April 2024

MONTH IN BRIEF

China-India spat over AP visit

India has firmly rejected China’s objections to Prime Minister Narendra visit to Arunachal Pradesh

India has firmly rejected China’s objections to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s March 9 visit to Arunachal Pradesh, saying the north-eastern border state has always been ‘an integral and inalienable part of India’. The comments, made by the Indian Foreign Ministry, came a day after Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said Beijing was firmly opposed to Mr Modi’s activities in the region and has lodged a diplomatic protest with India.Mr Modi visited Arunachal Pradesh on March 9 to inaugurate infrastructure projects, including a tunnel that will provide all-weather connectivity to the strategically located border area of Tawang.

Oz plans huge AUKUS spend

USS Mississipi visit to FBW

Australia is set to spend billions of dollars on docks, shipyards and factories at home and in Britain for nuclear-powered submarines under the AUKUS security pact, and has named Britain’s BAE Systems to help build the subs. The agreement among Australia, Britain and the US will see Australia buy up to five nuclear submarines from Washington in the early 2030s, before jointly building and operating a new class, SSN-Aukus, with Britain roughly a decade later.

 

Hong Kong minister’s stark warning

A warning has been issued by Hong Kong’s justice minister that posting and sharing criticism of the city’s newly enacted national security law could be in breach of the legislation, which lays down harsh penalties for sedition. The Article 23 legislation, which came into force on March 23, includes penalties of up to life imprisonment for five categories of crime – treason, insurrection, espionage, sabotage and external interference.

Myanmar junta plans return to democracy

Military-ruled Myanmar plans to have an election if there is peace and stability in the country but may not be able to hold it nationwide, its top general said, as the junta battles to contain a rebellion on multiple fronts.The country’s military, which has been in power since a coup in February 2021, still plans to return the country to democratic rule, junta chief Min Aung Hlaing told Russia’s Tass news agency, according to a transcript of an interview carried by Myanmar’s state media.

 

Agni-5 testa soaring success

Agni-5 test a soaring success

India has successfully test-fired a domestically developed ballistic missile capable of carrying multiple nuclear warheads for the first time. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was ‘proud’ of the launch of ‘the first flight test of indigenously developed Agni-5 missile with Multiple Independently Targetable Re-entry Vehicle (MIRV) technology’, in comments on social media platform X. The MIRV technology enables the Agni-5 to carry several nuclear warheads simultaneously, so they can split up and hit different targets.

Deadly quake

At least five people have been killed and an estimated 1,000 homes destroyed when a magnitude 6.9 earthquake hit Papua New Guinea.Disaster crews have been pouring into the region as dozens of villages on the banks of the country’s famous Sepik River had already been facing floods when the quake struck early in the morning of March 24.Emergency crews are still assessing the impact from a tremor that is said to have “damaged most parts of the province’.

earthquake hit Papua New Guinea

Burger giant exits Sri Lanka

McDonald’s fast food chain has ended an agreement with its local partner in Sri Lanka

McDonald’s fast food chain has ended an agreement with its local partner in Sri Lanka and all 12 outlets in the country have been closed, a lawyer for the US giant said. McDonald’s restaurants across Sri Lanka shut on March 24 after the company launched a legal battle with its local franchise holder over allegations of poor hygiene. The Commercial High Court of Colombo ordered the closures until April 4, after the parent company accused the local franchise holder of failing to meet international hygiene standards.

Fears for Fukuyama feline

Locals in a city in western Japan have been warned not to approach or touch acat that fell into a vat of the chemicalhexavalent chromium – which is carcinogenic and can cause skin inflammation – and then ran off into the night. An employee at a metal plating plant in Fukuyama arrived for work on  the morning of March 11 to find a cat’s paw prints leading away from the three-metre deep container, the firm said. Grainy security camera footage released by the company shows the furry fugitive fleeing from the factory, apparently unharmed.

Japan have been warned not to approach or touch a cat that fell into a vat of the chemical hexavalent chromium