China begins biggest-ever military drills around Taiwan

Agencies
August 4, 2022

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China's People's Liberation Army has begun biggest-ever military exercises including live firing on the waters and in the airspace surrounding the island of Taiwan following US politician Nancy Pelosi's visit.

The live fire drills began at 12:00 local time (04:00 GMT) on July 4 and in several areas were due to take place within 12 miles of the island.

Taiwan said China was trying to change the status quo in the region.

Ms Pelosi made a brief but controversial visit to Taiwan, which China regards as a breakaway province.

The drills are Beijing's main response, although it has also blocked some trade with the island.

The exercises are due to take place in busy waterways and will include long-range live ammunition shooting, Beijing says.

Taiwan says it amounts to a sea and air blockade while the US said the drills were irresponsible and could spiral out of control.

Analyst Bonnie Lin told the BBC that the Taiwanese military would react cautiously but there was still a risk of confrontation.

"For example, if China decides to fly planes over Taiwan's airspace, there is a chance that Taiwan might try to intercept them. And we could see a mid air collision, we could see a lot of different scenarios playing out," she said.

Taiwan said it scrambled jets to warn off Chinese warplanes on Wednesday and its military fired flares to drive away unidentified aircraft over the Kinmen islands, located close to the mainland.

Several ministries have suffered cyber-attacks in recent days, the Taiwanese government said.

Taiwan has also asked ships to take different routes and is negotiating with Japan and the Philippines to find alternative aviation routes.

Japan has also expressed concern to China over the areas covered by the military drills, which it says overlaps with its exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

In response, Chinese government spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Beijing did not accept the "so-called" Japan EEZ.

On Wednesday, China detained a suspected Taiwanese separatist in the coastal Zhejiang province on suspicion of endangering national security, according to local media reports.

Meanwhile China's Ambassador to France Lu Shaye told French TV that after "reunification" with Taiwan, Beijing would focus on "re-education".

China has previously used the term "re-education" to refer to its detention of mostly-Muslim minorities in its north-western Xinjiang region, where human rights groups say more than a million people have been incarcerated.

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News Network
August 8,2022

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Lucknow, Aug 8: Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Devendra Singh Yadav's car was hit by a truck and was dragged for more than 500 meters in Uttar Pradesh's Mainpuri district.

Yadav is the SP district president in the area. He did not suffer any serious injury.

A video of the freak accident shows Mr Yadav's vehicle being dragged for some distance before coming to a stop. As soon as the vehicle stopped, many people present on the road rushed to the spot to try and rescue the Samajwadi Party leader.

The incident took place near Bhadawar House in Mainpuri Sadar Kotwali area on Sunday night when Mr Yadav was on his way to his residence via Karhal Road. He was alone in the car during the incident.

Mr Yadav is the Samajwadi Party district president of Mainpuri.

According to the police, the truck driver was from Itawa.

"Samajwadi Party leader's car was hit by the truck after which it was dragged for more than 500 meters. The truck driver from Itawa has been arrested. The investigation is underway," said Kamlesh Dikshit, SP Mainpuri as quoted by a news agency.

Following the accident, Mr Yadav lodged a complaint at Mainpuri Sadar Kotwali police station. The police registered a case and arrested the truck driver.

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News Network
August 7,2022

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Gaza Strip, Aug 7: The latest bout of airstrikes by the Israeli regime in the north and the south of the besieged Gaza Strip has claimed the lives of eight Palestinian children, and the second senior commander of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad resistance movement.

In a statement on Sunday, Islamic Jihad confirmed that Khaled Mansour, its commander in the south of the Gaza Strip, had been killed in an Israeli raid on Saturday.

Mansour is the second high-ranking member of Islamic Jihad to be killed since Israel carried out airstrikes on Gaza on Friday when it assassinated Tayseer al-Jabari, a senior commander of the Islamic Jihad movement in the north.

Moreover, several children have been killed in the Gaza Strip as Israeli jets bombed the besieged enclave for a second day.

