Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Greta Thunberg slams China for arresting 17-year-old climate activist in Shanghai

Swedish Climate activist Greta Thunberg. (Photo: ANI)

Beijing [China], September 29 (ANI): Swedish teen climate activist Greta Thunberg hit out at China for arresting a 17-year-old climate activist in Shanghai, the South China Morning Post reported on Tuesday.

Thunberg tweeted, "Activism is not a crime. Peacefully standing up for the future survival of the living planet should never be illegal. Solidarity and gratitude to our friends in China, Uganda, Russia and everywhere else #FridaysForFuture activists are being arrested."

According to the South China Morning Post, Ou Hongyi, also known as China's "first climate striker" was detained on Friday at the Shanghai's main shopping district.

The 17-year old in an Instagram post posted on Sunday said that she and three other protesters were detained after three hours of silent protests. "Billions of people will die, and children will die while parents lose their jobs. Nonviolent civil disobedience climate movement is the only candle in the darkness to give us the slightest hope," she said.

Ou said that she was stopped in Nanjing Road and was taken to a nearby police station and was released hours later. She posted a picture on Twitter on Sunday of a room that looked like an interrogation room.

"We just went on the global climate strike day, with four people, advocates, on Nanjing Road which is a very symbolic place in Shanghai, and we are just arrested and interrogated for about two hours and I just came out of the police station," she said in a video after her release, as reported by South China Morning Post.

In a Twitter post, she said that she was forced to write a "self-criticism letter", a forced admission of guilt used by Chinese police to intimidate the activists.

"Government is the only institution that has the ability to protect its people but it failed," she wrote, as quoted by the South China Morning Post.

Just like Thunberg, Ou also skipped classes for a week last year to protest outside government buildings in her hometown of Guilin.

Guangxi's Public Security Bureau has also interrogated her and her protests were also cut short by the police. However, the state-funded organisations and NGOs have refused to allow the 17-year-old at events.

Ou's protest comes two days after Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged at the United Nations General Assembly that China would achieve carbon neutrality by 2060.

Andreas Fulda, an associate professor at the University of Nottingham's school of politics and international relations in the UK said that the campaigns for the environment have been hard to run since Xi came to power.

"During the Hu and Wen era it was still possible for environmental NGOs to run campaigns, such as against wasteful energy consumption or reckless dam building in southern China," Fulda said and added, "Since Xi has come to power, the available space for Chinese civil society has shrunk dramatically."

"Such transnational solidarity with what could be termed 'unofficial China' is of great importance. Chinese citizens who are willing to speak truth to power should be supported by the international community," he added. (ANI)

Balochistan is facing a pandemic of impunity and abuse of rights, activist tell UN

Munir Mengal at the 45th Session of the Human Rights Council. (Photo credit: ANI)

Geneva [Swittzerland], September 29 (ANI): Balochistan is facing a pandemic of impunity and abuse of rights, Baloch activist Munir Mengal told the United Nations on Tuesday while urging the UN working body on enforced disappearances to take appropriate actions to ensure stringent action against Pakistan for the safe recovery of Baloch missing persons.

Speaking at the 45th Session of the Human Rights Council, Mengal, the President of Baloch Voice Association said: "Baloch children have grown up in protest camps asking for the recovery of their family members. Balochistan is facing a pandemic of impunity and abuse of rights."

"The cases of Baloch missing persons registered with UN working body on enforced disappearances yet their family members have not heard any information either from Pakistan or from this august UN body," he added.

Mengal further said that the situation "has already worsened" citing the case of Rashid Hussain Brohi who was taken under detention by the UAE agencies having all the pieces of evidence and was also documented by the UN Working Group on Enforced Disappearances, who later on was handed over to Pakistan secretly and illegally.

"In June 2019 Pakistani agencies and media claimed that Rashid Hussain is under the custody of Pakistan. Since then there has neither been any information about his fate and nor has he been presented to any court of justice," he said.

He also highlighted the case of Zahid Kurd Baloch, a student leader who was "whisked away" by Pakistani uniformed security forces from Balochistan University in front of many witnesses in March 2014. Since then, there has been no information about him.

The activist further slammed the world body for displaying a lack of interest in the enforced disappearances in Balochistan, which has "accelerated the culture of disappearing with impunity" by the Pakistan Army.

"The number of victims is in thousands, the victims include Baloch political and human rights activists, students, females, kids, infants, etc. and the practice of disappearing is going on a daily basis. The silence of the judiciary and a lack of interest from UN bodies has accelerated the culture of disappearing with impunity," the activist added.

He later urged the working body to take important steps against Islamabad for its violation of rights against the people in Balochistan. "I urge the UN Working Body on Enforced disappearances to take appropriate and effective measures against Pakistan for the safe recovery of Baloch missing persons," he concluded.

