Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Facebook merges Messenger with Instagram's direct messages

Image shared by Facebook (Image courtesy: Facebook)

Washington [US], September 30 (ANI): Photo-sharing platform Instagram on Wednesday started rolling out the option to connect Instagram direct messages with Messenger. It means that one can now send messages to Messenger people from Instagram, and the other way around.

According to Mashable, the new feature, which will show up to some users when they open the app, the users can still keep their Messenger and Instagram DMs separate if they wish to do so.

However, if the user does update, the somewhat simple messaging experience on Instagram will become very similar to Messenger. This means Instagram users will be getting features such as message forwarding and customising chat threads with custom colours and nicknames.

A bunch of new features, including selfie stickers, Watch Together (which lets you watch trending videos with friends) and vanish mode, which enables you to set messages to automatically disappear after a certain time has also been added. Facebook said that some features will hit Instagram first and arrive on Messenger soon after that.

As per Mashable, the merge makes it easier for people using just one of those platforms to reach out and contact people on the other platform, without the need to download a separate app. Moreover, the messages and calls from Instagram to Instagram users will stay in the Instagram app.

In his remarks from early 2019, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg mentioned end-to-end encryption as one of the key benefits of merging all of Facebook's messaging platforms together. (WhatsApp and Messenger already support end-to-end encryption, but Instagram does not.)

However, Facebook did not mention encryption as part of this update. According to Wired, the company plans to add end-to-end encryption to Instagram in the future, but there's no clear timeline yet.

Facebook will be introducing this update to users over the next few months. (ANI)

Mike Pompeo warns Italy PM of risks involved in doing business with China

US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on Wednesday. (Photo credit: Pompeo Twitter)

Rome [Italy], September 30 (ANI): US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo on Wednesday warned Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte the risks associated with doing business with China.

During talks with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte in Rome, Pompeo highlighted the substantial business and investment ties between the United States and Italy and noted the risks associated with doing business with the People's Republic of China (PRC), according to an official statement issued by the State Department.

Urging Italy to work together against the security threats, Pompeo said that China must be held responsible for the COVID-19 crisis.

He said that the United States advocates for a vibrant digital economy worldwide that benefits from the promise of 5G networks, adding that countries must take action now to safeguard their emerging 5G networks against untrusted suppliers because the "stakes could not be higher".

The US Secretary of State urged the Italian government to consider the possible threats that businesses with China might have in the future.

"The United States urges the Italian government to consider the threats to its national security and the security and privacy of its citizens posed by giving companies beholden to the Chinese Communist Party access to data transmissions across Italian networks," he said.

"The US Embassy to the Holy See symposium, "Advancing and Defending International Religious Freedom through Diplomacy," is an opportunity to highlight the US government support for persecuted religious minorities, particularly in China and the Middle East," he added.

The symposium will also emphasise many ways the United States collaborates with the Holy See and faith-based organisations, and it will reaffirm US commitment to promoting and defending religious freedom everywhere, Pompeo said. (ANI)

Pakistan a death trap for journalists, human rights defenders,minorities: India at UNHRC

Indian Diplomat Pawan Badhe

Geneva [Switzerland], September 30 (ANI): Slamming the "fabricated words" presented by Pakistan, India on Wednesday at the United Nations Human Rights Council highlighted that incessant efforts on its part to malign India in all international forums is not going to change the fact that hundreds of journalists and human rights defenders die each year in Pakistan due to systematic killings including extrajudicial ones.

Pawan Badhe, First Secretary at Permanent Mission of India to UN said: "No fabricated words against India is going to change the fact that Pakistan and territories under its control are deathtraps for journalists, human rights defenders, social activists and religious and ethnic minorities."

Addressing the vice president of United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), Badhe exercising India's 'Right of Reply' at United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), said, "Perennial India bashing project of Pakistan in the UN system is also not going to change the fact that hundreds of journalists and human rights defenders die each year in Pakistan due to systematic killings including extrajudicial ones."

"Incessant attempts to maligning India in all international forums is not going to change the fact that tens of thousands of minorities would not stop fleeing Pakistan," he added.

Referring to Pakistan's single-minded focus to malign India in the international forums, Badhe said that it demonstrates its "own hollowness when it comes to accountability and justice for oppressing those standing for their rights".

"The pathetic state of affairs for journalists and human rights defenders is well known when the deep state could make prominent journalists disappear in broad daylight at the heart of Pakistan. We only could imagine the fate for those journalists and human rights defenders in territories under its control," he said.

The First Secretary said that silence is the apt word for those effected through enforced disappearances, murders, detentions, custodial deaths and torture in Baluchistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh and Pakistan occupied parts of Indian Union Territories of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh.

In his UNHRC address, Badhe said that Pakistan is yet to understand the "real meaning" of modern laws, democracy and human rights.

"While the world has progressed well, Pakistan is still at the crossroads to understand the real meaning of modern laws, democracy and human rights. The language of accountability, civic space, fundamental freedoms, public participation is yet to find resonance with the authorities of Pakistan," he said.

While concluding, the First Secretary urged Pakistan not to make a mockery of the UNHRC.

"Pakistan should not make a mockery of this august forum when it attempts to self-crown as an ardent supporter of political dissidents, journalists, social activists, minorities and human rights defenders. For that Pakistan has miles to go," he said. (ANI)

415 Pakistani nationals stranded in India due to COVID restrictions return via Attari Wagah border

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Attari (Punjab) [India], September 30 (ANI): A group of 415 Pakistani nationals who were stranded in India due to COVID-19 restrictions returned to Pakistan through Attari Wagah border on Wednesday.

