localized" aerial operations in Gaza, aiming to eliminate Hamas terrorists, remove weaponry, and search for missing persons, as declared by the IDF. In their statement, the Israeli military emphasized their efforts to cleanse Gaza of terrorists and their weaponry through targeted raids.

The IDF has reported that, based on precise ISA (Israel Security Agency) and intelligence, Muetaz Eid, the Commander of the Hamas Southern District of National Security, was killed in the latest airstrikes.

During these operations, the IDF executed an airstrike that resulted in the death of a senior Hamas commander responsible for overseeing the group's aerial activities in Gaza City, Murad Abu Murad, a key figure within Hamas.

Billal Al Kedra, a top Hamas commander responsible for the Kibbutz Nirim massacre in Israel, was also killed in an Israeli airstrike, as reported by the Israel Air Force (IAF). Israeli intelligence had pinpointed Billal Al Kedra's location in Khan Yunis, a city in the south of the Gaza Strip. Al Kedra was a commander of the Nukhba force, a naval commando unit under Hamas' special forces unit of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades.

Additionally, Israeli fighter jets targeted a Hamas operational center, further disrupting the group's activities. In response to a recent attack from Lebanon, Israeli forces also struck Hezbollah's "military infrastructure" in Lebanon. This retaliatory measure was in response to an incident in which anti-tank-guided missiles were fired towards an Israeli town and military posts near the Lebanon border, resulting in the loss of civilian life.

Warning to Hezbollah Amid Escalating Tensions:

The United States and its allies have issued warnings to Hezbollah, a Lebanese militant organization, advising them against escalating the conflict in Israel. The US has taken strategic steps, including the deployment of military assets, to prevent the potential widening of the war. Coordinated efforts have been made to communicate the message to Hezbollah through various channels, emphasizing the necessity for them to refrain from engaging in the ongoing conflict.

France, at Israel's request, has also conveyed to Hezbollah that any further escalation would provoke a significant response from Israel. Hezbollah's involvement in the conflict would represent a significant escalation due to its well-trained, well-armed, and sophisticated military capabilities, supported by Iran.

Barrage of Rockets Targets Central & Southern Israel:

A relentless barrage of rockets was launched from the Gaza Strip towards central and southern Israel late on a recent Sunday night, as reported by The Times of Israel. The alarms sounded in several neighborhoods along the Gaza border, as well as in Ashkelon, Ashdod, Rehovot, and Ramle. The Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted a considerable number of incoming rockets, generating loud explosions, though immediate reports do not indicate direct hits or casualties.

The Iron Dome system, a crucial tool in Israel's defense arsenal, plays a significant role in intercepting incoming projectiles. It rapidly assesses potential threats and launches missiles to destroy rockets posing danger, effectively minimizing the impact of the attacks.

International Involvement to Prevent Full-Scale War:

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has ordered the deployment of a carrier strike group to the eastern Mediterranean as a deterrent message to Hezbollah and its supporters in Iran. The intention is to discourage these entities from entering the ongoing conflict. The movement of the carrier signifies a clear message of deterrence to any state or non-state actors considering widening the war beyond its current boundaries.

Hamas Holding 199 Hostages in Gaza: Israel:

The hostages were seized on Saturday, 7th October, when Hamas fighters breached the Israeli border fence in southern Israel and attacked a music festival and multiple settlements, resulting in the loss of more than 1,300 Israeli lives. The army stated that at least 291 Israeli soldiers have been killed so far in the conflict and reiterated the statement from the prime minister’s office that there is no temporary ceasefire in place in southern Gaza.

Israel has responded forcefully to the terror group's attack and has bombarded Gaza with airstrikes. It is anticipated that a land offensive will soon begin in Gaza. Israeli Defence Minister Gallant said that Hamas is holding an estimated 150-200 hostages in the Gaza Strip, adding, "We are making every effort to locate them even in this great complexity."

