An arrest has been made in Tupac Shakur's killing. Here's what we know about the case and the rapper
An arrest has been made in Tupac Shakur's killing, the latest twist in one of the biggest unsolved cases in hip-hop history. Duane “Keffe D” Davis was arrested on suspicion of murder early Friday morning and has been indicted on a murder charge in Las Vegas. The case returned to the spotlight in July when Nevada authorities served a search warrant in connection with the rap star’s shooting death. Here’s what to know about one of the most infamous fatal shootings in hip-hop history: WHAT’S NEW IN THE INVESTIGATION? Authorities on Friday arrested Davis, who's name has long been linked with Shakur's death. He is the relative of a man who emerged as a suspect shortly after the rapper’s killing. Shakur was gunned down while riding in a car on the Las Vegas strip on Sept. 7, 1996. In July, authorities executed a warrant in the nearby city of Henderson at Davis' house. He's the uncle of Orlando Anderson, one of Shakur’s known rivals who authorities long suspected shot the rapper. Anderson denied involvement in Shakur’s killing at the time, and died two years later in an unrelated gang shooting in Compton, California. Details from the warrant obtained by The Associated Press shows detectives collected multiple computers, a cellular telephone, “documentary documents,” a Vibe magazine that featured Shakur, several .40-caliber bullets, two “tubs containing photographs” and a copy of Davis’ 2019 memoir, ”Compton Street Legend.” WHAT HAPPENED THE NIGHT SHAKUR WAS SHOT? The 25-year-old rapper was traveling in a black BMW driven by Death Row Records founder Marion “Suge” Knight in a convoy of about 10 cars, apparently headed to a nightclub, after watching Mike Tyson knock out Bruce Seldon in a championship fight at the MGM Grand. After the bout, Shakur, Knight and associates were involved in a fight at the hotel. Read: Jacksonville killings: What we know about the hate crime While driving down the Las Vegas Strip, a white Cadillac with four men inside pulled alongside the BMW while it was stopped at a red light. One person opened fire, riddling the passenger side of Knight’s car with bullets, police said. Sitting in the passenger seat, Shakur was shot four times, at least twice in the chest. Knight was grazed by a bullet fragment or shrapnel from the car. Shakur was rushed to a hospital, where he died six days later. WHAT IS THE RAPPER’S LEGACY? Shakur is one of the most prolific figures in hip-hop, also known by his stage names 2Pac and Makaveli. His professional music career only lasted five years, but he sold more than 75 million records worldwide, including the diamond-certified album “All Eyez on Me,” which was packed with hits including “California Love (Remix),” “I Ain’t Mad at Cha” and “How Do U Want It.” Shakur had five No. 1 albums including “Me Against the World” in 1995 and “All Eyez on Me” in 1996, along with three posthumous releases: 1996’s “The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory,” 2001’s “Until the End of Time” and 2004’s “Loyal to the Game.” The six-time Grammy-nominated artist was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame by Snoop Dogg in 2017. As a rising actor, Shakur starred in several popular films such as John Singleton's “Poetic Justice" with Janet Jackson and Ernest Dickerson's “Juice.” He also played major roles in “Gang Related” and “Above the Rim.” In April, a five-part FX docuseries called “ Dear Mama: The Saga of Afeni and Tupac Shakur” delved into the past of the rapper’s mother, Afeni Shakur, as a female leader in the Black Panther Party, while exploring Tupac’s journey as a political visionary and becoming one of the greatest rap artists of all time. Earlier this year, Shakur received a posthumous star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. “He defied the distinction between art and activism,” said radio personality Big Boy, who emceed the ceremony. Shakur has been remembered with museum