'This is a war on children,' warns UNICEF after Israel resumes bombing Gaza

News Network
December 2, 2023

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UNICEF has sounded a strong warning about the toll being exacted on children in the Gaza Strip, which has come under a renewed and genocidal Israeli war.

"We cannot see more children with the wounds of war, with the burns, with the shrapnel littering their bodies, with the broken bones," James Elder, spokesman for the United Nations children's agency, said on Friday.

"Inaction by those with influence is allowing the killing of children. This is a war on children," he added.

The regime launched the war against Gaza on October 7 following an operation staged by the territory's resistance movements.

The war killed more than 15,500 people, most of them women and children, across the coastal sliver until last week when an Egyptian- and Qatari-mediated truce took effect. Israel restarted the military campaign earlier on Friday, following the truce, killing nearly 200 more people.

Thousands more are missing and feared buried under rubble.

Speaking earlier this month, the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the besieged Palestinian territory was turning into "a graveyard for children."

"The health system here is overwhelmed," Elder said.

"I cannot overstate how the capacity has been reduced of hospitals in the last seven weeks," he added.

"Clearly words, clearly pleas from the world do not make a difference on those who have the power to stop the killing, the maiming of children."

The remarks came amid untrammeled military and political support for the war on the part of the United States, Israel's biggest and oldest ally.

The US has provided the regime with thousands of arms consignments since the initiation of the war.

Washington, which has backed Tel Aviv's ferocious attacks on Gaza as a means of "self-defense," has also been casting its veto against the UN Security Council resolutions that would call on the occupying regime to cease its aggression.

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News Network
February 27,2024

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Abu Dhabi, Feb 27: The first Hindu stone temple in Abu Dhabi, which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier this month, will be opened to the public from March 1, according to the temple authorities.

The temple has been built by the Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) Swaminarayan Sanstha on a 27-acre site in Abu Mureikhah, near Al Rahba off the Dubai-Abu Dhabi Sheikh Zayed Highway, at a cost of around Rs 700 crore.

The grand temple was inaugurated by Prime Minister Modi on February 14 during a dedication ceremony attended by over 5,000 invitees. From February 15 to 29, overseas devotees who had registered in advance or VIP guests were allowed to visit the temple.

“The temple will be open to the public from March 1 from 9 AM to 8 PM. The temple will remain closed for visitors every Monday,” a temple spokesperson said.

Constructed with 18 lakh bricks and 1.8 lakh cubic metres of sandstone sourced directly from Rajasthan, the temple has been made in the Nagara style of architecture, just like the recently inaugurated Ram Temple in Ayodhya.

According to the temple authorities, the grand temple has been built as per an ancient style of construction and creation mentioned in the Shilpa and Sthapathya Shastras, Hindu scriptures which describe the art for mandir design and construction.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has at least 3.5 million Indians who are part of the Indian workforce in the Gulf. The land for the temple was donated by the UAE government.

The BAPS Hindu Mandir is the largest in the entire Gulf region. The UAE has three other Hindu temples in Dubai.

Seven spires representing the seven Emirates of the UAE, carvings of camels, and national bird falcon, are part of the architecture of the stone temple, to give equal representation to the host country.

“The seven spires have idols of deities, including Lord Ram, Lord Shiv, Lord Jagannath, Lord Krishna, Lord Swaminarayan (considered a reincarnation of Lord Krishna), Tirupati Balaji and Lord Ayappa. The seven shikhars represent the seven Emirates of the UAE,” Swami Brahmaviharidas, head of international relations for BAPS, had told PTI.

To give equal representation to the host country, along with animals like elephants, camels and lions that occupy an important place in Indian mythology, the UAE’s national bird, the falcon, has also been included in the temple design.

Apart from 15 tales from India, including the Ramayana and Mahabharata, stories from Mayan, Aztec, Egyptian, Arabic, European, Chinese and African civilisations have also been depicted in the temple.

While the outer walls of the temple are made using sandstone from India, the interior, made of white Italian marble, is adorned with intricately designed and carved columns and walls.

Other noteworthy architectural elements include two ghumats (domes), 12 samrans (dome-like structures) and 402 pillars. The two ghumats are the “Dome of Peace” and “Dome of Harmony”.
On the two sides of the temple, holy water flows from Ganga and Yamuna, which was brought from India in huge containers.

The temple’s facade features exquisite marble carvings set against a sandstone backdrop, crafted from more than 25,000 pieces of stone by skilled artisans from Rajasthan and Gujarat. A substantial number of pink sandstone were transported from northern Rajasthan to Abu Dhabi for the temple.

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News Network
February 23,2024

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Bengaluru, Feb 23: The opposition BJP and JD(S) staged a protest against the Congress government in Karnataka over passing of resolutions against Narendra Modi-led administration’s step motherly treatment, which rocked the Legislative Assembly proceedings on Friday, forcing adjournments.

The Business Advisory Committee (BAC) of the Assembly, meanwhile, at its meeting Chaired by Speaker U T Khader decided to extend the session by a day to Monday, which was otherwise scheduled to conclude today, for passage of the finance bill and Chief Minister’s reply to discussion on the Budget.

The Opposition demanded that the government withdraw the resolutions.

Leader of Opposition R Ashoka even read out a “counter resolution” condemning the resolutions moved and passed by the government on Thursday as “false, imaginary and politically motivated”, and accused the government of blaming the Centre to hide its failures.

