US president approves massive weapons sale to Saudi Arabia, UAE to counter Iran

News Network
August 3, 2022

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Washington, Aug 3: The Biden administration has approved two massive arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to help them defend against Iran.

The more than USD 5 billion in missile defense and related sales follow President Joe Biden's visit to the Middle East last month, during which he met with numerous regional leaders in Saudi Arabia. Both Saudi Arabia and the UAE have been hit in recent months with rocket attacks from the Iran-backed Houthi rebel movement in Yemen.

Although Tuesday's approvals are for defensive weapons, they may be questioned by lawmakers who had supported Biden's decision last year to cut Saudi Arabia and the UAE off from major purchases of offensive US arms because of their involvement in the war in Yemen.

The new sales include USD 3 billion for Patriot missiles for Saudi Arabia specifically designed to protect itself from rocket attacks by the Houthis, and USD 2.2 billion for high-altitude missile defense for the UAE.

"The proposed sale will improve the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's capability to meet current and future threats by replenishing its dwindling stock of PATRIOT GEM-T missiles," the State Department said in its notice informing Congress of the sale.

"These missiles are used to defend the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's borders against persistent Houthi cross-border unmanned aerial system and ballistic missile attacks on civilian sites and critical infrastructure in Saudi Arabia," the department said.

For the UAE, the department said the sale would "support the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of an important regional partner. The UAE is a vital US partner for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East."

Early in his administration Biden had pledged to cut off or cut back weapons sales to both Saudi Arabia and the UAE because of their actions in Yemen.

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News Network
August 16,2022

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Shivamogga, Aug 16: The police today nabbed four persons in connection with the stabbing incident reported on August 15 after communal tension surfaced at the Ameer Ahmad circle in connection with the Savarkar and Tipu Sultan flex banner row.

Meanwhile, another stabbing incident reported at Nehrunagar in Bhadravathi town, in which a Hindu youth was stabbed by a Muslim youth, has flared up communal tension in the district. 

However, police denied any link with the Shivamogga incident and clarified that the stabbing was motivated by a personal rivalry.

According to police, Sunil (28) is the victim and Mubarak (26) stabbed him when he was heading towards home. He sustained injuries on head, shoulder. Later, Mubarak was arrested.

Reacting to the incident, SP B M Laxmi Prasad said that the incident has no link with the communal tension in Shivamogga. 

"Sunil had threatened Mubarak on August 15, saying that he would inform the police about his gambling activities after capturing recordings of the same on his cell phone. The video of Mubarak's involvement in gambling activities subsequently went viral on social media. Enraged by this, Mubarak stabbed Sunil," he said.

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News Network
August 9,2022

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Break-ups and alliances are not new for Janata Dal (United) chief and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, who has once again ended alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party after the Bihar opposition — Congress, RJD and Left — declared open support for him. 

A look at Kumar’s allies over the years and his blow hot, blow cold equation with the BJP:

1989: In the initial years in Janata Dal, Kumar backed Lalu Prasad as leader of the opposition in Bihar Assembly in 1989.

1994: Kumar fell out with Prasad, floated the Samata Party with George Fernandes.

1996: Kumar joined hands with the BJP and was a minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee cabinet. Then Janata Dal president Sharad Yadav and Lalu Prasad had a spat and the latter broke away and formed the RJD

2000: Kumar was first elected to office, however, he resigned days after he took oath. NDA and allies had 151 seats, Prasad’s RJD had 159, both falling short of the required 163 seats.

2003: The Samata Party merged with Sharad Yadav’s Janata Dal, while continuing its alliance with the BJP. The Janata Dal (United) was formed, with Kumar at the helm.

2005: Kumar’s JD(U), in alliance with the BJP, came back to power as an NDA member, ending the “Lalu era”.

2010: Kumar’s party swept back to power along with ally, the BJP, and he again became the CM.

2013: He snapped his party’s 17-year-old ties with the BJP in 2013, when Narendra Modi was anointed the BJP’s campaign committee chief for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. After parting ways with the BJP, he won a trust vote with support from the Congress, but stepped down in 2014, owning moral responsibility for the JD(U)’s tally of two in the Lok Sabha elections.

In less than a year, Kumar was back as the chief minister, pushing out his rebel protégé Jitan Ram Manjhi with support from the RJD and the Congress.

