Cyclone Ockhi claims eight lives in southern districts of Tamil Nadu and Kerala

At least eight people have died and 90 fishermen are missing when the torrential rains lashed the southern districts of Tamil Nadu and Kerala- as the depression in the Bay of Bengal turned into cyclonic storm “Ochki” on Thursday.

According to the meteorologists, the cyclonic storm Ochki is heading towards Lakshwadeep Islands and is likely to grow into a severe storm. Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam were the worst affected districts where several trees were uprooted.

According to Skymet, Lakshadweep is expected to get heavy rainfalls and the intensity of rain will reduce over Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Various flights have been canceled and the schools in Chennai, Kanyakumari, Tuticorin, Kancheepuram, Villupuram, Madhurai, Theni, Thanjayur and Thiruvarur  have been closed

The Home minister, Rajnath Singh has spoken to Director General, National Disaster Response Force and reviewed the situation in the affected areas.

In Kerela, the state government has put the official machinery on a high alert and has ordered the evacuation of people living within 100 meters of the coast area. The Indian Navy has deployed four ships and two aircrafts for search and rescue operations and also has set up a Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief operations in southern Kerala.

Sources- The Hindu, Times of India

North Korea Fires an Intercontinental ballistic Missile

North Korea fired an Intercontinental ballistic missile that landed close to Japan this morning. According to the South Korean Military, the missile flew higher than any of the earlier efforts made by North Korea, reaching an altitude of around 4,500 km and distance of 960 km before splashing down in the water, nearly 621 miles from the launch site off the coast of Japan.

According to Korean Central News Agency, Kim Jong Un after the launch said that North Korea has finally realized the great historic cause of completing the state nuclear force. After the Launch, the US President, Donald Trump told the reporters at the white house that US will handle the situation.

Sinzo Abe, the President of Japan has described the launch as an intolerable and violent act. Geng Shuang, the Foreign Ministry spokesman of China has considered the test as the matter of a great concern and has called for peaceful talks to solve the crisis.

It was the first ballistic missile test from North Korea since it fired a missile over Japan on 15th September.

Sources: The Guardian, CNN

Marshal Arjan Singh cremated with state honour

The nation bade a teary farewell to the Marshal of the Indian Air Force Arjan Singh, the legendary warrior who was laid to rest with full state honours at Brar Square in the national capital on Monday. In the honour of the national hero, the Tricolour Flew past at half-mast in all government buildings in Delhi.

In honour of the 1965 India- Pakistan war hero, A 17- gun salute was given to Singh while his body was consigned to flames amid chanting of Sikh hymns The 98-year-old Singh’s body was consigned to flames amid chanting of Sikh hymns. Several senior political leaders including Former Prime minister Manmohan Singh, BJP veteran LK Adwani and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman paid last respect to the war hero at the crematorium.

President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid glowing tributes to the war hero and visited Singh’s Residence on Sunday.

Singh, who died of the cardiac arrest, is the only officer to attain the highest post of Marshal of the Air Force, a rank equivalent to Army’s five-star field marshal.


The Indian Express, India Today

Nawaz Sharif’s wife Kulsoom wins by-election in Lahore

Kulsoom Nawaz, wife of ousted Pakistan Prime minister Nawaz Sharif won the crucial Lahore by-poll elections on Sunday.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) candidate Begum Kulsoom won Na-120 seat by defeating Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) candidate Dr. Yasmeen Rashid of Pakistan in a tough election contest.

The parliamentary seat fell vacant after Mr. Sharif was disqualified by the Supreme Court on July 28 stating him to be dishonest in the Panama Paper case. The election was seen as a test for the PML-N party as it comes ahead of the general election in Pakistan scheduled the next year.

In the absence of Begum Kulsoom, who was undergoing cancer treatment in London, the election campaigns were all managed by Kulsoom’s daughter Maryam Nawaz. The election was seen as a test for the PML-N party as it comes ahead the next year’s general election in Pakistan.

