“Our relations have never been as strong or as good between us as they are now,’’ Johnson told reporters at a ceremonial reception in the forecourt of the presidential palace in New Delhi on Friday.
Soon after his arrival in India on Thursday, Johnson said he was aware of the close ties that India and Russia have shared. “We have to reflect that reality. But clearly, I’ll be talking about it to Narendra Modi,” he told reporters in Ahmedabad, the capital of western Gujarat state, where he landed.
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India extends duration of USD 400 mn currency swap facility with Sri Lanka
In an “unstinted and multi-faceted support” to Sri Lanka which is grappling with its worst-ever economic crisis, India has extended the duration of the USD 400 million currency swap facility which had been concluded with the island nation in January. This was the first extension of an international debt instrument to Sri Lanka after the government led by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on April 12 temporarily suspended debt servicing. The embattled government had announced an orderly default until the country came to an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a possible bailout package.
Russian actions in Ukraine may amount to war crimes: UN
Russian actions in Ukraine, which have included summary executions of civilians and levelling of civilian infrastructure, may amount to war crimes, the UN said on Friday. “Russian armed forces have indiscriminately shelled and bombed populated areas, killing civilians and wrecking hospitals, schools and other civilian infrastructure, actions that may amount to war crimes,” Ravina Shamdasani, a spokeswoman for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, said on Friday. UNHCR chief Michelle Bachelet said that “over these eight weeks, international humanitarian law has not merely been ignored but seemingly tossed aside.”
One dead in Ukraine transport plane crash
Ukraine said Friday that at least one person died and two were injured when a transport plane crashed over the centre of the country, the latest incident involving accident-prone Soviet-era aircraft. “An AN-26 aircraft, which according to preliminary information belonged to Ukraine, crashed today in the vicinity of Mikhailovka in the Zaporizhzhia region,” the region’s administration wrote in a statement on social media. “The aircraft was performing a technical flight. It has been established that one person was killed and two more were injured.” Crew numbers and the cause of the crash were being investigated, the statement added.
Guinean ex-ministers held in corruption crackdown
Two former ministers in the West African state of Guinea are being held under an anti-corruption drive launched by the military junta, one of their lawyers said. Albert Damantang Camara, a former security minister under ousted president Alpha Conde, and Ibrahima Kourouma, an ex-housing minister, were ordered on Thursday to be held in custody by a special court for financial crimes, he said. A former economy minister under Conde, Mamadi Camara, has also been formally placed under judicial investigation, said the attorney, Amara Bangoura.
Former Lok Sabha dy speaker admitted to hospital in Jharkhand
Former Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha, Karia Munda, was admitted to hospital after he fainted at his home in Jharkhand’s Khunti district, an official of the medical facility said. Munda is stable and under observation, he said. An eight-time MP from Khunti constituency, the Padma Vibhushan awardee became unconscious on Thursday night due to low blood sugar, and was admitted to the emergency ward, the official said.
AMMK leader Dhinakaran appears before ED in Delhi for second time
AMMK leader T T V Dhinakaran appeared before the ED here for the second time on Friday for questioning in a money laundering case linked to the alleged bribing of Election Commission officials to get the AIADMK’s ‘two leaves’ symbol for the V K Sasikala faction, officials said. The agency will continue recording his statement under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), they said. The first time, Dhinakaran was grilled by the Enforcement Directorate for about eight hours at its office here on April 12.
Russia eyes cooperation with China on space flights
Russia’s space agency Roscosmos said on Friday it planned to cooperate with China on space flights, the TASS news agency cited the state corporation as saying. Roscosmos sees the Russian-Chinese partnership as strategic, and the two countries have agreed to create a joint commission to cooperate on human space missions, the agency said.
Afghan IS group claims series of bombings targeting Shiites
An Islamic State affiliate on Friday claimed a series of bombings a day earlier that targeted Afghanistan’s minority Shiite Muslims, while Pakistan issued a warning of IS threats in its eastern Punjab province.The deadliest of three bombings on Thursday in Afghanistan exploded inside a Shite mosque in northern Mazar-e-Sharif. Hospital officials say at least 12 people were killed and as many as 40 were hurt.
