India to take part in Asia-Europe meeting for the first time
India is joining the Asia-Europe Meeting as a new member, participating in the 8th ASEM Foreign Ministers consultation which opens in Hamburg on Monday to discuss issues like nuclear proliferation, terrorism, climate change and the situation in Iraq.
External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee will lead a high-level Indian delegation to the two-day meet that brings together Foreign Ministers from 43 nations in Europe and Asia.
It is being hosted by German Foreign Minister Franz-Walter Steinmeier in his capacity as the current president of the European Council of Ministers. The biennial ASEM meeting is the biggest event during Germany's six-month presidency of the EU which expires at the end of June.
The situation in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Middle East, the threats of nuclear proliferation, Iran's nuclear ambitions and the situation on the Korean Peninsula are among the themes on the agenda for discussions on the opening day.
On Tuesday, the ministers will turn their attention to issues such as fight against terrorism, energy security and combating climate change, but no major decisions are expected to emerge from the meeting.
Hamburg city authorities have put in place some of the most stringent security measures to ensure the safety of visiting dignitaries following threats by anti-globalisation campaigners to disrupt the event.
The authorities fear that the anti-globalisation activists might try to use the occasion for a trial run of their massive protest demonstrations planned for the summit of the seven leading industrialised nations and Russia which Germany will be hosting in the Baltic Sea resort of Heiligendamm early next month.
Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga rejected as “null and void” the result of an August 9 presidential election he was declared to have lost, adding on Tuesday that Kenya's democracy faces a long legal crisis. His first comments on the result came shortly after four of the seven election commissioners said they stood by their decision a day earlier to disown the outcome of the presidential poll, saying the final tallying process had been “opaque”.
Tesla chief executive officer Elon Musk on Wednesday said he was buying English football club Manchester United Plc. "I'm buying Manchester United ur welcome" Musk, known for his irreverent tweets, posted on the micro-blogging platform. As of Tuesday, Manchester United had a market capitalization of $2.08 billion. Another replied, “United players finally going to be dangerous in Space.” Many pointed to his recent flip-flop over the deal with Twitter.
Kyiv/Moscow: Russian President Vladimir Putin accused Washington on Tuesday of drawing out the war in Ukraine, as explosions rocked a Russian military facility on the Kremlin-controlled peninsula of Crimea. The first UN-chartered vessel laden with grain meanwhile left Ukraine for Africa following a hallmark deal brokered by Turkey and the UN to relieve a global food crisis.
She had been vacationing with President Joe Biden in South Carolina when she began experiencing symptoms on Monday. She has been prescribed the antiviral drug Paxlovid and will isolate at the vacation home for at least five days.
Britain's Royal Air Force has been running near-daily flights with a C-17 Globemaster heavy lift aircraft from Romania to an airbase in the Pakistani garrison city of Rawalpindi since early this month, data from flight tracking websites have shown. It was not immediately clear what sort of equipment was being airlifted by the massive RAF aircraft. The flights involved a Boeing C-17A Globemaster III of the RAF with the call sign 'ZZ173'.