exhibits, including “Tupac Shakur. Wake Me When I’m Free” in 2021 and “All Eyez on Me” at the Grammy Museum in 2015. Oakland officials have said a stretch of an Oakland street will be renamed after him. Read: What we know about the Titanic-bound submersible that's missing with 5 people onboard WHAT ABOUT HIS BIGGEST RIVALRY? Shakur’s death came amid his feud with rap rival the Notorious B.I.G., who was fatally shot six months later. At the time, both rappers were in the middle of the infamous East Coast-West Coast rivalry, which primarily defined the hip-hop scene during the mid-1990s. The feud was ignited after Shakur was seriously wounded in another shooting during a robbery in the lobby of a midtown Manhattan hotel in 1994. He was shot several times and lost $40,000. Shakur openly accused B.I.G. and Sean “Diddy” Combs of having prior knowledge of the shooting, which both vehemently denied. The shooting sparked enough of a feud that created a serious divide within the hip-hop community and fans. The New York-born Shakur represented the West Coast after he signed with the Los Angeles-based Death Row Records. He often traded verbal jabs with New York-natives B.I.G. and Combs, who hailed from the East Coast while representing New York City-based Bad Boy Records. Diss tracks were delivered to drive home their ferocious points across. Shakur released the aggressive single “Hit ’Em Up,” which took aim at B.I.G., who on the other hand returned with “Who Shot Ya?,” a record that was received as a taunt. However, B.I.G. claimed the song was not directed toward Shakur. MORE ON SHAKUR'S LIFE AND CAREER Shakur was born June 16, 1971, in New York City. He later moved to Baltimore and attended the Baltimore School for the Arts, where he began writing raps. He eventually made his way to Marin City, California, near San Francisco, and continued to write and record. Read more: What we know so far on the leaked Pentagon documents As a member of the Grammy-nominated group Digital Underground, Shakur appeared on the 1991 track “Same Song″ from ”This Is an EP Release″ and on the album "Sons of the P.″ That same year, Shakur achieved individual recognition with the album "2Pacalypse Now,″ which spawned the successful singles "Trapped" and "Brenda’s Got a Baby." The album, with references to police officers being killed, drew notoriety when a lawyer claimed a man accused of killing a Texas trooper had been riled up by the record. Then-Vice President Dan Quayle targeted "2Pacalypse Now″ in his 1992 battle with Hollywood over traditional values. In 1993, Shakur followed up with the sophomore album, which produced songs ”I Get Around," "Keep Ya Head Up″ and "Papa’z Song,″ and he was nominated for an American Music Award as best new rap hip-hop artist. The following year he appeared with hip-hop group Thug Life on the "Above The Rim″ soundtrack and on the group’s album "Volume 1.″ In a photo on the album liner, he framed his face between his two extended middle fingers. He was convicted of sexually abusing a fan in 1994 and served several months in a New York prison . While incarcerated, Shakur indicated he was rethinking his lifestyle. He had support from Black leaders including the Rev. Jesse Jackson and the Rev. Al Sharpton, who counseled him while he was locked up. “Thug Life to me is dead. If it’s real, let somebody else represent it, because I’m tired of it,″ Shakur told Vibe magazine. ”I represented it too much. I was Thug Life.″ Shakur was up-front about his troubled life in the 1995 release “Me Against The World,″ a multimillion-selling album that contained the ominously titled tracks ”If I Die 2Nite″ and “Death Around The Corner.″ “It ain’t easy being me. ... Will I see the penitentiary, or will I stay free?″ Shakur rapped on the album, which produced the Grammy-nominated "Dear Mama″ and standout singles "So Many Tears″ and ”Temptations.″ The Las Vegas shooting occurred as Shakur’s fourth solo album, "All Eyez on Me,″ remained on the charts, with some 5 million copies sold.
