Iran launches retaliatory missile, drone strikes on Israeli occupied territories

News Network
April 14, 2024

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Tehran: Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) has launched “extensive” retaliatory missile and drone strikes against the occupied territories in response to the Israeli regime’s terrorist attack of April 1 against the Islamic Republic’s diplomatic premises in the Syrian capital Damascus.

The Corps announced launching the strikes in a statement on Saturday night, defining the mission as "Operation True Promise."

“In response to the Zionist regime’s numerous crimes, including the attack on the consular section of Iran’s Embassy in Damascus and the martyrdom of a number of our country’s commanders and military advisors in Syria, the IRGC’s Aerospace Division launched tens of missiles and drones against certain targets inside the occupied territories,” the statement read.

Iran's Defense Minister Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Ashtiani, meanwhile, warned that “Whatever country that could open its soil or airspace to Israel for a [potential] attack on Iran, will receive our decisive response.”

The Israeli attack had resulted in the martyrdom of Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Zahedi, a commander of the IRGC's Quds Force, his deputy, General Mohammad Hadi Haji Rahimi, and five of their accompanying officers.

The terrorist attack drew sharp condemnation from senior Iranian political and military leaders, who vowed "definitive revenge."

During a speech in Tehran on Wednesday after leading the Eid al-Fitr prayers, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said the Israeli regime “must be punished and will be punished” for the deadly strike on the Iranian diplomatic premises.

The Leader added, “The evil Zionist regime committed another mistake ...  and that was the attack on the Iranian consulate in Syria. The consulate and diplomatic missions in any country are considered to be the territory of that country. When they attack our consulate, it means they have attacked our soil."

In a subsequent statement, the IRGC said the retaliation came after 10 days of "silence and neglect" on the part of the international organizations, especially the United Nations Security Council, to condemn the Israeli aggression or punish the regime in line with Article 7 of the UN Charter.

Iran then resorted to the retaliatory strikes, the Corps added, "using its strategic intelligence capabilities, missiles, and drones" to attack "targets of the Zionist terrorist army in the occupied territories, successfully hitting and destroying them."

The statement, meanwhile, warned the United States -- the Israeli regime's biggest supporter -- that "any support or participation in harming Iran's interests will result in a decisive and regrettable response by the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic."

"Furthermore, America is held responsible for the evil actions of the Zionist regime, and if this child-killing regime is not restrained in the region, it will bear the consequences," it noted.

The Corps concluded the statement by cautioning third countries against letting their soil or airspace be used for attacks against the Islamic Republic.

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News Network
May 17,2024

Forbes has released its ninth edition of the “30 Under 30 Asia” list, celebrating 300 young entrepreneurs, leaders, and trailblazers under 30 who are driving innovation and transforming industries across the Asia-Pacific region. 

Here's a list of Indians who made it to the Forbes list:

ENTERTAINMENT

Pavithra Chari
Pavithra Chari, a trained singer-composer, gained recognition as half of the duo Shadow and Light with Anindo Bose. Their collaboration with the Berklee Indian Ensemble earned a Grammy nomination in 2023. She is also part of the Anirudh Varma Collective, touring the US, and is skilled in Bharatnatyam dance. Ms Chari is also known for covering film hits.

Arpan Kumar Chandel (King)
Indian rapper Arpan Kumar Chandel, also known as King, became known worldwide when Nick Jonas remixed his hit song 'Maan Meri Jaan'. Mr King got famous on MTV Hustle in 2019 and has released many albums since. His latest, 'New Life', features artists like Nikhita Gandhi and Gucci Mane. He's also Sony Audio's ambassador and launched his fragrance, Blanko.

CONSUMER TECHNOLOGY

Kush Jain 
Kush Jain discovered the challenges faced by the visually impaired during a volunteering stint at a Bangalore school in 2018. Motivated to help, he co-founded ORama AI. Their innovative solution, a smart glove, helps the blind and those with reduced vision to learn Braille. The glove features an embedded camera and speaker, tracking finger movements and audibly identifying touched Braille dots.

Arth Chowdhary, Deyvant Bhardwaj and Oshi Kumari 
Arth Chowdhary, Deyvant Bhardwaj and Oshi Kumari co-founded InsideFPV, an Indian drone startup, in 2020. Their main product is an easy-to-use "plug-and-fly" drone, unlike others that require a complex setup. Based in Surat, the company also sells drones and parts online. 

Pranav Manpuria (Flux Auto)
Autonomous driving startup Flux Auto was co-founded by Pranav Manpuria in 2017. The company is working on creating self-driving software for forklifts and warehouse robots. They claim their technology can easily fit into existing systems of infrastructure.

Arun Sreyas and Gautham Maheswaran (RACE Energy)
In 2018, university friends Arun Sreyas and Gautham Maheswaran created RACE Energy. Headquartered in Hyderabad, the startup specialises in creating swappable battery packs tailored for the popular three-wheeled auto-rickshaws in India.