Speaking to ANI, one of the Pakistani nationals Suresh Kumar said, "I came to India 6-7 months ago to receive treatment for cancer but was unable to go back due to coronavirus lockdown. However, I faced no inconvenience and I am now able to return home comfortably."

Expressing similar sentiments, another Pakistani citizen Reshi, who came to India two and a half years ago leaving her husband back in Sindh, said, "I feel happy to be returning home."

Jyoti, a student who passed her Class 12 exams in India, said, "My stay in this country was a good experience and similar to home. I will consider completing my higher education here. For now, I wish to go back to my family in Pakistan."

Aish Chawla, a new mother came to India 16 months ago for her delivery. "I am taking a gift back home," she said.

A police officer at the Wagah border, Arunpal Singh, explained the procedure to cross the border. "All Pakistani civilians have arrived with their COVID-19 test reports and a team of doctors appointed by the Punjab government will perform screening tests, customs and immigration checks," he said. (ANI)

Actual COVID-19 death toll certainly higher than 1 million: WHO

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of World Health Organisation. (Photo: ANI)

Geneva [Switzerland], September 30 (ANI): Director-General of World Health Organisation (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Wednesday said that the actual number of deaths due to COVID-19 is "certainly higher" than 1 million.

Speaking at a high-level UNGA event, Tedros said, "One million people are confirmed to have lost their lives to this new virus. The real number is certainly higher. Thousands more are fighting for their lives in hospitals all over the world."

Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged the countries to work together to expand the access to tests and treatments and extend support to the vaccine for "global public good".

"It is in every country's national and economic self-interest to work together to massively expand access to tests and treatments and to support a vaccine as a global public good, a people's vaccine available and affordable for everyone everywhere. The Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator with its COVAX facility is the vehicle to get us there," he said.

Guterres emphasised that the ACT Accelerator was the only safe way to reopen the world economy and guarantee that the most successful vaccine reaches all.

"The current financing gap for ACT Accelerator stands at USD 35 billion. That's less than 1 percent of what G20 governments have already committed to domestic stimulus packages. To put it another way, it's roughly equivalent to what the world spends on cigarettes every two weeks. Fully financing the ACT Accelerator will help to control the pandemic, restore confidence and stimulate the global recovery," he added.

As per the latest update by the Johns Hopkins University, as many as 33,706,888 people around the world have tested positive for coronavirus and 1,009,064 deaths have been reported so far. (ANI)

Pyongyang has an effective war deterrent and will now focus on economy, North Korean envoy tells UNGA

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New York [US], September 30 (ANI): North Korea's Ambassador to the United Nations Kim Song on Tuesday said that Pyongyang has a "reliable and effective war deterrent for self-defence" and will now focus on developing its sanctions-hit economy.

In an address to the United Nations General Assembly, Kim said that North Korea was still threatened by military hardware like stealth fighters being used on the Korean peninsula and "nuclear strike means of all kinds are directly aimed at the Democratic People's Republic of North Korea (DPRK)".

Kim further said, "Genuine peace can only be safeguarded when one possesses the absolute strength to prevent war itself." He added, "As we have obtained a reliable and effective war deterrent for self-defence by tightening our belts, peace and security of the Korean Peninsula and the region are now firmly defended," Al Jazeera reported.

North Korea is facing difficulty dealing with the international sanctions imposed on its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes combined with damage from recent storms and flooding. Strict border closures along with other measures intended to prevent a coronavirus outbreak have further fuelled the current economic damage.

Kim claimed the pandemic situation is "under safe and stable control" as a result of measures taken by the government to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. North Korea has said it has no confirmed cases, though some have cast doubt about that claim, Al Jazeera wrote.

"Based on its reliable guarantee for safeguarding the security of the state and people, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) is now directing all its efforts to economic construction," Kim said.

He said that they badly need an "external environment favourable for economic construction." However, he added, "But, we cannot sell off our dignity just in hope for brilliant transformation - the dignity which we have defended as valuable as our own life. This is our steadfast position."

A UN report on Monday showed how North Korea was defying nuclear sanctions by sending workers overseas and significantly exceeding a 500,000 barrel restriction on petroleum imports.

In August, Independent Sanctions Monitors informed the Security Council that several countries believed that North Korea was continuing with its nuclear weapon programme and it had "probably developed miniaturised nuclear devices to fit into the warheads of its ballistic missiles".

However, a Stimson Centre fellow and Deputy Director of 38 North Jenny Town, stood firm and said that the ambassador's speech contained "no overt threats or hints of shows of force or demonstrations of power in the near future. It was very focused on rebuilding and recovering the internal situation."

She said although North Korea needs sanction reliefs, they were not going to simply give up their weapons on promises of a brighter future and tangible moves would be required to prove that relations with the United States had changed before Pyongyang could justify taking measures that would jeopardise its security.

Since 2018, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump have met three times but have made no progress on the US calls for Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons and North Korea's demands for an end to sanctions, according to Al Jazeera.

State media reported last month that the North Korean government is planning a congress in January to come up with a new five-year plan following a party meeting that noted serious delays in improving the national economy and living standards. (ANI)

Taliban aware of possible new obstacles during intra-Afghan peace talks: Spokesman

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Kabul [Afghanistan], September 30 (ANI/Sputnik): Taliban spokesman Mohammad Naeem Wardak told reporters on Wednesday that the intra-Afghan peace talks, which were launched in Doha earlier this month, were not an easy process and required patience and dedication from both sides.

