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India Orders Its Military To Be Ready For War With China As Precaution If Negotiations Go Sour

India told its armed forces to make emergency procurements to stock up war reserves in the wake of escalating conflict with China.

Justin MacLachlan

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(TMU) – India told its armed forces on Monday to make emergency procurements to stock up its war reserves in the wake of escalating conflict with China along the Line Of Actual Control (LAC), which is the long disputed border between India and China. In addition, the India Navy has also been given the go-ahead to deploy its assets near the Malacca Strait, and, if needed, anywhere else in the Indo-Pacific to counter the Chinese, the India Economic Times reported.

This follows the first bloody conflict between the two Asian powers for the first time in 40 years with the killing of dozens of troops from India and China along a contested border of both countries in the Himalayas. The situation spurred after a failed diplomatic meeting in Galwan River valley, which is in the Himalayas region of Ladakh.

The Times of India corroborated the Economic Times claims, stating that Indian forces are in a “warlike alert.” The Indian Air Force (IAF) is also seeking a go-ahead to purchase 33 fighter aircrafts from Russia, according to reports. These will include 12 Sukhoi 30 MKI and 21 Mig-19 fighter jets.

TMU previously reported that both countries counterparts Wang Yi and Indian diplomat Subrahmanyam Jaishankar have now discussed the situation via a phone call with both coming to an agreement that the conflict needs to “cool down.”

While things have thus far calmed down according to China, India is still on alert for potential war responses. Hindustan Times also reports that China has begun cyberattacks against Indian infrastructure including government information websites and financial services like ATMs.

China stated the overall situation was “stable and controllable,” on Thursday through its Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian.

“We believe that guided by the important consensus reached between the two leaders, China and India can properly deal with the current situation, jointly uphold peace and stability in the border areas, and ensure a sound and steady development of bilateral relations,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said at a press briefing.

Lijian added, the two sides are in close communication on solving the problems via diplomatic and military channels, the spokesperson told reporters.

“As the world’s two largest developing countries and emerging economies, China and India have far more common interests than differences. The two sides should follow the important consensus reached by leaders of the two countries and ensure that China-India relations move in the right direction in line with the interests and expectations of both nations,” Zhao said.

However, China’s spokesperson still blamed India for the conflict, stating:

“The whole thing happened because India’s frontline troops, in violation of the agreement reached at the Commander-level meeting, once again crossed the Line of Actual Control for deliberate provocation, and even violently attacked the Chinese officers and soldiers who went to the terrain for negotiation, thus triggering fierce physical conflicts and causing casualties,” Zhao added.

According to Hindustan Times, Indian and Chinese delegations, led by major generals, met on Thursday near Patrol Point 14 in Galwan Valley as part of military engagements to de-fuse tensions on the disputed border. This was the seventh meeting between Major General Abhijit Bapat, commander of Karu-based headquarters 3 Infantry Division, and his Chinese counterpart since the stand-off began in early May, and the third after Monday night’s clash that left 20 Indian soldiers dead.

The Guardian reports that China released 10 Indian soldiers after an agreement on the release was reached at major general-level talks between the Indian Army and China’s People’s Liberation Army. China further used its state-backed mouthpiece, the ‘Global Times’, to threaten India with military pressure from China, Pakistan, and even Nepal on Wednesday if the border tensions escalated.

The Global Times quoted an individual at the Institute of International Relations of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, Hu Zhiyong, in its one-sided and biased editorial, stating, “India has engaged in border disputes with China, Pakistan and Nepal at the same time. As Pakistan is a reliable strategic partner of China, and Nepal also has close ties with China, and both of them are key partners under the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, if India escalates border tensions, it could face military pressure from two or even three fronts, which is far beyond India’s military capability and this might lead to a disastrous defeat for India.”

Last Sunday, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army conducted military drills in high altitude conditions with tanks prior to the incident with India on Monday, The Diplomat reported.

NATO has responded with U.S. representative Kay Bailey Hutchison stating China is being watched by the West due to its growing aggression with its neighbors like Japan and India and other territories like Taiwan. Hutchison insisted that “It’s much more on our radar screen, and I think it should be because we should assess the risk, hope for the best but prepare for the worst,”

Hutchison remarked that “So we know that China has the capability to compete on a level playing field, and we’re asking them to do that, but we’re also turning a wary eye to their behavior right now in the South China Sea, militarizing islands that they said would never be done, as well as the clampdown on Hong Kong.”

When the representative was asked if an actual military confrontation was on the horizon, she replied, “I think NATO is now looking to the East.”

A spokesperson for U.S. President Donald Trump has said he has “no formal plans” to mediate between India and China.

