Russian prison officers Australia

Australia Imposes Sanctions On Russian Prison Officials Over Navalny’s Death

Australia has imposed financial sanctions and travel bans on seven Russian prison officers accused of mistreating Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny at the Siberian penal colony where he recently met his demise, CNN reported.

In a statement, Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles said, “Australia holds President Putin and the Russian Government responsible for Mr Navalny’s treatment and death in custody.”

Since December 2022, Australia has consistently applied “Magnitsky-style” human rights sanctions to Russian individuals, starting with penalties for those accused of poisoning Navalny in 2020. This move aligns with the broader international response, as the United States and the European Union also recently enacted sanctions against Russia in response to Navalny’s death and the ongoing invasion of Ukraine, according to CNN.

The late Alexey Navalny, was known for exposing corruption, challenging the ruling United Russia party, and orchestrating significant anti-government protests. His imprisonment in 2021 triggered widespread demonstrations across Russia, resulting in numerous detentions. Even from prison, Navalny continued to denounce Russia’s invasion of Ukraine through social media, urging anti-war protests nationwide.

In December, Navalny was quietly transferred to a Siberian penal colony, a move that sparked a two-week search by his team after losing contact during the unannounced transfer. His death, reported by the Russian prison service, is anticipated to reverberate through Russian society, underscoring a relentless crackdown on dissent during the ongoing conflict with Ukraine, as reported by CNN.

Navalny’s return to Russia from Germany in 2021, where he was recovering from Novichok poisoning attributed to the Russian government, demonstrated his commitment despite acknowledged risks. Weeks before leaving Germany, he acknowledged the threats he faced, stating, “I understand that Putin hates me, I understand that people in the Kremlin are ready to kill.”

Concerns about Navalny’s health emerged in early April 2023, with reports of severe stomach issues and weight loss. His spokesperson, Kira Yarmysh, raised the possibility of gradual poisoning during his time in prison. The Kremlin, however, claimed a lack of capacity or authority to monitor the situation. Putin, consistent in not mentioning Navalny’s name, dismissed media investigations into the 2020 Novichok poisoning as fabrications by Western intelligence.

Navalny’s death raises questions, given his past poisoning and attacks on other Kremlin opponents. In 2006, former Russian agent Alexander Litvinenko died in Britain after being poisoned with polonium-210. The nerve agent Novichok nearly claimed the lives of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury in 2018, with Russia denying responsibility. In 2015, Boris Nemtsov, the most visible leader of the opposition, was assassinated on a Moscow bridge. Navalny subsequently took up Nemtsov’s mantle, becoming Russia’s most prominent opposition figure, CNN reported. (ANI)

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Soha Ali Khan

Soha, Daughter Inaaya Soak Up The Sun

Soha Ali Khan, along with her husband Kunal Kemmu and their daughter Inaaya, is currently enjoying her holiday in Australia.

On Saturday, Soha shared a picture with her daughter while soaking up the sun. She wrote in the caption, “Girls just wanna have sun.”

Soha wore a purple crop top with denim shorts and a white jacket.

While little Inaaya wore a purple furry jacket with black pants.

The mother-daughter duo can seen smiling while posing for the camera on the beach.

As soon as the actor uploaded the picture, fans and followers chimed in the comment section.

Soha’s sister Saba Pataudi wrote, “Beach bums beautiful.”

One of the users wrote, “Cuteness overloaded.

Another user commented, “Cutie pie.”

Soha Ali Khan and Kunal Kemmu got married in 2015 and welcomed their daughter Inaaya in 2017.

Meanwhile, on the work front, Kunal will be soon making his directorial debut with the upcoming film ‘Madgaon Express’.The film is headlined by Pratik Gandhi, Avinash Tiwari, Nora Fatehi and Divyendu. The film is said to be a comedy-drama. The official release date of the film is still awaited.