Harshit Jain and Abhik Saha 
Harshit Jain and Abhik Saha co-founded OnePlay, a cloud gaming startup in Mumbai in 2019. OnePlay allows users to play popular games like Baldur's Gate 3 and Palworld across multiple platforms without needing expensive hardware. 

ENTERPRISE TECHNOLOGY

Kunal Aggarwal
Kunal Aggarwal launched Credflow in 2019, offering cashflow management software for small and medium-sized enterprises. The platform analyses business data, sends automated payment reminders, and extends credit lines to eligible users. 

Gaurav Piyush, Mayank Varshney and Yash Sharma
Gaurav Piyush, Mayank Varshney and Yash Sharma came together to establish Blitz, a logistics startup, in 2020. Based in Gurugram, the company, formerly known as Grow Simplee, specialises in offering same- or next-day delivery services by using a network of warehouses and fulfilment centres.

Aditya Dadia
Aditya Dadia founded AIwrite in 2022, providing new digital software for India's insurance sector. Based in Mumbai, the startup uses machine learning to help insurance companies analyze risks and develop products faster. 

FINANCE AND VENTURE CAPITAL

Aalesh Avlani (CWC)
Aalesh Avlani, a Boston University graduate, co-founded Credit Wise Capital (CWC), a finance company specialising in providing loans for motorcycles. Founded in 2019, CWC received $6 million in startup funding the following year. They use technology like a WhatsApp bot to quickly assess creditworthiness, making it easier for people with no credit history to apply for loans.  

Srinivas Sarkar and Kushagra Manglik (Coupl)
Srinivas Sarkar and Kushagra Manglik co-founded Coupl, India's bank designed for couples of all types. Launched in early 2022, the startup helps couples, irrespective of marital status or sexual orientation, effectively manage their finances with joint accounts and linked ATM cards.

Aniket Damle
Aniket Damle works with Blackstone's private equity investment team in Asia, focusing on investments in India's healthcare, consumer, and industrial sectors. At just 23 years old, he made his first deal when Blackstone collaborated with Sona BLW to establish Sona Comstar, a technology platform company focused on electric vehicles, in 2018.

Yashvardhan Kanoi (Alter Global)
Yashvardhan Kanoi heads investments at Alter Global, a venture capital firm linking Silicon Valley with startups in emerging markets. Since 2019, he led investments in companies across Southeast Asia, South Asia, and Latin America like Ula, BukuKas, and CoLearn.

Manish Maryada (Fello)
Manish Maryada co-founded Fello, a fintech startup based in India. Fello offers rewards to users to make investing enjoyable. When users invest a certain amount through the app, they receive a ticket to play in-house games and win rewards and prizes. Founded in 2021, Fello has been downloaded over a million times and has raised over $5 million in funding.

Anuj Srivastava and Priyesh Srivastava (OnFinance AI)
Anuj Srivastava and Priyesh Srivastava (not related) co-founded OnFinance AI, a Bengaluru-based startup. They developed NeoGPT, a ChatGPT-like service tailored for the finance industry, which helps analyse data, generate forecasts, and conduct financial market research.

HEALTHCARE AND SCIENCE

Karan Ahuja
Google research scientist Karan Ahuja will become an assistant professor of computer science at Northwestern University starting in September 2024. With a PhD in human-computer interaction from Carnegie Mellon University, Mr Ahuja has focused on projects like body-movement sensing for smartwatches and gaze-tracking for smartphone control. His work has earned nearly 1,000 citations over the past five years. 

Aryan Chauhan
Aryan Chauhan, along with his mother Monika Chauhan, co-founded Zivov in 2021 with the aim of helping with diabetes treatment. Their solution involves a self-developed sensor that attaches to the skin to monitor blood sugar levels. Users can access the results through Zivov's smartphone app.

INDUSTRY, MANUFACTURING AND ENERGY

Akshit Bansal and Raghav Arora (Statiq)
Akshit Bansal, CEO of Statiq, got the idea for greener transportation while biking through Bengaluru's polluted streets. After a failed car-sharing venture with his friend Raghav Arora, they shifted their focus to electric vehicles. Their Gurgaon-based company, Statiq, now operates a nationwide network of charging stations for electric cars, buses, trucks, and three-wheelers. The company has raised $27.5 million from investors and expects to post its first operating profit in the next financial year.

Ankit Jain and Narayan Lal Gurjar (EF Polymer)
Ankit Jain and Narayan Lal Gurjar co-founded the agriculture startup EF Polymer in 2018. Their company has created a powder-like water-retention product made from biodegradable materials like bananas and orange peels. This product helps retain moisture in the soil and enhance crop yields by absorbing excess water and gradually releasing it.

