India told its armed forces on Monday to prepare for war in the wake of escalating conflict with China along the Line Of Actual Control (LAC), which is the long-disputed border between India and China. In addition, the India Navy has also been given orders to deploy its assets near the Malacca Strait, and, if needed, anywhere else in the Indo-Pacific to counter the Chinese, the India Economic Times reported.
This follows a bloody conflict between the two Asian powers for the first time in 40 years with the killing of dozens of troops from India and China along the contested border of both countries in the Himalayas. The situation spurred after a failed diplomatic meeting in Galwan River valley, in the Himalayas region of Ladakh.
Economic Times further reports that not only has India’s Navy been ordered to prepare for the worst but its “Air Force assets, including fighters, too have been moved up to forward locations.”
The Times of India corroborated the Economic Times claims, stating that Indian forces are currently in a “warlike alert.” In addition, the Indian Air Force (IAF) is also seeking a go-ahead to purchase 33 fighter aircrafts from Russia, according to reports. These will include 12 Sukhoi 30 MKI and 21 Mig-19 fighter jets.
Both countries counterparts Wang Yi and Indian diplomat Subrahmanyam Jaishankar recently discussed the situation via a phone call with both coming to an agreement that the conflict needs to “cool down,” Al-Jazeera reports.
While things have thus far calmed down according to China, India is still on alert for potential war responses in case of the worst case scenario. Hindustan Times also reports that China although the country has said it doesn’t want war, has begun cyberattacks against Indian infrastructure including government information websites and financial services like ATMs.
China stated the overall situation was “stable and controllable,” between the two nations on Thursday through its Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian.
“We believe that guided by the important consensus reached between the two leaders, China and India can properly deal with the current situation, jointly uphold peace and stability in the border areas, and ensure a sound and steady development of bilateral relations,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said at a press briefing.
Lijian added in the press release that the two sides are in close communication aiming to solve the problems via diplomatic and military channels without any more conflict, the spokesperson told reporters.
“As the world’s two largest developing countries and emerging economies, China and India have far more common interests than differences. The two sides should follow the important consensus reached by leaders of the two countries and ensure that China-India relations move in the right direction in line with the interests and expectations of both nations,” said Zhao.
However, China’s spokesperson still blamed India for the dispute stating:
“The whole thing happened because India’s frontline troops, in violation of the agreement reached at the Commander-level meeting, once again crossed the Line of Actual Control for deliberate provocation, and even violently attacked the Chinese officers and soldiers who went to the terrain for negotiation, thus triggering fierce physical conflicts and causing casualties,” Zhao said.
According to Hindustan Times, Indian and Chinese gathered in the Himalayas, led by major generals, met on Thursday near Patrol Point 14 in Galwan Valley as part of military commitments to de-escalate tensions on the disputed border. This was the seventh meeting between Major General Abhijit Bapat, commander of Karu-based headquarters 3 Infantry Division, and his Chinese counterpart since the stand-off began in early May, and the third after Monday night’s clash that left 20 Indian soldiers dead.
The Guardian reports that China also released 10 Indian soldiers they had captured as hostages after an agreement on the release was reached at major general-level talks between the Indian Army and China’s People’s Liberation Army. China also used its state-backed mouthpiece, the ‘Global Times’, to threaten India of military pressure from China, Pakistan, and even Nepal on Wednesday if the border tensions escalated.
The Global Times a Chinese state-run media outlet, quoted an individual at the Institute of International Relations of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, Hu Zhiyong in its one-sided and biased editorial stating, “India has engaged in border disputes with China, Pakistan and Nepal at the same time. As Pakistan is a reliable strategic partner of China, and Nepal also has close ties with China, and both of them are key partners under the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, if India escalates border tensions, it could face military pressure from two or even three fronts, which is far beyond India’s military capability and this might lead to a disastrous defeat for India.”
Last Sunday, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army carried out military drills in high altitude conditions with tanks prior to the disturbance with India on Monday, The Diplomat reported.
NATO has responded with U.S. representative Kay Bailey Hutchison pronouncing China is being watched by the West due to its growing hostility with its neighbors like Japan and India and other territories like Taiwan. Hutchison insisted that “It’s much more on our radar screen, and I think it should be because we should assess the risk, hope for the best but prepare for the worst,”
Hutchison remarked that “So we know that China has the capability to compete on a level playing field, and we’re asking them to do that, but we’re also turning a wary eye to their behavior right now in the South China Sea, militarizing islands that they said would never be done, as well as the clampdown on Hong Kong.”