Soha was last seen in the web series ‘Hush Hush’ alongside Juhi Chawla, Kritika Kamra and Karishma Tanna. (ANI)

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Rovman Powell IPL

IPL: Powell Moves To Rajasthan For Whopping Sum

West Indies power hitter Rovman Powell went for a whopping sum, while Australia’s destructive opener Travis Head found himself a new home in Sunrisers Hyderabad as a direct replacement for Harry Brook.

Powell, who set his base price at Rs 1 crore, received the opening bid from Kolkata Knight Riders. Rajasthan Royals jumped in and competed for Powell.

Powell captained Barbados Royals in the CPL and ended up walking away with a whopping sum of Rs 7.4 crore. Kolkata bid hard but Rajasthan edged past them to acquire the services of the batter.

The WI T20I skipper has featured in 66 T20Is, scoring 1,202 runs at an average of 26.71 and a strike rate of above 143, with a century and five fifties.

Head, who produced remarkable performances in the World Test Championship final and the ODI World Cup final earlier this year, was one of the names with a hefty price tag.

Chennai Super Kings and Sunrisers Hyderabad were engaged in a fierce bidding battle.

However, Head became a part of the Orange family for a price tag of 6.8 crore.

On the other hand, former SRH player, Harry Brook was acquired by Delhi Capitals for Rs 4 crore, unlike his previous hefty price tag of Rs 13.25 crore. The young right-handed batter has represented England in 27 T20Is, scoring 531 in 25 innings at an average of 27.94 and a strike rate of above 145, with two half-centuries.

He had an underwhelming IPL last season with Sunrisers Hyderabad after being bought for Rs 13.25 crores, scoring just 190 runs in 11 matches at an average of 21.11, with one century. Overall in 125 T20s, he has scored 3,019 runs at an average of over 33 and strike rate above 150, with three centuries and 11 fifties.

South Africa’s experienced batter Rilee Rossouw didn’t find any team that was willing to meet his base price of Rs 2 crore. (ANI)

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Glenn Maxwell Virat

Virat Hails Glenn Maxwell’s Marvellous Double Ton Against Afgh

India’s batting talisman Virat Kohli heaped praise on star Australia all-rounder and his Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) teammate, Glenn Maxwell, for a knock for the ages that helped five-time champions Australia seal a spot in the semifinals of the ongoing ODI World Cup.

Coming into bat with Australia staring down the barrel chasing an imposing 292 against Afghanistan at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium, Maxwell singlehandedly took the Baggy Greens to a famous win with an unbeaten double-century.

Battling cramps and niggles, the ‘Mad Max’ of cricket produced an innings that will undoubtedly remain in public memory for years to come.

Over the course of his superlative knock, he also became the first non-opener in men’s ODIs to make a double hundred.

His knock of 201 off 128 balls which is already being hailed as one of the best in ODI history, was laced with 21 fours and 10 sixes. He brought up the winning runs with his 10th six.

After a mediocre start to the campaign at the beginning of last month, Australia posted its sixth straight win in the ongoing World Cup against Afghanistan on Wednesday.

Lauding his brother from RCB for his ‘freak’ show at the iconic Wankhede Stadium, Kohli took to his Instagram story and posted a special post for Maxwell.

Sharing an image of ‘Big Show’ Maxwell, Kohli wrote, “Only you could do this. Freak.”

Many cricketers praised Maxwell’s ODI innings as one of the best in the format’s history. Batting stalwart Sachin Tendulkar called the innings the “best ODI knock”.

“A wonderful knock by @IZadran18to put Afghanistan in a good position. They started well in the 2nd half and played good cricket for 70 overs but the last 25 overs from @Gmaxi_32 was more than enough to change their fortune. From Max pressure to Max performance! This has been the best ODI knock I’ve seen in my life. #AUSvAFG,” Sachin posted from his X handle.

Maxwell was almost forced to retire due to multiple cramps and lingering back spasms, but he defied his physical discomfort to produce a sensational innings.

Maxwell scored 78 runs off just 33 balls, staying rooted to the crease but wielding his willow to great effect, finding boundaries at will.

