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Erdogan threatens to expand Syria offensive despite criticism

Protest in London against Turkish offensive in Afrin. US and Turkey  argued over the status and future of Syria’s Kurds. Ankara has repeatedly slammed Washington for delivering military supplies to Kurds in Syria.
US told Ankara it will not deliver any more weapons to the Syrian Kurdish PYD/YPG fighters, Turkish media report. The news comes as the Turkish operation ‘Olive Branch’ in northern Syria has entered its eighth day. On Saturday Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that Washington should immediately withdraw from northern Syria’s Manbij region, located some 100 km from Afrin. Speaking to reporters, the top official said that the US should take steps to end its support of the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia.
Turkish Presidential Spokesman Ibrahim Kalin and US National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster held a phone call on Friday evening, Anadolu news agency said. McMaster confirmed that Washington would no longer provide weapons to fighters of the Kurdish People’s Protection units (YPG) and the Democratic Union Party (PYD).

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan today threatened to expand Turkey’s offensive in Syria against a Kurdish militia, despite rising concern and calls for restraint from the US and other Western allies.
In the seventh day of the operation against the Syrian
Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militia, Erdogan vowed
to “clean up” the Syrian city of Manbij.
The United States has raised concerns over the deadly offensive, and analysts say direct military conflict between the two NATO powers is possible since the US has a military presence in Manbij. While the YPG is still working closely with Washington against the Islamic State extremist group in Syria, Ankara views the YPG as a terror organisation allied to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) inside Turkey.
The PKK is blacklisted by Ankara and its Western allies as a terror outfit.

Tokyo ‘disputed islands’ museum

China has said it is “strongly dissatisfied” with the opening of a museum in Tokyo devoted to disputed islands, AFP reported. The museum, run by the Japanese government, opened on Thursday. It displays documents and photographs defending Japan’s claims to two sets of islands that China and South Korea also see as their own. Japan has a longstanding dispute with China over uninhabited islands in the East China Sea. They are administered by Japan, where they are known as Senkaku, but also claimed by China, which calls them Diaoyu. The Japanese foreign minister is preparing to visit Beijing this weekend. Tokyo also claims islands in the Sea of Japan that are controlled by South Korea. Seoul immediately demanded the closure of the museum as it denounced Japan’s “unjustifiable claims” to its “inherent territory” on Friday.

Czech citizens go for Prez poll

Czech citizens go poll until 2pm on Saturday to cast their votes as polls opened on Friday for the run-off in the presidential election. The incumbent Milos Zeman is facing challenger Jiri Drahos, the former head of the Czech Academy of Sciences.
Zeman, 73, is favored to win another five-year term, but polls suggest it could be a tight race, AP said. In 2013 Zeman, then a former left-leaning prime minister, became president after defeating former conservative Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg in the second round of the election. Zeman, seen as a Russia-friendly politician, was one of the few European leaders to endorse Donald Trump’s bid for the White House.
He flew the EU flag at Prague Castle, but also proposed a referendum on the country’s membership in the bloc. Drahos links the country’s future to its EU and NATO memberships.

US designates six individuals as global terrorists

US has slapped sanctions on four Taliban and two Haqqani network leaders for terrorist activities and said Pakistan must work with the US to deny the terror groups safe haven on its soil and target their funding. All six have been designated as global terrorists by the US Department of Treasury.
The four Taliban leaders include Abdul Samad Sani, Abdul Qadeer Basir, Abdul Baseer, Hafiz Mohammed Popalzai, and Maulawi Inayatullah, while Haqqani network leaders as Faqir Muhammad and Gula Khan Hamidi.
All property and interests in property of these persons subject to US jurisdiction are blocked, and the US citizens are prohibited from engaging in transactions with them.
Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, Sigal Mandelker said the Trump administration is targeting six individuals related to the Taliban or Haqqani Network who have been involved in attacks on coalition troops, smuggling of individuals or financing these terrorist groups.
He said the action supports the President Donald Trump’s South Asia Strategy by disrupting terrorist organisations and publically exposing individuals who facilitate their activities.

