Modi With King Charles III

Modi Discusses Climate Action With King Charles III Of the UK

Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke with King Charles III of the UK on the telephone on Tuesday and discussed several subjects including climate change, biodiversity conservation, and solutions for the financing energy transition.

As this was PM Modi’s first conversation with King Charles III after he assumed the Office of Sovereign of the United Kingdom, he conveyed his best wishes to Britain’s monarch for a very successful reign.
A PMO release said that a number of subjects of mutual interest were discussed during the call, including climate action, conservation of biodiversity, and innovative solutions for the financing energy transition.

The Prime Minister expressed his appreciation for the abiding interest and advocacy of King Charles III on these issues.

The Prime Minister briefed him on India’s priorities for its G20 Presidency, including the propagation of digital public goods.

He also explained the relevance of Mission LiFE – Lifestyle for Environment, through which India seeks to promote environmentally sustainable lifestyles.

The leaders exchanged views on the Commonwealth of Nations and how to further strengthen its functioning.

They also appreciated the role of the Indian community in the UK in acting as a “living bridge” between both countries and enriching bilateral relations.

King Charles III was officially announced as Britain’s monarch in September last year following the death of his mother Queen Elizabeth II.

India and UK are engaged in negotiations for the finalization of a Free Trade Agreement. UK Secretary of State for International Trade Kemi Badenoch visited New Delhi last month to carry forward the FTA negotiations. She held discussions with Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal. The two sides also discussed bilateral trade and economic relations. (ANI)

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Sunak Foreign Policy Approach To China

Golden Era Is Over: Sunak On Foreign Policy Approach To China

In his first major address on Foreign Policy, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Monday strongly asserted that the “golden era” between Britain and China is “now over” and that it is time to evolve the approach towards China as the country is posing a systemic challenge to UK’s values and interest with its authoritarian rule.

During his address at the Lord Mayor’s Banquet at London’s Guildhall, Sunak also criticised the human rights abuses taking place in China while putting forward his stance on foreign policy.
“Let’s be clear, the so-called ‘golden era’ is over, along with the naive idea that trade would lead to social and political reform. We recognise China poses a systemic challenge to our values and interests, a challenge that grows more acute as it moves towards even greater authoritarianism,” the UK Prime Minister said in his address.

Speaking further he said, “We are taking a long-term view on China strengthening our resilience and protecting our economic security,” and added that the UK cannot simply ignore China’s global significance.

The UK Prime Minister also expressed concern over the ongoing protests in China against COVID lockdowns and said that instead of listening to people’s concerns, the Chinese government “has chosen to crack down further” as he highlighted the recent arrest and manhandling of BBC reporters in China.

Thousands of protesters took to the streets of Shanghai, where people were being bundled into police cars. Students have also demonstrated at universities in Beijing and Nanjing.

Meanwhile, hundreds of people gathered in downtown Shanghai on Sunday afternoon to hold what appeared to be a silent protest near where a demonstration against China’s zero-Covid policy erupted in the early hours.

Demonstrators holding blank pieces of paper and white flowers stood silently at several intersections, the person said under condition of anonymity, before police officers eventually moved to clear the blocked roads.

Sunak was supposed to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping during G20 Summit in Bali, Indonesia earlier this month however the meeting was called off after NATO members gathered for an emergency meeting following a missile strike in a Polish village near the Ukrainian border.

The Prime Minister listed measures the UK government has taken, including new authority granted under the National Security and Investment Act, to prevent China from restricting its influence in the UK.

Reiterating Britain’s stand on Indo-Pacific, Sunak said the Indo-Pacific will deliver over half of global growth by 2050 compared with just a quarter from Europe and North America combined, which is why Britain joined the Trans-Pacific trade deal, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), delivering a new FTA with India and pursuing one with Indonesia.

India and the United Kingdom have a multi-dimensional strategic partnership and actively engage in bilateral trade. The two countries agreed to begin formal negotiations for an FTA in January 2022, aiming to advance trade and investment relations between them.

On Ukraine, Sunak said, “We stand by Ukraine and are also reinvigorating our European relationships to tackle challenges like security and tackling migration.”

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak made his maiden visit to Kyiv after assuming office, the previous week and assured Britain’s continued support to Ukraine in its war against Russia.

Taking to Twitter, the British Prime Minister wrote, “Britain knows what it means to fight for freedom. We are with you all the way @ZelenskyyUa,” as Sunak expressed support for Ukraine.

Earlier in August, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak wrote a letter on Ukraine’s Independence Day, praising the country’s steadfast courage in standing up to Russian “aggression” and promising support from the people of the United Kingdom.