He singlehandedly lifted the Aussies from a precarious 91/7 to a three-wicket victory over Afghanistan, which was enough to seal their place in the last four. (ANI)

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Shreyas Iyer

Shreyas Thanks Believers After Match-Winning Knock Against Australia

India middle-order batter Shreyas Iyer thanked everyone “who stood by him” following a match-winning century against Australia in the second ODI. 

India outplayed Australia with both bat and ball to clinch the three-match ODI series 2-0 after winning the second match by 99 runs. The target or Australia was revised through Duckworth-Lew–Lewis–Stern (DLS) method at the Holkar Cricket Stadium on Sunday as rain interrupted the match. 

Iyer thanked all his supporters and believers for standing by him when he was facing an injury and while he was initially struggling to score big on his return from injury. 

“For everyone who stood by me,” Iyer said in a post. 

Shreyas had made his return during the Asia Cup after battling injury woes since December last year. Shreyas played some ODI and Test cricket early this year but the recurrence of his injury ruled him out of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) final.

He played the Asia Cup campaign opener against Pakistan but could score just 14 runs. Following that, he did not feature in the tournament due to a back spasm. The form of KL Rahul and Ishan Kishan also raised questions about his spot in the team despite him being there in the ICC Cricket World Cup squad. 

On his return to cricket against Australia in the first ODI, he could score just three and was run out. In the second ODI, Iyer stormed into form and proved his utility in the middle order with his third ODI century, which saw him showcase strike rotation and attacking intent against spin and pace alike. 

Coming to the match, India were put to bat first by Australia. A 200-run partnership for the second wicket between Shubman Gill (104 in 97 balls, six fours and four sixes) and Shreyas Iyer (105 in 90 balls, 11 fours and three sixes) laid a solid foundation.  Later, half-centuries from skipper KL Rahul (52 in 38 balls, with three fours and three sixes) and Suryakumar Yadav (72* in 37 balls with six fours and six sixes) and a cameo from Ishan Kishan (31 in 18 balls with two fours and two sixes) pushed India to 399/5 in 50 overs.

Cameron Green took two wickets for Australia but gave away 103 runs. Josh Hazlewood, Sean Abbott and Adam Zampa took a wicket each.

Chasing 400 for victory, Australia were reduced to 9/2 and rain interrupted the action. The target was later revised to 317 in 33 overs.

An 80-run stand between David Warner (53 in 39 balls, seven fours and a six) and Marnus Labuschagne (27) stabilised the innings a bit. But after this, wickets kept falling and the Aussies sunk to 140/8.

A 77-run explosive partnership between Abbott (54 in 36 balls with four boundaries and five sixes) and Josh Hazlewood (23) entertained the audience, but the Aussies were bundled out for 217 in 28.2 overs, losing by 99 runs.

Ravichandran Ashwin was the pick of the bowlers for India with 3/41, with his spin partner Ravindra Jadeja getting 3/42. Prasidh Krishna got two wickets while Mohammed Shami got one.

India have won the series 2-0 with one match to go.

Shreyas Iyer was given the ‘Player of the Match’ award for his century. (ANI)

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Actor Rani Mukerji IFFM

Rani Makes Graceful Appearance In Sabyasachi Sari At IFFM Awards

Actor Rani Mukerji is currently in Australia for the 14th edition of Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM).

On Friday, she attended the award ceremony in a black Sabyasachi sari. She paired the ensemble with a pearl necklace.

Rani looked as graceful as ever in the sari.

The ‘Mardaani’ star recently conducted a masterclass at the film festival.

Prior to attending IFFM 2023, Rani expressed her excitement saying, “I am truly elated and humbled to be a part of the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne 2023, representing my film ‘Mrs. Chatterjee Vs Norway.’ This film has been a remarkable journey for me as an actor, and I am overwhelmed by the love and appreciation it has received from audiences worldwide. It is a story that holds immense significance, shedding light on the struggles faced by immigrants, transcending geographical boundaries.”

