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Iran busts 'terrorist team' at borders: Report

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Iran busts 'terrorist team' at borders: Report

Tehran, July 10 (IANS) The forces of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) have dismantled a “terrorist team” at the country’s northwestern borders, the official news agency IRNA reported.

Members of the “counter-revolutionary terrorist team” sought to enter Iran through the northwestern borders but were ambushed and smashed early on Tuesday by the forces of the IRGC Ground Force’s Hamzeh Seyyed Al-Shohada Base in the West Azerbaijan province, the IRNA said quoting a statement of the base.

A number of the “terrorists” were killed and wounded in the armed clash with the IRGC forces, and their equipment was confiscated, reports Xinhua news agency, citing the statement.

However, the statement did not specify the terrorists’ affiliation or identity and the location of the operation.

The IRGC base also warned that any action against Iran’s security and territorial integrity would receive a decisive and firm response.

Iran’s West Azarbaijan province has borders with Iraq and Turkey.

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–IANS

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India, Bhutan review implementation modalities & cooperation in diverse areas of development partnership

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India, Bhutan review implementation modalities & cooperation in diverse areas of development partnership

India, Bhutan review implementation modalities & cooperation in diverse areas of development partnership

Thimpu, July 20 (IANS) Indian Foreign Secretary Vikram Misri on Saturday co-chaired the 3rd Development Cooperation Talks of the 13th Five Year Plan (FYP) with his Bhutanese counterpart Aum Pema Choden and reviewed implementation modalities and cooperation in diverse areas of development partnership of the two countries.

Highlighting the significant development projects carried out throughout the years of bilateral ties between the two nations, the Indian Embassy in Thimpu said that many development projects were implemented under 12 FYPs across various sectors.

“India is extending development support of INR/Nu. 100 billion for the 13th Plan period as per priorities of the Royal Government,” the Embassy informed in a post on social media platform X, adding that the funds will further be used in sectors such as connectivity, infrastructure, cultural heritage, health, education, energy, agriculture, skilling, and digital economy.

Additionally, the two Foreign Secretaries virtually inaugurated 19 schools in Bhutan, which were constructed during the 12th FYP period.

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On Friday, Misri called on Bhutanese Prime Minister Lyonchhen Dasho Tshering Tobgay and Foreign Minister Lyonpo D. N. Dhungyel.

They discussed bilateral matters of mutual interest and reaffirmed the close bonds of friendship the two nations share and their commitment to strengthen India-Bhutan ties across all sectors further.

Misri is on a two-day visit to Bhutan, which is also his first abroad tour after assuming charge of the country’s foreign secretary.

–IANS

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Egypt, Arab League embrace ICJ's call to end Israeli occupation in Palestinian territories

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Egypt, Arab League embrace ICJ's call to end Israeli occupation in Palestinian territories

Egypt, Arab League embrace ICJ's call to end Israeli occupation in Palestinian territories

Cairo, July 20 (IANS) Egypt and the Arab League welcomed the call of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to end Israel’s “unlawful” presence in the occupied Palestinian territories.

In a statement, Egypt’s foreign ministry called upon all international parties to uphold and implement the ICJ’s advisory opinion, emphasising the need to facilitate the Palestinian people’s legitimate right to self-determination, Xinhua news agency reported.

Earlier in the day, the top UN court issued a non-binding opinion declaring Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem as violations of international law, urging Israel to withdraw from the occupied territories “as rapidly as possible.”

Egypt also urged the UN General Assembly and Security Council to take necessary measures to end Israel’s presence in Palestinian territories, underscoring the collective responsibility of all nations to alleviate the plight of the Palestinian people and halt ongoing Israeli violations and attacks in Gaza.

Meanwhile, Secretary-General of the League of Arab States (AL) Ahmed Aboul-Gheit echoed Egypt’s sentiments, welcoming the ICJ’s advisory opinion in a separate statement.

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Aboul-Gheit asserted that the court’s opinion serves as a crucial legal foundation for affirming the Palestinian narrative, providing it with necessary legitimacy and legal credibility amid Israel’s attempts to distort the conflict’s nature and origins.

The Arab League chief emphasised the advisory opinion’s substantial legal and moral weight as compelling evidence to counter Israeli arguments, highlighting its pivotal role in the ongoing discourse.

