Catalan demonstrators demand the release of a dozen officials arrested

Thousands of persons  gathered Thursday at the gates of Catalonia’s judicial body in Barcelona to demand the release of a dozen officials arrested in connection with a vote on independence that Spanish authorities are challenging as illegal.

The demonstrators answered a call by pro-independence civic groups to stage long-term street protests against the police surprise crackdown one day earlier. Police seized 10 million ballot papers and arrested at least 12 people, mostly Catalan government officials, suspected of coordinating the referendum.

Catalan Vice President Oriol Junqueras acknowledged that the crackdown had disrupted the referendum plans. “It’s evident that we won’t be able to vote like we have done in the past,” Junqueras told broadcaster TV3.

Media agencies

NK FM: H-bomb test in Pacific on the cards

Pyongyang may consider conducting its second hydrogen bomb test, which would be the “most powerful detonation” in the Pacific Ocean, the North Korean foreign minister told the media, commenting on Kim Jong-un’s latest response to Donald Trump.

The latest round of war of words between US President Donald Trump and the North Korean leadership risks escalating into yet another show of force by Pyongyang, as it allegedly weighs the option of testing an H-bomb, according to a suggestion made by Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York on Thursday.

The suggestion came as Ri was asked to clarify the latest statement by the North Korean leader in which Kim vowed to get revenge against Trump for insulting him and his country “in front of eyes of the world” by threatening “to destroy” North Korea.

North Korean state-run agency KCNA on Friday, Kim said he “will consider with seriousness exercising of a corresponding highest level of hardline countermeasure in history,” while promising that the US will “pay dearly” for Trump’s remarks at the UN General Assembly.

Kim then assured that “whatever Trump might have expected, he will face results beyond his expectation.”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Friday that Moscow is deeply concerned by the escalation of tension on the Korean Peninsula caused by the continued war of words between the US and North Korea. He told reporters there is no alternative to “a political and diplomatic settlement of the North Korean problem.” The spokesman stressed that the situation was being further aggravated by “the swapping of silly statements full of threats.” US President Donald Trump earlier vowed to “destroy North Korea,” leading Pyongyang to declare that it might test a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific Ocean.

US Navy carrier Ronald Reagan is conducting drills with Japanese warships in seas south of the Korean peninsula, Japan’s military said on Friday, in a show of naval power as Pyongyang threatens further nuclear and missile tests. The Reagan strike group will conduct a separate drill with the South Korean Navy in October, the Defense Ministry said. The 100,000-ton Reagan, which is based in Japan, and its escort ships have been holding drills with Japanese Navy vessels since September 11 in waters south and west of Japan’s main islands, the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force said. That exercise with the three Japanese warships, including two destroyers and one of the country’s two biggest helicopter carriers, the Ise, will run until September 28, it added.

Media agencies

India takes a 2-0 lead

Australia captain Steve Smith lambasted his batsmen of “panicking” under pressure and demanded they show more starch after another collapse against India saw the side thrashed by 50 runs in the second One-Day International in Kolkata, on Thursday.

India set Australia 252 to chase at the Eden Gardens and defended it with ease as the tourists lost openers David Warner and Hilton Cartwright for one run apiece and crumbled with a hat-trick to left-arm spinner Kuldeep Yadav.

Cricket, China man lad to his credit the  hat-trick from spinner Kuldeep Yadav brought in time laurels to Virat team. Kuldeep timely mind application to his bowling  helped India beat Australia by 50 runs in the second One-Day International at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata last evening.

Chasing India’s total of 252 for all out, the visitors were bundled out for 202 in 43.1 overs. Virat Kohli struck a magnificent 92 while Left-arm wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav became the only Indian spinner to take a hat-trick in ODIs. The left-arm spinner returned figures of 3 for 54, taking the wickets of Mathew Wade, Ashton Agar and Pat Cummins off consecutive deliveries in the 33rd over, to become only the third Indian, after Chetan Sharma and Kapil Dev, to record the rare feat in ODI cricket.

Gautam Gambhir, Kuldeep’s captain at IPL team Kolkata Knight Riiders, was also ecstatic about the feat.

“Colour of ur outfit may hav changed frm @KKRiders purple to @BCCI blue but d mystery around ur bowling remains d same….bravo @imkuldeep18,” posted Gambhir on his Twitterpage.

Former cricketer Mohammad Kaif was also effusive in praise of the spinner from his home state of Uttar Pradesh.

“Kuldeep Yadav is a rare & special talent. Delighted with his progress. Great hat-trick @imkuldeep18 & a wonderful victory for India.

Kapil Dev and Chetan Sharma were the other cricketers, who took hat-trick, were pacers. Bhuvnesh Kumar took three wickets while two wickets each were taken by Hardik Pandya and Yajuvendra Chahal.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar always knew how to swing the white ball, but now he feels more complete as a bowler with an ability to generate pace in the death overs.

