India and Israel are now strategic partners, clashes in West Bengal: Top stories to bring you up to date
Benjamin Netanyahu describes India-Israel ties as a “marriage made in heaven”, China is willing to discuss alternative arrangements for Kailash Mansarovar pilgrims, clashes in West Bengal continue, think tank says Saudi Arabia is ‘chief foreign promoter’ of Islamist extremism in the UK.Updated: Jul 06, 2017 07:56 IST
India, Israel turn ‘marriage made in heaven’ into strategic partnership
India and Israel elevated their relationship to a “strategic partnership” on Wednesday, pledging to work more closely to protect their key interests and combat radicalisation and terrorism. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu oversaw the signing of a series of bilateral pacts for cooperation on satellite technology, water and agriculture, as well as the creation of a $40 million innovation fund. Netanyahu described the collaboration as a “marriage made in heaven” (he described Israeli-Chinese relations in exact same words to Xi Jinping in March), drawing a hearty laugh from Modi and the audience. Read the story here.
Modi in Israel Highlights: PM announces Delhi, Mumbai and Tel Aviv air route
India and Israel inked several agreements in the fields of technology, water and agriculture on Wednesday as Prime Minister Narendra Modi held talks with his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the cooperation marks a “marriage made in heaven” as he stood alongside PM Modi. Earlier on Wednesday, Modi called on Israeli President Reuven Rivlin who broke protocol and welcomed the Indian leader with a hug as he alighted from the car ahead of the meeting. For highlights of the visit read the story here.
Willing to discuss alternative arrangements for Kailash Mansarovar pilgrims, says China amid Sikkim row
After days of shrill rhetoric since the standoff began three weeks ago, there was also a conciliatory move by the Chinese embassy in New Delhi, which said Beijing is willing to discuss the possibility of “alternative arrangements through other routes” for Indian pilgrims who had planned to visit Kailash Manasrovar via Nathu La. In a statement, Chinese Embassy spokesperson Xie Liyan said the Indian yatra to Kailash and Mansarovar is an important part of China-India people-to-people and cultural exchanges. “China consistently respects the Indian people’s religious sentiments and attaches importance to Indian Yatra to Kailash and Mansarovar in Xizang. Read the story here.
Opinion: Sikkim standoff: India cannot afford to allow China to change the status quo
India cannot afford to allow the Chinese to change the status quo near east Sikkim. Nor can we admit any suggestion that infrastructure development should be put on hold all along the border. At the same time, New Delhi must make a strong diplomatic effort to arrest the slide in ties with China. We must abandon the notion that our grand strategic choices boil down to either balancing against China in concert with the United States or bandwagoning with China. Read the column here.
Clashes, political spat continue in West Bengal over communal flare-up
At least 23 people were wounded in continuing communal clashes in West Bengal’s Basirhat subdivision, where mobs were squaring up over a Hindu school student’s Facebook post that offended Muslims. Chief minister Mamata Banerjee warned the rioters of stern action after three days of violence left scores of people wounded. Mobs torched shops, houses and police vehicles in the communally sensitive area in North 24 Parganas district, about 65km from Kolkata. Public gatherings were prohibited in the subdivision on Wednesday and internet services blocked to stop the spread of rumours through social media. Read the story here.
Lalu Yadav pitches new grand alliance to take on BJP in 2019
Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad Yadav hinted at a possible alliance between arch-rivals Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati in Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday, making a case for opposition unity to defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the 2019 general elections. The powerful Bihar politician said a united opposition would spoil the BJP’s chances, which is why the ruling party had launched a political witch-hunt to break rival leaders. Read the story here.
Pak successfully test fires short-range ballistic missile Nasr
Pakistan on Tuesday successfully test fired short-range surface-to-surface ballistic missile ‘Nasr’, which army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa said has put “cold water” on Indian military’s “Cold Start” doctrine. ‘Nasr’ is a high-precision weapon system with the ability to be deployed quickly, the army said. Pakistan Army has conducted a series of training launches and tests during the current week for validation of new technical parameters of ‘Nasr’ with enhanced range from 60-70 kilometres and flight manoeuvrability. Read the story here.
Debris of IAF chopper spotted in Arunachal Pradesh; two bodies located
An Arunachal Pradesh police team on Wednesday afternoon located the wreckage of the Indian Air Force chopper that went off the radar while on flood rescue mission on Tuesday. The team also found two mutilated bodies beside the crash site. The IAF, however, said it was not certain if the debris was of its missing Advanced Light helicopter. Read the story here.
Think-tank says Saudi Arabia ‘chief foreign promoter’ of Islamist extremism in UK
Government and government-linked organisations in Saudi Arabia, Iran and other Gulf countries are allegedly responsible for providing funding for Islamist extremism in the United Kingdom, according to the London-based think-tank, the Henry Jackson Society. Its report released on Wednesday, titled “Foreign Funded Islamist Extremism in the UK”, mentions India’s intelligence agencies reported that between 2011 and 2013,” Saudi Arabia sent $250 million, as well as thousands of clerics, to India for the purpose of establishing Wahhabi mosques and seminaries”. Read the story here.
Noida: Man steals cell phone, uploads selfies to owner’s Google Drive account
Manoj Sharma received the shock of his life when three motorcycle-borne people allegedly snatched his smartphone from Noida-Sector 10 on June 12. His nightmare, however, had just begun. Sharma said photographs being clicked by one of the thieves are now being uploaded to his Google Drive account, adding to his desperation each passing day. Though he has been able to pinpoint the man’s general location through the phone’s global positioning system, the culprit continues to be at large. Read the story here.