Tuesday, April 17, 2018

EU fails to agree new Iran sanctions

Tehran said Monday that EU sanctions over its human rights record were due to “differing values.” Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi said that “we have certain differences of opinion with European countries and the European Union.” He emphasized differences “notably as concerns human rights.” On Thursday, the EU extended by a year sanctions against 82 individuals and an entity accused of “serious human rights violations in Iran.” According to Ghasemi, long-running dialogue with the EU should continue, focusing on areas of agreement and in “a constructive atmosphere of good will.”
European Union failed to agree new sanctions against Iran on Monday amid fears that punishing Tehran for its missile program and regional role would not stop US President Donald Trump from abandoning a separate nuclear deal. The ministers hoped holding Iran accountable for this could help convince Trump not to walk away from the nuclear agreement. However, they ran into opposition from Italy, backed by Austria. After EU foreign ministers’ discussions in Luxembourg, some diplomats said the outcome meant the EU might not make Trump’s May 12 deadline to “fix” the 2015 nuclear accord, Reuters reported. The EU is eager to safeguard the pact.

Trump still wants to meet Putin

There is great amount of mistrust between two great powers  but silver lining between the two giants is the intention of Mr Trump to meet Mr Putin on cards which can bring global peace to an extent that  global economy can be tendered to better results.
US President Donald Trump is still willing to meet with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters. She indicated, however, that no imminent meeting is planned so far. The US president believes that it would be better for the world if Moscow and Washington had good relations, the spokeswoman said, adding that Trump also believes the state of relations between the two countries will depend on Russia’s actions.

Russia : Alleged chemical incident in Syria’s Douma was a “false-flag attack,”

World Health Organization (WHO) still doesn’t have access to the town of Douma in Syria, the agency said on Tuesday. However, the WHO is working with the country’s authorities to arrange a visit for a health assessment mission to the site of the alleged chemical attack as soon as possible, spokesman Tarik Jasarevic told RIA Novosti. The WHO mission would work in Douma separately from the mission of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the spokesman said. Also on Tuesday, Russian permanent representative to the UN office in Geneva, Gennady Gatilov, said that the Syrian authorities had created conditions for the normal work of the OPCW in Douma. The previous day, the UK delegation to the OPCW said that Russia and Syria had not yet provided access for the OPCW’s mission to Douma, an allegation rejected by Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov.
US must have been well aware that there were no chemical stockpiles at Syrian facilities the coalition destroyed in their ‘retaliatory’ strike, Russian chemical weapons experts told RT, noting the absence of toxic emissions.
Announcing the early Saturday morning missile strikes, the American-British-French coalition asserted that their forces were targeting compounds associated with Syria’s alleged chemical weapons stockpiles. Now, after the dust settled, serious questions arise about the actual presence of any hazardous substances at these sites, including the bombed-out scientific facility in the Barzeh district in northern Damascus.
“This scientific research center has been inspected for several times by experts from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons [OPCW], moreover, a decision was taken to carry out such inspections twice a year,” Anton Utkin, a Russian chemical weapons expert and former UN inspector in Iraq, told RT.

Moscow has “irrefutable proof” that the alleged chemical incident in Syria’s Douma was a “false-flag attack,” orchestrated by UK security services with support from the United States, the Russian envoy to the OPCW said.
“We have not just a ‘high level of confidence,’ as our Western partners uniformly put it; we have irrefutable proof that there was no chemical attack in Douma on April 7,” Russia’s Ambassador to the Organization for the Prohibition of the Chemical Weapons Aleksandr Shulgin said at a special meeting of the UN chemical watchdog’s executive council. The diplomat added that the incident had been a “pre-planned false-flag attack by the British security services, which could have also been aided by their allies in Washington.”
“Things unfolded according to the pre-written scenario prepared by Washington. There’s no doubt, the Americans play ‘first fiddle’ in all of this,” Shulgin said, adding that “attack” was staged by “pseudo-humanitarian NGOs,” which are under the patronage of the Syrian government’s foreign adversaries.
Russian radiological, chemical and biological-warfare units carefully examined the scene of the alleged attack mentioned in the NGOs’ reports immediately after the liberation of Douma from the militant groups, Shulgin said. He then drew attention to the fact that the Russian military specialists found “not a single piece of evidence” substantiating the claims about the alleged chemical attack. Instead, they found local witnesses who said that the video allegedly showing the aftermath of the perceived attack was in fact staged.
The timing of the attack was also bewildering, the Russian diplomat said, adding that the Syrian government had absolutely no reason to gas its own citizens when the city was already almost liberated from the militants. Under such circumstances, the accusations against Damascus look “absurd,” he said. “The senselessness of these claims is striking,” Shulgin added, referring to the statements of Western leaders.
The US and its allies are not interested in a real investigation into the alleged Douma attack, the Russian envoy to the OPCW said. Washington, London and Paris immediately pinned the blame for the incident on Damascus, and launched strikes against Syrian military and civilian facilities without waiting for the OPCW team even to start its investigation on the ground.
Shulgin extended his gratitude to the OPCW investigators for their work in Douma and called on the organization’s executive council to adopt a document supporting their efforts. He also denounced the actions of the US, the UK and France as “military aggression,” adding that “this crime can be by no means justified.” Washington, London and Paris “are playing the hypocrite as they pretend to be the defenders of the international law. In fact, however, no one except for their allies… has any doubts that the major threat to the world comes from these ‘leaders’ of the Western [political] camp,”Shulgin said.
Washington and its allies launched a missile strike targeting Syrian military and civilian facilities on Saturday, in retaliation for the alleged “chemical attack” in Douma. Russia denounced the strikes, calling them “hooliganism” in international relations and “an aggression against a sovereign state.”
Meanwhile, the OPCW investigators are expected to start their work in Douma on Monday. They met with Syrian officials on Sunday to discuss the details of their work. Damascus says it hopes that the experts will “stay neutral and not yield to pressure.” The OPCW team plans to finish its work on Wednesday and present its preliminary report to the UN before its departure from Damascus, local media report.
RT news

