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Germany asks India to continue buying oil from Iran

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Germany asks India to continue buying oil from Iran

In an a rare development, Germany has called US pressure exerted on its allies to comply with sanctions on Iran “irritating, to put it mildly” and expressed hope that India will continue buying oil from Iran.

In an exclusive interview with an Indian TV channel, Neils Annen, the German minister of state for International Affairs on Wednesday said that Germany will act in its own interest and hopes that India, too, will continue buying Iranian oil.

He said, “It will be India’s sovereign decision. I am not a salesman for Iran but I have an impression that India is willing to continue buying oil from Iran and this will be a very important statement.”

The German minister was of the view that efforts now need to be made on devising a financial mechanism to overcome the US sanctions. He said the French government has made a proposal in this regard and that finding a suitable financial instrument to allow companies that want to deal with Iran, “will be complicated but needs to be done.”

The US administration had set a deadline for reducing oil trade with Iran to “zero” by November 4, when Washington implements second layer of sanctions against that country.

Read More: Iran accuses India of bowing to US pressure, warns of withdrawing privileges if it cuts oil import

However, some government source has recently indicated that US administration is softening its stand and was willing to work with countries on a case by case basis.

Two days ago US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had signalled for the first time that his country might consider exemptions from the sanctions for countries as they reduce their dependency on Iranian oil.

Moreover, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Friday, “We are going to very strongly enforce the Iran nuclear sanctions. We’ve told our counterparts as that we expect them to enforce the sanctions, but if there are specific situations, we’re open to listening.”

Both the high ranking US officials spoke to the reporters aboard Pompeo’s plane as they flew back from Mexico, where they held talks on border security, immigration and trade negotiations.

Germany is one of the US allies in Europe which has developed differences on several issues in recent past including Iran nuclear deal, NATO funding and Paris Climate treaty. US President Donald Trump crossed settled protocol by calling German Chancellor- “Angela, you need to do something about this” during recent NATO meeting in Brussels.

Read More: India under US pressure to cut oil imports from Iran, Govt says exploring all options

German minister’s observations came a day after India and US agreed to continue consultations on the proposed American sanctions on Iran. A day earlier Iranian deputy foreign minister Abbas Araghchi visited New Delhi for discussions on pressing ahead with the energy and connectivity cooperation.

Germany asks India to continue buying oil from Iran

On Tuesday, Marshall Billingslea, the assistant secretary for terrorist financing in the US treasury department and officials from petroleum and foreign ministry on the Indian side held a day-long discussions.

Ahead of the talks with US official, a source privy to the development said that India could convey to the US that it could look at reducing the import of oil from Tehran in return for an exemption from US sanctions on plans to push ahead with the development of Iran’s Chabahar Port, considered to be  a gateway to the landlocked Afghanistan and Central Asia.

In 2012, India, when faced with a similar situation, had evolved a Rupee-Rial mechanism to bypass US sanctions and continue trading with Iran. Iran is India’s third-largest oil supplier after Iraq and Saudi Arabia. However, India lost huge money due to reduced purchasing of Iranian oil.

Read More: Iran, P4+1 meet ends inconclusive in Vienna

European signatories of the landmark multilateral Iran nuclear deal, also known as Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Britain, France and Germany have been in close contact with Iran and reiterated their willingness to continue trading with Iran. Several European companies have been engaged working with Iran since the implementation of the multilateral nuclear deal.

In May this year, US President Donald Trump had announced Washington’s withdrawal from the nuclear deal to what was termed as ‘the worst deal ever’.

Recently Israel’s public broadcaster published a recording of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying that he was responsible for persuading US President Donald Trump to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal earlier this year.  He was quoted saying at a Likud party gathering “We convinced the president of the United States…to leave this agreement, we didn’t give up.”

Niels Annen, Germany’s Minister of State, was on a two-day visit to New Delhi on Tuesday and Wednesday. He discussed regional and security policy topics with Piyush Goyal, the Finance Minister, M J Akbar, Minister of State for External Affairs, Vijay Gokhale, the Foreign Secretary and Ajit Doval, the NSA. Gokhale was earlier India’s ambassador to Germany.

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Slovakia’s Prime Minister safe after surviving multiple gunshot

The assailant critically injured 59-year-old Prime Minister Fico by shooting him five times.

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Slovakia’s Deputy Prime Minister has confirmed today that Prime Minister Robert Fico’s condition is stable, with his life no longer in immediate danger, following an alarming incident where he was shot multiple times.

The Prime Minister was shot by an assassin while he was leaving a meeting on Wednesday.The assailant critically injured 59-year-old Prime Minister Fico by shooting him five times.

Following the attack, Prime Minister Fico was urgently airlifted to the hospital, where he underwent extensive surgery that lasted several hours. Defence Minister Robert Kalinak, addressing reporters from outside the hospital where Fico was receiving treatment on Wednesday, described the Prime Minister’s condition as critical, emphasising that he was fighting for his life.

The identity of the suspect is yet unconfirmed as the police further investigate. Unconfirmed reports from local media suggest that the assailant may have been a 71-year-old writer and political activist.

A video is currently circulating in which the alleged perpetrator can be seen. In the clip, he mentions that he does not agree with government policy.