Balochistan is a resource-rich but least developed province of Pakistan where a movement for freedom is ongoing for the past several decades. Many Baloch believe that the region was independent before 1947 and was forcibly occupied by Pakistan.

The Pakistan Army has launched several operations in Balochistan and has supported criminals, which locals call "death squads".

A large number of political activists, intellectuals, women and children in Pakistan's Balochistan province are victims of enforced disappearances by the security agencies.

Many of them are languishing in detention centres whereas mutilated bodies of some of these abducted Baloch are found in isolated places. (ANI)

Prime Minister Modi, President Kovind extend condolences over demise of Emir of Kuwait

Prime Minister Narendra Modi

New Delhi [India], September 29 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday expressed his condolences on the passing away of Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, describing him as a "beloved leader" of the Arab world and a "close friend" of India.

"My heartfelt condolences on the sad demise of His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Amir of the State of Kuwait. In this moment of grief our thoughts are with the Al-Sabah family and the people of the State of Kuwait," the Prime Minister said in a tweet.

He said the late leader played a leading role in strengthening bilateral relations and always took special care of the Indian community in Kuwait.

"Today, the State of Kuwait and the Arab world has lost a beloved leader, India a close friend, and the world a great statesman. His Highness played a leading role in strengthening our bilateral relations, and always took special care of the Indian community in Kuwait," the Prime Minister said.

President Ram Nath Kovind also expressed his condolences.

"Deeply saddened at the demise of His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Amir of the State of Kuwait. He was a great statesman, humanitarian leader and close friend of India. My condolences to HH's family, Kuwaiti Govt and its people in this time of grief," President Kovind said in a tweet.

Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah passed away on Tuesday in 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)

Air Bubbles with Germany have been suspended, negotiations are currently underway: DGCA

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New Delhi [India], September 29 (ANI): Air Bubbles with Germany have been suspended, informed the Director-General of Civil Aviation on Tuesday adding that negotiations are currently underway.

"India formalised an Air Bubble with Germany in July 2020. An Air Bubble arrangement allows nationals of both countries to travel in either direction. However, there are restrictions in place for Indian nationals desiring to travel to Germany which was putting Indian carriers at a significant disadvantage resulting in an inequitable distribution of traffic in favour of Lufthansa," The DGCA said.

The DGCA said that while Indian carriers operated 3 to 4 flights a week, Lufthansa operated 20 flights a week.

"In spite of this disparity, we offered to clear seven flights a week for Lufthansa which was not accepted by them. The negotiations continue," the DGCA added.

The Vande Bharat Mission started in early May to evacuate Indians stranded abroad due to coronavirus-induced travel restrictions.

The mission is in its sixth phase which will continue till October 24. (ANI)

India and Bangladesh reviewed the expanding connectivity in road, rail, inland waterways and ports

Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar. (Photo credit: ANI)

New Delhi [India], September 29 (ANI): India and Bangladesh on Tuesday reviewed the expanding connectivity in the road, rail, inland waterways and ports and agreed to expedite progress in ongoing projects besides.

They expressed their commitment to take forward cooperation in the energy sector, including third-party projects.

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

Jaishankar, who made a series of tweets, said it was a "comprehensive and productive meeting" in which they reviewed the full range of bilateral cooperation.

He said the two sides discussed early return to normalcy in trade and travel affected by COVID-19.

"People-to-people connect is the greatest strength of our relations. Addressed specific concerns of both sides on economic and commercial issues," he said.

"Reviewed the expanding connectivity in road, rail, inland waterways and ports. Agreed to expedite progress in ongoing projects. Committed to take forward our cooperation in the energy sector, including third-party projects. Reaffirmed our shared commitment to a peaceful and secure border. Encouraged stronger cooperation between our border guarding forces to that end," he added.

He informed of government's decision to issue a commemorative stamp on the birth centenary of Bangabandhu on December 16, 2020.

"Appreciate Bangladesh's gesture of releasing the commemorative stamp on MahatmaAt150. Commemorating the historic Mujib Barsho and 150 years of Mahatma, announced the 'Bangabandhu-Bapu Digital Museum'," he said.

Jaishankar said the two sides will now prepare for the virtual summit between their Prime Ministers in December 2020. (ANI)

All persons arrested till now are connected to each other and it is a syndicate: NCB tells Bombay HC

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Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], September 29 (ANI): The Narcotic Control Bureau (NCB) while opposing bail pleas filed by actor Rhea Chakraborty and five others in the Bollywood drug case on Tuesday told the Bombay High Court that all persons arrested till now are connected to each other and it is a syndicate.