At least 2,750 Palestinians have been killed and 9,700 wounded in Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip since 7th October, as reported by Reuters, according to the Gaza health ministry's statement on Monday.

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Occupation Of Gaza Would Be A 'Big Mistake', But Israel Has To Respond To Hamas Attack: Joe Biden

President Biden, in a recent interview, expressed his concerns regarding the situation in Gaza and emphasized that it would be a significant error for Israel to reoccupy Gaza. He acknowledged that Israel must respond to the recent terror attacks by Hamas, comparing them to the Holocaust. When asked about the possibility of a "total siege" on Gaza, President Biden voiced his confidence in Israel's commitment to abiding by the rules of war. He also stressed the importance of ensuring that innocent people in Gaza have access to essential necessities like medicine, food, and water.

Furthermore, President Biden called for humanitarian aid supplies to be sent to Gaza and advocated for the creation of a humanitarian corridor that would enable civilians to leave the enclave. He emphasized the need for a Palestinian Authority and a path to establishing a Palestinian state.

In another development, President Biden clarified that there is currently no concrete evidence linking Iran to the recent terror attacks in Israel carried out by Hamas. He emphasized that the U.S. administration is continuing to assess intelligence, but as of now, they have not identified specific evidence connecting Iran to these attacks.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the attacks by Hamas on Israel and emphasized that they do not represent the Palestinian people. Abbas called on Israel to cease its aggression in Gaza and to ensure the safety of Gazan civilians by facilitating the delivery of essential supplies through a humanitarian corridor.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with the families of Israelis who are missing or held captive by Hamas. This meeting took place amid criticism from the families, who believe that the government has not adequately addressed the issue of their loved ones. Netanyahu assured the families of his commitment to working towards the safe return of the missing individuals and reaffirmed the government's determination to take action against Hamas.

Lastly, Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff Lt. General Herzi Halevi outlined a strategy to counter Hamas. He expressed the IDF's responsibility to enter Gaza, target Hamas operations, and destroy infrastructure to effectively neutralize the terror group. The chief emphasized the goal of achieving victory and ensuring the safety of Israeli citizens.

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World ‘badly in need of some form of re-globalisation’, says Jaishankar

Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar delivered a significant speech on September 29 at an event hosted by the esteemed think tank Hudson Institute in Washington DC. The focus of his address was 'India’s Role in a New Pacific Order.'

He emphasized the pressing need for a re-globalization effort, stating, "The world is badly in need of some form of re-globalisation." Importantly, Mr. Jaishankar clarified that India's stance is "non-Western and not anti-Western."

Mr. Jaishankar's speech touched upon the undeniable and deeply rooted nature of globalization. He acknowledged its numerous benefits but highlighted the inherent risks in the current model of globalization, which has evolved over the past 25 years. Addressing these risks and working towards a safer world is a significant challenge.

Regarding the Indo-Pacific region, Mr. Jaishankar noted its growing importance. He highlighted how the separation of the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Region emerged as a consequence of World War II, and emphasized the need for a more integrated approach with India playing a central role.

When discussing the Pacific order, Mr. Jaishankar pointed out that many global concerns are most acute in this context. He emphasized the challenge of maintaining stability amid significant changes, potential imbalances of power, interests, and influence, which can create risks.

Responding to a question, Mr. Jaishankar clarified that India's position is not against the West. He reiterated that India is "non-western and not anti-western."

The Minister also stressed that the composition of the UN Security Council needs to reflect the current global realities of the 21st century. He noted that India, as the most populous country and the fifth-largest economy, deserves a seat on the Security Council, and the absence of India and the representation of Africa on the Council undermines its credibility and effectiveness.

Turning to Russia, Mr. Jaishankar highlighted how the West's relationship with Moscow has deteriorated due to the Ukrainian war. He noted that Russia, traditionally seen as a European power, is now looking towards Asia and strengthening its ties with Asian countries. This shift in Russia's focus, driven by the evolving geopolitical landscape, particularly its growing relationship with China, was emphasized.

