New US Missile Strategy Will Unleash Arms Race In Space, Says Russia


Even before the new strategy was unveiled, Russia and US were at loggerheads over missile defence. (File)

MOSCOW: 

Russia said on Friday the new US missile defence strategy would unleash a dangerous arms race in space and amounts to a relaunch of the Cold War-era “Star Wars” programme.

US President Donald Trump on Thursday unveiled a plan that envisages developing space-based sensors to detect incoming enemy missiles and exploring space-based weapons to shoot down missiles before they can threaten US soil.

A statement issued by the Russian Foreign Ministry condemned the strategy as irresponsible and an act of confrontation, but made no mention of Moscow reciprocating with new plans to develop its own nuclear capability.

Instead, the ministry called on Washington to think again, backtrack from its plans and engage in talks with Moscow to find agreement on how to manage the world’s nuclear missile arsenal.

“The strategy, de facto, gives the green light to the prospect of basing missile strike capabilities in space,” the statement said.

“The implementation of these ideas will inevitably lead to the start of an arms race in space, which will have the most negative consequences for international security and stability,” it said.

“We would like to call on the US administration to think again and walk away from this irresponsible attempt to re-launch, on a new and more high-tech basis, the still-remembered Reagan-era ‘Star Wars’ program.”

A renewed nuclear arms race would be a huge financial burden for Russia, whose economy is making a faltering recovery after years of low oil prices, a recession and Western trade sanctions.

President Vladimir Putin’s approval rating, while still high, has fallen from its peak in 2014, in part because of unhappiness about living standards and a drop in household incomes.

Financial burden

The revamped US missile strategy cited concerns about the burgeoning capabilities of Iran, Russia, China and North Korea and said this required a review of US capability.

It marked a departure from the approach taken by Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, to tamp down concerns among other major nuclear powers about expanding US missile defences.

Even before the new US strategy was unveiled, Moscow and Washington were at loggerheads over missile defence.

The Trump administration has said it plans to withdraw from the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty, on the grounds Moscow is flouting it. Russia though says it is in compliance, and that Washington is in fact in violation.

In its statement about the new US strategy, the Foreign Ministry said: “It is openly confrontational in character, and once again demonstrates that Washington is trying to secure for itself unrivalled military supremacy in the world.”

It said Russia had made repeated offers to Washington to negotiate about nuclear arms control, but that these offers had been ignored or rebuffed.

“We call on the US administration to display political will and, once and for all, engage in a joint search for ways to resolve the problems that have built up in the strategic field, before it’s too late,” the statement said.

Russia has itself been accused of flirting with a new nuclear arms race, an allegation it rejects.

In March last year, Putin announced that work was underway on an array of new Russian weapons which he said could hit almost any point in the world and evade US missile defences.

The new weapons included a hyper-sonic, nuclear-capable missile called Avangard. Putin oversaw what the Kremlin said was a pre-deployment test of the new missile in December last year, and afterwards he declared it a complete success.

Defending his stance, Putin said he was not trying to trigger a new arms race but rather to stop that from happening. By developing weapons capable of evading US defences, Putin said, he was showing US officials it was futile for them to beef up their own nuclear missile capability.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)





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Russia Blames US As Nuclear Arms Treaty Faces Collapse After Failed Talks


Geneva, Switzerland: 

Senior diplomats from both countries met in Geneva amid widespread concern over the fate of the bilateral Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which successfully put an end to a mini-arms race after it was signed in 1987.

US President Donald Trump said in October that his country would pull out of the deal unless Russia stops violating it.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has threatened to develop nuclear missiles banned under the treaty if it is scrapped.

“The meeting was disappointing as it is clear Russia continues to be in material breach of the Treaty and did not come prepared to explain how it plans to return to full and verifiable compliance,” US Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security, Andrea Thompson, said in a statement.

“Our message was clear: Russia must destroy its noncompliant missile system,” she said.

