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Former President of India, Pranab Mukherjee, Dies at 84



Former President of India, Pranab Mukherjee, Dies at 84

Pranab Mukherjee, an Indian politician who rose to high business office alongside just one of India’s longest-serving primary ministers, Indira Gandhi, died on Monday at a clinic in New Delhi. He was 84.

His demise was announced on Twitter by his son Abhijit Mukherjee.

In advance of undergoing mind surgical procedure in latest months, Mr. Mukherjee announced on Twitter that he had also analyzed favourable for the coronavirus. He was afterwards set on a ventilator and slipped into a coma, according to health professionals who had been managing him at a military services healthcare facility.

While Mr. Mukherjee under no circumstances grew to become primary minister, the leading article in India’s governing administration, his capability to build consensus on contentious problems attained him the title of the indispensable guy of India’s coalition-era politics. He played a significant function in the government of Mrs. Gandhi and the political vocation of her daughter-in-legislation, Sonia Gandhi.

In 2012, Sonia Gandhi, the head of the Indian Countrywide Congress bash, cleared the way for Mr. Mukherjee to turn into president, a mostly ceremonial task, though passing him in excess of for the possibility to be primary minister.

Lots of Indians see the Congress get together as a protector of the nation’s founding secular values, a experience that has develop into a lot more distinguished given that the rise of Primary Minister Narendra Modi and his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Get together. But the party remains tied to the Gandhis, who are typically perceived as a symbol of India’s Anglicized higher course.

Mr. Mukherjee suit proper in. Born on Dec. 11, 1935, in the compact village of Mirati in India’s West Bengal state, he was a faculty teacher and a journalist, and his father, Kamada Kinkar Mukherjee, was a Congress leader himself. His mother, who went by the one title Rajlakshmi, was also included in politics.

Mr. Mukherjee rapidly rose through the ranks to turn out to be a single of Indira Gandhi’s closest lieutenants. He was criticized for becoming a faithful supporter of Mrs. Gandhi, and for playing his have smaller component in her government’s conclusion to ship dozens of political dissidents to jail.

A long time later on, Mr. Mukherjee wrote in a memoir about those tumultuous yrs, acknowledging that as a junior minister he experienced not understood “its deep and significantly-reaching influence,” and that the party eventually paid a heavy price for it.

In 1980, Mrs. Gandhi picked Mr. Mukherjee as her finance minister. That would outline his lengthy political occupation, cementing his place as an significant occasion leader for many years to appear.

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Soon after Mrs. Gandhi was assassinated in 1984, he considered himself as her rightful successor. Mrs. Gandhi, nevertheless, had chosen her son Rajiv Gandhi to grow to be the upcoming prime minister.

Sidelined by Rajiv Gandhi, Mr. Mukherjee remaining to variety his personal bash, the Rashtriya Samajwadi Congress. But in 1989 he folded it into the Congress bash after it failed to garner significantly guidance in West Bengal, his property point out.

The bash welcomed him back again, and in excess of the following handful of yrs Mr. Mukherjee became the chief architect of Sonia Gandhi’s ascent to electrical power. From then on he held various cupboard posts, from overseas affairs and protection to finance, and served on several essential committees. He was termed upon routinely to crack political logjams or defuse controversies.

Under India’s Structure, the president holds some significant powers, including the proper to grant clemency to prisoners. During his 5-calendar year phrase, from 2012 to 2017, Mr. Mukherjee rejected 42 mercy pleas out of a overall of 49 from prisoners on dying row.

In 2019 he was awarded India’s greatest civilian honor, the Bharat Ratna, for his public support more than five decades.

In his remaining tackle as president, Mr. Mukherjee stated that he experienced obtained “much more” from the state than he experienced specified, and that India’s foundation as a pluralistic society was what manufactured it the world’s premier democracy. “The soul of India resides in pluralism and tolerance,” he said.

In addition to his son Abhijit, he is survived by his daughter, Sharmistha, and yet another son, Indrajit.

In a assertion on Twitter, Mr. Modi praised Mr. Mukherjee as “a towering statesman” who was “admired across the political spectrum and by all sections of modern society.”

Right after stepping down as president, Mr. Mukherjee ongoing to perform an lively job in community everyday living, frequently offering speeches in which he liberally quoted Mohandas Gandhi.

“I have no hesitation in stating that the tips of reality, openness, dialogue and nonviolence espoused by Gandhiji provide the best way ahead for a planet confronted with intolerance, bigotry, terrorism and xenophobic politics,” he stated in a lecture in 2019.

In just one of his past speeches, in December, he spoke about the worth of push flexibility. “Democracy without the need of a free push is like a blank piece of paper,” he mentioned.

“We should to recall that democracy will be the loser when and if we stop to listen to voices other than our individual.”

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Nord Stream: Anthony Blinken called Putin’s accusations about the pipeline “absurd and outrageous”



“I have nothing to add to these absurd statements by President Putin that we or our allied partners are somehow responsible for this,” Blinken said at a press conference.

The head of the US diplomatic mission once again condemned the “scandalous disinformation campaign” of Russia.

At the conference, along with his Canadian counterpart Melanie Joly, the American said he did not intend to prejudge the “ongoing investigation” into the origin of the explosions that led to leaks in gas pipelines, but assured that he was in “close contact with the Europeans on this issue.

The head of the Russian state today, during his speech in the Kremlin after the annexation of four Ukrainian regions, accused Western representatives of being behind the “explosions” that caused large leaks in the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines built for transporting Russian gas towards Europe.