The India pacer bowled an impressive first spell, comprising pace and swing, as he finished with brilliant figures of 6.1-2-9-3, including the wicket of the dangerous David Warner, in the second One-Day International at the Eden Gardens, in Kolkata, on Thursday, which India won by 50 runs to take a 2-0 lead in the five-match series.

“When I first came into the side, I needed conditions favouring swing bowling to flourish. A year after making my debut, I wanted to increase my pace, but I had no clue how to go about that,” admitted Bhuvneshwar, during the post-match news conference.

For Australia, medium pacers Nathan Coulter-Nile and Kane Richardson bagged three wickets each. With this win, India have taken a 2-0 lead in the five-match series and also reclaimed No.1 spot in ODI rankings. Third ODI will be played in Indore on Sunday.

Pakistan should adopt constructive approach

Afghanistan has said that Pakistan has adopted a policy of use of violent proxies in pursuit of political objectives.

Exercising its right to reply at the UN General Assembly, Afghanistan said, Pakistan is diverting international attention over country’s long standing failure to take effective action against terrorist groups and sanctuaries.

Afghanistan said, Pakistan should adopt a constructive approach in combating terrorism and promoting peace in the region.

Bloachistan & Sindh activists demonstrated outside UN HQ

Activists from Bloachistan and Sindh of Pakistan demonstrated out side the United Nations headquarters, when Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was addressing the General Assembly in New York.

They were demonstrating against human rights violations and disappearance of people in the country. They also demanding independence and protested against Pakistan’s illegal occupation of Balochistan.

The protesters demanded UN probe into human rights violations. Last year, Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in her speech at UN had raised the human rights violations of Baloach people.

Sheikh Hasina: UN-supervised safe zones inside Myanmar to protect Rohingya Muslims

Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has proposed creating UN-supervised safe zones inside Myanmar to protect Rohingya Muslims, who are fleeing a military crackdown to seek refuge in her country.

Adressing the UN General Assembly yesterday, she said that these people must be able to return to their homeland in safety, security and dignity. United Nations says more than four lakh 20 thousand Rohingya have fled for safety to Bangladesh in the face of an Army campaign in northern Rakhine state in recent times.

United Nations has described the military operation as “ethnic cleansing” and French President Emmanuel Macron went further, describing it as a “genocide.”

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has hit out at Pakistan, saying its Army launched a heinous military operation in 1971 which triggered a genocide during the liberation war, killing 3 million innocent people. In her address to the UN General Assembly, Hasina said the Pakistan military launched the heinous ‘operation searchlight’ on 25th March which was the beginning of the 1971 genocide.

She said the 1971 genocide included targeted elimination of individuals on the ground of religion, race and political belief. She said Pakistan conceded defeat and unconditionally surrendered in Dhaka to the allied forces comprising the freedom fighters and the Indian soldiers.

India names Pakistan a Terroristan

India has said that Pakistan is providing safe heaven to global terrorists. In its right of reply in response to Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s address at the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly, India said Pakistan has become a geography synonimous with terror and Pakistan is now ‘Terroristan’ with a flourishing industry producing and exporting global terrorism.

India’s representative Eenam Gambhir said, Terroristan is in fact a territory whose contribution to the globalisation to the terror is unparalleled.

India has described Pakistan as Terroristan, the land of pure terror, Exercising its right to reply at the UN General Assembly in New York, India said, Pakistan has become a geography synonymous with terror with a flourishing industry producing and exporting global terrorism.

First Secretary in the Permanent Mission of India to the UN, Eenam Gambhir said, Terroristan is in fact a territory whose contribution to the globalisation of terror is unparalleled. She said, it is extraordinary that the state which protected Osama Bin Laden and sheltered Mullah Omar should have the gumption to play the victim.

Indian diplomat said, by now, all Pakistan’s neighbours are painfully familiar with these tactics to create a narrative based on distortions, deception and deceit. Ms Gambhir said, Pakistan’s current state can be gauged from the fact that Hafiz Saeed, a leader of the UN designated terrorist organisation Lashkar-e-Taiba, is now sought to be legitimised as a leader of a political party. She said, Pakistan’s counter-terrorism policy is to mainstream and upstream terrorists by either providing safe havens to global terror leaders in its military town, or protecting them with political careers.

Ms Gambhir said, none of this can justify Pakistan’s avaricious efforts to covet the territories the State of Jammu and Kashmir is and will always remain an integral part of lndia. She said, Islamabad will never succeed in undermining India’s territorial integrity despite their best efforts to scale up cross-border terrorism.

