Monday, October 26, 2020

India to send 270 MT of food aid to Sudan, South Sudan, Djibouti, Eritria

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New Delhi [India], October 26 (ANI): India will be providing 270 MT of food aid to Sudan, South Sudan, Djibouti and Eritrea, which have been affected due to natural calamities and the coronavirus pandemic, said Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Monday.

Accordiing to an official statement by the MEA, the food aid, comprising 155 MT of wheat flour, 65 MT of rice and 50 MT of sugar, is being transported on the Indian Naval Ship (INS) AIRAVAT, which left Mumbai on October 24.

"In keeping with India's tradition of reaching out to people in Africa in times of need, Government of India has decided to provide 270 MT of food aid to Sudan, South Sudan, Djibouti and Eritrea, to alleviate the suffering of the people affected by natural calamities and the COVID-19 pandemic," the statement said.

It further said, "The food aid, comprising 155 MT of wheat flour, 65 MT of rice and 50 MT of sugar, is being transported on the Indian Naval Ship AIRAVAT, which left Mumbai on October 24 on a visit to the region, during which it will make port calls at Djibouti, Massawa, Port Sudan and Mombasa."

The Ministry further said that India has been working closely with the Governments in these countries on repatriation of each other's nationals through special flights and for supply of medical assistance.

"The strong bonds of friendship and brotherly relations between India and countries in Africa have been forged and strengthened over several centuries. India has always stood in solidarity with the countries and people in Africa and has partnered in undertaking development, capacity building and humanitarian assistance programmes," the MEA added. (ANI)

Thailand pro-democracy protesters march to German embassy

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Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], October 26 (ANI): Air Customs here seized USD 18,600 valued at Rs 13.7 lakhs from a Dubai-bound passenger at the Chennai International Airport here on Monday.

The Customs said that the passenger from whom the illegal money was recovered, was destined to fly to Dubai by AI Express flight.

"Chennai Air Customs: 18600 US Dollars worth Rs.13.7 lakhs seized under Customs Act r/w FEMA from a pax who was destined to Dubai by AI Express flight IX 1643 today. USD recovered from underwear & cigarette packet," Chennai Air Customs tweeted.

The customs revealed that dollars bills were recovered from packets of underwear and cigarette packets. (ANI)

EAM Jaishankar holds talks with Pompeo, says India, US ties have grown substantially in every domain

EAM S Jaishankar met US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo on Monday. Photo/ANI

New Delhi [India], October 26 (ANI): External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Monday held "warm and productive" meeting with the US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo on key bilateral, regional and global issues and said the bilateral ties have grown substantially in every domain.

He said the two countries were working closely in plurilateral and multilateral formats and he was looking forward to 2+2 dialogue between the two countries on Tuesday.

"Warm and productive meeting with @SecPompeo. Discussed key bilateral, regional and global issues. Reviewed progress in ties: grown substantially in every domain. Our foreign policy consultations and cooperation have expanded," Jaishankar said.

"Working closely on plurilateral and multilateral formats. Looking forward to the 2+2 Dialogue tomorrow," he added.

The meeting between the two leaders came after Defence Minister Rajnath Singh held talks with US Defence Secretary Mark Esper.

Both Pompeo and Esper arrived here on Monday to take part in the third 2+2 dialogue between the two countries.

Pompeo said he was pleased to be back in New Delhi for constructive meetings including the 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue.

"Pleased to be back in New Delhi for constructive meetings, including the U.S.-India 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue with Indian Foreign Minister @DrSJaishankar, U.S. Secretary of Defense @EsperDoD, and Indian Defense Minister @rajnathsingh. Looking forward to productive discussions!" he said in a tweet.

Mark Esper also tweeted about his arrival in India for the dialogue.

"Happy to touch down in the world's largest democracy. Thanks to Air Vice Marshal Alok Sharma & Ambassador Kenneth Juster for the warm welcome," he said. (ANI)

Barrett to be sworn-in Monday evening if confirmed by US Senate: White House

US President Donald Trump with his nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett. (Photo: ANI)

Washington [US], October 26 (ANI/Sputnik): US Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett will be sworn in on Monday evening if her nomination is confirmed by the Senate this afternoon, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said.

"We are excited and very hopeful for a confirmation of one of the most qualified judges that I've had the opportunity to get to know on a personal basis and so we are excited about that confirmation that we hope will happen on the Senate floor this afternoon," Meadows said. "If that happens then we expect for, you know, a swearing-in to happen later this evening."

The US Senate will vote on Monday afternoon to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court to replace late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell told a Capitol Hill press conference last Tuesday.

