Tears Have Run Dry in Gaza

Gaza – Where Tears Have Run Dry

Benjamin Netanyahu quoted the ‘Old Testament’ in late October this year, to evoke a bloody revenge spectacle from the mythical Biblical times, as he bombed Gaza, with thousands of dead bodies of Palestinians buried in the rubble, including children: “You must remember what Amalek has done to you, says our Holy Bible. (1 Samuel 15:3) ‘Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass’.”

Unrepentant and hardline Zionists are now saying that killing of children is important because you nip the enemy in the bud. One expert on Israeli TV was heard, expressing unabashed glee, saying that he cannot sleep if there is no bombing in Gaza. Another said, what is wrong with war crimes? War crimes are necessary, it must be done!

It’s like certain Israelis, in the earlier conflicts, would have a picnic: sitting in a garden on an elevated place and watching the killings and ‘fireworks’ in the Palestinian areas. Similar to Nazi officers organizing a massacre, and, then, taking a break — happily going for a picnic with their wives, kids and friends on a week-end, or celebrating outside a concentration camp, with Jewish slaves as attendants.

Undoubtedly, this abjectly extremist, pathologically perverse, racist and supremacist Right-wing regime which controls Tel Aviv these days, is replicating exactly the Nazi model. It’s that there are no concentration camps, gas chambers, no trains jam-packed with Jews being taken to the slaughter houses in Aushwitz or Krakow, etc. There is no Warsaw Ghetto where the Nazis isolated 400 to 500,000 Jews, starving them, blocking their water and electricity, turning them into sick and emaciated creatures, before transporting them to the gas chambers and labour/death camps.

Gaza looks like the Warsaw Ghetto now, and it also reminds of Hiroshima and Nagasaki – following the Amlekites theory from the Biblical times. If this is not mindless madness enacted by mass murderers and backed by Joe Biden and the West, then what is? The Jews were then branded as pests, carriers of epidemics, dirty, filthy, sub-humans, animals, cockroaches and rats, selfish and self-seeking, a curse on society, untouchables and outcastes, not fit to walk on the same roads, or use the same transport, or, share the same space as the Germans.

Something is really wrong with this rogue State. A new clipping of famous Palestinian social scientist Edward Said, when he was young, has emerged; years ago, Netanyahu refused to share the same space with him in a TV programme because he apparently believed that the professor would murder him! Said had no such phobia.

Now, Netanyahu is using a myth to organize a relentless genocide, outside all international law, amidst mass hunger, amputated bodies, including that of severely wounded children, disease, thirst, hunger, dying and death, while the Palestinians are branded exactly in the same manner as what the Nazis did to the Jews! Clearly, in the warped and sick mindset of the Israeli regime and its followers, all Palestinians should be eliminated, especially women and children, so that no child is ever born in this ‘holy land’. Thereby, and after having already occupied the West Bank, they can now construct a Grand Zionist State with nuclear power in the whole of Palestine, including Gaza. Backed by American and Western powers, whose hearts bleed for the killings of innocents by Putin’s army in Ukraine.

Hence, every day, more and more grotesque stories are emerging from Gaza. The latest, unconfirmed news is that 80 bodies returned by the notorious Israeli Defense Force (IDF) had their organs stolen. If true, how is it different from the Nazis taking the body organs of the Jews, including the skin of children, hair and gold-teeth, in the concentration camps?

There are reports coming of targeted killings – execution style. Al Jazeera reported that bodies of new-borns, children and women were found piled up in the Shadia Abu Ghazala school in northern Gaza, with people reporting that they had been shot at point-blank range. Witnesses said the civilians were killed — execution-style — by Israeli soldiers.

Shoot before you ask. That is how IDF killed three bare-chested Israeli hostages, one holding a white flag on December 15. All of them in their 20s.

Meanwhile, amidst a litany of horror stories, scores of Palestinians, stripped, were lined up in a stadium, or filled like poultry chicken in a truck. Video footage showed Israeli soldiers, on tanks, pointing their guns at them. Were they tortured? Were they killed – execution style? War crimes – who cares, certainly not Joe Biden and Rishi Sunak!

At least 4,000 students, 300 medics, 136 United Nations staff and 90 journalists have been reportedly killed; journalists have been killed to block all news of the on-going genocide, even while others continue to report from the ground, including young women journalists with children.

