VIF Information Alerts - 22nd October 2018
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Saudi calls Khashoggi killing ‘grave mistake,’ says Prince not aware
Published: The Tribune

22 Oct 2018

Saudi Arabia on Sunday called the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at its Istanbul consulate a “huge and grave mistake,” but sought to shield its powerful crown prince from the widening crisis, saying Mohammed bin Salman had not been aware.

The comments from Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir were some of the most direct yet from Riyadh, which has given multiple and conflicting accounts about Khashoggi’s killing on Oct. 2, first denying his death and later admitting it amid an international outcry.Click here to read....

Maldives’ Supreme Court refuses to annul presidential vote
Published: The Indian Express

22 Oct 2018

The Maldives’ top court on Sunday dismissed the outgoing president’s petition seeking an annulment of last month’s presidential election result. The five-member Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the election was conducted within the law. No other details were immediately known. The Election Commission had declared opposition alliance candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih the winner of the Sept. 23 election against President Yameen Abdul Gayoom.Click here to read....

Gold smuggling on rise along India-Myanmar border: Report
Published: The Economic Times

22 Oct 2018

High tariff duties coupled with an increasing gap in gold prices between India and Myanmar has led to an upsurge in smuggling of the yellow metal across the international border, a report compiled by anti-smuggling unit of Imphal customs division has said.

An official of the customs division feels facilitating "free movement" of citizens for a stipulated period from Manipur's border town of Moreh to adjacent Namphalong market in Myanmar has made the conflict-ridden state "more prone to illicit trafficking of contraband gold".Click here to read....

Trump says US will withdraw from nuclear arms treaty with Russia
Published: The Guardian

21 Oct 2018

Donald Trump has confirmed the US will leave an arms control treaty with Russia dating from the cold war that has kept nuclear missiles out of Europe for three decades.

Trump was referring to the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty (INF), which banned ground-launch nuclear missiles with ranges from 500km to 5,500km. Signed by Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, it led to nearly 2,700 short- and medium-range missiles being eliminated, and an end to a dangerous standoff between US Pershing and cruise missiles and Soviet SS-20 missiles in Europe.Click here to read....

US, China agree to multilateral air encounter code
Published: The Economic Times

20 Oct 2018

Several countries including the United States and China agreed "in principle" on Saturday to multilateral guidelines to manage unexpected encounters between their military aircraft, joining 10 Southeast Asian nations already in the pact.

The world's two biggest economies as well as Australia, India, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, South Korea tentatively joined the agreement, which was initially adopted on Friday by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), according to a joint statement issued after a meeting of defence ministers from the 18 countries in Singapore.Click here to read....

Pakistan must comply with 40 recommendations to be taken off FATF’s grey list
Published: Hindustan Times

19 Oct 2018

A team of global experts has finalised a report with 40 recommendations that Pakistan will have to comply with to be removed from the Financial Action Task Force’s watch list for terror financing and money laundering. The experts from the Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG), which is affiliated to FATF, made the recommendations after making an assessment of Pakistan’s legal and institutional framework to curb terror financing and money laundering during an 11-day visit.Click here to read....

India, Dalai Lama blocking Beijing from using Buddhism as soft power, say Chinese scholars
Published: Hindustan Times

18 Oct 2018

India is the biggest challenge for Beijing to use Buddhism in support of President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to tackle terrorism and separatism and for strategic purposes, leading Chinese scholars have said.

The scholars gathered this week in northwestern Qinghai province to discuss how to leverage Buddhism in constructing and expanding the BRI. The symposium was seemingly focussed on “sinicising” – and also politicising – Buddhism for the purpose of statecraft.Click here to read....

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