International World Updates

Australia: New South Wales sees deadliest day amid new wave of Omicron pandemic

Sydney [Australia](ANI/Xinhua): Australia’s state of New South Wales (NSW) recorded its deadliest day since the COVID-19 pandemic began in the country in early 2020, with 18 deaths including a child under five. NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant said the child who died at home had “significant underlying health conditions.”The state recorded 20,293 new COVID-19 cases in the 24 hours to 8:00 p.m. local time Sunday, slightly dropped from the peak daily increase of over 45,000 on last Saturday. However, Chant said the number “clearly is an underestimated” as a result of the do-it-yourself rapid antigen tests (RAT), which is currently used as an alternative to the PCR test, still unable to be registered through the government website. Chant urged people, even if they test positive on a RAT instead of the PCR test, to connect with health services to ensure they are safe…

International World Updates

300,000 ton Vietnamese dragon fruit await buyers as China clamps down on border trade

Hanoi [Vietnam](ANI): Vietnamese farmers and exporters could end up in major loss as Chinese buyers have stopped purchasing Vietnamese dragon fruit. According to industry sources, some 300,000 tonnes of dragon fruit will be ready for harvest shortly, but there will be no customers since China has clamped down its cross-border trading.This has led to a decrease in dragon fruit prices in recent weeks. With the northern provinces of Quang Ninh and Lang Son having both restricted trade at the border with China due to containers pilling up, many Chinese buyers have stopped purchasing Vietnamese dragon fruit, Phan Van Tan, deputy director of Binh Thuan’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, told a forum Thursday, reported VnExpress. Every year, roughly 1.4 million tonnes of dragon fruit are produced in Vietnam. The three provinces of Binh Thuan, Long An, and Tien Giang account for 80 per…

International World Updates

6 killed, 30 injured in Brazil after major cliff wall collapses on tourist boats

Brasilia [Brazil]: At least six people died, and over a dozen remain missing following a cliff wall collapse on Furnas Lake in Brazil, reported Sputnik. The incident took place in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais when a slab of rock broke from a cliff face and fell onto tourist boats on Saturday and killing at least six people and injuring 32. Nearly 20 people have gone missing in the incident, said Sputnik.The search operation for up to 20 missing individuals is underway, said Minas Gerais Fire Department commander Edgard Estevo. Officials have so far rescued around two dozen people alive and it is believed that heavy rain might have caused the accident, loosening the cliff wall. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro also took notice of the incident and said that the Navy deployed a relief force team to join the search and rescue efforts.…

International World Updates

North Korea confirms successful test fire of hypersonic missile

Pyongyang [North Korea]: The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) has successfully test-fired a hypersonic missile, the official Korean Central News Agency reported on Thursday. The missile, launched by the Academy of Defence Science on Wednesday, manoeuvred 120 km laterally before it precisely hit a target 700 km away, which proved the reliability of a new fuel system, the report said.This is the second test fire of hypersonic missile confirmed by the DPRK after the country launched Hwasong-8 in September. The “successive successes in the test launches” in the hypersonic missile sector “have strategic significance in that they hasten a task for modernizing strategic armed force of the state,” it added. The reliability of the fuel system under the winter weather conditions was also verified, the report said. (ANI/Xinhua)

International World Updates

Australia to rename Island to honor Queen Elizabeth on platinum jubilee: PM

Canberra [Australia]: Australia will rename Aspen Island in Canberra’s Lake Burley Griffin as part of June 2022 national and community events to celebrate 70th anniversary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth II to the British throne, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Saturday. “Seventy years of service is a truly immense achievement, and we are proud to join with other Commonwealth nations to celebrate this milestone… Aspen Island in Canberra’s Lake Burley Griffin, the home of the National Carillon, will be renamed Queen Elizabeth II Island during a special event in June 2022,” Morrison said in a statement published on his website.According to Morrison, celebrations will include opening of new Queen Elizabeth Water Gardens, the lighting of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Beacon in Canberra, the release of commemorative stamps and coins, as well as illuminating monuments all around Australia. In six weeks’ time,…

International World Updates

New Initiative: New Zealand launches smokefree action plan to curb smoking

Wellington [New Zealand]: New Zealand on Thursday launched a smokefree action plan that aims to reduce daily smoking prevalence to less than five per cent for all population groups by 2025. The plan called Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 Action Plan has six key focus areas with ground-breaking policies to radically reduce the “availability, addictiveness and appeal” of smoked tobacco products, Associate Minister of Health Ayesha Verrall said at an event in the Parliament.New policies include making it harder to buy these products by reducing the number of shops selling them and decreasing nicotine levels in smoked tobacco products to help people who smoke to quit smoking and help people, especially young people, to never become addicted, Verrall said. It will also prevent smoked tobacco products from being designed in ways that keep people addicted and kickstart a smokefree generation by making it an offence to…

International World Updates

Russian PM to discuss bilateral relations with Chinese State Council Premier

Moscow [Russia] : Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin and Chinese State Council Premier Li Keqiang are scheduled to discuss the development of Russian-Chinese relations and strategic cooperation between the two countries virtually on Tuesday.Citing the Russian cabinet, Sputnik reported that both sides are expected to discuss urgent issues of development of the Russian-Chinese comprehensive partnership and strategic interaction with an emphasis on cooperation in trade and investment, energy, industrial, agricultural, transport and humanitarian spheres. Earlier on Tuesday, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said, Russia and China have been increasing their joint military training at sea, in the air, and on land over this year, Sputnik reported.This came after Shoigu spoke with his Chinese counterpart, Wei Fenghe, via video conference. Shoigu also outlined bilateral cooperation in terms of the coronavirus pandemic.“Our armed forces interact on land, at sea and in the air. The number of…

International World Updates

New Zealand reports 182 new community cases of COVID-19 Delta variant

Wellington [New Zealand] : New Zealand reported 182 new Delta variant cases of COVID-19 in the community on Monday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country’s current community outbreak to 8,298.Among the new infections, 167 were recorded in the largest city of Auckland, 10 in nearby Waikato, and five in Northland, according to the Ministry of Health. A total of 93 cases are being treated in hospitals, including 10 in intensive care units or high dependency units, a ministry statement said.The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in New Zealand stands at 11,074 currently, according to the health ministry.To date, 92 per cent of eligible people in New Zealand have had their first dose and 85 per cent are fully vaccinated, it said. 

International World Updates

Australia confirms two cases of ‘Omicron’ coronavirus variant

Sydney, [Australia] : Australian health officials on Sunday confirmed two cases of the new ‘Omicron’ coronavirus strain in the country for the first time.According to Kyodo News, the state of New South Wales reported two cases of the new ‘Omicron’ variant. The state government said it had confirmed that two travellers who arrived in Sydney on Saturday from Southern Africa were infected with the variant, Kyodo News reported.The travellers were both vaccinated and had no symptoms, the state government said.Earlier on Saturday, the United Kingdom had also reported the first two cases of the Omicron variant.The new Omicron variant, which has been detected first in South Africa, has escalated tensions across the world as it is considered more dangerous than the delta variant.It has been declared as a ‘variant of concern’ by the World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday.WHO identified the new South African…

International World Updates

Dubai Expo-2020 to host World Chess Championship for first time in history

 Delhi [India]: For the first time in Expo history, the Expo 2020 will host the World Chess Championship in which two world-class players go head-to-head, Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to India Dr Ahmed Albanna said on Wednesday.Interacting with Indian media at UAE Embassy here on the occasion of the UAE’s Golden Jubilee Celebrations that started on November 24 and will continue until December 16, Albanna said: “Magnus Carlsen from Norway and Ian Nepomniachtchi from Russia will start their games this week for a 2.25 million US dollars prize”. Expo 2020, which opened on October 1, this year in Dubai, will conclude on March 31, 2022. The event coincides with the UAE’s 50th anniversary in 2021.The ambassador said that UAE has selected “Connecting minds, creating the future” as a theme of Expo 2020 with three subthemes– opportunity, mobility and sustainability.“While the theme “opportunity”…

International World Updates

Australia to allow fully vaccinated eligible visa holders

Canberra [Australia] : Australia on Monday further relaxed its travel rules as it allows fully vaccinated eligible visa holders to enter the country without the need to apply for a travel exemption from December 1.Eligible visa holders include skilled and student cohorts, as well as humanitarian, working holidaymakers and provisional family visa holders. The additional changes have been announced as part of the National plan to safely reopen Australia.Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, in a statement, said: “From 1 December 2021, fully vaccinated eligible visa holders can come to Australia without needing to apply for a travel exemption. Eligible visa holders include skilled and student cohorts, as well as humanitarian, working holidaymaker and provisional family visa holders.”He said that these changes will ensure that “we continue to protect the health of Australians while reuniting families and securing our economic recovery by opening our border…

International World Updates

Vietnam reports 9,531 new COVID-19 cases, 1,084,625 in total

Hanoi [Vitenam]: Vietnam reported 9,531 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, including 9,518 locally transmitted and 13 imported, according to its Ministry of Health.Most of the community cases were detected in southern localities, including 1,046 in Ho Chi Minh City, 669 in Binh Duong province, and 621 in Dong Nai province. The infections brought the total tally to 1,084,625, with 23,685 deaths, said the ministry. Nationwide, as many as 900,337 COVID-19 patients have so far recovered, up 16,773 from Friday.Over 106.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, including more than 40 million second doses, have been administered, according to the ministry.Vietnam has by far gone through four coronavirus waves of increasing scale, complication, and infectivity. As of Saturday, the country has registered nearly 1,080,000 locally transmitted COVID-19 cases since the start of the current wave in late April, the ministry said.