"[In] every negotiation that takes place, there are problems, there will be discussions, this is a routine of negotiations, so the effort is to solve these problems and start discussing the agenda. The more topics are agreed upon, the less topics are debated. Discussions are still going on the principles of work, it is not going to be easy soon, problems are coming up, but our hope is that everything will go well," Wardak said.

The Taliban spokesman assured that the movement had enough patience and enthusiasm for negotiations with the Afghan government.

"Our hope is that both sides in the talks will have enthusiasm because these negotiations take time," Wardak noted.

The intra-Afghan negotiations began on September 12 in the Qatari capital of Doha. Both sides have publicly expressed their desire to conclude a secure and long-lasting ceasefire to end Afghanistan's long-running conflict. (ANI/Sputnik)

India, Australia discuss cooperation in energy sector

Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas and Steel Dharmendra Pradhan met Australian High Commissioner Barry O'Farrell on Wednesday. (Photo credit: Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas Twitter)

New Delhi [India], September 30 (ANI): Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas and Steel Dharmendra Pradhan held a meeting with Australian High Commissioner Barry O'Farrell on Wednesday and discussed about Australian companies actively partnering and investing in India's gas infrastructure and in developing the hydrocarbon value chain in the country.

They discussed several aspects of cooperation in energy sector, which are integral to the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between the two countries, Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry said in a tweet.

"They discussed about participation of Australian companies to actively partner and invest in India's gas infrastructure and in developing the hydrocarbon value chain in India," it said.

Pradhan reviewed the supplies of coking coal, LNG and other energy supplies from Australia.

"O'Farrell assured Australia of being a strong partner in this context, and the need for working together to ensure secure and reliable supply chains, and in this context referred to the QUAD meeting at Foreign Ministers' level next month in Japan," the ministry said. (ANI)

Indian Embassy in Madagascar to become solar-powered on October 2

Ongoing installation work of solar panels at Indian Embassy in Madagascar

Antananarivo [Madagascar], September 30 (ANI): On the occasion of the grand finale of the 150th birth anniversary celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi, the Indian Embassy in Antananarivo, Madagascar is going to be the first Indian Embassy to switch to solar power with the installation of 8 KW of the solar power plant on its rooftop.

According to an official statement issued by the Indian Embassy, "The solar-powered 'clean and green' Indian Embassy will be jointly inaugurated on October 2 by Raharinirina Baomiavotse Vahinala, Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development of Madagascar, and Abhay Kumar, Indian Ambassador."

The event will be attended by Marie Dimond, Resident Representative of UNDP (United Nations Development Programme), Volatiana Rakotondrazafy, UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Development Organisation) Country Representative, and Nanie Ratsifandrihamanana, Country Director of WWF (World Wide Fund).

Both India and Madagascar are members of the International Solar Alliance which aims to promote solar energy to fight climate change, biodiversity loss and environmental pollution. (ANI)

New Singapore High Commissioner meets Muraleedharan to discuss strengthening ties

Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan with new Singapore High Commissioner to India Simon Wong (Photo Credit: Singapore to India Twitter)

New Delhi [India], September 30 (ANI): The new Singapore High Commissioner to India Simon Wong called on Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan in New Delhi on Wednesday to discuss strengthening of the strategic relationship between the two countries.

Following the meeting, V Muraleedharan tweeted, "Glad to meet the new Singapore High Commissioner to India HE Simon Wong. Had a forward-looking discussion on India-Singapore strategic relations. Wish him a successful tenure in India."

The Singapore Embassy also tweeted, "Thank you to HE V Muraleedharan for warmly receiving HC Simon Wong this afternoon. They had a productive discussion on the positive state of bilateral relations, and ways to bring the India-Singapore Strategic Partnership to greater heights!" (ANI)

IIT Roorkee and TSW to launch an online program on Data Science & Machine Learning

TSW partners with IIT Roorkee

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], September 30 (ANI/Mediawire): These days the future of work is being shaped by some powerful forces, namely artificial intelligence, data science and machine learning.

While some jobs will be lost, many others will be created due to them. However, one thing is certain... workspaces are evolving, and the way we work and live is slated for a major revolutionary change. The question is - are you ready for that change?

For years, data science was a pretty uncomplicated field. One found or built a dataset, and used various tools on it to make sense of the data and obtain actionable insights. In recent years, however, machine learning models are capable of taking those huge datasets and learn how to process them on their own, which means that data scientists in the future will need to adopt machine learning skills if they want to give their careers a cutting edge. It is no wonder that Harvard Business Review has termed a Data Science job as the sexiest job of the 21st century, attracting a lot of interest to the field.

Anticipating the rising demand for Data Science and Machine Learning professionals in the near future, TSW has launched a Post Graduate Certificate Program in Data Science & Machine Learning (PGCPDSML) in partnership with the prestigious IIT Roorkee; that you can join from the comfort of your home, via a live virtual classroom.

The program has been designed especially for working professionals with insights from academics and industry experts. PGCPDSML is going to be one of the many programs that IIT Roorkee and TSW will collaborate on.

This story is provided by Mediawire. ANI will not be responsible in any way for the content of this article. (ANI/Mediawire)

Praxis Media announces winners of the National Quality Excellence Awards, 2020

Praxis Media Private Limited (Image credit: ANI)

New Delhi [India], September 30 (ANI/BusinessWire India): Praxis Media in association with Quality Congress announced the prestigious National Quality Excellence Awards on September 30, 2020 to celebrate and honor more than 30 winners at 5 different levels for epitomizing strength, ingenuity, knowledge and foresight for the growth of the business and services sector with vision and inspiration.

