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Wednesday
April 2021
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News Headlines
Finance Minister speaks to industry leaders, says Centre working with States to manage Covid        IPL 2021: CSK beat RR by 45 runs        Indoor stadium to be built in Shahpur: Minister        NASA launches Ingenuity Helicopter from Mars' surface        Political parties and religious outfits have misused Islam: PM Imran        All adults eligible for Covid vaccination from May 1        Dr Manmohan Singh tests positive for COVID-19, hospitalised        This time COVID-19 spreading rapidly in Tier 2, Tier 3 cities as well: PM        Bumrah one of the best death bowlers, makes my job easier: Boult        Magnificent Dhawan takes DC to emphatic win over Punjab        Lithium-ion battery maker Lohum to invest up to Rs 250 cr in three years on capacity expansion        Pakistan reports highest single-day coronavirus spike in 2021 with over 6,000 cases        California mass shooting suspect was barred from buying gun        COVID-19 surge:Rahul Gandhi announces cancellation of poll rallies in West Bengal        Declare a national health emergency: Sibal to PM        COVID-19: India records highest single-day rise of 2,61,500 cases, 1,501 deaths        My Tirth India' provides services of 'online darshan'        I have the skills to bat in tough situations: Shahrukh Khan        Pakistan cricket players will get visas for World T20 in India: BCCI apex council        US and Japan to strengthen efforts to promote peace and security in Indo-Pacific: Harris        
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International News
SYRIA Militia official: US strike in Syria kills 1, wounds several
 
Baghdad: A US airstrike in Syria targeted facilities belonging to a powerful Iranian-backed Iraqi armed group, killing one of their militiamen and wounding a number of others, an Iraqi militia official said Friday. The Pentagon said the strikes were retaliation for a rocket attack in Iraq earlier this month that killed one civilian contractor and wounded a US service member and other coalition troops. The Iraqi militia official told The Associated Press that the strikes against the Kataeb Hezbollah, or Hezbollah Brigades, hit an area along the border between the Syrian site of Boukamal facing Qaim on the Iraqi side. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak of the attack.

Syria war monitoring groups said the strikes hit trucks moving weapons to a base for Iranian-backed militias in Boukamal. “I''m confident in the target that we went after, we know what we hit,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told reporters flying with him from California to Washington, shortly after the airstrikes which were carried out Thursday evening Eastern Standard Time. The airstrike was the first military action undertaken by the Biden administration, which in its first weeks has emphasized its intent to put more focus on the challenges posed by China, even as Mideast threats persist. Biden''s decision to attack in Syria did not appear to signal an intention to widen U.S. military involvement in the region but rather to demonstrate a will to defend U.S. troops in Iraq.

The U.S. has in the past targeted facilities in Syria belonging to Kataeb Hezbollah, which it has blamed for numerous attacks targeting U.S. personnel and interests in Iraq. The Iraqi Kataeb is separate from the Lebanese Hezbollah movement. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based group that monitors the war in Syria, said the strikes targeted a shipment of weapons that were being taken by trucks entering Syrian territories from Iraq. The group said 22 fighters from the Popular Mobilization Forces, an Iraqi umbrella group of mostly Shiite paramilitaries that includes Kataeb Hezbollah, were killed. The report could not be independently verified. Defense Secretary Austin said he was “confident" the U.S. had hit back at the "the same Shia militants that conducted the strikes,” referring to a February 15 rocket attack in northern Iraq that killed one civilian contractor and wounded a U.S. service member and other coalition personnel.

Austin said he had recommended the action to President Joe Biden. “We said a number of times that we will respond on our timeline,” Austin said. “We wanted to be sure of the connectivity and we wanted to be sure that we had the right targets.” Earlier, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said the U.S. action was a “proportionate military response” taken together with diplomatic measures, including consultation with coalition partners. “The operation sends an unambiguous message: President Biden will act to protect American and coalition personnel,” Kirby said. Kirby said the U.S. airstrikes “destroyed multiple facilities at a border control point used by a number of Iranian-backed militant groups,” including Kataeb Hezbollah and Kataeb Sayyid al-Shuhada. Further details were not immediately available. Mary Ellen O''Connell, a professor at Notre Dame Law School, criticized the U.S. attack as a violation of international law.

“The United Nations Charter makes absolutely clear that the use of military force on the territory of a foreign sovereign state is lawful only in response to an armed attack on the defending state for which the target state is responsible,” she said. “None of those elements is met in the Syria strike.” Biden administration officials condemned the February 15 rocket attack near the city of Irbil in Iraq''s semi-autonomous Kurdish-run region, but as recently as this week officials indicated they had not determined for certain who carried it out. Officials have noted that in the past, Iranian-backed Shiite militia groups have been responsible for numerous rocket attacks that targeted U.S. personnel or facilities in Iraq. Kirby had said Tuesday that Iraq is in charge of investigating the Feb. 15 attack.

He added that U.S. officials were not then able to give a “certain attribution as to who was behind these attacks." A little-known Shiite militant group calling itself Saraya Alwiya al-Dam, Arabic for Guardians of Blood Brigade, claimed responsibility for the Feb. 15 attack. A week later, a rocket attack in Baghdad''s Green Zone appeared to target the U.S. Embassy compound, but no one was hurt.


NASA launches Ingenuity Helicopter from Mars' surface
Political parties and religious outfits have misused Islam: PM Imran
Pakistan reports highest single-day coronavirus spike in 2021 with over 6,000 cases
California mass shooting suspect was barred from buying gun
US and Japan to strengthen efforts to promote peace and security in Indo-Pacific: Harris
Four Sikhs among eight killed in mass shooting at FedEx facility in US
Iran starts enriching uranium to 60%, its highest level ever
Police: 8 dead in shooting at FedEx facility in Indianapolis
Social media access temporarily curtailed in Pakistan
Biden issues order declaring national emergency over Russia’s ‘harmful’ activities
No evidence of COVID-19 vaccines causing fertility problems: WHO
Japan to start releasing Fukushima water into sea in 2 years
WHO urges pause in market sale of captured live wild animals
Johnson & Johnson delays vaccine rollout in Europe
Biden nominates Wormuth as first female Secretary of Army
At least 20 people dead in bus accident in Peru
''Suspicious'' blackout strikes Iran''s Natanz nuclear site
Jordanian prince makes first public appearance since arrest
Prince Philip''s death a ''huge void'' for Queen, says their son Prince Andrew
United Arab Emirates names 2 new astronauts, including woman
ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
George Clooney says Capitol attack put Trump family 'into the dustbin of history'
 Los Angeles: Hollywood star George Clooney has condemned the attack on the Capitol Hill in the US by  
'Mean Girls' won't be returning to Broadway
Ian McKellan is 'happy' Elliot Page came out as transgender
A R Rahman thanks fans for support during 'difficult times'
KERALA NEWS
Kerala logs 10,031 new COVID-19 cases, overall tally cross 12 lakh mark
 Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala reported 10,031 fresh coronavirus cases and 21 related deaths on Friday,
RS polls in Kerala: CPI(M) names candidates for two seats
Kerala logs over 7,000 cases, 20 more deaths
Chopper crash lands in Kerala
NATIONAL NEWS
All adults eligible for Covid vaccination from May 1
 New Delhi: Under phase III of the ongoing Covid vaccination programme beginning from May 1 onwards,
Dr Manmohan Singh tests positive for COVID-19, hospitalised
COVID-19 surge:Rahul Gandhi announces cancellation of poll rallies in West Bengal
Declare a national health emergency: Sibal to PM
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