International World Updates

USIBC chief urges against imposition of CAATSA on India for buying Russian S-400

Washington [US] : Nisha Biswal, president of the US-India Business Council (USIBC) on Friday (local time) said India’s procurement of S-400 missile systems from Russia presents some challenges between Washington and New Delhi, which need to be worked out by both governments, but not the use of sanctions. “I understand the more awaiting factors of CAATSA and the concern that India’s procurement of the S-400 presence for the American defence establishment because as US India becomes closer defence partners. S-400 plays some challenges, those are the challenges that I think need to be worked through by both governments but not the use of sanctions,” she said.The CAATSA is a United States federal law that imposed sanctions on Iran, North Korea, and Russia. CAATSA authorises the US administration to impose sanctions on countries that purchase major defence hardware from Russia in response to Russia’s annexation…

International World Updates

Russian Embassy outraged over US hostile actions toward Russian Community Council of USA

Moscow [Russia] : The Russian Embassy to the United States has expressed outrage over the US hostile actions toward the Russian Community Council of the USA (RCC) and called on Washington to immediately stop the persecution of representatives of the Russian diaspora.The RCC announced on Thursday that it was temporarily suspending all activities due to an FBI probe into alleged violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) that targeted members of the Russian community in the US. FARA is a US law passed in 1938 requiring anyone representing the interests of foreign powers in a political or quasi-political capacity to disclose their relationship with the foreign government and information about related activities and finances. “We are outraged by the hostile actions of the United States against our compatriots taken under the pretext of suspicion over the work in the United States without registration…

International World Updates

Brazil currently has no immediate plans to join OPEC

Brasilia [Brazil] : Brazil does not plan to join the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) at the moment, but is determined to interact with it in the format of cooperation, Brazilian Minister of Mines and Energy Bento Costa Lima Albuquerque said on Wednesday.“At the moment there are no plans to join OPEC. But we continue to work with them in the format of cooperation,” the minister said on the sidelines of the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference. He stressed that Brazil is the seventh largest oil producer and exporter in the world.“Therefore, we decided that we must have good relations with OPEC and OPEC+,” the minister added.In October 2019, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said that he would like to see his country in OPEC. In his opinion, Brazil has capacity to join the organization, since there are large oil reserves…

International World Updates

Healthy US-China relations imperative for effective response to global challenges: Xi at virtual Summit

Beijing [China] : Healthy and stable relations between China and the United States are imperative to maintain a stable international environment and effectively respond to global challenges, Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Tuesday during a virtual summit with US President Joe Biden.“A healthy and sustainable relationship between China and the United States is essential to advance the development of the two countries and ensure a peaceful and stable international environment, including an effective response to global challenges such as climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic,” Sputnik reported quoting Chinese Foreign Ministry reported. Xi Jinping expressed his readiness to work with US President Joe Biden to build consensus to move China-US relations forward, adding that both the countries are at critical stages of development and the “global village” of humanity faces multiple challenges. Xi made these remarks during his highly-anticipated virtual meeting with Biden,…

International World Updates

New Zealand PM calls for solidarity against regional challenges at APEC meeting

Wellington [New Zealand] : New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern reaffirmed her confidence in multilateral cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region and called for consistent joint efforts to tackle the most important regional challenges at the 28th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting on Saturday (local time).Addressing the meeting, Ardern, who chairs APEC in 2021, underscored the persistent challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic and the benefits of collaborative response by all member economies. Each economy is facing the same fundamental problems in terms of getting as many people vaccinated as fast as possible, keeping businesses afloat and people in jobs, resuming safe cross-border traveling, accelerating economic recovery, and securing an equitable response, she said.Looking ahead, Ardern stressed the importance of protection offered by mass vaccination.“Today is also a chance to look to the future, as we seek to emerge from this crisis better…

International World Updates

New Zealand PM calls for strong, equitable, sustainable post-pandemic recovery

Wellington [New Zealand] : New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Thursday called on political and business leaders to work together to build a strong, equitable and sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.She made the remarks when delivering the keynote address to a global business audience at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) CEO Summit. Acknowledging the scale of the pandemic’s impacts, Ardern said “there is now little doubt that staying on top of the virus provides options when it comes to responding to the economic challenges before us.”“As we prepare for the post-pandemic era, we need to continue to strengthen the partnership between government and business. Together, we need to set the stage for an equitable, inclusive and sustainable recovery that invests in our people and our planet through innovative ideas and renewed resolve,” Ardern said.She outlined several areas where political and business leaders…

International World Updates

Japan raises concerns with Beijing over Chinese ships repeated entry into its waters

Tokyo [Japan] : Japan has voiced concerns over the increasing military capabilities of Beijing in a virtual meeting with a Chinese official, reported local media.Takehiro Funakoshi, head of the Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau at Japan’s Foreign Ministry, raised issues including repeated entry into Japanese waters by Chinese vessels near the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea during his virtual meeting with Hong Liang, director-general of the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s Department of Boundary and Ocean Affairs, reported Kyodo News. Funakoshi called for self-restraint on Beijing’s part while Hong asked Japan not to take any action that could “complicate the situation.The Senkaku Islands are administered by Japan but claimed by China, which calls them Diaoyu.It was the first meeting between the two senior officials since Fumio Kishida, the new Japanese Prime Minister assumed office a month ago. Earlier the two officials spoke in June.The…

International World Updates

Joe Biden likely to meet Xi Jinping virtually next week

Washington [US] : US President Joe Biden is likely to meet his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping virtually ‘as soon as next week’, news agency Reuters reported quoting sources. However, neither the White House nor the Chinese embassy in Washington have confirmed whether the meeting will take place. Earlier this week, White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre reiterated that there’s “an agreement in principle” for a virtual meeting “before the end of the year”. “This is part of our ongoing efforts to responsibly manage the competition between our countries,” Bloomberg quoted her, as saying. The buzz over talks between leaders of world’s two economic giants comes amid heightened tension between the two nations over Taiwan. Washington has also expressed concerns over Beijing’s reported massive expansion of nuclear arsenal.  As per a Pentagon report released last week, China is expanding its nuclear force much faster than US officials predicted just…

International World Updates

Pentagon says stranded Afghan pilots to be evacuated from Tajikistan soon

Washington [US] : A group of nearly 200 stranded Afghan refugees, including military pilots, will soon be evacuated from Tajikistan after they fled Afghanistan following the Taliban takeover, US Defense Department spokesperson John Kirby said.“What I can confirm is that a group of approximately 191 Afghan evacuees, including pilots, remain in Tajikistan, and our embassy there is working to expedite their departure. We expect that they’ll be able to depart Tajikistan soon, but we are not in control the timeline,” Kirby said in a statement on Tuesday (local time). Some 150 military pilots have been detained for more than three months by the authorities in Tajikistan following their crossing over the border from Afghanistan in a bid to save their lives, according to Russia’s Sputnik.In early August, the Taliban mounted an offensive against the Afghan government forces.

International World Updates

Israel, Hungary sign cooperation agreement in science, technology

Jerusalem [Israel]: Israel and Hungary have signed a cooperation agreement in the fields of science and technology, Israel’s Ministry of Innovation, Science and Technology has said in a statement.The agreement provides a new framework for the promotion and support of scientific and technological ideas and research between the two governments, the statement noted on Tuesday. It will also encourage collaborations between research institutions and universities, implementation of joint programs and projects, promotion and support of R&D centers, exchange of scientists and students, and creation of new scientific research.The agreement will also include the preparation of joint proposals for Horizon Europe, the EU’s key funding program for research and innovation.The agreement, signed by Israeli Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology Orit Farkash Hacohen and Hungarian Minister of Innovation and Technology Laszlo Palkovics, was for three years and will be automatically extended each year.Israel and Hungary…

International World Updates

Vatican calling on Europe to take responsibility for refugees on Polish-Belarusian border

Vatican City [Vatican] : Top Vatican diplomat Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher called on the European authorities on Tuesday to take responsibility for migrants and refugees in connection with the crisis on Belarus’ border with Poland and Lithuania.“The immediate crisis is taking place on the borders between Belarus and Poland”, Gallagher said at a press conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. “The Holy See encourages authorities throughout the whole of Europe to assume the responsibility with regard to migrants and to refugees … We would encourage all those in this project to assume responsibilities and to address what is obviously a very serious humanitarian crisis,” the archbishop added.