"All persons arrested till now, are connected with each other and it is a syndicate. There was a regular link and purchasing. Therefore, the court will have to consider the case as a whole, not one accused from another," the NCB said in the court.

The NCB was represented before the High Court by ASG Anil Singh who argued in detail before the HC concluded the arguments of all lawyers of the accused and reserved the matter for orders.

Before the ASG pointed out the complicity of all the accused in this case and opposed the bail for each accused, all the five accused were represented by their lawyers before the Bombay High Court. Rhea and Showik Chakraborty were represented by Advocate Satish Maneshinde, Samuel Miranda was represented by Advocate Subodh Desai,

Advocate Tarak Sayyad appeared for Abdel Basit Parihar and for Dipesh Sawant Advocate Rajesh Rathod put his arguments.

All lawyers for the applicants began their arguments that this is a case where offence is bailable and it doesn't attract stringent section 27 A of The NDPS act. However, this argument was not accepted by Bombay HC Justice Sarang V Kotwal and he asked all lawyers to argue on the merits of the case instead of applicability of nonbailable sections.

Satish Maneshinde argued that his clients Showik and Rhea were merely involved in this because they were doing this for Sushant Singh Rajput and if the late actor was alive, even he would have been charged only for the consumption of contraband. But Rhea and Showik are being wrongly projected as accused involved in Commercial activities prohibited by NDPS act like Financing, Harbouring and sheltering etc. which is not justifiable.

Satish Maneshinde also argued that according to Supreme Court order this case can't be investigated by NCB as per the SC orders in Sushant Singh Rajput death case which had ordered that all cases related to the late actor's death will be investigated by CBI only.

To this, NCB lawyer opposed these jurisdiction arguments and told the court that this case is not Sushant Singh Rajput's death case but a separate case in its own in the NDPS act and NCB has complete jurisdiction in this case. Para 41 9f the said SC orders about jurisdiction also doesn't affect NCB's Jurisdiction in this case.

After over seven hours of arguments, Justice Kotwal's single-judge bench reserved it's orders and observed that he will try to pass orders as early as possible. But as the case is voluminous and many things have to be discussed, it may take time for orders. (ANI)

Vice President Venkaiah Naidu tests positive for COVID-19

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu.

New Delhi [India], September 29 (ANI): Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the Vice President Secretariat informed on Tuesday.

"The Vice President of India who underwent a routine COVID-19 test today morning has been tested positive. He is however, asymptomatic and in good health. He has been advised home quarantine. His wife Smt. Usha Naidu has been tested negative and is in self-isolation," Vice President Secretariat said in a tweet. (ANI)

Kuwait's ruling Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah has passed away

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Kuwait City [Kuwait], September 29 (ANI): Kuwait's ruling Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah has passed away on Tuesday in 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 Kuwa
it's Emir in January 2006 after the death of Sheikh Jaber al-Sabah.

According to Al Jazeera, he went to the United States in July in order to seek medical attention after undergoing surgery. Previously, he had his appendix removed in 2002, two years after a pacemaker was fitted and in 2007, he underwent a urinary tract surgery in the US.

The Kuwait television had earlier interrupted regular programming to cut to Quaranic verses on Tuesday, a move that often signifies the death of a senior member of the Gulf Arab state's ruling family, Al Jazeera further reported. (ANI)

Declare Hurriyat Conference leaders as traitors: Gilgit-Baltistan leader appeals to J&K

Sajjad Raja, Chairman of the National Equality Party JKGBL (File photograph) (ANI)

New Delhi [India], September 29 (ANI): Taking offence to the stand of All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) on the Gilgit-Baltistan issue, Sajjad Raja, chairman of the National Equality Party JKGBL, has appealed to the people of Jammu and Kashmir to declare its leaders to be "TRAITORS".

The APHC has said that they have no objections to Pakistan making Gilgit-Baltistan a part of its constitutional province.

"APHC Kashmir says they have no objection (to) Pakistan making Gilgit-Baltistan a constitutional province. They are not stakeholders in GB. Such people still expect us to raise voice for them. We shall oppose them everywhere & appeal that people of J&K should declare them TRAITORS," Raja tweeted on Monday.

Raja, in another tweet on Tuesday, hit out at the Imran Khan government of Pakistan, saying his army is just meant to keep "India engaged".

"Pakistan has no love for the people of Jammu and Kashmir, their army means to keep India engaged and the purpose of this policy is to claim that India is at war with Pakistan & that the people of Pakistan need a very strong army... Thus allocating more and more budget for the Pakistan(i) army," his tweet read.

The Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Tuesday took a strong objection to Pakistan's latest move, stating that it has seen reports regarding elections to the "so-called Gilgit-Baltistan Assembly" to be held on November 15.