However, Israel rejected the ICJ’s opinion. In a press statement on Friday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded that “the legality of Israeli settlements in all the territories of our homeland cannot be contested.”

He emphasised Israel’s historical connection to the land, stating that “the Jewish people are not conquerors in their own land.”

The ICJ issued the advisory opinion in response to a request from the UN General Assembly regarding the legal implications of Israel’s occupation.

The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution in December 2022 seeking the ICJ’s opinion on the legal consequences of Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem.

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Israel captured the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip in the 1967 Middle East war and has controlled them ever since, despite international protests over its occupancy in these areas.

–IANS

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Over 300 Indian students return home as anti-quota protests in Bangladesh heat up

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Over 300 Indian students return home as anti-quota protests in Bangladesh heat up

Over 300 Indian students return home as anti-quota protests in Bangladesh heat up

New Delhi, July 20 (IANS) Over 300 Indian students in Bangladesh were forced to return home as the anti-quota protests, that have led to students and security forces clashing, resulted in the killing of at least 104 and injuring over 2,500 people so far.

The neighbouring nation has been witnessing widespread protests for weeks over the reintroduction of reservation in government jobs.

Students, mostly hailing from Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Meghalaya and Jammu & Kashmir, returned by crossing border points in the northeast on Friday.

Taking a six-hour-long journey through cabs and security escorts, the students reached India from two main routes: the international land port at Akhurah near Agartala in Tripura and the international land port at Dawki in Meghalaya.

The near-total internet shutdown and severely impacted telephone services disrupted the contact of Indian students with their families, prompting them to leave Bangladesh temporarily.

The clashes between students, government supporters and security forces began last month, however, the tensions escalated on Monday when students clashed at Dhaka University, killing six people on Tuesday and leading the government to close all the universities in the country.

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The students, outraged by the high unemployment rate in the country, took to the streets demanding the quashing of the reinstatement of 30 per cent reservation quota for the families of veterans of the 1971 Independence War.

The quota system in government jobs was scrapped in 2018 after a major student movement but was reinstated by a court in June.

On Wednesday, during an address to the nation, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina asserted that there is an opportunity to resolve the issue through a legal process as the government has already appealed to the apex court against the court’s verdict, and a hearing date has been fixed in the Appellate Division.

“It is a matter of sorrow that some vested quarters started making different kinds of statements and engaged in terrorist activities to gain their ambitious intentions centring on this movement. As the matter has been brought before the top court, I call upon all to keep patience,” said the Bangladesh PM.

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–IANS

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Canadian PM announces change of cabinet

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Canadian PM announces change of cabinet

Canadian PM announces change of cabinet

Ottawa, July 20 (IANS) Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a change to the cabinet.

According to a news release from the prime minister’s office, Trudeau named Steven MacKinnon as Canada’s new minister of labour and seniors, filling a vacancy left by outgoing minister Seamus O’Regan, Xinhua news agency reported.

MacKinnon was sworn in to his new role Friday morning, shifting from his current role as Leader of the Government in the House of Commons.

Minister Karina Gould will resume her role as Leader of the Government in the House of Commons upon her expected return from parental leave at the end of July, the release said.

–IANS

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ALSO READ:  Yoav Gallant calls ICC parallel between Israel and Hamas 'despicable'
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UN issues stamps to mark International Moon Day

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UN issues stamps to mark International Moon Day

UN issues stamps to mark International Moon Day

Vienna, July 20 (IANS) The United Nations (UN) Postal Administration has issued six postage stamps and three souvenir sheets featuring images from lunar missions, including China’s Chang’e project, to celebrate International Moon Day on July 20.

The stamps and souvenir sheets showcase China’s Chang’e 4 and Chang’e 5 missions, as well as lunar exploration missions from other countries, including the United States, South Korea, and India.

Aarti Holla-Maini, director of the Vienna-based United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, noted the growing international interest in lunar exploration. She said the new stamps will help raise awareness about lunar missions and emphasised that the UN will use its unique convening power to promote essential dialog on future endeavors.

The stamps and souvenir sheets are available for purchase at the UN headquarters in New York, Geneva and Vienna as well as on the UN website.

In 2021, the UN General Assembly designated July 20 as International Moon Day to commemorate the anniversary of the first human landing on the Moon during the Apollo 11 mission.

ALSO READ:  10 killed, 5 missing as heavy rains continue in Sri Lanka (Ld)

–IANS

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