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Modi Hails New Era in Kashmir as Pakistan Warns of ‘Genocide’

Modi Hails New Era in Kashmir as Pakistan Warns of ‘Genocide’(Bloomberg) — Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed a “new era” in the disputed region of Kashmir while his Pakistani counterpart warned of “genocide” once a curfew is lifted.In a prime-time address on Thursday night, Modi said he ended seven decades of autonomy in Kashmir in order to rid the area of dynastic politics and entrenched corruption. He called the move “entirely the internal affairs” of India after Pakistan cut diplomatic and trade ties and sought to garner international support to oppose changing the status quo of a disputed area that has triggered three wars between the nuclear-armed neighbors.Under Article 370 of India’s constitution, which Modi revoked on Monday, the state legislature of Jammu and Kashmir was free to draft its own laws except in the areas of communications, defense, finance and foreign affairs. Indian citizens living outside the state were also prohibited from purchasing land.“A new era has been started in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh,” Modi said, referring to the Himalayan regions in northern India. “Article 370 did not give the people anything apart from separatism and terrorism and kept them from progress — it was being used as a weapon by Pakistan.”The situation remains tense in a region that has been the main flash point between the countries since the British left the subcontinent in 1947. In the run-up to the move, Modi’s government imposed restrictions on movement, cut telephone and Internet connectivity, evacuated tourists and Hindu pilgrims, and arrested local political leaders. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan warned of violence when a curfew is lifted, which Modi said would take place soon.“The whole world is waiting to see what happens to oppressed Kashmiris in IOK when curfew is lifted,” Khan said on Twitter as Modi spoke, referring to what Pakistan calls “Indian-Occupied Kashmir.” “What should be obvious is the international community will be witnessing the genocide of the Kashmiris.”Pakistan announced a series of measures on Wednesday to oppose what it called “unilateral and illegal actions” by India, including taking the matter to the United Nations Security Council and ensuring the army remains vigilant. On Twitter, Pakistan’s army lashed out at India’s military for what it called “usual blatant lies.”The renewed tensions also risk having a wider regional impact. The U.S. is nearing a deal with the Taliban to end a war that began in 2001, and the support of both India and Pakistan are crucial to a lasting peace. In Washington on Thursday, State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said the U.S. is watching events in the region “incredibly closely.”On Thursday night, Modi said the federal government will look at ways to reduce the state deficit in Kashmir and seek to reassure locals that governance will continue as normal without undue influence from the capital, New Delhi. He only made a handful of references to Pakistan in his 40-minute speech, keeping the focus firmly on jobs and governance in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.“For decades, the political dynasties have kept my Kashmiri youth from the opportunity to govern,” Modi said. “I appeal to young men and women to come forward and lead their own areas.”The government would immediately begin hiring for posts in police, the armed forces and federal government-run businesses, Modi said. Promises of job benefits like rent and travel allowances — not as yet available to local government employees — and extending scholarships to students and sportspeople also took up a large part of his speech.He emphasized that Kashmir would revert to full-statehood under India’s federal structure, although Ladakh would continue to be administered by the federal government. The move — shortly after Modi’s landslide election win in May — fulfilled a campaign promise made to his Hindu base, which opposed special treatment for the region.India has urged Pakistan to review its actions so “that normal channels for diplomatic communications are preserved,” the foreign ministry said in a statement Thursday. China has also criticized India’s actions.A strongly-worded statement released by Beijing was most critical of the impact of India’s actions on the mainly Buddhist region of Ladakh — an area of strategic importance nestled between Tibet and Pakistan.“The recent unilateral revision of domestic laws by the Indian side continues to undermine China’s territorial sovereignty, which is unacceptable and will not have any effect,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said a statement Tuesday.To contact the reporters on this story: Archana Chaudhary in New Delhi at achaudhary2@bloomberg.net;Bibhudatta Pradhan in New Delhi at bpradhan@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Ruth Pollard at rpollard2@bloomberg.net, ;Daniel Ten Kate at dtenkate@bloomberg.net, Unni KrishnanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



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India hails 'historic' Kashmir rule as Pakistan, China slam move

India hails 'historic' Kashmir rule as Pakistan, China slam moveIndia’s Hindu nationalist government on Tuesday hailed “historic” legislation to bring Kashmir under its direct control but Pakistan and China challenged the divisive move, sending tensions soaring between the nuclear neighbours. New Delhi stripped Kashmir of its seven-decade-long autonomous status via a presidential decree on Monday, hours after imposing a massive security lockdown in the state to quell any unrest. “Together we are, together we shall rise and together we will fulfill the dreams of 130 crore (ten million) Indians,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted late Tuesday after parliament approved the move to turn India’s only Muslim-majority state into administrative territories controlled by his government.