Ms Gambhir said, having diverted billions of dollars in international military and development aid towards creating a dangerous infrastructure of terror on its own territory, Pakistan is now speaking of the high cost of its terror industry. Attacking Pakistan, she said, the polluter, in this case, is paying the price. Even as terrorists thrive in Pakistan and roam its streets with impunity, we have heard it lecture about the protection of human rights in India. Ms Gambhir said, the world does not need lessons on democracy and human rights from a country whose own situation is charitably described as a failed state.

She said, Pakistan can only be counseled to abandon a destructive worldview that has caused grief to the entire world. If it could be persuaded to demonstrate any commitment to civilization, order, and to peace, it may still find some acceptance in the comity of nations, Ms Gambhir said. Indian diplomat’s reply comes after Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi raked up the Kashmir issue at the UN General Assembly.

BRICS countries have strongly condemned terrorism in all forms and its manifestations. In a joint statement, the Foreign ministers of BRICS countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, have called for concerted efforts to counter terrorism on a firm international legal basis, under the UN auspices. The statement issued after the meeting of the Ministers on the sidelines of the annual UN General Assembly Sessions said, BRICS countries reaffirmed their commitment to an expeditious adoption of a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism at the United Nations.

The Foreign Ministers also called for a comprehensive reform of the United Nations to allow India and the fellow members of the five-nation bloc to play an important role in the world body with a view to making it more representative, effective and efficient. Russia and China, the two permanent members of the Security Council from the bloc, reiterated in their statements the significance of Brazil, India and South Africa in international affairs and supported their aspiration to play a greater role in the world body.

External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj will meet US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson today. US State Department today said, the meeting will be the first bilateral meeting and the highest level exchange between India and the United States after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Washington in June.

The meeting also comes ahead of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’s visit to India next week. Mrs Swaraj is in New York for the 72nd annual session of the UN General Assembly. She is scheduled to address the world body tomorrow.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has said that horror of terrorism continues to haunt global peace and security. She was addressing the BRICS Ministerial Meeting in New York last night on the sidelines of United Nations General Assembly session.

Hinting at Pakistan, the Minister said, terror groups draw sustenance from support systems in South Asia. Ms Swaraj said that terrorists continue to find support and shelter in countries which use terrorism as an instrument of State policy.

The External Affairs Minister said countering terrorism must not be a matter of political convenience and efforts, including by States, to use religion to justify, sustain and sponsor terrorism against other countries must be condemned. Ms Swaraj said, there is need for collective efforts to disrupt terrorist networks, their financing and movement.

She also referred to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for a BRICS Counter-Terrorism Strategy for Joint Action at the Xiamen BRICS Summit. The Minister called upon BRICS leaders for early conclusion of negotiations and adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism in the United Nations.

The Minister said the situation in West Asia remains precarious and the crisis in Gulf has further added to uncertainty. She said the spiral of violence in Afghanistan manifests the complexity of the challenge and the action and rhetoric of North Korea has been a source of growing global concern.

US President Donald Trump has signed a new order that boosts sanctions against North Korea over its nuclear weapons programme. The US treasury has been authorised to target firms and financial institutions conducting business with the North.

Mr. Trump also said China’s Central Bank had instructed other Chinese banks to stop doing business with Pyongyang. It comes less than two weeks after the UN approved new sanctions against the country over its latest nuclear test. Tensions have risen in recent weeks over the North’s continued nuclear and ballistic missile tests, despite pressure from world powers to stop.

US President praised the bold move taken by China’s Central Bank to stop financial transactions with North Korea. He said, the US goal is complete denuclearisation of North Korea.

In his maiden address to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, Trump had warned North Korea of total destruction if its leader Kim Jong-Un, continued with his provocative behaviour. North Korea fired a missile over Japan earlier this month and tested a hydrogen bomb.

North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un has said his country will consider the highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history against the United States. He said this in response to US President Donald Trump’s threat to destroy North korea.

Calling Trump mentally deranged and his comments the most ferocious declaration of a war in history, Kim said his UN speech on Tuesday confirmed Pyongyang’s nuclear programme has been the correct path.

UN Security Council has warned that a referendum on independence by Iraq’s Kurdistan region was potentially destabilizing, adding its weight to international opposition to the vote. In an unanimous statement, the 15-member council yesterday said the referendum planned for Monday could hinder efforts to help refugees return home and weaken the military campaign against the Islamic State group.

The move heightened pressure on Iraqi Kurd leaders to call off the vote after Turkey, Iran and Iraq urged them to abandon the plan that is also opposed by the United States. The statement said Council members expressed concern over the potentially destabilising impact of the Kurdistan regional government’s plans to unilaterally hold a referendum next week.

Iraqi Kurds will vote on September 25 in the non-binding referendum on whether to declare independence in a region that has already been autonomous since the aftermath of the 1991 Gulf War.