The shooting has sparked international concern. Expressing shock over the incident, PM Modi conveyed his solidarity with the people of the Slovak Republic, wishing Prime Minister Fico a speedy recovery. He strongly condemned the shooting, denouncing it as a cowardly and despicable act while emphasising the need for unity against such violent acts and reaffirming India’s support for Slovakia during these challenging times.

Earlier, EU chief Ursula von der Leyen also expressed disapproval of the vile attack on Prime Minister Robert Fico . On X, she stated that such acts of violence have no place in society, undermining democracy, the most precious common good. Von der Leyen extended her thoughts to Prime Minister Fico and his family, highlighting the European Union’s solidarity during this challenging time. The condemnation from EU leadership underscores the gravity of the situation and the need for a united stance against violence targeting political figures. As the investigation unfolds, international support for Slovakia remains steadfast, emphasising the importance of upholding democratic principles and ensuring the safety of leaders across Europe.

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World Earth Day 2024: Google Doodle showcases aerial view of planet’s natural beauty

Google celebrated Earth Day 2024 with a special doodle featuring an aerial view of our planet’s biodiversity.

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Google shared a doodle today to celebrate World Earth Day 2024, which showcased aerial photos of the planet’s biodiversity and natural beauty. Google reminded us of the importance of protecting planet earth for future generations with the help of this doodle.

The Google letters depict specific locations across the globe where people, communities, and governments work every day to help protect the planet’s natural beauty, biodiversity, and resources, according to the explanation of the annual Earth Day 2024 doodle on their website.

It said, these examples remind us that there’s much more to do to address the climate crisis and biodiversity loss, but also offer the promise of hope and optimism.

The islands of Turks and Caicos are represented by the letter “G.” The islands’ conservation efforts are concentrated on protecting important regions for biodiversity and addressing persistent environmental problems.

The largest reef in the southern Gulf of Mexico and a UNESCO biosphere reserve, Scorpion Reef National Park, is represented by the letter “O” in the Mexican flag.

The letter “O” features Iceland’s Vatnajokull National Park, which was designated as a national park in 2008 following decades of advocacy. The ecology within and surrounding the biggest glacier in Europe is safeguarded by this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The letter “G” has the Jau National Park in Brazil on it. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the biggest forest reserves in South America.

The Great Green Wall of Nigeria is represented by the letter “L,”  and the Pilbara Islands Nature Reserves of Australia are represented by the letter “E.”

Meanwhile, Earth Day is a worldwide event that promotes protection of the environment every year. April 22 serves as a reminder of the importance of conservation efforts and sustainable practices to guarantee a healthier world and a brighter future.

The occasion inspires people across the world to come together and take action to protect the environment, strengthening our bonds with nature and promoting good change.

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Bigg Boss 14 contestant Rahul Vaidya struggles walking in knee deep water, compares Dubai rains with Mumbai floods

Singer and TV personality Rahul Vaidya was recently stranded in the Dubai rains.

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Rahul Vaidya, who was in Dubai ahead of his show which was scheduled to take place today, left the country due to heavy rains and reached Kolkata. The artist shared on social media his encounters in the UAE city, including challenges like walking through knee-deep water. Rahul provided an update regarding the heavy rainfall in Dubai on his Instagram profile.

The Bigg Boss 14 contestant revealed that he was in Kolkata and prepared to do an evening performance. Recalling the terrifying period he went through, Vaidya said there was a lot of confusion and panic in Dubai. The situation was similar to that when heavy floods hit Mumbai in 2005.

Vaiday also posted seval other images and videos of cars that were underwater and flooded roadways. The Bigg Boss 14 contestant, who shared his ordeal, claimed that even though it had just rained for two hours, the situation was dire.

In one of the video, which went viral he can be seen struggling in walking in knee-deep water. He can be also seen holding his sneakers in one hand and with other hand he was seen managing other things.

This is the result of the two hours of rain that it had, he can be heard saying in the video. Vidya also said he dosen’t believe Dubai is accustomed to a lot of rain. Everything had stopped working, he remarked.

After taking part in the first season of the singing reality show Indian Idol, Rahul Vaidya gained widespread recognition. In addition to Bigg Boss, he took part in Khatron Ke Khiladi 11.

Meanwhile, heavy rains that triggered flooding in the UAE and Bahrain, which left 18 people dead in Oman on Sunday and Monday, have paralyzed the financial hub of the Middle East, Dubai.

A lot of incoming flights were diverted from Dubai’s international airport because of the rain. At 7:26 p.m., the busiest airport in the world for foreign visitors stopped accepting new arrivals; a gradual resumption was announced for more than two hours later.

Images of planes navigating flooded tarmacs are making the rounds on social media.

According to pictures shared on social media, the flagship malls Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates both experienced heavy floods, while at least one Dubai Metro station had water up to the ankles.

There were several road collapses, severe flooding in residential areas, and numerous reports of leaks from windows, doors, and roofs.

Due to the unfavourable weather, schools around the United Arab Emirates were forced to close, and as more storms are predicted, the closures are anticipated to last until Wednesday. The government of Dubai allowed its staff to work remotely till this Wednesday.

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