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Donald Trump threatens ‘obliteration,’ Iran calls White House ‘mentally retarded’

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US president Donald Trump threatened on Tuesday to obliterate parts of Iran if it attacked “anything American,” in a new war of words with Iran which condemned fresh US sanctions on Tehran as “mentally retarded.”

But Trump later left the door open for talks, saying that Iran should speak to the United States “peaceably” to ease tensions and potentially lift US economic sanctions.

The US president on Monday signed an executive order imposing additional, largely symbolic, sanctions against Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and other senior figures, with punitive measures against Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif expected later this week.

Iran shot down a US drone last week and Trump said he had called off a retaliatory air strike with minutes to spare, saying too many people would have been killed. It would have been the first time the United States had bombed the Islamic Republic in four decades of mutual hostility.

In rhetoric similar to the kind of harsh words he used to aim at North Korea, Trump tweeted: “Any attack by Iran on anything American will be met with great and overwhelming force. In some areas, overwhelming will mean obliteration.”

In a televised address on Tuesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the new sanctions against Khamenei would have no practical impact because the top cleric had no assets abroad.

Rouhani, a pragmatist who won two elections on promises to open Iran up to the world, said the White House’s actions were “mentally retarded” – an insult that other Iranian officials have used in the past about Trump, but a departure from Rouhani’s own comparatively measured tone over the years.

“Tehran’s strategic patience does not mean we have fear,” said Rouhani, who with his cabinet runs Iran’s day-to-day affairs while Khamenei, in power since 1989, is the country’s ultimate authority.

But Trump, speaking to reporters at the White House, said Iran would let the United States know what it wanted to do, including negotiate.

“Whatever they want to do, I’m ready,” Trump said.

“Their country is not doing well economically at all. That could be changed very quickly, very easily,” Trump said. “But they have to get rid of the hostility from the leadership. The leadership – I hope they stay, I hope they do a great job – but they should talk to us peaceably.”

ESCALATING US SANCTIONS

The United States has imposed crippling financial sanctions against Iran since last year when Trump withdrew from a 2015 deal between Tehran and world powers under which Iran curbed its nuclear programme.

Tension has escalated sharply since last month when the Trump administration tightened its sanctions noose, ordering all countries to halt purchases of Iranian oil.

That has effectively starved the Iranian economy of the main source of revenue Tehran uses to import food for its 81 million people, and left the pragmatic wing of Iran’s leadership, led by Rouhani, with no benefits to show for its nuclear agreement.

Trump says the accord reached under his predecessor Barack Obama was a failure because its terms were not permanent and did not cover security issues beyond the nuclear programme, such as missiles and role in various Middle East conflicts.

The downing of the US drone – which Iran says was over its air space and the United States says was in international skies – followed weeks of rising tensions that had begun to take on a military dimension.

Trump’s hawkish national security adviser, John Bolton, visiting Israel, repeated earlier offers to hold talks, as long as Iran was willing to go beyond the terms of the 2015 deal.

“The president has held the door open to real negotiations to completely and verifiably eliminate Iran’s nuclear weapons programme, its pursuit of ballistic missile delivery systems, its support for international terrorism and other malign behaviour worldwide,” Bolton said in Jerusalem. “All that Iran needs to do is to walk through that open door.”

Iran says there is no point negotiating with Washington when it has abandoned a deal that was already reached.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said imposing “useless sanctions” on Khamenei and Zarif would mark “the permanent closure of the path of diplomacy.”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned that the situation surrounding Iran was developing toward a dangerous scenario, the RIA news agency reported on Tuesday.

The United States and some regional allies have blamed Iran for explosions that damaged tankers in the Gulf, which Tehran denies. Washington’s European allies have repeatedly warned both sides of the danger that a small mistake could lead to war.

Tehran has given European signatories until July 8 to find a way to shield its economy from U.S. sanctions, or else it will enrich uranium to higher levels banned under the deal to help ensure no development of a nuclear weapon results.

Acting US Defense Secretary Mark Esper said he hoped to recruit support from NATO allies in Brussels this week for US efforts to deter conflict with Iran and “open the door to diplomacy,” as he made his first trip as Pentagon chief.

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17-year-old boy apprehended in Delhi for stalking girls on Instagram.

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A 17-year-old boy has been apprehended by the Delhi Police for allegedly stalking a number of minor girls on Instagram and threatening to publish their private photos.

According to the police, a father filed a complaint after becoming concerned that his 14-year-old daughter’s Instagram photos might have been shared with others.

According to the police, both the father and the daughter were counseled. The girl had shared her private photos and videos with a friend on instagram, and now the friend is pressurizing her to have more inappropriate conversations and send more of her private photos, the police said.

A case was filed based on the statement made by the minor girl.

Source: IndianExpress

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Arvind Kejriwal and Bhagwant Mann inaugurates 400 Mohalla Clinic in Amritsar

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Image: Bhagwant Mann (Twitter)

Friday, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal inaugurated 400 Mohalla Clinics in Amritsar’s Putlighar.
Amritsar now has 400 mohalla clinics, bringing the total in the state to 500.

As a chief guest at the inauguration, Delhi CM Kejriwal expressed his happiness and noted that Punjab’s clinics were constructed in ten months rather than the five years it took to construct them in Delhi. He added that a lot of districts and villages will get new clinics.

“I am very happy and thankful for the citizens for believing in us. My little brother, Mann, has fulfilled another guarantee,” he said.

Kejriwal said, “Being a full state, Punjab suffers no interference from the central government unlike Delhi,” in an attack on the central government. Every village will receive more of these clinics in the coming years.”

Source: ANI

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Another Hit & Run Case: Car dragged scooty rider for 300 meters, one died

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Once again a case of hit, run, and drag has come to the fore in Delhi. One person died in this accident while the other is still admitted to the hospital. Delhi Police has arrested a total of 5 accused including the driver by registering a case under the section of culpable homicide not amounting to murder. CCTV footage of this incident has also come to the fore.

On the intervening night of Thursday-Friday, at around 3 pm, two PCR vans of Keshavpuram police station were patrolling the area. Only then the police personnel riding in it saw that a Tata Zest car hit an Activa scooty at Prerna Chowk in Kanhaiya Nagar area. Two youths were sitting on this scooty. One of the young men jumped in the air and fell on the roof of the car. At the same time, another young man jumped and got stuck between the windscreen and the bonnet of the car, while the scooty got stuck in the bumper below.

After this accident, instead of stopping the car, the accused fled from the spot, but the policemen posted in PCR caught all the 5 people in the car after chasing them for about 350 meters. During this, the policemen called the control room and informed them about the accident. The team that reached the spot took both the injured to the hospital, where one was declared brought dead by the doctors. The condition of the other youth remains critical.

Source: Aajtak

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