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BJP Chief Of Bihar Says, Any Finger Raised Against PM Modi Should Be Chopped

If any hand or finger is raised against our Prime Minister Narendra Modi, that person’s hand or finger should be chopped off, the minister of ruling party BJP in Bihar Mr. Nityanand said. The parliamentarian later clarified on his statement saying he had just used a figure of speech when his statement started receiving criticism.

 

The MP from Bihar, Mr. Rai while addressing a function where Deputy Chief Minister Mr. Sushil Modi was also present made this statement. He said, “Every citizen of this country must be proud that a Garib Ka Beta has risen from being from a humble simple family to becoming the Prime Minister of the country”. He said, “unki ore uthnewalli har ungli ko, har haath ko hum saab log milkar ya toh todh denge aur zroorat padi toh kaat bhi denge” (Any finger or hand raised towards PM Modi, we will either break their hand or will chop their finger) he shouted, twitching his finger.

Mr. Rai is not afraid of the threat he gave. “Those who are anti-poor and anti-national would have an objection to the statement.” He said in a statement, “PM Modi is a messiah for all the poor. All those raising fingers against swabhimaani and poor, they are raising finger at PM Modi. It is our Prime Minister Narendra Modi who demolished poverty, black money, and corruption from the country”. So, what I said was a proverb, I meant there isn’t any space for such ill practices in the country.

When the BJP leader was asked to apologize, he was puzzled, he said, “If people don’t understand what can I do, they should understand that in what sense was the statement given. What I said was not that bad, that I am getting threats from people that they will bury me.”

The remark came close to a massive argument over a leader of BJP, Surajpal Amu in Haryana, announcing a sum of 10 Crore for the heads of director Sanjay Leela Bhansali and actress Deepika Padukone amidst of Rajput protest against the movie Padmavati.

Mr. Amu has been demanded with an explanation by the BJP, who says he gave the statement, not as someone who holds a post in the ruling part but, as a Rajput.

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Politics

How should India deal with Balochistan?

On July 24, a statement was released by a secessionist group Baloch Liberation Army(BLA) that their commander Aslam Baloch went to India without BLA’s permission and he doesn’t represent the BLA. The secretive group also emphasised that they will send their representatives to India only ‘if India makes the issue of Balochistan’s independence its state policy and support Baloch freedom struggle openly’. According to the experts, BLA is one of the oldest and most organised insurgent group fighting against Pakistan. Pakistani officials believe that an exiled political leader, Hyrbyair Marri, is leading the BLA but Mr Marri was cleared of terror charges in a British court in 2009.

After Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day speech, Indian media and NGOs increased their attention on Balochistan. Meanwhile many individuals travelled to India and tried to establish themselves as representative of Balochistan. Naela Quadri was one among several individuals who came to India and established a base here.

According to reliable sources, Aslam Baloch had arrived in India two months ago and he might be planning to launch a new insurgent group with the help of Naela Quadri. Quadri is believed to be offering a large sum of money to insurgents to form a new armed organisation. The statement reflects the policy of BLA that they would never allow any country to interfere in its internal affairs because they have always seen them as the sole protector of the Baloch national interests. However, the question remains that how India as a state should deal Balochistan? What should be the state policy? What kind of people should they support?

‘In the beginning, BLA was the only one, then BLF and BRA came. BLA was not geographically constrained on the other hand BLF was limited to Makuran region and BRA to Marri-Bugti Tribal areas. When you study their activities, and read their old statements it is evident that they took part in well-coordinated combined activities. Coordination was declined gradually after 2008/2009. There are many schools of thoughts with their own explanations that how it happened? One of the most accepted version is that they were unified under one command but regional leaders managed to create their own links, and for greater control, India persuaded an idea to break stronger organisations into several splinter groups. Weak and small groups resulted into less coordination and divided policies toward the enemy, in long term, it weakened the separatist movement’ argued Quetta based journalist Sarwar Ijaz.

If the Indian state and Indian people want to support Balochistan’s independence movement then it should deter state and non-state actor from interfering into their internal affairs and they should recognise that the stronger are organisations like BLA, more it would benefit Indian national interests because only a militarily capable insurgent group would be able to bring geopolitical changes in the region.