Yashwant Sinha attacks BJP

Have reviewed the currency situation in the country. Over all there is more than adequate currency in circulation and also available with the Banks. The temporary shortage caused by ‘sudden and unusual increase’ in some areas is being tackled quickly.
BJP leader and Visakhapatnam MP K Hari Babu resigns from the position of state unit president on Tuesday
Written by Yashwant Sinha :The economic situation is grim, despite tall claims to the contrary by the government that we are the world’s fastest growing economy. A fast growing economy does not accumulate the kind of non-performing assets in its banks, as we have done over the last four years. In a fast growing economy the farmers are not in distress, the youth are not without jobs, small businesses do not stand destroyed and savings and investment do not fall as drastically as they have done over the last four years. What is worse, corruption has raised its ugly head again and banking scams are tumbling out of the closet one after another. The scamsters also manage to run away from the country somehow, as the government watches helplessly.
Women are more unsafe today than ever before. Rapes have become the order of the day and instead of acting strictly against the rapists we have become their apologists. In many cases, our own people are involved in these heinous crimes. The minorities are alienated. The worst is that the Scheduled Castes and Tribes, the weaker sections of our society, have been exposed to atrocities and inequities as never before and the guarantees given to them in the Constitution stand threatened.
The sum total of our foreign policy seems to consist of frequent foreign visits by the prime minister and his hugging foreign dignitaries, whether they like it or not. It is completely devoid of substance and has failed miserably even in our immediate neighbourhood, where China is trampling all over our interests. The smartly executed surgical strike by our brave jawans against Pakistan has been wasted and Pakistan continues to export terror to India unabated as we watch helplessly. Jammu and Kashmir continues to burn, Left wing extremism refuses to be tamed, and the common man is suffering as never before.
Internal democracy in the party stands completely destroyed. Friends tell me that even in parliamentary party meetings, MPs do not get an opportunity, as in the past, to air their views. In the other party meetings, also, the communication is always one-way. They speak and you listen. The prime minister has no time for you. The party headquarter has become a corporate office where it is impossible to meet the CEO.
The press conference by four senior-most judges of the Supreme Court was unprecedented in the annals of our democratic history. It brought out clearly the rot that has been allowed to afflict the highest judicial institution of our country. The judges have repeatedly pointed out that democracy in our country is under threat.
Today, it appears as if winning elections by controlling the means of communication, specially the media and social media, is the sole purpose of our party and even that is threatened seriously now. I do not know how many of you will get the ticket for the next Lok Sabha elections but if previous experience is any guide, half of you at least will not. The chances of your winning the election, even if you get the ticket are fairly remote. In the last Lok Sabha election the BJP had secured only 31 per cent votes; 69 per cent was polled against it. So, if the opposition unites, you will be nowhere.
The situation demands that you speak up in the national interest. I am glad to note that at least five Scheduled Caste MPs of the party have expressed their disenchantment with the government for not delivering on the promises made to the community. I am urging you to also express your opinion frankly before the bosses on all issues confronting us. If you remain silent now you will do a great disservice to the country. Future generations are unlikely to forgive you. It is your right to demand accountability from those who are in government today and are letting down the country. The interest of the country supersedes that of the party, just as the interest of the party supersedes the interest of an individual. I am appealing specially to Advaniji and Joshiji to take a stand in the national interest and ensure that the values they have made such unparalleled sacrifices to uphold are protected and preserved for future generations and corrective steps are taken in time.
There have been some minor successes no doubt, but the big failures overshadow them completely. I hope you will give serious consideration to the issues I have raised in this letter. Please pick up courage, and speak up and save democracy and the country. Inputs from Indian Express