Aung San Suu Kyi calls on President Kovind

State Counsellor of Myanmar Aung San Suu Kyi called on President Ram Nath Kovind at Rashtrapati Bhavan today. During the conversation, the President said, Myanmar occupies the highest priority for India under its ‘Neighbourhood First’ and ‘Act East’ policies.
He assured India’s continued support to Myanmar in its peace process, and efforts towards national reconciliation and economic and social development. The President said, India-Myanmar relationship will get a boost if strong political and cultural bonds are supported by commerce.
He said, bilateral trade of just over 2 billion dollar is not reflective of close ties and there is immense scope for cooperation in sectors such as power, renewable energy, hydrocarbons and health.
He said, India had a longstanding relationship with her and her family and Rashtrapati Bhavan and the Mughal Gardens also have a special connection with her. The President presented her bush roses from the Long Garden of Rashtrapati Bhavan.

India, Cambodia ink four MoU

India and Cambodia today inked four pacts, including one to improve cooperation in prevention, investigation of crimes and legal assistance in criminal matters and a Line of Credit to fund Cambodia’s Stung Sva Hab water resources development project for 37 million dollar.
The pacts were signed after delegation-level talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Cambodian counterpart Hun Sen in New Delhi.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Modi said, the two countries are committed to take their relationship at a newer level. He said, India is eager to take forward its relationship with Cambodia in the fields of economy, culture, trade and people to people contacts.
The Prime Minister said, the roots of cultural and historical relationship are deep and there is a possibility to take it further.
He said, in the last two decades, Cambodia has registered 7 per cent economic growth annually while India is also one of the fastest growing economy in the world. Mr Modi said, there is a scope of further expanding trade ties between the two nations.
The Cambodian Prime Minister said, his country has benefited from India’s Act East policy. He invited Indian businessmen to invest in his country.
Earlier in the day, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj called on the visiting dignitary. Both leaders discussed issues of mutual interest related to development partnership, trade and investment, HRD and people-to-people contacts.
Mr Hun Sen was given a ceremonial reception at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in the morning. Mr Modi was among those present during the ceremony. The Cambodian Prime Minister also laid wreath at Mahatma Gandhi’s Samadhi. Mr Hun Sen is on a state visit to India. He attended the India-ASEAN Commemorative summit in New Delhi on Thursday and also attended the Republic Day Parade yesterday along with other ASEAN leaders.

Death toll of Kabul blast hundred,158 injured.


The explosive device was hidden in an ambulance and detonated at a police checkpoint in the Afghan capital, Reuters reported citing unnamed officials.The blast ignited close to the building which formerly housed Afghanistan’s Interior Ministry. An eyewitness told the news outlet the blast was caused by a car bomb, which detonated near the gates of the former ministry building.Nearly hundred people were killed and 151 injured by an explosion in a central district of Kabul, close to where several embassies and government buildings are located, local media report citing officials.Taliban has claimed credit for the blast, according to Pajhwok. It comes just a week after a deadly attack on the Intercontinental Hotel in the city, likewise claimed by the Taliban.
Shocked at news of the terrorist attack in Kabul. Our thoughts are with the bereaved families and with those injured. India stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the people and government of Afghanistan in the fight against the forces of terror and evil #PresidentKovind
India has strongly condemned the terrorist attack in Kabul today calling it barbaric and dastardly. In a statement, the External Affairs Ministry said, there can be no justification for such reprehensible attacks and the perpetrators and their supporters should be brought to justice.It said, India stands in solidarity with the government and the people of Afghanistan at this difficult times of mindless violence and terror imposed on them.
It also conveyed its heartfelt condolences to the next of kins of victims of the terror attack and prayed for speedy recovery of those injured and offered all possible assistance, including for treatment of injured.

