‘Hope Modi’s US visit will be an action-forcing mechanism … bilateral investment treaty would be a significant milestone’

With the White House having announced that US President Donald Trump will be hosting Prime Minister Narendra Modi later this year in Washington, Ambassador William J Burns, President of Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and former US Deputy Secretary of State, spoke to Nalin Mehta on what New Delhi can expect from the first bilateral Modi-Trump meeting, Indo-US relations and the shifts in US diplomacy:

The White House said President Trump spoke with PM Modi to congratulate him on the outcome of Uttar Pradesh elections, to express support for Modi’s economic reform agenda, and to say that he was looking forward to hosting the PM in Washington. What are your expectations from the PM’s upcoming visit?

My strong hope is that when it comes to India, the Trump administration will look to sustain and deepen the efforts of its Democratic and Republican predecessors to further strengthen the bilateral partnership and put it to work to address shared global challenges.

I hope this visit will be used as an action-forcing mechanism to check off a number of important items from our shared to-do list.This includes the purchase of a US fighter for India’s armed forces and other defence cooperation items.

It includes continued progress in the economic sphere, where i believe we still have a long way to go to fully realise the promise of our strategic partnership.

Concluding the Bilateral Investment Treaty would be a significant milestone worthy of a significant effort by both governments.

President Trump is fundamentally changing long held pillars of US diplomacy. How will this impact India-US relations which have been recast in the last 15 years under both Democrat and Republican administrations?

You are right that beneath the surface, this Trump administration presents a fundamentally different approach to foreign affairs – a profound, and in my view troubling, deviation from the core elements on which American leadership and international order rest.

The United States, for all its imperfections, has stood for political and economic openness, respect for human dignity, and a sense of possibility. We have demonstrated a willingness to mobilise others to deal with shared problems. And we have invested in the institutions at home and abroad that can get ahead of crises and prevent conflict through wise, long-term investments.

To the extent that we walk away from these ideas, initiatives and institutions at the core of American leadership, i fear that we will see serious and long-term damage to America’s standing in the world, and in turn, to the potential for US-India relations.

What impact do you see of US policies on Asia and the balance of power in the region under President Trump?

Much of President Trump’s foreign policy seems to be reverting to the mainstream on first contact with reality, and that includes his approach to the Asia-Pacific.

But it’s clear that the Trump administration believes the United States is being held hostage in many respects by the very international order it created. It seems to see multilateral trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership as constraints rather than opportunities, and international and regional organisations as distracting, if not irrelevant.

That attitude could undermine our capacity and credibility to work together with India to shape a Pacific Century that reflects our shared interests and values.

Carnegie has been in India for a year. How different is working in India compared to other countries?

I have been deeply impressed by what my colleagues in Delhi have accomplished in such a short time. That is not a result of any imports from Washington or any of our global centres in Beijing, Beirut, Brussels or Moscow. It is a consequence of the fact that Carnegie India is led and staffed by extraordinary Indian experts who have a deep stake and commitment to India’s own domestic and international evolution.
Courtesy: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/sports

Source: http://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/academic-interest/hope-modis-us-visit-will-be-an-action-forcing-mechanism-bilateral-investment-treaty-would-be-a-significant-milestone/?utm_source=Popup&utm_medium=Old&utm_campaign=TOIHP

US secretary of state Rex Tillerson visits as Turkey says its Syria campaign over

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, left, poses with Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the start of their meeting in Ankara, Turkey(Presidential Press Service/Pool Photo via AP) U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, left, poses with Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the start of their meeting in Ankara, Turkey(Presidential Press Service/Pool Photo via AP)

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was in Ankara on Thursday for talks on the Syria conflict, just a day after Turkey announced that its military offensive was over. Tillerson, the most senior US official to visit Turkey since President Donald Trump took office in January, is seeking to turn around recently rocky relations between the NATO allies. He met with Prime Minister Binali Yildirim and was also due to talk to Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.

The trip comes after Turkey announced that “Euphrates Shield”, its operation in northern Syria, had ended but did not say if troops had been withdrawn from the war-torn country.

Ties between Ankara and Washington were strained during Barack Obama’s administration, particularly over US cooperation with Syrian Kurdish militia fighting against the Islamic State group.

