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TENSIONS ESCALATE: CHINA’S SHOW OF STRENGTH IN SOUTH SEA

China launched four medium-range ballistic missiles into the South China Sea on Wednesday amid broader military exercises by the People’s Liberation Army. The missiles landed in the sea in an area between Hainan Island and the Paracel Islands, the official said, and were fired a day after Beijing …..

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China launched four medium-range ballistic missiles into the South China Sea on Wednesday amid broader military exercises by the People’s Liberation Army. The missiles landed in the sea in an area between Hainan Island and the Paracel Islands, the official said, and were fired a day after Beijing protested a flyover by a U.S. spy plane.

“As long as they’re doing it in accordance with international law and norms they have every right to do so,” 

a U.S. navy vice admiral, told reporters on Thursday in response to a question about the missile tests. He said the U.S. is ready to respond to any threats in the region, and said if all militaries operate professionally

“you can have the same ships in the same water space.”

Separately on Wednesday, the U.S. announced trade and visa restrictions on 24 companies for their efforts to help China “reclaim and militarize disputed outposts” in the contested maritime area, according to a statement from the U.S. Department of Commerce.

CPC paves way for Xi Jinping to rule China indefinitely

In a related statement, Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said the U.S. would impose visa restrictions on Chinese individuals “responsible for, or complicit in, either the large-scale reclamation, construction, or militarization of” South China Sea land.

A senior State Department official said the visa restrictions were the “mere start” of what could be more U.S. action to punish China over its reclamation work in the South China Sea. The official encouraged other countries to take similar measures against the people who were targeted to make it even harder for them to conduct business abroad.

The escalating tensions come as the Trump administration is trying to push back against what the US sees as an intensifying Chinese campaign to dominate the resource-rich South China Sea and smaller nations in the region. Last month it explicitly rejected China’s expansive maritime claims in the region for the first time, and sent aircraft carriers to the waters to conduct military exercises.

Read Also: UNEASY CALM IN CONG: SIGNATORIES OF LETTER WILLING TO WAIT

President Donald Trump has taken a tough stand against China, a key element of his re-election campaign against former Vice President Joe Biden, even as the two nations seek to sustain a “phase one” trade deal reached early this year.

India News

Bypolls results: INDIA bloc sweeps 10 seats, 2 for BJP, independent 1, across 7 states

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said three out of four seats were of BJP which have now been won by TMC.

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The Opposition bloc INDIA swept the by-elections winning 10 out of 13 seats, while the BJP won only two seats across seven states. The independent candidate, Shankar Singh, won the Rupauli seat in Bihar’s Purnea, defeating JDU’s Kaladhar Prasad Mandal by a margin of 8,246 votes.

In Punjab, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate Mohinder Bhagat has won the Jalandhar West Assembly seat, defeating his rival, BJP candidate Sheetal Angural, by a massive margin of more than 37,000 votes. The Trinamool Congress (TMC) is leading on 4 seats in West Bengal.

The by-elections in 13 Assembly constituencies across seven States concluded on July 10. The Assembly seats included Badrinath and Manglaur seats in Uttarakhand; Rupauli in Bihar; Raiganj seat, Ranaghat Dakshin seat, Bagda and Maniktala seat in West Bengal; Vikravandi in Tamil Nadu; Amarwara in Madhya Pradesh; Jalandhar West in Punjab and Dehra, Hamirpur and Nalagarh in Himachal Pradesh.

In Himachal Pradesh, Kamlesh Thakur, wife of Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, has won the Dehra constituency. The Congress has secured the Nalagarh seat as well, while the BJP managed to win the Hamirpur seat.

On the by-elections in West Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said three out of four seats were of BJP which have now been won by TMC. Thanking the people of Bengal, she said this victory is the victory of the people.

Addressing a press conference, Congress leader Pawan Khera said that these by-elections which were held on 13 seats are very important. For the second time in one and a half months, the people of the country gave a strong message to the BJP, he added.

