Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Mumbai's Taj Hotels receive bomb threat call from Pakistan security tightened

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Mumbai (ANI): Security outside Mumbai's two Taj Hotels Colaba and Bandra -and the nearby areas has been tightened after a bomb threat call from Karachi said the Mumbai Police on Tuesday.

"Security tightened outside Taj Hotels and nearby areas after a threat call was received yesterday from Karachi, Pakistan to blow up the hotels with bombs," said the Mumbai Police.

The police further added that the call from Karachi came in the late hours on Monday. Taj Hotel was one of the venues which was targeted during the 26/11 attacks in 2008.

Mumbai had come to a standstill on November 26, 2008, when 10 Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorists who entered the city via sea route from Pakistan carried out a series of coordinated shootings and bombings that injured over 300 and claimed the lives of 166 people in India's financial capital.

The Attacks took place at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) railway station, Cama Hospital, Nariman House business and residential complex, Leopold Cafe, Taj Hotel and Tower, and the Oberoi-Tribdent Hotel. (ANI)

Regional Tibetan Youth Congress holds anti-China protest outside Chinese Consulate in Toronto

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Toronto [Canada], June 30 (ANI): The Regional Tibetan Youth Congress staged a protest against China outside the Chinese Consulate in Toronto to show solidarity with India over the recent Chinese military intrusion in Ladakh's Galwan Valley. The protest was held on Monday.

Protestors condemned the Chinese intrusion and raised slogans in support of India and the Indian Army like 'Tibet stands with India' and 'Thank you Indian Army'. The Regional Tibetan Youth Congress also held similar protests in the New York and New Jersey in the United States.

Twenty Indian soldiers lost their lives in a violent face-off in the Galwan Valley on June 15-16 after an attempt by the Chinese troops to unilaterally change the status quo during the de-escalation. Indian intercepts revealed that the Chinese side suffered 43 casualties including dead and seriously injured in the face-off. (ANI)

Indian newspapers, websites not accessible in China

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Beijing (ANI): Amid ongoing border tension between China and India following the June 15 standoff, the Indian newspapers and websites are not accessible in China. Though Chinese newspapers and websites continue to be accessible in India, people in China can only access the Indian media websites with Virtual Private Network (VPN) server.

The Indian TV channels also can be accessed through IP TV as of now. And ExpressVPN has not been working in the Communist state for the past two days on the iPhone as well as desktops. A virtual private network (VPN) is a powerful tool that gives users online privacy and anonymity by creating a private network from a public internet connection. VPNs mask internet protocol (IP) address so a user's online actions are virtually untraceable.

But China has created such a technologically advanced firewall that it blocks even the VPNs. The recent action comes amid the ongoing tension between India and China after the violent standoff on June 15 in the Galwan Valley area in eastern Ladakh in which both sides suffered casualties.

The Chinese action of banning Indian media sites came even before the Indian government's move to ban 59 applications including Tik Tok, UC Browser, and other Chinese apps "prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity and defense" of the country. China has one of the strongest online censorship in the world. It is known to heavily regulate and censor domestic internet usage and actively block any websites or links that are seen as going against the narrative of the communist party.

The Asian country has the world's most sophisticated censorship system known as the 'Great Firewall'. The Chinese government controls the media through techniques including blocking IP addresses, DNS attacks, and filtering specific URLs and keywords within URLs, according to SCMP. According to an article in South China Morning Post in November, over the years, the number of websites blocked in China has ballooned to 10,000.

The blacklist includes social networks like Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp; news outlets like Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times; and popular collaboration tools such as Dropbox and Google Drive (or anything else on Google). In 2016, Freedom House ranked China last for the second consecutive year out of sixty-five countries that represent 88 percent of the world's internet users.

China passes controlversial Hong Kong security law

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Beijing (ANI): The Chinese Parliament on Tuesday passed controversial national security legislation for Hong Kong, ignoring the worldwide outcry and protest in the semi-autonomous city against the law. According to South China Morning Post (SCMP), the law approved by the National People's Congress Standing Committee on Tuesday is expected to carry a maximum penalty of life in jail, contrary to earlier indications of a 10-year limit.

Sources told the SCMP that the law was proved unanimously by the Standing Committee's 162 members, within 15 minutes of the meeting starting at 9 am. Only a handful of Hong Kong delegates to the national legislature saw the draft of the law before the passage.

A source familiar with the situation had told Xinhua, the official state news agency, would publish the details in the afternoon, marking the first time the law will be fully disclosed to the public. The law is expected to come into effect on July 1, the 23rd anniversary of the city's handover to China from British rule.

The security legislation, which bans secessionist activities, among other things, is seen by Hong Kong residents as undermining their liberties. On Sunday, pro-democracy demonstrators took out a silent march against the law. Police had arrested 53 people of them on the charges of unlawful assembly.

The bill in regard to national security law that was introduced last month has sparked domestic protests and was received with international criticism despite both Beijing and Hong Kong's leadership maintaining that they have the full right to implement the legislation. Countries like the US, Australia and the UK have opposed the law which is believed to be brought by China to strengthen its hold on Hong Kong.

On June 23, the European Parliament voted in favour of bringing China before the International Court of Justice over its decision to adopt a new national security law for semi-autonomous Hong Kong. US President Donald Trump announced a slew of measures to reflect the increased danger of surveillance and punishment by the Chinese Security Apparatus.

On June 18, Foreign Ministers of the Group of Seven (G7) member countries issued a joint statement strongly urging China to reconsider its decision to impose national security legislation on Hong Kong. (ANI)

Rajnath Singh to hold talks with US counterpart, India-China face-off likely to come up

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh

New Delhi (ANI): Defence Minister Rajnath Singh is set to speak to his American counterpart Mark Esper over the telephone on Tuesday, during which the ongoing tensions at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) between India and China are expected to come up for discussion, as per Defence Ministry officials.

"Defence Minister Rajnath Singh to talk to his American counterpart Mark Esper over the telephone. Ongoing tensions between India and China on the Line of Actual Control in Eastern Ladakh expected to come up for discussion in talks," officials said.

The third round of Corps Commander-level talks between India and China to discuss and diffuse the tension over the ongoing dispute along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh is scheduled to be held at 10:30 am today in Chushul, Leh, informed government sources said on Monday.

The first two rounds had taken place in Moldo on the Chinese side of the LAC. In the second round of Corps Commander-level talks held on June 22, both sides reached a mutual consensus to disengage in the Eastern Ladakh sector, Army sources said.

The modalities for disengagement from all friction areas in Eastern Ladakh were discussed and these will be taken forward by both sides, the sources added.

India and China have been involved in talks to ease the ongoing border tensions since last month. Twenty Indian soldiers lost their lives in a violent face-off in the Galwan Valley on June 15-16 after an attempt by the Chinese troops to unilaterally change the status quo during the de-escalation.

Indian intercepts revealed that the Chinese side suffered 43 casualties including dead and seriously injured in the face-off. (ANI)

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