Fall has arrived in Scandinavia, which means Nobel Prize season is here. The start of October is when the Nobel committees get together in Stockholm and Oslo to announce the winners of the yearly awards. First up, as usual, is the Nobel Prize in medicine or physiology, which will be announced Monday by a panel of judges at the Karolinska Institute in the Swedish capital. The prizes in physics, chemistry, literature, peace and economics will follow, with one announcement every weekday until Oct. 9. Philippines Nobel laureate Maria Ressa acquitted of tax evasion though she faces 2 more legal cases Here are some things to know about the Nobel Prizes: AN IDEA MORE POWERFUL THAN DYNAMITE The Nobel Prizes were created by Alfred Nobel, a 19th-century businessman and chemist from Sweden. He held more than 300 patents but his claim to fame before the Nobel Prizes was having invented dynamite by mixing nitroglycerine with a compound that made the explosive more stable. Dynamite soon became popular in construction and mining as well as in the weapons industry. It made Nobel a very rich man. Perhaps it also made him think about his legacy, because toward the end of his life he decided to use his vast fortune to fund annual prizes “to those who, during the preceding year, have conferred the greatest benefit to humankind.” The first Nobel Prizes were presented in 1901, five years after his death. In 1968, a sixth prize was created, for economics, by Sweden’s central bank. Though Nobel purists stress that the economics prize is technically not a Nobel Prize, it’s always presented together with the others. PEACE IN NORWAY For reasons that are not entirely clear, Nobel decided that the peace prize should be awarded in Norway and the other prizes in Sweden. Nobel historians suspect Sweden’s history of militarism may have been a factor. During Nobel’s lifetime, Sweden and Norway were in a union, which the Norwegians reluctantly joined after the Swedes invaded their country in 1814. It’s possible that Nobel thought Norway would be a more suitable location for a prize meant to encourage “fellowship among nations.” To this day, the Nobel Peace Prize is a completely Norwegian affair, with the winners selected and announced by a Norwegian committee. The peace prize even has its own ceremony in the Norwegian capital of Oslo on Dec. 10 — the anniversary of Nobel’s death — while the other prizes are presented in Stockholm. 'PM Hasina should get Nobel prize for hosting Rohingyas' WHAT’S POLITICS GOT TO DO WITH IT? The Nobel Prizes project an aura of being above the political fray, focused solely on the benefit of humanity. But the peace and literature awards, in particular, are sometimes accused of being politicized. Critics question whether winners are selected because their work is truly outstanding or because it aligns with the political preferences of the judges. The scrutiny can get intense for high-profile awards, such as in 2009, when President Barack Obama won the peace prize less than a year after taking office. The Norwegian Nobel Committee is an independent body that insists its only mission is to carry out the will of Alfred Nobel. However, it does have links to Norway's political system. The five members are appointed by the Norwegian Parliament, so the panel's composition reflects the power balance in the legislature. To avoid the perception that the prizes are influenced by Norway’s political leaders, sitting members of the Norwegian government or Parliament are barred from serving on the committee. Even so, the panel isn't always viewed as independent by foreign countries. When imprisoned Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo won the peace prize in 2010, Beijing responded by freezing trade talks with Norway. It took years for Norway-China relations to be restored. GOLD AND GLORY One reason the prizes are so famous is they come with a generous amount of cash. The Nobel Foundation, which administers the awards, raised the prize money by 10% this year to 11 million kronor (about $1 million). In addition to the money, the winners receive an 18-carat gold medal and diploma when they collect their Nobel Prizes at the award ceremonies in December. Most winners are proud and humbled by joining the pantheon of Nobel laureates, from Albert Einstein to Mother Teresa. But two winners refused their Nobel Prizes: French writer Jean-Paul Sartre, who turned down the literature prize in 1964, and Vietnamese politician Le Duc Tho, who declined the peace prize that he was meant to share with U.S. diplomat Henry Kissinger in 1973. French writer Annie Ernaux wins Nobel Literature Prize 2022 Several others were not able to receive their awards because they were imprisoned, such as Belarusian pro-democracy activist Ales Bialiatski, who shared last year’s peace prize with human rights groups in Ukraine and Russia. LACK OF DIVERSITY Historically, the vast majority of Nobel Prize winners have been white men. Though that’s started to change, there is still little diversity among Nobel winners, particularly in the science categories. To date, 60 women have won Nobel Prizes, including 25 in the scientific categories. Only four women have won the Nobel Prize in physics and just two have won the economics prize. In the early days of the Nobel Prizes, the lack of diversity among winners could be explained by the lack of diversity among scientists in general. But today critics say the judges need to do a better job at highlighting discoveries made by women and scientists outside Europe and North America. The prize committees say their decisions are based on scientific merit, not gender, nationality or race. However, they are not deaf to the criticism. Five years ago, the head of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said it had started to ask nominating bodies to make sure they don’t overlook “women or people of other ethnicities or nationalities in their nominations.”