Sunak promised to continue assisting Ukraine’s valiant warriors and declared that Britain will continue to offer humanitarian aid to make sure Ukrainian people have access to food and medicine amid the ongoing war.

He said the UK’s “adversaries and competitors plan for the long-term” as he mentioned Russia and China and said the UK will “make an evolutionary leap in our approach”. (ANI)

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Russian Def Min Conveys Concerns About Dirty Bomb To Rajnath

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu on Wednesday held a telephonic conversation with his Indian counterpart Rajnath Singh and conveyed his concerns about the provocations by Ukraine on the possible use of a ‘dirty bomb’.

“On October 26, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, and Rajnath Singh discussed the situation in Ukraine. Sergei Shoigu conveyed his concerns about possible provocations by Ukraine with the use of a ‘dirty bomb’,” tweeted Russian Embassy in India.
Responding to Shoigu’s telephonic talks, Rajnath Singh tweeted, “He briefed me on the evolving situation in Ukraine, including his concerns about possible provocations through the use of ‘dirty bomb’. I reiterated India’s position on the need to pursue the path of dialogue and diplomacy for an early resolution of the conflict.”

Singh also pointed out that the nuclear option should not be resorted to by any side as the prospect of the usage of nuclear or radiological weapons goes against the basic tenets of humanity.

In the telephone conversation, both leaders discussed bilateral defence cooperation as well as the deteriorating situation in Ukraine.

Meanwhile, in a briefing on radiation security threats by the chief of nuclear, biological and chemical protection troops Lieutenant General Igor Kirillov, the Russian Ministry of Defence said that it has information about the Kyiv regime’s planning to commit a provocation by exploding the so-called ‘dirty bomb’ or low-power nuclear warhead.

“The provocation is aimed at accusing Russia of using mass destruction weapons at the Ukrainian theatre of operations that would launch a powerful anti-Russian campaign in order to undermine the confidence in Moscow,” added a press release of Kirillov.

The Ministry of Defence has arranged to counter Ukraine’s possible provocations: the means and forces are alerted to operate amid radioactive contamination.

Meanwhile, the US and other Western officials have dismissed Moscow’s claim that Ukraine is planning to use a so-called dirty bomb as a Russian false-flag operation.

A “dirty bomb” is a conventional bomb laced with radioactive, biological or chemical materials disseminated in an explosion.

The term is often used interchangeably with radiological dispersal device (RDD), a bomb where radioactive materials are used.

In a joint statement, the US, France and Britain — three of the other nuclear powers on the United Nations Security Council — said Sunday that Russia’s claims were “transparently false”.

They and Kyiv suspect that Russia might use a dirty bomb in a “false flag” attack, possibly to justify Moscow’s use of conventional nuclear weapons as it finds itself on the back foot in eastern and southern Ukraine.

Russia on Tuesday also flagged allegations to the UN Security Council that Ukraine is preparing to use a “dirty bomb” on its own territory. (ANI)

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London's Madame Tussauds

4 Arrested After King Charles’ Statue At London’s Madame Tussauds Vandalised

A total of four people were arrested after two climate activists smeared chocolate cake over a wax statue of Britain’s King Charles III at London’s Madame Tussauds Museum.

A video shared on the Twitter page of the campaign group Just Stop Oil, captured a man and a woman smearing cake over the waxwork of the British monarch.

In the video, the activists were seen removing their black clothing to reveal white T-shirts with “Just Stop Oil” on them before slamming the cake on the wax model of the British monarch. They were also heard shouting it is “time for action.”

A CNN report quoted the London Metropolitan Police’s tweet on Monday. “We responded quickly to an incident at Madame Tussauds after two people threw food at a statue at approximately 10:50hrs.”

Police added, “Four people have been arrested for criminal damage related to this incident.”

In a statement, Just Stop Oil said the pair are “demanding that the Government halts all new oil and gas licenses and consents.”

This is not the first time, activist groups across Europe designed to draw attention to the role of fossil fuels in climate change.

Last week, two climate crisis protesters pelted Claude Monet’s “Haystacks” painting with mashed potatoes at the Barberini Museum in Potsdam, Germany, as per CNN reports.

Earlier this month, Just Stop Oil activists threw tomato soup at Vincent van Gogh’s “Sunflowers” in London’s National Gallery.

As per CNN, Keir Starmer, leader of Britain’s opposition Labour Party, condemned the actions of the “arrogant” Just Stop Oil activists, saying their methods undermined their cause.

He told a caller on LBC Radio as quoted by CNN, “I think they’re wrong, I think their action is wrong.”

He continued, “I particularly think about the images we’ve seen of ambulances coming down the road, and not being able to get through because people have glued themselves to the road.”