Meadows said the American people will be well-served with an independent legal mind from a very well qualified candidate if all goes well in the afternoon. Barrett's confirmation would be a great testimony to those that stay engaged and love and admire the rule of law, he added. (ANI/Sputnik)

Jaishankar meets Pompeo ahead of 2+2 meet on Tuesday

EAM S Jaishankar met US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo on Monday. Photo/ANI

New Delhi [India], October 26 (ANI): External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Monday held talks with US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo ahead of the third India-US 2+2 ministerial dialogue to be held on Tuesday.

"Pleased to welcome @SecPompeo. Taking our Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership forward," Jaishankar said in a tweet.

The meeting between the two leaders came after Defence Minister Rajnath Singh held talks with US Defence Secretary Mark Esper.

Both Pompeo and Esper arrived here on Monday to take part in the third 2+2 dialogue between the two countries. (ANI)

Indian Ambassador to France pays homage to Indian soldiers who lost lives in First World War

Indian Envoy Jawed Ashraf, Senator Remi Feraud, MEP Maxette Pirbakas paying homage to the Indian soldiers who died during the WWI. (Photo credit: Twitter/India in France)

Paris [France], October 26 (ANI): Indian Ambassador to France Jawed Ashraf along with Senator Remi Feraud and Member of the European Parliament Maxette Pirbakas and other French officials on Monday paid homage to the Indian soldiers who sacrificed their lives during the World War I.

"To the sound of India's national anthem Amb @JawedAshraf5 joined by Senator @RemiFeraud, European Deputy @MaxettePirbakas at historic @ArcDeTriomphe to pay homage to Indian soldiers who made supreme sacrifice in #WWI," Indian Embassy in France tweeted.

The event was organised by GOPIO (World Organization of People of Indian Origin) France Metropole.

The First World War had begun in 1914 and went on for four years. Known as the "war to end all wars', an estimated eight million people died during the global catastrophe. The war finally ended on November 11, 1918, after an armistice agreement was signed between Germany and the Allies.

Earlier today, the Indian envoy to France innagurated Paris's annual Asia Now Art Fair at the Musee Guime.

"Paris's annual Asia Now Art Fair becomes truly Asian! Features modern Indian art for the first time, with works of seven Indian artists. Drawing high appreciation. Pleased to inaugurate it at the prestigious Musee Guimet," the Indian embassy in France tweeted. (ANI)

Former union minister Dilip Ray, others granted bail after sentencing in coal scam case

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New Delhi [India], October 26 (ANI): A special CBI court on Monday granted bail to former union minister Dilip Ray and others after sentencing them to three years in prison in connection with the alleged irregularities in the allocation of a Jharkhand coal block in 1999.

Special Judge Bharat Parashar granted bail to all convicts on a personal bail bond of Rs 1 lakh each after they apprised the court that they are going in the appeal against the judgment.

The CBI court had earlier today awarded three-year imprisonment to Dilip Ray and three other individuals. Besides Ray, the court also awarded three-year jail term each to two senior officials of the Ministry of Coal at that time, Pradip Kumar Banerjee and Nitya Nand Gautam and Castron Technologies Ltd's (CTL) director Mahendra Kumar Agarwal.

The court, along with imprisonment, also imposed a fine of Rs 10 lakh on Ray, Rs 2 lakh each on Banerjee and Gautam, while Agarwalla was asked to pay a fine of Rs 60 lakh. The court further imposed Rs 60 lakh on CLT and Rs 10 lakh on Castron Mining Ltd (CML).

"The criminal behaviour of such "whitecollar criminals", which may include businessman, industrialists, entrepreneurs, traders, politicians, bureaucrats or well-qualified professionals can not be simply explained on the basis of various theories developed to explain the causation of traditional crimes such as poverty or lack of infrastructural facilities or recreational facilities or feeble-mindedness or emotional instability," the court observed in its order.

Ray was a former Minister of State for the Ministry of Coal during the then National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government.

The court had, while convicting the accused persons, had said it has been now concluded beyond shadows of all reasonable doubts that all the five accused persons conspired together so as to procure allocation of a captive coal block and achieved the said object of the criminal conspiracy by undertaking various acts of cheating.

The CBI, in its chargesheet, had booked these accused under Section 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 420 (cheating) and 409 (criminal breach of trust) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and under provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act. The case pertains to the allocation of the Brahmadiha coal block in Giridih of Jharkhand to CTL in 1999. (ANI)

India, US likely to sign BECA on Tuesday; Rajnath, Esper hold discussions

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday met his US counterpart Mark Esper. (Photo credit: Twitter/Rajnath Singh)

New Delhi [India], October 26 (ANI): India and the US will hold 2 + 2 India-US ministerial dialogue on Tuesday and the two countries are likely to sign BECA (Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA), a significant pact on geospatial cooperation, sources said.

