Bonhomie Between India and USA
With the scheduled visit of US President Donald Trump on 24th-25th February to India, an exchange of pleasantries was seen on Twitter. White House handle tweeted “…The trip will further strengthen the U.S.-India strategic partnership & highlight the strong & enduring bonds between the American & Indian people”. PM Modi tweeted his delight in welcoming President Trump and First Lady to India, to which First Lady Melania Trump replied that she is excited to visit India.
Yet Another Indian Set to Join British Cabinet
Rishi Sunak, son-in-law of Infosys founder Narayana Murti, is set to join the Boris Johnson cabinet as the new finance minister of UK. Along with Home Secretary Priti Patel, Sunak is the second Indian to rise to such a high post. It shows the appraisal of Indian talent abroad in managing top offices. This can fasten the negotiation of the long pending India-UK free trade agreement.
Hafiz Saeed Sentenced to Jail in Pakistan
UN-designated terrorist and head of terrorist organization Jamat-ud-Dawa, Hafiz Saeed, has been sentenced imprisonment for five-and-half years by a Lahore court for being a part of banned terrorist organization. While this may seem to be good news, this step comes a few days before the FATF meets to decide on blacklisting Pakistan for supporting terrorism. Window dressing, may be?
CIA Spied on All Major Nations, Reveals a News Report
In what is being called the coup of the century, a report by The Washington Post has revealed that Swiss cryptography firm Crypto AG was secretly bought by American agency CIA in 1951 and was used to read all encrypted messages of all major nations, including India. Nations paid the company hefty sums of money to use their encryption technology but this revelation means all classified data was going to the American intelligence.
Coronavirus (COVID 19) Records Higher Deaths than SARS
When the world was thinking that Coronavirus cases have plateaued, China dropped a bomb. In a single day, more than 250 deaths were announced taking the death toll to almost 1400 and affected persons to 64000. Now called COVID-2019, the Coronavirus epidemic is spreading. Meanwhile, India is vigilant. Three confirmed cases in Kerala and Kolkata each are quarantined.
Fragile Peace Between Turkey and Russia
In one of the biggest offensive by Syrian forces of President Bashar Al-Assad backed by Russia, the conflict over Idlib province in Syria has brought them in direct confrontation with Turkish forces. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has been vocal about making Syria “pay a price” but this time Russian backing of Syria is making things complicated. Turkey’s own fights within the NATO means US or Europe won’t side with Turkey. This is making northern Syria boil with tensions.
Bernie Sanders Inches Ahead in Democrat Race
US Elections 2020 are fast approaching. The race for being the Democrat candidate has begun. After a tough fight at the Iowa Caucus between Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg, the primaries of New Hampshire gave a clear verdict. New Hampshire primary tilted in favor of Bernie Sanders making him one of the frontrunners for Democrat presidential candidate. Sanders is known for his socialist leanings and views on more government intervention in healthcare and education.
A Week of Terror
Despite the talks with Taliban on peaceful settlement, a suicide attack rocked Kabul killing five and injuring twelve. Terrorist attacks in Afghanistan have killed hundreds in the past few years given the tension between Afghan government and Taliban.
In another news, Boko Haram, the terror group from Nigeria, is suspected to be behind killing of 30 civilians in northeast Nigeria. Since 2015, Boko Haram has killed large number of civilians in Nigeria with the biggest attack on Baga city killing 2,000 civilians in one strike.