U.N. chief meets N.K. official, Calls for denuclearization

United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, called for the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula after he met North Korean formal leader Kim Yong-Nam during the opening ceremony of the Pyeong Chang Winter Games on Friday. Guterres met the 22-part North Korean designation, which was driven by Yong-Nam. He also welcomed North Korean pioneer Kim Jong-un’s more youthful sister, Kim Yo-jong during a dinner meeting.
Guterres also met with South Korean President, Moon Jae-in, on Friday and communicated trust the Winter Olympics will open a “window of chance” for stronger diplomatic efforts between the two Koreas, so as to denuclearise the promontory,  as announced by the South Korean presidential office. Previously in the day, Moon met the North Korean appointment at the South Korean presidential office, Cheong Wa Dae (Blue House).
The North Korean delegation’s visit to South Korea was the first trip since August 2009, when a high-level North Korean delegation attended the funeral of former South Korean President Kim Dae-Jung, who held the first-ever inter-Korean summit with then North Korean leader, late Kim Jong-il, in 2000.
Sources: ANI NewsABCNews

President Ram Nath Kovind wants Triple Talaq Bill to be passed soon in Parliament

President Ram Nath Kovind made his first speech to both Houses in the Parliament, expressing his hope that the Triple Talaq Bill will be passed soon. He was addressing a joint sitting of both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha at the beginning of the Budget Session.

The President said, “My government has brought the Triple Talaq Bill to safeguard the rights of the Muslim women. And I am hopeful that Parliament will pass the bill.”

He emphasized upon how 2018 would turn out to be a vital year in India’s journey to realizing its full potential. He enlisted the various measures that the government had undertaken such as the ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ campaign. He also mentioned the Maternity Bill that has been passed. “Parliament has approved a bill granting working women paid maternity leave of 26 weeks.”

He encouraged the masses to promote and support the Swachh Bharat mission. “It is our duty that when we celebrate Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary in 2019 we pay tribute to him by making our country completely clean.”

He also recognized the efforts made by the current government in promoting digitization. Broadband connectivity was already being initiated in villages across. He stated that 2.5 villages had already been connected.

Sources: Asian Age, The New Indian Express

Anandiben Patel appointed as governor of Madhya Pradesh

Image Courtesy: ANI
Former Gujarat CM Anandiben Patel to be the next Madhya Pradesh Governor.

New Delhi, January 19:  Anandiben Patel has been appointed as the governor of Madhya Pradesh. The former Gujarat Chief Minister has replaced Om Prakash Kohli, who additionally held the charge of the office of governor of MP along with the office of governor of Gujarat.

The announcement was made by the official Twitter handle of the President of India.

Patel assumed office of the Chief Minister of Gujarat following Narendra Modi’s election as the India’s Prime Minister. She became the first woman to take charge as Gujarat’s Chief Minister. In 2016, she resigned from her post citing overage reasons.

However, there were speculations that her handling of the Patidar reservation agitations and Dalit protests led to her resignation. She was replaced by Vijay Rupani, who is considered to be her rival in Gujarat politics. She did not contest in the recently concluded Gujarat polls, citing her age to be the rationale.

She is the second Gujarat Minister from the BJP to be appointed as the governor of a state, after Vajubhai Vala, the present governor of Karnataka.

Madhya Pradesh elections are scheduled for later this year. Her appointment as the governor of the state is being seen strategic, keeping the forthcoming polls in mind.

 

Sources: The Hindu, The Indian Express

Ivanka Trump is ‘as dumb as a brick according to Steve Bannon.

The former White House chief strategist, Steve Bannon, has portrayed President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump as “dumb as a brick” in an up and coming book, ‘Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House’. The Bannon’s perception about Ivanka was reported on Wednesday, by The Wall Street Journal, which has reviewed Michael Wolff’s new book. Prior in the day, Bannon, who was terminated from the White House job a year ago during an investigating into the the Russia’s role in the presidential decision, he already grabbed the headlines after it was reported that he had described, in the same book, a meeting between the president’s son and a group of Russians during the 2016 election campaign as “treasonous” and “unpatriotic”.