The pact will give India access to very accurate geo-spatial data.

Rajnath Singh and Esper met on Monday and discussed developments in Indo-Pacific region, expansion in defence cooperation, intelligence sharing and also cooperation in Make in India, the sources said.

BECA will be a "foundational" agreement that the US has with close partners. India and the US have already signed Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) and Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA).

The 2 + 2 India-US ministerial dialogue will be held between visiting US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and US Defence Secretary Mark Esper and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.

Rajnath Singh and Mark Esper held fruitful discussions on Monday aimed at further deepening defence cooperation in a wide range of areas.

Rajnath Singh said that talks between the two countries will add new vigour to India-US defence relations and cooperation.

"India is delighted to host the US Secretary of Defence, Dr. Mark Esper. Our talks today were fruitful, aimed at further deepening defence cooperation in a wide range of areas. Today's discussions will add new vigour to India-US defence relations and mutual cooperation," Rajnath Singh said in a tweet.

Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane, IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria and Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh were also present in the meeting.

On his arrival at the South Block, Esper was accorded Guard of Honour.

US State Department said on Sunday that the third US-India 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue demonstrates the high-level commitment the two countries provide to shared diplomatic and security objectives.

It said India-US 2+2 talks will focus on four themes -- regional security cooperation, defence information sharing, military-to-military interactions and defence trade.

The first 2+2 ministerial dialogue was held in New Delhi in September 2018 and the second in Washington DC in 2019. (ANI)

India delighted to host US Defence Secretary, discussions will add new vigour to defence ties: Rajnath Singh

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh-led delegation holding meeting with US Secretary of Defence Mark Esper on Monday. Photo/ANI

New Delhi [India], October 26 (ANI): Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Monday said that talks with US Defence Secretary Mark Esper were fruitful and were aimed at further deepening defence cooperation in a wide range of areas.

In a tweet, the minister said that talks between the two countries w
ill add new vigour to India-US defence relations and cooperation.

"India is delighted to host the US Secretary of Defence, Dr. Mark Esper. Our talks today were fruitful, aimed at further deepening defence cooperation in a wide range of areas. Today's discussions will add new vigour to India-US defence relations & mutual cooperation," he said.

The two leaders met on Tuesday ahead of Tuesday's 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue. Esper and US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo are in India to participate in the India-US 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue.

Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane, IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria and Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh were also present in the meeting.

On his arrival at the South Block, Esper was accorded Guard of Honour.

US State Department said on Sunday that the third US-India 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue demonstrates the high-level commitment the two countries provide to shared diplomatic and security objectives.

It said India-US 2+2 talks will focus on four themes -- regional security cooperation, defence information sharing, military-to-military interactions and defence trade.

The first 2+2 ministerial dialogue was held in New Delhi in September 2018 and the second in Washington DC in 2019. (ANI)

ITBP to organise 200 km Walkathon under Fit India Movement in Rajasthan

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New Delhi [India], October 26 (ANI): The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) is set to organise a 200-kilometre long Walkathon under Fit India Movement, from October 31 to November 2 in Rajasthan's Jaisalmer.

According to ITBP, all Central Armed Police Forces senior officers will be participating in the event. The Walkathon will start from Indo-Pak border in Jaisalmer.

Moreover, Union Minister Kiren Rijiju will flag off a 200-km long Walkathon.

Earlier on Sunday, ITBP had organised a "Run for Unity" at their headquarters by the North-West Frontier ITBP and Leh, Ladakh based Units of the Force.

"#FitIndia #RunforUnity organized by HQ NW Frontier ITBP and Leh, Ladakh based Units of the Force," ITBP tweeted on Sunday. (ANI)

US Secretary of Defence Mark Esper meets Defence Minister Rajnath Singh

US Secretary of Defence Mark Esper, who is in India to participate in the third India-US 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue, was accorded Guard of Honour at the South Block on Monday. (Photo/ANI)

New Delhi [India], October 26 (ANI): US Secretary of Defence Mark Esper, who arrived in India along with Secretary of State Michael Pompeo to participate in the third India-US 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue, was accorded the Guard of Honour at the South Block on Monday.

Ahead of Tuesday's 2+ 2 ministerial dialogue Rajnath Singh held talks with Mark Esper. Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane, IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria and Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh were also present at the meeting.

Prior to the start of the meeting, keeping coronavirus spread in mind, US Ambassador to India Kenneth Juster greeted General Bipin Rawat and Admiral Karambir Singh with elbow bumps.

The third US-India 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue demonstrates the high-level commitment the two countries provide to shared diplomatic and security objectives, US State Department said on Sunday.

