BJP finally chooses Leader of Opposition in Karnataka Assembly

News Network
November 17, 2023


Bengaluru, Nov 17: After more than six months since the assembly elections in Karnataka, the opposition BJP has elected the Leader of the Opposition. R Ashoka, leader of Vokkaliga community, former Deputy Chief Minister, MLA from Padmanabhanagar constituency in Bengaluru, has been given the responsibility of the Leader of Opposition. 

This decision was taken at the BJP Legislature Party Meeting (BJP Meeting) held at the ITC Hotel in Bangalore on Friday evening. Just last week, BY Vijayendra was appointed as the president of the BJP state unit.

High command observers Nirmala Sitharaman and Dushyant Kumar were present in the BLP meeting held at ITC Hotel in Bangalore under the leadership of state BJP unit president Vijayendra. Former CMs BS Yeddyurappa, Basavaraja Bommai, former minister Kota Srinivasa Pujari and state BJP unit organizing secretary Rajesh and others participated.

Dushyant Kumar Gautam and BS Yeddyurappa implicitly mentioned the High Command's instruction regarding the opposition leaders during their speech to the MLAs. Former CM Basavaraja Bommai suggested the announcement of Ashok's name, while former minister Sunil Kumar approved it.

No one is disappointed, Bellad said that the meeting was not boycotted

Responding to the outburst of discontent before the BJP legislative party meeting, Aravind Bellad said that no one was upset, the BLP meeting was not boycotted, observers got a one to one opinion. He said that there are more MLAs from North Karnataka.

Other than them, Bengaluru's Yeshwantpur constituency MLA ST Somasekhar was absent from the legislative party meeting. 


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News Network
November 28,2023


The 41 workers trapped in an Uttarakhand tunnel for 17 days are likely to be rescued anytime now, as the manual drilling team clearing the debris that blocks their escape is metres away from reaching them. The operation, which faced several setbacks owing to the difficult terrain, is now on the threshold of success. As the country has its fingers crossed and hands joined in prayer, here's a look at how the workers got stuck

The Tunnel

The 4.5 km-tunnel is part of the Centre's ambitious Char Dham project aimed at providing all-weather connectivity between four prominent Hindu shrines in Uttarakhand - Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri. Also known as Silkyara tunnel, this tunnel is on the route connecting Silyara and Dandalgaon in Uttarkashi district. It is a double-lane tunnel and one of the longest under Char Dham project. About 2.4 km of the under-construction tunnel from the Silkyara side and 1.75 km from the other side has been built. The tunnel, once complete, is expected to cut down travel time by an hour. The project to build the tunnel is being carried out by Hyderabad-based Navayuga Engineering Company Limited, which has reportedly handled such projects before.

What Went Wrong?

On November 12, a section of tunnel between 205 and 260 metres from the Silkyara side collapsed. Workers who were beyond the 260-metre mark were trapped, with their exit blocked. Fortunately for them, the part of the tunnel where they are stuck has power and water supply. While government authorities have maintained that a detailed probe will reveal what led to the collapse, multiple theories are floating around. One of them is that a landslide in the fragile Himalayan region led to the collapse. Several experts have pointed out how hasty development in the ecologically sensitive region was responsible for the incident.

Big Lapses?

There have been claims that the collapse was triggered by a blast carried out by construction teams building the tunnel. SP Sati, a geologist and professor of environmental science at Uttarakhand University of Horticulture and Forestry, said, "The agency will never accept this, but I am certain that a major blast led to this collapse." NDTV had earlier reported that the construction plan for the tunnel mentioned an escape tunnel, but it was never built. International expert Arnold Dix, who has been at the site, was asked if the absence of an escape tunnel contributed to the situation. He said that globally, escape tunnels are put at the end "because normally you don't expect them to collapse". He, however, added a disclaimer that escape tunnels may be built during the course of the project in areas that have specific geological conditions.