 

Adarsh Kumar is a freelance political journalist based in New Delhi.

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Politics

Vice-president Biden Warns Russia will meddle in European Elections

Vice-president of the U.S. Joe Biden has warned that Russia will meddle in European elections.

In his last speech before leaving office he said that Vladimir Putin will try and impose a vision of “military might, corruption and criminality.”

Mr Biden was speaking in Davos, Switzerland at the World Economic Forum.  He described Russia as the biggest threat to the liberal order, and called on America and Europe to stand up to Moscow but not “build walls.”

“Impose its will through military might, corruption and criminality”

He said, “Under President Putin, Russia is working with every tool available to them to whittle away at the edges of the European project, test the fault lines of western nations and return to a politics defined by spheres of influence.

“With many countries in Europe slated to hold elections this year, we should expect further attempts by Russia to meddle in the democratic process. It will occur again, I promise you. And again the purpose is clear to collapse the liberal international order.

“Simply put, Mr Putin has a different vision for the future, one which Russia is pursuing across the board. It seeks to return to a world where the strong impose its will through military might, corruption and criminality while weaker nations have to fall in line.”

So far most of the signs look like Trump will try to make deals with Russia rather than have a policy of confrontation.

NATO

Much of the speech made veiled references to Donald Trump, and he called on the incoming president to honour the U.S’ commitment to NATO.

He said, “Defending the liberal international order requires that we resist the forces of European disintegration and maintain our longstanding insistence on a Europe, whole, free and peaceful.

“It means fighting for the European Union, one of the most vibrant and consequential institutions on earth.”

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Politics

London celebrities threaten to boycott council tax over bin collections row

Shirley Valentine actor Tom Conti, fashion designer Nicole Farhi and playwright Sir David Hare are all threatening not to pay their council tax in a row about fortnightly bin collections.

Camden Council in North London, where they all live, used to collect rubbish once a week. However, in a bid to cut costs, it has cut back the collections to once every fortnight instead. However, the move has not gone down well in plush areas of London, including Hampstead, Primrose Hill and Belsize Park, which are all well known for being celebrity haunts.

Mr Conti, 75, said he pays £2,719 per year in council tax but wasn’t getting enough for his money. He said it was shocking that the council wasted so much money and did not collect the rubbish. He added: “It will mean dirtier streets. I don’t know whether they are targeting richer neighbourhoods on purpose but it wouldn’t surprise me.”

Ridiculous idea

Meanwhile, Ms Farhi who is married to Sir David branded the changes ridiculous, asking where she was meant to store her rubbish while waiting for a collection. She pointed out that she already pays more for her council tax than many people because she has a large house, and demanded that she get the same service as other boroughs of London. Ms Farhi said she was also concerned that less frequent rubbish collections would attract vermin such as rats and foxes.

Other celerity residents set to be affected include One Direction singer Harry Styles, chat show host Jonathan Ross and comedian David Walliams.

Camden Council said it was taking a road by road approach to bin collections, adding that it had made sure those homes will be serviced just once a fortnight have big enough storage areas so that rubbish does not spill out into the streets.

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Sir Mo Farah may not be able to get home to wife and children – because of Trump’s immigration rules

Olympian Sir Mo Farah fears President Donald Trump’s new immigration rules could prevent him from getting home to his wife and daughters, who live in America. On Friday, the new president signed orders stopping anyone who is a citizen of seven, mainly Muslim countries, from entering America for 90 days.

And, while Sir Mo may be one of Britain’s most successful athletes, having taken two gold medals at the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games, he was actually born in Somalia, which is one of the countries on President Trump’s hit list.

He and his family are based in Oregon, but he is currently out of the country, training in Ethiopia. In a strongly worded message on social media, Sir Mo wrote: “On 1st January this year, Her Majesty The Queen made me a Knight of the Realm. On 27th January, President Donald Trump seems to have made me an alien.”

Now their home

He explained that he was a British citizen, but had lived in the US for six years. Sir Mo said he worked hard, contributed to society and paid his taxes. He added that he was bringing his four children up in a place which they now considered to be their home.