The India-US 2+2 talks will focus on four themes -- regional security cooperation, defense information sharing, military-to-military interactions, and defense trade, the US State Department said.

The first two 2+2 Ministerial dialogues had been held in New Delhi in September 2018 and Washington DC in 2019. (ANI)

The arms embargo on Iran has expired. What happens now?

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani 

By John Solomou

Nicosia [Cyprus], October 26 (ANI): On October 18, the UN Security Council arms embargo imposed on Iran expired and now Iran is at liberty to buy and sell conventional arms. Undoubtedly, Tehran scored a diplomatic victory against the United States which tried hard to extend the embargo. The lifting of the embargo allows Iran to buy and sell military equipment, including tanks, helicopters, armoured vehicles, combat aircraft and heavy artillery. The US Administration argues that arms sales to Iran still violate United Nations resolutions and threatened to impose sanctions on individuals and entities involved in such deals, but without the support of other countries, they will have only partial effect.

"Ironically, the expiry of arms-transfer restrictions is likely to have a limited effect on actual transfers of conventional weapons," says Oliver Meier, a senior researcher at the Berlin office of the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy. "Most suppliers of weapons to Iran will continue their restrictive arms-export policies."

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on October 14 that now Iran will be able to sell its weapons to whoever it likes and "buy arms from anybody we want. We fought with the US on this issue for four years. America was exerting itself to prevent this day from coming, but thanks to the endeavours of our diplomats the US failed." For his part, Javad Zarif, the Iranian Foreign Minister, wrote on Twitter: "Today's normalisation of Iran's defence cooperation with the world is a win for the cause of multilateralism and peace and security in our region."

It should be mentioned that on October 19, the Iranian Minister of Defence General Amir Hatami flew to Moscow reportedly to discuss the purchase of the S-400 system, T-90 tanks, the advanced SU-57 stealth fighter-jet and several missile systems. Hatami, however, has made it clear that Iran intends to sell more weapons than it will purchase. The Iranian government clearly said that it plans no "buying spree," as it can now in theory purchase weapons to upgrade military armaments dating back to before its 1979 Islamic Revolution and sell its own locally produced gear abroad.

Obviously, the Tehran government will not rush to buy conventional weapons form Russian and Chinese suppliers. Iran's defence budget is quite small compared to its rivals. The Stockholm International Peace Institute says that Tehran's defence budget is just USD 12.6 billion, compared to US USD 732 billion, Saudi Arabia's USD 61.9 billion and Israel's USD 20.4 billion. If Iran attempts to increase substantially its military capacity, the United States, European countries and other arms suppliers can flood Tehran's rivals in the Middle East with more advanced weapons. Furthermore, it is doubtful if Russia and China would sell sophisticated weapons to Iran, as long as it continues its antagonistic rhetoric against its neighbours, and in the light of the fact that Moscow and Beijing have good relations with Saudi Arabia and Israel.

Russia and China are well aware that the US is quite sensitive about arms sales to Iran and is determined to impose sanctions on entities that ignore its wishes. Ali Reza Noori, Assistant professor of regional studies at the Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, says that the US will apply unilateral sanctions. "Violating these sanctions would be highly costly for Russia and China. Therefore, they will not jeopardize their interests by engaging with Iran and confronting the US."

The Islamic Republic, although facing an arms embargo and crippling US sanctions has managed to produce its own weapons and invested heavily in developing its own ballistic missiles. The CIA claims that Iran has the largest missile arsenal in the region, most of them capable of carrying nuclear weapons. It also manufactures fighter jets and drones, which have proved to be very effective in the Syrian conflict.

Some analysts say that Iran would now enter a period of reduced restrictions and may be able to reap the benefits of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly known as the 2015 Nuclear Deal. They add that lifting restrictions in the next stages in 2023, 2015 and 2030 could be done more efficiently.

Farhad Rezai, visiting professor of international relations at York University in Toronto, wrote in an article that it is uncertain whether Iran's exports of conventional weapons will amount to much. He also pointed out that "Iran has made remarkable progress in producing domestic military weapons and hardware, meaning it may not rush to rebuild its conventional military arsenal by purchasing new arms from foreign suppliers. However Iran will stand to profit from selling its locally produced military equipment to neighbouring countries."

China ominously ups the rhetorical ante for war

Chinese President Xi Jinping (Photo: ANI)

Hong Kong, October 26 (ANI): During 70th anniversary commemorations of China's entry into the Korean War on 19 October 1950, China's el supremo jarringly promised, "It is necessary to speak to invaders in the language they know: that is, a war must be fought to deter invasion, and force must be met by force. A victory is needed to win peace and respect."