Thompson will be in Brussels on Wednesday, where she plans to brief NATO allies on the INF talks.

US ‘fully’ to blame

Russia hosted the negotiations at its mission in Geneva and Moscow’s delegation was led by deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov.

Ryabkov said that if the deal is ditched, “responsibility for this fully and completely rests with the American side,” according to quotes published by Russian news agencies after the talks.

He added that said the parties had failed to agree on anything and Washington did not appear to be in the mood for more negotiations.

“We are forced to acknowledge that there is no movement forward,” Ryabkov was quoted as saying.

“We are ready for dialogue on the basis of equality, mutual respect, (and) without putting forward ultimatums.”

60 day deadline

Last month, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington would withdraw within 60 days from the Cold War treaty limiting mid-range nuclear arms if Russia does not dismantle missiles that the US claims breach the deal, which include Russia’s 9M729 system, also known by the designation SSC-8.

The INF was a bilateral treaty between the US and the then Soviet Union, so it puts no restrictions on other major military actors like China.

Pompeo has also said the US was not prepared to cede this advantage to a rival and noted that American concerns about Russian compliance pre-date the Trump administration.

Washington’s top diplomat has accused Russia of shrugging off dozens of warnings from senior US officials over the past five years about the SSC-8.

Ryabkov said Tuesday’s talks in Geneva centred on SSC-8 system but that US demands regarding the missile were unacceptable.

The landmark treaty was signed by Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev and led to nearly 2,700 short- and medium-range missiles being eliminated.

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg has described the INF as “arms control at its best” but warned last month that the collapse of the agreement appeared likely.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)





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In ISIS Module Case, National Investigation Agency Arrests Arms Supplier In Uttar Pradesh


The NIA also carried out follow-up searches in several cities of Uttar Pradesh. (Representational)

New Delhi/Meerut: 

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Friday said it has arrested an arms supplier in connection with its ongoing probe into the new ISIS module ”Harkat-ul-Harb-e-Islam”.

A senior NIA official in New Delhi said the agency has arrested 21-year-old Naeem in Uttar Pradesh’s Meerut on Thursday night.

The official said that Naeem has been involved in the supply of weapons to the accused persons in the case, who were allegedly planning to attack some political personalities and security establishments as well as crowded places in Delhi and the National Capital Region. 

On December 26, the NIA arrested 10 persons, including group leader Mufti Mohammad Suhail, after the counter-terror probe agency carried out searches at 17 places — six in east Delhi’s Jafarabad area, six in Amroha, two each in Lucknow and Hapur and one in Meerut. 

The agency also seized a country-made rocket launcher, 12 pistols, 112 alarm clocks, 100 mobile phones, 135 SIM cards, several laptops and various electronic gadgets, besides 150 rounds of ammunition.

After the arrest of the 10 persons, the NIA also carried out follow-up searches in several cities of Uttar Pradesh to identify more suspects of the new IS module.

It also rounded up many people for questioning. 

The NIA also seized 25 kg of explosive material, such as potassium nitrate, ammonium nitrate, sulphur, sugar material paste, mobile phone circuits, batteries, 51 pipes, remote control car triggering switch, wireless digital doorbell for remote switch, steel containers, electric wires, knife, sword, IS-related literature and Rs 7.5 lakh in cash.

All the arrested members of ”Harkat-ul-Harb-e-Islam” are in NIA custody. 

The agency had registered a case on December 20 under several sections of the Indian Penal Code, the Explosive Substances Act and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.





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Delhi Man Arrested Under Arms Act, Attempts Suicide Inside Police Station


The accused tried to commit suicide by strangulating himself, says police. (Representational)

New Delhi: 

A man, arrested under the Arms Act, tried to commit suicide inside Southeast Delhi’s Lajpat Nagar police station on Thursday, the officials said.

The accused was identified as Nitin, a resident of Lajpat Nagar. He was arrested in a case under the Arms Act on Thursday, they said.