“By organizing explosions on international gas pipelines crossing the bottom of the Baltic Sea, they actually began to destroy the European energy infrastructure,” he condemned, attributing this “sabotage” to the “Anglo-Saxons”.

Vladimir Putin also stressed that the United States is “pressing” on European countries so that they completely stop Russian gas supplies “in order to capture the European market.”

Sweden, Denmark, Germany, the European Union (EU) and NATO said this week that the Nord Stream leaks were due to “deliberate acts” and “sabotage”.

For its part, the Kremlin called “meaningless and absurd” European accusations that Russia could be held responsible for the damage found in the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines.

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Ukraine on Tuesday blamed Russia for the pipeline leak, condemning a “terrorist attack” against the European Union (EU).

The first Nord Stream, capable of pumping 55 billion cubic meters of gas a year, was halted after Russia claimed an oil leak at the only Russian compressor station still in operation.

On the other hand, Nord Stream 2 was never put into operation due to the blockade of infrastructure by Berlin even before the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February.

However, both pipelines are filled with gas and therefore must maintain a stable pressure.

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“Victory will be ours!” Putin assured on Red Square



“Victory will be ours!” shouted the President of Russia to the applause of a crowd of thousands.

“Welcome home!” – Putin said, addressing the residents of the annexed Ukrainian territories, believing that they “returned to their historical homeland.”

“Russia does not just open the doors of its home to people, it opens its heart,” he said from a stage specially installed on the symbolic square near the Kremlin wall (the residence of the President of Russia).

Many Russian flags fluttered among the crowd in attendance, and some people also wore black and orange striped St. George ribbons, an old tsarist military award that became a symbol of the Red Army’s victory over Nazi Germany.

Several giant screens and a powerful sound system were also installed so that people could follow the speech of the President of Russia and the performance of various Russian pop stars who performed on stage.

The Russian head of state, in power for 22 years, referred to a “special, historic day of truth and justice” at a time when Russian soldiers are “heroically defending the people’s choice” in Ukraine, he said.

“We will do everything to support our brothers and sisters in Zaporozhye, Kherson, Luhansk and Donetsk, improve their security, restart the economy, restore,” he also said, hours after signing the annexation of these four Ukrainian regions, in a ceremony in the Kremlin.

After this symbolic act in the Kremlin, which was a new step in his war against the sovereignty and territorial integrity of a neighboring country, Putin defended his mantra with a raised microphone that Russia created modern Ukraine.

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“I can’t help but remember how the Soviet Union was formed. It was Russia that created modern Ukraine, transferring significant territories there, the historical territories of Russia itself along with the population,” Putin said.

“We are stronger because we are together. The truth is with us, and there is strength,” Putin said, adding once again: “Then victory will be ours!”

Kyiv and its Western allies have widely condemned such an annexation, with NATO (the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, a Western defense bloc) classifying it as “illegitimate” and the countries of the European Union (EU) and the G7 (a group of the most industrialized countries in the world : Germany, Canada, USA, France, Italy, Japan and the UK) declared that they would “never recognize [tais] alleged annexations.

Putin has no intention of visiting the four Ukrainian regions now annexed by Moscow in the midst of a military conflict with Kyiv, a Kremlin spokesman said.

“Not yet, because at the moment there is a lot of work ahead, but this will definitely happen after some time,” said Dmitry Peskov, who was quoted by Russian news agencies and asked about the possibility of such a visit.

The four occupied regions of Ukraine, whose annexation treaties Putin signed today, make up about 15% of Ukraine’s territory – Donetsk and Lugansk (which he had already recognized as independent republics shortly before the invasion of Ukraine), Kherson and Zaporozhye (which hosts the largest nuclear power plant in Europe). ).

The military offensive launched on February 24 by Russia in Ukraine has already caused the flight of more than 13 million people – more than six million internally displaced people and more than 7.5 million to European countries – according to the latest UN figures, which rank this migration crisis as the worst in Europe since World War II (1939-1945).

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The Russian invasion, justified by Putin as the need to “denazify” and demilitarize Ukraine for Russia’s security, was condemned by the international community as a whole, which responded by sending weapons to Ukraine and imposing political and economic sanctions against Russia.

The UN has presented as confirmed since the beginning of the war, which entered its 219th day today, 5,996 civilians killed and 8,848 wounded, stressing that these figures are much lower than the real ones.

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EU Agreement on Excess Profit Tax and Energy Savings



This Friday in Brussels, European Union energy ministers reached an agreement on emergency intervention in the face of rising energy prices, which includes a solidarity contribution to the exceptional profits of companies in the energy sector.

The regulation, proposed this month by the Commission and given political approval this Friday 27, provides for a 33 percent tax on excessive profits from fossil fuel companies, to be converted into a “solidarity contribution” to be redistributed to the most vulnerable, a profit ceiling companies producing low-cost (renewable) electricity, and plans to reduce electricity consumption, voluntary (10% for total demand) and mandatory (5% during “peak hours”).

“Agreement! The ministers reached a political agreement on measures to reduce high electricity prices: a mandatory reduction in electricity demand, limiting the market revenues of over-marginal electricity producers and solidarity contributions from fossil fuel producers,” announced the current Czech Presidency of the Council. EU.

At the meeting, represented by Portugal’s Environment and Climate Change Minister Duarte Cordeiro, 27 countries will discuss policy options to reduce high gas prices, but no decision is expected today despite a large group of 15 member states. , including Portugal, demanded a “ceiling” on gas prices.

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