Ankara views the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) as a “terror group” linked to Kurdish separatists waging an insurgency inside Turkey since 1984, but Washington regards them as the best force fighting IS.

Turkey has suggested it wants to join any operation to capture the IS bastion of Raqa but without involvement of Syrian Kurdish militia.

Speaking to NTV television on the eve of Tillerson’s visit, Yildirim said Turkey was not yet officially informed if it would take part in a planned Raqa campaign.

“The developments give an impression that the (Trump administration) is following the path of the past administration,” he said, referring to the same tensions of the Obama years over the Syrian Kurdish militia role.

“This issue will be told to the US Secretary of State without any buts and the United States will be asked to clarify its position.”

Tillerson and Yildirim “discussed working to enhance our critical security and economic ties in the region,” a State Department official said after the meeting.

And Tillerson “emphasized the important role of Turkey, a regional leader and longstanding NATO ally, to achieve these goals.”

In a statement, Yildirim’s office said the ministers discussed Syria, now in the seventh year of a war, and spoke about efforts to clear IS from Syria and Iraq.

There were also tensions with Obama over Ankara’s calls for the extradition of US-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen, a matter that remains unresolved.

The premier’s office also said Yildirim and Tillerson discussed the next steps that should be taken for Gulen’s return to Turkey.

Turkey accuses the Muslim cleric living in self-exile of ordering last year’s failed coup against Erdogan. Gulen denies the charges but Ankara has repeatedly called for his extradition from the United States.

Turkish officials hope relations will improve under Trump and have said Washington appears to be taking the Gulen issue “more seriously”.

But there has not been any open indication of a change in policy under Trump.

For all the latest World News, download Indian Express App now
Courtesy: http://indianexpress.com

Source: http://indianexpress.com/article/world/us-secretary-rex-tillerson-visits-as-turkey-says-its-syria-campaign-over-4592550/

Jon Bon Jovi announces contest to crash a college graduation

The suspect apparently struck a Capitol Police cruiser and then tried running over several officers who were on foot, according to Metro DC Police.

Shots were fired this morning near the Capitol in Washington as U.S. Capitol Police worked to apprehend a female suspect who, officers said, drove erratically and aggressively, then attempted to flee the scene.

Suspect taken into custody after apparently driving into US Capitol police car

The 3-month-old bear cub is now in the care of Oregon wildlife officials.

Jake Vella has rare disorder that causes him to gain weight uncontrollably.

PJ Trojanowski is being treated for malignant tumors in both of her kidneys.

Elaborate promposals are taking over social media with students popping the prom question in crazy ways.

Teens channel ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ ‘Up’ and more for promposals

Larry Jackson, a substitute teacher at an Oklahoma middle school, is known and beloved for the words of wisdom he imparts to his students.

More than 400 people dressed as Albert Einstein gather in downtown Toronto to set a new world record for “largest gathering of Albert Einstein lookalikes.”

The singer is holding a contest on social media, and will perform at one school’s commencement.

While college graduations usually draw attention for their commencement speakers, one college somewhere in the U.S. will make headlines this year for its commencement rock concert.

Jon Bon Jovi announced today a new contest that will end with the rocker and his band crashing a college graduation.

“I know, having two kids graduating college this year, the joy that families that have gone through the years with their children getting ready for this moment,” Bon Jovi, a father of four, said today on “Good Morning America.” “The idea that we would come by … it’s pretty neat.”

View gallery Jon Bon Jovi announces contest to crash a college graduation (ABC News)

Bon Jovi, 55, spoke to “GMA” by phone from Detroit, the latest stop on Bon Jovi’s “This House Is Not for Sale Tour.”

It was a song, “Reunion,” on the “This House Is Not for Sale” album that inspired the college graduation contest, Bon Jovi said.

The song’s chorus includes the lyrics, “Write your song, sing along, love your life … Learn to laugh, dare to dance, touch the sky … Take pictures each step of the way … Make this the best of the rest of your days … Start your revolution and I’ll see you at the reunion.”

College seniors can try for a chance to have Bon Jovi perform and speak at their graduation by sharing their best college moments on Twitter using the hashtag #JBJReunionContest. The contest is run in partnership with MTVU.

