Russia has struck a deal with neighbouring Belarus to station tactical nuclear weapons on its territory, President Vladimir Putin says.
Putin made the announcement on Saturday as tensions grow with the West over the Ukraine war and as some Russian commentators speculate about possible nuclear strikes.
The deal with Belarus would not violate nuclear nonproliferation agreements, Putin said, adding that the United States had stationed nuclear weapons in the territory of its European allies for decades.
“We agreed that we will do the same – without violating our obligations, I emphasize, without violating our international obligations on the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons,” Putin said.
Putin told state television that Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko had long raised the issue of stationing tactical nuclear weapons in his country, which borders NATO member Poland.
China censors ‘Tiananmen’ image of Asian Games athletes hugging
A photo of two Chinese female athletes that made an inadvertent reference to the Tiananmen Square massacre has been censored on Chinese social media.
The race numbers for Lin Yuwei and Wu Yanni form ’64’ – a common allusion to the incident which happened on June 4.
Discussions of the incident remain taboo in China, with authorities routinely scrubbing any mention of the topic from the internet.
In 1989, troops shot dead hundreds of pro-democracy protesters in Beijing. It remains unclear how many people actually died that day, but human rights groups’ estimates range from several hundred to several thousand killed.
The athletes had embraced each other after a 100m hurdles race at the Asian Games in which Ms Lin won gold. She was wearing her lane number 6 next to Ms Wu’s lane number 4 in the photo.
Users had posted on Weibo, one of China’s biggest social media platforms, congratulating Ms Lin. However, posts which included the photo were replaced with grey squares. However, the photo does not appear to have been completely scrubbed off the internet, with some Chinese news articles still showing a photo of the two athletes.
China has won nearly 300 medals so far in the Asian Games, which are currently taking place in the Chinese city of Hangzhou. It is due to go on until 8 October.
Pakistan wants undocumented migrants to leave by November 1 or get deported
Pakistan has ordered all undocumented immigrants, mainly nearly 1.73 million Afghan nationals, to voluntarily leave the country or face deportations.
“We have given them a November 1 deadline,” Interior Minister Sarfraz Bugti said on Tuesday amid claims by Islamabad that 14 of 24 suicide bombings in the country this year were carried out by Afghan nationals.
Bugti said an estimated 1.73 million Afghan nationals in Pakistan have no legal documents to stay, adding that a total of 4.4 million Afghan refugees live in Pakistan. “There are no two opinions that we are attacked from within Afghanistan and Afghan nationals are involved in attacks on us,” he said. “We have evidence.”
Islamabad has received the largest influx of Afghan refugees since the Soviet invasion of their country in 1979. About 1.3 million Afghans are registered refugees in Pakistan and 880,000 more have legal status to remain, according to the latest United Nations figures.
“If they do not go, then all the law enforcement agencies in the provinces or federal government will be utilised to deport them,” Bugti said.
It was not immediately clear how Pakistani authorities could ensure the undocumented immigrants leave or how they could find them to expel them.
Pakistan’s announcement, called “harassment” by the Afghan embassy in Islamabad, marked a new low in its relations with Kabul, which have deteriorated since border clashes between the South Asian neighbours last month.
Judge issues gag order on former president in New York fraud case
The judge presiding over Donald Trump’s civil fraud case issued a limited gag order after the ex-president made “disparaging” remarks about a court clerk.
Trump had attacked Judge Arthur Engoron’s clerk in a post on his social media site, Truth Social.
The judge warned of “serious sanctions” if the order was disobeyed. Mr Trump has repeatedly made personal attacks on the judge and called him “deranged” and a “rogue adjudicator”.
But Tuesday’s gag order is limited and restricted to public comments against members of court staff.
Mr Trump on Tuesday posted a picture of principal clerk Allison Greenfield with Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer at a campaign event. In the post, he called Ms Greenfield “Schumer’s girlfriend” and said that the case against him should be dismissed.
After a court break, Judge Engoron did not mention anyone by name but referenced the social media incident saying that a defendant “posted to a social media account a disparaging, untrue and personally identifying post about a member of my staff”. “Personal attacks on members of my court staff are unacceptable, inappropriate and I will not tolerate them under any circumstances,” he said. “Failure to abide by this order will result in serious sanctions,” he said.
Justice Engoron said that his statement should be considered a gag order forbidding any posts, emails or public remarks about members of his staff.
The post on Mr Trump’s social media site, Truth Social, was removed following the judge’s order.
Mr Trump has called the trial a “fraud” and a “scam” and pledged to take the stand in his own defence. Asked if he would testify in the case, he said: “Yes, I will. At the appropriate time, I will be.”
The former president, his two adult sons and the wider Trump Organization are accused of massively inflating the value of their properties by over $2bn (£1.65bn), in order to secure favourable loans.
Attorney General Letitia James is seeking $250m (£207m) and sanctions that could prevent the Trump family from doing business in the state of New York.
None of the defendants will face jail time if convicted, because this is a civil case not a criminal one.
The trial is a bench trial, meaning that the ultimate decision on whether the co-defendants are liable and any damages or penalties rest on Judge Engoron alone, not a jury.
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