The UK is creating an India specific open general export license reducing bureaucracy and reducing delivery times for defence procurement
– British Prime Minister Boris Johnson
We have had wonderful talks today & have strengthened our relationship in every way. The partnership between India and Britain is one of the defining friendships of our times
– UK Prime MInister Boris Johnson, post a one-on-one with India’s Prime Minister Modi
Last year we (India-UK) launched a comprehensive strategic partnership. Work on FTA is underway. Talks held on defense sector, trade, climate & energy. Talks also hold on free, open & rule-based Indo-pacific region
– Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on his meeting with UK’s Boris Johnson
PM Boris Johnson’s visit to India during ‘Azaadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ is historic
– Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Fresh clashes at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque compound
Israeli police entered the compound and Palestinian youths threw stones at them
IIT-Madras reports 30 new COVID-19 cases in two days
18 more at the Tamil Nadu institute have tested positive for COVID-19,
France issues international arrest warrant for Carlos Ghosn
The warrant was issued over suspect payments between the Renault-Nissan alliance Ghosn once headed and Suhail Bahwan Automobiles (SBA), prosecutors say
Prime Minister Modi meets British counterpart Johnson at Hyderabad House
British PM @BorisJohnson meets Prime Minister @narendramodi at Hyderabad House in #NewDelhi https://t.co/CYJ5V15Gp2
— DD News (@DDNewslive) 1650608458000
“Don’t think things have ever been so strong or good,” says Boris
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson termed his India visit as “auspicious” and told Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the ties between the two countries are strong and good. “Don’t think things have ever been so strong or good between us as they are now,” Johnson told Prime Minister Narendra Modi after the ceremonial reception at the Rashtrapati Bhawan. He also thanked Prime Minister Modi for a “fantastic” welcome and said his India visit was an auspicious moment in the friendship with India. He also thanked the people of Gujarat for putting up a grand welcome at Ahmedabad.
Bullet fired at Delhi’s Rohini court complex
Panic gripped Delhi’s Rohini court complex on Friday morning after a bullet was fired from a Nagaland Police personnel’s service weapon during a fight between clients of two advocates, according to police. There were no casualties in the incident, the police said.
Britain to offer next-generation defense weapons to India?
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to help move India away from its dependence on Russia by expanding economic and defense ties when he meets with his Indian counterpart Friday, officials said. Johnson is also expected to bring up the situation in Ukraine during talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“Our relations have never been as strong or as good between us as they are now,’’ Johnson told reporters at a ceremonial reception in the forecourt of the presidential palace in New Delhi on Friday.
On the agenda for Boris Johnson’s India visit:
Looking forward to meeting with my friend @NarendraModi today in New Delhi. From climate change to energy securit… https://t.co/nlrSht4Mpl
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) 1650593933000
Shanghai extends COVID-19 lockdown till April 26
Shanghai has extended the COVID-19 lockdown to April 26, amid reports of growing public resentment as the eastern metropolis of 26 million reported 11 more deaths on Thursday, taking the toll in the current outbreak to 36. China on Thursday reported 2,119 locally transmitted confirmed COVID-19 cases, of which 1,931 were reported in Shanghai, according to the National Health Commission. Shanghai has added 17,629 new cases in the previous 24 hours, 4.7 per cent fewer than a day earlier, according to data released on Friday, taking the city’s cumulative cases since March 1 to 443,500.
Bharat Biotech asked to provide more data
The Subject Expert Committee (SEC) of the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) has asked Bharat Biotech for additional data on its COVID-19 vaccine, Covaxin, for administering it to children aged between 2-12 years, sources said. This development comes after the Subject Expert Committee discussed recommendations for the restricted emergency of Covaxin in children aged between 2-12 years. No recommendations have been made as of now, sources told ANI.
Sitharaman meets heads of FedEx, Mastercard, others
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday met CEOs of large American firms like FedEx and Mastercard and discussed various opportunities for investment in India as the country is poised to be the fastest-growing large economy in the world. The Finance Minister is in the US to attend IMF-WB Spring Meetings 2022. FedEx President and CEO-elect Raj Subramanian, during the meeting with the Finance Minister, mentioned that he is positive about India and has significant expansion plans, including in skilling.