30th African Union (AU) summit in Ethiopia

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UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the global development would not have success if Africa fails to take advantage of its youth dividend.
“The international community will not find peace and security if Africa is not able to manage not only its conflicts, but above all, to make prevention and find a solution to its conflicts,” he said.
Guterres also praised African countries for their handling of migration issues, saying that “I have always seen African countries open their doors to refugees and migrants. This is a lesson that other parts of the world should understand.”
Affirming UN’s commitment to support Africa, Guterres said the partnership between the UN and the AU is “the most important partnership.”
“Cooperation with the African Union is really a fundamental strategic element for the United Nations to be able to fulfill its mandate,” he said.
Peace and security, development, and human rights are said to be some of the common areas of interest for the UN and the AU to strengthen their partnership.
The two organizations signed an agreement on Saturday to strengthen development in Africa, it was noted. According to Moussa Faki Mahamat, AU Commission Chairperson, AU’s flagship Agenda 2063 and the global 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDG) can go hand-in-hand towards the continent’s development.
The targets of the SDG mainly focus the economic, social and environmental aspects of development.

MHA Shri Rajnath Singh released the book,” On the Trail of the Black”.

Sagar Media Inc: MHA Shri Rajnath  Singh thanks Authors and belessed them and appreciated the  book “On the Trail of the Black”. He said have not read complete book  but gone through some pages, this book deal corruption in many sectors. Corruption mitigate development, income disparity cause civil unrest. Digital,  Transparency, procedures policy are the keys to mitigate corruption in prevailing system.
MHA Sri Rajnath Singh said, Our PM is more concerned about corruption which dilute corruption.SIT formed in first cabinet meet, health sector need corruption free.. This is an  important step of government reduced generic medicines and paid attention to other vaccinations available  for infants.
Government is making an efforts in the Tax collection that too  is imp to reduce corruption .We all need fight corruption.  Minister further said Education can bring change, we need in society ideal personalities and  with procedure reforms like DBT MENREGA is made Easy with Aadhar . Society need awareness. Niti Ayog Policy makers we approve. Inspiration personality need to be galvanized. There must be more respect for value based actions rather than money making acts.
Dr Advani Mahajan said, Don’t agree that we do not need of Lokpal, crypto currency surge in Demonetization, conflict of interest ,FSSAI Nexus MNC , 350 consultant paid by MNC shunted out, corruption need to eye nodal point of Nexus, over invoices and under invoice government fails all cases as the system lack experts in this field.
Mr Amitabh address In government tenure of forty years I have better experience many laws knots together making loop holes and destroy the systems. From couple of years  digital online, make easy one page to three page law process, Institutions  need strength Medical commission medical council, UGC  need restructure, tech need to be used. DBT Aadhar benefiring tens of  cr beneficiaries thus  break bureaucratic nexus.
CEO Niti Ayog said Government procurement where corruption dwell,  E procurement GEM is best  and bid and auction with transparency makes the scenario better for economy. In new institution India need simple easy procedures, intelligence and other Alternative intelligence to take over.
Director NMML, Mr Shakti Sinha briefing on book Launch,” On the Trail of the Black”.
Many things need to be done. internal deptt inquiry,  balancing act of CVC, CBI, other  institution, law process more important to solve laws etc. No one wants to break law  with bold initiatives a step to  mitigate corruption.

