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300 crore relief announced for damage control in Bengaluru: Basavaraj Bommai

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Basavaraj Bommai

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Monday announced a relief fund of Rs 300 crore for maintaining the basic infrastructure and the losses incurred by the heavy rain in Bengaluru.

He met with the Bangalore Water Supply & Sewerage Board (BWSSB), deputy commissioners of 15 districts, and senior officials earlier on Monday to discuss the state’s flooding and rain.

On Monday, Bommai told the media about the government’s decision to release a fund of Rs 600 crore for the management of floods in Bengaluru along with other districts. 300 crores have been allotted to Bengaluru alone.

According to Bommai, a central team would travel to Bengaluru on Tuesday evening to assess the state’s flooding and rain conditions. The government will meet with the members of the team after the document has been submitted.

The BJP leader also discussed the T.K. Halli pumphouse in Mandya, which once pumped Cauvery drinking water but has since been damaged by the Bheemeshwara River and other nearby lakes overflowing. After two days of cleaning and Cauvery water draining, he made sure the pumphouse would begin pumping water.

According to the chief minister of Karnataka, Bengaluru is developing a backup plan for water supply. It would restart 8000 borewells underneath the BWSSB to provide water in areas with disruptions. In order to prevent any disruption in Bengaluru’s water supply, the government would also send tankers to areas without borewells to deliver water.

He claimed that the addition of 110 villages to the BBMP borders resulted in the expansion of Bengaluru and the emergence of new issues.

“We will remove encroachments on roads, canals, and rajakaluves and install gates for waterholes. Infrastructure will be improved. Because the state capital has received the most rainfall in the shortest amount of time, they must accept it as a challenge and face it together.”

For the upcoming four days, the interiors of south and north Karnataka should expect severe rains. The state already experienced a 144% increase in rain during the final week of August and a 51% increase in rain during the first five days of the current month. The water table has risen in areas affected by the drought. The state has not had as much rain in 42 years.

Bommai also detailed the relief measures and assessed the harm caused by the rain and floods.

14,717 hectares of agricultural crops and 1374 hectares of horticultural crops have been damaged. 2188 homes suffer partial damage, while 430 homes sustain total damage. Damage has been done to 225 km of roads, bridges, culverts, and electric poles.

He made sure that 500 crores were released for the maintenance of essential infrastructure. He stated that sluice gates would be erected for the large tanks in order to store and release water. In addition, he committed to furthering the fight against encroachment and conducting a collaborative study of crop loss.

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Fighter jets escort Singapore Airlines plane amid bomb hoax, man arrested

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Fighter jets escort Singapore Airlines plane amid bomb hoax, man arrested

A 37-year-old male passenger was arrested Wednesday for allegedly making a hoax bomb threat on board a plane travelling from San Francisco to Changi Airport, which forced the Singapore Air Force to scramble two fighter jets, a media report said.
The two fighter jets escorted the Singapore Airlines plane until it landed safely at Changi Airport at 5:50 am local time, CNN reported. “Earlier today, two of our F16C/Ds were activated to escort a Singapore Airlines flight that departed San Francisco for Singapore. This was because of a suspected bomb threat on board the aircraft,” the Singapore Air Force said. “Our fighters escorted the airliner till it landed safely at Changi Airport.”
The report said teams from the army’s chemical, biological, radiological and explosives defence group and airport police division were on site to verify the claim. Defence Ministry officials, who discovered the bomb threat to be false, said the army was “mobilized immediately.”

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Pak-Afghan ties take a nasty turn over Durand line conflict

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Pak-Afghan ties take a nasty turn over Durand line conflict