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Trump hails 'righteous cause of American self-government'

Trump hails 'righteous cause of American self-government'President Donald Trump on Tuesday marked the 400th anniversary of American democracy and its gift “of the country we love,” but his celebration of what began as an experiment in self-government was boycotted by black Virginia lawmakers incensed by Trump’s continued disparagement of a veteran black congressman and the majority-black district he represents. The uplifting rhetoric from Trump marking 400 years of representative government contrasted sharply with his stream of attacks against U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, including before and after the event.



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Donald Trump hails America's military might in July 4 speech amid pomp and flyovers

Donald Trump hails America's military might in July 4 speech amid pomp and flyoversDonald Trump delivered a patriotic message during his celebration of America’s Independence Day, accompanied by a full display of the country's military might.  The US president hailed an eclectic mix of the country's heroes, from the armed forces to its pioneers in space as well as civil rights activists.  He largely stuck to his script, delivered from a teleprompter in a rainy Washington DC, steering clear of political rhetoric promoting his re-election campaign. Attendees were treated to flyovers by Coast Guard helicopters, Air Force F-22 fighters, Marine V-22 Osprey helicopters and other military aircraft. As the fighter jets flew overhead, Mr Trump praised America's military prowess and urged young people to join the armed forces. First Lady Melania Trump and US President Donald Trump look on during the "Salute to America" Fourth of July event Credit: AFP With well-planned choreography, the president told stories about each branch of the US military as he introduced separate fly-overs of military aircraft. "For over 65 years, no enemy Air Force has managed to kill a single American soldier. Because the skies belong to the United States of America," he said. Mr Trump was the first president in nearly seven decades to address a crowd at the National Mall on July 4, usually regarded as a non-political day of celebration. With tanks positioned in prominent locations in the nation's capital at Mr Trump's request and flanked by Bradley fighting vehicles, he told crowds "our nation is stronger than it ever was before" as he spoke outside the memorial to former US president Abraham Lincoln. "That same American spirit that emboldened our founders has kept us strong throughout our history. To this day that spirit runs through the veins of every American patriot," he said. "It lives on in each and every one of you here today. It is the spirit, daring and defiance, excellence and adventure, courage and confidence, loyalty and love that built this country into the most exceptional nation in the history of the world, and our nation is stronger today than it ever was before. It is its strongest now." The Blue Angels (six F-18s) fly overhead as people gather on the National Mall for the "Salute to America" Fourth of July event Credit: AFP He went on to say that "for Americans, nothing is impossible", reciting a litany of American accomplishments over its history, including the Apollo 11 moon landing 50 years ago. He promised that "very soon, we will plant the American flag on Mars." In a nod to the historical nature of his address, in the same location that Martin Luther King gave his "I have a dream" speech, Mr Trump paid tribute to several civil rights heroes. He cited as great Americans both Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass, African-Americans who campaigned for the abolition of slavery. The event, dubbed a “Salute to America”, has been criticised for its military overtones but several thousand braved the forecasted thunderstorms to attend. At times, the enthusiastic crowd could be heard chanting: "USA! USA! USA!" "I think what Trump's doing with the tanks, all the flyovers, I think it's great," said Brandon Lawrence, his face painted with the colours of the American flag. The US president has publicly spoken of how impressed he was by the Bastille Day military parade he witnessed during a visit to Paris in July 2017 and has been attempting to create something similar.  President Donald Trump speaks during an Independence Day celebration in front of the Lincoln Memorial  Credit: AP Democratic presidential candidates were quick to weigh in with criticism. Senator Bernie Sanders tweeted: "This is what authoritarians do: @realDonaldTrump is taking $ 2.5 million away from our National Park Service to glorify himself with a spectacle of military tanks rolling through Washington". Former Vice President Joe Biden, who was at a campaign event in Iowa, said the spectacle in Washington "misses the point." "I wonder what Donald Trump will say this evening, when he speaks to the nation at an event designed more to stroke his ego than celebrate American ideals," he said. The White House has dismissed the claims, saying the president was simply "going to celebrate the greatest country, the greatest idea in the history of the world – the United States of America.” However the uplifting message was not shared by all. Protesters also gathered on the Mall in the nation's capital to voice their opposition to the Trump administration.  A child waves flags as people take photos while U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive for the "Salute to America" event  Credit: Reuters One anti-war group, Code Pink, secured a permit to bring a “Baby Trump” blimp, reflecting a similar protest in the UK, to a rival event in the Mall during his speech. "This is costing us millions and millions of dollars. We the taxpayers are paying for it, for Donald Trump to use our military as a prop. And that's just not right," said Code Pink co-director Medea Benjamin. Meanwhile two people were arrested after an American flag was burned on Pennsylvania Avenue, just in front of the White House leading to a violent clash between protesters.    Led by activist Joey Johnson, a group called the Revolution Club had earlier announced its intention to set a flag alight. “I’m going to be speaking to the people of the world letting them know that there are people inside the borders of this country who stand with the people of the world," Mr Johnson said in the press release. The fire led to a scuffle with a far-right group, the Proud Boys, but quickly put out by the US Secret Service. The agency said two people were arrested during the incident, one person for a felony assault on a police officer and malicious burning. The other was arrested for hindering a police investigation and resisting arrest. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.