“I think it’s arrogant of those gluing themselves to the road to think they’re the only people that have got the answer to this. They haven’t got the answer,” he added.

Britain’s Public and Commercial Services Union, which represents many workers from the arts and culture sector, issued a statement following the attack on Van Gogh’s “Sunflowers,” saying that while they support the aims of climate change protests, “attacking our shared national heritage is not a constructive way to achieve these aims.”

The union added, “We cannot endorse these extreme and dangerous tactics which put our members at risk whilst they try to work.” (ANI)

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Indian British Prime Minister

Rishi Sunak Becomes First Indian Origin British Prime Minister

In a historic development, Britain got its first Asian-origin Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to lead the nation. Sunak also becomes the first Indian-origin British Premier.

Liz Truss, who stepped down as the PM of the United Kingdom on October 20, congratulated Sunak on being appointed as Leader of the Conservative Party and the UK’s next Prime Minister.

“Congratulations @RishiSunak on being appointed as Leader of the Conservative Party and our next Prime Minister. You have my full support,” tweeted Truss.

Here is a quick guide to the UK’s next PM Sunak.

The former chancellor of the exchequer made a high-stakes gamble. He launched an attack that helped to end Boris Johnson’s premiership, put himself forward as his replacement, but ultimately lost to Liz Truss. Admitting defeat, he retreated to the parliamentary back benches.

He lost to Liz Truss in September, but she resigned six weeks later. In the latest leadership contest, Sunak racked up the support of his fellow MPs early, and fast.

He crossed the 100 nominations he needed long before the deadline – including from MPs that had previously backed Truss or Boris Johnson.

He will become the first Indian-origin person to lead the UK – and at the age of 42, he is also the youngest person to take the office in more than 200 years.

Sunak first publicly declared on Sunday morning that he would be standing in the contest. In a tweet, he wrote, “The United Kingdom is a great country but we face a profound economic crisis. That’s why I am standing to be the Leader of the Conservative Party and your next Prime Minister. I want to fix our economy, unite our Party and deliver for our country.”

Sunak, whose parents came to the UK from East Africa in the 1960s, is of Indian descent. His father was a local doctor while his mother ran a pharmacy in southern England, something Sunak says gave him his desire to serve the public.

He will also be the first Hindu to become British prime minister, securing the position on Diwali, the festival of lights that marks one of the most important days of the Hindu calendar. Sunak himself made history in 2020 when he lit Diwali candles outside 11 Downing Street, the official residence of the UK chancellor.

He has faced challenges over his elite background, having studied at the exclusive Winchester College, Oxford and Stanford universities. He is known for his expensive taste in fashion and has worked for banks and hedge funds, including Goldman Sachs.

Sunak’s election on Monday marks the pinnacle of what has been a speedy rise to power. He was first elected as an MP in 2015 and spent two years on the back benches before becoming a junior minister in Theresa May’s government. Johnson gave Sunak his first major government role, appointing him as chief secretary to the Treasury in 2019 and promoting him to the chancellor in 2020.

He was the first person who ‘predicted’ financial problems under Truss. He clashed with the former PM during the previous leadership race, claiming her plan to borrow money during an inflation crisis was a “fairytale” that would plunge the economy into chaos.

Sunak was first elected as an MP in 2015 – for Richmond in north Yorkshire – but rose quickly, and was made finance minister – or chancellor – in February 2020 under Boris Johnson.

Sunak was in charge of Covid support cash, the financial aid during lockdowns – including furlough payments and the “Eat Out to Help Out” scheme for restaurants.

His wife is Akshata Murthy, the daughter of Indian billionaire Narayana Murthy.

He faced controversy over his wife’s tax arrangements.

Over the summer, it emerged that Akshata Murthy paid no UK tax on big earnings abroad – which is legal. Sunak defended his wife saying, “to smear my wife to get at me is awful” – but eventually she agreed to start paying extra taxes. It was also found he temporarily had a US green card, allowing him to live permanently in America while he was the UK’s chancellor.

He campaigned for Brexit and deregulation. “Free ports” are one of his long-time favourite ideas: areas near ports or airports where goods can be imported and exported without paying taxes, to encourage trade.

In 2016, he told a group of schoolchildren that he originally wanted to be a Jedi Knight when he grew up. His favourite Star Wars film is The Empire Strikes Back.

However, Sunak faces an enormous task. The UK is in the midst of a deep cost-of-living crisis and soaring inequality. Financial markets are still spooked after Truss’ disastrous economic policy missteps.

The Conservative party, already unpopular after 12 years in power, has plunged itself into a state of utter chaos over the past four months and is now well behind the opposition Labour party in opinion polls. The only comfort for Sunak is that he doesn’t have to call an election until January 2025. (ANI)

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