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Spiralling tensions between Iran and the West have the Gulf states on edge

The conflict threatens their infrastructure and their income.  Fujairah harbor, UAEFujairah harbor, UAE

Fujairah, July 25.– Compared with Jebel Ali in Dubai, it feels like a sleepy Mediterranean harbour. The port at Fujairah, on the eastern coast of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), serves mostly as a refuelling depot for ships plying the Strait of Hormuz. It lacks the cargo capacity and the high-tech wizardry of Jebel Ali, the largest port in the Gulf and the ninth-busiest in the world. But Fujairah is the UAE’s only link to the high seas that bypasses the troubled strait, and so it has become a focal point amid worsening tension between Iran and the West.

That tension rose on July 19th when Iran’s navy seized the Stena Impero, a British tanker (pictured below), as it sailed west through the strait. The 30,000-tonne ship is now anchored near Bandar Abbas, hostage to a dispute that began on July 4th, when Britain impounded an Iranian tanker (allegedly bound for Syria) as it passed Gibraltar. In one of his final acts as foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt proposed setting up a European task force to protect commercial vessels in the Gulf.

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India rushes 10,000 troops to Kashmir

Decision to deploy additional 10,000 troops to the valley has created fear psychosis amongst people. 

New Delhi, July 27.– The Centre has ordered rushing of about 10,000 central forces personnel to the Kashmir valley in order to strengthen couter-insurgency operations and law and order duties there, officials said Saturday.

They said the Union home ministry has ordered the deployment of 100 companies of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) on July 25 on an "immediate" basis.

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US Supreme Court rule: President Trump can use Pentagon funds for border wall

US-Mexico border wall in constructionUS-Mexico border wall in construction Washington DC, July 27.– The Supreme Court cleared the way for the Trump administration to tap billions of dollars in Pentagon funds to build sections of a border wall with Mexico.

The court’s five conservative justices gave the administration the green light on Friday to begin work on four contracts it has awarded using Defense Department money. Funding for the projects had been frozen by lower courts while a lawsuit over the money proceeded. The court’s four liberal justices wouldn’t have allowed construction to start.

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A new age of space exploration is beginning!

It will need the rule of law and a system of arms control to thrive

July 18.– The moment when, 50 years ago, Neil Armstrong planted his foot on the surface of the Moon inspired awe, pride and wonder around the world. This newspaper argued that “man, from this day on, can go wheresoever in the universe his mind wills and his ingenuity contrives…to the planets, sooner rather than later, man is now certain to go.” But no. The Moon landing was an aberration, a goal achieved not as an end in itself but as a means of signalling America’s extraordinary capabilities. That point, once made, required no remaking. Only 571 people have been into orbit; and since 1972 no one has ventured much farther into space than Des Moines is from Chicago.

The next 50 years will look very different. Falling costs, new technologies, Chinese and Indian ambitions, and a new generation of entrepreneurs promise a bold era of space development. It will almost certainly involve tourism for the rich and better communications networks for all; in the long run it might involve mineral exploitation and even mass transportation.

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Hundreds of delegates gather in Dundee for World Community Development Conference 2019

 Dundee, June 27.– Taking the theme of People, Place and Power, and based on the work of Dundee thinker Sir Patrick Geddes, the conference has attracted speakers from as far afield as Brazil, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Kenya and Canada.

Geddes, a pioneer of the global sustainable development movement, was a biologist, sociologist, geographer, philanthropist and ground-breaking town planner.

He is known for innovative thinking in the fields of urban planning and sociology and was professor of botany at University College Dundee from 1888 to 1919.

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