“There are no formal plans,” White House spokesman Kayleigh McEnany told reporters, but said Trump is “aware” and monitoring the tumultuous situation.

Indian media reported a total of 20 Indian soldiers were killed in the brawl earlier this week, citing the toll from a military authority, while the casualties of the Chinese side remains unclear. U.S. intelligence sources have, however, speculated that at least 35 soldiers were killed from China during the hand to hand combat dispute with iron rods, rocks and studded clubs.

However, while the conflict with China may be ending, another escalation has since happened with Pakistan. When this was going to press, Pakistan accused India of “unprovoked” shelling fire in the disputed Kashmir region, which resulted in the deaths of four civilians.

For a timeline update from the Indian side of the conflict with China see the Indian Economic Times here.

Ancient History

Megalodon Fossils Show How Biggest-Ever Shark Had Nurseries All Over the World

Elias Marat

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The massive megalodon, the largest shark to ever roam the seas, had their own nursery areas all over the globe that allowed the apex predators to raise their young and populate the world prior to their extinction.

A new study, published in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters, reveals that nurseries belonging to the massive creatures have been found in across vast geographic distances where fossils belonging to both young and old megalodons were discovered.

The five likely nurseries include sites off Spain’s east coast, two off the coast of the United States, and two in Panama.

Megalodon (Otodus megalodon), whose name means “large tooth,” lived between 23 million and 3.6 million years ago until it went extinct during a period of global cooling. For 13 million years, the megalodon was the king of the sea.

The megalodon was not only the largest shark in the world, but also the biggest fish – and quite possibly the most powerful predator – to ever exist. Its teeth alone measured 18 centimeters long, and evidence shows that it could have grown to reach up to 60 feet in length.

However, because megalodon bodies were mostly comprised of cartilage – which cannot fossilize – the shark’s teeth, vertebrae and fossilized feces have been the main way researchers have calculated the shark’s body measurements.

The existence of the nurseries shows that young megalodon were still quite susceptible to attacks by other predators.

To keep the young megalodon safe, their shark parents would give birth to their young in shallow, warm water nurseries located near coastlines. In these special regions, juvenile megalodon were able to access their prey while facing few dangers from rival predators.

“Our analyses support the presence of five potential nurseries ranging from the Langhian (middle Miocene) to the Zanclean (Pliocene), with higher densities of individuals with estimated body lengths within the typical range of neonates and young juveniles,” the scientists wrote in the abstract for the study.

“These results reveal, for the first time, that nursery areas were commonly used by O. megalodon over large temporal and spatial scales, reducing early mortality and playing a key role in maintaining viable adult populations,” the authors added.

The nurseries were ideal sites that allowed young megalodons to mature into adults in a process that took about 25 years.

Experts investigated 25 teeth belonging to megalodon that were found in the Reverté and Vidal regions in Tarragona, Spain. The study led to the conclusion that these locations were filled with sharks that had body lengths consistent with the normal range of newborns and young juveniles, measuring 13 feet in length for one-month-old sharks to 36 feet in length for older juveniles.

A separate study released in September found that a 52.5-foot-long adult megalodon had heads that measure up to 15.3 feet long, with dorsal fins measuring about 5.3 feet tall and tails reaching 12.6 feet. To put this into perspective, an adult human could stand on a shark’s back and be roughly the same height as the dorsal fin.

The study’s findings also reveal that the shark’s reliance on nurseries likely played a role in their demise, when the world cooled near the end of the Pliocene period and sea levels declined.

“Ultimately, the presumed reliance of O. megalodon on the presence of suitable nursery grounds might have also been determinant in the demise of this iconic top predatory shark,” the authors of the study noted.

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Trump Accuses His Own FBI and Justice Department of ‘Rigging’ Election

Elias Marat

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Despite finally agreeing to begin the formal transition of power to President-elect Joe Biden last Monday, President Trump on Sunday continued to deny that he lost the election and repeated claims of fraud in his first interview since his Election Day defeat.

“We won the election easily,” the outgoing president falsely claimed on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures.”

This time, however, Trump added a new twist – claiming that his own Department of Justice and FBI had somehow colluded with the “rigging” of the election in Biden’s favor.

“This is total fraud,” the outgoing president said in the interview with Maria Bartiromo. “And how the FBI and Department of Justice—I don’t know—maybe they’re involved, but how people are getting away with this stuff—it’s unbelievable.”

Just over three weeks ago, major networks including Fox News and the Associated Press called Pennsylvania and Nevada in Biden’s favor, pushing him well over the 270 electoral-vote threshold to make him the winner of the Electoral College.

Since then, Trump has refused to concede, and has instead spouted claims of widespread fraud to sow the seeds of doubt in the election results. However, no evidence has been offered to flesh out the claims while the Trump campaign’s legal challenges have failed in court.