Sir Mo said he was so worried about the situation that he was now thinking about how he would tell his youngsters that their Daddy might not be able to get back home to them, and he went on to say that the President had made a policy decision based on “ignorance and prejudice”.

The elite athlete moved to Britain from Somalia when he was eight, and said that Britain had welcomed him, giving him the chance to fulfil his dreams. Sir Mo is now trying to clarify the situation as it applies to him because, although he was born in Somalia, he only holds a British passport.

 

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Petition to Cancel Trump’s UK Visit Reaches 100,000 Signatures

Less than five hours after its launch, 100,000 people have signed a petition in favour of banning Donald Trump from a state visit to Britain.  The matter will now be debated in parliament.

The petition cites Mr Trump’s “well documented misogyny and vulgarity” and calls for him to be allowed into the country but to meet The Queen.

As the petition has over 10,000 signatures it will be debated in parliament.  The petition reached the 100,000 figure in just under five hours after being launched at 8am.  It earned 56,000 signatures within the last sixty minutes.

Data shows that signatures came from North, South, and Central London with high signing rates in Edinburgh, Bristol, Brighton, and Manchester.

The petition states, “Donald Trump should be allowed to enter the UK in his capacity as head of the US Government, but he should not be invited to make an official State Visit because it would cause embarrassment to Her Majesty the Queen.

“Donald Trump’s well documented misogyny and vulgarity disqualifies him from being received by Her Majesty the Queen or the Prince of Wales. Therefore during the term of his presidency Donald Trump should not be invited to the United Kingdom for an official State Visit.”

May Under Fire

The petition and subsequent debate will further apply the pressure to Theresa May.  She has been constantly under fire over a range of issues, when in each case she has failed to answer pressing questions of the day, either avoiding the question or choosing to answer a different question to the one put.

In relation to the Trump travel ban, Theresa May is being criticised in her own party as more divisions erupt within it.  Conservative MP Nadhim Zahawi, a Muslim, said the U.S travel ban would stop him entering the country and for the first time in his life he feels discriminated against.

A decision on when the parliamentary debate will occur will be decided at a later date.

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Syrian Peace Talks Get off to Bad Start

The Syria peace talks held in Astana, Kazakhstan, got off to a bad start when rebels refused to negotiate with Bashar al Jaafari of the Syrian government face to face.  The Syrian delegation branded this as insolent and provocative.

The negotiations are sponsored by Turkey, Iran, and Russia and aim to end the five-year long Syrian conflict.  Some are saying this is a test of Russia’s influence in the Middle East.

A leaked document shows that broadly speaking the talks support the U.N process.  It calls for joint action to defeat terrorist groups such as Islamic State, and it wants to implement a trilateral process to monitor the ceasefire.

These talks to bring peace in Syria are unique as for the first time opposition delegation is not drawn from political representatives, but the armed rebel groups themselves.  A move designed to build trust between the parties.

Opposition Demands

Leader of the opposition delegation, Mohammed Alloush, stated that peace talks were more difficult as Iranian-sponsored militia were fighting alongside Syrian troops.  He called for them to leave the country and for the release of prisoners from government jails, citing 13,000 women were being held in arbitration.

The opposition’s demand of the departure of Assad and Iranian militias before the peace process can begin puts them at odds with the regime.

A spokesman for the rebels said the first talks were not held face to face due to continued bombardment by the Syrian regime on an area near Damascus.

Russia’s Great Hope

Russia has placed a lot of hope in these peace talks.  They believe as the Obama administration is no longer involved and the opposition defeat in Aleppo the talks stand a chance of succeeding.  This has been strengthened by the fact that Turkey, once an opponent of Assad no longer sees him as an obstacle to reaching a lasting agreement.

 

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British Prime Minster Theresa May Denies Fawning at President Trump

British Prime Minister Theresa May as said she won’t be afraid to tell President Trump should he say something that she feels is unacceptable.

The two are due to meet on Friday.

Former Scottish National Party Leader, Alex Salmond has said May appears to be “fawning” in relation to the US administration.

In an interview, she told the BBC that the special relationship between Britain and the U.S. will enable her to say what she feels.

Protestors against Trump numbered in their millions on Sunday, and marched in key cities around the world, most protesting his comments on women and race.

