US takes note of India’s first anti-missile test; expresses concern over space debris
Washington: Taking note of India’s first anti-satellite missile test, the US has said that it will continue to pursue its shared interests with New Delhi in space and technical cooperation, even as it expressed concern over the issue of space debris.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday announced that India successfully test-fired an anti-satellite missile by shooting down a live satellite. The test makes India the fourth country in the world after the US, Russia and China to acquire the strategic capability to shoot down enemy satellites. Commenting on the development, a State Department spokesperson on Wednesday told PTI: “The state department saw PM Modi’s statement that announced India’s anti-satellite test”.
To a question, the spokesperson said that as part of “our strong strategic partnership with India, we will continue to pursue shared interests in space and scientific and technical cooperation, including collaboration on safety and security in space”. However, he expressed concern over the issue of space debris. “The issue of space debris is an important concern for the US government. We took note of Indian government statements that the test was designed to address space debris issues,” the spokesperson said.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said the test was done in the lower atmosphere to ensure there is no space debris. “Whatever debris that is generated will decay and fall back onto the earth within weeks,” it said. The MEA has also come out with a 10-point explainer to say the anti-satellite missile test was carried out to verify India’s capability to safeguard space assets and that it was not directed against any country.
It also said in a statement that India has no intention of entering into an arms race in outer space. “We have always maintained that space must be used only for peaceful purposes. We are against the weaponisation of Outer Space and support international efforts to reinforce the safety and security of space based assets,” the MEA added.
US warning of Pakistan: Another terrorist attack on India will bring great trouble
The US has asked Pakistan to take strict action against the terrorists. With this, the US warned Pakistan that another terrorist attack on India would be 'very problematic'.
A senior official in the White House told reporters on Wednesday, "Pakistan needs strong and consistent action against terrorist groups. There is a need to take action against Jaish-e-Mohammed and Lashkar-e-Taiba, especially in the region, due to the situation of tension.
On condition of anonymity, the official said, "If Pakistan does not take action against terrorists and there is another attack on India then it will be a major problem for Pakistan which will cause tension between the two countries and both of them Would be dangerous. '
On being asked by Pakistan about the steps being taken by Pakistan after the air strikes by Pakistan in Pakistan, the official said that there is a need for 'irrevocable and sustained' action against terrorist organizations by the US and international community. The official said that it will be quick to evaluate the full evaluation.
The official said that Pakistan has taken some action in recent days. The properties of some terrorist organizations have been seized and some have been arrested. Some of the features of Jaish-e-Mohammed have been taken into control. However he further added that they want to see more action now.
The official said that the US is working with its international partners to increase pressure on Pakistan. Given that Pakistan also has economic concerns. He said that FATF is an area which reflects their need to take action against terrorist organizations. Otherwise they are in danger inside the system.
Pakistan needs to decide that she wants to see herself as a responsible global player, where she has access to all financial systems or wants to see herself isolated if she fails to act against terror organizations. . The official said the option is to select Pakistan.
The US official said that even though the tension between the two countries has come down, the army of both the countries is still on high alert. The official said, "Therefore, we feel that if there is any terrorist attack, God forbid that, then you can see the increase in tension, therefore we are making clear that any kind of additional military action There is an unacceptably high risk for both countries and regions.
Christchurch Attack: All guns shot in New Zealand are military style
New Zealand's PM Jasminda Ardhen has announced to ban the sale of all types of semi-automatic weapons. In view of the Christchurch attack, he has taken this step. Since the murder of 50 people in two mosques in Christchurch last Friday, the country's gun law is in dispute.
At the same time, Ardhern said that the new law is expected to be implemented by April 11. He said that a purchase-funding scheme will be set up for restricted weapons. Prime Minister Jessinda Ardhorn said that with the immediate effect of New Zealand, Assault Rifles, High Capacity Magazine and 'Military Style Semi Automatic Riflot Ban'.