International World Updates

UN warns 3 million more now ‘teetering on the edge of famine’

New York [US]: The UN World Food Programme (WFP) warned on Monday that the number of people teetering on the edge of famine in 43 countries, has risen to 45 million as acute hunger spikes around the world.This number has risen from 42 million earlier in the year, and 27 million in 2019, the agency said, in a news release. The increase is based on those who desperately living within the official hunger classification of IPC4 and above, in Afghanistan, alongside other increases in Ethiopia, Haiti, Somalia, Angola, Kenya, and Burundi.“Tens of millions of people are staring into an abyss. We’ve got conflict, climate change and COVID-19 driving up the numbers of the acutely hungry, and the latest data show there are now more than 45 million people marching towards the brink of starvation,” said WFP Executive Director David Beasley.He was speaking following a…

International World Updates

UNHCR: Urgent steps needed now to mitigate climate impact on displaced people

Geneva [Swizerland]: Underlining the clear link between climate-related emergencies and forced displacement, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, on Sunday implored leaders to change words to action and step up support to mitigate loss and damage due to climate change in the most vulnerable regions.As the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 26) enters its final week and focuses on adaptation, UNHCR called for more assistance to the countries and communities most impacted by the climate emergency yet most neglected in terms of support, UNHCR said in a statement. The focus needs to be channelled to community-based adaptation projects to help the millions grappling with the catastrophic effects of climate change, many of whom have been displaced, often multiple times, the UN agency said.“Most of the people we support are from countries on the front lines of the climate emergency or they are being hosted in…

International World Updates

UNSC Counter-Terrorism Committee convenes special meeting on its 20th anniversary

New York [US]: The United Nations Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) will convene a special meeting on Thursday on the 20th anniversary of CTC.India is Vice-Chair of CTC and will be the Chair in 2022. The year 2021 marks the twentieth anniversary of the adoption of resolution 1373 (2001) and the establishment of the Committee. On 28 September 2001, the Security Council adopted its resolution 1373 (2001), a landmark resolution that defined a broad counter-terrorism mandate for the international community and established the Counter-Terrorism Committee to monitor Member States’ implementation of its provisions, the UN said in a statement.The proposed special meeting will provide an opportunity to reflect on the work of the Committee and CTED over the last 20 years and to address the change and impact achieved through their committed efforts. It will facilitate in-depth discussion of the successes achieved and challenges…

International World Updates

Australian PM extends Diwali greetings to India

Canberra [Australia]: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Wednesday extended his wishes to India on the holy festival of Diwali.“On the darkest night of the month, we hold in our hearts the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance. It is the moment when we turn the corner and begin to see the lights ahead of us, guiding us forward. We have been through dark times in these last two years,” the Prime Minister said in a statement. “We celebrate Diwali as we draw ever closer to the light at the end of our COVID-19 tunnel. That means all the things we have had to forsake – welcoming, gathering, celebration and ceremony – will again be possible,” Morrison added.“We look forward with joy and hope to know that our Diwali celebrations will take place again. Over recent years, I…

International World Updates

S Korea, US start joint air exercise for 5 days from today

Seoul [South Korea]: South Korea and the United States started a combined air exercise on the 1st.According to a military source, Korea and the US will conduct a five-day joint comprehensive air combat training from the 1st to the 5th. In this joint exercise, some 100 aerial forces from both countries, including F-15K and KF-16 jets from South Korea and F-16s from the US, are participating in.However, there are no military assets were deployed from the US mainland, and the training is conducted by dividing the participating forces into battalion-level or lower depending on the training mission.Korea and the US have regularly held the air exercise, ‘Vigilant Ace,’ every December, but this exercise has been replaced by scaled-down comprehensive training since 2018, when the relationship between South and North Korea has improved.As the air exercise is scaled-down compared to the ‘Vigilant Ace’ and conducted…

International World Updates

Dinesh Patnaik appointed as next Ambassador of India to Spain

New Delhi [India] : Dinesh K Patnaik has been appointed as the next Ambassador of India to Spain on Monday, informed the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in a release.Patnaik is a 1990 batch Indian Foreign Services (IFS) officer and is presently Director-General of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR). He is expected to take up the assignment shortly, added the release.

International World Updates

US-China trade war worsened amid COVID-19 pandemic, says Dy Chairman of Russian Security Council

Moscow [Russia]: The coronavirus pandemic only exacerbated the trade war between the US and China and provocations on the part of NATO have become more frequent, Sputnik reported citing Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council Dmitry Medvedev as saying.“The trade war between the United States and the People’s Republic of China was aggravated by ideological confrontation and finally turned into a kind of cold war. There are more open provocations now, in particular in Europe. Over the past year, it has become customary that NATO ships constantly approach the Russian borders in the Baltic and Black Seas, sometimes even violating them,” the Russian News Agency quoted Medvedev as saying. According to Medvedev, the “western sanctions policy did not undergo any changes amid the COVID-19 pandemic,” Sputnik reported citing Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspaper.“…the struggle with the peaceful commercial project Nord Stream 2 has only intensified.…

International World Updates

UNICEF delivers fuel to 3 Haitian hospitals, more supplies expected

Washington [US] : The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has delivered 6,000 gallons of fuel to three hospitals in Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, on Friday and Saturday and more support is expected on Sunday, UNICEF Haiti’s Chief of Communications Ndiaga Seck told Sputnik.“Yesterday and today, UNICEF was able to deliver at least 6,000 gallons of much-needed fuel to three hospitals in Port-au-Prince despite insecurity and gang criminality,” Seck said on Saturday. “This new provision of fuel will enable them to resume their lifesaving services, especially to newborns and pregnant women.” The spokesman told Sputnik that on Sunday a fourth hospital is expected to receive fuel provided through the UNICEF.“Nevertheless, some health centres are still running out of fuel, which disrupted their emergency medical services,” Seck stressed.Earlier this week, Seck described the present conditions in Haiti as being in distress as a result of fuel shortages…

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Blinken to hold talks with Chinese Foreign Minister on the sidelines of G20

Washington [US]: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is set to meet with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Sunday in Rome on the sidelines of the G20 Summit.These talks are set to hold amid a fresh row between the two global powers over Washington’s support for the “meaningful participation” of Taiwan in the UN. The meeting between the top diplomats is their first since a stormy session in the US state of Alaska in March during which the Chinese delegation berated Washington.Wang Yi on Friday said Taiwan has no future other than reunification with China, and it has no international legal status other than being part of China.Wang Yi said the US and some other countries could not stop the one-China principle 50 years ago, and they are much less likely to succeed in the 21st century. “If they persist, they will pay…

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US, France intend to intensify cooperation on space issues: White House

Rome [Italy]: The United States and France on Friday (local time) said in a joint statement that the two countries intend to intensify cooperation on space issues.“The United States and France intend to intensify cooperation on space issues, which will be further discussed during Vice President Harris’ upcoming visit to Paris,” the White House said in the statement. This comes as United States President Joe Biden and the French President Emmanuel Macron met in Rome on the margins of the G20 Summit to reaffirm their commitment to closer bilateral and transatlantic cooperation in the pursuit of peace, security, and prosperity around the globe.This meeting built on the in-depth consultations announced in their September 22 joint statement aimed at creating the conditions for ensuring confidence.They underscore the strength of the longstanding and historic relationship between the United States and France, underpinned by our shared democratic…

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France is indispensable to peace and stability in Indo-Pacific: Jaishankar

New Delhi [India] : Terming France as a “premier partner for India” in Indo Pacific region, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Friday said New Delhi sees Paris as resident power in the region and the country is indispensable to peace and stability in the region.Speaking at Ambition India Business Forum, Jaishankar said India and France partnership must safeguard “our interest and uphold international law and multilateralism”. He also said that traits — such as values, traits and transparency — define India and France relationship.“In these times values, trust and transparency matter. These traits define India-France relationship. We are also bound with a shared belief in strategic autonomy and a multipolar world underpinned by reformed and effective multilateralism that has produced decades of solidarity most recently during the pandemic and a relationship free from sudden shifts and surprises,” he said.Jaishankar noted that the strategic…

International World Updates

G20 Leaders’ Summit tomorrow; climate change, Afghanistan to dominate talks

Rome [Italy]: Leaders of Group of 20 (G20) nations are set to meet in Rome, Italy on Saturday at the 16th gathering at the level of Heads of State and Government, to address major issues related to the global economy, such as international financial stability, climate change mitigation, and sustainable development.The G20 is the international forum that brings together the world’s major economies. Its members account for more than 80 per cent of world GDP, 75 per cent of global trade and 60 per cent of the population of the planet. This year, the issues concerning climate change and the ongoing situation in Afghanistan is likely to feature heavily during the Summit.The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has made clear that climate action must be led by G20 nations, which collectively account for around 90 per cent of gross world product, 75-80 per cent of…

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India and Israel victims of terror, have to make terrorism disappear: Israel envoy to India

New Delhi [India] : Israel is cooperating with India in fighting terrorism and extremism and “we have to make terrorism disappear,” Israel’s newly-appointed envoy to India Naor Gilon has said.In an interview with ANI, the envoy said that Israel is also a big victim of terrorism like India and is sharing its capabilities in fighting the menace. “Terrorism is a sickness hitting our region especially but around the world, extremism is really bad. Israel is unfortunately big victim like India. We have developed our methods and its capabilities in fighting terrorism and we are very happy to share it with countries in general and India in particular and we do share it and we do work together. We have to make terrorism disappear, people have to talk to each other not to kill each other,” he said.The Israeli envoy said Iran is a big…

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Activists protest in Tokyo over China’s human rights violations against minorities

Tokyo [Japan]: More than 50 activists on Wednesday representing different backgrounds held an hour-long protest outside the Chinese Embassy in Tokyo taking forward their call to Japan and the international community to hold China accountable for the human rights violations in Xinjiang, Tibet, Hong Kong and Inner Mongolia.Protesting under the banner of 100 Days to the “#GenocideOlympics”, the activists highlighted the suppression of the democratic voices in Hong Kong by the Chinese authorities and urged the world community to boycott the Beijing Winter Olympics 2022. The protesters further addressed the Chinese atrocities against the minority ethnic regions of the country and the “dangerously aggressive” military actions in the Taiwan Strait.The protest furthers opinion polls in Japan that concluded that almost 90 per cent of the people in Japan opine negatively of China.It is not often that Chinese actions are a part of the political…

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US launches sponsor circle program for relocated Afghans

Washington [US] : The United States is launching a new program for Afghans who have been evacuated to the country under Operation Allies Welcome, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced on Monday.“The State Department is partnering with the Community Sponsorship Hub (CSH), a project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, Inc., to support the launch of the Sponsor Circle Program for Afghans,” the US State Department statement said. “The program will enable groups of individuals to form sponsor circles to provide initial resettlement assistance to Afghans as they arrive and build new lives in local communities across the country,” it added.Blinken stated the program is due to create new opportunities for the Afghans and will “directly support Afghans who have been relocated to the United States under Operation Allies Welcome.”Earlier this month, the Biden administration had appointed veteran diplomat Elizabeth Jones to lead efforts for…

