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PM Modi and Austrian Chancellor agree to strengthen ties, discuss conflict in Ukraine and West Asia

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PM Modi and Austrian Chancellor agree to strengthen ties, discuss
 conflict in Ukraine and West Asia

Vienna, July 10 (IANS) India and Austria have identified “new possibilities” to further strengthen mutual cooperation besides also deciding to give a strategic direction to their bilateral ties, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced here on Wednesday.

Making a joint statement along with Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer, Prime Minister Modi, who arrived in Vienna from Moscow on Tuesday evening, said that he also held detailed discussions on the current geopolitical situation in the world.

“Chancellor Nehammer and I have discussed in detail all the ongoing disputes in the world, whether it is the conflict in Ukraine or the situation in West Asia. I have said it earlier also that this is not the time for war,” he said.

PM Modi noted that mutual trust and shared interests have strengthened India-Austria relations.

“Today I had a very fruitful conversation with Chancellor Nehammer. Shared beliefs in values such as democracy and the rule of law are the strong foundation of India-Austria relations. We both strongly condemn terrorism. We agree that it is not acceptable in any form. It cannot be justified in any way. We also agree to reform the United Nations and other international organizations to make them contemporary and effective,” he said.

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Earlier, the PM was accorded a ceremonial welcome at the Federal Chancery as he began his landmark visit to Austria, the first by an Indian Prime Minister to the country in 41 years.

Scripting a new chapter in bilateral relations, he was warmly received by Chancellor Nehammer who had last week called the Indian Prime Minister’s visit to Vienna as a “special honour”.

The Austrian Chancellor hosted PM Modi for a private engagement as the Indian PM arrived from Moscow on Tuesday evening. This was the first meeting between the two leaders and comes at a time when the two countries are marking 75 years of diplomatic relations. He said that discussions on realising the “full potential” of bilateral partnership lie ahead.

Prime Minister Modi thanked Chancellor Nehammer for the “warm welcome” and said that he was looking forward to the discussions on Wednesday as both nations continue working together to further global good. Besides holding talks with Chancellor Nehammer, PM Modi is also scheduled to call on Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen, address business leaders from India and Austria and interact with members of the Indian community in Vienna.

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–IANS

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Death toll from Philippine floods, landslides rises to 21

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Death toll from Philippine floods, landslides rises to 21

Death toll from Philippine floods, landslides rises to 21

Manila, July 25 (IANS) The death toll in the Philippine floods and landslides triggered by southwest monsoon enhanced by typhoon Gaemi has climbed to 21, police said on Thursday.

In a preliminary report, police said seven people died in the Philippine capital region Manila, three in Cavite province, five in Batangas province, and three in Rizal province. Police also reported that one died in Bulacan province and another two in Angeles City in Pampanga province.

The cause of death mainly was drowning, landslides, fallen trees, and electrocution, Xinhua news agency reported.

The Philippines’ national disaster agency has yet to report deaths due to the twin effects of southwest monsoon and Gaemi, which exits the Philippines on Thursday morning.

Gaemi, the third typhoon to lash the Philippines this year, has dumped rains, triggering flash floods and landslides in Metro Manila and many regions.

Aside from taking lives, Gaemi submerged and destroyed houses, primarily shanties in coastal and riverside communities, and swept away cars.

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Displaced residents spent Wednesday night in covered courts, schoolhouses, churches, and other makeshift evacuation centers while waiting for the floodwaters in their areas to recede.

The Philippines is one of the most disaster-prone countries globally, mainly due to its location in the Pacific Ring of Fire and the Pacific typhoon belt. On average, the archipelagic country experiences 20 typhoons yearly, some intense and destructive.

–IANS

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Australian shipwreck found 55 years after maritime disaster

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Australian shipwreck found 55 years after maritime disaster

Australian shipwreck found 55 years after maritime disaster

Canberra, July 25 (IANS) Researchers from Australia’s national science agency have solved one of the country’s biggest maritime mysteries by discovering the wreck of a ship that sank over 50 years ago.

