News Briefs from around the World

News Briefs from around the World

Bomb Attack in Kabul

Terrorists seem to have a free run of the world at large and their macabre dance of death continues unabated. On 31st May a powerful and massive truck bomb ripped through the diplomatic quarter of Kabul during morning rush hour, leaving at least 80 dead at last count and hundreds injured.

A towering plume of smoke rose from the scene of the incident, leaving the roads choked with stranded cars and the bodies of the dead. So powerful was the blast that windows of some diplomatic missions barely a few hundred metres were blown away.

No single terrorist organisation has yet claimed responsibility for the blast but this is generally the time when the Taliban go on the offensive in Afghanistan.

Details are awaited.

Cold Vibes between Germany and the USA

Germany and the USA have always had a “preferred partner” relationship but things do not look so rosy now. Berlin had expressed reservations about the Trump administration after he was sworn in and Trump almost as a quid pro quo professed his unhappiness at Germany’s trade policy.

On Sunday last, Chancellor Merkel had said that “the times in which (Germany) could fully rely on others are partly over,” in an obvious reference to both the USA and the UK. Merkel said that she had come to this conclusion after the NATO and G7 summits of which Trump was a part. According to her, it was obvious here that the two countries were on a diverging road.

Trump had earlier tweeted that “We have a MASSIVE trade deficit with Germany, plus they pay FAR LESS than they should on NATO & military. Very bad for US. This will change.”

Political analysts predict that the thought processes of the two leaders are unlikely to alter soon.

India Declines Australian invitation for Malabar exercise

 India has declined an Australian invitation to join the Naval Malabar Exercises in July in the Indian Ocean, a decision that seeks to cool China’s fears and concerns. The Malabar exercise has traditionally been held by India and the USA, north of Australia and the roots of this joint naval exercise go back to a quarter of a century.

More recently, Japan has been a part of this exercise.

In 2007, Australia joined in but after China expressed concerns, the Rudd Government withdrew from this annual drill.

Early in 2017, Australia’s defense attaché had requested New Delhi to allow the ADF to come in as an observer, but recently, Delhi has declined the approach.

“Australia has regularly discussed the matter of the Royal Australian Navy’s involvement in Exercise Malabar with India since 2015,” a Defence spokesperson told the ABC.

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