The border conflict between Pakistan and Afghanistan over Durand Line that divides not just the two countries but also the Pashtuns remains a bone of contention between the two nations, however, both chose to remain silent on several issues related to human rights.
According to Al Arabiya, the growing rancour between the two countries was manifested in a recent incident on September 19, wherein Afghan security guards posted at Pakistan Consulate, Jalalabad mistreated Pakistan diplomats. They also stopped the President and two members of the Nangarhar Chamber of Commerce from meeting the Pak Consulate General.
The Durand Line passes through the present-day Pakistani provinces of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (NWFP), Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Balochistan.
It also includes 10 provinces in Afghanistan. Disputed in the context of the struggle for the Pashtun homeland, it has of late become the cause of heightened border tensions between Pakistan and Afghanistan, according to reports.
While Pakistan accuses Afghanistan of harbouring anti-Pakistan elements, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) on its soil, the Taliban do not recognize the Durand Line which separates the two countries and divides the home of ethnic Pashtuns.
Since the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan in August 2021, Pakistan has been trying to persuade the Afghan Taliban to crack down on TTP. Instead, the Afghan Taliban mediated talks between Pakistan and TTP that led to the release of dozens of TTP prisoners in Pakistan, reported Al Arabiya.
Islamabad was partly optimistic in the wake of the Taliban takeover. It hoped that the Taliban regime would accept the Durand Line’s legitimacy and leverage its links with the proscribed organization Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) to broker a peace agreement.
While Taliban links have facilitated Islamabad-TTP talks, which led to a ceasefire, the Taliban seems reluctant to apply total pressure on the TTP. The Taliban is also in no mood to grant any concessions on the issue, given that skirmishes between themselves and Pakistani troops continue.
In the wake of this, there have been repeated reports of firing and clashes between the security forces of the two countries at the border.
Recently footage of the Taliban forces driving into Pakistan’s side of the Durand line surfaced on social media.

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In quest for power, China opens illegal police posts across globe

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In quest for power, China opens illegal police posts across globe

In a quest to emerge as a global superpower, the Chinese government has opened numerous illegal police stations across the world including in developed countries like Canada and Ireland, triggering concerns among human rights campaigners.
Such informal police service stations affiliated with the Public Security Bureau (PSB) across Canada have been set up to antagonize China’s adversaries, Investigative Journalism Reportika stated citing the local media. According to local media reports, Fuzhou has established informal police service stations affiliated with the Public Security Bureau (PSB) across Canada.
At least three of these stations are located in the Greater Toronto Area only.
Moreover, the Chinese government is also influencing the elections in certain countries through these illegal police stations, according to Investigative Journalism Reportika.
The Fuzhou police say it has already opened 30 such stations in 21 countries.
Countries like Ukraine, France, Spain, Germany, and the UK have such arrangements for Chinese Police Stations and the leaders of most of these countries question the rise of China and its worsening human rights records on public platforms and are themselves a part of that issue.
Human rights campaigners have accused the ruling Communist Party of China of committing widespread abuses across the country in the name of security, steps which include confining people to internment camps, forcibly separating families and carrying out forced sterilization.
For its part, China has said these facilities are “vocational skills training centres” that are necessary to “counter” extremism and improve livelihoods. Chinese officials said in late 2019 that most “trainees” had “graduated” from the centres.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet recently visited China and Xinjiang.

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Complete loyalty to Xi sole criterion for party Congress delegates’ election

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Ahead of the 20th Party Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) due to take place on October 16, the CCP completed the process of carefully selecting 2,296 loyal delegates to the Congress on the basis of complete loyalty to Chinese President Xi Jinping.
This was done to ensure a trouble-free and dissent-free approval of the third term of power to Xi, reported The HK Post. These delegates will represent more than 96 million party members and more than 4.9 million grass-roots party organizations, “bear the ardent expectations of the people of all ethnic groups in the country, and honourably attend the party’s twentieth national congress”
The party bigwigs are happy that it will not face any problems from the elected delegates when the political, economic and international resolutions are put to vote, reported The HK Post.
The agenda says, “(they) meet the requirements stipulated by the CPC Central Committee, are highly qualified ideologically and politically, possess and demonstrate good work styles and moral conduct, are competent in discussing state affairs, and have made remarkable achievements in their work.”
Meanwhile, Xinhua in its reports left none in doubt that principles of democracy were conspicuous by their absence when the selection process was underway, reported The HK Post.
“Under the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, the delegates were elected in accordance with the Party Constitution, the CPC Central Committee’s requirements, adopting methods required by the CPC Central Committee. The process upheld the Party’s nature and purpose, adhered to and enhanced the Party’s overall leadership, and fully embodied intraparty democracy.”
An editorial in the People’s Daily issues a sermon to the delegates that their duty begins and ends with expressing loyalty to President and General Secretary Xi Jinping.
“Take the lead to deeply understand the decisive significance of the Two Establishments, strengthen the ‘four consciousness’ and ‘four self-confidence’, in order to achieve the two safeguards; study and implement the spirit of the important speech of General Secretary Xi Jinping at the symposium for leading cadres at the provincial and ministerial levels on July 26; study, understand and implement Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era;’ organically combine Party history study with understanding ideas around strengthening Party spirit; strengthen ideals and beliefs, continuously enhance political judgement, understanding, and execution, and maintain a high degree of consistency with the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at the core in terms of ideology, politics, and actions.”

