Is Saudi Arabia planning to turn Qatar into an island

Agencies
September 1, 2018

Riyadh, Sept 1: A Saudi official hinted Friday the kingdom was moving forward with a plan to dig a canal that would turn the neighbouring Qatari peninsula into an island, amid a diplomatic feud between the Gulf nations.

"I am impatiently waiting for details on the implementation of the Salwa island project, a great, historic project that will change the geography of the region," Saud al-Qahtani, a senior adviser to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, said on Twitter.

The plan, which would physically separate the Qatari peninsula from the Saudi mainland, is the latest stress point in a highly fractious 14-month long dispute between the two states.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar in June 2017, accusing it of supporting terrorism and being too close to Riyadh's archrival, Iran -- charges Doha denies.

In April, the pro-government Sabq news website reported government plans to build a channel -- 60 kilometres (38 miles) long and 200 metres wide -- stretching across the kingdom's border with Qatar.

Part of the canal, which would cost up to 2.8 billion riyals ($750 million), would be reserved for a planned nuclear waste facility, it said.

Five unnamed companies that specialise in digging canals had been invited to bid for the project and the winner will be announced in September, Makkah newspaper reported in June.

Saudi authorities did not respond to requests for comment and there was no immediate reaction on the plan from Qatar.

After the dispute erupted last year, Qatar -- a small peninsula nation -- found its only land border closed, its state-owned airline barred from using its neighbours' airspace, and Qatari residents expelled from the boycotting countries.

Mediation efforts led by Kuwait and the US, which has its largest Middle East air base in Qatar, have so far failed to resolve the dispute.

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News Network
July 2,2022

udaipur.jpg

Udaipur, July 2: A group of lawyers Saturday attacked the four accused in the Kanhaiya Lal murder case, kicking and slapping them and hurling abuses as they were being taken to a prisoner vehicle after being produced in a court here.

The clothes of one of the four accused were also torn, and the agitated lawyers raised slogans against Pakistan and demanded capital punishment for them.

The four persons -- main accused Riaz Akhtari and Ghouse Mohammad, and two others namely Mohsin and Asif -- were produced in a special court here amid tight security arrangements. The court sent the four to police remand till July 12.

There was heavy security deployment on the premises, but as the accused were being taken out of the court, the group of lawyers attacked them before police personnel somehow managed to hustle them into a waiting prisoner transport vehicle.

The lawyers shouted slogans such as "Pakistan Murdabad" and "Kanhaiya ke hatyaron ko fansi Do (hang the murderers of Kanhaiya)".

Udaipur tailor Kanhaiya Lal was hacked to death on Tuesday by Akhtari and Ghouse who said in a video posted online that they had avenged an insult to Islam.

Akhtari and Ghouse were arrested by the state police on the day of the incident while Mohsin and Asif were nabbed two days later. The latter two have been accused of being involved in the conspiracy and carrying out a recce of Kanhaiya Lal’s tailoring shop.

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News Network
June 23,2022

Mumbai, June 23: Amid a rebellion by Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde, party MP Sanjay Raut on Thursday said the Sena is ready to quit the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra if the group of rebel legislators camping in Assam returns to Mumbai in 24 hours and discusses the issue with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.

Shinde is currently camping with 37 rebel MLAs of the Sena and nine independents in Guwahati, which has plunged the party-led state government into a crisis. The NCP and Congress also share power in the Uddhav Thackeray-led dispensation.

"You say you are real Shiv Sainiks and will not quit the party. We are ready to consider your demand provided you come back to Mumbai in 24 hours and discuss the issue with CM Uddhav Thackeray. Your demand will be considered positively. Don't write letters on Twitter and WhatsApp," Raut told reporters.

"The rebels who are out of Mumbai have raised the issue of Hindutva. If all these MLAs feel that Shiv Sena should walk out of the MVA, show guts to come back to Mumbai. You say you have issues only with the government and also say that you are true Shiv Sainiks...Your demand will be considered. But come and talk with Uddhav Thackeray," he added.

CM Thackeray had on Wednesday offered to quit the top post amid the rebellion by Shinde and later also vacated his official residence in south Mumbai before moving to his family home in suburban Bandra. 

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News Network
July 5,2022

Heavy to very heavy rainfall at isolated places is very likely over east Madhya Pradesh, Vidarbha, Chhattisgarh, Konkan area of Maharashtra, Goa, coastal Karnataka (Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Uttara Kannada) , and Kerala, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.

The monsoon trough is active and south of its normal position at this time of the year. There are strong westerly winds along the west coast in the lower tropospheric levels, IMD bulletin said.

"The low pressure area over north Chhattisgarh and neighbourhood now lies over north Chhattisgarh and adjoining northest Madhya Pradesh and the associated cyclonic circulation extends up to 5.8 kms above mean sea level, tilting southwestwards with height," it said.

Widespread light/moderate rainfall is likely to continue over many parts of west coast, central India and islands.

The IMD also predicted isolated to scattered rainfall over rest parts of the country.

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