Such comments from Xi are further grist for the mill in terms of martial rhetoric emanating from China. Chairman Xi Jinping's speech was laced with nationalistic jingo, and significantly it was the first time since 2000 that a Chinese leader has given a major speech on the occasion of this Korean War anniversary.

China refers to the conflict as the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea. Chinese leaders often use history to talk about the present, even if their perspective is fundamentally warped by their opaque CCP lens.

Of course, in today's current climate with Beijing and Washington DC at loggerheads, renewing such sentiments suits Xi's purposes perfectly. Effectively, he is urging his nation to resist American bullying and to emulate the patriotism and resolve of that peasant army.

In October 1950, as United Nations (UN) forces advanced north towards North Korea's border with China, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) decided to deploy troops into Korea. China's then Premier Zhou Enlai warned: "The Chinese people cannot tolerate foreign aggression against China, nor will they stand by idly when the people of their neighboring country are subjected to wanton aggression by the imperialists." Despite no UN intention to sweep into China, Beijing characterises the war as successfully halting Western expansionism in Asia.

Beijing continues to paint the Korean War as an existential threat to itself, even though it was fought entirely on Korean soil. Indeed, while Xi might strum the heartstrings of the Chinese people with historical references, a more correct view of history would show that the CCP was on the side of a dictatorial warmonger. It was North Korea that wantonly attacked South Korea, which brought the USA and many UN members together to defy Kim Il-sung's aggression.

Last week, He Lei, former vice president of the PLA's Academy of Military Sciences, stated, "The War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea is a war of justice to defend peace and resist aggression," which is certainly a twisting of the truth. In fact, China was supporting a dangerous aggressor and resisting international efforts to restore equilibrium on the Korean Peninsula.

China continues to exult that it "defeated the US-led UN forces and won the war". This makes a mockery of China's present-day commitment to international peacekeeping, even while it continues to praise itself for fighting against the UN from 1950-53.

Xi likened it to a David-versus-Goliath situation, with China standing up to the global bully after the USA "interfered" in natural resolution of a Korean civil war. By the same token, one could equally say that China too was interfering in the natural course of the war.

Written Chinese propaganda pieces designed for the masse spurred, "It is precisely because it was a war of justice that the Chinese people could unite and confront a common enemy ... It is precisely because it was a war of justice that the peace-loving countries and people worldwide could sympathise, support and assist China and the DPRK, which finally won the war and safeguarded peace in Asia and the world."

Xi's October 23 speech, published in full by Xinhua and attended by all seven members of the Politburo Standing Committee, was clearly designed for domestic consumption. But to what purpose?

It seems to be part of a wider effort to acclimate the Chinese populace to the need for "struggle", unified behind Xi's sole headship. His references in the speech certainly reinforced a military aspect to this ideological struggle.

While the CCP continually accuses the USA of a Cold War mentality, it is more apt to ascribe such sentiments to China. Quoting Mao Zedong from 1953, Xi enthused that the Korean War "let the world know that the Chinese people are now organised and aren't to be trifled with".

Attracting applause from his audience, Xi warned, "Once provoked, things will get ugly." Without naming the USA directly, Xi took swipes at unilateralism, protectionism and arrogant hegemonic behavior. He was no doubt bitten by last week's US approval to sell to Taiwan air-launched cruise missiles and precision-guided rockets able to reach Mainland China across the Taiwan Strait.

Triton-EV debuts 100 per cent Electric Full-Service 18-Wheeler Semi Truck

Triton-EV logo

New Jersey [United States], Oct 26 (ANI/BusinessWire India): Triton-EV, the revolutionary new subsidiary of Triton Solar, a leader in solar panel and battery engineering, announced today that it has produced a 100 per cent electric- powered, full-service 18-wheeler semi-truck.

The truck, which is a hybrid of hydrogen fuels that generate electricity stored in on-board batteries, has a 220,000-pound towing capacity--the same as any comparable diesel truck on the road. Triton-EV was able to produce the prototype in just over one month, a remarkable achievement considering the typical years-long development cycle for computing vehicles in the industry.
"We decided to go for it," explained Himanshu Patel, Founder and CEO of Triton-EV.
"Everyone was saying, 'No, it can't be done. It will take five years and a hundred million dollars.' We thought, no, we can do it right now. We have the people and the components. The whole effort took 35 days. That's the kind of team we have." The entire effort was self-funded.

The trend in the industry is to emphasize hydrogen while using relatively few batteries. This causes an issue with torque, as hydrogen does not usually generate enough torque to haul an 80,000-pound trailer at sufficient speed and acceleration. Triton-EV took the opposite approach, with a lot of batteries and a little bit of hydrogen. "The reason we did it this way is that the hydrogen infrastructure is not there yet in the market," said Patel.