"The Government of India has registered a strong protest with Pakistan and reiterated that Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, besides Gilgit-Baltistan, are an integral part of India," the MEA stated.

The Government of India has completely rejected the continued attempts by the Pakistani establishment to bring material changes in areas under its illegal and forcible occupation like the "Gilgit-Baltistan (Elections and Caretaker Government) Amendment Order 2020", according to the MEA.

The Imran Khan government recently released a new political map of Pakistan, claiming the Indian territories of Junagadh, Sir Creek and Manavadar in Gujarat, besides Jammu and Kashmir and a part of Ladakh, as its territory. (ANI)

Indian envoy congratulates newly appointed foreign minister of Comoros

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Moroni [Comoros], September 29 (ANI): Indian ambassador to Madagascar and Comoros, Abhay Kumar on Tuesday congratulated the newly appointed foreign minister of Comoros Dhoihir Dhoulkamal and wished him a productive tenure.

In a cabinet reshuffle on Monday in the Indian Ocean island of Comoros, President Azali Assoumani appointed Dhoihir Dhoulkamal as the new Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Union of Comoros.

Dhoulkamal earlier served as the Vice President of the National Assembly of Comoros and was recently nominated as the Ambassador of Comoros to France.

Ambassador Abhay Kumar spoke to Dhoihir Dhoulkamal and congratulated him on his appointment and wished him a productive tenure. He added that he looks forward to working with him and his team to advance India-Comoros ties.

Last year, Indian Vice President Venkaiah Naidu had visited Comoros in October and a defence cooperation agreement was signed during the visit along with a number of other agreements.

It was the first-ever visit of an Indian high dignitary to Comoros. (ANI)

Pashtuns hold protests against the Pakistani government for harassing them

Pashtun community hold protests against the Imran Khan-led government. 

Peshawar [Pakistan], September 29 (ANI): Pashtuns have been protesting against the Pakistani government for harassing them by introducing customs duty at Angoor Adda crossing point on Durand Line.

According to reports, the protests have been ongoing since September 25 in the South Waziristan district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province as Pashtuns have been facing difficulties in crossing the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

A large number of Pashtuns engage in trade and supply of daily goods at the border for decades, but the introduction of customs duty will affect the local trade and increase the price of daily commodities.

Pashtuns live on both sides of the international border and they engage in business activities. Locals blame Islamabad for deliberately targeting the Pashtuns.

They have also been facing a lack of internet and electricity in the area, which has severely affected their daily life. (ANI)

India never accepted the so-called unilaterally defined 1959 LAC: MEA

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New Delhi [India], September 29 (ANI): India on Tuesday said it has never accepted the so-called unilaterally defined 1959 Line of Actual Control, and that the county's position has been consistent and well known to all including China.

Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said at a news briefing here today rebutted reports quoting a Chinese Foreign Ministry statement regarding China's position on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the India-China border areas.

"India has never accepted the so-called unilaterally defined 1959 Line of Actual Control (LAC). This position has been consistent and well known, including to the Chinese side," the MEA spokesperson said.

Srivastava pointed out that under their various bilateral agreements including the 1993 Agreement on Maintenance of Peace and Tranquility along the LAC, 1996 Agreement on Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) in the military field, 2005 Protocol on Implementation of CBMs, 2005 Agreement on Political Parameters and Guiding Principles for settlement of the India-China Boundary Question, "both India and China have committed to clarification and confirmation of the LAC to reach a common understanding of the alignment of the LAC."

"In fact, the two sides had engaged in an exercise to clarify and confirm the LAC up to 2003, but this process could not proceed further as the Chinese side did not show a willingness to pursue it," the spokesperson added.

The spokesperson added that "the insistence now of the Chinese side that there is only one LAC is contrary to the solemn commitments made by China in these agreements."

He said that India has always respected and abided by the LAC.

"As the Hon'ble Raksha Mantri stated in the Parliament recently, it is the Chinese side which by its attempts to transgress the LAC in various parts of the Western Sector, has tried to unilaterally alter the status quo," the spokesperson added.

The official said that the Chinese side "has repeatedly affirmed that the current situation in the border areas should be resolved in accordance with the agreements signed between the two countries". "In the agreement reached between External Affairs Minister and his Chinese counterpart on 10th September also, the Chinese side has reiterated its commitment to abide by all the existing agreements," the official said.

"We, therefore, expect that the Chinese side will sincerely and faithfully abide by all agreements and understandings in their entirety and refrain from advancing an untenable unilateral interpretation of the LAC."

India and China, which held the sixth round of Senior Commanders' meeting on Monday following border tensions in eastern Ladakh, have agreed to avoid misunderstandings and misjudgments, stop sending more troops to the frontline, refrain from unilaterally changing the situation on the ground and avoid taking any actions that may complicate the situation.