Samer Abudaqa, a cameraman for ‘Al Jazeera Arabic’, was killed while reporting at Farhana School in Khan Younis. He was clearly targeted. His colleague, Al Jazeera Arabic correspondent Wael Dahdouh, who lost his family earlier, was wounded. Journalists in Gaza are carrying a “human and noble message” for the world amid the continuing war and will continue to work despite Israeli attacks, Dahdouh said in his eulogy. “We will continue to do our duty with professionalism and transparency,” he said, as mourners and journalists around him wept.

Tears flowed from his eyes too when Dahdouh had lost everything in his life. He had moved away from the cameras of fellow journalists at the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital after his wife, son, daughter and grandson had been killed in an Israeli air raid.

Take the case of a famous poet, as popular in the West for his sensitive poetry as in the Middle-East — Refaat Alareer. He had told CNN earlier that he and his family had no choice but to remain in the north, because they “have nowhere else to go”. He had said: “It’s an archetypal Palestinian image of a discussion, a debate on should we stay in one room, so if we die, we die together, or should we stay in separate rooms, so at least somebody can live?”

A professor of comparative literature at the Islamic University of Gaza, Alareer also taught ‘Creative Writing’ and was a mentor to young Palestinian writers, inspiring them to write stories about their occupied homeland. On December 7, Alareer was murdered by a targeted attack in Shajaiya, in northern Gaza, where he had taken refuge. He was staying with his brother, sister, her four children — all of them were killed.

Alareer had edited ‘Gaza Writes Back’, a collection of short stories by young writers, he was co-editor of ‘Gaza Unsilenced’, a collection of essays, photos and poetry, and he also contributed to ‘Light in Gaza: Writings Born of Fire,’ an anthology published in 2022. He had studied at University College and SOAS in London. His death created outrage from London to New York. His last poem, became viral. As a tribute, across the world, mourners carried white kites in his memory, and in protest.

In this poem, ‘If I must die’, he wrote:

If I must die,
you must live
to tell my story
to sell my things
to buy a piece of cloth
and some strings,
(make it white with a long tail)
so that a child, somewhere in Gaza
while looking heaven in the eye
awaiting his dad who left in a blaze—
and bid no one farewell
not even to his flesh
not even to himself—
sees the kite, my kite you made, flying up
and thinks for a moment an angel is there
bringing back love…

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A Gas Chamber Called Delhi-NCR

Of Life and Living in a Gas Chamber Called Delhi-NCR

It is a mild winter afternoon and I am meeting a friend at the DLF Golf and Country Club, a private members-only club in Gurugram. Widely acknowledged as the best golf course in India and a regular host to international tournaments, it is also a paradise for golf enthusiasts and a symbol of luxury and exclusivity in India. With an annual membership fee of around Rs 7 lakh (USD 8400) or 3.5 times the per capita income in India, it better be a paradise. We are sitting inside one of its glass-encased restaurants and the conversation turned to Delhi’s air pollution.

Through the glass we can barely see the carefully landscaped green lawns, undulating hills, and a manmade lake with a fountain because all of it was covered by a thick blanket of fog. Only, it was not fog but smog, or air that was polluted densely with tiny particulate matter that can get into your lungs when you breathe and lead to serious respiratory and other ailments. It is said that an average resident of Delhi-NCR (National Capital Region) inhales the equivalent of a pack and a half (or 30) cigarettes every day during the worst days of pollution. The worst days are now. And they are ubiquitous. Between October end and January, air pollution levels in the sprawling megalopolis, home to nearly 33 million people, which is about half the population of the UK, routinely turn horrific each year.

Air pollution is not a problem for Delhi and the NCR alone but has come to affect every large and medium sized city in India where construction activity is booming; the number of vehicles on the road is spiraling out of control; and where industrial activity in the form of smoke spewing factories mushroom as zoning restrictions are enforced only leniently. In northern parts of India, such as Delhi and the NCR, the problem is compounded by farmers burning crop stubble to clear the soil for fresh sowings and the smoke from that being swept over the city and its suburbs. 

My friend tells me how all his three cars have air purifiers, which also, of course, are in every room of his sprawling five-bedroom home in a luxury condominium on the edge of the golf course where we are sitting. He coughs frequently, though, and when I ask him whether he wears a mask when he is outdoors, he demurs and doesn’t answer. He is one of India’s privileged class of rich people who lives his charmed life in a bubble but even he doesn’t seem overly concerned about the havoc that the air in the city is wreaking on his body and his health. It is believed that in Delhi and the NCR, pollution may be slashing 10 to 12 years of a person’s life.