Instability driven by climate change could threaten democracies in the future, even though representative governments are best equipped to provide solutions, experts gathered at an annual conference have argued. The Athens Democracy Forum, an event backed by the United Nations, wrapped up in the Greek capital Friday with attention focused on the impact that rising temperatures and extreme weather could have on democratic stability. Princeton University climate scientist Michael Oppenheimer warned that authorities globally are responding too slowly to damage caused by weather disasters despite a rise in their frequency. “As time goes on and on, the interval for recovery is shrinking,” said Oppenheimer, a professor of geosciences and international affairs and director at the Center for Policy Research on Energy and the Environment at Princeton. “We’re in a situation where the services that governments provide – and one of the key services is protection of life and limb – are not happening the way they should. And to my mind, this is just another pressure that’s going to happen on democracy,” he said. Read: Climate change and the shift to cleaner energy push Southeast Asia to finally start sharing power The three-day Athens event gathered leading academics as well as politicians and community project managers and took place as national authorities have struggled to cope with widespread flooding in central Greece, weeks after the country suffered its worst wildfire on record. Rising global temperatures and an acceleration of migration in parts of the world have sustained concerns that governments in the upcoming decades could turn more autocratic to retain control of increasingly scarce resources and deal with civil unrest. In the long term, that would be a bad idea, argued Ann Florini, a fellow at the New America Political Reform Program, part of a U.S.-based think tank. “Autocracy is the worst possible response to the climate emergency, because what you need is a lot of local empowerment,” Florini said. “They may be very good at building a big solar power industry … but the idea that an autocracy is going to have the information systems and the flexibility and the resilience to deal with the climate emergency for the next several generations to me is self-evidently ludicrous.” Read: Biden tells Pacific islands leaders that he hears their warnings about climate change and will act Only open societies, she insisted, could foster the systemic transformations in energy, agriculture, and water systems required due to their far-reaching ecological impact. Daniel Lindvall, a senior researcher with the Department of Earth Sciences at Sweden’s Uppsala University, said democratic governments needed to share the benefits of renewable energy with people at a local level. “If you build a wind farm and part of the benefits and profits are going back to the local communities, then you will have people supporting it instead of protesting against" it, he said. “All the benefits of energy independence would then sap the power from autocratic regimes like Putin’s (Russia) and Saudi Arabia.” Read more: Build resilience against adverse impact of climate change: World leaders tell UN meet
Video of Mexican mother bravely shielding son as bear devours tacos and enchiladas inches away goes viral
A Mexican mother bravely shielded her son after a bear leapt on a picnic table and devoured the tacos and enchiladas meant for the boy’s birthday dinner, inches from his face. Silvia Macías of Mexico City had traveled to the Chipinque Park on the outskirts of the northern city of Monterrey to celebrate the 15th birthday of her son, Santiago, who has Down syndrome. Soon after they sat down to eat the food they had brought, the bear showed up and gulped down french fries, enchiladas, tacos and salsa. A video shot by her friend, Angela Chapa, shows Macías sitting stoically, inches from the bear’s mouth, holding Santiago and shielding his eyes with her hand. She kept her eyes downcast, to avoid anything the bear might consider a challenge. “The worst thing was that Santiago might get scared,” Macías recalled Tuesday in an interview with The Associated Press. “Santiago is very afraid of animals, a cat or a dog, any animal scares him a lot.” Habiganj Chhatra League president removed after video clip goes viral “That’s why I covered his eyes, because I didn’t want him to see it and scream or run. I was afraid that if he got scared or screamed or scared the bear, that the bear would react,” she said of the incident Monday. Macías said that she and Chapa had previously thought about the possibility of a bear encounter — they are not unknown in the park, though usually the bears come out more toward dawn or dusk, not midday — and they had come up with a plan. “We are going to play a game where we cover Santiago’s eyes and we are going to act like statues,” she recalled rehearsing the plan. New WHO guidance on HIV viral suppression and scientific updates released at IAS 2023 And that is exactly what they did: Santiago remained motionless, even though “the bear was very close to us, we heard him as he growled, as he ate, you could smell the bear. It was really very very close.” Asked if he had been scared, Santiago, who attends middle school in Mexico City, said “yes, a lot.” Their resourceful friend Angela, who filmed the scene, lives in Monterrey and knew the proper behavior for a black bear encounter: never run. She noticed a plate of enchiladas the bear had not eaten — the bear appeared to prefer french fries, and as a true Mexican, had eaten the salsa — and she tossed the enchilada far away, after showing it to the animal. As expected, the animal followed the food and Angela stood in front of the bear, shielding Macías and her son and allowing them to retreat quietly and slowly. Modi breaks silence over Manipur 'ethnic violence' after viral video shows mob molesting women Eventually, the bear went away. Santiago got his birthday tacos replaced, and all ended well. Macías says she doesn’t consider herself a hero. “I just think I’m a mother who protected her cub,” she said.
