Monday, June 29, 2020

Amid China row, India likely to get six 'fully loaded' Rafales by July-end

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New Delhi (ANI): Amid the ongoing dispute with China over its transgression along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), India is likely to get around six fully-loaded Rafale fighter aircraft by July-end fitted with the long-range Meteor air to air missiles.

The Rafales along with the Meteor missiles which can hit targets at more than 150 km strike range will give an edge to the Indian Air Force over the Chinese Air Force.


"Depending upon the situation and the ongoing training of IAF pilots in France, we may get six Rafales by July-end. The aircraft will be arriving with their full package and will be made operational within few days itself," government sources told ANI.

The original plan was to get four Rafales including three twin-seater trainer versions for training the pilots here at Ambala Air Force station, which will be the first base of the Rafale fighter jets in India. The second base would be in Hashimara, West Bengal, sources said.

The number of aircraft set to arrive in India may be higher according to requirement and a decision will be taken keeping in mind the training requirements of the pilots already stationed in France, the sources said.

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the Indian Air Force has worked hard to ensure that the ground infrastructure gets ready by the time the planes land here.

The IAF officials said the date of arrival of the planes would be decided by mid-July after taking multiple factors into account.

The first aircraft to be flown in is planned to be piloted by the Commanding Officer of the 17 Golden Arrows' squadron along with a French pilot, they said.

The aircraft on their way from France to India would be refuelled by a French Air Force tanker aircraft in the air before they make a stopover in the Middle East.

"From Middle East to India, there would be one mid-air refuelling done by the Indian IL-78 tanker before they land in India," sources said.

Sources said that the Rafales could have come directly from France to India but a 10-hour flight would be stressful for pilots sitting inside a small cockpit.

The first batch of seven Indian pilots has also finished their training at a French airbase while the second batch would be going to France as soon as the lockdown measures are relaxed in both the countries.

Post lockdown, India received the first consignment of equipment from France when a cargo plane landed in Delhi few weeks ago and more equipment would arrive in the near future.

India had signed a deal worth over Rs 60,000 crore with France in September 2016 for 36 Rafales to meet the emergency requirements of the Indian Air Force.

Air Chief Marshal Bhadauria was the Deputy Chief of Air Staff at that time and headed the Indian negotiation team for the deal which is the biggest ever in monetary terms in India.

Armed with the long-range Meteor air to air missiles and SCALP, the Rafales would give India an edge over both Pakistan and China in terms of air strike capability.

Sources said the air to air and the air to ground strike capabilities of the Rafale cannot be matched by both China and Pakistan and the aircraft would give India an edge over both the rivals.

4 terrorists involved in attack on Pakistan Stock Exchange in Karachi killed

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Karachi (Pakistan): At least two people were killed and three got injured after terrorists attacked Pakistan Stock Exchange in Karachi at 10 am on Monday (June 29). According to reports four terrorists launched the attack and three of them were killed within minutes by security forces. The terrorists hurled grenade near KSE followed by gunfire. The injured included a policeman.

Pakistani news agency Dawn quoted Sindh Rangers as saying that police and Rangers' officials arrived at the scene soon after the attack and eliminated all the four terrorists. Security officials are currently undertaking a clearance operation in the area. Police have recovered weapons and hand grenades from the attackers. Sources said that the terrorists were wearing police uniforms giving an impression that they were off duty personnel of the police.

Sindh Governor Imran Ismail condemned the incident and said that those involved in the cowardly attack will not be spared.

Emergency has been declared in all hospitals in Karachi and II Chundrigar road has been completely sealed. II Chundrigar road is also known as the Wall Street of Pakistan. Karachi is one of the most important cities of Pakistan and is the financial capital of Pakistan. Zee News.

Google to add background blur, low-light mode to Meet video calls

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California (ANI): Google is working on several new features including background blur, low-light mode and background replacement images for its video calling application Meet.