He added, "At the same time, we can use the hydrogen as the range extender." The truck uses a hydrogen fuel cell generator to put power back into the battery. The motor runs off the battery, which provides the necessary torque for a truck of this size. Triton-EV Semi-truck is estimated to have a range of approximately 350 miles and higher."

"Triton-EV has not yet determined a price for the truck, but the company expects it will sell within the existing price range in the industry, which is between USD 150,00 and USD 250,000. Triton-EV is currently exploring partnership options and will also be releasing The Triton model H SUV in the coming months," He further said.

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

New York honors Punjabi community, co-names street as Punjab Avenue

Street sign of Punjab Avenue at the intersection of Lefferts Boulevard and 101 Avenue. (Photo: ANI)

New York [US], October 26 (ANI): The day October 23, 2020, would go down as one of the most significant days in the history of the Punjabi community of New York when a part of a busy avenue was named Punjab Avenue.

101 Avenue, from 111 Street to 123 Street has been co-named as Punjab Avenue.

The ina
uguration was done on Friday, October 23 by Council member Adrienne Adams who had moved the motion in the New York City Council for the renaming of the Avenue, in view of the strong presence of the Punjabi community in the area.

It may be mentioned that the two largest Sikh shrines (Gurudwaras) are situated between Lefferts Boulevard and 113 Street. Besides, the entire stretch has businesses run by Punjabis.

Among those present at the inauguration were Assemblyman David Weprin, managing committee members of Gurdwara Sikh Cultural Society and Baba Makhan Shah Lobana Sikh Center, and prominent members of the Punjabi community, including Herman Singh, President of Omni Mortgage, H.S. Toor, and Jay Jasbir Singh.

The media was present in strength. A couple of TV channels, which included CBSWLNY , NY 1, PTC TV, JUS Punjabi, among others, and Punjabi, Hindi and English language desi newspapers also covered the event.

According to CBS New York, the street that has now been co-named as Punjab Avenue was a two-year joint effort of several South Asian groups and City Council Member Adrienne Adams.

"This community has been underserved, not really recognized... Invisible, which is a travesty, knowing everything that all of our community brings to this wonderful district," said Adams and added that the Punjabi community deserved to be acknowledged as they have helped to build Richmond Hill.

"Some of the hardest working people are of the South Asian community... Folks who have been here for a very long time," Adams said further as quoted by CBS New York.

Harpreet Singh Toor, former president of the Sikh Cultural Society said, "Just because we look different, it doesn't mean that we are not humans or we are lesser Americans." Rajwinder Kaur, a member of the Community Education Council, District 28 echoed the same sentiment and added, "It means a lot. We really feel respectful that we are recognized." (ANI)

Arjun Kapoor, Rajkummar Rao and Disha Patani to dub superhero series 'The Boys'

Poster of The Boys. (Image courtesy: Twitter)

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], October 26 (ANI): Bollywood stars Arjun Kapoor, Rajkummar Rao and Disha Patani has been roped in by Amazon to voice in the Hindi dubbed version of superhero TV series 'The Boys.'

Film critic and movie trade analyst Taran Adarsh shared the news on Twitter and wrote, "ARJUN KAPOOR - RAJKUMMAR RAO - DISHA PATANI... #Amazon has roped in #ArjunKapoor, #RajkummarRao and #DishaPatani to do the voice-over for the dubbed #Hindi version of the series #TheBoys... The series will also be dubbed in #Tamil and #Telugu."

The 'Judgemental Hai Kya' star Rao revealed that he will be dubbing for Anthony Starr who is essaying the role of the antagonist - The Homelander.

"Main hoon Homelander aur main kisi ki nahi sunta, main wohi karta hoon jo mujhe theek lagta hai! Enjoy The Boys ke dono seasons, Hindi mein, only on@primevideoin #TheBoysTv@arjunk26 @DishPatani," tweeted Rao.

The American superhero streaming television series ' The Boys' is developed by Eric Kripke for Prime Video. It is based on the comic book of the same name by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson, The TV series follows the eponymous team of vigilantes as they combat superpowered individuals who abuse their abilities. (ANI)

PM Modi to inaugurate 4th India Energy Forum today

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New Delhi [India], October 26 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the 4th India Energy Forum by CERAWeek on Monday.

"The Prime Minister of India, Hon. Shri Narendra Modi will deliver the inaugural address at India Energy Forum by CERAWeek, to be held virtually October 26-28," the organiser IHS Markit had said in a statement earlier.

"We are honored to have Prime Minister Modi inaugurate the fourth India Energy Forum by CERAWeek," said Daniel Yergin, IHS Markit vice chairman in a statement.

The event will convene an international group of speakers and a community of over a thousand delegates from India and over 30 countries.

