VIF Information Alerts - 20th August 2018
Mush men get key posts in Imran Cabinet

Published: The Pioneer
20 Aug 2018

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has unveiled his 21-member Cabinet, most of whom previously held key posts in the regime of former dictator General (retd) Pervez Musharraf. Out of the 21 names announced, 16 will be Ministers while five others will be advisers to Khan, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) spokesman Fawad Chaudhry said on Saturday, hours after the cricketer-turned-politician was sworn-in as the country’s 22nd Prime Minister.Click here to read...

Empty hotels, idle boats: What happens when a Pacific island upsets China

Published: The Indian Express
20 Aug 2018

Empty hotel rooms, idle tour boats and shuttered travel agencies reveal widening fissures in the tiny Pacific nation of Palau, which is caught in an escalating diplomatic tug-of-war between China and Taiwan. Late last year, China effectively banned tour groups to the idyllic tropical archipelago, branding it an illegal destination due to its lack of diplomatic status.

As China extends its influence across the Pacific, Palau is one of Taipei’s 18 remaining allies worldwide and is under pressure to switch allegiances, officials and business people there say. “There is an ongoing discussion about China weaponising tourism, ”said Jeffrey Barabe, owner of Palau Central Hotel and Palau Carolines Resort in Koror. “Some believe that the dollars were allowed to flow in and now they are pulling it back to try and get Palau to establish ties diplomatically.”Click here to read...

As Taliban Start Charm Offensive, Afghan President Calls for Cease-Fire

Published: The New York Times
19 Aug 2018

Even as insurgents in Afghanistan have escalated their attacks against government forces across the country, they have also been staging a simultaneous charm offensive of sorts in advance of Eid al-Adha, the Islamic Feast of Sacrifice, which starts this week.

In the past week alone, the Taliban have overrun a city, burned down government facilities, hidden in civilians’ homes and killed hundreds of their opponents.Click here to read...

Indian Army gears up to turn lean, mean, and fast

Published: The Economic Times
20 Aug 2018

The over 1.2 million strong Indian Army plans to launch a massive transformative exercise by early-2019 to emerge as a lean, mean, rapidly-deployable and operationally versatile force in the years ahead, grappling as it is with a ballooning revenue expenditure and pension bill that leaves little for modernization.

Top sources say the results of four ongoing studies, all headed by senior Lt-Generals, on force reorganization and optimization, flattening headquarters at different levels, cadre review and terms of engagement for officers and jawans will be discussed at the Army commanders’ conference in October.Click here to read...

India building new fighter jet

Published: The Hindu
19 Aug 2018

The Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA), India’s next indigenous fighter, is expected to make its first flight by 2032. Development work on the jet is under way. “The AMCA will feature geometric stealth and will initially fly with two GE-414 engines. Once we develop our own engine, it can be replaced with that. We expect the first flight in 2032,” a defence source said.Click here to read...

Centre orders withdrawal of 7,000 CRPF troops from four states, to be re-deployed in south Bastar

Published: The Economic Times
19 Aug 2018

The central government has directed the withdrawal of over 7,000 CRPF personnel from their long drawn deployment in four states, the maximum being from West Bengal. These armed troops, part of seven battalions, will subsequently be re-deployed for conducting operations in Naxal-hit regions of south Bastar in Chhattisgarh, a recent government order has said.Click here to read...

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