These awards are announced each year to identify, celebrate and encourage remarkable business leaders, service providers, entrepreneurs, individuals, and organizations for their continuing commitment to excellence, developing best practices and innovative strategies.

The exacting and daunting feat of zeroing-in on the winners is achieved by the Praxis Media Group, with support from its associates and partners, after an elaborate and meticulous selection process which included inviting nominations from potential nominees, substantial research and surveys, collation of feedback and opinions, screening based on judging parameters and subsequently choosing the winners through an independent jury panel.

The significant parameters which were considered for selecting the winners included Qualification & Professional Experience, Infrastructure & Facilities, Market Presence & Competition, Growth & Profitability, Quality & Operational Excellence, Financial & Business Acumen, Innovation & Novelty in Services, Ingenuity and Imagination, Sustainability & Environmental Awareness, Job & Impact Potential, Client/Customer & Industry Feedback, Use of Technology & Trends, Efforts for Risk & Setback Mitigation, Previous Awards & Achievements etc.

National Quality Excellence Awards, 2020 have been instituted to encourage Quality and are aimed to salute remarkable business leaders, service providers, entrepreneurs, individuals, and organizations for their continuing commitment to excellence, developing best practices and innovative strategies.

The endeavour is to honor the Achievers, Innovators and Leaders from an array of sectors like Healthcare, Education, Hospitality, Tourism, Real Estate, Architecture, Aviation, Engineering, Fashion, Arts, IT, Media, Entertainment, FMCG, Finance, Retail, Manufacturing, Firms, NGOs, Magazines, Portals, Consultancy, E-Commerce etc.

The awards are conferred upon the "best of the best" in recognition of their attainment of world class standard of quality excellence. The recipients of these awards are those stellar individuals and organizations who epitomize strength, ingenuity, knowledge, foresight and who drive the growth of the business and service sector of this country with vision and inspiration.

The initiative was well supported by Quality Congress - Brand Partner, The SME Times - Online Media Partner, The CEO Magazine - Magazine Partner, Global Brands Network - Associate Partner and Lawspective Consulting LLP - Knowledge Partner who echoed the same objective of quality excellence.

A comprehensive list of winners of the National Quality Excellence Awards, 2020:

Mamata Fertility Hospital - Best Fertility and IVF Centre in India, Dr DY Patil Institute of Hotel Management & Catering Technology - Best Hotel Management Institute in Maharashtra, Dr Sonali Basu - Education Leader of the Year, TERA - Business Portal of the Year, Lazy Gardener - Most Innovative Gardening Start-up of the Year, Ashok Sharma Architects - Best Architectural Firm in Ludhiana, Sanjeev Mahajan - Best Architect in Jammu, Mprex Healthcare Private Limited - Best Clinical Research Organization in India, Miles Bronson Residential School - Best Boarding School in Assam, AS Sushma - Best Edupreneur in Karnataka, KRV Healthcare & Physiotherapy Private Limited - Best Physiotherapy Services Company in India, Chanderprabhu Jain College of Higher Studies & School of Law - Best Management, IT and Law College in India, Renu Singh - Quality Excellence Award for Real Estate Leader of the Year, Creative Hut Institute of Photography - Best Photography College in India, Dr Adithya Ganji - Best Consultant Audiologist in Hyderabad, Dr Varun Kumar Agarwal - Best Orthopaedic Spine Surgeon in Uttar Pradesh, Alpha Group of Institutions - Best Educational Group in Tamil Nadu, JECRC University, Jaipur - Best University for Placements in North India, Dr Pravin Shinde - Best Clinical Embryologist in South India, Dr VN Bedekar Institute of Management Studies - Best Emerging Management Institute in Mumbai, Birla Balika Vidyapeeth, Pilani - Best Boarding School in Western India, Fizza Ali - Best High Fashion and Contemporary Make-up Artist in Bangalore, Pradeep Singh - Best Primary Teacher of the Year, Kalra Hospital and SRCNC - Best Cardiac Care Hospital in New Delhi, Mehr Chand Polytechnic College, Jalandhar - Best Polytechnic College in North India, CBCE Skill Development Private Limited - Best Emerging Computer and Vocational Education Provider in India, The Wisdom Global School, Haridwar - Best CBSE School with Online Education Support in Haridwar, The Wisdom Global School, Haridwar - Most Innovative and Enterprising School in Uttarakhand, Gandhi Institute for Technological Advancement (GITA), Bhubaneswar - Best Engineering College in Terms of Placement in Odisha, Dr. Parthasarathi Dutta Roy - Best Consultant Dermatologist in Karnataka.

The Founder-Director of the media group, Swagatika Patel Singh congratulated all the winners and said that each winner has exemplified excellence and typifies the very best of business practices and ethics. The National Quality Excellence Awards, 2020 are a small token of appreciation from Praxis Media to all these inspirational professionals, entrepreneurs, individuals and organizations.

These recognitions will further strengthen their ability to steer their objective through turbulent times, apply the best of the professional modules to manage and keep their missions afloat.

This story is provided by BusinessWire India. ANI will not be responsible in any way for the content of this article. (ANI/BusinessWire India)

Islamic State expanding its presence in South Asia under Pakistan's patronage, say experts

EFSAS Webinar


Geneva [Switzerland], September 30 (ANI): After the fall of the caliphate in Syria and Iraq, the Islamic State is fast spreading its network in South Asia, the region which already has a large number of terrorist and extremist groups.

