SOURCE: Shephard Press

The security implications of China’s growing capabilities and investment in space are causing serious apprehension in India.  Chinese space militarisation directly impacts Indian security. Such geopolitical concerns have led the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), essentially a civil space agency, to expand over the years into a military role.

In a move to integrate space assets of the three services – the army, navy and air force – the Defence Space Agency (DSA) became operational in November 2019. India is yet to take steps to beef up the DSA, Ajey Lele, senior fellow at the Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, told Shephard. 

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SOURCE: Free Press Journal

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday extended his thanks to various countries for standing with Israel during the Israel Palestine violence. Israel on Saturday slammed the Gaza Strip with airstrikes, in a dramatic escalation that included bombing the home of a senior Hamas leader, killing a family of 10 in a refugee camp – most of them children – and pulverizing a high-rise that housed The Associated Press, Al Jazeera, and other media.

Meanwhile, the Health Ministry in Gaza said that since Monday more than 140 Palestinians have been killed, including 40 children and 20 women, and about 1,000 others injured.

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The $678 million-apiece fifth-generation F-22 was introduced in 2005, and has never been exported, ostensibly due to concerns about the leak of its advanced technology. The US jet’s deployments have been limited to escorting vintage 1950s Russian bombers, deploying at airbases in Eastern Europe and the Middle East, and flying sorties over Syria.

The US Air Force plans to retire its entire stock of Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor fighters, with the aircraft to be replaced in part by a mystery plane, drone or drone plane being developed under the ‘Next Generation Air Dominance’ (NGAD) programme, Lieut. Gen. Clinton Hinote, Air Force deputy chief of staff for strategy, integration and requirements, has said.

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A team of 120 Para Commandos of Indian Army was given the task to raid and destroy enemy’s artillery guns positioned inside Pakistan territory during the 1971 war. The military engineers told them that 3 kg of plastic explosive would be enough to damage the guns, the commanding officer of the unit, however, asked the raiding team to “add 2 kg extra for luck”. The raid, popularly recognised as “Operation Mandhol” is considered to be the first surgical strike by Indian Army’s Special Forces inside enemy territory.

The raid had also forced the Pakistan army to raise a second line of troops to secure their artillery guns, thereby changing their military doctrine.

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SOURCE: Express News Service

 Uranium was detected in 83.6 percent of all the collected water samples during a nationwide survey by the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) for mapping of uranium content in drinking water sources across India. About 55,554 surface and groundwater samples were collected for the survey.

“Out of 12 water quality parameters measured to understand the geochemical processes governing uranium content in water sources, eight were found to exceed the acceptable limits set by the BIS for drinking water,” said the study published in Current Science.

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If the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) made up of Australia, India, Japan, and the United States (US) has to function properly, it should morph into a treaty-based economic alliance, wherein all commit to defending each other economically if China retaliates against any member, according to an opinion piece in The Hill.

Jainli Yang, former political prisoner in China, and Aaron Rhodes, president of the Forum for Religious Freedom-Europe, write in The Hill that forming this kind of alliance would be an “appropriate response to the Chinese Communist Party’s own decades-long strategy of creating allies by coercion, rather than consent, and punishing trade partners that stand up on behalf of fundamental moral principles”.

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 India and France with backup support from Japan and the United States — key members of the Indo-Pacific QUAD, which also includes Australia — may need to focus on Mozambique to counter the deadly Islamic State terror group. Alarming reports are emerging about the rise of the Islamic State (IS) in Mozambique, a country with vast natural resources. Specifically, the IS appears to be eyeing Mozambique’s energy reserves, including oil and gas, to fuel a prolonged conflict, if not emergence of a new Caliphate in Africa.

The IS has already acquired considerable experience in Syria of taking over oil wells and fuelling its operations by selling energy through grey-zone channels. After its displacement from West Asia, the IS can now leverage that experience, and knowledge of underground networks to monetise illegal sales, in its new geographical setting.

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The death of Soumya Santosh — the Indian caretaker to an elderly Israeli woman, who fell victim to rocket attacks by a Palestinian Islamist group from Gaza — is an “unbelievable tragedy and proof that rockets are being fired targeting Israel’s civilian population”. This is a complicated time in Israel, Jonathan Zadka, Israel’s Consul General to South India has said.

