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Russia MP warns of tit-for-tat steps if US strike Syria

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Russia MP warns of tit-for-tat steps if US strike Syria

US envoy at UN: Washington was ready to “respond” to the attack regardless of whether the Security Council acted or not

An escalating war of words has broken out between Moscow and Washington over a suspected chemical attack at Douma in Eastern Ghouta. Russia has on Tuesday asserted that it will take all political, diplomatic and military retaliatory measures if necessary should the United States deliver a strike on Syria.

According to Russian official news agency TASS, Vladimir Shamanov, the Chairman of Russian State Duma Defense Committee and former Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Airborne Troops has said, “The politics of double standards have hit rock bottom. And here the United Russia party conscientiously states that all political, diplomatic and military measures if necessary will be taken. No illegal action will remain unanswered.”  He was addressing a plenary meeting of State Duma (the parliament).

Read More: Syria: Conflicting reports of Chemical weapons used in Douma

The senior MP was indignant over US President Donald Trump’s statement about Washington’s response within 48 hours, saying: “They should not pin their hopes on their naval task forces and their deceptions. We are a sovereign country and we have allies and guarantors for those events taking place in Syria. We won’t let the Americans hammer nails on someone else’s anvil.”Meanwhile Dimitry Peskov, the Russian Presidential Spokesman told reporters on Tuesday that Moscow will not give in to the Western countries pressure and change its policies.

Russia does nothing under pressure. Russia always acts in line with its interests,” he said, adding that President Vladimir Putin had pointed it out many times.

Read More: Syria declares victory against terror in Eastern Ghouta

Earlier on Monday, escalation in war of words had broken out between Moscow and Washington at UNSC emergency session over a suspected chemical attack in Douma.

The US, Britain, France and six other countries requested Monday’s emergency session after rescue teams and medics said a “poisonous chlorine gas attack” in Douma on Saturday killed dozens of people, including many children and women.

The Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad and its ally Russia have called the allegations “fabrications”.

Read More: Syrian forces clear 90 per cent of Eastern Ghouta

Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, told the member states that Washington was ready to “respond” to the attack regardless of whether the Security Council acted or not.  “We have reached the moment when the world must see justice done,” she was quoted saying.

“History will record this as the moment when the Security Council either discharged its duty or demonstrated its utter and complete failure to protect the people of Syria,” she added. “Either way, the United States will respond.”

Earlier, Vassily Nebenzia, Russian Ambassador at UN had called the chemical attack allegations “fake news” and said Russia was ready to fly weapons’ inspectors to the site to see for themselves.

Warning that any military action against Syria’s government could have “grave repercussions”, the Russian ambassador also accused US, France and Britain of “hawkish rhetoric” and “boorishness against my country”, adding that their lack of a clear strategy for Syria was “appalling”.

Meanwhile, Staffan de Mistura, the UN envoy to Syria, issued an urgent call for unity and action at the emergency meeting.  “I urge the Security Council, in accordance with its own mandate, to maintain international peace and security and uphold international law to, for God’s sake, ensure a mechanism is found to investigate this allegation and attribute responsibilities.”

In a related development, Reuters, quoting US government sources, has reported that an initial assessment has not determined whether a reported chemical attack in Douma was carried out by Syrian government forces.

The assessment also suggested that a nerve agent was used in the suspected poison attack, but further evidence was needed to determine the type of agent.

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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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