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Trump-Putin Tango

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The Trump Putin Tango

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]It’s the issue that’s gripping America

By Kenneth Tiven in Washington

US President-elect Donald Trump has zero experience in his adult life with management by consensus, which underpins most democratic societies. He is more at home as the Oligarch, the Owner, the Bestower. In this respect, he has not attempted to minimize his respect for Russian President Vladimir Putin as an authoritarian leader. Trump claimed Putin was a better leader than President Barack Obama, and I am sure he believes that. During the Cold War, the US and the Soviet Union engaged in a great deal of spying on each other. The U-2 spy plane the Russians shot down was a victory for them. The technical expertise involved in American navy submarines parking over undersea cables near Vladivostok in southern Siberia recording all naval communications between the pacific command and Moscow was unknown to the Russians. Similarly, undersea spying revealed how Russia quieted its Juliette class diesel submarines, a discovery that led to catching an American spying for Russia, James Walker.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]That the internet makes electronic spying a more obvious choice for effort is not a surprise. The surprise is that Trump believes he can cast enough doubt about the conclusion of the intelligence agencies to make the matter go away. That it has happened is believed conclusively proven by the intelligence agencies, who are not about to give away how they know it. Trump can believe if he wants that it made no difference in the election. But he is missing an essential point: all intelligence is information, but not all information is intelligence. If it hasn’t been analyzed, processed or exploited in some form, information is not intelligence. That’s the function of intelligence organisations — to task, collect, process, exploit and disseminate information that then becomes useful due to its timeliness, accuracy and relevancy to whatever operation it is in regards to (and is because of this process now deemed classified information). This is before considering if the information was hacked. The election is over and Trump is now about to be the leader of the free world. His behavior in this matter suggests to many people and leaders around the globe that he is ill-suited to deal with authoritarian leadership in nations that want to see the US slip into second-rate status in the global community.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]The Vlad Connection

Professional political leadership in the US and Russia makes it their business to know a great deal about each other and their people. Imagine the surprise in the Kremlin in the summer of 2015 when the Trump phenomenon began to play in the ultra-long American presidential process. One should not underplay the skill and depth of research in both capital cities when it comes to knowing things. Facts are more important than ideology. We should assume that within a day or two of asking about Trump,  Vladimir Putin would have a list of every visit Trump ever made to Russia or a former Soviet satellite nation and with whom he has business dealings. Incidentally, Trump is married to a Slovenian woman, Melania. Google might have supplied some facts they did not know about his financial problems and debts, his business having become largely as a licensor of his “rich and terrific” name for buildings.

Although many revelations and some revulsion with Trump’s tweets seemed to not make an impression on a block of American voters, the reaction at the Kremlin was probably different. This is not an ordinary American politician, Putin must have thought. And research supported the notion that he was that special kind of capitalist–not just arrogant but claiming to be rich when in truth he was carrying as much as a billion dollars in debt and not paying US taxes. Vladimir Putin, as with Trump, sees opportunity where most would see conflict. How much does he owe “us”, Putin might have asked, meaning Russian oligarchs always eager to launder money offshore.

We know in his own words and in his ghost-written books that Donald Trump has spent his adult life bullying his way to notoriety in New York City real estate circles as a man of taste, wisdom and business success. In a stream of self-delivered superlatives, he has generally managed to blame his bankruptcies on others or circumstances beyond his control. His long involvement with politicians in New York City had been agnostic. He’d demand tax abatements and zoning favours from whoever was in office. After the election of Barack Obama, Trump took an unexpected interest in the issue of Obama’s birth in Hawaii. In short order, he made himself head birther (in American politics, a birther is a believer that Obama was not born in that country, and therefore, ineligible for presidency). President Obama ridiculed him at a Washington dinner in 2013.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]But the failure of his over-reaching efforts in gambling casinos made it harder to do real estate deals. Few American banks would loan to him. Most of his borrowings, reported by Forbes magazine and others, have been with European banks and Russian oligarchs awash in dollars. What better way to avenge the Obama slights than to claim that job? Building on the animosities that underpinned the birther and Tea Party movements, Trump expanded his target to include immigrants, especially Mexicans. He bullied and ridiculed the other 16 Republican candidates to win the primaries with less than 50 percent of the vote. In the presidential race, he didn’t get 50 percent either. But in the seemingly arcane nature of 240-year-old US election rules, he still won the presidency.

The writer has been a journalist in American media for more than 50 years, including stints at The Washington Post, TV network news with NBC, ABC and CNN and was involved in the start up of Aaj Tak and continues to work with several Indian news channels[/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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