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Patience is running out, says UN envoy on engagement with Taliban

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Patience is running out, says UN envoy on engagement with Taliban

Patience is running out for many in the international community when it comes to effectively engaging with the Taliban, the UN deputy representative for Afghanistan Markus Potzel, told the Security Council on Tuesday.
Despite some positive developments over the past few months, the senior UN envoy for the country said they have been “too few and too slow and the negatives outweigh them”. “I am afraid that patience is running out by many in the international community regarding a strategy of engagement with Afghanistan’s Taliban authorities,” he said.
Potzel drew attention to the ongoing ban on girls’ secondary education and growing restrictions on women’s rights, as “signals that the Taliban are indifferent to more than 50 per cent of the population” and are willing to risk international isolation. “The relegation of women and girls to the home not only deprives them of their rights, but Afghanistan as a whole is denied the benefit of the significant contributions that women and girls have to offer,” he detailed.
This comes as armed clashes and deadly terrorist attacks have spiked in the country.
“Our earlier warnings about the capabilities of Islamic State Khorosan Province (ISKP) were dismissed by the Taliban,” he told ambassadors. “But ISKP has demonstrated in the last few months alone that it can carry out assassinations of figures close to the Taliban, attacks against foreign embassies, as well as fire rockets across Afghanistan’s border to attack its neighbours – all while maintaining its long-standing sectarian campaign against Shia Muslims and ethnic minorities,” said Potzel. And armed clashes are continuing between Taliban security forces and armed opposition groups in the Panjshir, Baghlan, Kapisa, Takhar, and Badakhshan provinces, the UN envoy continued.
“There are disturbing reports, as well as videos and photos, indicating possible serious human rights violations committed in Panjshir,” he said, calling for an investigation into allegations of extra-judicial killings there. He added that the mission will continue to carefully monitor these and other reports of serious human rights violations.

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Top Pakistani diplomat accused in Europe visa scam: report

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Top Pakistani diplomat accused in Europe visa scam: report

Already a “mastermind of human trafficking” to Europe, a top Pakistani diplomat, Israr Husain, has now been accused for his alleged involvement in issuing visas to Pakistani citizens for Europe in exchange for bribes, media reports said.
The complaint was lodged by a senior Pakistani official who is also in charge of issuing visas. It is worth noting that Husain has held top ranks in the past, such as assistant secretary for Europe at the Foreign Ministry in Islamabad and ambassador at the diplomatic office in Prague, a position from which he had to resign following allegations of corruption, Difesa Online reported.
This incident has triggered speculations about whether Islamabad diplomats are carrying out a global scam of fake passports and visas for Europe. Pakistan has long been involved in such activities and therefore this is not the first incident of its kind.
These activities by Pakistanis are spread across various European countries so much so that the European Parliament had to intervene to sound an alarm on the pertinent issue, Difesa Online reported.
For Instance, in 2020, Member of European Parliament (MEP) Dominique Bilde accused Pakistan of leading a racket to grant falsified passports and visas. Already in 2012, the then High Commissioner for the United Kingdom in Islamabad, Adam Thomson, had called Pakistan “the world leader in counterfeiting visas.”
Furthermore, as per the data in 2021, a total of 4,000 Pakistani citizens were reported for trying to obtain passports using forged documents.

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