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Modi Govt. to face No Confidence vote

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government will face a no-confidence vote in parliament amid deadlock with the opposition over violence in the state of Manipur.

A lawmaker from the opposition Congress party tabled a no-confidence motion on Wednesday.

Mr Modi’s government won’t lose the vote as his party and its allies have a clear majority in parliament.

But opposition leaders say the move will force Mr Modi to speak on Manipur.

They have been demanding that he address parliament on ethnic clashes in the state which broke out in May between the majority Meitei group and the tribal Kuki minority.

At least 130 people have been killed and tens of thousands displaced in the violence.

Last week, a video that showed two women being paraded naked by a mob had sparked global outrage and condemnation.

It also forced Mr Modi to break his silence on Manipur: he said that the incident had “shamed India” and that the attackers wouldn’t be spared.

Federal home minister Amit Shah told the Lok Sabha – the lower house of parliament – earlier this week that the government was ready to discuss the violence and accused the opposition of preventing this.

This is the second time that Mr Modi’s government is facing a no-confidence motion since it came to power in 2014. In 2018, a lawmaker had moved a motion over the issue of granting a special category status to Andhra Pradesh state. It was defeated after a 12-hour debate.

A no-confidence motion can only be moved in the Lok Sabha and will be accepted if at least 50 lawmakers support it. Once accepted, the speaker will announce a date for a vote within 10 days. If the government is unable to prove its majority, it will have to resign.

On Wednesday, two motions were moved by MPs from the Congress party and the Bharat Rashtra Samithi – the first was accepted.

Speaker Om Birla said he would announce a date for the debate and vote after speaking with leaders of all parties.

“We are well aware that the numbers are not in our favour,” Manoj K Jha, an opposition MP, said on Wednesday. “But it is not about the numbers, the PM will have to speak in parliament following a no-confidence motion.”

The opposition was “forced to move the no-confidence motion as it was the last weapon”, Congress leader Manickam Tagore said.

(BBC News)

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Brawl in Italian Parliament ahead of G7 Summit 

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Lawmakers at the Italian Parliament clashed over a bill on Wednesday (12 June), as Italy began to host world leaders for the annual Group of Seven (G7) Summit in Puglia.

A video of the clash was widely shared on the internet. 

The row began when Five Star Movement (MS5) MP Leonardo Dono tried to tie an Italian flag around the neck of Regional Affairs Minister Roberto Calderoli of the pro-autonomy Northern League. 

MPs from Calderoli’s League party cornered Dono in response, turning the debate into a free-for-all fight involving about 20 men. Donno, injured in the clashes, had to be evacuated in a wheelchair and taken to hospital.

Media reports state the bill sought to grant certain regions further autonomy. Opponents of the bill state it would further deepen the north-south divide in the country and bring more hardship to the impoverished south. 

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Kuwait residential building fire kills 50

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At least 40 Indians are among 50 people killed in a fire at a residential building in the Kuwaiti city of Mangaf.

A fire broke out on Wednesday (12 June) in a building where many foreign workers resided.

Most of the casualties are from the southern Indian states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Around 50 Indians have also been injured.

Three Filipinos have also been killed, media reports quoted Philippines officials as saying. Filipino and Nepali workers are also among the injured.

Local media reports said the building housed 196 workers and there are suggestions that it may have been overcrowded.

Two-thirds of the Kuwaiti population is made up of foreign workers, especially in the construction and domestic sectors, and the country is highly dependent on migrant labour.

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The G7 Summit begins today

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Leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) countries are meeting for a three-day summit, starting today (13 June) to discuss global affairs in the southern region of Puglia (Apulia), Italy.  

Heads of state of the seven members – the United States, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Canada and the United Kingdom – as well as the chiefs of the European Council and the European Commission will be present at the event.

Italy, the host of this year’s event, has extended an invitation to more than 10 other countries for sideline discussions. These include UAE’s Mohamed bin Zayed, Algeria’s President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, Jordan’s King Abdullah II and Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Notable absentees are Egypt and Saudi Arabia, who it  is reported, had been invited.

Support for Ukraine is top of the agenda. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is scheduled to arrive on the summit’s first day for two sessions dedicated to the war-torn country. The G7’s most anticipated outcome is an agreement over a $50bn loan for Ukraine backed by profits accrued on Russian assets frozen in the West. 

The war on Gaza is also expected to dominate talks. 

Pope Francis will also be among the guests – the first time a pontiff has been invited to the summit – for a session dedicated to artificial intelligence (AI). Other specific sessions will be on migration, financial issues and the situation in the Asia Pacific. 

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