Speaking to The Hindu over telephone while on his way to attend the funeral of Soumya in Idukki district in Kerala, Mr. Zadka said he decided to personally visit her family members to convey Israel’s sympathy in person. She would be recognised (by Israel) as a terror victim and whatever was possible would be done to extend help to her family, after her last rites were performed.

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Police in Indian-administered Kashmir have arrested at least 20 people, including an outspoken religious leader who prayed for Palestine and an artist who drew graffiti in solidarity with the Palestinian people. The family of 32-year-old Mudasir Gull, an artist based in the main city of Srinagar, accused the regional authority of censoring freedom of expression of an artist.

“Why is he detained? What has he done? Has the government banned art here?” his sister Muzamil Firdous asked. “When the whole world is waking up against Israel’s atrocities, we can’t speak, we can’t practice art; what kind of democracy we live in? Can’t we express our grief for Palestine?” Firdous told Al Jazeera.

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A review of Pakistan’s economic data for this century triggers utter gloom. On almost all key indicators, the country has either regressed or stagnated even while Bangladesh and India have made rapid progress. Pakistan must grow at 6% to 7% annually to absorb its youth bulge, but it has done so only twice (2003-2005) in the 21st century. However, inflation has exceeded that level in 12 years, piling misery on the poor. The industrial sector usually absorbs the youth bulge.

Unfortunately, it has stagnated at around 20% of the GDP for decades while the service sector has grown from around 50% to 60%. Many poorer states achieve growth via exports.  Pakistan’s exports have fallen from 15% of GDP in 2003 to around 10%. Foreign direct investment aids growth too. But it has fallen from 3.7% of GDP in 2007 to 1%.

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SOURCE:  Republic.

As India currently battles second wave of COVID-19 and where medical infrastructure in some states is outstretching its capacity, Israel has stepped forward in providing medical and life-saving support during the ordeal. 

According to Ambassador of Israel to India Dr Ron Malka, another aeroplane with oxygen devices and other medical equipment arrived in Delhi, earlier today. It is pertinent to note the Ambassador did not miss out to mention Israel stands with India during trying times despite the war-like situation prevalent back in Israel. He stated, 

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The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Sunday conducted searches at four places in Madurai in connection with its probe relating to incriminating Facebook posts by a suspect – Mohammad Iqbal. He is believed to be an extremist advocating the ideology of ISIS and Hizb-Ut- Tahrir, a fundamentalist organisation, the agency said in a statement.

The case was originally registered by the Tamil Nadu police last year for alleged incriminating posts on the social media platform. The central agency took over the investigation on April 15.

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SOURCE: Anadolu Agency

Indian press associations on Sunday strongly condemned Israel’s bombing of a tower block in Gaza that had offices of media houses. “There can be no justification for bombing media houses and targeting their personnel and resources,” said a joint statement by the Indian Women’s Press Corps, Press Association, and Press Club of India.

“It appears as an attempt to prevent media houses from reporting excesses that have become a routine affair in Gaza and the occupied parts of Palestine. We condemn such attacks.” The building that was hit by Israel on Saturday housed the offices of Associated Press and Al Jazeera news outlets, among others, and was also used for residential purposes.

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A team of experts from Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is guiding the technicians of Sterlite Copper to repair the oxygen plant’s cold box that broke down on Thursday night halting oxygen production. Oxygen generation in Sterlite that started on Thursday morning suffered a major setback on Thursday night following technical snag in the cold box of the plant.

Though it was initially thought that the technical issue could be sorted out within three days by the technicians of Sterlite Copper, the minute cracks that had developed in the cold box completely paralysed oxygen generation.

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SOURCE: Republic

A team of experts from Naval Dockyard Visakhapatnam achieved a major breakthrough in repairing two major Oxygen Plants at Nellore and Shri Kalahasthi in Andhra Pradesh, in a major boost to the oxygen supply in the state amid COVID-19 crisis.

Following a request from the state administration, Eastern Naval Command airlifted teams of specialists from Naval Dockyard by the naval Dornier aircraft from Visakhapatnam. The teams successfully repaired the Oxygen plants on Sunday morning by overhauling the compressors and replacing certain adapters and accessories which were manufactured within the Naval Dockyard.

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