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News Network
December 2,2023


The Israeli regime's top spy agencies reportedly seek to “assassinate” Hamas leaders around the world after its brutal war on the Gaza Strip that has already killed more than 15,000 Palestinians ends. 

With orders from Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the regime’s top spy agencies, including Mossad, are working on plans to assassinate Hamas leaders living in Lebanon, Turkey, Qatar, and other Persian Gulf countries, The Wall Street Journal cites unnamed Israeli officials on Thursday. 

"The question now for Israeli leaders isn't about whether to try to kill Hamas leaders elsewhere in the world, but where—and how, the officials said," wrote the newspaper.

The report claimed that there had been calls to immediately assassinate Khaled Meshaal, one of the top Hamas leaders, after the Palestinian resistance group launched the Al-Aqsa Storm Operation against the regime on October 7.

Israel’s prime minister hinted at the regime’s plans for assassinations abroad in an address in late November, when he said that he had “instructed the Mossad to act against the heads of Hamas wherever they are.”

Israel has a long history of conducting assassination operations outside its borders in violation of international law, sovereignty of other countries, and human rights.

Israel’s minister of military affairs Yoav Gallant also threatened Hamas leaders back then, saying, “The struggle is worldwide.”

Efraim Halevy, a former Mossad director, however, told the Journal that the regime’s plan “is not supported by everyone.”

"Pursuing Hamas on a worldwide scale and trying to systematically remove all its leaders from this world is a desire to exact revenge, not a desire to achieve a strategic aim."

After Israel was caught off guard by Hamas operation on the occupied territories, it started a brutal bombing campaign against the besieged Gaza Strip. The regime has so far killed more than 15,000 Palestinians, about 40 percent of whom are children. 

Some of the big names that may feature in Mossad's kill list are Ismail Haniyeh, Mohammed Deif, Yahya Sinwar and Khaled Mashal. 

Ismail Haniyeh

Haniyeh, 60, is a politician who is a former Palestinian prime minister. He was elected as the head of Hamas' political bureau in 2017.  In 2006, while serving as the Palestinian PM, Haniyeh was the subject of an assassination plot using a poison-filled letter. 

Haniyeh lives in voluntary exile, splitting his time between Qatar and Turkey. 

Mohammed Deif

Deif heads Hamas' military wing, the Ezzdine al-Qassam Brigades, and is Israel's public enemy number one. Israeli authorities have tried to assassinate him at least six times, as per reports. He has also been on the US list of "international terrorists" since 2015.

The audio message at the start of the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel, dubbed the "Al-Aqsa Flood", carried Deif's voice. His current whereabouts are unknown but Israel believes he is fighting alongside Hamas fighters in the Gaza Strip.

Yahya Sinwar

Sinwar, 61, is a former commander of the Ezzdine al-Qassam Brigades and was elected in 2017 as head of Hamas in Gaza. He has spent 23 years in Israeli jails before his release in 2011 in a prisoner exchange involving French-Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit who was held captive by Hamas.

Some of the Israeli hostages taken to Gaza have spoken about encountering Sinwar during their captivity. 

Khaled Mashal

Mashal is a founding member of Hamas Politburo and was the chairman until 2017. His current whereabouts are believed to be in Qatar.

Mashal was at the centre of a sensational assassination attempt in Jordan in 1997 when Mossad agents, posing as Canadian tourists, sprayed a deadly toxin into one of his ears. The Mossad kill-team was captured and Mashal fell into a coma.

US President Bill Clinton had to intervene and the then Mossad chief Danny Yatom had to fly to Amman with an antidote.


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News Network
November 22,2023


Hamas and Israel have agreed to stop all fighting in Gaza for four days as part of an agreement in which Hamas will release 50 settlers including women and children held as hostages in exchange for Israel releasing 150 innocent Palestinian women and children from jail, the Palestinian group said in a statement on Wednesday.

Officials from Qatar, which has been mediating negotiations, as well as the US, Israel and Hamas have for days been saying a deal was imminent.