The two sides also agreed to strengthen communication on the ground and to hold the next round of Military Commander-Level Meeting as soon as possible.

A joint press statement on Tuesday said that the two sides had a candid and in-depth exchange of views on "stabilizing the situation along the LAC in the India - China border areas". It said that the two sides agreed to take practical measures to properly solve problems on the ground. (ANI)

Xi's China feels like Kim's North Korea as repression mounts in Xinjiang, says scribe

Chinese President Xi Jinping

Washington [US], September 29 (ANI): Seeing the atrocities inflicted by the Chinese government on the Uyghurs, a Washington Post journalist recalls the constant scrutiny she and her team faced while they were in Xinjiang throwing light upon the crimes against the community by the Chinese Communist Party.

"It was the start of four days of intense surveillance and nuisance checkpoints designed to obstruct our reporting and ensure that local people were too afraid to talk to us. There were cars that tailed us everywhere and the Keystone Kops, men who would jump behind bushes or pretend to talk on their phones while obviously following us," journalist Anna Fifield, a former Beijing Bureau chief wrote in the Washington Post.

In her piece, she further wrote that the Public Security Bureau officers "who repeatedly called us to the hotel lobby" to insist that the group followed local reporting regulations "that, among other things, required that we get anyone's permission to interview them". "Before long, we endured a farcical argument about whether we needed assent before we could photograph a public building," she added.

Fifield said that the trip to Kashgar (in Xinjiang) was the "final reporting expedition" she would make after 10 years in Asia but it made her recall not her trip to China but a previous assignment in North Korea.

She described Kashgar as an "evocative city, the home of Uighur culture" that was once a stop on the Silk Road and "has been turned into a Potemkin village, like Pyongyang, where it's impossible to discern where the real ends and the staged begins."

Visting Kashgar as a tourist for the first time in 2006, she remembered it to be "a magical place of Uighur people who looked Central Asian and spoke a Turkic language written in Arabic script".

"Before returning to Kashgar this month, I dug out my photos from that trip. I found pictures of the renowned Id Kah Mosque, abuzz with activity. Photos of men with beards and women with headscarves and young children smiling and posing for my camera. I wondered what had happened to these children, many of whom would now be in their early 20s," the scribe wrote.

The Chinese government has detained over 1 million Uighurs in "in reeducation camps designed to strip them of their culture, language and religion". The scribe wrote that in these camps the Uighurs had to shave their beards and uncover their hair.

"They've been made to pledge allegiance to the Chinese Communist Party. Children have been taken from their parents and put into orphanages," she wrote.

It was when she returned to Kashgar that she was struck by how, "at first glance", it seemed relatively normal. "In the Old City, families were out at the night market, eating piles of meat and bread. Kids could be heard laughing through open upstairs windows. There were even young men -- prime targets for the detention campaign, which was ostensibly about deradicalization -- on the streets again," she wrote.

"Had any of the people I saw in Kashgar this month been affected by the "reeducation" campaign? Almost certainly. But I couldn't ask them. Just as in Pyongyang, I didn't try to interview people on the street or in stores, as I would do anywhere else in the world," she added.

Had she interviewed one of the people on the street, she wrote that it would have put those people in danger. "I would have loved to talk to someone who had been through the camps -- but I was conscious of the risks I posed to people if I tried to discuss sensitive subjects. Or talk to them at all," she wrote further in her story in the Washington Post.

Writing about her arrival in China, while finishing a book on Kim Jong Un and "immersed in North Korea", she said, "I tried to stop myself from looking at China through the lens of its paranoid neighbour. China is not North Korea, I told myself."

But Xi Jinping taking over as president of China did not make it easy for the scribe to keep her thoughts about North Korea "at bay". "There is still a level of latitude and commerce and vibrancy here that is unimaginable across the northeastern border, but some days China really feels like North Korea," Fifield wrote.

"Not just in Xinjiang but across China, it has become extremely difficult to have conversations with ordinary folk. People are afraid to speak at all, critically or otherwise. Students and professors, supermarket workers and taxi drivers, parents and motorists have all waved me away this year," she added.

But, every now and then, she wrote that she would encounter a "brave person" who wants to talk, and "I am always grateful to them for their honesty" but with that honesty comes a new layer of fear that whether her story would result in this person being detained. Those who speak out face severe consequences, including many years in prison.

She further wrote that it was clear that China now thinks the cost of having foreign correspondents -- people who do pesky reporting on human rights abuses -- outweighs the "benefit of having people to write about what a great destination China is for investment".