ISIS sympathisers, some of them former Taliban commanders, have begun active recruitment drives to widen the presence of the group in the region.

To discuss the emerging threat of the Islamic State in South Asia, Amsterdam-based think tank, European Foundation for South Asian Studies (EFSAS) hosted a webinar on Monday titled -- 'Rise of ISIS in South Asia' -- on the sidelines of the 45th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council.

The event was moderated by Junaid Qureshi, Director EFSAS, and human rights activists, NGO representatives and scholars in the field of terrorism and South Asian politics. They deliberated upon the origins of the Islamic State of Khorasan province, its main areas of operation and assessed its number of fighters mostly belonging to Pakistani origin.

Timothy Foxley, an independent political and military researcher, current EFSAS Research Fellow and former Senior Analyst for the British Ministry of Defence, the Swedish Ministry of Defence and the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), discussed in-depth the future of the Islamic State-Khorasan Province (ISKP), in the backdrop of the US-Taliban 'Peace Talks' and the US troops withdrawal from Afghanistan.

He said earlier this year, the United Nations in July assessed that there might be around 2000 ISKP fighters.

"So there is some kind of consensus in the number of forces available. They are a mix of nationalities fighting within ISKP, many came originally from the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, TTP - the Pakistani Taliban. Some of these have been in Nangarhar province for several years from around 2010. According to US military sources, as many as 70 per cent of the ISKP fighters are Pakistanis," he said.

Dr Paul Stott, EFSAS Research Fellow, writer, academic and researcher on terrorism and radicalisation, British Jihadism, Islamism and International security, discussed the jihadist triangle of Islamic State, Britain and South Asia.

He argued that ISIS aims to appeal to Sunni Muslims globally, invoking senses of perceived injustice and local grievances in various contexts, including the region of South Asia, which has resulted in the development of a non-contiguous Islamic State, at least in thought.

Stott further stated that an estimated number of 800-1000 Britons have travelled to join ISIS.
The Islamic State of Khorasan province has been accused of carrying out attacks on behalf of the Haqqani network and the Lashkar-e-Taiba in Afghanistan and India.

Various reports suggest that the Pakistani deep state is pushing the Haqqani Network to increase its stake in ISKP to retain its leverage on Afghanistan.

Researchers in the EFSAS webinar drew similarities between the modus operandi of ISIS in Pakistan and the Haqqani Network, arguing that oftentimes the two groups acquired weapons and ammunitions from similar sources, which implies that the ISI keeps ISIS as an open option to be utilised for strategic depth in the future.

Malaiz Daud, former Chief of Staff of Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani, Research Fellow at the Barcelona Center for International Affairs and Research Fellow at EFSAS, deliberated upon the presence of ISIS in Pakistan and the region of Jammu and Kashmir.

He claimed that in the context of Pakistan, the number of ISIS affiliates is unknown, yet most of them are former TTP, Jama'at-ud-Da'wah (JuD) and Al-Qaeda members, while lone wolves without any affiliation to other terror groups also constitute part of their ranks.

"The problem is if you talk to the Afghan security officers, they will all point to the hallmarks of the attacks of ISIS, and say it is very similar to the attacks by Haqqani Network. They say that ISIS is totally a different face now. When Taliban or the Pakistan ISI would like to conduct an attack, just blaming it on ISIS, they say that they are not supporting but actually they are the ones doing it. We have not seen any evidence. But again, the insurgency, the landscape is so fluid, material, people, and resources are shared widely and extensively," said Daud.

The whole discussion in Afghanistan is that the ground for all this has been made by the Pakistani ISI and they are keeping ISIS as an option against the Taliban.

Over the years, Pakistan has gained the reputation of being a terror- breeder and perpetrator and is now counted among the dreaded few for spreading mayhem across South Asia and the globe.

It not only provides resources and funds for terror proliferation but also political patronage to allow them to unleash their devious strategies in their own style. (ANI)

India, Finland Explore Opportunities To Collaborate In Emerging Technologies In Efficient Energy Production

Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas holding meeting with Steel Dharmendra Pradhan and Finland Ambassador Ritva Koukku-Ronda. (Photo credit: Ministry of Petroleum twitter)


New Delhi [India], September 30 (ANI): Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas and Steel Dharmendra Pradhan and Finland Ambassador Ritva Koukku-Ronde on Wednesday held a meeting to explore opportunities to collaborate in emerging technologies in clean and efficient energy production.

In a series of tweets, the Ministry said, "Minister Pradhan held discussions with Ambassador of Finland to India Ritva Koukku-Ronde and explored opportunities to collaborate in emerging technologies in clean & efficient energy production."

During the meeting, Pradhan and Koukku-Ronde reviewed the progress of completion of 2G Ethanol plant in Numaligarh using bamboo as the feedstock, the first of its kind in the world, built under JV between NRL and Finnish companies Chemopolis and Fortum.

"The Petroleum Minister also highlighted the vast investment opportunities in India's expanding clean energy market and encouraged Finnish companies to invest in the development of clean fuels, including under waste-to-energy model," read another tweet. (ANI)

Terumo India introduces new phygital model of Terumo India Skill Lab to advance medical and clinical skills

Terumo India introduces new phygital model of Terumo India Skill Lab to advance medical and clinical skills. (Photo: ANI)

New Delhi [India], September 30 (ANI/BusinessWire India): Terumo India, the Indian arm of Terumo Corporation, a global leader in medical technology, today announced the launch of eTISL, a 'phygital' version of its highly successful initiative, Terumo India Skill Lab (TISL).

