MORNING NEWS BRIEF: 01 DECEMBER
PICTURE OF THE DAY
NEW YORK, USA
A full moon rises behind people standing on Edge, an outdoor observation deck in Manhattan
ANADOLU AGENCY/GETTY IMAGES
Chinese defence minister declares military support for Nepal against India
China pledged to enhance its military relationship with Nepal and support its territorial integrity at a time when the small Himayalan neighbour is embroiled in border disputes with India.
Wei Fenghe, China’s Defence Minister and State Councillor, made the pledge when he met Nepalese Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and held talks with the Nepalese Army chief, Purna Chandra Thapa, in Kathmandu on Sunday.
A statement released by the Nepali Army said the two sides had discussed the resumption of training and a student exchange programme as well as a follow-up on defence help affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Pakistan, China ink pact to enhance defence cooperation
Pakistan and China signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for enhancing defence cooperation between the two armies, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said on Monday.
The development comes during a meeting of Minister of National Defence China General Wei Fenghe with Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa at the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi.
India, cajoled by US, seeks to pressure small nations
India, by ganging up with the US, is piling geopolitical pressure on small countries. Sri Lanka, like others involved in the fierce geopolitical competition, is pleased to have maintained long-term and close ties with China, which has never interfered in its internal affairs.
On the other hand, the wooing from the US and India has indeed exerted considerable pressure on these countries.
From Bangladesh and Nepal to Sri Lanka, India recently seems to be busy with resetting, restoring and strengthening ties with its neighboring countries. Qian said that against the backdrop of ongoing border tensions with China, India hopes to expand its influence, in a bid to gain more strategic capital and room to maneuver with China.
What is behind India’s ‘love jihad’ legislation?
The rise of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is rooted in a sociopolitical ideology that asserts that India is a Hindu country, has led to the marginalisation of Muslims through activism on the ground, propaganda online, and policymaking at the highest levels. The latest in a line of disenfranchising policy decisions is legislation criminalising so-called “love jihad”. This month, India’s largest state, Uttar Pradesh, ruled by the BJP, has passed an ordinance to this effect and four other states are likely to follow suit.
Iran says nuclear scientist killed by remote-controlled device
A senior Iranian security official has accused Israel of using “electronic devices” to carry out a remote assassination of Iran’s top nuclear scientist.
Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of the country’s supreme national security council, made the comments at the funeral for Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.
“The operation was very complex and took place using electronic devices, and no one was present at the scene,” he told Iranian media. He blamed Israel, which has not commented on the killing, and said an Iranian opposition group in exile, called Mujahedeen-e-Khalq, had also played a role. He did not provide evidence to back up the claims.
Bangladesh buys Leonardo's Falco EVO drone
The Bangladeshi Air Force bought a Falco EVO UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle ) system from Leonardo.
Bangladesh thus extends its capacity in remotely controlled aircraft limited until now to only one Bramor of the Slovenian C-Astral. In December 2017, according to the modernization program, the Air Force requested a MALE (Medium Altitude Long Endurance ) drone with a minimum of 15 flight hours and a range of 1,000 km.
In March 2019, the US Department of Defense offered $ 13 million "help" to Bangladesh for the acquisition of drones for use in United Nations peacekeeping missions.