"I don't see the situation getting freer or easier for the Chinese people any time soon, nor for the foreign journalists who try to show their audiences back home what it's like to be on the ground in China, for better or for worse," she wrote further remembering a joke from an acquaintance, " "We used to think North Korea was our past -- now we realise it's our future." (ANI)

3 Indians launch Faceless Chat, the world's first app that turns Facebook or WhatsApp into an anonymous social network

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Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], September 29 (ANI/BusinessWire India): Being able to socialize anonymously or having the option to find out what friends may really think about a question, opinion or a post without having to expose their identities are options that many social networking enthusiasts find incredibly interesting.

Now, thanks to the new Android app Faceless Chat both of these options and much more are possible. Faceless Chat works with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp and Snap Chat to deliver links to anonymous posts, where people can respond with their identity protected.

To make things even better as soon as the links expire they are gone forever, without Faceless Chat even having the option to recover them, regardless of the reason. Not surprisingly, these features are making Faceless Chat a popular new social networking choice among a growing number of users who value honesty and being able to stay anonymous.

"Our mission is to create technologies that bring people even more closer using social media. The most common feature in every social network out there is a story. More than 1.6 Billion Stories are uploaded daily on all social networks and we want to make them more interactive, creative and significantly more better," commented Sulaiman Mmd, Co-Founder and CEO of Faceless Chat.

"That's what Faceless Chat is offering and it is obviously something that is in big demand. Many people obviously don't enjoy the idea that their identity is attached to social networking chats and can be recovered forever. We are providing a way around that kind of headache that is ethical, well-designed, easy to use, and fun."

Faceless Chat take a unique approach to social networking by building its interactions around a simple link, where other social networking apps surround things like photos (for Instagram), disappearing photos (Snapchat), and other more traditional approaches. Since Faceless Chat uses shareable links, it allows users to share anything with just a link, giving them the ability to turn their WhatsApp status or Snapchat stories into interactive things where online friends can have anonymous exchanges with them exploring all kinds of interesting, fun, or eye-opening subjects.

Friends who see the Faceless Chat stories can swipe up and check their posts on a web browser, as well as be able to directly interact with the user anonymously. Popular choices for posts include things like 'Questions and Answers', secret crushes, surprising confessions, and much more. Since things are kept anonymous and the posts vanish forever, it encourages honesty, humor, and shock value to all be celebrated.

Many people are pointing towards Faceless Chat to be the future of social networking for its ease of use, for it being able to be incorporated on other popular platforms like WhatsApp and Snapchat, and, most of all, it's dedication to keeping things completely anonymous.

So far the feedback from users has been incredibly positive across the board, something which is helping the app's use spread due to all of the enthusiastic user experiences.

The new app is updated regularly for the best possible user experience.

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

iDEX4Fauji, a step towards making us self-reliant: General Bipin Rawat

Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat

New Delhi [India], September 29 (ANI): Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat on Tuesday said that the launch of iDEX4Fauji is a step towards making the country and its forces Atmanirbhar (self-reliant).

"The launch of iDEX4Fauji is a step towards making us Atmanirbhar. The budget allocated by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will encourage the security forces. The innovations that we were doing will now turn into developmental projects," Rawat said at the video conference.

Regarding the visit to Kupwara in Jammu and Kashmir by the Defence Minister and him, Rawat said, "Some months ago we visited Kupwara sector close to the Line of Control (LoC) and there our Jawans showed several innovations to the Defence Minister with which they use to take action against terrorists. So the defence minister enquired how to develop these innovations so that the security forces in border areas benefit. Our soldiers made several innovations and to take it to step forward iDEX4Fauji will give the right direction."

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres calls on Azerbaijani and Armenian leaders to establish a ceasefire

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New York [US], September 28 (ANI/Xinhua): United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday called on Azerbaijani and Armenian leaders to take immediate steps to establish a ceasefire.

"The secretary-general spoke today with H.E. Mr Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan and with H.E. Mr Nikol Pashinyan, Prime Minister of Armenia," according to a press note issued by the UN chief's spokesman Stephane Dujarric.

"The secretary-general expressed grave concern over the ongoing clashes along the line of contact in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone. He urged both leaders to take immediate steps to establish a ceasefire and resume negotiations in order to prevent instability in the region," it said.

"The secretary-general reiterated his full support for the important role of the OSCE (the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) Minsk Group co-chairs, stressing the need for the sides to work with them to return to negotiations without delay or pre-conditions," it added.

Forces of Armenia and Azerbaijan reportedly continued fighting over the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone for the second day on Monday, despite calls from the international community for the hostilities to end.

The UN chief on Sunday expressed his great concern over the latest Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, calling on both sides to immediately stop fighting.