The Election Commission spokesperson said that Begum Kulsoom won the by-poll elections gaining 59, 413 votes while her competitor Dr. Yasmeen Rashid attained 46,145 votes.

The polling process was supervised by the Pakistani Army personnel. The voters’ turnout was relatively low in the morning but increased in the afternoon. Minor cases of clashes were reported during the election process between PTI and PML-N workers but nobody got injured.

Sources: The Hindu, Indian Express

Aung San Suu Kyi has a “last chance” to halt military attack: UN

Nobel Peace Prize winner and the de facto leader of Myanmar Aung San Suu Kyi has a “last chance” to halt military attack that is forcing hundreds of thousands of Rohingya to flee abroad, said the United Nations.

After the fresh outbreak of violence at the end of August, over 400,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled western Rakhine state into Bangladesh. On 25thAugust, the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), an armed rebel group of fighters launched attacks on more than 25 military and boarder police killing a dozen Burmese Security Personnel. Rohingya who fled Myanmar say the militants responded to the ARSA attack with a brutal campaign, burning villages and attacking civilians to drive them out.

United Nations Secretary Antonio Guterres told BBC that unless Aung San Suu Kyi acted now, the tragedy will be absolutely horrible. Guterres’ warning came out after Bangladesh said that it is limiting the movement of more than 400,000 Rohingya who have fled Myanmar. The Bangladeshi police said that Rohingya would not be allowed to travel outside their allocated homes, not even to live with their family.

The Rohingya Crisis is set to appear as a key issue at the UN General Assembly in New York, where world leaders are gathering for meetings. Aung San Suu Kyi is skipping an appearance at the meeting. She claimed that the crisis is being distorted by a huge iceberg of misinformation that is promoting the interest of terrorists.

Sources: BBC, Press 24

North Korea fires a ballistic missile over Japan

North Korea launched a ballistic missile over Japan, less than two weeks after its nuclear bomb test.
The missile was fired from the Sunan district of the capital Pyongyang on friday morning at 6:57 am Japanese standard time.
The missile flew over the Japanese island of Hokkaido before splashing down in the pacific ocean. There were no immediate reports of aircraft or ships damage. Alert messages were sent to the people living in regions near the missile flight path in Hokkaido to take cover.
The US and South Korea said that the missile was an intermediate range ballistic missile, similar to that fired over Japan last month although the Japan Prime minister said it to be an intercontinental missile.
The missile travelled 3700 kilometers- 800 kilometers further than the previous missiles launch over Japan, the longest ever flight carried out by range regime.
The launch came just a day after North Korea responded to a new United Nations sanctions against the country by threatning to “sink Japan and turn America to ashes”
The Japanese prime minister said that that launch was totally unacceptable and against the international community’s strong will for peaceful solution.

Sources: BBC, CNN

UN Security Council adopts tough new sanctions against North Korea

The UN Security Council has unanimously voted to impose a fresh round of sanctions on North Korea following its sixth and largest nuclear test.

With support from China and Russia, the council voted 15-0 on Monday to back the US-drafted ban on textile exports and restricting shipments of oil products to North Korea.  The resolution also prohibits North Korea from importing all natural gas liquids and condensates.

The resolution limits North Korea’s imports of crude oil at the level of the last 12 months, and it limits the import of refined petroleum products to 2 million barrels a year. It also prohibits all the countries from authorizing new visas for North Korean overseas workers. these measures are appraised to cut off $ 500m of tax revenue per year.

The initial US proposal included an assets freeze and travel ban on North Korean leader Kim Jong-un but was dropped to come to terms with China and Russia.

After the vote, The US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said that the US is not looking for war with North Korea and Pyongyang has “not passed the point of no return”. “If it agrees to stop its nuclear programme, it can reclaim its future. If it proves it can live in peace, the world will live in peace with it,” she told the UN Security Council.


Sources: Al Jazeera, BBC