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India calls for universal condemnation of countries providing arms to terrorists

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India calls for universal condemnation of countries providing arms to terrorists

United Nations, June 20 (IANS) Warning about the increased sophistication of small arms and the use of drones to get them to terrorists, India has called for universal condemnation of countries providing weapons to terrorists.

“The increase in volume and the quality of the arsenal acquired by these terrorist organisations reminds us time and again that they cannot exist without the sponsorship or support of States,” R. Ravindra, the Charge d’Affaires of India’s UN Mission, said.

“This aspect needs to be unequivocally condemned,” he said on Tuesday at the UN Conference reviewing the progress of the programme against illicit small arms. He did not name any country arming terrorists, but Pakistan is principally behind the flow of weapons to terrorists operating against India.

“For several decades, my country has suffered immensely due to cross-border terrorism and violence carried out by terrorist groups using these illicit weapons smuggled across our borders, including now through the use of drones,” Ravindra said.

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“India views illicit possession and misuse of small arms and light weapons by non-state groups and terrorists as a violation of state sovereignty,” he said.

Under-Secretary-General Izumi Nakamitsu, speaking earlier, mentioned the dangers of terrorists getting small arms.

“There is nothing ‘small’ or ‘light’ about the damage these weapons cause,” she said. “They aggravate crime, displacement and terrorism.”

She warned: “The situation is growing worse, as new developments in the manufacturing, technology and design of small arms — such as 3D printing — make their illegal production and trafficking easier than ever before.”

Nakamitsu noted that the New Agenda for Peace proposed last year by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres “calls for regional efforts across borders to stem the flow and trafficking of small arms and light weapons”.

Ravindra proposed a novel programme, Regional 911, bringing together countries in a region to dismantle arms trafficking, and improve tracking and security of small and light weapons to keep them out of the reach of “wrong hands”. He spoke of the scourge of the illicit trade and the transfer of small and light arms in vulnerable areas.

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“In post-conflict situations, we often witness that non-State actors continue to possess these weapons illegally, which hinders disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration efforts,” he said.

“India maintains strict export controls over all munitions and related items, including small arms and light weapons,” he said.

He offered to share the nation’s expertise with countries New Delhi, he noted, is a member of the Wassenaar Arrangement, an international pact against the illegal transfer of arms and dual-use items. (Pakistan and China are not participants in it).

India has also signed all the thirteen counter-terrorism conventions and has ratified the UN Convention on Transnational Organised Crime and its Protocol on Firearms, he added.

(Arul Louis can be contacted at arul.l@ians.in and followed at @arulouis)

–IANS

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Canadian killed by Israeli forces after attempted stabbing attack near Gaza

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Canadian killed by Israeli forces after attempted stabbing attack near Gaza

Canadian killed by Israeli forces after attempted stabbing attack near Gaza

Jerusalem, July 22 (IANS) A Canadian citizen was shot and killed by Israeli forces on Monday after he attempted to stab security personnel outside the Gaza Strip, in what police described as “a terror attack.”

The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) released a press statement saying the suspect arrived at the entrance of Netiv HaAsara, an Israeli community adjacent to the Gaza Strip, after entering Israel as a tourist on Sunday. He stepped out of his vehicle and “threatened with a knife members of the community’s rapid response team operating in the area.”

The team responded with fire and “neutralized” the suspect. The police later pronounced his death, Xinhua news agency reported.

The police released a photo of the kitchen knife and said the suspect used it to perpetrate the attack. Video footage on social networks showed two men opening fire at the suspect before his body was taken into an ambulance.

Israel’s state-owned Kan TV news reported that he was chanting “Free Palestinian!” during the attempted attack and said he was carrying it out because “Israel kills people in Gaza.”

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Israel’s emergency service Magen David Adom reported that there were no other casualties.

–IANS

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Japan-US to hold 2+2 talks in Tokyo

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Japan-US to hold 2+2 talks in Tokyo

Japan-US to hold 2+2 talks in Tokyo

Tokyo, July 22 (IANS) Japan and the United States will be holding Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, the Japan-US Security Consultative Committee (Japan-US 2+2) talks and the Japan-US Ministerial Meeting on Extended Deterrence during the two-day visit of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to Tokyo starting July 28, the Japanese Foreign Ministry announced Monday.

Blinken and Japan’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Yoko Kamikawa, along with US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin and Japanese Defence Minister Minoru Kihara, will also align their views on the security challenges in the Indo-Pacific region during the ‘2+2’ meeting.

The four ministers will take into account the outcomes of security and defence cooperation during Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s visit to Washington in April this year besides discussing future cooperation toward realising a ‘free and open’ Indo-Pacific.

The talks, according to the Japanese Foreign Ministry, will focus on strengthening the deterrence and response capabilities of the Japan-US alliance, and the direction of security and defence cooperation in the region.

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“The four ministers will hold a Japan-US Ministerial Meeting on Extended Deterrence, and will discuss bilateral cooperation to continue to strengthen US extended deterrence, which is enhanced by Japan’s defence capabilities, taking into account the progress of discussions centered on the Japan-US Extended Deterrence Dialogue,” it said.

–IANS

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Chief Russian Prosecutor visits North Korea for first time

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Chief Russian Prosecutor visits North Korea for first time

Chief Russian Prosecutor visits North Korea for first time

Pyongyang, July 22 (IANS) In a first, Russia’s Prosecutor General is visiting North Korea as the two countries continue to bolster ties following the summit meeting between their top leaders last month.

