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Chinese and Indian Forces Face-Off in Biggest Confrontation in Decades

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  • On Monday, Chinese and Indian troops engaged in a violent confrontation along a disputed border that left at least 20 Indian troops dead. Chinese officials have confirmed that there were casualties on their side but refused to say how many.
  • The incident is the most serious military confrontation between the two nuclear powers in nearly 40 years.
  • India and China have been fighting over the disputed boundary for decades. 
  • Both countries claim to control huge sections of each other’s territories, and the border has never been formalized despite more than a dozen negotiations.

Indian and Chinese Troops Face-Off

The Indian government has said that at least 20 of its soldiers died in a violent altercation with Chinese military forces after fighting broke out Monday along a disputed border between the two countries, marking the most serious military confrontation between the two nuclear powers in decades.

It is unclear exactly what happened as both sides have given different accounts. Most of the details currently being reported have come from the Indian side. Chinese officials have largely remained tight-lipped and Chinese media has downplayed the incident.

However, according to most accounts, the two sides engaged in hand-to-hand combat using rocks, iron rods, and their fists to fight for several hours. Several people fell to their deaths, but neither side fired shots or used guns at any point.

Indian officials said that three of their soldiers were killed during the standoff, and 17 others died after succumbing to injuries in the sub-zero temperatures.

Indian officials also said that there had been casualties on the Chinese side, a fact that Chinese officials did eventually confirm Wednesday after skirting the question, though they did not say how many people died.

As for what started the stand-off, both sides blame each other for instigating. Indian officials say that Chinese forces crossed into the area under their control where they set up tents and guard posts and ignored verbal warnings to leave, which set off shouting matches, stones being thrown, and fist-fights.

Chinese officials say that Indian soldiers crossed the border into the area they control and “provoked and attacked Chinese personnel.”

Long-Running Conflicts

While Monday’s events represent a serious escalation, these kinds of confrontations are not a new occurrence.

Just since last month, there have been a number of similar conflicts along the border, though no deaths have been reported. After those initial brawls, which reportedly started after both countries moved thousands of additional troops to the border, senior leaders from the Indian and Chinese militaries held meetings and agreed to disengage.

But the situation goes a lot deeper than that. In fact, India and China have been fighting over this disputed border for decades and decades.

In 1962, the two fought a full-scale war over the border which ended with a truce and the creation of a sort of de facto border called the Line of Actual Control (LAC), aroughly 2,000-mile boundary that runs along the Himalayas and the disputed Jammu and Kashmir region.

Source: CNN

However, the LAC is and always has been a very rough boundary. Over the years, there have been more than a dozen rounds of talks and negotiations, but an actual border has never been formally decided.

As a result, India and China have competing views of where the line is, and both claim significant chunks of the other’s territory. Both sides patrol up to where they believe the border is, but because it is contested, that has led to frequent accusations of one side crossing the LAC which has resulted in numerous clashes.

Despite the frequency of these skirmishes, Monday’s incident has been described as the most violent and serious confrontation since a series of battles in 1967, as well as the first altercation that resulted in reported fatalities since 1975.

Rising Tensions

Notably, the two sides have worked together to try and keep the peace. In the early 1990s, they agreed to a set of protocols to contain the disputes and prevent escalation.

Those procedures included agreements for where troops would patrol, what weapons they could carry, where military installation would be built, and how close weapons and airplanes could be to the disputed areas.

But tensions have grown over the last few years. Many recent standoffs have been the result of both countries building infrastructure including roads, airstrips, and arms installations, which has resulted in the area becoming much more militarized.

China, in general, has been more assertive in building up its infrastructure, but in recent years, India has been strengthening its border infrastructure and upgrading its military installations— a move that experts say has angered China.

There is also a broader geopolitical element too. China has additionally been upset by India’s growing political and military relationship with the United States. Last year, China strongly condemned India for revoking the autonomous status of Kashmir— the disputed area claimed by both India and Pakistan— and placing it under the direct control of the central government.

On the other side, India is also worried that China is trying to slowly take over more of the disputed territory along the LAC, a concern that has grown as China continues to push forward with more bold, expansionist actions.

“China has pressed other controversial territorial disputes in recent years, stoking anxiety among its neighbors by building military installations in the South China Sea, extending control over Hong Kong and moving to deny Taiwan, which it sees as part of China, legitimacy and participation in international forums,” journalist Rajesh Roy explained in the Wall Street Journal.

As for the current situation, both India and China have said they want peace. In a short televised speech Wednesday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi reiterated that call, while also warning China that India will retaliate if provoked.

“The sacrifice of our soldiers will not be in vain,” he said. “The sovereignty and integrity of India is supreme, and nobody can stop us in defending that. India wants peace, but if provoked India is capable of giving a befitting reply.”

China’s Foreign Ministry has also said it does not want more clashes, and in a call today, both the foreign ministers of both agreed to “cool down” and said they favor peaceful diplomacy and dialogue.

It has also been reported that military leaders in the region are “talking to diffuse the tension.”

See what others are saying: (The Wall Street Journal) (The Guardian) (Al Jazeera)

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Dutch Man Who Fathered Over 500 Kids Is Being Sued to Stop Donating Sperm Over Incest Concerns

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Meijer is accused of having children in 13 different countries. 


550 Children 

Johnathon Jacob Meijer, a 41-year-old Dutch man, is currently facing a lawsuit that aims to forbid him from donating sperm after he allegedly fathered at least 550 children.

The lawsuit claims that Meijer’s prolific and obsessive donation habit heightens the risk of accidental incest for his children. 

