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NATO chief rules out troop deployment to Ukraine

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Helsinki, June 7 (IANS) The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has said that NATO has no plans to deploy forces to Ukraine.

At a joint press conference with Finnish President Alexander Stubb on the second day of his two-day visit to Finland, Stoltenberg on Thursday said that “we are focusing on how we can establish a stronger framework for our support” to Ukraine.

Echoing Stoltenberg’s position, Stubb also said that Finland has no plans to send troops to Ukraine, adding that Finland is in discussions with allies about options for supporting Ukraine, Xinhua news agency reported.

At the press conference, Stoltenberg also noted that he saw no imminent military threat against any NATO ally from Russia, and not even after the end of the conflict.

“This idea that there is a kind of a countdown to the next war is wrong,” he said.

Stubb also believes the idea of a Russian attack is implausible.

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–IANS

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Nurse, security guards injured after knife assault in Sydney hospital

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Sydney, June 22 (IANS) A male offender armed with a knife has been arrested after three security guards and one nurse got injured at a Sydney hospital.

At around 11:30 p.m. local time on Friday night, police were called to a hospital in Westmead following reports of a man having assaulted staff, reports Xinhua news agency.

The health precinct is located approximately 20 km west of Sydney’s central business district.

Upon arrival, officers were informed that a 39-year-old man had stabbed two male security guards, aged 25 and 24, respectively, with a third male security guard suffering a dislocated shoulder.

Besides, a 29-year-old male nurse also sustained minor injuries.

New South Wales Police Force confirmed that the male offender remains under police guard at the hospital, and inquiries are ongoing.

As per reports from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, he was a patient of the hospital, and all four staff members sustained injuries while attempting to subdue him.

–IANS

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Death toll from heavy rain in Central America rises to 30

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Mexico City, June 22 (IANS) At least 30 people have died from heavy rain this season in the three Central American countries of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, according to authorities of these three countries.

Luis Alonso Amaya, director of El Salvador’s national civil protection system, told local media that 19 people had been killed due to heavy rains, including two minors.

The minors were buried in a house located in the Soyapango district in the municipality of San Salvador, reports Xinhua news agency, citing Amaya.

The Salvadoran authorities’ report on the damage caused by the heavy rains has so far recorded more than 1,500 incidents, 706 fallen trees, 521 obstructed roads and 2,582 evacuated people.

In Guatemala, at least ten people died, five were injured, and 376 were sheltered as of 9 a.m. on Friday due to the rains, according to the National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction.

Official figures also showed 239 roads and 27 schools were affected, along with 3,245 houses with slight, moderate and severe damage.

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The risk and contingency management secretariat of Honduras has so far recorded one death as a result of the rains and more than 6,000 people affected, 945 of whom were evacuated.

According to experts, the continuous rainfall in Central America this week is due to the influence of several low-pressure systems in the region.

–IANS

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ADB approves $250 million loan to Pakistan for sustainable investment

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Islamabad, June 22 (IANS) The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has signed an agreement for a 250 million US dollar policy-based loan to assist Pakistan’s sustainable investments in infrastructure and services through public-private partnerships.

The bank’s country director for Pakistan, Ye Yong, and Secretary of the Economic Affairs Division (EAD) of Pakistan, Kazim Niaz, signed the agreement here on Friday, according to a statement on the ADB’s official X handle.

In a statement released to the media, the EAD said the program’s core objective is to strengthen the governance framework and enable an environment for public-private partnerships at the federal government level, reports Xinhua news agency.

The mission will be achieved by strengthening the policy, legal, and institutional frameworks for public investment management and public financial management, the statement said.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Niaz said the program would go a long way to achieve the target of involvement of the private sector in the development process, the EAD added.

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–IANS

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Sheikh Hasina receives ceremonial welcome at Rashtrapati Bhawan

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New Delhi, June 22 (IANS) Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina received a ceremonial welcome at the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhawan on Saturday.

PM Modi welcomed his Bangladesh counterpart at the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Later, she paid tributes to the Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat.

It is PM Hasina’s second visit to the country in June.

Hasina arrived in New Delhi on Friday at the invitation of PM Modi to hold bilateral consultations.

The visiting PM met External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar on Friday evening.

After meeting the Bangladesh PM, EAM Jaishankar posted on X, “Delighted to call on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh this evening. Her State visit to India underlines our close and abiding ties. Appreciate her guidance on the further development of our special partnership.”

During her visit, Prime Minister Hasina will hold bilateral consultations with PM Modi besides her scheduled meeting with President Droupadi Murmu and Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar.

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Sheikh Hasina was among the international leaders who attended the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister Modi and the Union Council of Ministers on June 9, underscoring the importance of Bangladesh-India relations.

–IANS

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Death toll from Israeli bombing in Rafah rises to 25

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Gaza, June 22 (IANS) At least 25 Palestinians were killed due to gunfire and shells from Israeli tanks in the Al-Mawasi area, west of the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah, the Hamas-run health authorities said.

The authorities said in a statement that 50 others were wounded on Friday in the Israeli attacks on tents for displaced people, and all victims were transferred to the hospital, reports Xinhua news agency.

Meanwhile, Palestinian security sources reported that two Israeli tanks fired dozens of shells in the Shakoush area, west of Rafah, and one of the tanks fired a shell at the displaced people, resulting in casualties.

There was no immediate comment from the Israeli army on the incident.

–IANS

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