India and Canada steer clear, in UN speeches, of their dispute over Sikh separatist leader’s killing
Indian and Canadian diplomats didn’t directly address their countries’ row over the killing of a Sikh separatist leader, but they obliquely underscored some key talking points as they addressed world leaders at the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday. Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said that the world must not “countenance that political convenience determines responses to terrorism, extremism and violence.” Canadian U.N. Ambassador Robert Rae, by turn, insisted that “we cannot bend the rules of state-to-state relations for political expediency.” Relations between the two countries frayed after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said last week that India may have been involved in the June killing of a Canadian citizen in a Vancouver suburb. India and US army chiefs call for free and stable Indo-Pacific as Chinese influence grows Canada has yet to provide any public evidence to support the claim about the slaying of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, 45. Killed by masked gunmen, Nijjar was a leader in what remains of a once-strong movement to create an independent Sikh homeland, known as Khalistan, and India had designated him a terrorist. India’s foreign ministry dismissed the allegation as “absurd” and accused Canada of harboring “terrorists and extremists.” It also implied that Trudeau was trying to drum up domestic support among the Sikh diaspora. “Such unsubstantiated allegations seek to shift the focus from Khalistani terrorists and extremists, who have been provided shelter in Canada and continue to threaten India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the ministry said in a statement last week. India has accused Canada for years of giving free rein to Sikh separatists, including Nijjar. While the active insurgency ended decades ago, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has warned that Sikh separatists were trying to stage a comeback. New Delhi has pressed countries like Canada, where Sikhs make up more than 2% of the population, to do more to stop a separatist resurgence. At least 20 dead in gas station explosion as Nagorno-Karabakh residents flee to Armenia After Trudeau aired his claim, India suspended visas for Canadians, there were tit-for-tit expulsions of diplomats, and Ottawa said it might reduce consulate staff over safety concerns. But the dispute is unfolding against a backdrop of geopolitical priorities for both countries. Canada and other Western countries have been seeking to strengthen ties with India as a way to counter Chinese power. Days after airing the allegation about Nijjar’s killing, Trudeau said Canada was “ not looking to provoke or cause problems.” And India, which is trying to showcase its global stature after a fruitful turn heading the Group of 20 industrialized nations, wasn’t seen as keen to use the U.N.'s global platform to draw attention to Canada’s accusation and widen a rift that has already grabbed headlines internationally. Experts have said India likely would prefer to treat the matter as an issue just between the two countries involved. India also has a habit, at the U.N., of keeping its criticisms veiled. Hence Tuesday’s exchange of what could be read, at most, as subtle swipes. Jaishankar’s mention of “terrorism, extremism and violence” echoed his ministry’s rhetoric last week about Canada’s claims. But it also resembled India’s frequent complaints about Pakistan. New Delhi accuses its neighbor of sponsoring terrorism by arming and training insurgents fighting for the independence of Indian-controlled Kashmir or for its integration into Pakistan. Islamabad denies it. The Biden administration is poised to allow Israeli citizens to travel to the US without a US visa Rae’s comments, meanwhile, came after Trudeau told reporters Thursday that Canada was standing up for “the international rules-based order” and “the rule of law” in its approach to Nijjar’s killing. But Rae’s remarks didn’t name any nation that might be trying to “bend the rules.” “But the truth is: If we don’t adhere to the rules that we’ve agreed to, the very fabric of our open and of our free societies may start to tear,” Rae said. The remarks were tucked into a speech that dilated on climate change, immigration, gender equality, Haiti’s troubles, Russia’s war in Ukraine, and the need for the international community “to create unity where there is division.” “We have to find inside ourselves the capacity to recognize the importance of accepting differences,” he said. “And if we can do that, then we can create a United Nations that will be worthy of the name.” Jaishankar sought to spotlight his country’s aspirations on the world stage. The world’s most populous nation and an increasingly muscular economic power, India has held itself out as “the voice of the Global South” and of developing countries’ frustrations with a lopsided international order. “When we aspire to be a leading power, this is not for self-aggrandizement, but to take on greater responsibility and make more contributions,” he said. “The goals we have set for ourselves will make us different from all those whose rise preceded ours.”