The speakers at the event would include Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Minister of Steel, Dharmendra Pradhan, Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud, Minister of Energy, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Dan Brouillette US Secretary of Energy among others. (ANI)

Ratnaafin: a prodigious financial services provider secures NBFC & Insurance broking licenses

Ratnafin logo

Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India], October 26 (ANI/PRNewswire): Geared up for the next phase of major expansion, prodigious Ratnaafin has secured the mandatory license to operate as a non-banking financial corporation (NBFC) from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Ratnaafin has added another feather in its cap, bagging the insurance broking license from Insurance Regulatory Development Authority (IRDA).

Ratnaafin hopes to bring the much-needed financial services breather to small businesses and start-ups hit hard by the COVID-19 disruptions. The COVID-19 economic downturn has been one of the worst in recent times, affecting almost all the sectors. Ratnaafin, a financial service provider, with the insurance broking and NBFC licenses hopes to work with the small and medium enterprises, besides start-ups.

"The NBFC certification will help us cater to the needs of micro and small enterprises operating in tier 2 and 3 cities which struggle to obtain credit from mainstream banks. Our NBFC is positive and driven to bridge the gap to enable comprehensive growth to support MSMEs who lack collaterals and have limited credit history," said Nilesh Sanghvi, Co-Founder, and Director of Ratnaafin. Sanghvi is also a member of the promoter family of Ratnamani Metals and Tubes Ltd, a company with a market value of more than Rs 5,000 crores.

"The current insurance market is seller-driven, with almost no client representation, which puts the clients at a disadvantage. Ratnaafin Insurance Broking's goal is to become a tech-enabled company that will bring greater accessibility to the insurance network for the clients," said Malav Desai, another Co-Founder and Director of the company, while describing the current financial challenges.

He further stated that the goal of Ratnaafin is to offer all financial services under one single umbrella with a common digital platform, optimising deal and price discovery, credit analytics, decision-making algorithms and documentations. "With such a harmonised technological model, Ratnaafin would help in making financial decisions convenient, quick and Transparent for the user," he added.

With a retailer base of more than 1500 clients, Ratnaafin provides world-class loans, insurance and financing solutions to help individuals and organizations compete in the market all over the world. The company has so far set up four branches, while fast becoming a pioneer in the finance industry.

From arranging finance to Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) sector to providing home loan and corporate loan, the company has experts from various fields, giving best financial advice to valued customers. Also, Ratnaafin is the one-stop solution for all debt, loan and financial requirements, besides solving debt requirements of the customers.

Launched in 2018, Ratnaafin has successfully served more than 1000 customers and has syndicated debt transactions of more than Rs 1000 Crore. The core team has a cumulative experience of 50 plus years in finance, credit ratings, manufacturing and trading, offering a wealth of guidance during deal execution as well as a general knowhow about the market at large.

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

Facebook prepares emergency measures to regulate content during US Elections

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Washington [US], October 26 (ANI/Sputnik): The US tech giant Facebook may introduce emergency measures to regulate viral content in case of election-related conflicts and unrest in the United States, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing informed sources.

According to the media outlet, citing sources, Facebook intends to calm the possible violence with tools that were specially developed for so-called countries at-risk.

"We've spent years building for safer, more secure elections. ... We've applied lessons from previous elections, hired experts, and built new teams with experience across different areas to prepare for various scenarios," Facebook spokesman Andy Stone said, as quoted by the newspaper.

The tools, which Facebook is planning to deploy, were earlier designed for "at-risk" countries and have already been used in Myanmar and Sri Lanka. They allow holding back the spread of viral content and lower the threshold for the identification of potentially inflammatory posts.

Facebook will implement such measures only in case of a critical situation that may cause election-related violence, the paper wrote, noting that if the company decides to use those tools, they will transform the information that millions of Americans receive.

The Wall Street Journal added that this plan has been criticized by some members of the Facebook team and the representatives of the Republican and Democratic parties, who believe that the implementation of content regulation measures will hamper political discussion.

The US presidential election, in which Trump is facing off Democratic nominee Joe Biden, is set for November 3. Early voting has already started in some states. (ANI/Sputnik)

3 civilians wounded in Kabul magnetic mine blast

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Kabul [Afghanistan], October 26 (ANI): At least three civilians have been wounded in a magnetic mine blast in the Afghanistan Capital, confirmed the Kabul Police.

According to Tolo News quoting a statement from the Police, the blast took place at 7.35 am local time in the Haji Nabi Township in PD6 of Kabul city when a magnetic mine detonated on a vehicle.

The statement did not provide any further details of the blast.