Armenia and Azerbaijan have been at loggerheads over the mountainous region of Nagorno-Karabakh since 1988. Peace talks have been held since 1994 when a ceasefire was reached, but there have been occasional minor clashes along the borders. (ANI/Xinhua)

15 people killed in bomb blast in Central Afghanistan

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Moscow/Cairo [Russia/Egypt], September 29 (ANI/Sputnik): At least 15 people were killed in a bomb explosion in the central Afghan province of Daykundi, a spokesman for the interior ministry, Tariq Arian, said on Tuesday.

"A landmine, which was planted by Taliban militants in the district of Karjan in the Daykundi province, has resulted in the deaths of 15 people," Arian wrote on Twitter, adding that women and children were among the victims.

The Taliban have not commented on the attack so far.

Armed clashes and bomb blasts continue to impact Afghanistan despite the ongoing peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban in the Qatari capital of Doha.

The intra-Afghan negotiations began on September 12, with both sides publicly expressing their desire to conclude a secure and long-lasting ceasefire to end Afghanistan's long-running conflict. (ANI/Sputnik)

Victims of the 2016 Pathankot and 2008 Mumbai terror attacks are yet to get justice: MEA

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New Delhi [India], September 29 (ANI): The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Tuesday said while assisting victims of terrorism, it is important not to lose sight of their right to get justice for the crimes, which were committed against them.

"Victims of the 2008 Mumbai and 2016 Pathankot terror attacks are yet to get justice," said Vijay Thakur Singh, MEA Secretary (East) at a ministerial meeting of a group of friends of victims of terrorism.

"It's due to the unwillingness and non-cooperative attitude of a particular country. It is important that we must work towards redressing deficiencies in the international efforts to ensure that perpetrators of terrorism are brought to justice," Singh added.

Singh led the Indian delegation in the Second Ministerial Meeting of the Group of Friends of Victims of Terrorism, which took place virtually on Monday.

According to MEA, Secretary (East), highlighted the pain and suffering of the innocent victims of terrorism across the world. She underscored that even amidst the ongoing pandemic, terrorism continues to pose a critical threat to international peace and security.

She highlighted that the acts of terrorism not only violate the rights of individual victims but they also deeply affect the enjoyment of a range of rights by the families of the victims particularly women and children and therefore, measures aimed at addressing the needs of victims of terrorism should specifically factor-in their needs and sensitivities.

Singh specifically emphasised upon the importance of the right of the victims of terrorism to get justice for the crimes committed against them.

She appreciated the United Nations (UN) for establishing August 21 as the 'International Day of Remembrance of and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism', and hoped the UN would continue its work related to addressing the needs of victims of terrorism. (ANI)

Japanese telecom giant NTT to take over Docomo private for $40 billion

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Tokyo [Japan], Sep 29 (ANI):
Japanese telecom giant Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT) on Tuesday announced a takeover bid worth about USD 40 billion to acquire a 100 per cent stake in its wireless subsidiary NTT Docomo.

NTT currently owns about 66 per cent of the mobile carrier, which is the most
 profitable part of the NTT group, reports NHK News.

The parent company has decided to take full control of Docomo by acquiring the roughly 34 per cent of outstanding stock in the company.

The telecom giant's management hopes to gain more profit from the wireless carrier, which has the most subscribers in Japan.

It also plans to strengthen alliances with other group companies that offer corporate telecommunication services and operate internationally.

NTT is aiming to boost its competitiveness in the fields of 5G and other next-generation communications. The move comes as Japan's new Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide said he wants to see lower mobile phone rates in the country.

NTT Docomo will be delisted from the Tokyo Stock Exchange once the tender offer is completed, said NHK News. (ANI) 

Foreign Minister S Jaishankar to visit Japan on October 6

Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar.

New Delhi [India], September 29 (ANI): External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will visit Tokyo from October 6 to October 7, 2020, for bilateral consultations with the Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi, an official statement said here on Tuesday.

The two ministers are expected to discuss bilateral and regional issues of mutual interest.

According to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), during the visit, the External Affairs Minister will also participate in the Second India-Australia-Japan-USA Ministerial Meeting on October 6, 2020, in which the foreign ministers of the respective countries will participate.

The statement said, the foreign ministers shall discuss the post-COVID-19 international order and the need for a coordinated response to the various challenges emerging from the pandemic. They will also discuss regional issues and collectively affirm the importance of maintaining a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region.

External Affairs Minister will also hold bilateral consultations with the foreign ministers of Australia and the US during his visit to Japan.

India, Japan, Australia and the US have been coordinating a joint approach on "free, open, prosperous and inclusive" Indo-Pacific region, based on shared values and principles and respect for international law.

This grouping is seen as a response to China's growing military assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific region.

In the agenda of the foreign ministers of the four-member nations of the 'Quad' talks are maritime security, counter-terrorism, connectivity and infrastructure development with the objective of promoting peace, security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.