As we finish our coffees and prepare to leave, I check the real time Air Quality Index (AQI) on my phone. It is 402. That means the air quality is very very poor and may cause respiratory illness in people on prolonged exposure. It also means that the average concentration of PM 2.5, a harmful pollutant, is 250 micrograms per cubic metre, which is four times the permissible limit. I take out my mask, a N95 that is said to help filter out the dreaded particles–at least a bit–and put it on for the walk to my friend’s car parked about 800 metres from where we are. He doesn’t have a mask and even though he is still coughing a bit, he doesn’t seem to care.

My friend is among the 17,400 dollar millionaires (estimate courtesy Hurun India Wealth Report, 2021) in Delhi and NCR. And as I said, he doesn’t wear a mask when he is outside. Little wonder that very few of the millions of his co-residents in the megalopolis also don’t. Most don’t own and cannot afford air purifiers and millions have to work outdoors all day or live in homes that are just not equipped to prevent the spread of poor air.

This November when air pollution levels in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR) reached alarming levels once again, a leading Indian newspaper did a feature titled, “Choosing the right mask for Delhi–your ultimate guide”. It was a timely article, exhaustive and well-researched, and listed different masks and their efficacies in tackling or, rather, lessening the grave consequences of breathing the urban sprawl’s terrible air. I am sure many other media publications have done the same thing: warning people about how bad the air quality is and how important it is to take precautions. They needn’t have. No one wears masks in Delhi or its adjoining areas that make up what is known as NCR.

This winter, Delhi and the NCR’s air quality was the worst in several years. On December 23, in parts of the city the AQI crossed 450. AQI values at or below 100 are generally thought of as satisfactory. When AQI values are above 100, air quality is considered to be unhealthy—at first for certain sensitive groups of people, then for everyone as AQI values increase. In Delhi and the NCR area, AQI levels during the colder months, beginning in November, routinely rise to beyond 400, which is not only unhealthy but hazardous and, for people breathing it over a sustained period, can have life-threatening consequences. 

A decade ago, China’s Beijing (population around 22 million) had a similar problem. Thick smog stubbornly enveloped the city and AQI levels soared. But the Chinese government declared a war against pollution in 2013. In Beijing, a $100-billion plan was actioned, which included clampdowns on factories, a ban on old vehicles, and a decisive move from coal and fossil-fuel sources of energy to natural gas. In 2020, Beijing was reported to have had 288 days of clear skies compared to 176 in 2013 when the war against pollution began.

And in Delhi? In 2021, according to one estimate, there were only 60 satisfactory air days (AQI of 100 or less). Things may have gotten worse since then. And, on the face of it, not much is being done to effectively improve things. 

One of the factors that made the Chinese government combat the pollution problem in its biggest cities was public outrage. Even under an authoritarian regime, people in Beijing and other cities protested publicly when air pollution began reaching hazardous levels. That and the fact that China was eager not to have its international image, particularly among investors, tarnished were what spurred the authorities into action. 

In Indian cities, especially Delhi and the NCR, there has hardly been any public protest. Instead there is a pall of fatalism that seems to be pervasive. On the streets of Delhi, Gurugram, Noida, Faridabad, and other satellite towns, hardly anyone wears masks. And, while schools were closed briefly, and some offices reverted to Covid-era remote working for their employees, these were stop-gap measures. 

To be sure, the government has rolled out a set of plans. GRAP, which stands for Graded Response Action Plan, is a set of emergency measures that are implemented incrementally when air quality begins to dip in Delhi-NCR in the winter months. GRAP has four stages, depending on the severity of the air pollution: poor, very poor, severe, and severe+. Each stage has different actions to reduce emissions from various sources, such as vehicles, industries, construction, and waste burning. 

Has that helped? The short answer is no. That is because of several factors:

First, there is a lack of coordination and compliance among various agencies and states involved in implementing GRAP. Second, even after GRAP triggers actions such as a ban on construction, waste burning and diesel generators, these are not implemented by local authorities. Third, the response to changing air quality levels is delayed or insufficient. And fourth, there is a lack of a long-term plan to address the root causes of air pollution such as vehicular emissions, industrial activities, crop burning, and meteorological factors.

