Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar met the President of the 77th session of the General Assembly Csaba Korösi and discussed India's tenure in the Security Council as well as the country's goals during its G20 presidency.
Jaishankar tweeted “Glad to meet @UN_PGA Csaba Korösi in New York. Discussed our UNSC experience, our G20 Presidency goals and the importance of reformed multilateralism,” India assumed the monthly rotating presidency of the Security Council as well as the year-long presidency of the G20 on December 1.
In a tweet, Korösi said it was “always a pleasure” to meet the Indian External Affairs Minister. “Discussed India's G20 Presidency & the ongoing monthly Presidency of the Security Council, UN reforms & maximising synergies on water.”
Jaishankar also had a “good discussion” with Japan's State Minister of Foreign Affairs Yamada Kenji. “As G4 members, India and Japan work together to advance reformed multilateralism. Spoke about the need to take forward IGN process more effectively,” Jaishankar said, referring to the Intergovernmental Negotiations on UN Security Council reform.
The Biden administration in USA has said that it encourages India and China to utilise existing bilateral channels to discuss their disputed boundaries, even as it strongly opposed any "unilateral attempts" to advance territorial claims across the border at the established Line of Actual Control. “We are glad to hear that both sides appear to have quickly disengaged from the clashes. We are closely monitoring the situation,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters at her daily news conference on Tuesday.
Press Secretary was responding to questions on clashes between Indian and Chinese troops on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) on December 9. “We encourage India and China to utilise existing bilateral channels to discuss disputed boundaries. We are glad to see that there has been some disengagement on the clashes at this time,” she said.
On Tuesday, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh told Parliament in New Delhi that the Indian Army thwarted an attempt by China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) to "unilaterally" change the status quo at Yangtse area in Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh on December 9.
"The Indian Army bravely prevented the PLA from encroaching on our territory and forced them to withdraw to their posts. Some soldiers from both sides were injured in the skirmish," he said in his statement in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. There were no fatalities or serious injuries to Indian troops in the scuffle, he added.
Meanwhile, State Department Spokesperson Ned Price also told reporters that the US is closely monitoring the situation between India and China.
Israel's parliament elected a new speaker closely allied to the country's likely next prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, setting the stage for a flurry of contentious new legislation to appease the former leader's expected coalition partners.
Lawmaker Yariv Levin's election as the speaker comes as Netanyahu continues negotiations to forge a coalition government after elections were held last month. With his religious and ultranationalist partners, Netanyahu is set to lead what is expected to be Israel's most right-wing government ever.
Netanyahu's partners have made demands that critics say give too much power to extremist lawmakers and could imperil the country's democratic fundamentals, including sweeping reforms to the country's justice system.
As speaker, Levin, a close Netanyahu confidante, is set to clear the way for votes in the coming days on crucial legislation seen as necessary to make the coalition coalesce.
Among these is a vote to change a law that would pave the way for Netanyahu's key coalition partner, Aryeh Deri, to become a Cabinet minister. Under the law, Deri is legally barred from doing so because of a conviction on probation this year for tax offenses. Critics say the move bends the rules to accommodate a convict and could encourage corruption among politicians.
Two other pieces of legislation will pave the way for two other likely coalition partners — ultranationalists Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben-Gvir — to be granted greater powers over the West Bank Jewish settlement enterprise and the police, respectively.
Resurgent India has a unique strategic character, and will not be an ally of the US, but another great power, a top White House official has said, asserting there is no other bilateral relationship that is being "deepened and strengthened" more rapidly than between the two countries over the last 20 years. Responding to a question on India during his appearance at the Aspen Security Forum meeting here, Kurt Campbell, the White House Asia Coordinator, said that in his view India is the most important bilateral relationship for the United States in the 21st century.
"India has a unique strategic character. It will not be an ally of the United States rather it will have an independent global presence. It has the desire to be an independent, powerful state and it will be another great power. But I think there are reasons to believe that our strategic alignment is growing across the board in almost every arena," Campbell said. There are inhibitions in both of the bureaucracies and there are many challenges, he acknowledged
We are unaware of any bilateral relationship that is being deepened and strengthened more rapidly than the United States and India over the last 20 years," he told a Washington audience. The United States needs to invest even more of its capacity, and build in people-to-people ties, working together on technology and other issues, he said.