A fire at a wedding hall in northern Iraq kills at least 114 people and injures 150, authorities say
A fire that raced through a hall hosting a Christian wedding in northern Iraq killed at least 100 people and injured 150 others, authorities said Wednesday, warning the death toll could rise higher. The fire happened in Iraq's Nineveh province in its Hamdaniya area, authorities said. That's a predominantly Christian area just outside of the city of Mosul, some 335 kilometers (205 miles) northwest of the capital, Baghdad. Television footage showed flames rushing over the wedding hall as the fire took hold. In the blaze's aftermath, only charred metal and debris could be seen as people walked through the scene of the fire, the only light coming from television cameras and the lights of onlookers' mobile phones. Sweetmeat shop catches fire in Dhaka's Lalbagh Survivors arrived at local hospitals, receiving oxygen and bandaged, as their families milled through hallways and outside as workers organized more oxygen cylinders. The health department in Nineveh province raised the death toll to 114. Health Ministry spokesman Saif al-Badr earlier put the number of injured at 150 via the state-run Iraqi News Agency. “All efforts are being made to provide relief to those affected by the unfortunate accident,” al-Badr said. Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani ordered an investigation into the fire and asked the country's Interior and Health officials to provide relief, his office said in a statement online. Najim al-Jubouri, the provincial governor of Nineveh, said some of the injured had been transferred to regional hospitals. He cautioned there were no final casualty figures yet from the blaze, which suggests the death toll still may rise. 35 killed in petrol warehouse fire in Benin There was no immediate official word on the cause of the blaze but initial reports by the Kurdish television news channel Rudaw suggested fireworks at the venue may have sparked the fire. Civil defense officials quoted by the Iraqi News Agency described the wedding hall's exterior as being decorated with highly flammable cladding that were illegal in the country. “The fire led to the collapse of parts of the hall as a result of the use of highly flammable, low-cost building materials that collapse within minutes when the fire breaks out,” civil defense said. It wasn't immediately clear why authorities in Iraq allowed the cladding to be used on the hall, though corruption and mismanagement remains endemic two decades after the U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein. Fire at SK+F Pharmaceuticals godown in Tongi doused While some types of cladding can be made with fire-resistant material, experts say those that have caught fire at the wedding hall and elsewhere weren’t designed to meet stricter safety standards and often were put onto buildings without any breaks to slow or halt a possible blaze. That includes the 2017 Grenfell Fire in London that killed 72 people in the greatest loss of life in a fire on British soil since World War II, as well as multiple high-rise fires in the United Arab Emirates. The fire was the latest disaster to strike Iraq’s shrinking Christian minority, which over the past two decades has been violently targeted by extremists first from al-Qaida and then the Islamic State militant group. Although the Nineveh plains, the historic homeland, was wrested back from the Islamic State group six years ago, some towns are still mostly rubble and lack basic services. Many Christians have left for Europe, Australia or the United States. The number of Christians in Iraq today is estimated at 150,000, compared to 1.5 million in 2003. Iraq’s total population is more than 40 million.