2017: The Grand Alliance of the JD(U), Congress and RJD won the 2017 assembly polls, but collapsed in just two years, as Kumar insisted that Lalu’s son and deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav, whose name had cropped up in a money laundering case when RJD supremo was the railway minister, “come clear" on the issue.

He broke the alliance, resigned as the chief minister as the RJD refused to budge, only to be back in the office in less than 24 hours with the BJP’s support.

2022: He joined hands with the RJD again, breaking ties with the BJP.

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News Network
August 9,2022

At least 16 children were among 45 Palestinians killed by Israeli army’s recent 3-day long airstrikes on besieged Gaza strip. Dozens of children were among the 360 injured in the Israeli bombardment from August 5 to 7. Besides, dozens of children were orphaned. 

"There is no safe space in the Gaza Strip for Palestinian children and their families and they increasingly bear the brunt of Israel’s repeated military offensives," Ayed Abu Eqtaish, the accountability programme director at the NGO Defence for Children International - Palestine (DCIP), said in a statement.

While a ceasefire came into effect on August 7 following an agreement brokered by Egypt, Palestinians have lamented the devastating bombing campaign as more details emerge of those who died.

The Israeli army has claimed that some of the civilian casualties were killed by misfired rockets, without providing independently-verified evidence. However, the Palestinian health ministry has rejected the Israel’s claim as blatant lie and confirmed that all of the people killed, including the 16 children, died as a result of Israeli air strikes.

Here is the list of 16 children killed by Israel in 3 days

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Alaa ِAbdullah Qaddoum (5)

She was among the first casualties on Friday (August 5) following Israel's decision to launch air strikes on the besieged Gaza Strip. She died while she was playing with friends outside her home in the Shujaiya neighbourhood in the northern Gaza Strip. Her seven-year-old brother and father were wounded in the strike.

Momen Muhammed ِAhmed al-Nairab (5)

He was killed in Israeli air strike on Saturday on the Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip. The camp is one of the most densely populated places on Earth and houses more than 114,000 people.

Hazem Muhammed Ali Salem (9) 

According to documentation collected by Defence for Children International, Hazem Muhammed Ali Salem, nine, was among the four children in the blast on the Jabalia refugee camp on Saturday. Israel says it wasn't behind the raid, but Palestinian sources say it could not have come from anywhere else.

Ahmed Muhammed al-Nairab (11) 

Ahmed Walid Ahmed al-Farram (16)

They were among the four children killed on Saturday when Israeli warplanes struck the Jabalia refugee camp.

According to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (Unrwa), the camp suffers from high unemployment, regular electricity cuts and a contaminated water supply.

Muhammed Iyad Muhammed Hassouna (14)

He was killed when an Israeli air strike targeted his home in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. At least eight people were killed in the raid.

Fatma Aaed Abdulfattah Ubaid (15)

She was among nine children killed in the space of 30 minutes, shortly before the ceasefire was announced. She was killed in Beit Hanoun on Sunday in the northern Gaza Strip.

Ahmed Yasser Nimr al-Nabahin (9)

Muhammed Yasser Nimr al-Nabahin (12)

Dalia Yasser Nimr al-Nabahin (13)

An Israeli air strike on the Bureij refugee camp on Sunday killed Yasser al-Nabahin and his three children, Muhammed Yasser Nimr al-Nabahin, 13; Ahmed Yasser Nimr al-Nabahin, 9; and their sister, Dalia Yasser Nimr al-Nabahin, 13.

Muhammed Salah Nijm (16) 

An Israeli air strike on the Falluja cemetery in northern Gaza on Sunday killed five boys as they sat near a grave.  Muhammed Salah Nijm was among those killed.

Hamed Haidar Hamed Nijm (16)

He was among those killed in Sunday's raid on the graveyard. Four of the boys were cousins and the fifth was their friend, according to local sources. 

Jamil Nijm Jamil Nijm (4)

He was the youngest child to be killed during Israel's offensive on the Gaza Strip. 

Jamil Ihab Nijm (13)

He was the fourth child from the Nijm family to be killed in Sunday's suspected air strike.

Nazmi Fayez Abdulhadi Abukarsh (16) 

A friend of the Nijm boys, he was killed in the air strike on the graveyard.

Hanin Walid Muhammed Abuqaida (10)

She was injured in an air strike on the Jabalia refugee camp on Sunday but succumbed to her wounds on Monday.

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