Mr. Jaishankar concluded by predicting that Russia would increasingly turn its attention away from the Western world, including Europe and the United States, and place greater emphasis on Asia, and possibly other regions as well.

Photo Credit: PTI

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Canada's Opposition Leader Supports Hindu Community Amid Threats, Condemns 'Hateful Comments'

Ottawa: Canada's Opposition leader Pierre Poilievre has strongly criticized the "hateful remarks" directed towards Hindus residing in Canada. He emphasized the significant contributions made by the Hindu community to all parts of Canada and assured them that they will always find a welcoming home in the country. Poilievre stressed that every Canadian deserves to live without fear in their homeland. His statement follows a viral video in which Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, the leader of Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), a pro-Khalistan organization banned in India since 2019, threatened Canadians of Indian origin and urged them to leave Canada.

Taking to X, formerly known as Twitter, Poilievere posted, "Every Canadian deserves to live without fear and feel welcomed in their community. In recent days, we have seen hateful comments targeting Hindus in Canada. Conservatives condemn these comments against our Hindu neighbors and friends. Hindus have made invaluable contributions to every part of our country and will always be welcome here."

Poilievre's tweet comes at a time of strained relations between India and Canada, following Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's allegations that the Indian government was involved in the fatal shooting of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a designated terrorist in India, on June 18 in Surrey, Canada. India has vehemently denied Trudeau's claims, calling them "absurd and motivated." Furthermore, Indian nationals, students in Canada, and those planning to travel to the country have been advised to exercise caution by the Ministry of External Affairs. In response, India expelled a senior Canadian diplomat, reciprocating Canada's earlier expulsion of a senior Indian diplomat.

Meanwhile, Canadian Opposition leader Pierre Poilievre called on Trudeau to provide all the facts necessary for making informed judgments. In a media briefing, Poilievre stated, "I believe the prime minister should disclose all available facts. We need access to all possible evidence so that Canadians can form their opinions."

Poilievre's comments were prompted by a media query regarding the expulsion of an Indian diplomat by Canada. He criticized Trudeau for not providing sufficient information, both publicly and privately, and expressed the need for more evidence to verify the allegations. Poilievre underscored the importance of having concrete evidence to support the prime minister's conclusions.

He further remarked, "I would require additional evidence to pass judgment on this matter. It is intriguing that he was aware of significant foreign interference by Beijing for many years, even while Beijing held two Canadian citizens hostage. He remained silent and took no action. It's quite interesting that this was his approach in that situation."

Notably, a recent Ipsos poll conducted for Global News revealed that Pierre Poilievre, the leader of the Opposition Conservative Party, is the preferred choice for Prime Minister among 40 percent of Canadian citizens. This growing support for Poilievre suggests that the Conservative Party has a strong chance of winning a majority in the upcoming 2025 elections, with a notable lead over incumbent Justin Trudeau, as reported by Global News.

Source: ANI

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India, U.S., China absent at U.N.’s climate summit

In the world of climate action, the three major players - China, the United States, and India - collectively contribute a substantial 42% of global greenhouse gas emissions. However, their noticeable absence from the recent Climate Ambition Summit (CAS) in New York, held alongside the United Nations General Assembly, raised concerns.

The CAS, organized to spotlight proactive leaders dedicated to the goals of the Paris Agreement, faced a void without the participation of these significant emitters. The United Nations emphasized that this summit was designed to showcase leaders with credible policies and plans to uphold the 1.5°C temperature target while ensuring climate justice for those most affected by the crisis.

Leading up to the summit, around 100 heads of state responded to Secretary-General Antonio Guterres' call for intensified climate action. Nevertheless, only representatives from 34 nations and 7 institutions had the opportunity to speak during the summit. Notably, India's neighboring countries, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Pakistan, were among the speakers, as were emerging economies like South Africa and Brazil. The European Union, Germany, France, and Canada also had their voices heard.