India's army chief on Tuesday said the country was committed to maintaining a free and stable Indo-Pacific, where the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all nations is respected, as global concern grows over Chinese influence in the region. General Manoj Pande made the comments at the Indo-Pacific Army Chiefs Conference, hosted by India and the U.S., which is focused on boosting military diplomacy and collaboration as well as promoting peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region. Army chiefs and delegations from 30 countries are attending the two-day event, which concludes Wednesday. Pande said that while countries in the region are working toward a free Indo-Pacific, “we are witnessing manifestations of interstate contestations and competition" — a veiled reference to China, which has stepped up its activities in the region. India had been riding a geopolitical high. But it comes to the UN with a mess on its hands Neither Pande nor the U.S. Army chief, Randy George, explicitly mentioned China in their remarks. When asked about Chinese expansion at a press briefing, George said the region was a critical priority for the U.S. “It's why we are out here and why we exercise more than anywhere else in the Pacific, to build all of this. What this conference proves... is (our) unity and commitment,” the U.S. chief said. At the opening ceremony held after, Pande said India's outlook was focused on the peaceful resolution of disputes, avoiding force and adhering to international law. He added that in addition to challenges in maritime security, the region also faced security and humanitarian concerns on land, including territorial disputes and over “artificially expanded islands to acquire real estate and establish military bases” — another veiled reference to China. Canada’s interests currently pale in comparison to India’s massive strategic importance: BBC cites experts China’s territorial claims in the East China and South China seas over islands have rattled Beijing’s smaller neighbors in Southeast Asia as well as Japan. Meanwhile the relationship between New Delhi and Beijing has deteriorated since 2020, when Indian and Chinese troops clashed along their undefined border in the Himalayan Ladakh region, leaving 20 Indian and four Chinese soldiers dead. A delegation led by Chief of Army Staff of Bangladesh is also participating in the Conference.
Separatist authorities in Nagorno-Karabakh said Tuesday that at least 20 people were killed and nearly 300 others injured by an explosion at a gas station. The breakaway region’s health department said that 13 bodies have been found and seven people have died of injuries after the explosion at the gas station outside the regional capital of Stepanakert late Monday. Read: 35 killed in petrol warehouse fire in Benin It said that 290 people have been hospitalized and scores of them remain in grave condition. The explosion occurred as thousands of Nagorno-Karabakh residents are fleeing the region for Armenia after Azerbaijan’s swift military operation last week to fully reclaim the region after a three-decade separatist rule. Read: Mohammadpur Krishi Market fire doused nearly after 28 hrs
Travis Kelce put the ball in Taylor Swift's court, and she wound up bringing it to Arrowhead Stadium after all. The 12-time Grammy Award winner took advantage of an invitation from the All-Pro tight end to see the Kansas City Chiefs play the Chicago Bears at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday. Swift was decked out in red and white while watching alongside Kelce's mother, Donna, from one of the glass-enclosed suites on a sun-splashed afternoon in Kansas City. She got quite a show, too. Kelce grabbed a 3-yard TD pass in the third quarter, and the reigning Super Bowl champions went on to a 41-10 win. Kelce did not speak to reporters afterward, but he was spotted leaving Arrowhead with Swift by his side. “He told me at the last minute” that Swift was coming to the game, said Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who threw for 272 yards and three scores. “Some things with Trav, he says it and you don't know if it's true or not, he says it so calmly.” Swift is on a break from her Eras Tour, which resumes Nov. 9 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Swift has always been reluctant to discuss her personal life in public, but rumors have been flying about the pop superstar and the football player. They began when Kelce said on his “New Heights” podcast that he was disappointed that he didn't have the chance to meet Swift and gift her a friendship bracelet during her stop in Kansas City on her Eras Tour. Then, during an appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show,” Kelce said: “I threw the ball in her court and told her, ‘I’ve seen you rock the stage in Arrowhead. You might have to come see me rock the stage in Arrowhead and see which one’s a little more lit.'" Just about everyone has been trying to get the dirt on Swift and Kelce, even pestering his brother and Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce for details. He was asked about the potential relationship on 94.1 WIP in Philadelphia. “I don’t really know what’s happening in Travis’ love life. I try to keep his business kind of his business and stay out of that world,” Jason Kelce said. “But having said that, I think he’s doing great and I think that it’s all 100% true.” Just about in the Kansas City locker room was left joking about their tight end and their newest famous fan Sunday, including coach Andy Reid, who joked that “I set them up.” “I'm not a big Swifty,” Chiefs offensive lineman Trey Smith said. “But maybe she's a good luck charm. Why not?”