North Korea’s Kim offers rare praise for South’s departing Moon
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has thanked South Korea’s outgoing president for trying to improve relations, a rare gesture of goodwill but one that analysts said may not be enough to head off growing tension between the two Koreas. The warm words from North Korea to President Moon Jae-in came in an exchange of letters less than three weeks before Moon leaves office to be replaced by a conservative leader who has already signalled a tougher line on North Korea
Korean leaders exchange letters amidst rising tensions
The leaders of the rival Koreas exchanged letters expressing hope for improved bilateral relations, which plummeted in the past three years amid a freeze in nuclear negotiations and North Korea’s accelerating weapons development. North Korea’s state media said leader Kim Jong Un on Wednesday received a personal letter from outgoing South Korean President Moon Jae-in and replied on Thursday with his own letter appreciating Moon’s peace efforts during his term. Pyongyang’s official Korean Central News Agency said Friday their exchange of letters showed their “deep trust.” Experts say North Korea’s announcement of the letters, which came as Kim possibly prepares for a nuclear test and other major provocations, is aimed at dividing public opinion in South Korea and discouraging Seoul’s new government from taking a hard line toward Pyongyang after its inauguration in May.
India: Single day rise of 2,451 new COVID-19 infections, 54 fatalities
Satellite photos show possible mass graves near Mariupol
Satellite images released Thursday showed what appeared to be mass graves near Mariupol, and local officials accused Russia of burying up to 9,000 Ukrainian civilians there in an effort to conceal the slaughter taking place in the siege of the port city. The images emerged hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed victory in the battle for the Mariupol, despite the presence of an estimated 2,000 Ukrainian fighters who were still holed up at a giant steel mill. Putin ordered his troops not to storm the stronghold but to seal it off “so that not even a fly comes through.”
One security force personnel killed, nine injured in encounter
A paramilitary force personnel was killed and nine others were injured after terrorists targeted a CISF bus leading to a gunfight near an Army camp on the outskirts of Jammu early Friday, officials said. The encounter in Sunjwan took place amid heightened security arrangements in Jammu and Kashmir, two days ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s scheduled visit to Samba district. Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) officials said a bus carrying 15 personnel for their morning shift came under attack at 4.25 am near the Chaddha camp area. A senior official of the paramilitary force said the terrorists fired at the bus and lobbed grenades, killing Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) S P Patil and injuring two other occupants of the bus.
Japan to auction 4.8 million barrels of national reserve oil
Japan will hold an auction on May 10 to sell 760,000 kilolitres, or 4.8 million barrels, of national reserve oil, the industry ministry said on Friday, as part of a release coordinated by the International Energy Agency (IEA) to cool rising prices. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida had said earlier this month that Japan would release a record 15 million barrels of oil from its national reserves as part of a second round of the IEA-led coordinated release. Six million barrels of the total will come from privately held reserves and 9 million barrels from state reserves, the industry ministry had said last week.
Shanghai doubles down on strict lockdown enforcement
Shanghai authorities doubled down on their offensive against COVID-19 on Friday, launching a new round of city-wide testing and warning residents their three-week lockdown would only be lifted in batches once transmission is stamped out. The Shanghai government said on its official WeChat account, the city’s epidemic was showing a “positive trend” and that life in the city could return to normal soon as long as people stuck to strict rules to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Musk says he has financing to take Twitter buyout bid to investors
Elon Musk has lined up $46.5 billion in financing for a possible hostile takeover of Twitter and is “exploring” a direct tender offer to shareholders, according to a securities filing released Thursday. Musk’s filing pointed to a $13 billion debt facility from a financing consortium led by Morgan Stanley, a separate $12.5 billion margin loan from the same bank, as well as $21 billion from Musk’s personal fortune.
Texas executes its oldest death row inmate
Texas executed its oldest death row inmate on Thursday, a 78-year-old man convicted of killing a policeman more than 30 years ago during a routine traffic stop. Lawyers for Carl Buntion had filed a final appeal to the US Supreme Court seeking a stay, but it was rejected. He was executed by lethal injection and pronounced dead at 6:39 pm local time (2339 GMT), according to the Texas justice department. A second US state, Tennessee, had also planned to execute another inmate, Oscar Franklin Smith, 72, by lethal injection Thursday for killing his estranged wife and her two teenage sons in 1989.
US, Cuba hold highest-level talks in four years
The United States and Cuba on Thursday held their highest-level diplomatic talks in four years after a severe disruption in ties during the Trump administration. The discussions in Washington between senior State Department officials and Cuba’s deputy foreign minister focused on migration, with the US side eager to rein in a growing number of Cubans trying to enter the United States illegally. The State Department said the talks covered areas of successful cooperation on migration but also identified obstacles to ensuring safe, orderly and legal migration. The meeting took place just a day after US border authorities reported that the number of Cubans seeking entry had doubled from February to March to 32,500 and is now five times the number it was in October.