The notorious morality police, which was crushing the anti-hijab protests, has been disbanded
Have the Ayatollahs blinked on hijab in Iran? Perhaps, if Attorney General Mohammad Javad Montazeri’s statement is anything to go by. The morality police, he said, “was abolished by the same authorities who installed it.” State media reports suggest that he said this on Saturday during a meeting at which officials were discussing the anti-hijab unrest; the morality police have been violently trying to suppress for months. The theocratic Government, however, has neither confirmed nor denied the abolition. In fact, there are conflicting signals from the powers that be. The state-owned Arabic television channel, Al Alam, has claimed that Montazeri’s statement has been taken out of context; other state channels also maintain that the Government remains firm on mandatory hijab law. Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian, however, says something else. At a press conference in Belgrade, Serbia, when asked about the morality police, he did not deny the abolition. He said, “In Iran, everything is moving forward well in the framework of democracy and freedom.” Not very unequivocal, but the allusion was for all to notice. Even if the morality police have not been removed, it is indubitable that the protests, which began months ago after a young woman was beaten to death by moral cops for not wearing the hijab properly, have rattled the top authorities in Tehran. Around 450 people, including children, have died in the demonstrations across the country, and yet there are few signs of the movement subsiding.
As in the case of protests in China over Beijing’s stupid zero-Covid policy which has exhibited anti-Xi Jinping feelings, the campaign against the Islamic headscarf too may be becoming anti-theocracy. The people of Iran have suffered a lot of depredations at the hands of Islamist hotheads who, Amnesty’s 2021 report says, “heavily suppress the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly. They banned independent political parties, trade unions and civil society organisations, censored the media and jammed satellite television channels.” Security and intelligence officials arbitrarily arrest those whose social media postings they find “counter-revolutionary” or “un-Islamic”—which could be practically anything. For instance, women not covering their heads are un-Islamic, as also are men who wear ties with suits. Several thousand men, women and children were interrogated, unfairly prosecuted and/or arbitrarily detained solely for peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly, the human rights body reported. Protesters, journalists, dissidents, artists, writers, teachers and dual nationals were among them. Also among them were human rights activists, women’s rights defenders, votaries of LGBTI people’s rights, labour rights and minority rights, environmentalists, etc. Hopefully, the anti-hijab movement becomes a watershed moment in Iran’s history—between an Orwellian state with Islamist characteristics and a liberal democracy.
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has revealed that he experienced racism growing up in the UK but the country has made incredible progress since then in confronting the issue. Today, Britain is a wonderful cosmopolitan country to live in.
The PIO leader was speaking to reporters on Thursday night in the wake of a racism row at Buckingham Palace, which saw the resignation of Prince William's godmother after it emerged that the senior palace aide had repeatedly questioned a black British charity worker about where she was “really from”.
When asked about the controversy, Sunak said it would not be right for him to comment on palace matters and pointed out that action had been taken. “It would not be right for me to comment on matters to do with the royal palace, although as we have seen they've acknowledged what's happened and made an apology for it,” he said.
Rishi Sunak, who was born in the UK to parents of Indian heritage, was pressed further on how he felt when he heard about the incident involving Ngozi Fulani, founder of London-based charity Sistah Space, and Lady Susan Hussey – a close confidante of the late Queen Elizabeth II.
He said: “As I have talked about in the past, I have experienced racism in my life. But what I am pleased to say is some of the things that I experienced when I was a kid and a young person, I don't think would happen today because our country has made incredible progress in tackling racism.
Protests simmered in Shanghai early on Sunday, as residents in several Chinese cities, many of them angered by a deadly fire in the country's far west, pushed back against heavy COVID-19 curbs nearly three years into the pandemic.
A fire on Thursday that killed 10 people in a high-rise building in Urumqi, capital of the Xinjiang region, has sparked widespread public anger as many internet users surmised that residents could not escape in time because the building was partially locked down, which city officials denied.
Russia's onslaught against Ukraine's energy infrastructure plunged the country into wintry darkness, threatening to trigger another refugee exodus and underscoring Kyiv's need for more air defense systems. Temperatures dropped below zero as night fell on Wednesday with millions of Ukrainians without heat, light or water after Russian President Vladimir Putin's forces fired scores of missiles against its neighbour's power infrastructure.
Ukrainian authorities enacted emergency blackouts and took three nuclear plants offline after rocket attacks knocked out power lines and left the reactors nowhere to transmit electricity. Even before the latest barrage, weeks of attacks had wrought more than $1.9 billion of damage to the grid, according to the state distribution utility, that will take considerable time to repair.
