Mysterious blast rips through Beirut, ripples felt across the sea

Over 100 people were killed and another 4,000 seriously injured as a gigantic, nuclear-like explosion rocked Lebanon capital Beirut on Tuesday evening. The blast happened at 6 pm local time at the port area in Central Beirut. It as so powerful it sent up a huge mushroom-shaped shock wave flipping vehicles and blowing out windows of even buildings 10 km away. So much so, its impact could be felt even across the Mediterranean sea in…

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Indian Defence Minister Visits Ladakh

Even as the border tension stand-off between India and China is yet to abate, India’s Defence Minister Rajnath Singh visited the Stakna forward areas in Leh, the capital of Ladakh on Friday.  During his interaction with soldiers at the Lukung post near Pangong Lake, Singh said, “Not an inch of our land can be taken by any power in the world.” He said India is a peace-loving nation but it will never tolerate attempts to…

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Nepal does a China, and Hou!

Days after China blocked access to Indian newspapers and television channels to deny its citizens of credible news from across the border, China’s vassal Nepal decided to please its master but it did not have the courage to do it openly. So, instead of announcing a government ban on Indian media, the Nepal government nudged its cable TV operators to do so on its behalf. Effective Thursday, all Indian television channels save state-owned Doordarshan have…

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India cuts Pakistan by half

Days after two Indian diplomats faced harassment in Pakistan, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Tuesday summoned the Charge d’ Affaires of Pakistan to convey New Delhi’s decision to “reduce the staff strength in the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi by 50%”. This effectively means India will expel half the Pak diplomats. According to a statement issued by the MEA, India will reciprocally reduce its own presence in Islamabad to the same proportion….

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‘Historical injustice as India’s role in WW-II remains unacknowledged’

Excerpts from India’s foreign minister S Jaishankar’s opening remarks at the RIC trilateral foreign ministers’ video conference on June 23, 2020 Friends, We welcome this special RIC meeting of Foreign Ministers to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the conclusion of the Second World War, as well as the foundation of the United Nations. The victory over Nazism and Fascism was achieved through sacrifices across many theatres by many countries. India made a significant contribution, with…

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Citizenship law: Are Indian Muslims tilting at windmills?

India is going through a peculiar situation. Days after President Ramnath Kovind signed off on the amended law that offers citizenship to the persecuted minorities of three neighbouring countries – Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan – Muslims across the country are demanding the law should not be implemented. Reason? Foreign Muslims illegally entering India are not guaranteed automatic citizenship under the amended law. When amendments to the citizenship law were passed by both Houses of Parliament…

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Here’s the world’s youngest PM

When Finnish transport minister Sanna Mirella Marin takes over as Prime Minister of the Nordic country later this week, she will be the world’s youngest Prime Minister at 34 – younger than Ukrain’s 35 years young premier Oleksiy Honcharuk and New Zealand’s Jacinda Ardern who is 39. Marin was elected to the top post by her Social Democratic party late on Sunday after its leader, Antti Rinne, quit as PM after his credentials were questioned…

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Is Sweden the world’s best country for women?

MONICA BOSE RAGHAVAN There are not many countries in the world where more than half the ministers and over 40% of the Members of Parliament are women. Sweden scores on both fronts. But, then, Sweden is not like any other nation. It proudly calls itself the world’s first ‘feminist government’ where gender equality tops everything else. Facts first. Twelve of the 22 ministers are women, so are 46% of Parliamentarians. The figures stand tall when…

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The Stockholm Ministerial Meeting on Nuclear Disarmament and the Non-Proliferation Treaty

Ministerial declaration, Stockholm, 11 June 2019 We, the participating states – Argentina, Canada, Finland, Ethiopia, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland – to the Stockholm Ministerial Meeting on Nuclear Disarmament and the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), met today to discuss how nuclear disarmament can be advanced. We are one year away from the 50th anniversary of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, the cornerstone of the global nuclear disarmament…

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Sweden to host ministerial meeting on nuclear disarmament

In a fresh initiative to ratchet up international opinion towards a nuclear weapons-free world, Sweden plans to host an international ministerial meeting in Stockholm on June 11 on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. The purpose of the meeting, to be hosted by Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs Margot Wallström, is to discuss how governments can work together to create political pressure for disarmament. Argentina, Canada, Ethiopia, Finland, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, New Zealand,…

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