As the opposition’s resolution was read without following due procedures and without the consent of the Speaker, it was not considered or put to vote.

The state government had on Thursday moved and ensured passage of resolutions urging the union government to make sure that no injustice is done to the state in allocation of financial resources, and to frame a legislation regarding fixation of MSP for all crops of farmers.

As the House met for the day on Friday, BJP and JD(S) members trooped into the well of the House.

Ashoka said resolutions were brought against the central government all of a sudden and unilaterally, without bringing it to their notice or discussing it at the BAC meeting; it was also not mentioned in the agenda.

“Why did the government bring the resolution in a hush hush manner, despite having a majority in the House? They could have mentioned it in the agenda and introduced the resolution openly as per procedure and we too would have put forward our stand and objections against the resolutions.

Assembly and its rules have been insulted,” he said while demanding that the resolutions be withdrawn.

Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister H K Patil, who had moved the resolution on Thursday, defended the government’s action and said the resolution was passed keeping the interest of Karnataka and its people in mind. It was against the injustice meted out to the state and was with facts and figures.

“We had moved the resolution and it was brought by the large number of members of this House. It is the unanimous voice of the people of Karnataka and I condemn the opposition’s objections to this unanimous voice of seven crore people of the state,” he said.

Noting that the government doesn’t need opposition’s consent to bring any resolution in the interest of the people of the state, Patil said resolutions have been moved and passed as per law and there is no question of withdrawing it. “You (opposition) introspect whether you are for Karnataka’s interest or want to do politics.” This elicited a sharp reaction from Ashoka, who asked what Congress MPs from Karnataka were doing in the Parliament, instead of raising the issue there, to which Minister Krishna Byre Gowda retorted by saying that BJP’s 25 MPs in Lok Sabha from the State never raised any issue in the interest of the state. This led to heated arguments between both sides.

Former Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said the Congress which ruled the country for about 55 years in 75 years of independent India, had kept the devolution of funds to states at 20 per cent for a long time; it took 30 years to raise it to 30 per cent after protests and struggle by several states.

The UPA government for 10 years did not heed to the demand of raising it to 40 per cent, but the Modi government soon after coming to power raised it to 42 per cent.

This led to a strong counter from the Congress side, forcing the Speaker to adjourn the House for some time.

As the House met again, BJP continued to protest from the well of the House, even as Minister Krinsha Byre Gowda requested them to allow the proceedings to go on normally.

To this, Ashoka said, they will withdraw the protest if the government withdraws the resolution.

The state government wants confrontation with the Centre, he further claimed. “If you (govt) don’t want to withdraw your resolution, the chair should allow us to move a resolution in favour of the central government, and let’s discuss it.” With both sides refusing to budge and BJP-JD(S) continuing to protest from the well of the House, the Speaker tried to transact some business amid sloganeering by opposition members.

Amidst the din, the Speaker allowed tabling of certain reports and passage of two bills without any discussion. Even as the Speaker was putting the bills to vote for its passage, Ashoka read out the opposition’s counter resolution, which was neither considered by the Chair, nor it was put to vote.

As the chaos continued, the Speaker adjourned the House to Monday. 

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News Network
February 19,2024

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Former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev has threatened Washington, Berlin, London and Kiev with nuclear attacks if Russia is forced to retreat from Ukraine.

Medvedev, deputy secretary of the Russian Security Council and a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin wrote on Telegram on Sunday that if Moscow is forced to give up Ukrainian territory it has taken control of, it will “not hesitate” to make a “difficult decision.”

“Attempts to restore Russia’s 1991 borders will lead only to one thing — a global war with Western countries with the use of our entire strategic (nuclear) arsenal against Kiev, Berlin, London, and Washington. And against all other beautiful historic places that have long been included in the flight targets of our nuclear triad,” he wrote.

He added that Russia will have “enough guts” to take action if the country is “on the verge of extinction.”

“It’s better to return everything before it’s too late. Or we will return it ourselves with maximum losses for the enemy. Like in Avdiivka,” he concluded.

Over the weekend, Ukrainian forces were forced to withdraw from the country’s eastern town of Avdiivka after a yearlong battle.

Earlier this month, Medvedev also took to X, formerly Twitter, to criticize NATO allies for their “dangerous babbling” about a potential wider war with Russia.

“The response will be asymmetrical,” he wrote. “To defend our country’s territorial integrity, ballistic and cruise missiles carrying special warheads will be put to use. It is based on our military doctrine documents and is well known to all. And this is exactly that very Apocalypse. The end to everything.”

Russia launched its special military operation in Ukraine in February 2022 to defend the pro-Russian population in the eastern Ukrainian regions of Luhansk and Donetsk against persecution by Kiev, and also to “de-Nazify” its neighbor.

In the same year, Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk, Luhansk, and Kherson joined the Russian Federation after holding referendums.

Putin said at the time that Kiev and its backers have to respect the will of the people, vowing to defend the Russian land with all means.

The US-led Western alliance has vowed to back Kiev for as long as the war against Russia continues, flooding Ukraine with weapons and munitions, which Russia says will only prolong the war.

In May 2022, Medvedev said that if the West supplied Ukraine with weapons, the move would increase “the likelihood of a direct and open conflict between NATO and Russia.”

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