“The Immigration Museum in Melbourne serves as a befitting backdrop for our masterclass, as it symbolizes the challenges and triumphs that immigrants encounter when they settle in foreign lands. It is my privilege to engage in a conversation about this film, its relevance, and the larger themes it addresses,” she added.

Besides Rani, Karan Johar and Kartik Aaryan are also in Australia for IFFM. (ANI)

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India Canadian

Requested Partner Countries Not To Give Space To Khalistanis: Jaishankar

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, on Monday, said that India has requested partner countries like Canada, the UK, and Australia not to give space to the Khalistanis as these radical extremist ideologies are not good for their relationship.

On names of Indian diplomats in Khalistani posters in Canada, Jaishankar said, “We have requested our partner countries, like Canada, UK, Australia, US that they should not give space to these Khalistanis. These radical extremist ideologies aren’t good for us, them, or our ties. Will raise the issue of these posters.”
The EAM’s remarks came after the reports of posters being circulated in Canada informing pro-Khalistan residents of a rally. These posters caused concerns for the Indian government as it threatened the ambassador and consulate general in Toronto.

In March this year, Khalistan supporters protested outside the Indian Embassy in Canada. They raised pro-Khalistan slogans and allegedly assaulted Indian-origin journalists present on the spot.

Khalistan supporters in March, protested outside the Indian Embassy in Canada. They raised pro-Khalistan slogans and allegedly assaulted Indian-origin journalists present on the spot.

Earlier this month, a tableau parade was organized in Ontario celebrating the assassination of former PM Indira Gandhi, which drew severe criticism from New Delhi.

Last month also, Jaishankar reacted to the rise of Khalistanis activities in Canada. While speaking at a town hall meeting at the India International Centre, here in the national capital, the minister said that Ottawa seems to be driven by “vote-bank politics” and this has also impacted the ties between the two countries lately.

Speaking to the reporters, Jaishankar said, “How Canada has dealt with the Khalistani issue is a longstanding issue for us, because very frankly, they seem to be driven by vote bank politics. Their responses have been constrained by what they regard as vote bank compulsions. We made it very clear that if there are activities which are permitted from Canada that impinge on our sovereignty, territorial integrity and our security, then we will have to respond.”

“It is something which is a continuing conversation with Canada, not always satisfactory, but something on which we have been very clear. And over the last few years, you can see that this has impacted our ties in many ways,” he added. (ANI)

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India’s Advance Towards World Test Cricket Championship Final

India will take on Australia in the final of the ICC World Test Championship at The Oval from June 7 onwards, marking their second successive appearance in the title clash after a loss to New Zealand back in 2021.

Ahead of the ‘Ultimate Test’, let us look at the journey that Team India travelled on their road towards The Oval.
-India tour of England for the ‘Pataudi Trophy’ (August 2021-September 2021, July 2022)

India travelled to the UK with one of its strongest teams in years, with their best chance to defeat England in their home territory. The first Test ended in a washout due to rain. India could have taken a lead of 1-0 as due to performances by Jasprit Bumrah (4/46 and 5/64), KL Rahul (84), Ravindra Jadeja (56) put India in a strong position, leaving them with 209 runs to chase before rain interrupted the play.

In the second Test, India clinched a massive 151-run win at The Lord’s powered by KL Rahul’s 129 and Mohammed Siraj’s (4/94 and 4/32). India took a 1-0 lead in the series.

However, England bounced back in style to clinch a win by an inning and 76 runs, with Joe Root (121) and Ollie Robinson (2/16 and 5/65) being key architects of the win which levelled the series.

India got a moment to rejoice in the fourth Test, winning it by 157 runs thanks to performances from Rohit Sharma (127), who got his first overseas ton and superb spells from Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Jasprit Bumrah and Jadeja. India led the series 2-1.