Designed as a hybrid of physical and digital interfaces, eTISL aims to accelerate medical education for cardiovascular healthcare professionals (HCPs) in India. The new platform was inaugurated at a virtual event by the Charge d'affaires Embassy of Japan in India, Toshihide Ando, in the presence of the global President and CEO of Terumo Corporation, Shinjiro Sato, President of Terumo's Cardiac and Vascular Company, Toshi Osada, eminent physicians and healthcare professionals, apart from other members of the Terumo leadership team.

"I congratulate Terumo India for creating eTISL to scale-up its medical education reach and impact. I believe this launch of eTISL in this situation is timely, and is a new contribution to Indian society through healthcare. Also, it will lead to enhancing bilateral relationship between Japan and India," said Toshihide Ando, while delivering his keynote address, Charge d'affaires, Embassy of Japan in India.

Coinciding with Terumo Corporation entering its hundredth year since inception, eTISL builds on the successful journey of the Terumo India Skill Lab and is a fitting tribute to an organization whose starting point and unchanging corporate mission has been 'Contributing to Society through Healthcare.' Over the past two years, TISL has delivered high quality programmes to over 7000 healthcare professionals (HCPs) through 175 faculty, on diverse topics pertaining to cardiovascular health. Now, the shift to a 'phygital' model will allow the initiative to exponentially increase its reach and impact.

"One of the unique ways in which we at Terumo deliver value to our customers is by providing high quality and relevant medical education. With the range and depth of resources planned in eTISL, I have no doubt that it will be a valuable companion for cardiovascular healthcare professionals in India," said President of Terumo's Cardiac and Vascular Company, Toshi Osada, while speaking on the occasion.

The TISL initiative was originally designed with an aspiration to further medical and clinical skills of healthcare professionals in India. The new realities post the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated its pivot to the digital platform.

The eTISL project is designed to include live events, digital colloquium and patient resources covering various topics such as safer cardiovascular procedures, bifurcation, multiple vessel disease, complex PCI, trans-radial intervention, complex CTO and perfusion technology.
"On this World Heart Day, we dedicate the eTISL initiative to all cardiovascular healthcare professionals, who continue to serve patients with empathy and commitment despite the challenging times we are in," said Managing Director of Terumo India, Shishir Agarwal, while making the announcement.

"We feel very fortunate to be serving the community and advancing the standards of care through pioneering academic initiatives," said Regional Representative for India and Asia Pacific, and Chairman of Terumo Asia Holdings Pte Ltd, Probir Das, while speaking on the occasion.

Launched in 2018, the Terumo India Skill Lab (TISL) is equipped with state-of-the-art simulation training facilities, which provide doctors and medical technologists with virtual training of cardiovascular surgery and cardiac intervention.

The eTISL platform complements this capability by allowing physicians and allied healthcare professionals the advantage of self-paced learning through a rich bank of meaningful resources including live and recorded webinars, scientific presentations by clinical experts, interactive online resources, interdisciplinary compilations of journal articles, product demonstrations, in addition to patient resources.

This story is provided by BusinessWire India. ANI will not be responsible in any way for the content of this article. (ANI/BusinessWire India)

India, Netherlands sign Statement of Intent to support decarbonisation

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New Delhi [India], September 30 (ANI): NITI Aayog and Embassy of the Netherlands, New Delhi, signed a Statement of Intent (SoI) on 28 September 2020 to support the decarbonization and energy transition agenda for accommodating cleaner and more energy.

The SoI was signed by NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant and Ambassador of the Netherlands to India Marten van den Berg. Through this collaboration, NITI Aayog and the Dutch Embassy seek a strategic partnership to create a platform that enables a comprehensive collaboration among stakeholders and influencers, including policymakers, industry bodies, OEMs, private enterprises, and sector experts.

The focus of the partnership is on co-creating innovative technological solutions by leveraging the expertise of the two entities. This will be achieved through an exchange of knowledge and collaborative activities. Key elements include i) lowering the net carbon footprint in industrial and transport sectors ii) realise the target potential of natural gas and promote bio-energy technologies iii) adopt clean air technologies from monitoring to reducing actual particulates iv) adopt next-generation technologies, such as hydrogen, carbon capture utilization, and storage for sectoral energy efficiency v) financial frameworks to deliver and adopt climate change finance.

Speaking during the event, Dr Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog, said, 'Both India and the Netherlands have ambitious sustainable energy targets and face similar issues in realizing cleaner energy transition goals. I am sure India's expertise in deploying high-tech solutions in a cost-effective manner, combined with Dutch expertise in low carbon technologies, will further solidify Indo-Dutch collaboration, and we will successfully work towards achieving the decarbonization and energy transition agenda.'

Marten van den Berg, Ambassador of the Netherlands to India, said, 'As both India and the Netherlands continue to transform their energy sector, we are committed that initiatives under this SoI will help both the countries to move towards becoming climate-resilient economies. Working with India is also important to meet its twin objectives—generating economic growth and ensuring it safeguards the environment for future generations. In the field of energy, there is a huge room for cooperation between the two countries, as we both have ambitious sustainable targets. This SoI will encourage more collaboration. It will not only boost the economies of the two nations but also achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals.'