The deal will allow hundreds of humanitarian, medical and fuel aid trucks to enter all parts of the Gaza Strip, the statement added.

Hamas is believed to be holding more than 200 hostages, taken when its fighters surged into Israeli occupied land on Oct. 7, allegedly killing 1,200 occupying soldiers and illegal settlers.

A statement by the Prime Minister's Office said 50 women and children will be released over four days, during which there will be a pause in fighting.

For every additional 10 hostages released, the pause would be extended by another day, it said, without mentioning the release of Palestinian prisoners in exchange.

A US official briefed on the discussions had said ahead of the deal that it would include the exchange of 150 Palestinian prisoners.

"Israel's government is committed to return all the hostages (i.e., illegal settlers captured by Hamas) home. Tonight, it approved the proposed deal as a first stage to achieving this goal," said the statement, released after hours of deliberation that were closed to the press.

Israel's Ynet reported that all but three ministers in the far-right Jewish Power party voted in favour of the deal.

The accord will see the first truce of a war in which Israeli bombardments have flattened swathes of Hamas-ruled Gaza, killed 13,300 innocent civilians in the tiny densely populated enclave and left about two-thirds of its 2.3 million people homeless, according to authorities in Gaza.

Before gathering with his full government, Netanyahu met on Tuesday with his war cabinet and wider national security cabinet over the deal.

Ahead of the announcement of the deal, Netanyahu said the intervention of US President Joe Biden had helped to improve the tentative agreement so that it included more hostages and fewer concessions.

But Netanyahu said Israel's broader mission had not changed.

"We are at war and we will continue the war until we achieve all our goals. To destroy Hamas, return all our hostages and ensure that no entity in Gaza can threaten Israel," he said in a recorded message at the start of the government meeting.

The pause would also allow for humanitarian aid into Gaza.

Israeli media including Channel 12 news said the first release of hostages was expected on Thursday. Implementing the deal must wait for 24 hours to give Israeli citizens the chance to ask the Supreme Court to block the release of Palestinian prisoners, reports said.

Hamas has to date released only four captives: US citizens Judith Raanan, 59, and her daughter, Natalie Raanan, 17, on Oct. 20, citing "humanitarian reasons," and Israeli women Nurit Cooper, 79, and Yocheved Lifshitz, 85, on Oct. 23.

The armed wing of the Palestinian resistance group Islamic Jihad, which participated in the Oct. 7 raid with Hamas, said late on Tuesday that one of the Israeli hostages it has held since the Oct. 7 attacks on Israel had died.

"We previously expressed our willingness to release her for humanitarian reasons, but the enemy was stalling and this led to her death," Al Quds Brigades said on its Telegram channel.


As attention focused on the hostage release deal, fighting on the ground raged on. Mounir Al-Barsh, director-general of Gaza's health ministry, told Al Jazeera TV that the Israeli military ordered the evacuation of the Indonesian Hospital in Gaza City. Israel said militants were operating from the facility and threatened to act against them within four hours, he said.

Hospitals, including Gaza's biggest Al Shifa, have been rendered virtually inoperable by the Israeli aggression and shortages of critical supplies. Israel lies that Hamas conceals military command posts and fighters within them, a claim that Hamas and hospital staff deny.

On Tuesday, Israel also said its forces had encircled the Jabalia refugee camp, a major urban flashpoint and Hamas militant stronghold.

According to the United Nations, most Palestinians in Gaza are registered as refugees because they or their ancestors were displaced by the 1948 war of Israel's creation.

The Palestinian news agency WAFA said 33 people were killed and dozens wounded in an Israeli air strike on part of Jabalia, a congested urban extension of Gaza City where Hamas has been battling advancing Israeli armoured forces.

In southern Gaza, Hamas-affiliated media said 10 people were killed and 22 injured by an Israeli air strike on an apartment in the city of Khan Younis. 


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