Two Indian origin Sikh people, a 24-year-old man and a 40-year-old women, were killed in Canada. In the first case, the Sikh man has died of gunshot wounds in the Canadian province of Alberta, with police citing homicide as the reason for his death. The victim, identified as Sanraj Singh, was located by the police in Edmonton city when they responded to a gunshot report on December 3 night. Singh was found sitting in a vehicle in medical distress. The police performed CPR, until the emergency medical services arrived and declared him dead. In the second incident, the Sikh woman Harpreet Kaur was killed at her home in Surrey, British Columbi. Her husband was initially arrested on suspicion, but later released. Police have appealed to anyone who has information about Kaur or her death to come forward and help investigators.
US takes in 25 students from India for Quad Fellowship
US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan has congratulated the first cohort of 100 Quad Fellows from Australia, India, Japan, and the United States, saying these young people will bring the Quad members closer. Leaders of Quad countries in May this year launched the QUAD Fellowship, a first-of-its-kind scholarship programme designed to build ties among the next generation of scientists and technologists from the four member nations. The Fellowship sponsors 100 students per year - 25 from each Quad country - to pursue masters and doctoral degrees at leading STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) graduate universities in the United States. “Today we are proud to welcome a group of 100 diverse, interdisciplinary, inspiring, and exceptional students, 25 from each Quad country,” Sullivan said in a statement.
Afghan forces kill 6 civilians in border fire: Pakistan
Deadly shelling from Afghan forces killed 6 people in a border town, Pakistan’s military said. The violence hitting Chaman in southwestern Pakistan follows a series of deadly incidents and attacks that have skyrocketed tensions with Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers. Chaman is the main border crossing for trade between the countries. The Pakistani army’s media wing said the fire wounded 17 people and blamed the casualties on the “unprovoked and indiscriminate fire” of heavy weapons by Afghan forces on civilians. A doctor said seven people were in a critical condition. In Afghanistan, a spokesman for Kandahar’s governor, Ataullah Zaid, appeared to link the clashes between Pakistani and Taliban forces with the construction of new checkpoints on the Afghan side of the border.
Salman Rushdie returns to social media
Four months after Salman Rushdie was critically injured in a stabbing attack at an event in New York, he took to Twitter and Facebook to share an excerpt from his forthcoming novel 'Victory City' that was published recently in The New Yorker. The novel features a woman living in the 14th century in what is now part of India. The publishers describe it as “the epic tale of a woman who breathes a fantastical empire into existence, only to be consumed by it over the centuries”. This is Rushdie’s 15th novel and it is due to be published in February by Penguin Random House.
Germany arrests 25 accused of coup plot
Germany detained 25 members and supporters of a far-right group that the prosecutor’s office said was preparing a violent overthrow of the state to install as national leader a prince who had sought support from Russia. Prosecutors said the raids were conducted across 11 federal states. Suspects were also arrested in Austria and Italy, said the office. Among those detained were a member of the far-right Alternative for Germany party who had served in the German parliament, a member of the German nobility and a Russian citizen accused of supporting the group’s plans. Federal prosecutors said that they were investigating a total of 52 suspects.
Al Jazeera moves ICC over Israeli forces
Al Jazeera said it has filed a lawsuit at the International Criminal Court against Israeli forces over the killing of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was shot during an Israeli raid in the West Bank in May. The lawsuit following an investigation by the television news network’s legal team, Al Jazeera said. The ICC must identify the individuals who were directly involved Abu Akleh’s killing, Al Jazeera lawyer Rodney Dixon KC told a news conference in The Hague. “The rulings of the International Criminal Court stipulate that those responsible be investigated and held accountable. Otherwise, they bear the same responsibility as if they were the ones who opened fire,” Dixon said.
S Koreans get younger
South Korea last week passed laws to scrap its traditional method of counting ages and adopt the international standard -a shift which will make its citizens either 1 or 2 years younger on official documents. Koreans are deemed to be a year old when born and a year is added every January 1. This is the age most commonly cited in everyday life. A separate system also exists for conscription purposes or calculating the legal age to drink alcohol and smoke, in which a person’s age is calculated from zero at birth and a year is added on January 1. Since the early 1960s, however, South Korea has also used the international norm of calculating from zero at birth and adding a year on every birthday.
HK pro-democracy media tycoon jailed for 5years
A Hong Kong court sentenced a pro-democracy media tycoon to five years and nine months in prison over two fraud charges linked to lease violations, the latest of a series of cases against prominent activists that critics say are aimed at crushing dissent in the city. Jimmy Lai, who was arrested during a crackdown on the city’s pro-democracy movement following widespread protests in 2019 and under the National Security Law imposed by Beijing, was also fined 2 million Hong Kong dollars ($257,000). His media company, Next Digital, published the now-defunct pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily. The publication was forced to close following the arrests of its top executives, editors and journalists last year. In October, Lai was found guilty of fraud for subletting part of the office space to a secretarial firm.
NZ court rules against anti-vax parents
A New Zealand court temporarily took away medical custody of a baby from his parents after they refused blood transfusions for him unless the blood came from donors who were un-vaccinated against Covid-19. The court’s ruling in favour of health authorities places the 4-month-old boy into the guardianship of authorities until after he undergoes an urgently needed heart operation. The parents remain in charge of decisions about their boy that don’t relate to the operation. The parents’ legal battle has been embraced by anti-vaccine groups, who gathered outside the courtroom this week as evidence was presented.
US basketball star freed in prisoner swap with Russia
Brittney Griner was freed from prison in Russia, President Joe Biden said. The US agreed to release imprisoned Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, Biden said, in a swap of prisoners that ends nearly 10 months of detainment for Griner. “Moments ago I spoke to Brittney Griner. She is safe. She is on a plane. She is on her way home,” Biden said. “Held under intolerable circumstances, Brittney will soon be back in the arms of her loved ones and she should have been there all along. This is a day we worked toward for a long time. We never stopped pushing for her release.”