Amitabh Kant, the CEO, NITI Aayog, said, 'We are committed to reducing emissions' intensity by 33%–35% by 2030. With the focus on the carbon intensity of products sold across the world, low carbon industrialization is the next huge opportunity for India. Apart from the ongoing emphasis on renewable energy, India stands committed to the rapid adoption of electric vehicles. Given the enormous potential the partnership holds, the thematic areas within the broad topic of energy transition and climate change, the partnership with the Netherlands in the spirit and action, will help both the countries derive natural synergies to achieve sustainable development goals.'

Dr Rakesh Sarwal, Additional Secretary, NITI Aayog, said, 'Clean energy is critical for achieving sustainable development and is at the forefront of the global agenda. The co-operation between the two countries can solve a range of challenges in obtaining, adapting and effectively using technologies for sustainable development, not to mention in building productive capacity.'

The Netherlands and India share a long history of trade and investment. It is India's sixth-largest EU trading partner—as much as 20% of India's exports to the European continent goes through the Netherlands, making it India's 'gateway to Europe'—and one of the top five investors in the country. It is also the third-largest source of Foreign Direct Investment for India.

The Netherlands is keen to intensify its business relations with India to emerge as the country's hub for doing business with Europe. Both the countries complement each other and by working together can combine forces to find new solutions to shape the future and tackle societal challenges, especially in the energy and climate sectors.

Powerful blast heard in Paris, source unclear

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Paris [France], September 30 (ANI/Sputnik): A powerful explosion was heard in the French capital of Paris on Wednesday, a Sputnik correspondent reported.

According to media reports, the blast was heard all over the city.

The source of the explosion remains unclear. (ANI/Sputnik)

Bangladesh FM AK Abdul Momen 'expressed satisfaction' over JCC meeting with Jaishankar

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Dhaka [Bangladesh], September 30 (ANI): Bangladesh foreign minister AK Abdul Momen on Wednesday expressed satisfaction over the recent meeting of Bangladesh-India Joint Consultative Commission (JCC), according to Indian High Commission here.

Outgoing Indian High Commissioner Riva Ganguly Das made a farewell call on Momen. Das congratulated Momen for the successful conduct of 6th JCC and bilateral steps taken to strengthen cooperation.

"HC Smt. Riva Ganguly Das (@rivagdas) made a farewell call on Hon'ble FM Dr. AKA Momen today. HC congratulated FM for successful conduct of 6th JCC & bilateral steps taken to strengthen cooperation. FM expressed satisfaction over JCC & wished HC for her next assignment in Delhi," India in Bangladesh tweeted.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his Bangladeshi counterpart Momen on Tuesday co-chaired the 6th meeting of the India-Bangladesh Joint Consultative Commission during which the two sides reaffirmed their shared commitment to a peaceful and secure border.

During the meeting, both countries reviewed the expanding connectivity in the road, rail, inland waterways and ports and agreed to expedite progress in ongoing projects besides. (ANI)

Barco's RGB laser rear-projection video walls for control room portfolio

Barco's RGB laser rear-projection video walls. (Photo: ANI)

New Delhi [India] September 30 (ANI/NewsVoir): Barco India, a global leader in professional visualization technology, launched its new generation RGB laser rear-projection video walls, powered by ODL-Series GEN2 engine, enabling sustainable control rooms.

Featuring the latest innovative technology, the video walls strengthen the value proposition of rear-projection technology as a reliable, sustainable, and long-lifetime visualization solution, reinforcing Barco's commitment to the mission-critical control room segment.

Powered with the latest laser technology, Barco's RGB laser rear-projection video walls deliver unseen brightness levels and vibrant colors, while offering a very low total cost of ownership (TCO).

Barco's tenth generation of rear-projection video walls ensures 25 per cent increase in light source lifetime (vs Gen1) in both Normal and Eco modes, longer lifetime of uninterrupted operation in 24X7 mode, and 25 per cent less power consumption at higher brightness levels. The next-generation laser engine introduces new laser banks which increase the laser light source lifetime to 125.000 hours in both Normal and Eco modes.

Improved image performance
* 50 per cent higher brightness combined with the longest lifetime
* Superior color saturation, focus, and contrast
Upgraded customer experience
* Seamless & risk-free upgrade
* 25 per cent less noise ('library' noise level)
* Redundancy of critical components
* 50 per cent less effort required for installation
"Barco specializes in control room visualization solutions, and we have always focused on ergonomics to allow the operator to make better informed and faster decisions. Barco has always been at the forefront of the rear-projection cube market and, with the launch of the latest RGB Laser ODL series, we reiterate our commitment to enabling bright outcomes in future-ready control rooms. The new design offers sustainable video walls with enhanced lifetimes, extremely reliable visualization, and a significantly lower environmental footprint," said Rajiv Bhalla, Managing Director, Barco India on the occasion.

Environmentally adaptable solution
The high-brightness RGB Laser engine allows control rooms to operate in optimal conditions for end-users. The unique SenseX calibration system automatically and continuously adjusts brightness and color over the complete wall, during the entire lifetime, making sure the displayed images reduce eye fatigue in 24X7 applications.

Additionally, no heat is radiated out of the screens, which further optimizes the ergonomics for the operators and simplifies the room temperature control systems.

The guaranteed ten years of maintainability secure the system for the future, which is instrumental for mission-critical control rooms. The accompanying WallConnect software has further evolved, improving the user experience during setup, configuration, operation, and maintenance.

Along with the ODL-series' motorized 7-axis alignment, this makes the installation process smoother and simpler. The system is also futureproofed and ready for remote management and monitoring, optimizing the availability and lifetime within the mission-critical environments.
A wide portfolio of laser engines

The new engine is available within the full RGB Laser portfolio, covering 70" to 80" sizes and supporting both FHD and SXGA+ resolutions. Multiple screen options are available to deliver the optimum result depending on the application, control room environment, and budget.

