Sunday, August 23, 2020

Faultlines appear between China, Russia 'special' ties

Russia and China flags

Beijing [China], Aug 23 (ANI): Although China and Russia have often described their relationship as "special and unprecedented", cracks are appearing in their ties on several issues including differences on Vladivostok, sales of Russian arms to India and delays in the delivery of Russian missiles to Beijing, South China Morning Post reported.

The biggest crack involves New Delhi's suggestion that Moscow join the US-led Indo-Pacific grouping, which is widely seen as anti-China, according to a report by SCMP.
There has been a suggestion that Washington wants to embrace its old Cold War adversary as a way of countering growing Chinese might.

It seems Russia's arms sales to New Delhi has irked Chinese public soon after a deadly stand-off between Chinese and Indian troops along the Line of Actual Control.
As one Chinese internet user put it: "While fighting your opponent, how would you feel if your friend handed over a knife to your opponent?"

However, Dmitry Stefanovich, a research fellow with the Centre for International Security at the Russian Academy of Sciences' Institute of World Economy and International Relations, pointed out that Russia had been supplying arms to India since long before the clash in the Himalayas.

Another faultline appeared between Beijing and Moscow over the supply of Russia S 400 anti-aircraft missile system to China.

Last month, the Chinese websites NetEase and Sohu reported the deliveries had been "delayed" due to the coronavirus, but Moscow said later the deliveries had been "suspended".

According to Russia's TASS news agency, China received its first batch of S-400s in 2018 but further deliveries were suspended when Moscow accused Valery Mitko, president of the St Petersburg Arctic Social Sciences Academy, of spying for Beijing.

Watchers of Russia-China relations believe the spying allegations against an Arctic researcher could highlight a burgeoning competition between the two countries in the region, according to CNN.

Divisions over Vladivostok are also a contentious issue between China and Russia.

Last month, the Russian embassy caused an online backlash in China when it posting a video about the commemoration service for the city's 160th anniversary.

Describing the S-400 suspension as an "intriguing development", Derek Grossman, a senior defence analyst at the Rand Corporation, a Washington think tank, said the suspension ran counter to the narrative that Sino-Russian security relations had strengthened in recent years.

"This strongly suggests that Moscow's decision was in response to the [Himalayan] incident," Grossman said.

Recently, it was reported that India told Russia to support the Indo-Pacific grouping.

Some Chinese commentators deemed the development as a "betrayal of China". But while some analysts questioned whether the US would agree to Russian membership, others thought that given the right incentives Moscow could be convinced. (ANI)

PM Modi spends time with peacocks at residence, shares video

Prime Minister Narendra Modi while feeding a peacock (Photo/Twitter/PM Modi)

New Delhi [India], Aug 23 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday shared a video on his social media accounts depicting a special bond with the peacocks while he was feeding them at his official residence.

PM Modi posted the 1:47-minute video on his Twitter, Instagram and Facebook handles. The video has a few glimpses, basically an assortment of shots and videos where PM Modi can be seen spending time with peacocks at his Lok Kalyan Marg residence.

He shared the video along with a poem written in Hindi.

In the short video, it can be clearly seen that peacocks are a regular companion of the Prime Minister at his residence. He can be seen feeding peahens inside his residence, while some peacocks were seen roaming in the lawn during PM Modi's routine exercises.

In another beautiful shot, a peacock was seen walking around the lush green lawn while PM Modi was walking from behind. (ANI)

Paris Hilton reveals she suffered physical abuse while in boarding school

Paris Hilton

Washington [US], Aug 23 (ANI): American media personality and businesswoman Paris Hilton recently opened up about her troubled youth in the upcoming documentary 'This Is Paris,' where the heiress revealed that she was mentally, emotionally and physically abused while attending a boarding school in Utah.

According to Page Six, the 39-year-old reality star told People Magazine, "I buried my truth for so long. But I'm proud of the strong woman I've become. People might assume everything in my life came easy to me, but I want to show the world who I truly am."

Before Hilton garnered fame on the 2003 series 'The Simple Life,' the model was a rebellious teen living in New York's Waldorf Astoria Hotel. She stayed at the hotel with her parents, Rick and Kathy Hilton, and younger siblings 36-year-old Nicky, 30-year-old Barron, and 26-year-old Conrad.

Talking about her stay at the hotel, Hilton recalled and said, "It was so easy to sneak out and go to clubs and parties. My parents were so strict that it made me want to rebel. They'd [punish me] by taking away my cell phone, taking away my credit card, but it didn't work. I would still go out on my own."

After getting sick of Hilton's disobedience, her parents sent to several boarding schools in the late 1990s, the last being Utah's Provo Canyon School, where Hilton would stay for 11 months.

The businesswoman shared about her stay, "I knew it was going to be worse than anywhere else," and added, "It was supposed to be a school, but [classes] were not the focus at all. From the moment I woke up until I went to bed, it was all day screaming in my face, yelling at me, continuous torture."