Alike rival videoconferencing platforms Zoom and Microsoft Teams, Google Meet users will be able to either choose their own image or pick from several default options.
Google confirmed to The Verge that in addition to background blur and background replacement images, real-time captioning, low-light mode, hand-raising, and a tile view of up to 49 meeting participants will be rolled out to the consumer version of Meet.

Google integrated Meet into Gmail last month, adding a sidebar link and making meetings of up to 100 people with no time limits available to anyone with a Google account. (ANI)

Vande Bharat flight with 195 Indians departs from Washington DC

As on Thursday, 3,64,209 people have returned under this mission, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said.(Photo: ANI)

Washington DC [US], June 29 (ANI): A special flight under Vande Bharat Mission departed from Washington DC with 195 stranded Indians for Delhi on Sunday.

"#VandeBharatMission Phase III @airindiain with 195 pax left Washington, DC for Delhi," Indian embassy in the US tweeted.

Vande Bharat Mission, which started from May 7, is in its third phase. The recent phase commenced on June 11.

As of Thursday, 3,64,209 people have returned under this mission., the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said.

In the first three phases of the Vande Bharat Mission, around 875 international flights were scheduled for operation from over 50 countries across 5 continents.

The Indian government has also approved additional flight services to bring back Indian nationals who are still stranded abroad.
(ANI)

Dissident says CCP pays off Vatican $2 billion annually for its silence on Chinese atrocities

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Washinton [US], June 29 (ANI): Exiled Chinese dissident Guo Wengei has revealed that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) allocates USD two billion every year to pay off the Vatican for its silence concerning atrocities by Beijing. In an interview on The War Room on June 20, Guo said that the CCP earmarks massive sums each year to win the allegiance of foreign countries including the Vatican, Italy, and Australia, US-based Breitbart news reported.

He alleged that the Vatican receives up to USD 2 billion from the Chinese Communist party. "The Chinese Communist Party allocates 2 billion US dollars each year" to gain influence over the Vatican's internal policymaking and to pay for its silence on the CCP's repression of religious freedom, said the billionaire whistleblower.

Guo had previously stated that China has drafted a complete strategy for world domination known by the initials "BGY," which stands for Blue (control the Internet), Gold (buy influence with money), and Yellow (seduce key people with sex). According to Breitbart, the Chinese government since 2014 has formulated internal policies to invest a certain percentage of trade with foreign countries in the BGY program to erode the local state system, Guo said Saturday. The current BGY quota for the United States is 5 per cent.

Guo also offered a similar calculation for Australia. "The trade volume between the CCP and Australia is about the US $200 billion," he said. "Previously, 1 per cent was used for BGY, but it rose to 5 per cent. That is, USD 10 billion was used for BGY."

In September 2018, the Vatican had signed an important secret accord with Beijing concerning the appointment of Catholic bishops in China. Veteran Vatican journalist John L Allen Jr. has said that the Vatican has not spared any effort to attract China into full diplomatic relations.

The Vatican is "covetous of a relationship with China and often apparently willing to stifle objections and give away a great deal" in order to move toward that goal, Allen wrote last month. In short, "the Vatican is moving full-steam ahead in its courtship of Beijing, with the ultimate prize remaining full diplomatic relations, a secure legal standing for the church, and partnerships on the global stage," Allen wrote. (ANI)

British-Pakistani doctor's licence suspended for peddling misinformation about COVID-19

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London [UK], June 29 (ANI): The United Kingdom's General Medical Council (GMC) has suspended the medical practice licence of a British-Pakistani doctor after he claimed that Covid-19 was a conspiracy to control the world.

The GMC, which maintains the official list of medical practitioners in the UK, has removed Dr Iqbal Adil's reference number from its website, Geo News reported.
"This person has been suspended from the Medical Register and may not practise as a doctor in the UK," the website said, adding that he was neither on the General Practioner (GP) register nor the specialist one.

"This doctor is not subject to revalidation (as) only doctors holding full registration with a licence to practise are subject to revalidation," the website said.
Dr Adil worked in the UK as a specialist in colorectal and emergency surgery and laparoscopy, having graduated from Bahauddin Zakaria University in Pakistan's Multan city in 1986.

