US To Deploy National Guard Members To The US-Mexico Border

New Delhi: The US government has announced that Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen will visit this week a stretch of new border wall breaking ground in New Mexico, putting additional focus on what Trump has called a crisis of migrant crossings and crime. The US wanted deployment of National Guard members to the US-Mexico border at President Donald Trump's request was underway Tuesday with a gradual ramp-up of troops under orders to help curb illegal immigration.
The construction and commitment of at least 1,600 Guard members from Arizona, New Mexico and Texas provoked fresh condemnation from immigrant activists and praise from border-state Republican governors, who will retain command-and-control of their state's Guard during a mission that for now has no firm end date.


Xi Jinping Defends One Belt and One Road initiative of China

New Delhi: Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday defended his ambitious multi-billion dollar One Belt and One Road initiative (OBOR), saying China has no "geo-political calculations" but skirted concerns over its projects traversing through disputed regions such as Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

Touted as Xi's pet project, the BRI has become a major stumbling block in India-China relations as the controversial $ 50 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridore has been listed as its "flagship project".

In a keynote speech outlining his vision at the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) at the Chinese city of Boao, Xi said the BRI may be China's idea but its opportunities and outcomes are going to benefit the world.

"China has no geopolitical calculations, seeks no exclusionary blocs and imposes no business deals on others," he said in an apparent reference to apprehensions that the BRI in which China is investing billions of dollars in port, road and rail connectivity projects all over the world is aimed at furthering China's influence.

The BRI focuses on improving connectivity and cooperation among Asian countries, Africa, China and Europe. India has objected to the CPEC as it is being laid through the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and boycotted a high-profile Belt and Road Forum organised by China last year.

Outlining India's concerns, Indian Ambassador to China Gautam Bambawale told the state-run Global Times in a recent interview that both the countries should resolve their differences over the CPEC.

"This is a major problem for us. We need to talk about it, not push it under the carpet," he said.

About BRI, he told the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post recently that "the development connectivity must be transparent, fair and equal".


Iran Warns The US Against Withdrawing Nuclear Deal

New Delhi: President of Iran Hassan Rouhani in a threatening voice said Monday that the United States would regret withdrawing from the nuclear deal, and that Iran would respond in “less than a week” if that happened.
“We will not be the first to violate the accord but they should definitely know that they will regret it if they violate it,” Rouhani told a conference to mark National Nuclear Technology Day in Tehran.
“We are much more prepared than they think, and they will see that if they violate this accord, within a week, less than a week, they will see the result.”


N Korea Tells US That It Is Prepared To Discuss Denuclearization

New Delhi: North Korea has told the United States for the first time that it is prepared to discuss the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula when North Korean leader Kim Jong Un meets President Donal Trump.
US and North Korean officials have held secret contacts recently in which Pyongyang directly confirmed its willingness to hold the unprecedented summit, the official told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Until now, Washington had relied mostly on ally South Korea's assurance of Kim's intentions. South Korean envoys visited Washington last month to convey Kim's invitation to meet. Trump, who has exchanged bellicose threats with Kim in the past year, surprised the world by quickly agreeing to meet Kim to discuss the crisis over Pyongyang's development of nuclear weapons capable of hitting the United States.


US Imposes Sanctions On Russia’s Richest Oligarchs, 12 companies

New Delhi: Citing Russia’s efforts to undermine Western democracies and support for the Syrian government and Ukrainian separatists, the US government on Friday imposed new sanctions on seven of Russia’s richest oligarchs, 12 companies owned or controlled by them and 17 top bureaucrats.
The sanctioned oligarchs included President Vladimir Putin’s son-in-law Kirill Shamalov, an energy sector executive, and former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort’s business associate Oleg Deripaska, who has deep connections with the government and whom the US has alleged was linked to a murder and a Russian organised crime group.