6 Gulf countries including UAE, Saudi Arabia back extending UN arms embargo on Iran

Agencies
August 10, 2020

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Dubai, Aug 10: A six-nation bloc of Gulf Arab nations torn apart by internal strife endorsed on Sunday an extension of a United Nations arms embargo on Iran, just two months before it is set to expire.

The Gulf Cooperation Council said it sent a letter to the UN Security Council backing an extension of an arms embargo that’s kept Iran from purchasing foreign-made weapons like fighter jets, tanks and warships.

The GCC — comprised of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — alleged Iran had “not ceased or desisted from armed interventions in neighbouring countries, directly and through organisations and movements armed and trained by Iran.”

A Saudi-led coalition continues to battle Yemen’s Houthi rebels, whom the UN, the U.S. and armament experts have accused of receiving arms from Iran.

Tehran denies arming the Houthis, even as Iranian armaments and components have repeatedly turned up in Yemen.

As such, it is inappropriate to lift the restrictions on conventional weapons’ movement to and from Iran until it abandons its destabilising activities in the region and ceases to provide weapons to terrorist and sectarian organisations, the GCC said.

Iran’s foreign ministry spokesperson Abbas Mousavi condemned the GCC letter and called it an irresponsible statement that serves U.S. interests, Iranian state TV reported.

Mr. Mousavi also criticised the Gulf Arab countries for being among the “largest arms buyers in the region and the world,” even amid the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The UN banned Iran from buying major foreign weapon systems in 2010 amid tensions over its nuclear program.

That blocked Iran from replacing its ageing equipment, much of which had been purchased by the shah before the 1979 Islamic Revolution. An earlier embargo targeted Iranian arms exports.

Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal saw the UN agree to sunset the arms embargo this October.

President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew America from the deal in 2018, part of a maximum pressure campaign that’s hurt Iran’s already-ailing economy and led to a series of escalating incidents in the Middle-East.

That the GCC offered a unified statement on Iran comes as it remains torn by the ongoing Qatar crisis, which saw Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the Emirates cut diplomatic ties and launch a boycott of the nation beginning in 2017.

Kuwait has sought to mediate the crisis, though its 91-year-old emir now is hospitalised in the U.S. suffering from an undisclosed ailment.

Amid the crisis, Qatar has had warmer ties with Iran and used its airspace while sharing a vast offshore oil and gas field with Tehran.

The small nation is home to the massive Al-Udeid Air Base, home to the forward headquarters of the US military’s Central Command. Oman, which saw its long-serving sultan die earlier this year, long has had close ties to Iran and has served as an interlocutor between Tehran and the West.

Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the Emirates long have viewed Iran far more suspiciously, accusing it of stirring up dissent among Shiite populations in the region.

The unified GCC statement comes after recent visits by outgoing U.S. special representative for Iran Brian Hook amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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coastaldigest.com news network
September 22,2020

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Mangaluru/Udupi, Sept 22: Two prominent Congress leaders from coastal region —U T Khader and Vinay Kumar Sorake — have been appointed as the spokespersons of Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) spokesperson.

KPCC chief D K Shivakumar has asked both the former ministers to take charge immediately and advised to work and strengthen the organization as per the principles and policies of the Congress party.

Mr Khader, who currently represents Mangaluru City constituency in Karnataka Assembly had earlier served as the minister food and health minister in Siddaramaiah government and urban development minister in H D Kumaraswamy government.

Mr Sorake had served as a minister, Member of Parliament from Udupi, and as a member of the Legislative Assembly from Kaup and Puttur.

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News Network
September 22,2020

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New Delhi, Sept 22: Parliament on Tuesday passed a Bill to remove cereals, pulses, oilseeds, edible oils, onion and potatoes from the list of essential commodities. The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, which was approved by the lower house on September 15, was approved by a voice vote in Rajya Sabha. The bill replaces an ordinance promulgated in June.

The bill is also aimed at removing fears of private investors of excessive regulatory interference in their business operations. The freedom to produce, hold, move, distribute and supply will lead to harnessing economies of scale and attract private sector/foreign direct investment into the agriculture sector, the government had said earlier.