Igor Krasnov arrived in Pyongyang on Monday and will meet with his counterpart and discuss bilateral cooperation with other officials during his visit, his office said in a statement.

Krasnov received a warm welcome from the representatives of the Supreme Prosecutor’s Office upon his arrival at the airport in the North Korean capital.

A major highlight of his visit will be the signing of a cooperation programme between the Prosecutor General’s offices of Russia and North Korea for 2024-2026, along with an updated agreement.

“This visit marks a significant milestone in the relations between the prosecutors’ offices of both countries, which have maintained constructive ties over the past decade based on a Cooperation Agreement signed in 2010,” stated the Russian Prosecutor General’s office.

On Sunday, representatives from the supervisory agency and the Military University of the Russian Ministry of Defence delivered a series of lectures in Pyongyang which majorly covered the main directions and specifics of the activities of the Russian prosecutor’s office.

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Moscow believes that Krasnov’s visit also highlights the ongoing efforts to enhance cooperation and mutual understanding between Russia and North Korea in legal and prosecutorial matters.

Last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Pyongyang – his first trip to North Korea in 24 years – at the invitation of the country’s leader Kim Jong-un.

–IANS

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Typhoon Prapiroon brings rainstorms, strong gusts to China (Ld)

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Typhoon Prapiroon brings rainstorms, strong gusts to China (Ld)

Typhoon Prapiroon brings rainstorms, strong gusts to China (Ld)

Beijing, July 22 (IANS) Many parts of south China witnessed rainstorms and gusty winds from Sunday to Monday morning due to Typhoon Prapiroon, the fourth typhoon of the year, according to local meteorological authorities.

From 8 a.m. local time on Sunday to 10 a.m. on Monday, torrential rain hit eastern, central, and western Hainan.

A total of 12 cities and counties in the island province of Hainan, including the provincial capital Haikou, saw rainfall exceeding 100 mm, Xinhua news agency reported.

The coastal areas and waters off Hainan experienced widespread gusts, with the strongest recorded in Wancheng Town in Wanning City, reaching 38.2 metres per second.

After making landfall in Wanning City around 1:30 a.m. (local time) on Monday, the typhoon moved into the eastern waters of the Beibu Gulf by 10 a.m. (local time)

The meteorological observatory of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region raised the emergency response level for a major meteorological disaster (typhoon) from Level IV to Level III at 9:30 a.m. (local time) on Monday and maintained the yellow alert for a typhoon.

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China has a four-tier emergency response system for flood control, with Level I being the most urgent response and a four-tier, colour-coded weather warning system, with red representing the most severe warning, followed by orange, yellow, and blue.

Eight cities in Guangxi experienced strong winds, with the maximum wind speed recorded in the Weizhou Town of Beihai City, reaching 24.8 metres per second.

During the period, torrential rains hit 19 townships across nine cities in the region, with the maximum rainfall reaching 38.3 mm in the Qiexue Township of Donglan County, according to the regional meteorological observatory.

According to the weather forecast, the centre of the typhoon will move northwestward at a speed of around 15 km per hour, possibly making a second landfall between the Guangxi city of Qinzhou and the Vietnamese city of Haiphong.

The cities of Beihai, Qinzhou, Fangchenggang, and Chongzuo are expected to see an accumulated rainfall of up to 200 mm from Monday to Wednesday due to the typhoon.

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–IANS

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Flood victims in central Myanmar receive aid from donors

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Flood victims in central Myanmar receive aid from donors

Flood victims in central Myanmar receive aid from donors

Yangon, July 22 (IANS) As devastating floods sweep through central Myanmar, thousands of affected residents are receiving badly needed aid, including food, clothing and shelter, from donors and rescuers.

The water level of the Ayeyarwady River in several towns in the Magway region has exceeded the warning marks in recent days, according to the country’s Meteorology and Hydrology Department, Xinhua news agency reported.

“I have experienced flooding in the past. But this year’s flooding saw the water level rise quicker than in previous years. Rescue teams are helping us move our belongings, and generous donors are providing us with clothes, food, and shelter,” said Hnin Nwe Soe, a resident of Magway township in the Magway region.

“I have three children. I didn’t want to risk their safety, so I moved to the road quickly before the situation became more serious,” Soe said, adding that she had not been to work because transportation had been difficult since the water level started rising.

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Myat Mon, 35, another resident of Magway town, said this is the second time she had encountered flooding, the first being five years ago.

Mon, who currently stays in a temporary tent on the road with her family members, said she survived because of the food, clothes, and money provided by the donors.

“I cannot make money for a living because I cannot go to work. I feel sorrowful for this tragedy,” she added.

Arr Puu Tuu and his team, donors from Yangon who helped door-to-door in the flood-affected areas, said they are helping villages near the Ayeyarwady River in the Magway region by donating rice and drinking water.

Kyaw Gyi, a member of a rescue team in the Magway region, said, “The water started rising on July 12. During the flooding, I distributed food donated by the donors to the victims and went to the flooded areas with boats and helped in carrying things and constructing shelters for the victims.”

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“Due to the rising water level of the Ayeyarwady River, over 3,000 acres of beans and pulses have been submerged, while over 800 cattle have died at our village in Thayet township. Nearly 200 households in the Thayet township in Magway have been evacuated,” said U. Mya Win, ward administrator of Thayet township in the Magway region.

“Additionally, there is a risk of cholera due to unclean water. We are facing a scarcity of drinking water because the wells in our village are underwater,” he said.

In Myanmar, July and August are in the middle of the rainy season, and heavy rains are typical during this period, the weather agency said.

–IANS

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