When the representative was asked if an actual military encounter was on the horizon, she replied, “I think NATO is now looking to the East.”
A spokesperson for U.S. President Donald Trump has said he has “no formal plans” to interfere between India and China.
“There are no formal plans,” White House spokesman Kayleigh McEnany told reporters but said Trump is “aware” and monitoring the tumultuous situation.
Indian media reported a total of 20 Indian soldiers were killed in the brawl earlier this week, citing the toll from a military specialist, while the casualties of the Chinese side remain unknown. U.S. intelligence sources have, however, speculated that at least 35 soldiers were killed from China during the hand to hand combat dispute which saw both sides using iron rods, rocks and studded clubs.
35 dead and injured on Chinese side during clash in Galwan Valley: official sources quoting US intelligence reports
— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) June 17, 2020
Meanwhile, with the conflict between China and India potentially ending, another escalation has since happened with Pakistan. When this was going to press, Pakistan accused India of “unprovoked” shelling fire in the disputed Kashmir region. Which resulted in the deaths of four civilians, the country added.
Although, there is still a heated exchange of words between the two nations blaming each other. India accused Chinese troops of deliberately preparing the attack on its soldiers claiming they erected a tent on the Indian side, dammed a river, brought in machinery and then brutally beat their soldiers. China has counted back claiming sovereignty over the Galwan valley in Ladakh, and has accused Indian troops of three times crossing into its territory. “The responsibility entirely lies with Indian side,” said Lijian, on Friday.
Indias Army also released new rules of engagement with China on the LAC, “In future, if they carry clubs, so will our soldiers. If they use rocks, so will we. Rules need to be followed equally by both sides,” an India military source told India Today.
For a timeline and detailed updates of a summary of events from the Indian side of the conflict with China see the Indian Economic Times here.
Nancy Pelosi Reelected As House Speaker In Narrow Vote
Nancy Pelosi won another term as Speaker of the House of Representatives on Sunday, after a narrow vote.
80-year-old Pelosi will hold the position for a second consecutive two-year term and fourth overall, having previously been elected in 2007, 2009 and 2019.
Pelosi has served as a US representative from California since 1987. A member of the Democratic Party, she is the only woman in U.S. history to serve as Speaker and, until the inauguration of Kamala Harris as Vice President, is the highest-ranking female elected official in United States history.
— Kaivan Shroff (@KaivanShroff) January 3, 2021
As House speaker, Pelosi is second in the presidential line of succession, after the vice president.
During her first speakership, she was instrumental in the passage of many of the Obama administration’s landmark bills, including the Affordable Care Act, the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and the 2010 Tax Relief Act.
BREAKING: The floor of the House of Representatives erupts in applause as Rep. Nancy Pelosi is reelected as speaker of the House for the 117th congress, with 216 votes. https://t.co/z1mlyK1BJN pic.twitter.com/6Wdt3N9ulD
— World News Tonight (@ABCWorldNews) January 3, 2021
Pelosi lost the speakership in 2011 after the Republican Party won a majority in the House of Representatives in the 2010 elections.
She retained her role as leader of the House Democratic Caucus and returned to the role of House minority leader. In the 2018 midterm elections, the Democrats regained control of the House.
When the 116th Congress convened on January 3, 2019, Pelosi was again elected speaker, becoming the first former speaker to return to the post since Sam Rayburn in 1955.
Under Pelosi’s leadership, the House of Representatives impeached President Donald Trump on December 18, 2019.
Despite supporting the $2000 checks for struggling Americans, Pelosi, along with everyone in congress have provoked anger from citizens who see them as being out of touch with the average people.
The nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics (CRP) estimated in 2009 that Pelosi’s average net worth was $58 million which ranks her 13th among 25 wealthiest members of Congress.
Roll Call said Pelosi’s earnings are connected to her husband’s heavy investments in stocks that include Apple, Disney, Comcast, and Facebook. Roll Call reported that the Pelosis have $13.46 million in liabilities including mortgages on seven properties.