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Multilateralism ‘struggling’ to solve world challenges, says Deputy UN Chief

Dubai [UAE]: While multilateralism remains “committed to solving global challenges”, deputy UN chief Amina Mohammed said on Sunday, it is “struggling to find the path to effective implementation”.“In the space of six months of the COVID-19 crisis, cooperation among the world’s top scientists had developed vaccines and multilateralism had delivered a vehicle to ensure their distribution across the world – the COVAX facility”, Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed said at Expo 2020 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. “And yet today, we are still struggling to get the resources and cooperation required to ensure vaccine equity and to muster up a recovery that would put us on a better path,” she said.In 2015, the landmark Paris Agreement and 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development were established to deal decisively with the climate crisis and end poverty by 2030.Yet, there have since been struggles to “translate global commitments…

International World Updates

Israeli PM says meeting with Putin ‘good, in depth’

Tel Aviv [Israel] : Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said on Sunday that the five-hour meeting with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin in Sochi was “very good and in-depth.”Speaking at his weekly cabinet meeting, Bennett said “the relations between Israel and Russia are very good, but it can be better. The potential for economic, scientific, cultural and technological cooperation is endless given the fact that there are approximately one million Russian-speakers in Israel.” “We reached good and stable conclusions and I found President Putin to be attentive to Israel’s security needs,” he added.The prime minister said they discussed the situation in Syria and the two countries have been coordinating the airstrikes to avoid clashes.“The Russians are our neighbours to the north and it is important that we manage the delicate and complex situation there smoothly, without mishaps,” Bennett noted.The two also discussed the Iranian nuclear…

International World Updates

Japan: Protesters call for protection of Hindus in Bangladesh

Tokyo [Japan]: Following the series of incidents of communal violence against minorities in Bangladesh, a protest was held in Japan’s capital Tokyo on Sunday, local media reported.People from India and Bangladesh staged a protest in Tokyo and called for the safety of the Hindu minority in Bangladesh, Kyodo News reported. According to the Japanese publication, around 60 demonstrators gathered near the Bangladeshi Embassy, holding placards with messages including “Stop Communal Attack” and “Justice for Bangladesh Minority” and chanting slogans such as “We want justice.”In mid-October, communal riots broke out in Bangladesh after a mob vandalised a Hindu temple in Cumilla.After the incident, more Hindu temples and houses were vandalised, leaving scores of people injured and some dead in the chaos that went on for around a week, Kyodo News reported.“Similar protests took place in around 150 countries including India, Bangladesh and the United States,”…

International World Updates

EU calls on Syria to abolish death penalty

Brussels [Belgium]: The European Union on Saturday condemned the practice of death penalty in Syria and called on Damascus to abolish the punishment.“The European Union condemns the recent execution of 24 people sentenced on charges of terrorism for starting wildfires in coastal regions of Syria in September and October 2020,” the statement read. The EU also expressed concern that minors received verdicts of 10 to 12 years imprisonment on the same charges.The bloc stressed that it strongly opposes the death penalty at all times and in all circumstances as it is a “cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment” and pledged to continue the efforts to achieve its universal abolition. The EU further urged Syria to join the “worldwide trend to abolish the capital punishment.”In fall 2020, Syria was hit by massive forest fires in the provinces of Latakia, Tartus, Homs and Hama. Those responsible were…

International World Updates

Turkish Defence Minister notes stabilisation in Syria’s Idlib after Putin-Erdogan meeting

Ankara [Turkey]: The situation in Syria’s Idlib de-escalation zone has stabilized after the meeting of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last month, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said on Saturday.The two leaders met in the Russian resort city of Sochi in late September. The talks focused on cooperation in a number of fields, including space, as well as regional issues, such as the situation in conflict-torn Syria. “From time to time, some violations occur [in Idlib]. In general, in the framework of the measures taken, ceasefire and stability persist. The situation has become calmer after the meeting of our president with Putin in Sochi,” Akar said, as cited by the Turkish defence ministry.Idlib remains the only Syrian region outside the control of Damascus. Turkey has deployed its forces to the region to counter the Kurdish units in the area…

International World Updates

UN will further defend Women’s Rights in Afghanistan

New York [US] : The United Nations will continue its activities in Afghanistan to further promote and defend women’s rights in Afghanistan, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Friday (local time).“In Afghanistan, the @UN is staying and delivering and will continue to promote and defend the rights of women and girls. We will not stop until girls can go back to school, and women can return to their jobs and participate in public life,” Guterres said in a tweet. Afghanistan had suffered more than 20 years of conflict before the Taliban took over the country in mid-August and the US-led foreign troops withdrew before the fall of the previous Afghanistan government led by President Ashraf Ghani.The Taliban have ruled in accordance with a harsh interpretation of Islamic law and though the outfit has sought to project greater moderation in recent years, many Afghans remain…

International World Updates

Black Day to be observed in Netherlands

The Hague [Netherlands] : A Black Day will be observed and protest held on Friday near the Pakistani embassy in the Netherlands against the “invasion” of Jammu and Kashmir nearly over 70 years back, said Committee Black Day 22 October 1947 in a press release.“The protest will take place on 22 October 2021 at 10 30 am in front of The Peace Palace, Carniegieplein 2 2517 KJ, The Hague, Pakistani refugees, Bangladeshi, Afghani and HR supports will walk towards the Pakistani Embassy Amaliastraat 8, 2514 JC The Hague, and protest minorities heavily prosecuted in Pakistan,” the committee said. It further said that Pakistan had “invaded Kashmir” on October 22, 1947, and brought in its wake horrifying stories of “mass plunder and vandalism”.“On this Black Day, we come forward to raise awareness about the sentiments of human rights against minorities,” the release stated.Stressing the urgent…

International World Updates

UK Foreign Secy begins two-day visit to India; to announce tech, infrastructure deals

London [UK] : The United Kingdom Foreign Secretary Liz Truss is scheduled to announce a series of tech and infrastructure deals to boost jobs and increase global green growth between the two countries, during her two-day visit to India starting from Friday.According to a statment from the British High Commission, the Foreign Secretary will also announce a new forum bringing together leading figures from the UK and India, as part of the UK-India 10 Year Roadmap. It stated that the minister will also meet Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav in Delhi, and announce a 70 million dollar investment to fund green tech infrastructure projects across India.During her visit to Delhi and Mumbai, the Foreign Secretary will outline agreements to deepen investment ties between the two countries and work together on finance and technical support packages for the developing world.“The…

International World Updates

China continues to violate obligations, abuse international bodies

Hong Kong : China is continuously violating international obligations and has been involved in the abuse of international bodies through its political, economic clout and unconstrained power, a media report said.Beijing has imposed ever more stringent measures against its minority communities and Chinese dissidents and has even signed extradition treaties with 59 nations, of which 39 are ratified. The country has misused the treaties to bring back Uyghurs, Tibetans and other Chinese dissidents from other countries, reported Hong Kong Free Press. The communist regime has also been involved in misusing Interpol’s Red Notice system by issuing politically motivated “red notice”-seeking the arrest and extradition of Chinese dissidents and others whom China deems problematic, the Hong Kong Free Press report said.In 2015, China had issued 100 notices while in 2016, the number surged to 612.Using Interpol as a mechanism to bring back dissidents from other…

International World Updates

Argentina freezes prices of over 1,400 goods amid rising inflation

Buenos Aires [Argentina]: The Argentine authorities have set maximum prices for 1,423 products in stores, saying violators will be sanctioned according to law, the Ministry of Productive Development said on Wednesday.In September, Argentina saw a sharp increase in inflation, which reached 3.5 per cent compared to 2.5 per cent in August. “The Ministry of Commerce of the Nation issued a resolution that establishes the ‘temporary fixation of maximum prices for sale to the consumer for all producers, marketers and distributors of 1,432 mass consumption products throughout the national territory,” the ministry’s press release said.The decision is intended to return product prices to their level as of October 1, and maintain them there until January 7, 2022, which “was agreed by a large percentage of the representatives of the participating companies (both manufacturers and retail chains),” the press release said.This is not Argentina’s first price…

International World Updates

US refuses to release frozen assets of Afghanistan

Washington [US]: The US has rejected to release the frozen assets of Afghanistan but assured that it is committed to providing Afghans with humanitarian aids and reiterated that the Taliban must facilitate the distribution process.Underlining that the people of Afghanistan should not be harmed, US Deputy Minister of Finance Wally Adeyemo stressed that it is important to keep pressure on the Taliban, reported Khaama Press. “We will not let the Taliban access the money in an ongoing situation,” Adeyemo said to senators.Emphasising that the US is committed to providing Afghans with humanitarian aids he reiterated that the Taliban must facilitate the distribution process.“We will continue to assert our restrictions on Haqqani network and the Taliban, but will continue humanitarian aids to Afghan people,” added Adeyemo.For over a month, the Taliban leaders have been calling the US to release its frozen funds but their call…

International World Updates

India-UK agree to continue working to deepen cooperation during 2nd Multilateral Dialogue

New Delhi [India] : The delegations of India and the UK, during the second India-UK Multilateral Dialogue, have agreed to continue working closely to further deepen their cooperation on multilateral issues during the second India-UK Multilateral Dialogue.The 2nd India-UK Multilateral Dialogue was held on October 18 in London. According to an official release, the Indian delegation was led by Prakash Gupta, Joint Secretary (UN Political), Ministry of External Affairs and the UK side was led by Harriet Mathews CMB OBE, Deputy Political Director for UN, UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).“The UK side congratulated India on its successful presidency of the UN Security Council in August 2021. Discussions covered issues of mutual interest pertaining to UN reforms, counterterrorism, peacekeeping and climate action,” said the release.Both sides also exchanged views on the Commonwealth Strategic Plan and priorities.“The delegations agreed to continue to work closely…