The criteria for countries to secure a speaking slot at the summit included updated pre-2030 Nationally Determined Contributions (as established in Glasgow), revised net-zero targets, plans for transitioning away from coal, oil, and gas, strategies for phasing out fossil fuels, more ambitious renewable energy objectives, commitments to the Green Climate Fund, and comprehensive adaptation and resilience plans. All "major emitters," particularly G-20 governments, were called upon to commit to presenting more ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions that encompass absolute emissions reductions and cover all types of greenhouse gases by 2025.

Stéphane Dujarric, the spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General, stated that this year's Climate Ambition Summit set a high standard for participation. The Secretary-General's Climate Action Team engaged with governments, businesses, and local authorities to ensure that their transition plans were aligned with the UN-backed credibility standards for net-zero pledges. However, it remains unclear whether India participated in the summit, as no official confirmation has been provided by the Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change.

India's most recent climate commitments, updated in 2022, include a 45% reduction in emissions intensity (emissions per unit of gross domestic product) from 2005 levels by 2030, a 10% increase from its 2015 commitment. The nation also pledged to meet 50% of its electricity needs from renewable, non-fossil fuel sources, up from the 40% commitment made under the Paris Agreement. India aims to establish an additional carbon sink by increasing forest and tree cover by 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of CO2-equivalent by 2030. In 2021, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced India's ambition to achieve net-zero emissions by 2070. While some experts argue that these commitments, along with those of G-20 nations, may not be sufficient to limit global warming to below 2°C by the century's end, others acknowledge that India's relatively low per capita emissions and its limited contribution to existing atmospheric carbon justify its commitments as exceeding its fair share.

In his address, Secretary-General Guterres stressed the urgency of climate solutions, noting that humanity faces the daunting prospect of a 2.8-degree temperature increase, leading to a perilous and unstable world if immediate action is not taken.

Photo Credit: AFP

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Vietnam, key piece of America’s Indo-Pacific puzzle

The Biden administration has displayed an extraordinary agility in its strategic approach to Vietnam, resulting in a rapid expansion of ties across various domains.

In the realm of international relations, it's not uncommon to witness strategic shifts, a natural part of the anarchical structural realities. However, even by these standards, the speed and magnitude of the about-face in the relationship between the United States and Vietnam since the Cold War are truly noteworthy. On September 10, the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee, Nguyen Phu Trong, and U.S. President Joe Biden met in Vietnam during Mr. Biden’s visit, signifying a new phase in the bilateral ties between the two nations. The highlight of this meeting was the elevation of U.S.-Vietnam relations to a U.S.-Vietnam Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, a step up from the U.S.-Vietnam Comprehensive Partnership established in 2013 between Vietnam President Truong Tan Sang and U.S. President Barack Obama.

A nuanced foreign policy history Given the intricate history of U.S. involvement in Vietnam during the Cold War, this elevation marks a significant development. Vietnam's strategic caution notwithstanding, there have been motivations on both sides to enhance their relationship, dating back to at least 2013 if not earlier. Vietnam's reservations about forming a strategic partnership with the U.S. have relevance in both contemporary and historical contexts. The geopolitical dynamics shaped by China's increasing assertiveness in the Pacific region, particularly in the waters surrounding Vietnam and the wider South China Sea, has been a major deterrent for Vietnam's engagement with major powers. On the other hand, the historical baggage of Vietnam's complicated relationship with the U.S. during the Vietnam War, as well as its alignment with communist states like China and the Soviet Union, culminating in the 1978 Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation with the Soviet Union, pushed Vietnam in a direction contrary to U.S. interests. This intricate foreign policy history is why Vietnam had previously established a 'comprehensive strategic partnership' with only four nations: China, Russia, India, and South Korea.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the 1973 Paris Peace Accords, which ended the Vietnam War. Since then, Vietnam's relations with the U.S. have come a long way. Mr. Biden's Indo-Pacific policy now places Vietnam among the U.S.'s 'leading regional partners' in the area. Vietnam ranks as the 10th largest trading partner of the U.S. In 2020, the total value of trade in goods and services between the U.S. and Vietnam reached approximately $92.2 billion and exceeded $138 billion in 2022. In May 2022, the U.S. launched the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF), with Vietnam as a founding member among 13 other countries, aiming to reinvigorate Washington's economic influence in the Asia-Pacific region.