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Moon hails Trump-Kim meeting as result of 'astounding imagination'

Moon hails Trump-Kim meeting as result of 'astounding imagination'South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Tuesday hailed the third meeting between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un in the Demilitarised Zone as the result of an “astounding imagination” and thinking outside the box. All three held an impromptu encounter at the truce village of Panmunjom on Sunday when Trump became the first sitting US president to set foot in North Korea and agreed with Kim to resume working-level talks, which had been deadlocked since the collapse of their second summit in Hanoi in February. The gathering was proposed by Trump via Twitter a day earlier, offering to meet Kim at the border to “say hello”, with the North delivering an unusually fast response.



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North Korea hails 'historic' Kim-Trump summit

North Korea hails 'historic' Kim-Trump summitNorth Korea on Monday hailed the weekend meeting between leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump in the Demilitarized Zone as “historic”, as analysts said Pyongyang was looking to shape the narrative to its own agenda. The two leaders agreed to “resume and push forward productive dialogues for making a new breakthrough in the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula”, the official Korean Central News Agency said. Kim and Trump shook hands over the concrete slabs dividing North and South before Trump walked a few paces into Pyongyang’s territory — the first US president ever to set foot on North Korean soil.



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Benjamin Netanyahu begins forming coalition as US hails prospects of Israeli-Palestinian peace