International World Updates

India, Israel, US, UAE discuss joint infrastructure projects in maritime security, trade, tech

Tel Aviv [Israel] : In a first four-nations virtual meeting on Monday of India, Israel, the US and the UAE, the Foreign Minister’s discussed possible joint infrastructure projects in the fields of transportation, technology, maritime security, and trade.The meeting was held between External Affairs Minister, Dr S Jaishankar, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Israel, Yair Lapid, Foreign Minister of UAE, Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken. During the meeting, the four ministers held a discussion on possibilities for joint infrastructure projects in the fields of transportation, technology, maritime security, and economics and trade, as well as for additional joint projects, said the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.Israeli, Minister of Foreign Affairs Lapid initiated the meeting during his visit to Washington and said at the start of the meeting, “Around this virtual table – there is a unique set…

International World Updates

Iran announces to host multilateral conference on Afghanistan

Tehran [Iran] : Iranian Foreign Ministry announced that the country will host a meeting of Afghanistan’s neighbours plus Russia next week, which will be attended by six foreign ministers on October 27, a media report said.Saeed Khatibzadeh, Iranian Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson, on Monday said that in addition to Tehran and Russia, the meeting will be attended by China, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, who all have land borders with Afghanistan, reported Al Jazeera. “The countries will be focused on how they can help form an inclusive government in Afghanistan with the presence of all ethnic groups, and how they can help shape a future of peace and security in Afghanistan,” Al Jazeera quoted Khatibzadeh as saying.After the Taliban took control of Pakistan, Tehran has been maintaining that it wants an inclusive government in Afghanistan.Underlining that the Taliban has a direct responsibility in maintaining peace…

International World Updates

Russia suspends mission to NATO from November: FM Lavrov

Moscow [Russia]: Russia will suspend activities of its permanent mission to NATO from November 1 or a few days later, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday.“In response to NATO’s actions, we suspend the work of our permanent mission to NATO, including the work of the chief military representative, probably from November 1, or maybe it will take several more days,” Lavrov said during a press conference. He said that the alliance’s military liaison mission and information offices in Moscow would be closed and the accreditation of their employees revoked from November.“If NATO has any urgent matters, they can address these issues to our ambassador in Belgium, who deals with bilateral relations between Russia and the Kingdom of Belgium,” Lavrov added.The move follows NATO’s decision to expel eight members of the Russian mission to NATO in Brussels for allegedly working as intelligence officers, cutting…

International Middle East World Updates

EAM Jaishankar visits WWI cemetery in Jerusalem, pays homage to Indian soldiers

Tel Aviv [Israel] : External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar on Sunday visited the Indian cemetery in Jerusalem and paid homage to the Indian soldiers who died during World War I.Jaishankar arrived in Israel on Sunday on a three-day visit. He is scheduled to hold talks with Israel’s top leadership. “Visited the Indian Cemetery at Talpiot as my first engagement in Jerusalem. Paid homage to the brave Indian soldiers who made the supreme sacrifice during World War I,” Jaishankar tweeted.This ongoing visit is Jaishankar’s first to the country as the External Affairs Minister.After reaching Israel, the minister wrote on Twitter: “Shalom Israel! Arrived on my first visit as External Affairs Minister. Looking forward to a great visit.”During his three-day visit, Jaishankar will hold a bilateral meeting with the Foreign Minister of Israel Yair Lapid and will also call on Israeli President Isaac Herzog and…

International World Updates

China poses serious political, economic, security, technological challenges to EU

Brussels [Belgium] : The European Union (EU) parliament published an 18-page resolution on a new EU-China strategy on September 16 whose fundamental message was that Beijing poses serious political, economic, security, and technological challenges to the group.Di Valerio Fabbri, writing in Geopolitica.info said that quite aptly, the resolution was released soon after the United States announced the creation of a new alliance with the United Kingdom and Australia (AUKUS). The fundamental message of the resolution is that “China is asserting a stronger global role both as an economic power and as a foreign-policy actor, which poses serious political, economic, security and technological challenges to the EU. In turn, this has significant and long-lasting consequences for the world order and poses serious threats to rules-based multilateralism and core democratic values.”True to its core values, the EU also highlighted every aspect of the complicated relationship with…

International World Updates

Erdogan, Merkel debate over shortcomings of coalition government

Ankara [Turkey]: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and German Chancellor Angela Merkel engaged in a debate over the shortcomings of a coalition government during the latter’s farewell trip to Istanbul on Saturday.“Under Merkel, there was a successful period in Turkish-German relations. But it is always difficult to work with a coalition government. Turkey had a lot of problems when had it, but after switching to a presidential system, we got rid of them and started to work intensively,” Erdogan told reporters after a meeting with Merkel. The chancellor, in turn, said that a coalition government suits Germany, noting her country is not going to switch to a presidential system.In response, Erdogan recalled that Merkel complained about difficulties with the coalition government during talks with him.“It is true, but this is life,” Merkel said.Erdogan replied with a smile, quoting his grandchild who says “Grandfather, what…

International World Updates

EAM Jaishankar to embark on 3-day visit to Israel tomorrow

New Delhi [India] : External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will pay an official visit to Israel from October 17 to 21, confirmed the Ministry of External Affairs on Saturday.During his three-day visit, Jaishankar will hold a bilateral meeting with alternate Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Israel, Yair Lapid, and will also call on Israeli President Isaac Herzog and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. This will be his first visit to the country as External Affairs Minister, the MEA said.“He will hold a bilateral meeting with the Alternate Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Israel. Further, he will also call on the President, the Prime Minister, and the Knesset Speaker (Mickey Levy),” the statement read.Jaishankar will interact with the Indian-origin Jewish community in Israel, Indologists, Indian students who are currently pursuing their education in Israeli universities, and business people, including from the hi-tech industries, the…

International World Updates

US offers to relocate, pay money for Afghan family hit by drone in Kabul

Washington [US] :The US drone attacked a family in Kabul on August 29, in which 10 civilians were killed, including seven children, the United States has said that it will pay an unspecified amount of condolence money and will relocate the family of those who were killed in a mishandled attack of the US in Kabul, local media reported on Friday.The US Department of Defense said that they have pledged money to be paid for the family and has asked the department of state to arrange relocation to the United States for the family members who are interested, Khaama Press reported.The US officials had first said that they have targeted Islamic State Khorasan (ISIS-K) affiliates who were an imminent threat to them as they were busy evacuating people from Hamid Karzai International Airport now Kabul International Airport, Khaama Press reported.Last month, the Pentagon called…

International World Updates

India introduces draft resolution in UNGA for granting Observer Status to International Solar Alliance

New York [US]: India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN) TS Tirumurti on Friday (local time) announced that India has introduced a draft resolution in United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), for granting Observer Status to International Solar Alliance (ISA).Taking to Twitter, ambassador Tirumurti termed this move as “another milestone” for International Solar Alliance. “Another milestone for International Solar Alliance. India introduces draft resolution in #UNGA for granting Observer Status to @isolaralliance (ISA). I said that ISA, through its efforts towards just & equitable energy solutions, will usher in new era of Green Energy Diplomacy,” Tirumurti tweeted.The International Solar Alliance was launched jointly by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during COP21 in Paris. It aims to contribute to the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement through rapid and massive deployment of solar energy, according to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).

International World Updates

UN must work to enhance support for South-South cooperation, says India at UNGA

New York [US]: India on Thursday at the United Nations (UN) underlined the need to enhance support for South-South cooperation and ensuring that resources meant for core development programmes are not re-purposed.Speaking at the UN General Assembly (UNGA), India’s First Secretary Sneha Dubey said that it is important that development activities revolve around national ownership and leadership, and give due consideration to national development priorities. “The UN system must focus on those tasks it is uniquely qualified to deliver. And these should be supported with adequate and predictable volume of flexible resources,” she said.Stressing on the need to enhance support for South-South cooperation, the Indian diplomat said the UN must ensure that it must ensure that resources meant for core development programmes are not re-purposed.“UN Development System needs to amplify its impact while working to enhance support for South-South cooperation. If we are to…

International World Updates

Resurgence of TTP’s terror activities raises concern over Pak stability: Think tank

Ottawa [Canada]: The strong resurgence of Pakistani Taliban’s terror activities soon after the Taliban’s takeover in Afghanistan is raising new concerns about Pakistan’s overall stability, including the security of its nuclear arsenal, said a Canada-based think tank. According to an article in International Forum for Rights and Security (IFFRAS), Pakistan efforts to pressurise the Taliban to ensure that the TTP is not allowed any sanctuary in Afghanistan, have failed to yield any visible results.In recent times, the Pakistani Taliban has carried out multiple attacks in Pakistan. A ceasefire between Pakistan’s government and Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) announced on October 1 has fallen apart in days as fears rise about the al Qaeda-linked group’s true agenda, the think tank said. TTP, a conglomerate of ethnic Pashtun Islamist militant groups, operates from Pakistan’s north-western tribal area of North Waziristan and has been fighting the Pakistani state in…

International World Updates

China denounced former Australian PM Tony Abbot over Taiwan visit

Beijing [China] : China on Saturday lambasted the former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott over his visit to Taiwan and issued a strong statement against him.The development comes after Abbott, who is the Special Envoy for Indigenous Affairs of Australia, visited Taiwan last week and met President Tsai Ing-wen along with other government officials, Taiwan News reported. In response to Abbott’s visit, the Chinese embassy in Canberra posted a statement on their website, saying, “Tony Abbot is a failed and pitiful politician,” Taiwan News reported.The statement also said that “His [Abbott’s] recent despicable and insane performance in Taiwan fully exposed his hideous anti-China features” and added that Abbott’s recent visit will further discredit him.Speaking at a regional conference in Taipei, Abbott had addressed the full suite of concerns facing the international community in its relations with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), Taiwan News reported.“It’s…

International World Updates

Russia rejects Trump’s claim of reverse-engineering US hardware scavenged in Afghanistan

Moscow [Russia] : Moscow has no defence industry ties with the interim Afghan government and is not working to reverse-engineer American military hardware left behind by US troops, reported Sputnik citing Russia’s Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation spokesperson Valeria Reshetnikova.“There is currently no military-technical cooperation with Afghanistan,” Reshetnikova told Sputnik. “Any claims that our specialists are involved in the efforts to copy American hardware are baseless,” Reshetnikova added.During an Iowa rally on Saturday night, former US President Donald Trump suggested that Moscow and Beijing were taking apart and “re-engineering” Apache helicopters.Stating that a large number of military hardware were never disabled, Trump stressed that the equipment finally ended up on the black market.