Meijer has donated to at least 13 clinics, mostly located in the Netherlands. He also used websites and social media to reach out to women looking for donors. In 2017, after the Dutch Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology learned that Meijer had already fathered more than 100 children, he was blacklisted from all clinics in the Netherlands. However, he has reportedly continued his donations in Ukraine, Denmark, and other countries. 

One professional tracking Meijer’s movements told The New York Times in 2021 that she had found mothers of his children in Australia, Italy, Serbia, Germany, Poland, Hungary, Switzerland, Romania, Sweden, Mexico, and the United States.

The Lawsuit 

One mother from the Netherlands has partnered with Donorkind — a Dutch organization for children conceived via a sperm donor — to bring this lawsuit against Meijer. 

The mother claims that Meijer told her that he didn’t have more than 25 donor children.

 “When I think about the consequences this could have for my child, I get a bad gut feeling and I become uncertain about his future: how many more children will be added?” she said to Donorkind. 

Donorkind and the mother are looking for the court to order Meijer to stop donating and for any clinic that has his sperm to destroy it. 

See what others are saying: (The New York Times) (The Telegraph) (Insider)

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U.S. Intel Suggests Pro-Ukraine Group Sabotaged Nord Stream Pipeline

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There is no evidence that the culprits behind the attack were acting under the direction of the Ukrainian government.


Europe Braces for Shocking Revelations

A pro-Ukraine group blew up the Nord Stream pipelines last September, intelligence reviewed by U.S. officials suggests.

The New York Times reported the news Tuesday, citing officials who said there was no evidence of involvement by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, any of his top lieutenants, or any government officials.

The strength of the evidence, however, is not clear, and U.S. officials declined to inform The Times on the nature of the intelligence or how it was obtained. They reportedly added that the intelligence indicates neither who the group’s members are nor who funded and directed the operation.

The Times’ sources said they believe the saboteurs were most likely Russian or Ukrainian nationals and that they possibly received specialized government training in the past.

It’s also possible that the group behind the attack was a proxy with covert ties to Kyiv, the report added.

When three of four Nord Stream pipelines were found to be severely damaged last year, the revelation shook markets and sent European gas prices soaring. Nord Stream 1, which was completed in 2011, and Nord Stream 2, which had been laid down but wasn’t yet operational, supplied Germany and by extension the rest of Western Europe with cheap Russian natural gas.

Following the explosions, Poland and Ukraine blamed Russia, and Russia blamed Britain. Other observers speculated that Ukraine might be behind it too.

More Ongoing Investigations

Last month, investigative journalist Seymour Hersh claimed in a Substack article that the United States military carried out the attack and that President Biden authorized it himself. However, Hersh’s report cited only one anonymous source in support of its central claim, so it was largely dismissed as not credible.

Western governments expressed caution on Wednesday in response to The Times report.

“There are ongoing national investigations and I think it’s right to wait until those are finalized before we say anything more about who was behind it,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said in a statement.

Russia, by contrast, pounced on the opportunity to renew its demand for inclusion in a proposed international probe into the pipeline explosion.

The Ukrainian government denied any involvement in the Nord Stream explosions.

On Wednesday, multiple German media outlets reported that investigators have largely reconstructed how the attack happened, pinning the blame on six people who allegedly used a yacht hired by a Ukrainian-owned company in Poland.

German officials reportedly searched a vessel suspected of carrying the explosives in January, but the investigation is ongoing.

The country’s defense minister suggested the explosions may have been a “false flag” attack to smear Ukraine.

See what others are saying: (The New York Times) (Associated Press) (Reuters)

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Turkey, Syria Earthquake Death Toll Rises to 41,000 as Survivors Pulled from Rubble

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A pair of brothers spent around 200 hours trapped under debris, living off of protein powder and their own urine.


A Humanitarian Crisis Explodes

The number of confirmed dead from the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria last week has surpassed 41,000.

Millions more people have been left stranded without adequate shelter, food, clean water, or medical supplies.

At night, the region has dropped to below-freezing temperatures.

Now health authorities are worried that the lack of sanitation infrastructure, which was damaged by the quakes, will lead to a disease outbreak.

“We haven’t been able to rinse off since the earthquake,” 21-year-old Mohammad Emin, whose home was destroyed, told Reuters.

He was helping out at a clinic serving displaced people in an open-air stadium, but with no showers and only six toilets, the resource shortage was poignant.

“They are offering tetanus shots to residents who request them, and distributing hygiene kits with shampoo, deodorant, pads and wipes,” added Akin Hacioglu, a doctor at the clinic.

The World Health Organization monitors the population for waterborne diseases like cholera and typhoid, as well as seasonal influenza and COVID-19.

Rescuers Race Against the Clock

After more than a week of searching, hopes that more living victims will be found amid the collapsed buildings are fading, but rescuers continue to pull out the final few survivors.

Abdulbaki Yeninar, 21, and his brother Muhammed Enes Yeninar, 17, spent about 200 hours under rubble in the city of Kahramanmaras before they were extracted Tuesday. They told reporters they held on by eating protein powder, drinking their own urine, and swallowing gulps of air.

In the same city, teams dug a 16-foot tunnel through debris to rescue a woman, and to the south, a volunteer mining crew joined the efforts to save another.

With no homes to go back to, some survivors have joined the ranks of volunteers themselves.

In the past week, more than 35,000 Turkish search-and-rescue teams worked alongside thousands of international workers in the effort, according to Turkey’s emergency management agency.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has called the earthquakes the “disaster of the century” and said in a statement that at least 13,000 people were being treated in hospitals.

The death toll is expected to rise even further in the coming weeks.

See what others are saying: (The New York Times) (Reuters) (Al Jazeera)

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