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Syria: Conflicting reports of Chemical weapons used in Douma

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Syria: Conflicting reports of Chemical weapons used in Douma

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Russia and Syria denies using chemical weapons while US-Israel-Saudi media drums against Assad regime

The ongoing struggle in Syria is once again marked with allegations and denials of using chemical weapons during operations in the rebel held Douma area in Eastern Ghouta on Saturday. The US-Israel-Saudi Arabian media alleged for the chemical weapon attack on civilians while Syria and Russia have officially denied the allegations.

CNN quoted several Syrian activist groups that toxic gas inside barrel bombs were dropped by helicopters over Douma causing people to suffocate and choke leaving dozens of civilians dead and scores wounded.

However, Syrian state news agency SANA cited an “official source” who denied the allegation, saying reports were a “blatant attempt to hinder the army’s advance” into what it described as a “collapsing terrorist” stronghold.

Read More: Russia, Turkey and Iran support Syrian sovereignty, integrity

The agency further said that the Syrian Arab Army “does not need to use any chemical materials as claimed by terrorists’ media affiliates.”

Meanwhile, Russia’s Defense Ministry has refuted reports on Sunday that the Syrian forces have used chemical weapons in Douma in Eastern Ghouta.

According to TASS news agency, Major General Yuri Yevtushenko, the head of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the Warring Sides in Syria said that the allegations that a chlorine barrel bomb had been dropped in Douma by the Syrian armed forces were the work of the so-called independent non-governmental organizations, including the White Helmets, which is widely known for its fake news.

Syria: Conflicting reports of Chemical weapons used in DoumaHe further said “We strongly reject this information and confirm readiness after Douma is liberated from militants to send Russian specialists in radiation, chemical and biological protection to collect data to confirm that these statements are fabricated.”

The allegations of Syrian forces using chemical weapons have come to light after Damascus has recently claimed of discovering Daesh (IS) terrorist-run factory of making chemical weapons in Eastern Ghouta.

Read More: Syria: Chemical weapon factory unearthed in Eastern Ghouta

The Russian official noted that the West used the allegations of chemical attacks to disrupt an operation beginning on Sunday on evacuating from Douma irreconcilable militants of the Jaish al-Islam group. On Saturday, news broke that they resumed fighting against the government forces.

Meanwhile SANA reports on Sunday morning that the terrorists of the so-called “Jaish al-Islam” seek negotiations with the Syrian state and said that the negotiations would begin within two hours.

The agency further said that the request from terrorists came after “the painful blows” they received due to the decisive military operation on their positions and hotbeds in Douma.

Syrian government has agreed to negotiate due to its “keenness to protect civilians and liberate the abductees” despite having doubts about their seriousness, the agency added.

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

However, the slant of coverage in American-Israeli-Saudi media houses was quite provocative. CNN’s headline reads “Dozens dead in possible gas attack in Syria: regime denies allegation”. Haaretz, a leading Israeli newspaper’s headline was “Scores of Syrians killed in Suspected Chemical Attack by Assad Forces” while Saudi Arabia’s Alarabiya.net was headlined “Horrific pictures show ‘entire families’ gassed to death in Syria’s Douma” while Qatar based Al-Jazeera network’s story say “Syria Chemical attack kills ‘70’.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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White House hails India’s democracy, calls it vibrant ahead of Prime Minister Modi’s US tour later this month

A National Security Council official at the White House, John Kirby, while addressing a press conference said the strength and health of democratic institutions will be part of the discussion with PM Modi during his visit to the state.

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White House hails India's democracy, calls it vibrant ahead of Prime Minister Modi's US tour later this month

The White House on Monday said India is a vibrant democracy and anybody can witness that on visiting New Delhi dismissing concerns about the health of democracy in India as Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to visit the US later this month.

A National Security Council official at the White House, John Kirby, while addressing a press conference said the strength and health of democratic institutions will be part of the discussion with PM Modi during his visit to the state.

Kirby said the US hopes to have a deeper partnership with India which would strengthen their relations. He further added that India is a strong partner with the US on many levels.

Kirby said there would be additional Defence cooperation between the two nations. He also stated that the economic activities between the two countries were at an all-time high and India, as a Pacific Quad member, is a key partner to the Indo-Pacific security.

He further added America’s relationship with India is multi-dimensional that took place at many levels. Kirby said US President Joe Biden is awaiting Prime Minister Modi’s visit to discuss all the issues and deepen the bond of friendship and partnership between US-India.

Kirby’s comments help in establishing the commitment of the Biden administration to work with the Modi–led government, which has reportedly come under criticism from some political quarters in the US and its media for the alleged depletion of India’s democratic institutions.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, in his recent visit to the US, made remarks on press freedom, institutions, and democracy in India.

While the official visit is on June 22, PM Modi will lead the International Yoga Day celebrations on July 21 at the United Nations in New York. He is likely to meet political and business leaders during his visit. The leaders are expected to discuss China’s actions in Asia and beyond, which are feared to be against their shared interests.        