"Energy terror continues," Andriy Yermak, the chief of staff to President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, said on Telegram. "We will withstand. They won't break us."
Republicans took control of the US House of Representatives from Democrats, networks said, narrowly securing a legislative base to oppose President Joe Biden's agenda for the final two years of his term -- and leaving power in Congress split. The slim Republican majority in the lower house of the US legislature will be far smaller than the party had been banking on, and Republicans also failed to take control of the Senate in a historically weak performance in the November 8 midterm elections.
NBC and CNN projected the victory for Republicans with at least 218 seats in the 435-member House of Representatives -- the magic number needed to take control. This came a week after millions of Americans went to the polls for the midterms, which typically deliver a rejection of the party in the White House.
Biden congratulated top House Republican Kevin McCarthy "on Republicans winning the House majority" and added that he was "ready to work with House Republicans to deliver results for working families."
Last week's vote, he said, was "a strong rejection of election deniers, political violence and intimidation" and demonstrated "the strength and resilience of American democracy." Tweeting soon after the projection was called, McCarthy said that "Americans are ready for a new direction, and House Republicans are ready to deliver."
The news came one day after former president Donald Trump -- who loomed large during the election cycle, and whose endorsement appears to have doomed some of his party's candidates -- announced a new run for the White House.
With inflation surging and Biden's popularity ratings cratering, Republicans had hoped to see a "red wave" wash over America, giving them control of both houses and hence an effective block over most of Biden's legislative plans.
But instead, Democratic voters -- galvanized by the Supreme Court's overturning of abortion rights and wary of Trump-endorsed candidates who openly rejected the result of the 2020 presidential election -- turned out in force.
And Republicans lost ground with candidates rejected by moderate voters as too extreme. "In the next Congress, House Democrats will continue to play a leading role in supporting President Biden's agenda - - with strong leverage over a scant Republican majority," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.
Biden's party flipped a key Senate seat in Pennsylvania and held onto two more in battleground states Arizona and Nevada, giving them an unassailable majority in the upper chamber with 50 seats plus Vice President Kamala Harris' tie-breaking vote.
A Senate runoff election in Georgia set for next month could see the Democrats ultimately improve their majority in the upper house. The Senate oversees the confirmation of federal judges and cabinet members, and having the 100-seat body in his corner will be a major boon for Biden.
Meanwhile on Tuesday McCarthy won his party's leadership vote by secret ballot, putting him in a prime position to be the next speaker, replacing Democrat Nancy Pelosi. The 57-year-old congressman from California, a senior member of House Republican leadership since 2014, fended off a challenge from Andy Biggs, a member of the influential far-right Freedom Caucus.
But potential far-right defections could yet complicate his path when the full chamber votes in January. McCarthy now begins what is expected to be a grueling campaign to win the consequential floor vote on January 3, when the House of Representatives 435 newly elected members -- Democrats and Republicans -- choose their speaker, the third most important US political position after president and vice president.
US Congress is returning to an extremely volatile confused post-election landscape, with control of the House still undecided, the party leadership in flux and a potentially consequential lame-duck session with legislation on gay marriage, Ukraine and government funding.
Newly elected members of Congress arrived for Monday's orientation amid jarring disappointments for Republicans, setting up rocky internal party leadership elections for GOP leader Kevin McCarthy and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell. Republicans suffered one of the most disappointing midterm outcomes in decades when a mighty red wave forecast for the House never hit.
In a breather to President Joe Biden, Democrats performed better than expected, keeping narrow control of the Senate and pressing a long shot race for the House. But they, too, face leadership turmoil as Republicans pick up House seats toward majority control that would threaten Speaker Nancy Pelosi's gavel.
“There are all kinds of ways to exert influence,” Pelosi said Sunday, deflecting questions about her future if Democrats lose control of the House. “Speaker has awesome power, but I will always have influence.”
After a long period, US President Joe Biden and Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping shook hands at the start of their high-stakes summit in Bali, Indonesia on Tuesday. Biden smiled as Xi greeted the US leader with a "good to see you", kicking off what is expected to be two hours of intensive talks.
The superpower sit down, on the sidelines of the G20 summit, is the pair's first face-to-face since Biden took office and comes with the world's two largest economies vying for international primacy.