Space of Memory in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 

Dear colleagues,
The Centre de Sciences Humaines (CSH) and the Centre for Policy Research (CPR) are delighted to invite you to their 99th joint urban workshop on:
Local Conflicts and Illegalisms in the Production of a Space of Memory in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 
by Nicolas Bautès
On Tuesday, 24 April 2018 at 3:45 p.m. 
P.C. Nicolas Bautès
This talk is about the various social and legal strategies adopted by different actors in thecontext of urban restructuring in the Port zone of Rio de Janeiro, with focus on the particular case of landmarking Pedra do Sal, an Afro Brazilian historical and religious monument located in this zone. By narrating the different strategies used in this complex set of conflicts around social recognition, demarcation of a place of memory and heritage making, I will try to situate these in the socio-political processes accompanying the ongoing urban reformsPorto Maravilha (Operação Urbana em Consórcio, municipal law 102/2009), launched in 2009 with the aim to promote local restructuring, by extending, forming and re-qualifying the region (Concessionaria Porto Novo).
I will discern such strategies through the claims of inhabitants who have faced the consequences of historical injustice as well as the current urban reforms. Through their voices, and based on a series of interviews conducted with several stakeholders, from local shopkeepers and activists to members of drug dealers’ movements, I will show in which ways informal power games, social pressure and intimidations permeate the harbor district as it undergoes profound structural changes, and operate decision making processes, influence speculation and promote economic benefits through producing and marketing heritage.

For further information, please contact: Olivier Telle (CSH) at telle.olivier@gmail.comMarie-Hélène Zerah (CPR) at marie-helene.zerah@ird.fr

Free entry, no registration required.
Looking forward to seeing you there,
Prof. Nicolas Gravel
Director of CSH

Russia Ambassador to India address Think Tank Anantha,

30714688_166854410688116_5864741064909618779_n (1)
Russian Ambassador. Mr Nikolay Rishatovich KUDASHEV when started his address in India international centre organised by Anantha Think Tank was packed hall with battery of journalist, Ambassadors from other embassies, intellectuals, diplomats all eager to listen to  Mr Nikolay who was given tumultuous reception by the crowd as he rose to speak.
His address gave vivid view of recent attack on Syria axing all international norms and flouting international conventions. He further stated that visit of inspectors and their report is still awaited for their allege chemical weapons use. On Question of bio polar world, he stated, Today world is multi power and regional grouping has become more important. However he talked of multi billion India Russia trade co-operation which is at its best and is likely yo grow further close to 30 trillions $ by 2030.
On Regional he added India need to cooperate with Pakistan to ensure regional stability and to end the Afghan war, said the Ambassador of Russia, The problems of Afghanistan are impossible to resolve without taking on board every neighbouring countries, to the new forms of cooperation offered by SCO,Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. India and Pakistan should be resolved politically and diplomatically according to the provisions of the Simla Agreement of 1972 and the 1999 Lahore Declaration,” Mr. Kudashev said.
He said that Russia is open to a relationship with all sides for the sake of regional stability and the crisis in Afghanistan requires the “Afghan-led” solution.
Further he laid emphasis on the Russia India mutual cooperation on the defense weapons joint venture cooperation at its state of art technology of the first test of its air-launched BrahMos supersonic cruise missile. He added the mutual cooperation between India and Russia is old aged relation which shall grow from strenth to strength to better its economy and many Indian firms have invested enormously in Russian companies and vice versa.
On November 22, 2017, India’s press office announced that a BrahMos Air Launched Cruise Missile (ALCM) was test fired for the first time from a Su-30MKI fighter aircraft. BrahMos Missiles, S-400 air defence systems developed by Russia.
His address concluded  greeting him with thunderous applaude and therby Ambassadors  Lamba deliberated.
Foreign Ministers of the European Union have accepted the explanation concerning the recent joint US, British and French airstrikes in Syria. The ministers discussed the Syrian situation at a meeting in Luxembourg yesterday.
They said they understand the joint airstrikes were conducted to prevent the Syrian government from using more chemical weapons and killing its own people. They noted the Syrian government, supported by Russia and Iran, has stepped up its military operations without regard for civilian casualties.
The ministers said the EU condemns “all attacks, both deliberate and indiscriminate, against civilian populations and civilian infrastructure”, such as hospitals and schools. They also expressed concern over a Turkish military campaign against Kurdish forces in Syria, saying it made the situation more complicated.
They called on all parties involved in the conflict in Syria to ensure humanitarian access throughout the country.
France will contribute 61(point)9 million dollars toward urgent humanitarian aid for Syria. French President Emmanuel Macron said at a meeting with a group of non-governmental organisations (NGO) in Paris.
The funds will be allocated to NGOs and U.N. agencies working on the ground in Syria, including the U.N. office for humanitarian affairs. According to United Nations estimates, some 13 million people including six million children are in need of humanitarian aid in Syria, ravaged by a seven-year war that has displaced millions.

