Prime Minister Narendra Modi will leave for the much-anticipated US visit on Wednesday morning where he will hold several bilateral meetings including with US President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, confirmed Foreign Secretary Harsh V Shringla on Tuesday.
Addressing a special press briefing on PM Modi’s visit, Shringla informed this will be the Prime Minister’s first visit abroad beyond the neighbourhood since the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak.
PM Modi will be accompanied by a high-level delegation consisting of National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and senior officials including Shringla.
“The main elements of the programme are bilateral meetings with US leaderships, participation at Quad leaders summit and address at the UN General Assembly,” the foreign secretary said.
“One of the highlights of the visit is meeting with US President Joe Biden at the White House. This will be the Prime Minister’s first-in-person meeting with President Biden,” he said.
“The bilateral engagement includes meeting with US Vice-President Kamala Harris. This will be PM Modi’s first formal interaction with the vice president,” he added.
During the significant visit to the US, PM Modi would on September 24 participate in the Leaders’ Summit of the Quadrilateral Framework in Washington along with his US, Japanese and Australian counterparts.
The bilateral meeting with the US President is also scheduled for the day.
Bomb Blast in Mosque During Friday Prayers, at least 50 Killed
There has been a massive explosion in a Shia mosque in Kunduz city of Afghanistan. According to local media, many people had gathered in the mosque due to Friday prayers. According to local media, at least 50 people have died in the incident, while hundreds are injured. The bodies of the dead are reaching the hospitals one after the other.
Local security officials say more than 100 people have been killed or injured in the attack. An officer said that when the mosque was attacked, around 300 Shias had gathered for Friday prayers.
Taliban spokesman and Information and Culture Minister Zabiullah Mujahid also stated the incident. He said that there was a blast targeting Shia civilians this afternoon in the Khanabad Bandar area of Kanduj. Many people have died in this. So far, no organization has claimed responsibility for the attack. But it is believed that IS-Khorasan terrorists may be behind this attack.
PM Modi Brings Back 157 Stolen Indian Artefacts Returned By US Government
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has brought back 157 artefacts and antiquities from America. These are artefacts and antiquities, which were abroad years ago due to theft, illegal trade or smuggling. The United States of America has handed over 157 artefacts and antiquities during the visit of Prime Minister Modi. The list of 157 artefacts includes a diverse set of objects ranging from a one-and-a-half meter bas relief panel in Revanta in sandstone from the 10th century to a 9.5 cm tall bronze Nataraja from the 12th century.
In addition, 157 artefacts and antiquities include many historical objects from the 11th century to the 14th century, including anthropomorphic copper objects from 2000 BC or terracotta vases from the 2nd century. Of this, about 45 antiquities belong to the pre-Common Era. Nearly half of the artefacts being brought are cultural, the other half are sculptures, 60 related to Hinduism, 60 to Buddhism and 9 to Jainism.
The bronze collection mainly consists of ornate sculptures of famous postures of Lakshmi Narayan, Buddha, Vishnu, Shiva Parvati and 24 Jain Tirthankaras. The less common ones are Kankala Murti, Brahmi and Nandikesha, among other unnamed deities and divine figures. Motifs include religious sculptures from Hinduists, Buddhism and Jainism. Apart from these, secular motifs are also introduced. Fifty-six terracotta pieces (2nd-century vase, 12th-century pair of deer and 18th-century sword with inscriptions mentioning Guru Hargobind Singh in Persian.
The Modi government is actively trying to bring back India’s antiquities and artefacts stolen and forcibly taken away by the colonialists over the years. The effort of the Government of India is to restore the lost cultural heritage of the country, recover the stolen artefacts. Between 2014 and 2021, more than 200 antiquities have either been returned or are in the process of being returned.
According to a report presented in Parliament, 41 artefacts from abroad have been brought back home after the Modi government came to the Center in 2014, before this PM visit. This is more than 75 per cent of the total items returned so far.
Only 13 such antiquities were returned between 1976 and 2013. Since 1976, 54 antiquities have been brought back, out of which 41 items have been brought home under the leadership of PM Modi. From 1976, the Congress government ruled for about 25 years, but during this time, less than ten antiquities were brought back to India. That is, in the last seven years, the Modi government has brought back more than four decades of ancient Indian treasures before it.
Not only this, the Government of India is constantly engaged in bringing back the heritage of the country from abroad. Stolen antiquities are being retrieved from the US, Australia, Singapore, Germany, Canada and England, where around 119 antiquities are in various stages of the recovery process.
US President Joe Biden gets COVID-19 vaccine booster shot
US President Joe Biden received his COVID-19 vaccine booster shot at the White House on Monday afternoon (local time).
Biden got a third Pfizer dose after booster doses were approved by federal health officials. “We know that to beat this pandemic and to save lives, to keep our children safe, our schools open, our economy going, we need to get folks vaccinated,” Biden said during remarks ahead of his shot. “So, please, please do the right thing. Please get these shots. It can save your life and it can save the lives of those around you,” he said.
Biden received his first two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine ahead of his inauguration in January. Biden joked about how he is “way over” the age of 65, which is part of the reason he is eligible for the shot.
He said he didn’t have any side effects after getting his first or second COVID-19 vaccine shots.
“If you fall under these categories, you’re eligible for the booster. Now, I know it doesn’t look like it, but I am over 65 — I wish I — way over. And that’s why I’m getting my booster shot today,” the White House said in a statement.
“Boosters are important, but the most important thing we need to do is get more people vaccinated,” Biden said.
“The vast majority of Americans are doing the right thing. Over 77 per cent of adults have gotten at least one shot. About 23 per cent haven’t gotten any shots, and that — that distinct minority is causing an awful lot of us an awful lot of damage for the rest of the country,” he said.”This is a pandemic of the unvaccinated. That’s why I’m moving forward with vaccination requirements wherever I can,” he added.
The US Food and Drug Administration last week gave emergency use authorisation for a booster dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine in people 65 and older, people at high risk of severe disease and people whose jobs put them at risk of infection.
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