Benjamin Netanyahu begins forming coalition as US hails prospects of Israeli-Palestinian peaceBenjamin Netanyahu yesterday began negotiations to form a new Right-wing coalition after seeing off a centrist challenger in a close election and securing a fifth term as Israel’s prime minister.  Mr Netanyahu’s Likud party won the same number of seats as Blue & White, a centrist coalition led by former general Benny Gantz, but the victory of other Right-wing parties gave the prime minister a clear path to a majority government.  “I already began talks with the leaders of the Right-wing parties, our natural partners,” Mr Netanyahu told his cheering supporters in Tel Aviv. “I intend to finish the work quickly, with the aim of forming a stable national government.”  The result was hailed by Donald Trump, who said the prime minister’s victory meant “a better chance” for peace between Israelis and Palestinians, but was met with dismay by Palestinians. The election will cement Mr Netanyahu’s reputation as the most successful election-winner in Israeli history and prove that his brand of divisive Right-wing politics is the country’s dominant political force. Israel election The 69-year-old has been in power for 13 years and is now on course to overtake David Ben Gurion, Israel’s founding father, as the country’s longest-serving prime minister.  Despite his election success, Mr Netanyahu is still facing criminal corruption charges that have the potential to drive him from office by the end of the year. Opponents suspect he will use his new majority to try to pass an immunity law to shield himself from prosecution.  Mr Netanyahu, known in Israel as “Bibi”, denies all wrongdoing and claims the prosecutions are part of a politically-motivated witch hunt against him and his family.   Mr Netanyahu (left) defeated Benny Gantz (right) Credit: ABIR SULTAN/EPA-EFE/REX That explanation appeared to satisfy a majority of Israeli voters, who cast their ballots for parties committed to keeping Mr Netanyahu in power.  “I know some of the things Bibi did are wrong but I’m not looking for a rabbi. I’m looking for a leader,” said Yaakov Lemash, 76, after voting for Likud. Mr Netanyahu’s Likud and Mr Gantz’s Blue & White each appeared to have won 35 seats in Israel’s 120-member parliament. But while Likud and the Right-wing parties had a clear route to a majority, Mr Gantz did not have enough allies on the Centre-Left.   The former general, who rose from a commando to the head of Israel’s military, conceded the election on Wednesday evening. But his party said it was already gearing up to fight another election next year if the criminal case against Mr Netanyahu drives him from office Letters from Jerusalem RHS Speaking at the White House, Mr Trump praised Mr Netanyahu as a friend and ally. "I never made it a promise but everybody said you can’t have peace in the Middle East with Israel and the Palestinians," Mr Trump said. "I think we have a chance and I think we have now a better chance with Bibi having won.” The president handed Mr Netanyahu a major pre-election boost by recognising Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights two weeks before polling day.   The White House has said it will release its Israeli-Palestinian peace plan, referred to as “the Deal of the Century” sometime after the Israeli elections.  Skeptics question whether the long-awaited plan will ever be released, as it has been pre-emptively rejected by the Palestinians and may cause political difficulties for Mr Netanyahu and America’s Arab allies.    “I never made it a promise”pic.twitter.com/Npi6wDwQJ6— Noa Landau נעה לנדאו (@noa_landau) April 10, 2019 Hanan Ashrawi, a Palestinian official, said Israelis “overwhelmingly voted for candidates that are unequivocally committed to entrenching the status quo of oppression, occupation, annexation and dispossession in Palestine”. The next step in the election is for Israel’s president, Reuven Rivlin, to summon party leaders for consultations before formally announcing next week who will be tasked with forming a government.    Mr Netanyahu’s potential coalition partners began publicly announcing their demands in return for joining the government. One small Right-wing party demanded two ministerial posts, while another called for a harder line against Hamas in Gaza.   Israel’s two ultra-Orthodox parties increased their standing from 13 to 16 seats, giving them more sway within a future coalition.  The parties are focused on budgets for religious communities but also on preventing public transportation on Shabbat, the Jewish holy day, and blocking a compromise to allow more liberal Jews space at the Western Wall.  Mr Netanyahu was dogged throughout his last term by Naftali Bennet and Ayelet Shaked, two ambitious young ministers from a hardline conservative party who perpetually assailed the prime minister from his Right.   In a disastrous political miscalculation, Mr Bennett and Ms Shaked’s new party looked like it failed to pass the minimum vote threshold, leaving both of them without ministries or even parliamentary seats.



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Turkey hails Pompeo comments over defence against 'terrorists'

Turkey hails Pompeo comments over defence against 'terrorists'Turkey on Saturday welcomed the latest statement made by Washington’s top diplomat over Ankara’s right to defend itself from “terrorists” after the US withdraws from Syria. “We find correct his statement about the removal of the elements that concern Turkey,” Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in a speech in the southern Turkish province of Antalya. Cavusoglu spoke on the phone Saturday with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who was in Abu Dhabi as part of a regional tour, and they discussed “the steps that need to be taken” in Syria, he said.



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Russia's Putin hails Trump's decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria

Russia's Putin hails Trump's decision to withdraw U.S. troops from SyriaPutin said Trump was right to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria because they weren't 'needed'



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Trump hails judge's ruling against Obamacare as 'great'

Trump hails judge's ruling against Obamacare as 'great'President Trump hailed a court decision against Obamacare, while a government official said the decision would have no immediate impact on health coverage.



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