She went on to say, "The staff would say terrible things. They were constantly making me feel bad about myself and bully me. I think it was their goal to break us down. And they were physically abusive, hitting and strangling us. They wanted to instill fear in the kids so we'd be too scared to disobey them."

As reported by Page Six, three of Hilton's former classmates are set to appear in the documentary, backing up her claims of abuse, including that they were force-fed medication and held down by restraints as punishment.

Hilton added that students could be tossed into solitary confinement for as long as "20 hours a day" if staff members were informed of any plans kids made to escape.
She said, "I was having panic attacks and crying every single day. I was just so miserable. I felt like a prisoner and I hated life."

Hilton further revealed about her stay at the boarding school, "I didn't really get to speak to my family, maybe once every two or three months. We were cut off from the outside world. And when I tried to tell them once, I got in so much trouble I was scared to say it again. "

"They would grab the phone or rip up letters I wrote telling me, 'No one is going to believe you.' And the staff would tell the parents that the kids were lying. So my parents had no idea what was going on," she said.

In 1999, after turning 18, Hilton headed back to New York but refused to speak of her experience, explaining, "I was so grateful to be out of there, I didn't even want to bring it up again. It was just something I was ashamed of and I didn't want to speak of it."

'This Is Paris' is set to premiere on September 14 on Hilton's YouTube channel. (ANI)

AIFF president congratulates Sandesh Jhingan, Sukhwinder Singh on winning Arjuna and Dhyan Chand Awards respectively

AIFF President Praful Patel

New Delhi [India], Aug 23 (ANI): All India Football Federation (AIFF) president Praful Patel congratulated defender Sandesh Jhingan and former Blue Tigers coach Sukhwinder Singh as they were named among the winners of the prestigious Arjuna Award and Dhyan Chand Award respectively.

Jhingan will become the 27th footballer to win the honour while Sukhwinder is the third person to receive the Dhyan Chand Award for football.

"Sandesh's spirit and tenacity have been such a remarkable hallmark in Indian Football in recent times. You fully deserve this honour and we are extremely proud of you. Keep the Indian flag flying high. Congratulations," Patel said in a statement.

"Sukhwinder Singh has played a key role in developing Indian football. He has been a successful coach and a player winning many laurels. My heartiest congratulations to him," he added.

Kushal Das, General Secretary, AIFF hailed Jhingan as a "great role model."

"Sandesh epitomises the new generation of Indian footballers. His qualities stand out and he is a great role model for so many youngsters. He is a deserving recipient of the Arjuna Award. This is also an award of recognition for Indian football," Das stated.

The General Secretary added: "Sukhwinder Singh's contributions to Indian football are invaluable. Many congratulations to him."

The Sports Awards are given every year by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India to recognise and reward excellence in sports. The Arjuna Award is given for consistent outstanding performance for four years and the Dhyan Chand Award is for lifetime contribution to sports development.

Sandesh made his Blue Tigers debut in 2015 in Guwahati and since then, he has played 36 times for the Blue Tigers scoring four goals. He has also captained India on four occasions so far.

As a central defender, he has played a key role in many memorable results such as winning the Intercontinental Cup 2018 and the draw away to Asian champions Qatar last year.

Meanwhile, as the national team coach, Sukhwinder Singh has won the SAFF Cup twice (1999, 2009) and it was under his leadership that India defeated UAE in 2001 in a FIFA World Cup Qualifier in Bangalore. At club level, he has been a National Football League (NFL), Federation Cup, IFA Shield and Durand Cup champion as a coach.

As a player, he made his senior national team debut in 1975 and played 22 matches for India. He also played for JCT Club and represented Punjab at the Santosh Trophy. (ANI)

PM Modi extends greeting to farmers on 'Naukhai Juhar', wishes for their 'prosperity', good health'

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (File Photo)

New Delhi [India], Aug 23 (ANI): On the occasion 'Nuakhai Juhar', which is one of the most ancient festivals celebrated in Odisha, Chhattisgarh and areas of neighbouring states to welcome the new crop of the season, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday extended his good wishes to the farmers and wished for their prosperity and good health.

"The special occasion of Nuakhai is about celebrating the hardwork of our farmers. It is due to their efforts that our nation is fed. May this auspicious day bring prosperity and good health for everyone. Nuakhai Juhar!" Prime Minister Modi tweeted.

Nuakhai Juhar is the agricultural festival is also called Nuakhai Parab or Nuakahi Bhetghat.

Nuakhai is a combination of two words signifies eating of new rice as 'nua' means new and 'khai' means eat.

On this day, people worship food grain and prepare special meals. Farmers offer the first produce from their lands to Goddess Samaleswari, the famous 'Mother Goddess' of Sambalpur district of Odisha.

Moreover, locals also organise several cultural programmes - folk songs and dances in their respective districts on this day to display the state's local culture and tradition. However, this year, people will celebrate the festival while staying indoors due to COIVID-19 outbreak. (ANI)

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