While he was lodged in the lockup, he tried to commit suicide by strangulating himself using his shirt under a blanket in which he was covering himself.

He was noticed by an on-duty sentry and was immediately rushed to AIIMS Trauma Centre. After treatment, his situation was stated to be stable now, a senior police officer said.

He is under observation at AIIMS Trauma Centre. He has been booked for attempt to commit suicide, the police said. There were many cases of theft and snatching registered against him, they added.

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Video Of Bigg Boss 12 Winner Dipika Kakar Escorted Out In The Arms Of Husband Shoaib Ibrahim After Grand Finale


Dipika Kakar and Shoaib Ibrahim from the Bigg Boss 12 finale (courtesy shoaib2087)

New Delhi: 

At the Bigg Boss 12 grand finale on Sunday night, Salman Khan announced TV star Dipika Kakar as the winner of the show! But that’s not the only reason why the TV actress has been trending all of the Monday. A behind-the-scenes video, in which Dipika can be seen being escorted out of the sets in the arms of her husband Shoaib Ibrahim has sent the Internet into some sort of a meltdown. In the video, Dipika screams out loud after her big win and clutches the Bigg Boss 12 trophy close to her as Ibrahim carries her out in his arms. Dipika Kakar trumped Sreesanth to win the coveted trophy and Rs 30 lakh prize money last night.

Here’s the viral video from the sets of Bigg Boss 12.

 

 

Soon after the big win, Dipika Kakar featured in a brief video posted on several fan clubs, in which she thanked her fans and the viewers for their immense support.

 

 

In another viral video, Dipika can be seen breaking down while celebrating her big win with her family members. She says staying away from her family for over three months made her realise how much she loves them.

 

 

Apart from Dipika Kakar and Sreesanth, the list of top five finalists also included Romil Chaudhary, Karanvir Bohra and Deepak Thakur. During a special twist on the grand finale, the top three finalists were given the chance to claim a portion of the prize money and leave the finale immediately. Deepak Thakur rang the buzzer and took home Rs 20 lakh.





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Huge Arms Cache Seized In Jammu And Kashmir’s Kathua; major terror attack averted: Army


Two AK 47s and warlike stores were recovered in a search operation in Samba. (ANI)

Srinagar: 

The Army on Saturday said they have averted a major terror attack with the seizure of a huge cache of arms and ammunition in Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir.

Two AK assault rifles, a hand grenade, four magazines with 256 rounds and 59 rounds of sniper ammunition were seized during a joint operation by the Army and local police in the Billawar block early on Saturday, a defence spokesman said.

He said the security forces conducted the operation after receiving inputs from military intelligence and “this recovery has averted a major terrorists strike planned in the Jammu region”.

Defence sources said the arms and ammunition were wrapped in a polythene bag and dumped in an isolated area in a village for later use.





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Canada Looking For A Way Out Of Big Saudi Arms Deal, Says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau


Justin Trudeau had earlier said that murder of a journalist Jamal Khashoggi is absolutely unacceptable.

OTTAWA: 

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, speaking in an interview that aired on Sunday, said for the first time that his Liberal government was looking for a way out of a multibillion-dollar arms deal with Saudi Arabia.

The comments represented a notable hardening in tone from Trudeau, who previously said there would be huge penalties for scrapping the $13 billion agreement for armored vehicles made by the Canadian unit of General Dynamics Corp.

Last month, Trudeau said Canada could freeze the relevant export permits if it concluded the weapons had been misused.

“We are engaged with the export permits to try and see if there is a way of no longer exporting these vehicles to Saudi Arabia,” Trudeau told CTV. He did not give further details.

Political opponents, citing the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the Yemen war, insist Trudeau should end the General Dynamics deal, which was negotiated by the previous Conservative government.