According to Roll Call, Pelosi and her husband hold properties “worth at least $14.65 million, including a St. Helena vineyard in Napa Valley worth at least $5 million, and commercial real estate in San Francisco”.
FAA Responds To Numerous Reports Of A UFO Over Hawaii
The FAA was notified after multiple people reported seeing an Unidentified Flying Object (UFO) in the sky over Leeward Oahu on Tuesday evening. Witnesses all over the region called into 911 at around 8:30 p.m.
Officials with the Federal Aviation Administration said that there were no aircraft incidents or accidents in this area at the time of the reports, but multiple witnesses reported seeing a large blue object fall out of the sky and into the ocean.
Some of the witnesses managed to get video or photos of the incident.
Witness Misitina Sape told Hawaii News Now she captured a photo of the object at 8:26 p.m. near Haleakala Avenue in Nanakuli.
Another witness named Moriah said she had never been a believer in UFOs until she saw the object fall from the sky.
“I started calling my husband and them because they were all in the garage. I was like hey. Come look up there. See if you see what I see. They all said yea!” Moriah said.
They jumped in the car to follow the object and see what it was.
“I don’t know what it was,” she said. “This one was going so fast.”
About three miles down the road, they saw the object fall into the water.
She said that it was larger than a telephone pole but didn’t make any sound when it hit the ground.
“We called 911,” Moriah said, “For have like one cop or somebody for come out and come check em out.”
She also says that they saw another light in the sky after the blue object fell into the water. She says that police saw the second light as well.
“My husband went look up and he seen the white one coming,” she said. “The white one was smaller. Was coming in the same direction as the blue one.”
FAA spokesperson Ian Gregor said the agency received a report from police Tuesday night about a possible plane down in the area “but had no aircraft disappear off radars. And no reports of overdue or missing aircraft.”
Earlier this year, the Pentagon announced the formation of a new task force that will be studying UFOs or “Unidentified Flying Objects.”
The formation of this new task force was revealed last year when the Pentagon acknowledged that military pilots were encountering aircraft that might not have been made by humans.
The new task force was officially revealed to the public after the Pentagon released declassified videos that appeared to show government aircraft interacting with UFOs in the sky.
One of the videos, taken from US Navy aircraft, seems to show the pilots chasing a UFO off the east coast of the United States.
Navy pilots reported spotting the objects flying around 30,000 feet in the air at hypersonic speeds and showing no visible engines or exhaust plumes typical of any known aircraft currently on Earth.
The new agency has been called, The Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force (UAPTF).
Mitch McConnell’s House Vandalized Over $2,000 Checks
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had his home vandalized this week, after blocking the vote to increase stimulus payments to $2,000.
Messages like ‘WERES MY MONEY’ and ‘MITCH K1LLS THE POOR.’ were spray-painted on the building.
Police said that they don’t have any suspects.
On Saturday, McConnell released a statement to the Louisville Courier Journal which read: “Vandalism and the politics of fear have no place in our society. My wife and I have never been intimidated by this toxic playbook. We just hope our neighbors in Louisville aren’t too inconvenienced by this radical tantrum.”
In 2015, Time listed McConnell as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. McConnell is the longest-serving U.S. senator for Kentucky in history, and the longest-serving leader of U.S. Senate Republicans in history.
During the Trump administration, Senate Republicans, under McConnell’s leadership, broke records on the number of judicial nominees confirmed. Among those nominees were Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh who were recently confirmed to the Supreme Court.
McConnell’s critics have called him by a variety of different nicknames, including “Moscow Mitch”, “Cocaine Mitch”, the “Grim Reaper”, “Darth Vader”, “Rich Mitch”, “Nuclear Mitch”, and “Midnight Mitch.” On some occasions, he has even embraced these nicknames, although he was apparently unhappy with the more recent “Moscow Mitch.”
McConnell has a net worth of $35 million dollars, and many Americans feel that he is out of touch. He isn’t the only US politician that was a target for vandalism this week.
According to a report from TMZ this week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had her house vandalized with a pig’s head and fake blood.
Spray painted in black on the white garage door were the messages “$2K,” an apparent reference to the $2,000 COVID stimulus checks that have been held up in the U.S. Senate, as well as “CANCEL RENT!” and “WE WANT EVERYTHING!”
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