To be sure, there have been bans on certain categories of vehicles that don’t adhere to emission standards. There have also been some restrictions on factories and smoke-spewing industries in and around the megalopolis but clearly not enough has been done to have a meaningful impact on the quality of air that millions have to breathe.

Soon, India’s political parties will begin their run-up to the parliamentary elections scheduled for next May. The Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who will lead the campaign for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, is keenly expected to win a third term. By February or perhaps March when electioneering will really pick up momentum, the skies will be a bit clearer (read: AQI levels will no longer be hazardous but merely poor) and that would be good enough for everyone to forget about pollution. The issue of bad air quality, which has already become “old news” that is undeserving of highlighting for India’s media publications will by then disappear completely from their news reports; and you can be sure that air pollution will not be an issue that anyone is going to focus on during the high-decibel election campaigning that usually marks India’s polls.

Instead, the citizens of Delhi-NCR (as well as other Indian cities) will fatalistically breathe “poor” or “very poor” air, thankful perhaps that at least it is not hazardous… till the smog rolls in again next November. 

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Vicky Kaushal and Katrina Kaif

Vicky-Kat Jet Off For New Year Vacay

Lovebirds Vicky Kaushal and Katrina Kaif made their fans’ Sunday morning extremely special with their appearance at the Mumbai Airport.

Vicky and Katrina were spotted heading out of the city at an undisclosed destination. In the videos captured by paps, the couple can be seen walking hand-in-hand as they make their way to the airport’s entry gate.

Interestingly, the two did not leave to impart fashion goals besides couple goals. For the airport look, Katrina wore a white shirt and black pants. She completed her look by wearing a long black-coloured blazer and sunglasses. On the other hand, Vicky donned a grey jacket that he paired with a black T-shirt and jeans.

The duo happily posed for the shutterbugs stationed outside the airport.

Vicky and Katrina tied the knot on December 9, 2021, at Six Senses Fort Barwara, Rajasthan. On ‘Koffee With Karan’, Katrina revealed that she met Vicky at Zoya Akhtar’s party and that’s when romance started brewing between them.

Sharing the details of her relationship with Vicky, Katrina shared how Vicky was never on her ‘radar’.

She said, “I did not even know much about him. He was just a name I had heard of but had never associated with. But then, when I met him, I was won over!”Calling her relationship ‘unexpected and out of the blue’, Katrina added, “It was my destiny and it was really meant to be. There were so many coincidences that at one point all of it just felt so unreal.”

Meanwhile, on the work front, Katrina will be seen in Sriram Raghavan’s film ‘Merry Christmas’ opposite south actor Vijay Sethupathi and Farhan Akhtar’s upcoming film ‘Jee Le Zara’ along with Alia Bhatt and Priyanka Chopra.

Vicky will be next seen in an upcoming untitled romantic drama film. Helmed by Anand Tiwari and produced by Karan Johar the film also stars Tripti Dimri and Ammy Vrik in the lead roles. (ANI)

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Sanjay Dutt

Sanjay’s Recent Fam-Jam Pics From Dubai Surface Online

New Year is almost here and everyone wants to ring in 2024 with their family members and friends. Actor Sanjay Dutt has also reached Dubai in time to be with his wife Maanayata Dutt and kids Shahraan and Iqra and celebrate New Year’s Eve with them.

Sanjay’s daughter Trishala from his first marriage to Richa Sharma has also joined them for the New Year celebrations in Dubai.

Taking to Instagram, Trishala dropped several images from Dutt’s fam-jam dinner in Dubai.

She captioned the post with an infinity symbol emoji.

Sanjay got married to Maanayata in 2008. While Maanayata and kids Shahraan and Iqra have been living in Dubai for the past three years, Trishala stays in the US.

Isn’t it great to see the whole family getting reunited to celebrate New Year together?

Meanwhile, on the work front, Sanjay will be next seen in a sci-fi horror comedy film ‘The Virgin Tree’, which also features Sunny Singh, Mouni Roy, and Palak Tiwari in the lead roles.

He also has ‘Welcome To The Jungle’ alongside Akshay Kumar, Suniel Shetty, Paresh Rawal and Disha Patani in his kitty.’Welcome To The Jungle ‘ is all set to hit the theatres on December 20, 2024. (ANI)

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Mamata Banerjee Modi Bengal

I Urge Youths To Explore AI Tools: Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, addressing the nation in the year’s last ‘Mann Ki Baat’ episode before the country heads into the high-octane election year, pointed out how innovative technology, such as artificial intelligence (AI), has brought about convenience in different sectors of society.