International World Updates

US military equipment left behind in Afghanistan will now benefit Russia, China: Trump

Washington [US]: Former US President Donald Trump has said US military equipment left behind in Afghanistan was not disabled and will now benefit other powers, including Russia and China.“Russia and China already have samples of our great helicopters. We have the Apache helicopters … and they are now re-engineering the equipment, they are de-engineering. They are taking it apart, they are figuring it out and very soon they’ll be building the best stuff for less money,” Sputnik quoted Trump as saying at the “Save America” rally in Des Moines on Saturday. Trump alleged that only three per cent of all people who were taken out of Afghanistan on US evacuation flights were qualified to be taken to the United States.“They had no idea who was getting on those planes,” Trump said.According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, US troops destroyed or disabled…

International World Updates

France has no plans to retain military presence in Mali for long lime, says President Macron

Paris [France]: France has no intention to retain its military presence in Mali for a long time, President Emmanuel Macron said.“We have no intention to remain [in Mali], that is why we are closing the bases. Our work in Tessalit or Kidal [northern Mali] is not aimed at retaining bases,” Macron said on the sidelines of the Africa-France summit in Montpellier on late Friday. The French president added that Paris wanted to leave the bases in Mali as soon as possible but that required a strong state in Mali and significant investment projects in this country.France has been conducting Operation Barkhane against terrorist groups in the Sahel region – Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger – since August 1, 2014.

International World Updates

US prosecutors charge ex-Taliban commander with killing American troops

New York [US]: US prosecutors have charged a former Taliban commander with terrorism-related offences related to attacks on US troops in Afghanistan including the 2008 attack on an American military convoy.Haji Najibullah, who is already in US custody on the initial indictment, has been charged with 13 crimes including kidnapping, providing material support for acts of terrorism resulting in death, according to a statement US Department of Justice. He was earlier charged with kidnapping an American journalist and two Afghan civilians.In addition to those charges, the superseding indictment charges Najibullah with attacks on US troops conducted by him and the Taliban fighters under his command, including a June 26, 2008, attack on an American military convoy that killed three U.S. Army servicemembers and their Afghan interpreter.He is also charged with an attack that resulted in the shooting down of a US military helicopter. on…

International World Updates

Ahead of Danish PM visit, India says we are focused and engaging on Kim Davy extradition issue

New Delhi [India] : On the eve of Denmark’s Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen’s visit to India, the issue of extradition of Kim Davy to India has resurfaced, who is a key conspirator of the 1995 arms drop in Purulia district of West Bengal.Purulia’s arms drop is one of the biggest security breaches in Indian history. On December 17, 1995, a very large consignment of illegal arms of AK47 rifles and a million rounds of ammunition scattered over four villages in the Purulia district of West Bengal were dropped from an Antonov An-26 aircraft. On the issue of extradition of Kim Davy issue, MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said “As regards the Kim davy issue, We are focused on that, it has been on the agenda, we have raised it in the past and we remain engaged with Denmark on this issue and now discussions are…

International World Updates

India-UK travel restrictions row to end soon, hopes MEA

New Delhi [India]: The Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday said that there can be an early solution to the India-UK travel restrictions row.Talking to reporters MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said “We took it up with UK authorities at various levels but without success, that’s why October 4 onwards we have applied reciprocal measures for all UK nationals arriving in India, so that’s in effect, discussions are ongoing, nonetheless, we remain hopeful that some solution may emerge.” India has taken reciprocal action against the UK’s new international COVID-19 travel rules which India has termed ‘discriminatory’.UK new travel rules make it mandatory for a 10-day quarantine and RT-PCR test even for fully vaccinated Indians traveling to the UK. Enraged by the move, India in retaliation has imposed reciprocal measures for UK citizens travelling to India since October 4.MEA spokesperson further said, “I don’t want to…

International World Updates

Canada announces COVID-19 vaccination mandate for federal employees, most travellers

Ottawa [Canada]: The Canadian government announced on Wednesday a COVID-19 vaccination mandate for federal employees and travellers aged 12 and older.All federal employees in the core public administration must be fully vaccinated by Oct. 29, according to an announcement. Those who are not fully vaccinated or do not disclose their vaccination status by that date will be placed on administrative leave without pay, it added.The government also said all travellers 12 or older must be fully vaccinated by the end of October to board planes, trains, or marine vessels in Canada.Some 88 percent of eligible Canadians have received one COVID-19 vaccine dose and about 82 percent of eligible Canadians are fully inoculated, according to senior officials.As of Wednesday noon, Canada reported 1,007 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the cumulative total to 1,644,481, including 28,068 deaths, data from Canadian media outlets showed.

International World Updates

India-US relationship of paramount importance to ensure free, open Indo-Pacific, says Shringla

New Delhi [India]: Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla on Wednesday said that India considers its relationship with the US to be of paramount importance not only for the two countries but also for ensuring a free, open and prosperous Indo-Pacific region.Speaking at the US-India Business Council (USIBC) India Ideas Summit, he said there is every reason to believe that the bilateral relationship will only attain greater heights in years to come and the two countries are poised to move forward exponentially in many areas identified together. “India considers its relationship with the US to be of paramount importance, not only for our respective nations but also in ensuring a free, open and prosperous Indo-Pacific region, and a peaceful and prosperous world,” Shringla said.“There is every reason to believe that India-US relationship will only attain greater heights in years to come. Today, we are in…

International World Updates

EU leaders discuss EU-NATO declaration, alliance’s new strategic concept

Brussels [Belgium]: The leaders of the European Union countries discussed on Tuesday updating the EU-NATO declaration on counteracting mutual threats as well as the alliance’s new strategic concept, an EU official said.Earlier in the day, the leaders met for an informal working dinner in Slovenia. “PEC (European Council President Charles Michel) announced member states will need to agree on a new EU-NATO declaration and the preparatory discussions leading up to a new strategic concept of the alliance,” the official told media.Another important issue at the dinner was the concept of the bloc’s strategic autonomy and development of its own defense capacities, the source added.“A central theme which keeps coming back is strategic autonomy. But this principle also needs to be clear/clarified among member states,” the official stated.In June, the NATO leaders adopted a new strategic concept for the next decade, however, French Foreign Minister…

International World Updates

Education minister Dharmendra Pradhan holds a virtual meeting with Australia’s Alan Tudge

New Delhi [India] : Union Minister for Education and Skill Development Dharmendra Pradhan on Tuesday held a virtual meeting with Australian counterpart Alan Tudge to strengthen ties in the field of higher education.Both countries pledged to lay emphasis on two-way student mobility, teacher exchanges, applied research and other areas of mutual priority. During the discussion, the Union Minister also raised the issue of the return of Indian students studying in Australia.Meanwhile, the Australian Minister also briefed him on the steps being taken by the Australian government to ease the return of Indian students to Australia. Pradhan along with his Australian counterpart also laid emphasis on both countries’ commitment to supporting Australia-bound students at every stage.Earlier, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar took up problems faced by Indian students in Australia with Foreign Minister Marise Payne and urged that the difficulty faced by students due to…

International World Updates

Brussels conference calls for Pakistan to abide by its ‘international obligations’ regarding people of PoK

Brussels [Belgium]: An international conference held under the aegis of United Kashmir People’s National Party (UKPNP) and EU Today on Friday passed a resolution unanimously calling for Pakistan to abide by its “international obligations” regarding the people of Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK), according to a media report.The conference emphasised the need for the government of Pakistan to abide by its international obligations on free press and media and to take appropriate measures to curb malicious propaganda against academics, journalists, civil society activists, human rights defenders and political leaders in its peripheries that is PoK, according to EU Today. Jamil Maqsood chaired the conference held at the Brussels Press Club. Maqsood is a human rights activist and senior official of the UKPNP.The conference also called upon the government of Pakistan to criminalise those human rights abusers who openly eulogised extremism and terrorism online.Calling on the…

International World Updates

Thousands protest in Paris against China’s rights violation in Xinjiang

Paris [France]: More than 2000 people gathered in Paris on October 2 and demonstrated against the ongoing rights violations of Uyghurs in Xinjiang by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).The protest was organised by multiple Uyghur organisations including the World Uyghur Congress and the Uyghur Institute of Europe. The protest saw the participation of hundreds of Uyghur youth who had travelled from various European countries as well as public figures like Raphael Glucksmann, Member of European Parliament (MEP) and French actress Lucie Lucas. The protestors marched from Bastille square to place de ka Republique shouting slogans ‘genocide in progress’ and ‘Save the Uyghurs’ and carrying banners and East Turkestan flags. During the speeches, a call was made to the international community to cancel all agreements between the European Union and China as well as boycott the Beijing Winter Olympics 2022.Further, many speakers denounced the complicity…