Fire at Russian defence research facility kills six
Six people died and 27 more sustained injuries after a fire broke at a defense research facility in the northwestern Russian city of Tver on Thursday, authorities of the Tver regions said. The fire erupted in an administrative building of the Aerospace Defense Forces’ Central Research Institute, which operates under the Russian Defense Ministry. It quickly engulfed the building’s upper three floors, forcing those inside to jump from windows and causing the roof to cave in.
Honduras ex-president Hernández extradited to US
Honduras extradited former President Juan Orlando Hernández to the United States on Thursday to face drug trafficking and weapons charges in a dramatic reversal for a leader once touted by US authorities as a key ally in the war on the drugs. Just three months after leaving office, Hernández boarded an airplane handcuffed with agents from the US Drug Enforcement Administration bound for the United States, where he faces charges in the Southern District of New York.
Zelenskyy thanks America for $800 million in military aid
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked the United States for the new package of USD 800 million in military aid, which he said was “just what we were waiting for.” The latest military aid, announced Thursday by President Joe Biden, includes heavy artillery, ammunition and drones for the escalating battle in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine.
Ukraine: Up to 9,000 bodies in mass grave
As many as 9,000 civilians could be buried in a mass grave in the village of Manhush outside Mariupol, the city’s mayor said in a Telegram post Thursday. “The greatest war crime of the 21st century has been committed in Mariupol. This is the new Babi Yar,” Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boychenko said, referring to the site of multiple Nazi massacres in which nearly 34,000 Ukrainian Jews were killed in 1941.
Imran Khan seeks intervention of military for early polls
In an indirect reference to the military establishment, Khan said, “Those who had committed this mistake of ousting my government should rectify it by holding fresh elections without any delay.” He also asked the people of Pakistan to wait for his call to reach the capital.
CBI team raids residence of senior IAS officer in Jammu
A seven-member CBI team on Thursday raided the residence of a senior IAS officer in Jammu in connection with an investigation into two cases of alleged corruption, officials said. They said the IAS officer was also questioned by the CBI team. The action follows the Jammu and Kashmir administration’s recommendation to book people involved in corruption cases.
Noida records 103 COVID-19 cases in a day
Gautam Buddh Nagar on Thursday recorded 103 new cases of COVID-19 as the district accounted for over 50 per cent of the active infections in Uttar Pradesh, official data showed. According to data issued by the state health department, the number of active cases in Gautam Buddh Nagar stood at 467 while the total number of active infections in Uttar Pradesh was 856. Meanwhile, 47 people recuperated from COVID-19 in the district on Thursday.
Army rescues 16 civilians trapped in snow storm in Kishtwar
Army on Thursday evening rescued 16 civilians trapped in heavy snowfall in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kishtwar district, officials said. The army had launched a rescue operation after it was informed by the civil administration about the incident near Sinthan Pass, defence spokesman said. A rescue team of Indian Army personnel from Sinthan Maidan rescued the civilians and walked for around 15 kilometres under continuous snowfall and zero-visibility conditions, he said.
“India never posed threat to any country, has followed Sikh Gurus’ ideals”
Addressing an event from the Red Fort to celebrate the 400th birth anniversary of Sikh Guru Tegh Bahadur, Modi said the Gurudwara Sis Ganj Sahib near the Red Fort stands as a symbol of the sacrifice of Guru Tegh Bahadur. He said India strives for peace with complete stability even amid global conflicts, an apparent reference to the Russian offensive in Ukraine. Hailing the Sikh gurus’ traditions, he said India’s freedom from hundreds of years of slavery cannot be separated from its spiritual and cultural journey.
Russia bars Kamala Harris, Mark Zuckerberg
Russia’s foreign ministry has announced that it has barred US Vice President Kamala Harris, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg and 27 other prominent Americans from entering the country. In a statement on its website Thursday, the ministry said that the move came as a response to “ever-widening anti-Russian sanctions” brought on by the Biden administration. It claimed to be targeting top executives, public intellectuals and journalists shaping what it referred to as “the Russophobic narrative” prevailing in US public debate.