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India ,Mozambique sign deals on pulse trading, drug trafficking

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In a significant bid to boost food security, India on Thursday signed a long term agreement for purchase of pulses from Mozambique as the two sides decided to fast-track cooperation in the agricultural sector.

“Mozambique’s strengths are also the areas of India’s need,” Modi said in a joint press statement with Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi following delegation-level talks here.

“And what Mozambique requires is available in India,” he said.

Observing that Nyusi had highlighted agricultural development as his top priority, he said experts from both sides have since held discussions on how to work together to improve agricultural infrastructure and productivity in Mozambique.

“Today, we agreed to put this cooperation on the fast track,” Modi said.

Stating that the both the countries were strengthening their partnership in food security, he said: “India’s commitment to buy pulses from Mozambique would help meet India’s requirement. It will also facilitate long-term investments in commercial farming, generate farm employment and raise farmer’s incomes in this country.”

A long-term agreement was signed following Thursday’s talks for purchase of pulses from Mozambique for India.

Two other memorandums of understanding were also signed – one on cooperation in the fight against drug trafficking and the other on youth affairs and sports.

The Prime Minister said health care was another area in which India’s capacities and Mozambican needs match well.

Modi also stressed on the safety and security of the people of the two countries.

“President Nyusi and I recognise that terrorism is the gravest security threat facing the world today,” he said

“Mozambique and India are no exceptions. Terrorism impacts India and Mozambique equally. The networks of terror are inter-linked with other trans-national crimes.”

He said the agreement signed between the two sides on prevention of drug trafficking was a testimony to the shared determination to combat the menace of terrorism and its networks.

Modi said he and Nyusi have agreed to strengthen the bilateral defence and security relationship in view of the emerging strategic and security challenges in the maritime domain.

At a banquet hosted in his honour by Nyusi, Modi said that India wanted to build on its already flourishing trade and investment ties with Mozambique.

He said India applauded Mozambique as one of the fastest growing economies of the world in recent decades.

“Our trade and investment ties have particularly flourished in recent years,” he said.

“We want to build further on it. For this, India remains ready and committed to share its experiences, technology, capacity and concessional credit with Mozambique, in line with your priorities.”

Mozambique is the destination of around a quarter of India’s investments in Africa totalling around $8 billion.

Modi also visited the Mozambique National Assembly and met its President Veronica Macamo.

“Prime Minister lauded the fact that 93 out of 250 Mozambican parliamentarians were women,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup told the media.

“He invited Macamo to lead a delegation to India and also called for the formation of a group of young parliamentarians from both countries,” he said.

Modi later visited the Centre for Innovation and Technological Development (CITD) at Maluana near here that has been built with Indian aid and interacted with students.

The CITD is situated at the Science and Technology Park, built with an Indian line of credit.

The Prime Minister planted a sapling of African mahogany and donated four buses to the centre.

Earlier on Thursday, Modi was accorded a ceremonial welcome after his arrival in Maputo on the first leg of his four-nation Africa tour.

He is scheduled to interact with members of the Indian community in this southeast African nation before leaving for South Africa in the evening.

This is Modi’s first official visit to mainland Africa and is also the first prime ministerial visit from India to Mozambique in 34 years since the visit of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1982.

Apart from Mozambique and South Africa, he will also visit Tanzania and Kenya during his African sojourn.

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Twitter bans Russia-linked accounts following US indictments

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TWITTER

San Francisco, July 15 :In response to the US’ indictment of 12 Russian military intelligence officers for hacking into the Democrats’ emails during the 2016 presidential campaign, Twitter has banned accounts for both Moscow-linked DCLeaks and Guccifer 2.0.

They were “connected to a network of accounts” that had already been shut down for violating rules, a Twitter spokesperson told Engadget of the suspensions on Saturday.

At the same time, Twitter was aware that the shutdowns were considered overdue and the indictments just formalised the connections, the company added.

“We’re reviewing our policies in light of this and expect to make updates soon,” Twitter told The New York Times in a separate statement.