Siddikur Rahman reigns supreme : Dhaka Open

Siddikur Rahman reigns supreme on home turf with four-shot victory at City Bank American Express Dhaka Open. 
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Dhaka, January 27, 2018: Bangladesh’s Md Siddikur Rahman lived up to the expectations of the home crowd as he recorded a four-shot victory at the inaugural City Bank American Express Dhaka Open, a US$ 60,000 event, played at his home course, the Kurmitola Golf Club. Siddikur fired a final round of two-under-70 to end the week with a total of 14-under-274.
Sweden’s Malcolm Kokocinski (67) finished a distant second at 10-under-278 at the event tri-sanctioned by the Asian Development Tour (ADT), Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) and Bangladesh Professional Golfers Association (BPGA).
Siddikur Rahman (68-66-70-70), the overnight leader by two shots, put up a consistent display on the final day making four birdies and two bogeys. The 33-year-old was in no mood to yield an inch to his rivals from the very start as was evident from his three birdies over the first 10 holes.
Rahman, who was in the lead since round two, did suffer a couple of setbacks with bogeys on the 11th and 13th but was solid through the final stretch thanks to a birdie and  four pars on the last five holes that saw him sail home with a comfortable margin.
It was Siddikur’s fourth international win and second triumph on the ADT. Siddikur had also won his first event on the ADT, the 2011 Grameenphone Bangladesh Masters, at the same venue, the Kurmitola Golf Club.
Siddikur, a two-time Asian Tour winner, said, “I was really hungry for a win this week. I’m delighted that I could live up to the expectations of the fans here in Bangladesh.
“My putting form was back today as I sank some long putts including a 15-footer on the ninth and a 35-footer on the 10th. Those two putts really lifted my confidence. I had a great week with the putter and made a lot of long putts except for the third round.
“This win is a huge boost for me ahead of the long Asian Tour season. I’ll look to build on the gains from this victory.”
Malcolm Kokocinski (70-70-71-67) posted the day’s best score of five-under-67 to rise from overnight tied third to second place. The Swede registered six birdies and a bogey on Saturday. He enjoyed a run of four straight birdies from the 11th to the 14th.
India’s Shankar Das (73) finished third at nine-under-279 while Bangladesh’s Akbar Hossain (70) was a further two strokes back in fourth.
India’s Shamim Khan took fifth place at six-under-282.

4th National Conference on Physical Education & Sports Sciences (NCPESS-2018)

4th National Conference on Physical Education & Sports Sciences
Respected Sir/Mdm, greetings from PEFI
 
Happy to share that Physical Education Foundation of India (Under the Aegis of Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports) is organizing 4th National Conference on Physical Education & Sports (NPESS2018) in New Delhi from 09-10 February 2018.
 
Online Registration is available on:
 
 
Last date of Online Registration is 31st January 2018.
 
Conference Event page:
 
 
For More Information, Please Contact:
 
Mr. Tarun Kumar – 9910147545
 
…for Healthy India
Dr. Piyush Jain
National Secretary
Physical Education Foundation of India (PEFI)
Cell – 9212799477

No Sikh Regiment in Jan 26 parade undermining Sikh sacrifices: S. Sarna

NEW DELHI, Jan 26 Excluding the proud Sikh Regiment from the annual Jan 26 parade for a second year in a row isn’t a coincidence but a calculated move to undermine the Sikh sacrifices in the freedom movement and on the battlefield in independent India, SADD chief Paramjit Singh Sarna has observed.
Never before the present BJP government, whom the Badals extend unconditional support, has the Sikh-regiment been ever sidelined in India’s display of its might tothe world outside.“The Sikh soldiers marching on the Rajpath have been a proud symbol of bravery and sacri’ce. But not anylonger under the present dispensation,” said S. Sarna.The Cellular Jail in the Andamans stands as ahistoric reminder of the scale of the Sikh role in freedom movement. “Most of the prisoners condemned to Kala Pani by the British were Sikhs.
Their names are still written all over the plaques inside the Cellular Jail,” the SADD chief noted. “But it’s insulting that the Sikh Regiment has now been pulled out of the Republic Day parade when the Sikh soldiers from across the three services have an unmatched record of bravery in India’s wars with the neighbors and also in dangerous troubled zones.”
S. Sarna wondered why the Badals, especially union minister Harsimrat Badal, has not been able to ensure the Sikh Regiment was given its due place in the parade.