Bannon also reportedly told Wolff that investigation into the Trump campaign’s potential ties to Russia is centered on money laundering and claimed that “they’re going to crack Don Junior like an egg on national TV”. Bannon was the CEO of the Trump battle in its last three months and furthermore the White House boss strategist for seven months previously he was shot from his position. Three congressional committees and special counsel Robert Mueller are investigating Russia’s interference in the presidential election and possible collusion with Trump associates.

A lawyer for President Trump is threatening legal action against Mr. Bannon over what he calls “outright defamatory statements”. Trump attorney Charles Harder has sent a letter to Bannon, saying the former chief strategist violated confidentiality agreements by speaking with the book’s author. The letter demands Bannon “cease and desist” any further disclosure of confidential information Trump criticised Bannon for his comments and said the latter not only lost his job, he lost his mind too after being fired from the White House.

 

Sources – New York Times, MSN

Kanpur woman seeks President’s permission to euthanise son

Being unable to collect a sum of Rs 10,000 for the treatment of her son suffering from skin cancer, Kanpur woman, Janaki, wrote to President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday, seeking permission to euthanize her son. The woman informed ANI that she doesn’t have money for treatment of her son.

The doctor diagnosed her son with skin cancer and demanded a sum of Rs 10,000 for his treatment. When Janaki told him she doesn’t have that kind of money, the doctor refused to treat her son.

In order to receive some help, she contacted the District Magistrate, Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma, district officer, collector and MLA of UP, Nilima Katiyar. Out of all the people, she met, most ignored her situation but MLA Katiyar. She wrote a letter to Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath requesting him to help her from the state’s relief fund. However, the letter dated May 14, 2017, did not receive any response from the CM.

Janaki, has no source of income or even a house to live. She was given shelter by Mahant Amarnathpuri and has been supporting her for four years now.

“We have received no help from any government in the past five to six months. We are buying medicines by collecting money through charity,” Amarnathpuri told ANI.

President Kovind will soon visit his hometown Kanpur. Thus, Janaki wrote the letter requesting to euthanise her son. Janaki and Amarnathpuri wish to meet the President and convey their problem to him in person.

Sources:

The Indian Express, ANI

Malay woman, Halimah Yacob becomes the first female president of Singapore

Singapore named 63-year-old Halimah Yacob, a political veteran, former speaker of parliament (2013) and former State Minister of Community Development, Youth and Sports (2011) as the first president without going into voting. Among the three presidential candidates she was most hopeful to win as the other two did not meet one of the minimum candidature requirement.

Born to an Indian-origin Muslim father and a Malay mother, she is also the first president from the minority Malay community. In a bid to bring diversity and harmony in the city-state of 5.5 million population that is largely dominated by ethnic Chinese; the Parliament approved a constitutional reform that stated if no candidate from a particular group has not occupied the post of President for 30 years then the presidential elections would be reserved for that community.  

Though the President holds a ceremonial post for six years, Yacob will take her oath of office on September 14 at the presidential residence and office in Istana.

Yacob’s win has raised criticism from many sections of the society on the strict eligibility rules; and the fact that citizens could not exercise their right to vote no elections were held.

News Source: Zee India, Financial Express

Image Source: The Strait Times

Drug traffickers to be shot, orders Indonesian President

Law enforcement officers have been directed by the Indonesian President, Joko Widodo, to shoot drug traffickers in an attempt to deal with the country’s narcotic emergency.

As per Reuters, in an event organised by one of Indonesia’s political parties, Widodo said “Be firm, especially to foreign drug dealers who enter the country and resist arrest. Shoot them because we indeed are in a narcotics emergency position now.”

The orders came after Indonesian police shot dead a Taiwanese man, a week back in a town near Jakarta. The police said that the man was trying to smuggle one tonne of crystal methamphetamine into the country and was killed for resisting arrest.

Widodo’s instruction have drawn comparison with the Philippine’s President Rodrigo Duterte, who launched a brutal anti-drug crackdown about a year ago that saw many alleged drug dealers killed.This campaign has been condemned by the international community, including the United Nations.

The laws against drugs are very stern in Indonesia and the President has previously been criticised  for ordering execution against convicted drug traffickers who were given death penalty by the court.

Tito Karnavian, National Police Chief of Indonesia said he had given out orders to officers not to hesitate shooting drug dealers who resist arrest.

 

Sources: NDTV, Reuters