UK,US warn of Russian malicious cyber activity

Britain and the United States today released a rare joint statement warning of “malicious cyber activity” carried out by the Russian state.
The technical alert was issued by the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Homeland Security. It warned everyone from internet service providers to home office customers to heed the warning, after the government agencies found cyber attacks targeting devices such as internet routers.
They cited cybersecurity research organisations and other governments as providing evidence of such attacks, without providing details of their timing or scale. The joint statement comes amid worsening relations between the two countries and Moscow after Washington and London launched coordinated strikes against Russia’s ally Syria.

World Bank projects India’s growth rate at 7.3 % year 2018.

World Bank has projected a growth rate of 7(point)3 per cent for India this year and 7(point)5 per cent for 2019 and 2020. The bank also noted that Indian economy has recovered from the effects of demonetisation and the Goods and Services Tax.
The World Bank in its twice-a-year South Asia Economic Focus report in Washington yesterday said that growth is expected to accelerate from 6.7 in 2017 to 7.3 per cent in 2018 and to subsequently stabilise supported by a sustained recovery in private investment and private consumption.
In the India section of the report, it said India should strive to accelerate investments and exports to take advantage of the recovery in global growth. World Bank acknowledged that disruptions from demonetisation and events surrounding the implementation of the GST led to a setback in economic activity and a potentially larger negative effect on the poor and vulnerable

PM Modi to hold talks PM Stefan Lofven in Stockholm today

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will have bilateral talks with his Swedish counterpart Stefan Lofven in capital Stockholm today.
PM Modi has reached Stockholm last evening on the first leg of his three-nation visit. India and Sweden will be announcing a Joint Action Plan and sign a Joint Innovation Partnership during the visit.
PM Modi to bilateral talks with his counterparts of other Nordic Countries, Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Norway. In a significant development, India and Sweden are co-hosting the first-ever India-Nordic summit this evening. In a hectic schedule, the Prime Minister will also address CEOs of Swedish business majors and address the Indian community in Sweden.
With an aim to further enhancing the bilateral cooperation that India and Sweden enjoying since long, an Indian Prime Minister visited Sweden after about three decades.
Mr Modi was extended warm welcome by Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven at the Arlanda Airport of Stockholm last evening. The two leaders travelled together till the hotel where the Prime Minister will have bilateral talks with his counterparts of other Nordic Countries, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and also to attend the first ever India-Nordic summit, being co-hosted by India and Sweden.
Besides furthering the bilateral cooperation with Sweden, India is intended to showcase opportunities available to the Nordic region in the form of huge market and pool of talent.
At the same time, in a win-win manner, India wants to utilise the innovative technologies that the Nordic Countries have. Before leaving this evening, the Prime Minister will also address the Indian community in Stockholm.

Press Conference & Inauguration of TAITRA New Office

Dear Sir,
On behalf of Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA), Taiwan’s foremost trade promotion organisation, We request you to kindly join 17th April, 2018 at 330 PM  for the Industry 4.0 Forum/ Press Conference & Inauguration of TAITRA New Office  as per details below for 2018 India Taiwan Expo to be held in Delhi during May, 2018 and also please join the High Tea.
This press conference is focusing on introducing Taiwan Expo 2018, which is happening for the first time in India. Apart from this, there will be a session on ‘Exploring the Next Highland through Industry 4.0, AI & Co-Creation’ by Mr. Vincent Chang, Sales Head of Asia Pacific & Intercontinental Region, Advantech, where he will be sharing insights of the industry. This expo will mark the beginning of trade relationship between the two Countries.
Prior confirmation by email is must.

Competitiveness, climate, security Finn’s priorities Ministry of Finance release Finnish road map of EU presidency. Finland i...