“We recognise that to promote healthy conversation we need to be responsive to ways the platform is being misused and we are committed to that here and everywhere,” the company added.

It’s not certain what those changes might be.

However, Twitter has faced more than a handful of accusations that it only belatedly recognised the threat of electoral interference on its platform, with bot purges, candidate labels and other anti-manipulation tactics only coming after the 2016 US presidential vote.

This may be an acknowledgment that it needs to be more proactive in dealing with accounts linked to hacking and other criminal activity, especially when politics are involved.(IANS)

 

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UK Minister Andrew Griffiths resigns over ‘sexting’ exposé

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London, July 15: Andrew Griffiths, the minister for small business in the United Kingdom, also a prominent supporter of Pakistan, resigned from the government after being found to have sent more than 2000 text messages of a sexual nature to two female constituents.

He is a former chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Committee on Kashmir, a UK-based forum, which he used to push Pakistan’s position on Kashmir.

The 47-year-old minister, after resigning, released a statement apologising for his inappropriate behavior.

Across Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Snapchat,  Griffiths reportedly sent more than 2,000 messages in three weeks to  two barmaids: Treharne and another woman.

Treharne said she “always asked him about his interests” but that the conversation “always turned back to sex”.

The Guardian quoted the minister’s statement as saying, “I am deeply ashamed at my behaviour which has caused untold distress to my wife and family, to whom I owe everything, and deep embarrassment to the prime minister and the government I am so proud to serve.”

He added, “I tendered my resignation as parliamentary under secretary of state for small business on Friday night.”The minister, a former chief of staff to Prime Minister Theresa May, said that he would be seeking professional help to address the issue of sending sexually explicit texts to the women of his constituency.

He said, “I do not seek to excuse my behaviour and will be seeking professional help to ensure it never happens again. In time I hope to earn the forgiveness of all those who put their trust in me and that I have let down so terribly. The prime minister and the government she leads will continue to have my full support.”
The Guardian, quoted the Sunday Mirror as terming the content of Griffiths’ messages as ‘depraved’.

The Sunday Mirror said, “In a string of texts Griffiths called himself “Daddy”, promised money if he received racy images and described perverted and rough sex he claimed to have had with other women.”

He is a former Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Committee on Kashmir, a forum he used to push Pakistan’s position in Kashmir in the United Kingdom.

Griffiths, MP for Burton, and Theresa May’s chief of staff in opposition between 2004 and 2006, told the Mirror he was “deeply ashamed”.

His behaviour had caused “untold distress” to his wife and family to whom he “owed everything”, he said.

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Trump blames Obama for Russian hacking

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Donald Trump

Washington, July 15 : US President Donald Trump blamed his predecessor, Barack Obama for not taking action to prevent the alleged Russian hacking attack into the computer networks of Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC)  to influence the 2016 presidential election.

Trump will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin for a bilateral summit on July 16 in Helsinki, in which the two leaders are expected to discuss the conflicts in Syria and Ukraine, arms control, and Russia’s suspected meddling in the 2016 US election.

On Friday, a Grand Jury indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers for participating in efforts to infiltrate those computer networks to obtain damaging information about Clinton and the DNC, which was then dumped online.

“The stories you heard about the 12 Russians yesterday took place during the Obama Administration, not the Trump Administration,” Trump said on Twitter.

This is the first time that the president has commented on the indictments presented Friday by Robert Mueller, the special counsel who is investigating whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Kremlin.

“Why didn’t they do something about it, especially when it was reported that President Obama was informed by the FBI in September, before the Election?” Trump said.

The accused hackers allegedly spread computer viruses through the email accounts of DNC and Clinton campaign staffers and volunteers, obtaining passwords that allowed them to access information.

The hackers then reportedly posed as US activists and used Facebook and Twitter to spread the information they obtained.

The Russian government has repeatedly denied that it had any role in the DNC and Clinton campaign hacking.

 

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