The series was put on hold due to a COVID-19 outbreak. The final Test was played in July 2022. Despite centuries from Rishabh Pant (146) and Ravindra Jadeja, England chased down bulk of 378-run target thanks to centuries from Joe Root (142) and Jonny Bairstow (114). England levelled the series 2-2.

-New Zealand tour of India (November 2021)

India played two Tests against New Zealand at home. The first Test ended in a draw with Shreyas Iyer (105 and 65) being a standout performer. The match ended before NZ could chase the target of 284 runs.

In the second Test, India registered a win by massive 372 runs. Mayank Agarwal (150 and 62) and Ravichandran Ashwin (4/8 and 4/34) were best performers for India.

-South Africa tour of India (January 2022)

In the first Test, India won by 113 runs, with KL Rahul (123 and 23) and Mohammed Shami (5/44 and 3/50) standing out with their performances.

However, Keegan Petersen (62 and 28 in second Test, 72 and 82 in the final Test), Marco Jansen (4/31 and 3/67 in second Test, 3/55 and 4/36 in the final Test) revived South Africa’s fortunes, guiding them to a 2-1 series win.

-Sri Lanka tour of India (March 2022)

Sri Lanka toured India to play two Tests back in March last year. In the first Test, Jadeja’s all-round effort of 175* and (5/41 and 4/46) guided India to an innings win by 222 runs.

In the second Test, the fifties by Shreyas Iyer (92 and 67) and Jasprit Bumrah (5/24 and 3/23) helped India clinch a 238-run win to win the series 2-0.

-India tour of Bangladesh (December 2022)

After a white-ball series, India also played two Tests against Bangladesh. In the first Test, all-round show by Kuldeep Yadav (40 runs and eight wickets including a five-wicket haul) and centuries from Shubman Gill (110) and Cheteshwar Pujara (102 and 90) guided India to a 188-run win.

India clean sweeped the series effortlessly with another all-round performance with Rishabh Pant (93), Ravichandran Ashwin (42* and six wickets, including a four-wicket haul) and Shreyas Iyer (86 and 29*) being the best performers.

-Australia tour of India (February-March 2023)

The Australian challenge arrived at India as India’s final obstacle towards the WTC final. In the first Test, an all-round show by Ravindra Jadeja (70 and seven wickets), century by Rohit Sharma (120) helped India win by an innings and 132 runs.

In the second Test, half-century by Axar Patel (74) and yet another all-round masterclass by Jadeja (26 and 10 wickets including a spell of 7/62) helped India win by six-wickets. Jadeja’s seven-wicket haul crumbled the Aussies to just 113 runs while following on, leaving India to chase 115 runs. India retained the Border-Gavaskar Trophy with a 2-0 lead.

A spin exhibition by legendary Nathan Lyon (3/35 and 8/64) helped Australia win a low-scoring third Test by nine wickets to stay alive in the series. The scoreline was 2-1.

In the final Test, Virat Kohli (186) outclassed Usman Khawaja (180) and Cameron Green (114) in a high-scoring match, which ended in a draw. India won the series 2-1.

India’s squad for WTC final: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, KS Bharat (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Mohd. Shami, Mohd. Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Jaydev Unadkat, Ishan Kishan (wk).

Ruturaj Gaikwad, Mukesh Kumar and Suryakumar Yadav have been named as stand-by players for the high-stakes match.

Australia squad: Pat Cummins (c), Scott Boland, Alex Carey (wk), Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis (wk), Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitch Marsh, Todd Murphy, Matthew Renshaw, Steve Smith (vc), Mitchell Starc, David Warner. (ANI)

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Tiktok Australia

Amid Security Concerns, Australia To Ban TikTok On Govt Devices

Australia’s federal government will ban the video-sharing application TikTok on government devices over fears that the application’s security could be compromised and the platform could be used for foreign interference by China, ABC News reported.

Australia becomes the last nation in the “five eyes” intelligence alliance to block the app after similar decisions were taken by the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and New Zealand.
Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus has announced that the ban will come into effect “as soon as practicable.” He further stated that exemptions will be made on a case-by-case basis, as per the ABC News report.