He said the message was very clear in the Lok Sabha elections. The Congress leader also spoke about the by-poll result in Uttarakhand and said the party has won both its seats, Badrinath and Manglaur. In Himachal Pradesh, Congress won 2 out of 3 seats, he further said.

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Baba Ramdev joins celebration, dances with the groom at Anant Ambani-Radhika Merchant wedding

The four-day celebration starts with traditional Hindu wedding rituals like haldi, mehndi, and sangeet and will be followed by a magnificent reception over the weekend.

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Yoga guru Baba Ramdev was among the guests at the grand wedding of Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant, held at the Jio World Convention Centre in Mumbai on Friday. The Yoga guru was accompanied by his close advisor, Acharya Balkrishna. Ramdev has been seen dancing in a video shared on social media with the groom as a Barati.

Anant Ambani, the youngest son of Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani and Nita Ambani, married his childhood sweetheart Radhika Merchant this Friday. The event was an over-the-top affair, attended by global celebrities, business tycoons, sports personalities and politicians. The wedding rituals, which included exchanging garlands and walking around the holy fire, began on Friday and went on past midnight.

The celebrations took place at the Ambani-owned Jio World Convention Centre and the family home. The wedding marked the height of months of events, featuring performances by pop stars like Rihanna, Rema and Justin Bieber. The four-day celebration starts with traditional Hindu wedding rituals like haldi, mehndi, and sangeet and will be followed by a magnificent reception over the weekend.

The guest list comprises prominent personalities such as former British Prime Ministers Tony Blair and Boris Johnson, Saudi Aramco CEO Amin H. Nasser, and celebrities like Adele, Lana Del Rey, Drake, John Cena Kim and Khloe Kardashian, Law Roach, and David Beckham. Almost each and every international guest wore traditional Indian attire designed by major Indian fashion designers.

Anant Ambani, 29, is responsible for the corporation’s renewable and green energy creativities and also runs a 3,000-acre animal rescue centre named ‘Vantara’ in Jamnagar, Gujarat, the family’s hometown. The bride, Radhika Merchant, 29, is the daughter of pharmaceutical tycoon Viren Merchant and serves as the marketing director for his company, Encore Healthcare.

The wedding celebrations are expected to continue through the weekend, with a grand reception planned to cap off the festivities.

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Jammu and Kashmir: Home Ministry amends Reorganisation Act to boost LG power

In the Transaction of Business Rules, sub-rule 2A has been inserted after sub-rule (2) in rule 5.

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The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has amended the rules of Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act to give more power to the Lieutenant Governor. The MHA notified the amended Rules under Section 55 of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019 inserting new Sections giving more power to the LG.

According to the information, only the transaction of Business Rules has been amended. Nothing new has been provided in these rules. It is already mentioned in the State Reorganization Act (SRA) of 2019. The current amendment to rules is just a clarificatory in nature flowing from the existing provisions of SRA 2019.

In the Transaction of Business Rules, sub-rule 2A has been inserted after sub-rule (2) in rule 5.

With the amendment, the Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir will exercise more power on matters of transfers and postings of all-India service officers like the IAS and IPS, police, law and order as well as the appointment of judicial officers, as per the official notification. 

President Droupadi Murmu approved the amendments in the rule exercising the powers conferred by Section 55 of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, (34 of 2019) read with the Proclamation dated October 31, 2019, issued under Section 73 of the Act, as per the notification issued by the MHA. 

The notification further said that the President has made the rules further to amend the Transaction of Business of the Government of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir Rules, 2019. These rules may be called the Transaction of Business of the Government of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir (Second Amendment) Rules, 2024, the notification suggests further. 

The amendments came into force on July 12, the date of the publication in the Official Gazette; a move in anticipation of the speculated assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir.  

Reacting to the Amendment, former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said another indicator that elections are around the corner in J&K. This is why a firm commitment to laying out the timeline for restoration of full, undiluted statehood for J&K is a prerequisite for these elections, he added.

The people of J&K deserve better than a powerless, rubber-stamp CM who will have to beg the LG to get his/her peon appointed, he asserted.

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