The motor vessel (MV) Noongah was carrying steel between the east coast cities of Newcastle and Townsville on August 25, 1969, when it encountered a storm and sank, triggering one of the largest searches for survivors in Australian maritime history, Xinhua news agency reported.

Of the 26 crew on board at the time of the incident, 21 died. Only one body was recovered and the wreck was never found.

However, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) on Thursday announced it has confirmed the final resting place of the 71-meter freighter.

The CSIRO’s advanced research vessel (RV) Investigator surveyed an unidentified shipwreck in June 2024, collecting video footage and high-resolution seafloor mapping data.

In collaboration with experts from New South Wales (NSW) Heritage and NGO The Sydney Project the team was able to identify the wreck as the MV Noongah.

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The investigation showed the wreck is sitting upright at a depth of 170 meters.

Matt Kimber from the CSIRO’s Marine National Facility (MNF) informed stakeholders including surviving crew members and the families of the sailors who died, of the outcome of the RV Investigator survey.

The data and vision collected by the CSIRO have been provided to the project partners to allow planning for a dive by The Sydney Project to collect additional vision of the wreck.

–IANS

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Israel recovers bodies of five hostages from Gaza

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Israel recovers bodies of five hostages from Gaza

Israel recovers bodies of five hostages from Gaza

Jerusalem, July 25 (IANS) The bodies of five Israeli people, who were held hostages by Hamas after the attack on the country, have been recovered, Israeli forces said on Thursday.

They were identified as Maya Goren from Kibbutz Nir Oz and four soldiers, whose bodies were held hostage, according to a joint statement released by the Israeli military and the Shin Bet internal security agency. The soldiers — Oren Goldin, Tomer Ahimas, Ravid Aryeh Katz, and Kiril Brodski — were killed in combat with Hamas militants on October 7, 2023, Xinhua news agency reported.

The bodies were retrieved in an operation carried out in Gaza on Wednesday by commando and Shin Bet forces and taken to Israel for identification, according to the statement.

Kibbutz Nir Oz, one of the communities most severely affected by Hamas’ assault, released a statement saying that Goren, a 56-year-old kindergarten teacher, was “brought home for burial” after nine months of being held in Gaza. Israeli authorities said in December 2023 that she was believed to be dead.

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With about 110 people still being held hostage in Gaza, at least a third of them are feared dead, according to Israeli estimates.

–IANS

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Three killed in road accident in Afghanistan

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Three killed in road accident in Afghanistan

Three killed in road accident in Afghanistan

Charikar, July 25 (IANS) Three commuters lost their lives and three others were injured following a road accident in Afghanistan’s Parwan province on Thursday morning, police said.

The accident occurred in Siagard district when a passenger car rammed into a truck, leaving three dead including two women, and injuring three others, said Fazal Rahim Muskinyar, spokesman for the provincial police.

Three women, who were injured in the accident, were transported to the provincial hospital for treatment, Xinhua news agency reported.

Dilapidated roads, reckless driving, overspeeding, overloading, and lack of safety measures often cause deadly accidents in Afghanistan.

–IANS

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One missing after oil tanker capsizes in Philippines

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One missing after oil tanker capsizes in Philippines

One missing after oil tanker capsizes in Philippines

Manila, July 25 (IANS) One person went missing after an oil tanker sank in the Philippines’ Bataan province on Thursday, Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) personnel said.

Rear Admiral Armando Balilo said the vessel, Motor Tanker Terra Nova, carrying 1.4 million litters of industrial fuel oil, capsized and eventually sank 3.6 nautical miles east of Limay town around 1:10 a.m. local time Thursday, Xinhua news agency reported.

Balilo said the vessel was sailing south to Iloilo province in the central Philippines when the accident happened.

Balilo said the Coast Guardsmen rescued 16 of the 17 crew, four of whom were injured. “The search and rescue operation for the missing crew is ongoing,” he added.

According to Balilo, a marine environmental protection team has been sent to the area to combat oil spills, and an investigation is underway to find the cause of the accident.

–IANS

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