In a statement, Mark Dreyfus said, “After receiving advice from intelligence and security agencies, today I authorised the secretary of the Attorney-General’s Department to issue a mandatory direction under the Protective Security Policy Framework to prohibit the TikTok app on devices issued by Commonwealth departments and agencies.”

Earlier on Tuesday, the Victorian and ACT governments stated that they expected an imminent ban, as per the news report. A spokesperson for Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said they will follow the Commonwealth’s guidance with regard to cybersecurity and they will now work on implementing these changes “across the public service as soon as possible.”

According to the ACT government’s spokesperson, the territory government will work with the government to implement restrictions. In a statement, they said, “The ACT government was notified yesterday of an imminent announcement from the Commonwealth to ban TikTok from Government devices,” as per the news report.

They said that the ACT government will consider similar restrictions on territory government devices at a security and emergency meeting of the cabinet tomorrow, as per the news report. They stressed that the move could be made based on the Commonwealth’s advice, and the desirability of national cybersecurity consistency.

In recent months, several nations have decided to block the app, after revelations that TikTok staff based in the US and China used the app to spy on American journalists who were writing stories critical of the app, as per the ABC News report. US President Joe Biden has said that TikTok’s parent company ByteDance divest in the app or else face a potential nationwide ban in the US.

Earlier in March, the French government banned the Chinese video-sharing application TikTok on government devices, NHK World reported. The French government has reportedly debarred TikTok on the work phones of public-sector employees.

French Public Service Minister Stanislas Guerini declared that TikTok, a Chinese-owned video-sharing software, would no longer be allowed on the work phones of civil servants.”

In order to guarantee the cybersecurity of our administrations and civil servants, the government has decided to ban recreational applications such as TikTok on the professional phones of civil servants,” he tweeted. France’s Transformation and Public Administration Minister Stanislas Guerini made the announcement on Friday. (ANI)

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Khalistani Violence In Australia

3 More Arrested For Khalistani Violence In Australia

Three men have been arrested in connection with violent brawls that broke out between pro-Khalistani supporters and Indian demonstrators in late January in Melbourne, Australian state Victoria’s police said on Thursday.

The arrests were made by the Melbourne East Neighbourhood Policing Team “in relation to an alleged affray” at the Federation Square on January 29, Victoria Police said in a statement today. With the latest arrests, police have so far rounded up five suspects in connection with the incident.
“Police were in attendance at a Khalistan Referendum event at Federation Square on 29 January when it’s alleged two fights broke out, one at about 12.45pm and the other at about 4.30pm,” it stated.

Police said that the investigation remains ongoing and they are making enquiries to identify and apprehend any further alleged offenders from the day.

According to Victoria Police during the fight it is alleged flag poles “were used by several men as weapons which caused physical injuries to multiple victims.”

Two victims, one with a hand laceration to their head and another with a hand injury, were treated at the scene by paramedics. Several other victims sustained injuries and required medical treatment.

In both alleged incidents, police said it quickly responded to separate and disperse the crowd. OC spray (pepper spray) was used in the second incident as per the police statement.

Earlier this month the Victoria police had released images of six men seeking assistance from the public to identify them

Victoria Police today said that two men were arrested on the day of the incident itself, with a further three arrested this week.

Those arrested this week include a 23-year-old man from Kalkallo who has been charged with affray and unlawful assault, a 39-year-old man from Strathtulloh and a 36-year-old from Craigieburn, both charged with affray and violent disorder.

All the above three charged this week have been bailed to appear at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on August 8.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese had during his visit to India earlier in March had said that his country won’t tolerate any extreme actions and attacks that took place in religious buildings, and that there is no place for such action against Hindu temples.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Anthony Albanese had discussed disturbances created by pro-Khalistani outfits in Australia and the Australian Prime Minister assured that his government will take all necessary measures to ensure that peace and harmony prevail. (ANI)

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