Alderney announced the ban on Thursday and said it will be given legal form next month. He said that the person arrested in the attacks had bought his arms legally and increased the ability of the attack by using easily purchased 30-round magazines through a simple online portal.
Let us know that on March 15, a man in Christchurch's New Zealand in New Zealand fired a fierce firing. Till the 28-year-old Tentent helmet entered, he started roaming the pistol shooting called 'Let's start the party'. At the time when the assaulted mosque was full of Namazis. The Bangladesh cricket team was also present there.
Pakistan: If the teacher called the women in the party, the student took the knife
A student in Pakistan killed his college professor. According to media reports, he did this because the professor had invited women in his Fairwale party, which the student considered non-Islamic.
Police officer Farhan Hussain said that when Khatib Hussain attacked the English professor Khalid Hameed, he was preparing for a Fairwell party. Farhan said that Khatib is not related to any religious group, but we are investigating this bias.
The police said that the accused Khatib is in police custody and a case of murder has been registered. College Principal Wali Muhammad informed Reuters that the attacker was dropped by the students present in the party on the ground, but Professor Hameed could not be rescued. Hameed was immediately taken to the hospital, but he could not be saved and he died.
Muhammad said that Egerton College is one of the few institutions in Pakistan, where female students are more than men. Here, 2000 students and 4,000 students study. The dead professor was about to retire in four months.
When the student Khatib attacked the professor, then his son Valid was together. Walid told that the killer was keenly watching the professor. He saw that when my father went to office, Khatib attacked with a knife on his head and stomach. Then I took them to the hospital where they were declared dead. After the attack, the student screamed, "I killed him, I told him that the program of men and women is non-Islamic."
Iraq PM Adel Abdel Mahdi asks MPs to fire governor over ferry capsize
Baghdad: Iraqi PM Adel Abdel Mahdi made a formal request to parliament on Saturday to fire the governor of Niniveh province where 100 people were killed in a ferry capsize. Most in Thursday’s sinking on the Tigris River were women and kids headed out of Iraq’s second city Mosul for a Mother’s Day picnic on Kurds’ Nowruz New Year holiday.
In a letter to the speaker of parliament, Abdel Mahdi said there was clear evidence of “negligence and concrete failings” that merited a vote on dismissing governor Nawfel Akoub. “An ongoing investigation has found evidence of the misuse of public funds and the fraudulent abuse of his office,” the prime minister alleged. Akoub has already been subjected to the anger of victims’ relatives and their supporters over alleged corruption and cronyism.
When he visited the scene of the tragedy on Friday stones were thrown at his convoy by protesters demonstrating against perceived corruption and neglect. There is widespread anger in Mosul at the slow pace of reconstruction since the city’s recapture from the Islamic State group in 2017 by Iraqi troops backed by a US-led coalition.
The city still bears the scars of three years of iron-fisted rule by the jihadists who made it their “caliphate’s” de facto capital. Survivors of Thursday’s disaster were treated in hospitals heavily damaged by the months-long military campaign against IS.
British PM Theresa May may not seek vote on Brexit deal this week
London: British PM Theresa May has told lawmakers she may not seek passage of her troubled Brexit withdrawal plan in Parliament next week. The embattled leader, who faces a major protest march in central London on Saturday, wrote to lawmakers Friday night saying she would bring the European Union withdrawal back to Parliament if there seems to be enough backing for it to pass. “If it appears that there is not sufficient support to bring the deal back next week, or the House rejects it again, we can ask for another extension before 12 April, but that will involve holding European Parliament elections,” she said.
May’s changing stance reflects the plan’s dismal chances in the House of Commons after two prior defeats. She also says she would need the approval of House Speaker John Bercow to bring the plan back for a third time despite his objections. Bercow has said a third vote would violate parliamentary rules unless the plan is altered.
May said in her letter to lawmakers that if the deal is approved, Britain will leave the EU on May 22, a date agreed with EU officials. Lawmakers have twice rejected the deal and haven’t shown any clear swing toward endorsing it in recent days. Britain is scheduled to leave the European Union on April 12 if no deal is approved. May told lawmakers in her letter that Britain still has options including an extension that would require taking part in European Parliament elections in May.
