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India and US Sign Defense Agreement Following Standoff With China

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US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defence Mark Esper with Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh ahead of their meeting at Hyderabad House in New Delhi. (Adnan Abidi/ AP)
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defence Mark Esper with Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh ahead of their meeting at Hyderabad House in New Delhi. (Adnan Abidi/ AP)

The United States and India have rejuvenated their defensive and security relationship. This comes at a time where Washington is seeking out allies in Asia due to China’s increasing military presence in the region, much of which has caused tensions this year, especially near the China-India border.

What We Know:

  • A press conference took place at the Indian capital on Tuesday announcing the signing of the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA), where US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and Minister of Defense of India Rajnath Singh were present.

“The defense ties between our two nations remain a key pillar of our overall bilateral relationship,” stated Esper. “Based on our shared values and common interests, we stand shoulder to shoulder in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific for all, particularly in light of increasing aggression and destabilizing activities by China.”

  • Singh noted that BECA will expand upon both country’s ongoing commitment to achieve a solid standing of law, order, and freedom across international seas, while at the same time “upholding the territorial integrity and sovereignty of all states”.
  • The U.S and India are set to perform Malabar naval exercises in the Indian Ocean next month, along with other members of the “Quad,” an informal alliance of the US, India, Japan, and Australia. The Quad, which has been seen as a potential “Asian NATO,” was formed to counter the Chinese military growth on the continent.
  • The Quad held a meeting earlier this month in Tokyo where Secretary of State Mike Pompeo hammered on the “Chinese Communist Party’s coverup” of the severity of COVID-19. He said, “it is more critical now than ever that we collaborate to protect our people and partners from the CCP’s exploitation, corruption, and coercion.”
  • With the signing of the BECA agreement, it will allow both the U.S and India to broaden the amount of cooperation in regards to intelligence and defense measures. For example, giving New Delhi access to US geo-spatial intelligence which would help the accuracy of Indian weapons systems.

A dicey situation occurred last month between India and China when they accused the other of trespassing borders once again near the Line of Actual Control (LAC). At first, attempts at smoothening out the tensions failed, but both sides agreed to stop sending more troops into the region around the end of September.

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Javier Garay is a digital intern with Unmutedco. He graduated from the University of North Georgia with a Bachelor of Science (B.S) in Film/Digital Media with a concentration in Media Studies. He is a contributor and editor for Black News Alerts (BNA), a BNA and BossFM social media contributor, and is the lead of the BNA Daily Podcast Team.

Headlines

Olympics: Simone Biles out of team gymnastics final ‘due to medical issue,’ officials say

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((BREAKING NEWS))

Biles withdrew due to a medical issue, according to a statement from USA Gymnastics.

“She will be assessed daily to determine medical clearance for future competitions,” officials said in the statement.

The four-time Olympic gold medalist competed in Team USA’s first rotation on vault Tuesday, bailing out of her Amanar and only completing a 1.5 twist on a 2.5-twisting Yurchenko, then taking a big stumble backward on the landing.

She scored a 13.766 and was seen walking off the floor with her bag and a trainer.

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U.S. and Other Nations Condemn Cuba for Arresting Protesters

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Alongside twenty other countries, the United States asked Cuban leaders to “respect the universal rights and freedoms of the Cuban people, including the free flow of information to all Cubans.”

What We Know:

  • The countries which signed this joint statement include Austria, Brazil, Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Estonia, Guatemala, Greece, Honduras, Israel, Latvia, Lithuania, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Republic of Korea, and Ukraine. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and other foreign ministers condemned Cuba’s mass arrests and asked island leaders to restore internet access.
  • In the document, foreign leaders declared that Cubans exercised “universal freedoms of expression and assembly.” In addition, they stated the islanders could do so, as written in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. They also called for the regime to release those arrested so far.

“The international community will not waver in its support of the Cuban people and all those who stand up for the basic freedoms all people deserve,” the document reads.

  • On July 11, Cubans across the island began demonstrations to call for the end of the 62-year communist regime. Instead of listening to citizens’ cries for help, Cuba President Miguel Díaz-Canel urged government supporters, the military, and police to stop the protesters with violence; it has resulted in the disappearances and deaths of hundreds of Cubans, and also the unjust trials of many. To ensure other countries did not intervene, he also restricted the internet from its people and forced citizens to participate in a rally to support communism.
  • Since protests began in Cuba, exiles in the United States have urged U.S. President Joe Biden to act on behalf of the demonstrators. After some push from Cuban-Americans and politicians alike, Biden decided he would use the Global Magnitsky Act to sanction Cuban military head Alvaro Lopez Miera and the Black Wasps for human rights violations. Doing so would freeze their assets and block them from entering the United States. Pres. Biden is also continuing to find ways to restore web access on the island.

Sec. Blinken additionally wrote in the statement that the U.S. will continue aiding Cuba in its fight for independence. “This joint statement demonstrates that the Cuban people are not alone in their aspirations,” stated Blinken.

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‘Insecure’ star Issa Rae marries Louis Diame in the South of France

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Issa Rae married her fiancé, Louis Diame, in a private ceremony in the South of France this weekend.

What We Know:

  • The “Insecure” star and co-creator, 36, confirmed the news Monday on her Instagram.

“A) Impromptu photo shoot in a custom @verawang dress. B) My girls came to help me, but they all coincidentally had on the same dress! They were sooooo embarrassed. C) Then I took a few flicks with Somebody’s Husband,” she joked.

  • In the photos, Rae posed in a custom, strapless Vera Wang gown along with a floor-length veil and a bouquet of neutral-colored roses. Her businessman husband, for his part, wore a red velvet suit by Dolce & Gabbana.  Rae also shared picture of her five bridesmaids in matching mauve dresses. Each of them held miniature versions of the bride’s rose bouquet.
  • The photos were geo-tagged at Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, a French commune overlooking the Ligurian Sea.  Engagement rumors sparked in early 2019 when Rae wore a giant diamond ring on the cover of Essence. Reps for Rae wouldn’t comment on the relationship at the time, but her “Insecure” co-stars confirmed the news shortly after.
Congratulations to the newly weds!

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