“Missing in action. Missing in action,” Trump continued after being asked if the FBI and DOJ were investigating the fraud claims. “Can’t tell you where they are. I ask, ‘Are you looking at it?’ Everyone says, ‘Yes,’ they’re looking at it.”

The accusation is incredible if only because both agencies’ heads were personally handpicked by President Trump.

The FBI is led by director Christopher Wray, a Trump appointee who has headed the bureau since 2017. The Justice Department is headed by Attorney General William Barr, who was nominated by the president in 2018 and has long argued in favor of government agencies deferring to presidential authority.

Barr has faced massive criticism from Democrats for actions they perceive as being overly partisan and biased in the president’s favor, including responding to Trump’s claims that he hadn’t actually lost the election by clearing the DOJ to look into voting irregularities prior to the certification of elections.

The move was widely seen as a reversal of guidance meant to prevent federal authorities from intervening in the election, and prompted the DOJ’s Election Crimes Branch head Richard Pilger to resign in protest.

However, this hasn’t prevented Trump from lashing out at the attorney general for his perceived lack of zeal in following his directives. In October, Trump criticized Barr publicly for failing to indict his political enemies, including former President Barack Obama and former Vice President (now President-elect) Joe Biden for their alleged role in the origins of the Russia probe.

Trump’s campaign has launched dozens of ill-fated lawsuits in key swing states won by Biden, with many of the lawsuits being dismissed by Republican-appointed judges.

On Sunday morning, the president further accused the judges of blocking his ability to overturn the election results.

“We’re trying to put the evidence in and the judges won’t allow us to do it,” Trump said.

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One-Year-Old Baby Killed After 3 Cops Open Fire on Father’s Truck Following Crash

Elias Marat

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A one-year-old baby boy was killed by police on Thursday after an estranged father took him, sparking police intervention that ended with both the father and son being shot.

The incident took place in the rural region of Kawartha Lakes, Ontario, after police received reports of an alleged domestic disturbance and abduction, according to reports.

A Special Investigations Unit (SIU) said that the father, who was attempting to flee the police, crashed his vehicle into a cruiser belonging to Ontario Provincial Police before three officers shot at the 33-year-old suspect, gravely wounding him and tragically claiming the child’s life, reports Niagara Falls Review.

“The man was struck and he was airlifted to hospital in grave condition,” said SIU spokesperson Monica Hudon. “Inside the vehicle was the man’s son, a one-year-old boy, and he was fatally wounded.”

A firearm was also discovered in the man’s vehicle.

According to a local resident, the father had tried to kidnap the baby on Thursday morning following a domestic disturbance. In desperation, the child’s mother, her older son, and a therapist contacted him seeking shelter.

“Some people came to the house and wanted in, for a safe haven, and there was something about the husband had left with the little baby,” said Tom Deciccio.

When police located the father on a foggy rural road just east of Lindsay, Ontario, all hell reportedly broke loose when the man’s truck collided with another civilian car and the police cruiser.

The car was largely totaled by the collision, raising important questions as to why officers felt the need to fire their weapons at the vehicle.

The father remains in critical condition while the OPP officer, who was initially listed in critical condition, is now stable and being treated at Toronto’s Sunnybrook Hospital. An autopsy was conducted on the deceased child on Saturday.

The investigation of police conduct during the incident is now in the hands of the SIU, which is tasked with investigating any incidents involving Ontario officers who have killed, seriously injured, or sexually assaulted somebody.

The normally quiet central Ontario town of Kawartha Lakes has been shaken by the gruesome incident.

“The community is in disbelief that this is happening,” commented Mayor Andy Letham, who added that he appreciates the work of provincial police in safeguarding the community’s safety and wellbeing.

In separate comments to the National Post, the mayor noted that everyone in the region was already on edge this winter due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic – and that Thursday’s deadly incident only added an extra layer of distress to the small community.

“In a small community like this, it certainly caught everybody off guard,” Letham said.

OPP Commissioner Thomas Carrique said that York Regional Police will handle other aspects of the investigation to ascertain how the tragic case unfolded.

“As a result of a tragic incident today, one child is dead and two others significantly injured. I ask that (the SIU) and (York police) be given time to investigate, without speculation on the events as they unfolded,” he explained in a tweet. “Our thoughts and prayers are with those that are suffering today.”

As of now, police have not yet revealed which of the three officers fired the fatal shot, or if it was the father that claimed the child’s life, or if the father discharged any bullets from the firearm found in the vehicle.

However, the SIU has said that the three police firearms have been taken for forensic investigation. In the meantime, the handgun found inside the truck will likely be handed to investigators.

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