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Indiana Ophthalmics: Gujarat based company supplies poor quality eye drops in Sri Lanka

On Thursday, Pharmaceutical Export Promotion Council (Phermexcil), India’s Centre agency looking after the promotion of pharmaceutical exports from India has sent a notice to the Gujarat company asking an explanation and an internal investigation report on the quality of the Methylprednisolone eye drops.

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Indianna Opthalmics - Gujarat based company supplies poor quality eye drops in Sri Lanka

A Gujarat based top pharmaceutical manufacturing firm Indiana Ophthalmics has been accused of supplying poor quality eye drops to Sri Lanka. The Sri Lankan government has complained to the Indian government stating that the eye drops supplied by the company has has caused eye infection to 30 people.

On Thursday, Pharmaceutical Export Promotion Council (Phermexcil), India’s Centre agency looking after the promotion of pharmaceutical exports from India has sent a notice to the Gujarat company asking an explanation and an internal investigation report on the quality of the Methylprednisolone eye drops.

Phermexcil Director General Udaya Bhaskar in a letter to Indiana Ophthalmics has stated that the alleged supply of the contaminated eye-drops by the company has dented the reputation of the Indian pharma industry and will have to face trust issues by the international agencies on the export of pharmaceuticals from the country.

A probe has also been started by the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation on Thursday, to investigate into the questions of quality concerns being raised on the eye drops being manufactured by Indiana Ophthalmics. The drops were recalled by Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Health in April this year saying the patients had reported complications after using them.

The Sri Lankan government claimed to have found bacteria Burkholderia cepacia in the eye drop. The Lankan government has asked the Indian government to compensate the affected patients and has demanded to investigate into the matter. Reports claimed, the firm has been told to stop production of eye drops immediately.

As per reports, the state drug officials had tested the drops and are waiting for results. Reports also said, these drugs require sterility testing hence, the test results will take another 15 days. Once the test results are out, they will be sent to the Sri Lankan government immediately.

A similar case was reported in February 2023, when questions were raised against Tamil Nadu based Global Pharma Healthcare, a firm whose product was allegedly linked with contamination causing blindness and one death in the US.

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PM Modi underlines deep Aus ties at Sydney show for NRIs, Indian Australians

Addressing a gathering of Australians of Indian origin and NRIs based in the country in Sydney, PM Modi recalled his first visit to Down Under and listed the many things that connected the two countries

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PM Modi underlines deep Aus ties at Sydney show for NRIs, Indian Australians

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said Australia and India have always shared common interests including keeping the Indo-Pacific a free, open and inclusive area.

Addressing a gathering of Australians of Indian origin and NRIs based in the country in Sydney, PM Modi recalled his first visit to Down Under and listed the many things that connected the two countries. He noted that India and Australia are keen cricketing nations and shared many more close links from MasterChef and yoga. PM Modi spoke about the sadness many cricket-loving Indians felt on the death of Australian spin wizard Shane Warne.

The PM noted that the Indo-Pacific region faces a number of challenges such as the security of sea lanes of communication, terrorism, climate change and piracy. He said these issues can be addressed through shared efforts.

He said that both he and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese wanted to take their ties much closer. PM Modi said he was confident that he would Indo-Australian relations to the next level. There was large scope to identify new areas of complementing each other and increase cooperation between the two nations. This would also happen in closer defence and security ties to ensure open and free communication in Indo-Pacific.

He highlighted the fact that there was high degree of mutual trust between the two countries that had translated into increased co-operation on defence and security matters, which was already visible with the navies of the two countries participating in joint naval exercises.

He stated India’s position in the world as the force of global good. He said that India always had a helping hand whenever there was a disaster. He hailed India as the mother of democracy and as a bright spot for the world’s economy.

Prime Minister Modi and his Australian counterpart renamed the Sydney suburb ‘Little India’ during the mega community event at the Qudos Bank Arena  in Sydney Olympic Park. He also announced that a new consulate will be opened in Brisbane soon.

PM Modi was visiting Australia after nine years after 2014. The organisers of the Tuesday bash, the Indian Australian Diaspora Foundation (IADF), had anticipated a sizeable turnout and were not disappointed by the multitudes welcoming the PM. Special buses had been organized by Modi supporters from Brisbane and Canberra.

Indians comprise 2.8% of the Australian population, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

He also added that the the Indo-Pacific region faces a number of challenges such as security of  sea lanes of communication , terrorism, climate change and piracy. He said that these issues can be addressed through shared efforts. He also added that he could not be satisfied easily.

He said that Prime minister Albanese was same in this regard. He said he was confident that he would Indo-Australian relations to the next level. There was large scope to identify new areas of complementariness and increase cooperation between the two nations. PM Modi said he wants to take India’s relationship with the Australia to the next level which include closer defence and security ties to ensure open and free communication in Indo-Pacific. He highlighted the fact that there was high degree of mutual trust between the two countries that had translated into increased co-operation on defence and security matters.

As a result of which the navies of the two countries are participating in joint naval exercises.

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