The Biden administration is poised to admit Israel this week into an exclusive club that will allow its citizens to travel to the United States without a U.S. visa despite Washington's ongoing concerns about the Israeli government’s treatment of Palestinian Americans. U.S. officials say an announcement of Israel’s entry into the Visa Waiver Program is planned for late in the week, just before the end of the federal budget year on Saturday, which is the deadline for Israel’s admission without having to requalify for eligibility next year. The Department of Homeland Security administers the program, which currently allows citizens of 40 mostly European and Asian countries to travel to the U.S. for three months without visas. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is set to make the announcement Thursday, shortly after receiving a recommendation from Secretary of State Antony Blinken that Israel be admitted, according to five officials familiar with the matter who spoke Sunday on condition of anonymity because the decision has not yet been publicly announced. Read: With no end in sight for Ukraine war, Biden at UN says world must remain united against Russian aggression Blinken’s recommendation is expected to be delivered no later than Tuesday, the officials said, and the final announcement will come just eight days after President Joe Biden met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in New York on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly. The leaders did not raise the issue in their brief remarks to reporters at that meeting but it has been a subject of intense negotiation and debate for months as has been the Biden administration's effort to secure a deal to normalize relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia. Both State and the Homeland Security departments said they had “nothing to announce publicly at this time,” adding that the two agencies will make a “final determination in the coming days.” The U.S. is working with Israel toward “fulfilling the full range of law enforcement, national security, and immigration related requirements” of the program, according to the State Department. Israel’s admission has been a priority for successive Israeli leaders and will be a major accomplishment for Netanyahu, who has sparred frequently with the Biden administration over Iran, the Palestinian conflict and most recently a proposed remake of Israel’s judicial system that critics say will make the country less democratic. Netanyahu’s far-right government has drawn repeated U.S. criticism over its treatment of Palestinians, including its aggressive construction of West Bank settlements, its opposition to Palestinian statehood and incendiary anti-Palestinian comments by senior Cabinet ministers. The U.S. move will give a welcome boost at home to Netanyahu. He has faced months of mass protests against his judicial plan and is likely to come under criticism from the Palestinians, who say the U.S. should not be rewarding the Israeli government at a time when peace efforts are at a standstill. Read: US House of Representatives to open Biden impeachment inquiry Israel met two of the three most critical criteria over the past two years — a low percentage of visa application rejections and a low visa overstay rate — to join the U.S. program. It had struggled to meet the third, which is a requirement for reciprocity that means all U.S. citizens, including Palestinian Americans, must be treated equally when traveling to or through Israel. Claiming national security reasons, Israel has long had separate entry requirements and screening processes for Palestinian Americans. Many complained that the procedures were onerous and discriminatory. Americans with Palestinian residency documents in the West Bank and Gaza Strip were largely barred from using Israel’s international airport. Instead, like other Palestinians, they were forced to travel through either Jordan or Egypt to reach their destinations. In recent months, Israel has moved to adjust its entry requirements for Palestinian Americans, including allowing them to fly in and out of Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv and going directly to the West Bank and Israel proper, according to the officials. Israel also has pledged to ease movement for Palestinian Americans traveling in and out of the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. New regulations took effect earlier this month to codify the changes, although concerns remain and the Homeland Security Department intends to stress in its announcement that it will continue to monitor the situation to ensure that Israel complies, according to the officials. Failure to comply could result in Israel’s suspension from the program, the officials said. Palestinian American activists have been critical of the impending decision, which has been expected for some time due to the priority placed on it by both the Israeli and U.S. governments. “There are so many problems with this decision," said Yousef Munayyer, the head of the Palestine-Israel Program and senior fellow at Arab Center Washington. “The reciprocity requirement is clearly still not being met since Israeli policy continues to treat some Americans, specifically Palestinian Americans, differently. The administration however seems committed at the highest levels to overlooking this continued discrimination against American citizens to rush Israel into the program before the deadline.” Read: Biden, Modi and G20 allies unveil rail and shipping project linking India to Middle East and Europe Munayyer said it was “unclear why the Biden administration seems dead set on offering political victories for Benjamin Netanyahu at a time when his far-right government is outraging Palestinians and many Israelis with their extremist agenda.” Under the waiver program, Israelis will be able to travel to the U.S. for business or leisure purposes for up to 90 days without a visa simply by registering with the Electronic System for Travel Authorization.