She also said Britain could revoke Article 50 but characterized that as a betrayal of the Brexit vote in favor of severing EU ties. She also said Britain could leave without a deal. In a conciliatory tone, the prime minister offered to meet with lawmakers to discuss Brexit policy. She had offended many legislators with a speech Thursday night that seemed to blame Parliament for the stalled Brexit process.
Italy supports China’s Belt and Road initiative
Rome: Italy has signed a memorandum of understanding with China in support of Beijing’s Belt and Road initiative, which aims to weave a network of ports, bridges and power plants linking China with Africa, Europe and beyond. PM Giuseppe Conte and Chinese Prez Xi Jinping shook hands during a ceremony in Rome after 29 separate sections of the memorandum were inked by members of both govts.
With the memorandum, Italy becomes the first member of the Group of Seven major economies that includes the US, to join Belt and Road, following Portugal’s embrace of the initiative in December. Italy’s involvement gives China a crucial inroad into western Europe and a symbolic boost in its economic tug-of-war with Washington.
Cyclone Idai: More than 1,000 feared dead in Mozambique storm
Beira (Mozambique): More than a thousand people are feared to have died in a cyclone that smashed into Mozambique last week, while scores were killed and more than 200 are missing in neighbouring Zimbabwe.
The city of Beira in central Mozambique bore Cyclone Idai’s full wrath on Thursday before the storm barrelled on to neighbouring Zimbabwe, unleashing fierce winds and flash floods and washing away roads and houses. “For the moment we have registered 84 deaths officially, but when we flew over the area… this morning to understand what’s going on, everything indicates that we could register more than 1,000 deaths,” Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi said in a nationwide address.
“This is a real humanitarian disaster,” he said. “More than 100,000 people are in danger”. Survivors have taken refuge in trees while awaiting help, the president added. Aerial photographs released by a Christian non-profit organisation, the Mission Aviation Fellowship, showed groups of people stuck on rooftops with flood waters up to window level. “The scale of damage… (in) Beira is massive and horrifying”, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said.
Ninety per cent of the city of some 530,000 people and its surrounding area has been “damaged or destroyed,” it said in a statement. “The situation is terrible. The scale of devastation is enormous,” the IFRC’s Jamie LeSueur said. “Almost everything is destroyed. Communication lines have been completely cut and roads have been destroyed. Some affected communities are not accessible.” A large dam burst on Sunday and cut off the last road to Beira, he said.
Sofala province governor Alberto Mondlane warned that the “biggest threat we have now, even bigger than the cyclone, is floods because it’s raining more and more”. Emma Beaty, coordinator of a grouping of NGOs known as Cosaco, said: “We’ve never had something of this magnitude before in Mozambique”. “Some dams have broken, and others have reached full capacity, they’ll very soon open the flood gates. It’s a convergence of flooding, cyclones, dams breaking and making a potential wave: everything’s in place so we get a perfect storm.”
Nyusi said the Pungwe and Buzi rivers in central Mozambique “have burst their banks and engulfed entire villages.” “Communities are isolated and bodies are floating” on the waters, he said. Beira international airport was closed because of cyclone damage but later reopened. In neighbouring Zimbabwe, Idai left 98 dead and at least 217 more missing, according to the information ministry. Families started burying their dead on Monday in damp graves, according to an AFP photographer.
The storm swept away homes and ripped bridges to pieces, leaving destruction that acting defence minister Perrance Shiri said “resembles the aftermath of a full-scale war”. Some roads were swallowed up by massive sinkholes, while bridges were ripped to pieces by flash floods. “This is the worst infrastructural damage we have ever had,” Zimbabwe’s Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Joel Biggie Matiza said.