Relations between Ottawa and Riyadh have been tense since a diplomatic dispute over human rights earlier this year. Ottawa says it has been consulting allies on what steps to take after Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

“The murder of a journalist is absolutely unacceptable and that’s why Canada from the very beginning had been demanding answers and solutions on that,” said Trudeau.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)





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Trump Wants Talks With Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping To End ‘Uncontrollable Arms Race


Donald Trump’s comments came after a weekend meeting with Xi Jinping during the G20 summit in Argentina.

Washington: 

US President Donald Trump on Monday proposed future talks with the leaders of China and Russia aimed at halting what he described as an “uncontrollable” arms race.

Trump’s comment follows an October announcement in which he said he would withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), a Cold War deal with Russia to cut missile numbers.

Critics say the move, which has not been finalized, would spark a new arms race with Russia.

Trump at the time said he would build up America’s nuclear stockpile “until people come to their senses.”

In an early morning tweet Monday, the president said: “I am certain that, at some time in the future, President Xi and I, together with President Putin of Russia, will start talking about a meaningful halt to what has become a major and uncontrollable Arms Race.”

“The U.S. spent 716 Billion Dollars this year. Crazy!” he added.

Trump’s tweet came on the heels of a weekend meeting with Xi during the G20 summit in Argentina, during which the leaders called a truce on an intensifying trade war between their two powerhouse countries.

While Trump cancelled a scheduled bilateral meeting with Putin in Buenos Aires, the two did have an “informal” conversation at the summit.

The 1987 INF deal did not cover China and was designed to eliminate short- and intermediate-range missiles on Europe’s doorstep.

A date for the US official withdrawal from the treaty has yet to be pinpointed, leaving room for a possible fix that would likely also have to involve China.

Trump’s decision to withdraw from the INF raised global concerns, and administration officials have been engaged on an aggressive public relations campaign with European leaders and the press to explain the move.

They say it is necessary because Russia has long been violating the INF.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)





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No Ambulance, UP Constable Carries Bleeding Man in Arms, Gets Him Treated


Constable Kapil Kumar from Sitapur Police station is winning high praise for his act.

Sitapur: 

An elderly man was bleeding heavily after he met with an accident in Uttar Pradesh’s Sitapur area on Thursday. The ambulance which was called in was taking time to reach the spot.

Without causing any further delay, a constable carried him in his arms and took him to the district hospital in his car. The man was provided medical treatment and is stable.

Constable Kapil Kumar from Sitapur Police station is winning high praise for his act on social media. “We are proud of you”, “Jai Hind”, “Good Job”, “Salute police” are some of the comments shared on an appreciation post put up by Sitapur Police’s official account.

Earlier a constable from Hyderabad K Dhanraj won appreciation on internet for repairing the wheelchair of a poor old man who was hit by a vehicle. He was duly rewarded to motivate other policemen.





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Man Who Supplied Arms To Maoists For Years Arrested In Maharashtra: Police


The man was also arrested by Odisha police in 2008. (Representational)

New Delhi: 

Delhi police has arrested a man from Gadchiroli in Maharashtra, involved in supplying arms to Maoists for several years, a senior police officer said on Sunday.

Ajeet Ray, 48, was arrested on Saturday. Police said he had been involved in unlawful activities in Odisha, Maharashtra and Chhatishgarh since 1990.

During investigations, police learnt that he was also arrested by Odisha police in 2008. Subsequently, non-bailable warrant was issued against him by the court and a reward of Rs 2 lakh was declared on his arrest by Delhi police, said PS Kushwah, Deputy Commissioner of Police (special cell).

Giving the details, he said, a person named Ram Krishna was arrested on July 7. During interrogation, he revealed that he was involved in arms peddling since 2015.

He told police that he used to procure illegal cartridges from Agra, Bihar and used to supply them to CPI (Maoist) Commanders through his contacts in Gadchiroli in Maharashtra, the officer said. During interrogation, Ram Krishan revealed that he supplied cartridges to Ajeet Ray.

Police teams were deployed in Bihar, Odisha and Gadchiroli in Maharashtra to arrest the accused, the DCP said.





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