Sikkim: Army develops road along Nathula Pass to boost tourism, trade



International Desk, Barta24.com
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Indian army personnel deployed under Project SWASTIK of the defence ministry’s Border Roads Organisation (BRO) undertook the task of improving quality and safety of the 74KM Jawahar Lal Nehru Marg (JNM) in Sikkim.

The JNM is a strategic road that is pivotal to armed forces deployed in East Sikkim along the China border. This road is also used for tourism around Nathula Pass and Harbhajan Baba Mandir, for Kailash Mansarovar Yatra and for conducting trade with China.

After the formation of BRO, in May 1964, JNM was handed over from CPWD to BRO. Due to its strategic and socio-economic importance, BRO has been working relentlessly to upgrade it from C1-5 to Cl-9, and subsequently to NHDL specification.

In order to avoid landslides, this stretch of the road has been modified to realign away from vulnerable spots. The riding surface of this road which had deteriorated over time owing to heavy rainfall has also been fixed by the ‘Brave Karmyogis’ of Project SWASTIK.

According to army sources, future plans for the JNM include curve improvement, installation of various road safety measures, cautionary road marking, installation of dynamic caution boards and resurfacing work.

The tasks of road improvement were divided into two. The completed Phase-I tasks improved the road stretch between Tashi view point and Mandakini waterfall. The remaining work to be completed includes the stretch between Madakini waterfall and Sherathang stretch and has started as Phase II of the project.

The road improvement has resulted in a reduction of travel time for tourists around Nathula Pass. Notably, Project SWASTIK, led by Lieutenant General Rajeev Chaudhry, VSM, Director General Border Roads, has helped boost the influx of tourists towards East Sikkim.

The US is monitoring what is happening in the quota movement: Miller



International Desk, Barta24.com
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The US Embassy in Dhaka and Washington are keeping a close watch on what is happening in Bangladesh in the student quota reform movement, the State Department said. In addition, spokesperson Matthew Miller commented that the United States continues to convey its concerns on the Bangladesh issue from the podium of the State Department.

This spokesperson said that there can be no direct talk about listing the organization as a banned organization due to the torture and violence that the Chhatra League has been carrying out on students for the past one and a half decades.

Participating in the briefing, State Department Correspondent Mushfiqul Fazal Ansari raised the issue of violence conducted by Chhatra League and law enforcement forces in the ongoing movement of students and wanted to know, 'The ruling government has continued to attack the movement of students in Bangladesh. At least 6 students have lost their lives so far at the hands of government-backed law and order forces. Bangladesh Chhatra League, the student body of the ruling government, is brutally torturing students, especially female students. This organization has been doing such activities for the past decade and a half. Will you list BCL as a terrorist organization?'

In response, Miller said, 'I'm not going to say anything about the issue you mentioned (banning Bangladesh Chhatra League). We have observed the violence that has spread during the student protests in Dhaka. I am once again calling for the movement to be peaceful. At the same time condemn any form of violence in peaceful protests.'

In another question, this reporter wants to know, 'Abu Sayed, a student of the English department of Begum Rokeya University, stood with his chest in front of the police gun during the protest for the safety of his classmates. The police did not hesitate to shoot him. He himself could not understand that the police would shoot him like this while protecting his classmates. After the fraudulent election, Sheikh Hasina has held on to her power by torturing her like this. Foreign Minister Anthony  Blinken said, 'The whole world's eyes are on the Bangladesh elections. The United States will take whatever steps are necessary for this election.' But the moment the people's rights are taken away, you become completely silent. Why did this happen?'

In response, Miller said, 'First of all, what you said is not true. We are not silent. You've seen me speak over and over throughout the week. As I said last Monday and I say again today, we condemn any form of violence against peaceful protests.'

He said, 'The US Embassy in Dhaka and our officials from Washington are closely monitoring what is happening in Bangladesh. Students are being killed in protests, people are dying, it is under our watch.'

"We call on the government to respect a citizen's right to peaceful protest," Miller said.

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Joe Biden infected with Corona



International Desk, Barta24.com
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US President Joe Biden has been infected with the Coronavirus. According to the White House, Biden is suffering from mild symptoms of Corona.

This information was published in a report by AFP on Thursday (July 18).

According to the report, Biden was diagnosed with Corona while campaigning in Las Vegas, Nevada on Wednesday. After the Virus was detected, Biden left for the state of Delaware on Air Force One, the plane used by the president of the United States. He will be in isolation at his home there. "I feel good," he told reporters from the car before boarding the plane.

However, Biden was infected with Corona at a time when pressure is increasing on him within his own party, the Democratic Party, to withdraw from the presidential election to be held in November. At the age of 81, questions are being raised about how capable he is of contesting the election against rival candidate Donald Trump. That question has intensified since last month's debacle in a debate with Trump.

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Trump chose a new partner as vice president



International Desk, Barta24.com
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The former president of the country, Donald Trump, has chosen a new partner as the vice president of the Republican Party in the upcoming US presidential election. Trump announced Ohio State Senator JD Vance for this position. At the same time, Trump himself received the party's nomination as the presidential candidate.

On Monday (July 15), the British media BBC reported the information.

The Republican Party's four-day national convention has begun in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. On the first day of the conference, Trump announced JD Vance as his vice president in the country's presidential election to be held in November.

The crowd at the conference erupted in "JD" chants as the former president announced his decision on social media.

The National Convention of the Republican Party will continue till July 18. The party holds this conference every four years. Trump was officially nominated for the presidential election at this year's convention by state representatives of the party.

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KP Sharma Oli sworn in as Prime Minister of Nepal



International Desk, Barta24.com
KP Sharma Oli sworn in as Prime Minister of Nepal

KP Sharma Oli sworn in as Prime Minister of Nepal

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KP Sharma Oli has been sworn in as the new Prime Minister of Nepal.

He was sworn in as Prime Minister in a special ceremony at the President's office at Shital Nibas in Maharajganj, Kathmandu on Monday (July 15).

President Ramchandra Paudel administered the oath of office and secrecy to Oli at the ceremony.

This is Oli's fourth term as the country's chief executive.

President Paudel on the same evening invited political parties to form a new government under Article 76 (2) of the Constitution after outgoing Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal failed to win the confidence of the House of Representatives during Friday's floor test.

Soon after the President's call, 72-year-old Oli accompanied his new alliance partner, Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba, to the President's office to demand the Prime Minister's post.

Unopposed, Oli submitted the signatures of 166 legislators (88 from the Congress and 78 from the UML) in his support. A minimum of 138 seats was required to form a government in the 275-strong House of Representatives.

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