The eastern district of Chimanimani was worst-hit, with houses and most of the region’s bridges washed away by flash floods. The most affected areas are not yet accessible, and high winds and dense clouds have hampered military rescue helicopter flights. Two pupils and a worker at a secondary school in the area were among those killed after a landslide sent a boulder crashing into their dormitory. Soldiers on Sunday helped rescue the surviving nearly 200 pupils, teachers and staff who had been trapped at the school in Chimanimani.
Joshua Sacco, lawmaker for Chimanimani, told AFP that “150 to 200 people” are missing. The majority of them are thought to be government workers, whose housing complex was completely engulfed by raging waters. Their fate was unknown because the area was still unreachable. Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa cut short a visit to Abu Dhabi, returning home on Monday.
“With every hour and day that passes, our worst fears become increasingly real,” he said in a statement. “Many drowned while others were killed in their sleep from swift and unexpected rockfalls which demolished their homes”. His government has come under fire for failing to evacuate people in time.
19-year-old woman pleads guilty after pushing friend off bridge in Vancouver
Vancouver: A woman has pleaded guilty to pushing her 16-year-old friend from a bridge at a popular swimming area near Vancouver. The Columbian reports 19-year-old Tay’lor Smith pleaded guilty to misdemeanour reckless endangerment Monday in Clark County District Court. Prosecutors are recommending no jail time when Smith is sentenced later this month.
Smith pushed Jordan Holgerson off the bridge August 7 at Moulton Falls northeast of Vancouver. Video posted on YouTube that went viral shows Holgerson being pushed. Holgerson broke six ribs and punctured her lungs in a fall of over 50 feet (15 metres).
In an interview on “Good Morning America,” Smith said she didn’t consider the repercussions. Outside the courtroom, Genelle Holgerson said she and her daughter want this chapter of their lives to be over.
Media working overtime to blame me for Christchurch attacks: Donald Trump
Washington DC [USA]: US President Donald Trump on Monday accused American media organisations of blaming him for last week’s twin terror attacks in New Zealand, calling it “ridiculous”.
“The Fake News Media is working overtime to blame me for the horrible attack in New Zealand. They will have to work very hard to prove that one. So Ridiculous!” Trump tweeted. The US President’s comments came after some American media coverage had been focusing on the terrorist’s manifesto, which called Trump a “symbol of renewed white identity.” The White House has rejected claims that Trump backed white nationalist views.
“The president is not a white supremacist. I’m not sure how many times we have to say that,” acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said on “Fox News Sunday.” Earlier, a social media account believed to be linked to Brenton Tarrant, the 28-year-old Australian-born terrorist had posted a lengthy manifesto, expressing anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim views.
He wrote that he supported Trump “as a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose” but not as a “policymaker and leader.” On March 16, Trump said that he did not see a rise in white nationalism across the world after the terrorist had called the US President “a symbol of renewed white identity.” “I don’t really think so. I think it’s a small group of people that have very, very serious problems,” The Hill quoted Trump as saying when asked if he saw a rise in white nationalism. “If you look at what happened in New Zealand, perhaps that’s the case. I don’t know enough about it yet,” he added.
New Zealand is currently on a state of high alert after Tarrant, who is believed to have lived in Dunedin, killed 50 people in the Al Noor and the Linwood mosques in Christchurch on March 15, police said. Tarrant live-streamed his gruesome act on Facebook for 17 minutes and police believe that the accused had single-handedly carried out the terror attack at both the mosques under a span of 36 minutes during the Friday prayers for which a large number of worshippers had congregated. Using automatic weapons, the 28-year-old terrorist launched a “well-planned” attack on the mosques when devotees had assembled for the weekly prayers, following which mosques across the country were advised to shut down.
Tarrant, who appeared before a Christchurch court on murder charges, was remanded in custody without plea until April 5. Condemning the terror strikes, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had described the attack as “one of New Zealand’s darkest days” and said it “appears to have been well planned”. She asserted that the country “will not and cannot be shaken” by the attack. Ardern underlined that the country’s gun laws will undergo changes and become stricter.