Strengthening bonds The Biden administration has shown remarkable agility in its strategic approach towards Vietnam. Visits by U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Vice President Kamala Harris to Vietnam in 2021, the meeting between Secretary Austin and Vietnamese Minister of National Defense General Phan Van Giang in Singapore in June 2022, and visits by U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen this year have all culminated in Mr. Biden’s visit, further strengthening the bilateral relationship.

The U.S.-Vietnam relationship is rapidly expanding across various fronts, with a focus on building political trust, enhancing cooperation in science, technology, health, and digital innovation, fostering a high-quality workforce, addressing climate change, and establishing a robust defense partnership in response to China's growing assertiveness. Addressing historical issues is a key aspect of these cooperative efforts.

Challenges from an assertive China The conflict in Europe has presented new challenges for Vietnam, as its arms imports from Russia, its largest defense supplier, have been affected by Western-led sanctions. These limitations, coupled with China's increasing assertiveness, are gradually pushing Vietnam in a new direction. China's provocative actions in 2014, including the placement of oil rigs in Vietnam's Exclusive Economic Zone, have tested Vietnam's policy of non-involvement in great power politics in the region. Clearly, Washington sees an opportunity here and strengthening the defense and security relationship with Vietnam is a crucial element of America's broader strategy in the Indo-Pacific.

One significant aspect of Mr. Biden’s visit was to initiate the process of relocating semiconductor supply chains to Vietnam, while also boosting Hanoi's chip manufacturing capabilities. As both countries seek to expand their economic partnership by increasing investments in critical technologies, chips, and Artificial Intelligence, there is an opportunity to extend such partnerships throughout the broader Indo-Pacific region, in collaboration with like-minded partners. India's initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology (iCET) partnership with the U.S., along with the Quad's Principles of critical and emerging technology, could provide an overarching framework in the Indo-Pacific for standardizing technology in its design, development, and utilization. A supply chain that extends from Vietnam to Europe via West Asia, anchored by India with the newly-launched India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor during the recent G-20 meeting in India, could symbolize a 'comprehensive strategic partnership' in a fitting manner.

Photo Credit: AFP

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France and Germany backed report pushes for EU enlargement, four tier membership

The proposals are anticipated to be formally deliberated during a meeting of European Union (EU) heads of state in Spain next month. France and Germany, as the two largest economies in the EU, unveiled fresh suggestions for the expansion of the 27-member union on Tuesday, September 19. This policy document, prepared by a group of 12 experts engaged by the European ministers of France and Germany, although not representing the official stances of these nations, was presented on the sidelines of a European ministerial gathering.

The paper, which was commissioned in January of this year, is a response to mounting calls for the enlargement of the EU, partially driven by Russia's incursion into Ukraine. In addition to the group's enlargement recommendations, the paper addresses the reinforcement of the rule of law and the augmentation of the EU's ability to take action. It proposes four distinct levels of participation within the union.

While Ukraine, the Western Balkans, and Moldova are leading contenders for membership, a total of ten countries are currently in the process of aligning their national laws with EU regulations, as outlined on an official EU website.

The paper published on Tuesday, a copy of which is available on Politico, asserts that the EU is currently not sufficiently prepared, both institutionally and policy-wise, to admit new members. Consequently, it advocates for a flexible approach to EU enlargement alongside necessary reforms.