No group -- including the Taliban -- has claimed responsibility for the blast. (ANI)

Singapore targets more FTAs to help economy recover from COVID

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Singapore, October 26 (ANI): Singapore must continue with its strategy of global integration underpinned by free trade agreements (FTAs) and digital economy agreements (DEAs) with its trading partners in spite of the COVID-19 induced recession.

S. Iswaran, Singapore's Minister for Communications and Information and Minister-in-charge of Trade Relations made this point in a virtual address during the Singapore Business Federation's (SBF) FTA Day on Thursday last week. He further added that this strategy will help companies grow and create jobs for Singaporeans.

"Obviously, we are in a challenging economic environment, and how we emerge from this is going to depend critically on the manner of our response. That is true for countries and for the global economy," the Minister continued.

As Singapore emerged from its "circuit breaker" lockdown, which lasted from April 7 to June 1, the economy sparked back to life as advance estimates released by the Singapore Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) on October 14 showed expanding economic activity in Q3. The island nation's GDP rose 7.9 per cent on a quarter-on-quarter seasonally adjusted basis in the July to September quarter.

The rise in economic activity was a welcome relief after a 13.2 per cent quarter-on-quarter tumble in the second quarter, which included the circuit breaker period when business activity and personal movement were halted to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

On a year-on-year basis, the economy contracted 7 per cent, a significant improvement from the 13.3 per cent fall in Q2. However, this was slightly weaker than the 6.8 per cent decrease forecasted by a Reuters poll of 11 economists.

MTI maintained its earlier full-year GDP forecast range of between -5 per cent to -7 per cent. However, it will not be reporting the annualised quarter-on-quarter seasonally adjusted growth rate. This rate, which attempts to project the full year's GDP growth on the basis of a quarter's performance, fell a record 42.9 per cent in Q2.

Singapore's non-oil domestic exports (NODX) also fell short of market expectations. It rose 5.9 per cent in annual terms in September, rising at a slower clip than August's 7.7 per cent increase. The decline was primarily driven by a reduction in overseas sales of non-electronic products, particularly pharmaceutical exports. The September number was aided by a rise in electronic exports. In seasonally adjusted month-on-month terms, NODX exports fell 11.3 per cent in September compared with August's 11.3 per cent growth.

India is among Singapore's top trading partners. In recent years, it usually ranks around the tenth position. Whereas Singapore is ranked as a top-five trading partner by India in terms of bilateral trade. The Singapore Department of Statistics gives the value of trade between the two countries in 2019 as around USD10.5 billion.

Singapore has an FTA with India, which covers both merchandise trade as well as services, the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (Ceca), signed in 2005.

With companies laying off workers and some companies shutting down due to the economic crunch caused by the pandemic, Singapore's FTAs with various nations came into sharp focus. Singapore citizens started to worry about their livelihoods as they perceive that some of these FTAs, which allow foreign companies to transfer staff from their countries into Singapore, deprive them of jobs.

Singapore FTAs cover economies that represent 85 per cent of the world's GDP and account for more than 90 per cent of its trade. Singapore has about 25 FTAs and the MTI estimates that in 2018, they have helped Singapore companies benefit from about SGD 1.2 billion (USD 884 million) in tariff concessions when selling to overseas markets. It has widened its service sector's market access opportunities including financial services, education services, health, logistics and transport services, in the process of creating good jobs for Singaporeans.

The Singapore Business Federation (SBF) say that FTAs help businesses here navigate pressing issues that impact supply chains, cross-border trade and investment. FTAs also build resilience in business processes and form the basis of a rules-based bilateral and multilateral trading system and service to improve the global competitiveness of Singapore businesses. It also improves access to overseas markets, lowers export costs and creates a more stable business environment.

Today, many Indian companies operate freely in Singapore and this has attracted many Indian nationals to its shores. From 2005 till 2018, bilateral trade rose almost 50 per cent and Singapore investments in India have soared almost 50-fold from SGD 1.3 billion to SGD 60.9 billion. Singapore is India's largest source of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the last Indian fiscal year, which ended March 2020.

Tata Sons for example has 20 operating companies and 28 entities in Singapore, employing a total of 3,300 staff.

At the SBFFTA Day event mentioned earlier, Minister Iswaran urged Singaporeans not to use the economic crisis caused by the pandemic as an excuse to retreat from free trade and openness. He added that in the long term, it is going to do great harm to the potential for growth opportunities.

Iswaran said in a Bloomberg interview that Singapore is speaking with more countries on developing further trade deals. The Republic is also looking at the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RECEP) and the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement while also negotiating bilateral arrangements, including those focused on the digital economy, he added.

"We've seen many partners want to do business with Singapore, and maybe even locate some of their regional headquarters here because of that network effect of our free-trade agreements," he told Bloomberg. (ANI)

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