MORNING NEWS BRIEF: 12 JUNE
PICTURE OF THE DAY
The south-west monsoon set in over Mumbai and its neighbouring areas on Wednesday, the MeT department said, as heavy rains lashed the city and suburbs since early morning, causing water-logging at many places and disrupting local train services. The first rains of this year's monsoon season in Mumbai caused water-logging in various parts of the city, prompting the traffic police to shut four subways and forcing motorists to abandon their vehicles on roads.
India tightens its grip on the Maldives
India is tightening its grip over the Maldives with three recent steps: It is believed to have been the primary force behind the election of the Maldivian Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid as President of the 76th., Session of the UN General Assembly. It got Shahid to accept IFS officer Kakanur Nagaraj Naidu as his Chef de Cabinet. It unilaterally announced that it will be establishing a Consulate in the strategically important South Maldivian Atoll of Addu. On the opening of a Consulate in Addu, the Maldivian President Ibrahim Solih has said that no decision has been taken on that. Solih’s hesitancy is perhaps due to opposition to the Indian scheme from a section of Maldivians expressing themselves through the hastag#SaveAddu. Or Solih is himself miffed by New Delhi’s unilateral announcement.
Are formal interactions with China helping legitimise Myanmar’s junta in the eyes of the world?
Recent formal interactions between Myanmar’s junta and officials from China have raised questions about whether the generals who staged February’s coup are garnering international recognition as the Southeast Asian nation’s legitimate executive authority. More than 420 civil society organisations on Thursday condemned the actions taken by China since June 5 to acknowledge Senior General Min Aung Hlaing – the architect of the coup – and the military regime as the “leaders” of Myanmar. The National Unity Government (NUG), a shadow administration comprising allies of the ousted civilian government, has raised an outcry – but analysts say that while there are some valid concerns over Beijing’s actions, they should not be over-interpreted.
Turkey’s troops should leave Afghanistan under 2020 deal: Taliban
Turkey should withdraw its troops from Afghanistan under the 2020 deal for the pullout of foreign forces, a Taliban spokesman has said, effectively rejecting Ankara’s proposal to guard and run Kabul’s airport after the United States-led NATO forces depart. The development raises serious questions for the US, other countries and international organisations with missions in Kabul about how to securely evacuate their personnel from landlocked Afghanistan, should fighting threaten the capital, Reuters news agency reported on Thursday.
India frets as Myanmar's pro-democracy fighters cross border
Thousands of people fleeing the junta’s crackdown in Myanmar have crossed into India‘s far-flung eastern states, leading to worries among officials there that the region could become a staging post for pro–democracy activists and stoke instability. Three Indian states – Mizoram, Manipur and Nagaland – are currently sheltering around 16,000 people from Myanmar, civil society groups and government officials estimate, with the number expected to rise in coming months. In Mizoram, where the most number of people from Myanmar have sought sanctuary, authorities are keeping a close watch on pro–democracy fighters joining refugees moving across the unfenced, densely forested border marked by the Tiau river.
Disengagement at border with China is slow due to suspicions: General Bipin Rawat
The disengagement process with China after the recent border standoff in the Ladakh area is slow due to suspicions on both sides, India's Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat told WION in an exclusive interview. After the tense border standoff along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the two countries have begun the process of disengagement, but the negotiations have been proceeding slowly. "The disengagement process with China is slow because there is suspicion on both sides," India's CDS General Bipin Rawat said. "There are always suspicions on both sides," General Rawat told media.
US reclaims Turkey for the western alliance
Less than forty-eight hours separate the US President Joe Biden’s meeting with his Turkish counterpart Recep Erdogan in Brussels from his summit with Vladimir Putin at Geneva on June 16. In between falls the shadow of the North Atlantic Security Organisation (NATO) summit. This is simply exquisite as far as planning of sequential activities go in diplomacy. Biden’s meetings in Brussels and Geneva are, arguably, the most consequential ‘bilaterals’ he’ll be having in this entire 8-day trip to Europe. Both events have variables but their correlation is not in doubt. Most of the issues that will figure in Biden’s meeting with Erdogan are related to Russia. Even when some US-Turkey issues do not directly concern Russia, they do affect Russia’s vital interests. The advantage goes to Biden insofar as the personal chemistry between Erdogan and Putin is no longer what it used to be. The Turkish-Russian relations are fraught with growing friction on several fronts.