The report also examines methods for the EU to function more efficiently with over 30 member states. Some of the suggestions include limiting the number of EU legislators, altering the voting mechanism to favor majority voting over unanimity, and enhancing the bloc's financial resources.

In cases where unanimous support for altering the EU Treaty, a requisite for enlargement, is absent, the paper suggests the possibility of a supplementary treaty among a subset of willing members. This supplementary treaty could enable differentiation within the EU.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen stressed the urgency of not waiting for treaty amendments to proceed with enlargement in her recent 'State of the Union' address, stating, "We cannot and should not wait for treaty change to move ahead with enlargement."

However, the Franco-German report also acknowledges that differentiation has its limitations, particularly regarding the rule of law and core values. According to the document, differentiation could lead to the establishment of four tiers: an inner circle with membership in the Eurozone and Schengen Area, followed by the EU itself, then Associate Members participating in the single market and adhering to common principles, and finally, the European Political Community, a cooperative group working with the EU but not bound by its laws.

These proposals are scheduled for formal discussion at an upcoming meeting of EU heads of state in Spain next month, marking a significant step forward in the ongoing debate on the future direction of the European Union.

Photo Credit: Reuters

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U.N. chief says people are looking to leaders for action and a way out of the current global 'mess'

In a world marked by division, global leaders gathered together on September 19 to hear the U.N. chief call for unified action in addressing humanity's significant challenges. These challenges include war, climate change, and persistent inequality.

Antonio Guterres, addressing the world's leaders, highlighted the growing geopolitical tensions and mounting global issues. He emphasized the need for the United Nations and international cooperation to adapt to the changing times, stating, "Our world is becoming unhinged. Geopolitical tensions are rising. Global challenges are mounting. And we seem incapable of coming together to respond."

Guterres stressed the urgency for action rather than just rhetoric. He pointed out the worsening climate crisis, increasing conflicts, disruptive technological changes, and a global cost-of-living crisis leading to hunger and poverty.

This year's U.N. General Assembly's General Debate, the first in-person gathering of world leaders since the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted travel, saw 145 leaders scheduled to speak. Notably, U.S. President Joe Biden was the sole leader from the five powerful nations with veto power in the U.N. Security Council to address the Assembly, as leaders from China, Russia, France, and Britain skipped the event. This shift in focus drew attention to Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky, making his debut at the Assembly podium, and President Biden, whose views on China, Russia, and Ukraine were eagerly awaited.

The absence of leaders from the four Security Council powers raised concerns among developing countries, who sought attention for their demands, including financial support to bridge the gap between the world's affluent and less fortunate.

The G-77, a significant U.N. group of developing countries with 134 members, including China, pushed for this year's global gathering to prioritize the 17 U.N. goals set by world leaders in 2015. These goals are significantly behind schedule, with only 15% of the 140 specific targets on track for achievement. Many are moving in the wrong direction, and none are expected to be met within the next seven years.

These goals encompass ending extreme poverty and hunger, ensuring quality secondary education for all children, achieving gender equality, and addressing climate change by 2030. However, at the current pace, 575 million people will still live in extreme poverty, 84 million children will be denied elementary education, and gender equality won't be realized for 286 years.

Guterres called on leaders to rescue these sustainable development goals (SDGs) and fulfill their promise of creating "a world of health, progress, and opportunity" for everyone. The leaders adopted a political declaration acknowledging the precarious state of the SDGs but reaffirmed their commitment to achieving them.

While the declaration lacked specific details, it expressed support for an SDG stimulus of at least $500 billion annually to assist developing countries facing challenging market conditions. Leaders were expected to make pledges to support the SDGs during the summit.

For instance, Nepal's Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, who chairs the U.N. group of least developed countries, emphasized the need for substantial financial support and increased generosity from developed nations.

High-level week also featured numerous side events, including efforts to revive the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, with the EU's top diplomat, Josep Borrell, noting a strong commitment to the two-state solution and a renewed political will to move forward.

Photo Credit: AP