The doctor has peddled various conspiracy theories about coronavirus on social media platforms and in online interviews, claiming that the virus "orchestrated by the elite and is indeed a hoax".

So far, over 10 million people have been infected with Covid-19 worldwide, while the number of fatalities crossed the 500,000 mark, according to Johns Hopkins University.

In an interview to a news outlet, Dr Adil said he had been working for the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK for almost 30 years and was dismissed because of political victimisation, according to Geo News.

The doctor, in various social media posts and YouTube videos, claimed that a vaccine was not a cure for Covid-19 while physical distancing was of no help as well to combat the virus. Almost all of his controversial videos have been taken down by YouTube.

Following the suspension of his medical practice license, the doctor set up a petition at Change.org, which has got over 300 signatures so far. It says that he "is Chairman of All Pakistan Medical Association and Global Nishtarian Organisation (GNO) with a large number of medical graduates worldwide".

"Mr Adil has a family with 3 children to support. NHS UK need doctors to work. It would not be in the best interest of the public and health system to lose experienced and highly qualified surgeon like him," it added while stressing that it was "an injustice" to suspend his license over "his personal point of view on Covid-19".

"We request to the GMC to revoke his unfair 12 months suspension ... and allow him fair chance to work in this country (for the benefit of) the health system, communities and medical graduates at large," the petition further states. (ANI)

Ashok Gehlot asks PM Modi to withdraw statement on Galwan valley face-off

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot

Jaipur (Rajasthan) [India], June 29 (ANI): Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to withdraw his statement, made at an all-party meeting on June 19, in which he said that "neither is anyone inside our territory nor is any of our post captured". "At Opposition's meeting, the Prime Minister said that China did not intrude into our land and capture any post. He has done a blunder. He knowingly or unknowingly gave a certificate to China, which it wanted. This was not required. He should withdraw his statement," Gehlot said in a video conference on Sunday while commenting the violent face-off between troops of India and China. At least 20 Indian soldiers were killed in the clash.

"He is the only Prime Minister whose statement is being welcomed by China," the Chief Minister claimed. In the meeting, the Prime Minister had said: "Neither is anyone inside our territory nor is any of our post captured."

The Chief Minister said that the government should tell the nation about the situation on LAC. It is the right of the countrymen. "Isn't it a moral responsibility of the Prime Minister to take the people of the country in confidence and clarify the status on the LAC," he said. Gehlot said that the Prime Minister went to China four times as a Chief Mand five times as a Prime Minister and in general met the Chinese premier 18 times.

"In Ahmedabad, they enjoyed swings with Chinese leadership while there was a conflict on the border. The Prime Minister should have understood his intentions," he said. (ANI)

Bihar on high alert over possible terrorist intrusion through Nepal border

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Patna (Bihar) [India], June 29 (ANI): Bihar Special Branch has issued a high alert to all districts in the state after a warning was issued regarding possible terrorists from Taliban and Jaish-e-Mohammad entering the state through the Nepal border. It is learnt that the ISI has formulated a plan to send about 5-6 Taliban and Jaish terrorists, trained by the Pakistan army, through the Nepal border into the state.

"As per an input, a threatening email was received on NIA control room indicating a hit list having names of Hon'ble Union Home Minister and other BJP Leaders. Please keep a lookout for the movements of Kashmiri terrorists, Muslim Fundamentalists ie Jaish-e-Mohomed, Al Qaeda and all Pakistan, Taliban, Afganistan, Jihad, terrorist organisation, Islamic Terrorist Organisation, Left-wing extremist elements, and North-eastern Insurgent Groups, All India Security Suspect and Rabid Communalists who could threaten the security of the VVIP," read the alert.

"Requested to keep a close watch in your jurisdiction from now onwards till the VVIP visits are over. A watch would also be required individuals who have come to notice for addressing threatening letters to VVIP and those noticed moving under suspicious circumstances near VVIP locations," it added.

Local police authorities may also be sensitised to such threats, the order stated. (ANI)

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