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10 navy ships of China and Russia sail through Japan strait: Tokyo

A group of 10 naval vessels from China and Russia sailed through a strait separating Japan's main island and its northern island of Hokkaido on Monday, the Japanese government said on Tuesday.

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10 navy ships of China and Russia sail through Japan strait: Tokyo
GNN Media: Representational Photo

A government official said Japan is closely watching such activities.

It was the first time Japan has confirmed the passage of Chinese and Russian naval vessels sailing together through the Tsugaru Strait, which separates the Sea of Japan from the Pacific.

While the strait is regarded as international waters, Japan's ties with China have long been plagued by conflicting claims over a group of tiny East China Sea islets. Tokyo has a territorial dispute with Moscow, as well.

"The government is closely watching Chinese and Russian naval vessels' activities around Japan like this one with high interest," Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihiko Isozaki told a regular news conference on Tuesday.

"We will continue to do our utmost in our surveillance activity in waters and airspace around Japan."

A Japanese Defence Ministry spokesperson said there had been no violation of Japanese territorial waters and no international rules were broken by the passage of the vessels.

Russia and China held joint naval drills in the Sea of Japan as part of naval cooperation between the two countries from Oct. 14-17 involving warships and support vessels from Russia's Pacific Fleet.

Moscow and Beijing have cultivated closer military and diplomatic ties in recent years at a time when their relations with the West have soured.

SOURCE: REUTERS

Pakistan

Outlawed TTP commander Omar Khalid Khorasani killed in Paktika blast

Top TTP commander Omar Khalid Khorasani aka Abdul Wali has been killed in Afghanistan 

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Outlawed TTP commander Omar Khalid Khorasani killed in Paktika blast

Kabul: Omar Khalid Khorasani, outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan's (TTP) senior commander has been killed along with his three other associates in an attack near Paktika province of Afghanistan, GNN reported Monday.  

According to sources privy to the matter, Abdul Wali aka Omar Khalid Khorasani was killed after his vehicle was targeted with a mysterious explosive device in eastern Afghanistan. 

Reportedly, the TTP leaders were travelling in the Birmal district of Paktika for consultation when their vehicle hit a roadside mine in Sharqi village. 

All on board the vehicle were killed, reports said without giving more details. 

No further details were provided by the sources. 

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Technology

Musk challenges Twitter CEO to public debate on bots

"Let him prove to the public that Twitter has <5% fake or spam daily users"

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Musk challenges Twitter CEO to public debate on bots

California: Elon Musk on Saturday challenged Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) Chief Executive Officer Parag Agrawal to a public debate about the percentage of bots on the social media platform.

"Let him prove to the public that Twitter has <5% fake or spam daily users!" Musk said in a tweet.

He also started a poll asking users whether less than 5% of Twitter daily users are fake/spam.

Twitter on Thursday dismissed a claim by Musk that he was hoodwinked into signing a $44 billion agreement to buy the company.

Musk filed a countersuit against Twitter on July 29, escalating his legal fight against the company over his bid to walk away from the purchase agreement.

Earlier on Saturday, Musk said that if Twitter could provide its method of sampling 100 accounts and how it confirmed that the accounts are real, his deal to buy the company should proceed on its original terms.

SOURCE: Reuters

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World

China announces fresh military drills around Taiwan

The duration and precise location of the latest drills is not yet known.

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China announces fresh military drills around Taiwan

Taipei: China's military announced fresh military drills on Monday in the seas and airspace around Taiwan - a day after the scheduled end of its largest ever exercises to protest against last week's visit to Taipei by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

China's Eastern Theatre Command said it would conduct joint drills focusing on anti-submarine and sea assault operations - confirming the fears of some security analysts and diplomats that Beijing would continue to maintain pressure on Taiwan's defences.

Pelosi's visit to Taiwan last week infuriated China, which regards the self-ruled island as its own and responded with test launches of ballistic missiles over Taipei for the first time, as well as ditching some lines of dialogue with Washington.

The duration and precise location of the latest drills is not yet known, but Taiwan has already eased flight restrictions near the six earlier Chinese exercise areas surrounding the island.

Shortly before the latest drills were announced, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen met visiting St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, telling him she was moved by his determination to visit despite China's military pressure.

"Prime Minister Gonsalves has expressed in recent days that the Chinese military drills would not prevent him from visiting friends in Taiwan. These statements have deeply touched us," Tsai said at a welcome ceremony for Gonsalves in Taipei.

It was unclear if Tsai had invited Gonsalves before or after Pelosi's visit. "We don’t disclose internal planning or communications between governments," the Taiwanese foreign ministry said when asked by Reuters.

Beyond the firing of 11 short-range ballistic missiles during the four earlier days of exercises, Chinese warships, fighter jets and drones manoeuvred extensively around the island.

Shortly before those drills ended on Sunday, about 10 warships each from China and Taiwan manoeuvred at close quarters around the unofficial median line of the Taiwan Strait, according to a person familiar with the situation who is involved with security planning.

Military talks shelved

Taiwan's defence ministry said Chinese military ships, aircraft, and drones had simulated attacks on the island and its navy. It said it had sent aircraft and ships to react "appropriately".

China's defence ministry meanwhile maintained its diplomatic pressure on the United States, defending its shelving of military-to-military talks in protest at Pelosi's visit.

"The current tense situation in the Taiwan Strait is entirely provoked and created by the U.S. side on its own initiative, and the U.S. side must bear full responsibility and serious consequences for this," defence ministry spokesman Wu Qian said in an online post.

"The bottom line cannot be broken, and communication requires sincerity," Wu said.

China called off formal talks involving theatre-level commands, defence policy co-ordination and military maritime consultations on Friday as Pelosi left the region.

Pentagon, State Department and White House officials condemned the move, describing it as an irresponsible over-reaction.

China's cutting of some of its few communication links with the U.S. military raises the risk of an accidental escalation over Taiwan at a critical moment, according to security analysts and diplomats.

One U.S. official noted that Chinese officials had not responded to calls from senior Pentagon officials amid the tensions last week, but that they did not see this as a formal severing of ties with senior figures, such as U.S. Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin.

Asked directly about those reports, defence ministry spokesman Wu said, "China's relevant counter-measures are a necessary warning to the provocations of the United States and Taiwan, and a legitimate defence of national sovereignty and security".

SOURCE: REUTERS

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