Recalling the Kashi-Tamil Sangmam event in Uttar Pradesh, where the indigenous AI-powered Bhashini app ensured proper translation of his words from Hindi to Tamil with ease, he said that the people who participated in the Kashi-Tamil Sangamam were elated by this experiment.

“A few days ago, there was an experiment in Kashi that I would certainly like to share with Mann Ki Baat listeners. You must be aware that thousands of people have reached Kashi from Tamil Nadu to take part in Kashi-Tamil Sangamam. There, for the first time, I used ‘Bhashini’ the Artificial intelligence (AI) tool to communicate with them from a public platform. I was addressing in Hindi from the Dais but thanks to the AI tool Bhashini, the people of Tamil Nadu who were present there were listening to my address in Tamil, translated in real-time,” PM Modi said at the 108th episode of Mann Ki Baat on Sunday.

The PM further said that technology is a new beginning and expressed hope that it will help his voice reach the masses more easily.

“That day is not far, when a speech would be delivered in any language, but the audience would be able to listen to the same speech in their language in real time. The same feature would also be available in movies in the future. In which the audience in a theatre hall would get to listen to real-time translations with the help of AI.

He added that such technology would bring ease of functioning in different sectors, including the judiciary and education, once it was implemented there.

“A huge transformation will take place in our schools, hospitals and courts when this technology is extensively used,” he said.

The Prime Minister further urged the young generation to explore AI tools related to real-time translation in a bigger way and also make them 100 per cent full proof.

Earlier on December 17, a real-time Artificial Intelligence-based translation tool was used during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech at Kashi Tamil Sangamam in Varanasi.

This was done through ‘Bhashini’ for those in the audience who understood Tamil. ‘Bhashini’ is an AI-led language translation system that enables people to speak in their own language while talking to speakers of other Indian languages.

Meanwhile, BJP National President JP Nadda, along with Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath, heard PM Modi’s Mann Ki Baat programme in Lucknow.

The 107rd edition of ‘Mann Ki Baat’ was aired on November 26, when PM Modi asked the citizens not to organise weddings abroad and urged people of the country to hold wedding celebrations in the country.

The popular programme on All India Radio, Prime Minister Mann Ki Baat, was started on October 3, 2014 and is broadcast on the last Sunday of every month at 11 am. The 30-minute programme completed its 100 episodes on April 30, 2023.

The Mann Ki Baat programme is a platform where the Prime Minister communicates directly with the people of the country. Through this programme, the Prime Minister informs and inspires the people of the country on various topics.

Mann ki Baat has impacted all sections of society, who have been inspired to contribute towards fulfilling the great goals he has set for the nation. (ANI)

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TikTok Pakistan

Pak: 14-Y-O Fatally Shoots Sister While Making TikTok

In a tragic incident, a 14-year-old girl fatally shot her sister during a dispute over a TikTok video in Sarai Alamgir town, located in Punjab’s Gujrat district, as reported by ARY News.

As per details, a quarrel erupted between the two sisters, Saba Afzal and Maria Afzal, while they were filming a video for the popular social media platform.

Following the intense argument, the 14-year-old, Saba Afzal, took a drastic step by shooting her sister. A case has been filed against the young suspect based on a complaint lodged by her brother with the Saddar Police Station.

This distressing incident echoes a similar tragedy from December, where three youths lost their lives while engaged in filming a video for TikTok near Sheikhupura district.

The unfortunate victims, residents of Khanqah Dogran city in Safdarabad Tehsil, were on a motorcycle recording a TikTok video. Unfortunately, due to distraction, their motorcycle collided head-on with a car approaching from the opposite direction, resulting in the tragic demise of all three youngsters.

Notably, on December 24, Jamia Binoria Town, a prominent religious school in Karachi, the capital of Sindh province, issued a fatwa (a religious decree) declaring the use of TikTok illegal and ‘haram’, terming it the biggest temptation of the modern era, Pakistani vernacular media reported.

In the fatwa, the institution outlined ten reasons supporting its stance.

The fatwa, delivered online by Jamia Binoria, asserts that TikTok poses an increasing danger as a ‘fitna’ (temptation) in the present age and is considered illegal and haram from a Shariah perspective.