Furthermore, existing customers can upgrade their installed base of lamps & LED cubes, which means a complete technology refresh can be accomplished while keeping the mechanical structure and screens.

This not only lowers the cost and timeframe of the refurbishment but also reduces waste and can often be accomplished without any operational interruption. Being able to upgrade video walls (running already for more than ten years) with the latest projection technology at a reduced cost, for another ten years of service, is a key advantage of rear projection.

Reducing the environmental footprint
The ODL series received the 'Barco Eco Product label A' as it reduces the environmental footprint significantly. Barco's stringent eco-scoring technique grades energy efficiency, material usage, packaging/logistics, and end-of-life processes in line with the ISO14021 standard.

As a broad visualization solution supplier, Barco offers rear-projection, LCD, and LED indoor video walls, allowing them to optimize the visualization outcome - depending on the specific application and customer needs. For mission-critical control rooms, rear-projection remains a key visualization technology especially for mid- to large-size control rooms that work with dashboards and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) content typically within the utilities and rail transportation markets.

Barco designs technology to enable bright outcomes around the world. Seeing beyond the image, we develop visualization and collaboration solutions to help you work together, share insights, and wow audiences.

Our focus is on three core markets: Enterprise (from meeting, classroom and control rooms to corporate spaces), Healthcare (from the radiology department to the operating room), and Entertainment (from movie theaters to live events and attractions).

In 2019, we realized sales of 1.083 billion euro. We have a global team of 3,600 employees, whose passion for technology is captured in 400 granted patents.

For more information, visit us on:
Follow us on Twitter (@Barco), LinkedIn (Barco), YouTube (BarcoTV), or like us on Facebook (Barco).

This story is provided by NewsVoir. ANI will not be responsible in any way for the content of this article. (ANI/NewsVoir)

Crown Prince sworn-in as new ruler of Kuwait

Kuwait's new Emir Nawaf Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.

Kuwait City [Kuwait], September 30 (ANI): Kuwait's Crown Prince Nawaf Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah on Wednesday took the constitutional oath before the country's unicameral parliament as the new ruler of the Persian Gulf monarchy, the State-run TV reported.

His appointment as the new leader was declared after the government's emergency meeting on Tuesday following the news on the death of Emir Sabah IV, Sputnik reported.

According to Kuwait's legislation, heir to the throne automatically becomes the country's new ruler after the death of the previous one.

However, his powers enter into force only after swearing-in before the National Assembly.

Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah passed away on Tuesday at a hospital in the United States. He was 91.

According to Sputnik, the news of Emir's demise was confirmed by the minister responsible for his affairs on Tuesday.

He became Kuwait's Emir in January 2006 after the death of Sheikh Jaber al-Sabah. (ANI)

Hockey India and Aaroogya conduct a session for women's players to raise cancer awareness

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New Delhi [India], September 30 (ANI): With October being the breast cancer awareness month globally, Hockey India and the non-profit organization Aaroogya for women cancer Research and Prevention conducted a session via Zoom with the members of the Indian women's hockey team about the early detection and prevention of breast, cervical and oral cancer on Wednesday.

The Co-Founders of Aaroogya - Dr Priyanjali Datta and Dr Dhruv Kacker spoke about how to conduct self-examination for the detection of cancer, the common symptoms of cancer and the advantages of early detection of cancer.

Dr Datta emphasised the fact that women should not expose themselves to mammograms before the age of 45 in case they show symptoms of cancer. They should opt for an ultrasound scan instead.

They also made the Indian women's team players aware of the causes of cancer such as poor lifestyle, consumption of junk food, tobacco, alcohol and most importantly stress, which is one of the major causes of cancer.

They said that the best way to prevent cancer is to have a good lifestyle by regularly exercising and following a healthy diet, and they also lauded the Indian Women's Hockey Team for possessing the right representation of a good lifestyle.

The Indian women's team captain Rani, on behalf of the entire team, said that they will pass on the knowledge they attained during the session to their family members.

"The session on the awareness about cancer was very helpful for us. It was great to be made aware of the common symptoms and causes of cancer and the steps to detect it early which makes it critical, I am sure that this session will help us. Hopefully, Aaroogya can reach out to many more women and help them understand the early detection steps and preventive measures for cancer. We can also pass on the knowledge we have attained today to our own family members and friends," said Rani.

Aaroogya has transformed the way of prevention and early detection for reducing death rates and has provided on-ground data for precision new drugs and better treatment for the population of the Indian subcontinent, in partnership with government and private partners.

"We lose around 600 women everyday in India due to the late detection of cancer. And if we don't address the growing concerns of cancer, around 130 million people could be diagnosed with cancer in India by 2030. Around 2000 women are detected with cancer everyday. We primarily work in the prevention and early detection of Breast, Cervical and Oral Cancer. It's very important to conduct self-examination for symptoms of cancer regularly as early detection of the disease will give one a better chance to recover," emphasised Dr Datta and Dr Kacker.

Speaking on the session, Gyanendro Ningombam, Officiating President, Hockey India said, "While we are living in the midst of a pandemic, it's important to note the dangers of the rising number of cancer cases in India as well, especially breast, cervical and oral cancer. It was very important for the members of the Indian Women's Hockey Team to know about how to detect cancer and the preventive measures that need to be taken. We are absolutely delighted that the non-profit organization Aaroogya conducted a very informative session with the Indian women's hockey team players." (ANI)

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