International World Updates

India, UAE agree to ensure speedy normalisation of air transport operations

Dubai [UAE] : India and UAE on Saturday agreed to work on a priority basis to ensure the speedy normalisation of air transport operations between the two countries.“Given the importance of air transport in facilitating bilateral ties and people-to-people connections, both sides agreed that their respective civil aviation authorities should continue to work together on a priority basis, for their mutual benefit, to ensure the speedy normalisation of air transport operations between the two countries,” according to a statement by the UAE authorities. The two nations held the ninth meeting of the India and UAE high-level joint task force on investments.The meeting was co-chaired by Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Member of the Executive Council of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, and Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs, informed the statement.Senior officials representing relevant government authorities and various investment entities…

International World Updates

CDS Rawat, US Defence Secretary exchange views on advancing defence ties

Washington [US]: Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat on Thursday (local time) met US Secretary of Defence Lloyd J Austin III and both exchanged views on advancing defence partnership.The two leaders exchanged views on priorities for advancing the US-India defence partnership, including through enhanced cooperation in new defence domains such as space, cyber, and emerging technologies, Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said in a readout of the conversation on Thursday. Austin “underscored the US commitment to supporting the Indian Armed Forces’ transition toward greater institutional integration and operational jointness”. They also discussed opportunities for expanding multilateral cooperation with regional partners.This “historic meeting highlights the enduring strength of the US-India Major Defence Partnership as the two countries work in concert with like-minded partners to sustain a free and open Indo-Pacific”.Earlier on Thursday, General Rawat had met the US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of…

International World Updates

EU-Australia trade talks postponed amid submarine deal fallout

Canberra [Australia]: Australia-EU free trade talks have been postponed on Friday amid Canberra’s decision to cancel a major French submarine contract.Australia’s Minister for Trade Dan Tehan said that talks with the European Union over a trade deal have been postponed, as a row over Canberra’s decision to cancel a USD 40-billion deal with France escalates, reported The Globe and Mail. Australia last month cancelled a deal with France’s Naval Group to build a fleet of conventional submarines and will instead build at least eight nuclear-powered submarines with US and British technology after striking a trilateral security partnership AUKUS with those two countries.The cancellation has angered France, which accused both Australia and the United States of stabbing it in the back. Paris recalled its ambassadors from Canberra and Washington, reported The Globe and Mail.In solidarity with France, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen has…

International World Updates

US in talks to use Russian bases for Afghan operations, Pentagon informs lawmakers

Washington [US]: US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Milley told lawmakers in a classified briefing that the Biden administration is in talks about using Russian bases in Central Asia to conduct counterterrorism missions against targets in Afghanistan, Politico reported citing several senators who attended the briefing.The report said on Wednesday that the United States is in talks with the governments of Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and others. The US defense leaders told senators the option to use Russian military bases in Central Asia is being seriously considered, the report said.US Central Command (CENTCOM) Commander Kenneth McKenzie detailed the types of military aircraft and launching points that could be used to launch strikes against targets in the Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, the report added.On Tuesday, the US defense chief told lawmakers in an open hearing that the United States asked Russia for…

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India, Australia sign terms of reference for conduct of navy to navy talks

New Delhi [India]: Indian and the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) on Wednesday signed a ‘Terms of Reference for the conduct of Navy-to-Navy (N2N) talks between the two countries.This comes in the light of the “Joint Guidance for the India-Australia Navy to Navy Relationship” document signed by the Chiefs of the two navies on August 18 this year. An official release stated the signing of the ‘Terms of Reference’ ceremony was held virtually between Rear Admiral Jaswinder Singh, ACNS (FCI), Indian Navy (IN) and Rear Admiral Christopher Smith, DCNS, RAN.The “Joint Guidance” document sets the Navy to Navy (N2N) Talks as the “Principal” medium for guiding the bilateral relationship. The bilateral defence relations between India and Australia have strengthened over the years.The release stated said that ‘Comprehensive Strategic Partnership’, Mutual Logistics Support Agreement, the conduct of trilateral Maritime Security Workshop and RAN participation in Exercise…

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China seeks prompt summit of five permanent members of UN Security Council

New York [US]: China’s Permanent Representative to the UN Zhang Jun said on Tuesday (local time) that Beijing wants a prompt summit of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (Russia, China, the US, France, the UK) to hold a discussion on a number of global issues, a media report said.Expressing the country’s desire to hold the summit, Zhang said, “It’s our strong wish that this summit can be held as early as possible,” according to Sputnik. He emphasised that Beijing wants to convene the summit “because of the fact that we have so many global challenges ahead of us”.Underling the need to convene the summit, Zhang stressed that “there are so many global challenges ahead of us. And we have many peace and security issues.”Referring to the fellow members view over holding a meet, he said P5 members Russia and France…

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France says it is comfortable with Quad, four-nation grouping different from security alliance AUKUS

New Delhi [India] : France has said that it is adopting a pragmatic approach and is comfortable with the functioning of Quad and the four-nation grouping cannot be seen in the same light as security alliance AUKUS.The French Ambassador to India Emmanuel Lenain said how France interacts with Quad depends on the way it is evolved. “If I look at the statements including by the Indian officials, there is a clear difference between military alliance AUKUS and a more broader, global group of countries which is Quad. How do we interact with Quad depends on the way it is evolved. Right now we are pretty comfortable with the way how Quad is making announcements and working, we will see they deliver on it and decided to be very pragmatic on that. We are result-oriented and it will depend. We are absolutely not against any…

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Jaishankar meets Syrian FM, exchanges views on developments in UNSC

New York [US], September 26 : External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar met his Syrian counterpart Faisal Mekdad here and exchanged views on developments in the UN Security Council.Focusing on assistance to the Syrian people, Jaishankar stressed that India will continue to provide humanitarian support to Damascus. He also discussed bilateral ties with Faisal Mekdad. “Discussed bilateral ties with FM Dr Faisal Mekdad of Syria. India will continue to provide humanitarian support and assistance to the Syrian people. Useful exchange of views on developments in the UN Security Council,” Jaishankar said in a tweet.External Affairs Minister is in the US and has held various bilateral meetings with his counterparts and participated in Quad summit and including Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address at the UNGA on Saturday.Later on Sunday, Jaishankar will embark on a two-day visit to Mexico. It will be his first visit to the…

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Terrorism is equally big threat for those using it as political tool: PM Modi at UNGA

New York [US], September 25 : Without naming Pakistan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his UN General Assembly (UNGA) address said that countries that are using terrorism as a “political tool” must understand that terrorism is an equally big threat for them.“The countries who are making use of regressive thinking as a political tool must understand, that terrorism poses an equally big threat for them,” the PM said in his remarks at the 76th session of UNGA, PM Modi said, The Prime Minister said that the world must ensure sure that the land of Afghanistan must not be used to spread terrorism and terrorist attacks. “We must be stay alert that no one should make use of the delicate situation in Afghanistan as a tool for their own use,” he said.He said the people of Afghanistan, including children and minorities, need help. “We must…

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Amid Chinese threat, Quad to deploy secure, open, transparent 5G networks

Washington [US], September 25 : Amid growing security concern over misuse of 5G technologies by Chinese companies, leaders of the United States, Japan, Australia and India on Friday agreed to advance the deployment of “secure, open and transparent” 5G telecommunications networks and work to bolster supply chain security for semiconductors.Discussion at the first in-person summit of the leaders of the four democracies, which are known as the Quad reflected the concerns of the member countries about the concentration of the world’s semiconductor manufacturing capacity largely in China and also the hold of the Asian country on 5G networks. In Washington, US President Joe Biden was joined by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and they focussed on cooperation on critical and emerging technologies.“We have established cooperation on critical and emerging technologies, to ensure the way…

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Quad leaders renew commitment to promote free, open, rules-based order in Indo-Pacific

Washington [US], September 25 : Quad leaders on Friday renewed their commitment to promote free, open, rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific.In the first-ever in-person Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) Leaders’ Summit hosted by US President Joe Biden in Washington, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga participated. “The occasion of the Quad summit is an opportunity to refocus ourselves and the world on the Indo-Pacific and on our vision for what we hope to achieve. Together, we recommit to promoting the free, open, rules-based order, rooted in international law and undaunted by coercion, to bolster security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific and beyond,” said the joint statement of the Quad leaders.China’s increased aggression in the South China Sea is aggravating regional tension. China’s unilateral claim on the Nine-Dash Line in the South China Sea; rapid warship building…

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Quad initiatives expected to gather pace after summit meeting in Washington

Washington [US]: With Quad working on several initiatives including on climate change, infrastructure and new and emerging technologies, the first in-person leaders’ summit of US, India, Japan and Australia on Friday is expected to promote the forward looking-agenda to meet the requirements of Indo-Pacific region.US President Joe Biden will host the meeting which will be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Japan Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga. The four-nation grouping has a vision for a free, open, transparent and inclusive Indo-Pacific.Before the Quad summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold a bilateral meeting with Biden. Having had bilateral meetings with Scott Morrison and Yoshihide Suga on Thursday, PM Modi will have done bilaterals with the other three members of Quad before the Summit meeting.The Prime Minister is accompanied by a high-level delegation including National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Foreign…

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If UN approves representative, will strengthen relations with US, EU, others, says Taliban