Chirag Jain and Rama Krishna Mendu (EndureAir Systems)
Chirag Jain and Rama Krishna Mendu founded EndureAir Systems, a drone startup, in 2018. The Noida-based company has created three drone models for mapping, monitoring, and logistics. One of them is battery-powered and can carry up to 15 kg while travelling 15 km.  

Rahil Gupta (Hop Electric Mobility)
Rahil Gupta co-founded Hop Electric Mobility, an electric motorbike startup, in 2020. The company offers three products priced between ₹66,790 and ₹1,33,580. Their premium Oxo bike, for instance, can reach speeds of up to 95 km per hour and cover 150 km on a single charge

MEDIA, MARKETING AND ADVERTISING

Kavan Antani

Kavan Antani is one of the co-founders of IndieFolio, a Mumbai-based on-demand talent marketplace catering to creative professionals. Launched in 2014, the platform serves as a connection hub for designers, animators, content creators, and video producers with clients seeking talent. IndieFolio boasts a talent pool of over 70,000 individuals and counts major clients like Paytm, Ogilvy, and Domino's Pizza.

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News Network
May 18,2024

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In a humanitarian move, Spain has refused entry to a ship carrying arms from India’s Chennai to Israel to dock at one of its ports, its Foreign Minister José Manuel Albares has said.

The Denmark-flagged cargo ship Marianne Danica sailed from Chennai on April 8 when people in Gaza were observing Ramadan fasting, and was headed to the port of Haifa in Israel, according to maritime tracking portals and Spanish media.

Spain has been extremely critical of the rising civilian casualties due to the Israeli offensive in Gaza and, along with Belgium, has suspended arms exports licenses to Tel Aviv. 

Spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs Randhir Jaiswal, at the weekly press conference, only said that they have seen the report of the ship and will revert with more information.

Meanwhile, a source said, “Investigation will reveal if the items on board were cleared for export and if the end user is the same as reported by The Guardian because there are items that are not banned for exports.”

Speaking to reporters in Brussels on Thursday on the issue, Mr. Albares had said, “This is the first time we have done this because it is the first time we have detected a ship carrying a shipment of arms to Israel that wants to call at a Spanish port.”

“This will be a consistent policy with any ship carrying arms to Israel that wants to call at Spanish ports. The Foreign Ministry will systematically reject such stopovers for one obvious reason: the Middle East does not need more weapons, it needs more peace,” he stated.

The ship was carrying 27 tonnes of explosives according to local reports. It was to make a port call at Cartegena in Spain.
In February, Mr. Albares said that they had suspended arms export licences to Israel since October 7, which he said made them “realise” the importance of a “fair and lasting solution” to the Palestinian cause.

The incident comes amid an ongoing row between Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez’s party and his coalition partners over another ship, Borkum, that was due to dock at Cartegena port on Friday over allegations that it was carrying arms meant for Israel. However, the Spanish government has said that the arms it is ferrying are meant for the Czech Republic.

Belgium had suspended two arms export licences to Israel.

“We welcome the decision of the Spanish government to deny the transit authorisation of the vessel Marianne Danica, in accordance with Tratado (treaty) on Arms Trade and Spanish law,” Amnesty International Spain said on social media platform ‘X’.

The timing also coincides with the Israeli ground offensive inside Rafah. According to the UN Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) at least 6,30,000 Palestinians have been forced out of Rafah since the launch of the incursion on May 7.

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News Network
May 21,2024

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Bengaluru: Home Minister G Parameshwara on Tuesday said that the Karnataka government has written to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) seeking the cancellation of the diplomatic passport held by absconding JD(S) MP Prajwal Revanna. This follows an arrest warrant issued by a special court against the Hassan MP wanted in multiple rape and sexual harassment cases.

Speaking to reporters in the city, Parameshwara said that Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had already written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi regarding the cancellation of Prajwal's passport.

“But the department writing it, as per the law, is different,” the Home Minister said. “A warrant has been issued now (and) based on the warrant, a letter has been written, stating that a warrant has been issued and the diplomatic passport has to be cancelled.”

Parameshwara said that in case the ministry cancels the passport, it will be impossible for Prajwal to stay in a foreign country and he would be compelled to return.

"We have written to the Ministry of External Affairs as matters related to passports come under them, they will have to respond to it," he added.

Prajwal fled to Germany after the Phase II Lok Sabha polls in the state on April 26. A few days before the polls, explicit videos of women allegedly harassed and sexually assaulted by the MP were leaked and pen drives filled with the visuals were purportedly distributed in Hassan.

Prajwal is accused of raping two women. He is also accused in a separate sexual harassment case, where his father JD(S) MLA HD Revanna is the co-accused.

On Saturday, a Special Court for Elected Representatives issued an arrest warrant against the MP after the Special Investigation Team (SIT) set up to probe the Hassan sex abuse case moved an application.

Earlier the SIT had issued Look Out Circulars and a Blue Corner Notice, seeking the whereabouts of the MP, was also issued by Interpol in response to a request by the SIT via the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

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