Trump proposes US citizenship plan

US President Donald Trump’s administration has unveiled a sweeping new immigration plan to Congress that offers 1.8 million young unauthorized immigrants known as “Dreamers” a path to citizenship over 10-12 years.
In a comprehensive reform that will be formally presented next week, Trump also asked Congress Thursday to eliminate the popular “green card lottery” program and severely restrict family immigration, steps analysts say could cut in half the more than one million foreign-born people moving to the country annually.
And in the name of halting illegal immigration, he has also demanded Congress budget $25 billion for a “trust fund” for constructing a wall on the US-Mexico border — a major plank of Trump’s White House campaign.
“The Department of Homeland Security must have the tools to deter illegal immigrants; the ability to remove individuals who illegally enter the United States, and the vital authorities necessary to protect national security,” a senior White House official told journalists.
The White House’s offer of a path to citizenship for the Dreamers was much wider than expected. Earlier it had suggested it was only open to granting citizenship to the 690,000 young immigrants registered under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
But in exchange, Trump was asking Congress to make future legal immigration more difficult — and to shore up the Homeland Security Department’s toolbox and funding to crack down on the overall population of unauthorized immigrants, estimated at some 11 million, including Dreamers.
That could make the plan difficult to get past Democrats, no matter how strong they want the Dreamers reform.
“There is no public policy justification for cutting legal immigration in half. None,” said Democratic Senator Brian Schatz on Twitter.The plan represents a sharp shift in US immigration policies.
Trump promised during his 2016 presidential campaign a tough crackdown on illegal immigration but has extended this to narrowing the doors for legal immigrants and refugees.
The end of the lottery system — which was introduced in 1990 to diversify the origins of new immigrants — was expected and has support from some Democrats. Trump has argued the program has allowed people into the country who have supported Islamic extremists.
“This program is riddled with fraud and abuse and does not serve the national interest,” the White House said in a summary Thursday.
Trump however at least momentarily undermined his push against the lottery when, in immigration bill negotiations with lawmakers in early January, he complained about immigrants from what he reportedly dubbed “shithole” nations like Haiti, El Salvador and countries in Africa, sparking widespread outrage.
Trump has also argued for ending “chain” migration, the practice of allowing the extended family members of people who already have US citizenship to immigrate.
Thursday’s proposal said that to “protect the nuclear family,” family immigration would be only permitted for spouses and minor children.
The White House plan immediately provoked the ire of Democrats, who made clear they would likely fight to water down the changes in negotiations in coming weeks.
Senator Bill Nelson, a Democrat from Florida, said a bill calling for a big crackdown on undocumented immigrants and new restrictions on legal entry for relatives might be a hard sell.
“If you start putting in all of these highly charged toxic issues, it’s just not going to work,” said Nelson.
Pro-immigration groups said the proposal would reduce overall immigration by half and was aimed at bringing more Caucasians into the country.
“$25 billion as ransom for Dreamers with cuts to legal immigration and increases to deportations doesn’t pass the laugh test,” said Democratic Representative Luis Gutierrez.
“The White House released a hateful, xenophobic immigration proposal that would slash legal immigration to levels not seen since the racial quotas of the 1920s,” said Lorella Praeli, director of immigration policy at the American Civil Liberties Union.
But Republican leaders in Congress voiced solid support: Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell said the White House proposal was a “framework” for crafting a final immigration deal.
Republican Senator Tom Cotton, a hardline conservative, called Trump’s framework “generous and humane, while also being responsible.”
However, some conservatives were angered by the sweeping offer to Dreamers, which they say constitutes an amnesty that rewards law-breakers and sets a bad precedent for other undocumented immigrants.
“Any proposal that expands the amnesty-eligible population risks opening Pandora’s box,” said Michael Needham, chief executive of the right-wing lobby Heritage Action.
“That should be a non-starter,” he said.

Commemoration of International Holocaust Remembrance Day on 30th January 2018

INVITATION: Commemoration of International Holocaust Remembrance Day on 30th January 2018

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Dear Media colleagues,

holocaust - invitation cards


Please carry a Photo ID with you to facilitate your entry into the UN Premises; and follow standard security procedures.

cid:image002.jpg@01D36AB3.14331A60cid:image003.png@01D36AB3.14331A60
RAJIV CHANDRAN
National Information Officer
United Nations Information Centre
for India and Bhutan
55, Lodi Estate, New Delhi 110003

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