Kabul [Afghanistan]: Taliban on Friday said that it will focus on strengthening relations with the United States, European Union, and other countries if the United Nations approves its representative.In an interview to Sputnik, Afghan Deputy Minister of Culture and Information Zabihullah Mujahid said: “If my brother Suhail is approved by the UN as our representative, he will obviously make effort to strengthen relations with other states, including the European Union and the US, as well as with Muslim countries for the sake of strong and long-term cooperation. This will be the primary task.” He further said that the Taliban may ask friendly countries like Qatar to help it obtain a seat in the UN.“Yes, why not. Other countries close to us, such as Qatar and others, those that supported us during a difficult period, could take on the role of mediators or a link…

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UNICEF concerned about situation of Haitian families being expelled from US border

New York [US]: The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has voiced concern about the situation of Haitian families, particularly children, being expelled from the US border.According to UNICEF initial estimates, over two in three Haitian migrants who have been returned to Port-au-Prince are women and children. Some of them are newborn babies, with specific and immediate needs, said UNICEF in a statement. “Haiti is reeling from the triple tragedy of natural disasters, gang violence and the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Henrietta Fore, UNICEF executive director.“When children and families are sent back without adequate protection, they find themselves even more vulnerable to violence, poverty and displacement — factors that drove them to migrate in the first place,” he said.Initial assessments in Mexico and Haiti suggest that many of the children under 10 were born outside Haiti or lived most of their lives in another country, said UNICEF.The…

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Amid vaccine certification issue, National Health Authority CEO calls for deepening India-UK health ties

New Delhi [India]: After meeting British High Commissioner to India Alex Ellis here, National Health Authority’s CEO Dr RS Sharma on Thursday said that he looks forward to deepening ties between the health bodies of the two countries.The meeting came amid the rising concerns over the new travel rules issued by the UK. Dr Sharma said that the meeting will be instrumental in resuming socio-economic ties between the two countries.“Echoing his excellency @AlexWEllis’s views, this will be instrumental in resuming socio-economic activities between India and UK. We also look forward to deepening ties between @AyushmanNHA and @NHSX, as we collaborate to build a digital continuum of healthcare services,” Dr Sharma said in a tweet.Earlier, Ellis said the “excellent discussions” were an important step forward in “our joint aim to facilitate travel and fully protect the public health of UK and India”.“Excellent technical discussions with…

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Russia, China, Pakistan agree to maintain contacts with Taliban

Moscow [Russia]: Special representatives of Pakistan Russia and China agreed with the Taliban to maintain contacts at the recent consultations in Kabul, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.“An agreement was reached to maintain constructive contacts in the interests of Afghanistan’s peace and prosperity, and regional stability and development,” the Sputnik news quoted Russian Foreign Ministry. The statement added that the Taliban emphasized their special focus on promoting relations with Russia, China and Pakistan.This comes as the 76th UN General Assembly (UNGA) opened began the high-level week started on September 21.The United States and all other major countries around the world are taking a wait and watch approach with regard to recognising the Taliban. While the other stakeholders are restraining themselves to recognise the new Taliban regime in Afghanistan, Pakistan is in a hurry to recognize and boost the caretaker “Islamic Emirate”.While nominated their…

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Biden calls Australia most reliable ally of US

New York [US]: US President Joe Biden on Tuesday (local time) called Australia the most reliable ally of the United States and said that the partnership will advance on the vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific.The United States has no closer or more reliable ally than Australia. Our nations have stood together for a long, long time. And you can — we can rely on one another, and that’s really a reassuring thing, said Biden before a bilateral meeting, read a White House release. Earlier, Biden met Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison during the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly in New York City.“We are grateful that our partnership has accomplished what we’ve accomplished together over 70 years,” added the statement.The United States and Australia are working in lockstep on the challenges that I laid out today in my speech to the…

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Saudi Foreign Minister to arrive in India today for 3-day visit

New Delhi [India]: Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud will arrive in India on Saturday evening for a 3-day visit.During his visit to India, Farhan Al Saud will also meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi. As per his schedule, Farhan Al Saud will hold a meeting with his Indian counterpart Jaishankar on September 19 at Hyderabad House, Delhi, and will call on PM Modi the next day.Earlier in August, Saudi Arabia lifted the quarantine rule for Indians who have received both doses of COVID-19 vaccines in the Gulf country.Jaishankar also held bilateral talks with Saudi Arabia’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir last month.

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Australia regrets French decision to recall envoy after submarine deal with US, UK

Canberra [Australia] (ANI/Sputnik): Australia regrets the French decision to recall its ambassador from the country over Canberra’s withdrawal from the deal with Naval Group on submarines’ supplies, a spokeswoman for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said on Saturday. On late Friday, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian announced the recall of the country’s ambassadors to the United States and Australia to Paris for consultations due to Canberra’s termination of the submarines contract.“We note with regret France’s decision to recall its Ambassador to Australia for consultations following the decision on the Attack Class [submarine] project,” the spokeswoman told The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper. According to the spokeswoman, Australia values its relations with France and views it as a key nation in ensuring stability in the Indo-Pacific region. “We look forward to engaging with France again on our many issues of shared interest, based…

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US closes Del Rio Port of Entry on Texas-Mexico border due to influx of migrants

Washington [US]: The United States closed the Del Rio Port of Entry along the Texas-Mexico border and re-routed traffic to another entry point in response to urgent security needs presented by the influx of migrants in the region, US Customs and Border Protection said in a press release.“US Customs and Border Protection today announced that the Office of Field Operations (OFO) Del Rio Port of Entry will temporarily close and re-route traffic from Del Rio to Eagle Pass to more effectively manage resources and ensure uninterrupted flow of trade and travel,” the release said on Friday. “This temporary closure and shift is necessary in order for CBP to respond to urgent safety and security needs presented by an influx of migrants into Del Rio and is effective immediately.” Nearly 11,000 asylum-seeking migrants arrived in Del Rio this week. Federal, state and local resources in…

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77 million children have spent 18 months out of class: UNICEF

New York [US]: The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has said the world is facing an education crisis due to the COVID pandemic, which has left nearly 77 million children shut out of the classroom for the past 18 months.This Thursday, the UN agency is closing down its social media channels for the next 18 hours to send one message to the world: #ReopenSchools for in-person learning as soon as possible, UN News reported. “117 million students, representing 7,5% of the total student population, are still affected by complete school closures in 18 countries. The number of countries with partly open schools has declined from 52 to 41 over the same period. Schools have remained closed for a total period of 18 months in five countries, accounting for 77 million students,” UNICEF said in a statement.In all countries having experienced prolonged full school closures, education…

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Jaishankar meets Kyrgyz Foreign Minister, agrees to strengthen traditional cooperation on regional, multilateral issues

New Delhi [India], September 16 : External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday met with Kyrgyz Foreign Minister Ruslan Kazakbaev and agreed to strengthen traditional cooperation on regional and multilateral issues between both countries.“Delighted to meet Kyrgyz Republic FM Ruslan Kazakbaev. Noted our growing development partnership. Agreed to strengthen our traditional cooperation on regional and multilateral issues,” Jaishankar tweeted. Jaishankar is on a visit to Tajikistan to attend the 20th Shanghai Cooperation Organisation’s (SCO’s) Heads of State Summit in Dushanbe.The 21st meeting of the SCO Council of Heads of State will be held in Tajikistan’s Dushanbe on September 17.The meeting will be chaired by Tajikistan’s President Emomali Rahmon.The SCO is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. It will be the first SCO Summit being held in a hybrid format and the fourth Summit that India will participate as a full-fledged member of SCO.SCO is…

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PM Modi to hold bilateral talks with Biden, other Quad leaders during US visit: MEA

New Delhi [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold bilateral meetings with Quad leaders including US President Joe Biden and other foreign leaders during his US visit later this month besides attending the first-in person meeting of Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Thursday.Prime Minister Modi is visiting the US next week. “PM (Modi) will participate in the first in-person Quad leaders’ summit in Washington on September 24. On September 25, he will address the general debate of the UN General Assembly at its 76th session. While the PM is in Washington, he will also have a bilateral meeting with President Biden,” MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said during a press briefing.“We also look forward to bilateral meetings with other Quad leaders as well as bilateral meetings with some other leaders while he is in New York on September 25,”…

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PM Ardern says Australian nuclear subs will be banned from New Zealand waters

Wellington [New Zealand]: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on early Thursday while welcoming the announcement of trilateral security partnership between Australia, UK and US – AUKUS said that Australian nuclear submarines will be banned from New Zealand waters. “New Zealand’s position in relation to the prohibition of nuclear-powered vessels in our waters remains unchanged,” Ardern said in a statement, reported Newshub.Ardern welcomed the “increased engagement of the UK and the US” in the Pacific region as the countries announced a new security pact with Australia. The new trilateral security partnership was announced in a virtual meeting between US President Joe Biden, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison to deepen diplomatic, security, and defence cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region. The AUKUS group was described by US President Joe Biden as a “historic step to deepen and formalise cooperation among all three…

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US interested in transferring its capital from China to India, says Nitin Gadkari

Nagpur (Maharashtra) [India]: Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari said that the US has shown its interest in transferring its capital from China to India.“During a meeting just eight days ago, the US ambassador to India told me that the US is interested in transferring its capital from China to India. They want to support us with their technology and capital for the progress and development of India,” said Gadkari while addressing the 19th convocation programme of Visvesvaraya National Institute Of Technology, Nagpur. “India human intellectual is well recognized and appreciated in the entire world. The entire world is looking at India for sustainable economic growth,” further said the BJP leader.“We are encouraging and supporting youth under the ‘Atma Nirbhar’ initiative, proactive schemes like ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat’, ‘Make in India’, ‘Start-Up India’ is encouraging the youth to transform the nation through their…