Among the reasons cited, the app’s inclusion of photos and videos of animals is deemed forbidden in Sharia, and the creation and dissemination of obscene videos by women on the platform is highlighted, Dawn News TV report added.

Furthermore, the fatwa condemns the practice of men and women on TikTok making videos involving dancing and singing, which is viewed as a means of spreading obscenity and nudity, deemed a waste of time and leading to moral decay.

Jamia Banoria’s fatwa underscores that TikTok not only contains videos that mock scholars and religion but is a platform where everything can be subjected to mockery and ridicule.

In the past, religious scholars have been calling for a ban on TikTok as a reason for spreading immorality, and a partial ban has also been imposed on TikTok time and again in Pakistan, Dawn News TV reported.

In 2021, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority imposed a five-month ban on the video-sharing app from July to November. The ban was lifted after TikTok provided assurances that it would enhance measures to control indecent or immoral content on the platform, The Express Tribune reported. (ANI)

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North Korean leader Kim Jong-un

North Korea To Launch 3 More Military Spy Satellites Next Year

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is planning to launch three additional spy satellites next year, Yonhap news agency reported, citing Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

The announcement comes after the successful launch of the country’s first military reconnaissance satellite last month.

North Korean leader set forth the goal as he wrapped up five days of the plenary meeting of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea on Saturday, as reported by KCNA.

“Based on the experience of successfully launching and operating the first spy satellite in 2023 in the space development sector, the task of launching three more spy satellites in 2024 was unveiled and all-out measures to spur the development of space science technology were discussed,” the report said.

Recently, North Korea successfully put a military spy satellite, Malligyong-1, into orbit on November 21 after two failed attempts in May and August.

However, there are suspicions that North Korea might have received technical support from Russia in return for its arms supplies for use in Moscow’s war in Ukraine, reported Yonhap news agency.

“We need to swiftly respond to a possible nuclear crisis and mobilize all physical means, including nuclear force, in a bid to accelerate preparations for the great event of putting the entire territory of South Korea under our control,” Kim said.

He further boosted the country’s nuclear arsenal as the top policy priority for next year and ordered the Navy to enhance its military capabilities, Yonhap news agency reported citing KCNA.

Kim called for developing powerful unmanned armed aerial vehicles and means for electronic warfare in a bid to accomplish its key defence projects.

Highlighting the inter-Korean ties, Kim stated that he will no longer consider South Korea a counterpart for reconciliation and unification, adding that Seoul has declared the North as a main enemy.

The Workers’ Party has also concluded that unification with South Korea is not possible, Kim was quoted as saying, Yonhap news agency reported.

Calling for a “fundamental change” in dealing with South Korea, the North’s leader said that inter-Korean relations have become those of “two hostile countries” or “countries engaged in the state of combat.”

Reportedly, relations between South and North Korea remained sharply strained this year as the latter focused on advancing its nuclear and missile programs, including the launch of solid-fuel intercontinental ballistic missiles.

North Korea’s leader vowed an “offensive and ultra-powerful” stance against the US in 2024, denouncing Washington’s deployment of strategic assets to the Korean Peninsula and its military drills with Seoul.

“If the US and the South pursue military confrontations with us, we will not hesitate to take critical action against them with our nuclear deterrence,” Kim said.

Earlier in September, North Korea amended the constitution to enshrine the policy of strengthening its nuclear force, according to Yonhap news agency.

Moreover last year, the country enacted a new nuclear law authorizing the preemptive use of nuclear arms, calling its status as a nuclear state “irreversible.”

At last year’s party plenary meeting, Kim called South Korea an ‘undoubted enemy’ and called for an ‘exponential’ increase in the country’s nuclear arsenal and the development of tactical nuclear weapons. (ANI)

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cold wave Delhi

Delhi Air Quality Dips To Severe Cold

As the cold wave tightened its grip on northern India, the air quality dipped to the ‘severe’ category on the last day of the year, according to the Central Pollution Control Board data on Sunday.

The Air Quality Index was recorded above 400 at several places in Delhi including Munirka, Dwarka and RK Puram.

The AQI in Anand Vihar was recorded at 425, in Dwarka-Sector 8 it was 425, in RK Puram it stood at 426 and in Munirka, the AQI was recorded at 431.

Earlier this month, the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) issued orders to impose a ban on non-essential construction work and the operation of BS-III petrol and BS-IV diesel four-wheelers in Delhi-NCR due to the deteriorating air quality in the region.