At least six children were killed in a blast in a residential area near the Jabaliya refugee camp north of the Gaza Strip on Saturday bringing the tally of children killed since Friday to eight. Among them are two brothers aged five and 11 in the Jabaliya refugee camp.

Medical sources in Gaza identified the two brothers killed in the Israeli assault as Moamen Al-Nayrab and Ahmed Al-Nayrab, with the Palestinian Health Ministry saying the regime’s brutal raid had since Friday left at least 34 people dead and 215 wounded.

"I can't even put to words what I have just witnessed, I'm still shaking," Ahamd Arafah, an eyewitness, said as he recounted the horrific scenes in an interview with the Middle East Eye.

"We were watching the news like everyone, then we heard screaming and went outside. I saw frightening scenes. Blood-covered children, body parts all over the street, people running around confused. It was literally a massacre. There are no other words to describe it. I'm still in shock at what I saw. They were just children. What is their crime?"

Tensions have soared across the coastal enclave and the occupied territories since Friday, when the Israeli regime carried out a massacre against the Gaza Strip, killing scores of people and hitting a series of what it said were military targets.

Palestinian authorities said that 650 housing units have been damaged in the first 24 hours of the Israeli onslaught on Gaza, which has targeted several residential towers.

Israel stopped the planned transport of fuel into Gaza before it struck on Friday, crippling the territory's lone power plant and reducing electricity to around eight hours per day, and drawing warnings from health officials that hospitals would be severely impacted within days.

In response to the brutal Israeli airstrikes, Palestinian resistance forces fired more than 400 rockets at Israel, setting off air raid sirens and sending settlers running to bomb shelters.

The Islamic Jihad called the retaliatory barrage only an “initial response” to the Israeli bloodbath, with the Palestinian resistance movement's Secretary General Ziad al-Nakhalah saying the Israeli enemy must expect a "non-stop" confrontation in the wake of the aggression.

According to a report by Reuters Egypt said it was engaged in intensive talks to calm the situation.

An Egyptian intelligence delegation headed by Major General Ahmed Abdelkhaliq arrived in Israel on Saturday and would be traveling to Gaza for mediation talks, hoping to secure a day's ceasefire in order to carry out the talks, the report citing unnamed Egyptian security sources added.

Israel said on Saturday it is preparing for its aerial operation in Gaza to last a week, saying there are currently no discussions on a ceasefire with Islamic Jihad. The military “is preparing for the operation to last week" and is "not currently holding ceasefire negotiations,” it said.

Last May, Gaza’s resistance groups fired around 4,000 rockets during the 11-day Operation Sword of al-Quds after the Israeli regime initiated the war, which marked the fourth wholesale military campaign by the occupying regime against the densely-populated Palestinian enclave.

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News Network
August 11,2022

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Bengaluru, Aug 11: BJP National General Secretary C T Ravi has dared Chamarajpet Congress MLA Zameer Ahmed Khan to prevent the efforts of Hindutva activists to install a Ganesha idol in Chamarajpet Idgah Maidan. 

“The Ganesha idol will be installed at the maidan if we make up our minds. The maidan isn’t the property of Zameer Ahmed Khan. We’ll install the Ganesha idol and celebrate the festival in a grand way. Let him stop us from installing the idol,” he told reporters.

“Why should we take his permission to install an idol at the maidan?” he asked, adding, “We are not installing the idol in Arab countries”.

Following the row, Khan visited the City Police Commissioner’s office and spoke to CH Pratap Reddy. Meanwhile, DCP (West) Laxman B Nimbargi held a peace meeting with leaders of Muslim religious organisations.

He instructed the leaders not to take any step that will disturb law and order. He also warned them that police will take serious action if anyone indulges in activities that disturb peace. 

On Tuesday, Nimbargi met leaders of Hindu organisations and told them the same. The police said they are focusing on the Independence Day celebrations at the maidan, later they will look into the Ganesha festival issue.

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