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Several Detained, Weapons, Ammo Seized In Anti-Terror Raids At 51 Places

The NIA has launched a multi-state crackdown on the nexus between criminal syndicates in India and Khalistani separatists and terrorists based in countries like Pakistan and Canada, who use these networks for terror-related activities.

Palestinian negotiators sceptical over potential Israel-Saudi deal

Despite outward positivity, sources say normalisation deal unlikely to happen any time soonA potential normalisation deal between Israel and Saudi Arabia is being treated with scepticism by Palestinian negotiators, despite outwardly positive signals from Palestinian officials, several sources with knowledge of the talks have said.Unofficial relations between Israel and the powerful Gulf petrostate have been growing for years. The possibility of a formal diplomatic agreement, however, has come to the fore since the two countries, along with the US, signalled progress on the matter during the UN general assembly in New York last week. Continue reading...

Nuclear targeting debate: Cities or militaries?

China's emergence as a major nuclear power has set off a debate among U.S. strategic analysts over how best to deter war in the new three-way nuclear standoff between Washington, Beijing and Moscow.

Soldier Travis King in US custody after North Korea expulsion

US soldier Travis King is in American custody after leaving North Korea, where he had been held since running across the border from the South in July, a US official said on Wednesday.Washington's announcement came hours after North Korea's state news agency said Pyongyang had decided to expel King, in a surprise move amid deepening tensions on the Korean peninsula.King was detained by North Korea after crossing the frontier on July 18 after he joined a sightseeing tour of the Demilitarised Zone between the two Koreas."I have good news for you, I can immediately confirm that Private Travis King is in US custody," a senior US administration official said on condition of anonymity.Further details were expected to be released later on how King's release came about.Last month, Pyongyang confirmed it was holding the US soldier, saying King had defected to North Korea to escape "mistreatment and racial discrimination in the U.S. Army".But after completing its investigation, Pyongyang has "decided to expel Travis King, a soldier of the U.S. Army who illegally intruded into the territory of the DPRK, under the law of the Republic", the Korean Central News Agency said Wednesday, using the North's formal name.It did not give any details about where or when King would be released.After a drunken pub fight, an incident with police and a stay in South Korean jail, Private Second Class King was being taken to the airport in July to fly back to Texas.But instead of traveling to Fort Bliss for disciplinary hearings, King snuck away, joined a Demilitarised Zone sightseeing trip and slipped over the border.King's border crossing came with relations between the two Koreas at one of their lowest points ever, with diplomacy stalled and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un calling for increased weapons development, including tactical nuclear warheads.Seoul and Washington have ramped up defense cooperation in response, staging joint military exercises with advanced stealth jets and US strategic assets.Rare defectionsThe two Koreas remain technically at war because the 1950-53 conflict ended in an armistice, not a treaty, and most of the border between them is heavily fortified.But at the Joint Security Area where King made his escape, the frontier is marked only by a low concrete divider and is relatively easy to cross, despite the presence of soldiers on both sides.Pyongyang has a long history of detaining Americans and using them as bargaining chips in bilateral negotiations.One of the last US citizens to be detained by the North was student Otto Warmbier, who was held for a year and a half before being released in a coma to the United States. He died six days later.Around half a dozen American soldiers made rare defections to the North after the Korean War and were used for the country's propaganda.In one such case, US soldier Charles Robert Jenkins crossed into the North in 1965, drunk after 10 beers, while patrolling the DMZ in an attempt to avoid facing combat duty in Vietnam.Although he quickly regretted his defection, Jenkins was held for decades, teaching English to North Korean soldiers and appearing in propaganda leaflets and films.He was eventually allowed to leave in 2004 and subsequently spoke out about the dire conditions of life in the North until he died in 2017.© 2023 AFP

Australia agrees to clear-the-air talks with Qatar over controversial airline decision

Exclusive: Comes after heated Senate inquiry hearings told application for extra flights by the Gulf had been “unfairly rejected”Get our morning and afternoon news emails, free app or daily news podcastAustralian bureaucrats will schedule a meeting with Qatari officials to discuss the Albanese government’s controversial decision to reject Qatar Airways’ request to almost double its flight operations to Australia.Senate inquiry hearings this week revealed that the Qatar Civil Aviation Authority (QCAA) – which lodged the request for an additional 28 weekly flights to Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth – had requested consultations with the Australian department of infrastructure and transport.Sign up for Guardian Australia’s free morning and afternoon email newsletters for your daily news roundup Continue reading...