The talks between representatives of the democracies referred as Quad will be the first ministerial-level multiparty conference hosted by Tokyo since the start of the coronavirus pandemic and following their meeting in New York in September last year on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

The Quad meeting is expected to be focussed on strategic and security challenges in the region and joint strategy is also to be discussed, although security and strategy will be the key focus. The meeting may also give an opportunity to the like-minded countries to discuss and improvise on global supply chains. Yesterday Prime Minister Narendra Modi emphasised that over-dependence on a single source is risky for the global supply chain.

Japan and India had recently signed a military pact enabling them to exchange supplies and logistical support.

Collaboration in coronavirus vaccine development and response to COVID-19 are also expected to be discussed in the meet. (ANI)

India protests announcement of elections in 'Gilgit-Baltistan'

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New Delhi [India], September 29 (ANI): The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has stated that they have seen reports regarding elections to the so-called "Gilgit-Baltistan" Assembly to be held on November 15, 2020 and took strong objection to it.

"The Government of India conveyed strong protest to Pakistan Government and reiterated that Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, including the so-called Gilgit and Baltistan, are an integral part of India," the MEA stated.

The Government of India also completely rejected recent actions such as the so-called "Gilgit-Baltistan (Elections and Caretaker Government) Amendment Order 2020" and continued attempts by Pakistan establishment to bring material changes in areas under its illegal and forcible occupation, according to MEA.

The ministry pointed out that the government of Pakistan has no locus standi on territories illegally and forcibly occupied by it.

The statement said action such as these can neither hide the illegal occupation of parts of Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh by Pakistan nor the grave human rights violations, exploitation and denial of freedom to the people residing in Pakistan occupied territories for the past seven decades.

"These are cosmetic exercises intended to camouflage its illegal occupation. We call upon Pakistan to immediately vacate all areas under its illegal occupation," the MEA added. (ANI)

Here's a list of top companies helping in social commerce boom in India

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Washington [US], September 29 (ANI): Social media has emerged beyond just a networking tool but it has also become a platform for the Direct to Consumer (D2C) segment and the key drivers enabling Social Commerce in India.

There are nearly 200 million active social media users in India currently, and the number is expected to grow to around 370 million by 2022. Categories such as fashion, consumer healthcare, baby products, food and beverage industry, financial services, beauty, personal care, and women care are gaining prominence on social networking sites.

In India, social media platforms are an important part of a shopping journey for millennials and more. Not only buyers but sellers also are attracted to social media to get more customers. A majority of consumers purchase products due to social media recommendations. Hence, Social commerce is a next-generation trend that will reshape the future of commerce.

Here is the list of platforms that are enabling the Social Commerce boom in India.

1. Shiprocket - It is an e-commerce shipping and enablement platform for SMBs. With 20 courier partners on board, the brand enables pan-India as well as international shipping deliveries.

The platform also helps such small sellers with its variety of services from Website developments, Live tracking of package, packaging solution, and act as a fulfillment partner to its sellers right from where the order is placed to customer doorstep.

2. Meesho - An Indian-origin social commerce platform that enables small businesses and individuals to start their online stores via social channels such as WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram.

The company is headquartered in Bengaluru and aims to soothe some of the WhatsApp commerce pain points by moving much of the buying experience to its dedicated mobile shopping app.

3. Facebook - The tech giant is a powerhouse for advertising and virtual goods with 500 million people using the service to communicate and share information with their friends.

Post the launch of Shops on Facebook; it enabled businesses to display and sell products on the platform. The move comes as small businesses around the world have been using social media for such purposes but in an unorganised manner.

This is an interesting place to play in by allowing users will have the ability to directly contact a business using either Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, or Instagram Direct Message to ask questions or track orders and deliveries.

The biggest e-commerce use of Facebook thus far has been to drive traffic back to their websites through ads, or by posting deals or new products on Facebook.

4. Instagram - The Facebook-owned picture and video-sharing social networking service that allows users to upload media, which can be edited with filters and organised with tags and location information and shared among users across countries.

Instagram has been proven to be a very good medium for sellers across geographies and sectors for selling products. Be it a food lover, fashion enthusiast, Handicrafts artist, or a painter, Instagram has generated business for both small and big sellers by providing a platform with millions of reach.

5. Glowroad - It is the most reseller app in India. It is a social selling platform that provides earning opportunities for Indian women and small businesses. It also provides an opportunity for graduate students to start their own business and earn money.

With 6 million resellers across 2000+ cities, Glowroad gives user access to a virtual shop, millions of products from trusted suppliers, payments, and shipping facilities thereby making a hassle-free experience for its users. (ANI)

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