Bon Jovi said he plans to give the winning college graduates “some words” of advice. If he were a college senior, the singer would stretch far back into history for a dream commencement guest.

“Probably somebody who is smart like George Washington or Ben Franklin but if I could have a musician come out and talk to me I’d probably want [Frank] Sinatra to come back,” he said. “Can you imagine Frank coming out and giving a commencement speech?”
Courtesy: https://news.yahoo.com/health/

Source: https://gma.yahoo.com/jon-bon-jovi-announces-contest-crash-college-graduation-131903809–abc-news-music.html

Donald Trump invites Narendra Modi to visit Washington [Video]

Trump has extended invitation to Modi to visit Washington later this year and also expressed support for the PM’s economic reform agenda and emphasized his great respect for the people of India.
Courtesy: https://news.yahoo.com/health/

Source: https://in.news.yahoo.com/donald-trump-invites-narendra-modi-110000354.html

The Cast Of ‘Hidden Figures’ Was Gorgeous At The Washington DC Premiere

The cast of Hidden Figures was gorgeous as the Washington, DC. Check out the sensational photos for yourself below.

1 Taraji P. Henson Wenn 2 Wenn 3 Octavia Spencer Wenn article continues below ad 4 Wenn 5 Janelle Monae 6 article continues below ad 7 Kevin Costner Wenn 8 Wenn 9 Pharrell Williams Wenn article continues below ad 10 Wenn
Courtesy: http://hollywood.com

Source: http://www.hollywood.com/celebrities/hidden-figures-washington-dc-premiere-60668459/

NASA launches web-based search engine for its massive catalog of photos, videos and audio files

NASA has launched a new web-based search engine for its extensive library of space-related images, videos and audio files.

The online catalog doesn’t feature every bit of media that NASA has ever captured but instead, a collection of the best images it has released to the public. That’s not to say that content feels limited – quite the opposite, really.

A quick image search for “Saturn,” for example, returns more than 3,600 stunning results while a query for our nearest celestial neighbor, the moon, generates nearly 5,600 hits.

As someone that has long been fascinated with the solar system and space in general, I can easily see myself spending hours drooling over the beautiful imagery (and will no longer have to surf Google for similar results).

It’s not just about space rocks, however, as NASA has uploaded swaths of ordinary media as well such as aerial views of NASA’s Langley Research Center, an overhead view of the Washington Monument and this adorable photo of a baby owl found on the stairs inside Hangar G at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

All of the media is downloadable for your own use and some even has EXIF data attached for further analysis. It’s also easy to share your findings on social media sites like Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and Google+.
Courtesy: http://techspot.com

Source: http://www.techspot.com/news/68716-nasa-launches-web-based-search-engine-massive-catalog.html

Woman accused of trying to run down police near US Capitol

A vehicle involved in an incident on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, March 29, 2017, is loaded up to be towed away. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) A vehicle involved in an incident on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, March 29, 2017, is loaded up to be towed away. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

A woman was arrested near the US Capitol in Washington after she drove erratically, crashed into another vehicle and tried to run over officers on Wednesday, police said. No one was hurt in the commotion, during which police fired shots. “Although preliminary, this incident appears criminal in nature with no nexus to terrorism,” Capitol Police spokeswoman Eva Malecki said at a news conference. Malecki said officers tried to stop an erratic driver, who made a U-turn and drove away, nearly hitting officers and striking at least one other vehicle.

Police chased and stopped the car and fired shots as they tried to arrest the suspect, Malecki said. She declined to say why officers opened fire, and said the incident was being investigated. Police identified the woman as Taleah Everett, 20, who was held on seven counts of assault of a police officer and two counts of destruction of property, among other charges. Everett was in custody on Wednesday evening and could not be reached for comment.

Operations inside the Capitol building appeared normal. Tourists filed through the Capitol Rotunda, and the U.S. Senate opened its session with Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell urging confirmation for Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. In 2013, Capitol Police shot and killed the driver of a car carrying a 1-year-old girl after a chase from near the White House to the Capitol.

For all the latest World News, download Indian Express App now
Courtesy: http://indianexpress.com

Source: http://indianexpress.com/article/world/woman-accused-of-trying-to-run-down-police-near-us-capitol-4591917/