May said she was looking forward to meeting President Trump and building strong relations between the two countries.  When asked if she would raise issues highlighted in protests, she replied,  “I have already said that some of the comments Donald Trump has made in relation to women were unacceptable.  Some of those he himself has apologised for.”

She cited laws around modern slavery and domestic violence, stating she had a record of defending women’s interests.

She added, “I will be talking to Donald Trump about the issues we share and how we can build on the special relationship.  It is the special relationship that allows us to say when something is unacceptable.  Whenever there is something I find unacceptable, I won’t be afraid to say that to Donald Trump.”

She continued to say that she was not too worried about his America first rhetoric saying that all leaders prioritised their own nation first, “He and people around him have also spoken of the importance of a trade arrangement with the United Kingdom and that is something they are looking to talk to us about at an early stage.

“There are issue, that we will work on together in the future – the importance of Nato and defeating terrorism.  These are issues where we share the challenges and see the threats, where we have worked together in the past and will do so in the future.”

The two meet on Friday.

 

 

 

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Trump and Putin to Meet at Reykjavik Summit

Donald Trump is to meet Russian president Vladimir Putin in his first foreign trip as U.S president, according to sources.

According to reports this will happen within weeks of Donald Trump being inaugurated as president.  It is a similar move to when Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Regan met soon after Regan was inaugurated in 1986.

The idea of the summit is to restart and rebuild relations between the two countries, with possible deals to limit nuclear weapons being thrashed out.

Donald Trump has said he would consider dropping sanctions on Russia if the country agreed to work with the U.S on key objectives, such as tackling terrorism.  Trump said, “I understand that they [the Russians] would like to meet, and that’s absolutely fine with me.”

One source close to the president-elect said, “The idea of a summit with Putin is definitely on the cards. The Russians are also keen on it.”

Playing Putin’s Ego

One of Trump’s advisers said the U.S had leverage as Putin wants to be a player on the world stage.  He said, “What does Putin want?   Prestige — centre stage at the sum­mit, the one-on-one meet­ing, the hand on the back from Trump. That gives the US tremendous leverage. Mr Trump is master of the photo op and he will use that skill.”

Britain Concerned

According to The Times newspaper, Britain is not so happy about Trump and Putin developing close ties.  Britain has called for sanctions on Russia over Syria and Ukraine and it has sought reassurances from the CIA that British agents will be protected when intelligence is shared.

One British intelligence source said, “Until we have established whe­ther Trump and senior mem­­bers of his team can be trusted, we’re going to hold back. Putting­ it bluntly, we can’t risk betraying sources and methods to the Russians.”

Theresa May is set to meet with Trump in February.  The feeling is that the British government is fearing it could be left out in the cold.

 

 

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Donald Trump appoints son in law as special advisor – but he won’t pay him a penny

President-elect Donald Trump has appointed his son in law as Senior Advisor as he prepares to officially take office on January 20. The new role will be similar to the one he carried out during the entrepreneur’s successful election campaign.

His top staff will also include Reince Priebus, who has been appointed White House Chief of Staff, and Stephen Bannon as Chief Strategist. Mr Kushner, who is worth billions, will not get any pay during his role, in a bid to prevent accusations of nepotism.

In a statement issued to announce Mr Kushner’s appointment, Mr Trump said that his son in law was a “tremendous asset and trusted advisor.” He added that he was extremely successful in business, and now politics, and would prove invaluable as Mr Trump moves forward with plans set out in his campaign.

New home in Washington

Mr Kushner is the husband of Mr Trump’s eldest daughter Ivanka. He and Ivanka will not be living in the White House, but have found a mansion in Washington which they are set to move into along with their three children. Mr Trump is set to hold a press conference in New York tomorrow when he will give further details about who will run his business empire while he is in the White House.

Mr Kushner and Mr Trump will need to convince officials that they are not falling foul of anti-nepotism legislation which bans those in top jobs from appointing family members to government. By not taking a wage for the position, Mr Kushner hopes to show that they have not broken the law.

There are also sure to be questions raised about the possibility of conflicts arising between government duties and his real estate empire. Mr Kushner has quickly become a trusted advisor to Mr Trump. He is often the last one to talk to him before any major decisions are taken.