Replying to a short debate, Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Danve Raosaheb Dadarao said the stock limit conditions imposed through the law were hindering investment in the agriculture infrastructure.

The amendments to the six-and-half-decade law provides that stock holding limit on commodities will only be imposed under exceptional circumstances like national calamities, famine with a surge in prices, the minister said. Also, processors and value chain participants are exempted from the stock limit.

The minister said the move will boost investment in the agriculture sector and will also create more storage capacities to reduce post harvest loss of crops. "This amendment is in favour of both farmers and consumers," Dadarao added.

According to him, the changes in the 1955 law is an important step by the government to achieve its target of doubling farmers' income and also for ease of doing business. He said the essential commodities act was brought when the country was not a self sufficient in food grains production. But now the situation has changed, therefore the amendment was required, he said.

While India has become surplus in most agri-commodities, farmers have been unable to get better prices due to lack of investment in cold storage, warehouses, processing and export. Farmers suffer huge losses when there are bumper harvests, especially of perishable commodities, he said.

Earlier in the day, many opposition members had staged a walkout from the House demanding that the suspension of eight members be revoked.

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Agencies
September 16,2020

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New Delhi: At a time when Sangh Parivar backed media targeting Muslim institution for encouraging students from the oppressed community to crack the Civil Services Examination, an RSS-backed coaching institute has claimed a 61 per cent success rate in this year’s exam.

Samkalp Foundation has claimed that out of the 759 candidates picked by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) to enter the civil services this year, 466 had undertaken its Interview Guidance Program (IGP).

According to Sankalp's website, 649 candidates had enrolled for the IGP, out of the 990 candidates chosen by the UPSC in 2018. In 2017, 2016, and 2015, the numbers were 689, 648, and 670 against the total recruitment of 1,099, 1,078, and 1,236, respectively.

Meanwhile, senior journalist Vijaita Singh shared a picture of an invitation card from the foundation, wherein Union Petroleum Minister, Dharmendra Pradhan, and Nagaland Governor RN Ravi will interact with the successful candidates as Chief Guests of the Webinar meeting.

The webinar meeting is scheduled for September 20 at 11:00 am where several other Guests of Honors will address the candidates along with Pradhan and Ravi.

Last year, Home Minister Amit Shah and senior RSS functionary Krishna Gopal had delivered a lecture on national security to retired and serving civil servants at an event organised by Samkalp. Gopal is one of the senior-most 'mentors' at the foundation.

The foundation's photo gallery on its website is filled with photographs of its students with BJP ministers such as Smriti Irani, Prakash Javadekar and Ramesh Pokhriyal.

About Sankalp Foundation

Samkalp started as an organisation engaged in running schools in several towns and cities of north India in 1986. As an organisation which gives training to school teachers to inculcate "rashtriya bhawna" in its early age, it morphed into one of the leading institutes training civil service aspirants in the 1990s.

It had reportedly trained 26 aspirants in its first batch, 14 of whom qualified for the civil services. No one made it to the IAS but one aspirant joined the IPS while others joined other Central services.

The next year, Samkalp breached the IAS barrier, and 13 of their alumni qualified for this prestigious service. The number of aspirants who approached the institute was 84, and 59 of them qualified for different services.

By 1999-2000, more than 100 interviewees had reportedly approached Samkalp as its success rate went up to 90 percent. Over the years, the foundation started centres in different cities like Agra, Ludhiana, Bhopal, and Bhilai, apart from its first centers in Delhi.

While the claim of the foundation has created little controversy and public discussion on the telecast of a program by Sudarshan TV News about the entry of Muslims into the All-India Services after clearing the UPSC exams has created much furore.

On Tuesday, Supreme Court made some strong oral remarks taking objection to the show, which had portrayed the large entry of Muslims into UPSC as "UPSC Jihad".

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Athul kiran
 - 
Saturday, 19 Sep 2020

I like to study IAS COACHING. I AM PLUS 2 STUDENTS. APPLY FOR DEGREE COURSE.

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