However, certain exemptions have been granted for construction work related to national security or defence, projects of national importance, healthcare, railways, metro rail, airports, interstate bus terminals, highways, roads, flyovers, overbridges, power transmission, pipelines, sanitation, and water supply.

Meanwhile, the minimum temperature at the Safdarjung Observatory, the city’s primary weather station, was recorded at 11 degrees Celsius on Sunday morning.

Drone visuals from Delhi’s ITO, Subroto Park, and India Gate areas showed dense fog enveloping the city reducing visibility.

The India Meteorological Department has forecast dense to very dense fog at most places over Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, and Delhi, at many places over Uttar Pradesh, at a few places over Uttarakhand, at isolated places over the northern parts of Rajasthan and dense fog at isolated places over Jammu and Kashmir and the lower division of Himachal Pradesh on Sunday.

IMD has said that the mercury would plunge further in the first week of January 2024, with temperature hovering between 10 and 7 degrees Celsius at the Safdarjung Observatory in the national capital. (ANI)

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India's 2nd ODI Australia

Sneh Taken For Scans Following A Collision During India’s 2nd ODI Clash Against Australia

Offbreak spinner Sneh Rana has been taken for scans following her collision with Pooja Vastrakar in the 25th over of the second ODI between India and Australia on Saturday.

In the 25th over, after colliding with Pooja, Rana went down on the ground while holding her head. Medics came in to give her on-field treatment and she walked off the field while applying an ice pack.

“Sneh Rana complained of headache after a collision while fielding during the second ODI against Australia. She has been taken for scans and she will not take any further part in the ongoing ODI. Harleen Deol has been named as a concussion substitute,” an update was posted by BCCI Women on X.

India’s fielding was sloppy as they dropped seven catches which in return helped Australia to keep the scoreboard moving and put up a challenging total of 258/8.

Aussie opener Phoebe Litchfield (63 runs from 98 balls) and Ellyse Perry (50 runs from 47 balls) played crucial knocks to help the team lay a steady foundation.

Unbeaten knocks from King (28* runs from 17 balls) and Kim Garth (11* runs from 10 balls) helped Australia reach 258/8.

Litchfield in the first eight overs was dropped thrice while Alana King was dropped twice in the 48th and the 49th over.

In the final over of the inning, King slammed two sixes against pacer Pooja Vastrakar which propelled Australia to a competitive total.

Deepti bagged five wickets in her 10-over spell and conceded 38 runs. Pooja, Shreyanka Patil, and Sneh Rana picked up one wicket each. (ANI)

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Cleanliness Campaign Should Be Conducted At Every Temple From Makar Sankranti: Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said that a cleanliness campaign should be conducted one week before the consecration of Ram Mandir on January 22 at all the pilgrimage sites across the country.

PM Modi inaugurated various development projects in Ayodhya on Saturday, where he urged people to avoid reaching Ram Mandir on January 22 so that the people involved in arrangements here do not get troubled.

“The people have to make a resolution to make Ayodhya city the cleanest city in India. This clean Ayodhya is the responsibility of the people here. For this, we have to take every step together. Today I would like to say to all the pilgrimage sites and temples of the country that one week before the construction of the Ram Mandir, a big campaign of cleanliness should be conducted at the pilgrimage places of the entire country from January 14 i.e., from the day of Makar Sakranti,” PM Modi said in Ayodhya.

“This campaign should be run in every temple in every corner of the country,” he asserted.

Earlier today, addressing a public meeting in Ayodhya after inaugurating the airport, Ayodhya Dham Junction Railway Station and unveiling development projects of over Rs 15,700 crore here, the Prime Minister said that the campaign for making India a developed country is getting a new speed from Ayodhya.

“Whatever be the country in the world, if it has to reach new heights of development, it will have to take care of its heritage. Ram Lala was there in a tent, today pucca house has been given to not only to Ram Lala but also to the four crore poor of the country….The campaign for making India a developed country is getting new energy from Ayodhya,” he said.

Earlier in the day, the Prime Minister inaugurated the redeveloped Ayodhya Railway Station and flagged off new Amrit Bharat trains and Vande Bharat trains.

“Today, the foundation stone of development works worth more than Rs 15 thousand crore has been laid and inaugurated here. These infrastructure-related works will once again establish modern Ayodhya with pride on the map of the country. Today’s India is beautifying its pilgrimage sites and is also immersed in the world of digital technology,” he added. (ANI)

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