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International news brief: Confident of Pak's commitment, ability to secure its nuclear assets, says US & more

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Washington, Oct 18: The US is confident of Pakistan's commitment and ability to secure its nuclear assets, the State Department has said, days after President Joe Biden dubbed the country "one of the most dangerous in the world" as it has "nuclear weapons without any cohesion".

International news brief: Confident of Paks commitment, ability to secure its nuclear assets, says US & more

The US has always viewed a secure and prosperous Pakistan as critical to US interests, State Department's Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel said on Monday. Biden's remarks, made at a Democratic Party congressional campaign committee reception here on Thursday, were rejected by Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif as "factually incorrect and misleading" as Islamabad summoned the US Ambassador to lodge an official demarche.

Pakistan is 'one of the most dangerous nations in the world': President BidenPakistan is 'one of the most dangerous nations in the world': President Biden

Russian warplane crashes near apartment building, killing 3

A Russian warplane crashed Monday into a residential area in a Russian city on the Sea of Azov after suffering engine failure, killing at least three people and igniting a massive blaze that engulfed several floors of a nine-story apartment building.

A Su-34 bomber came down in the port city of Yeysk after one of its engines caught fire during takeoff for a training mission, the Russian Defence Ministry said. It said both crew members had bailed out safely, but the plane crashed into a residential area, causing a fire as tons of fuel exploded on impact.

Local authorities said at least three residents were killed and 21 others were injured, including eight who were in grave condition. The authorities reserved emergency rooms at local hospitals and scrambled medical aircraft.

At least 17 apartments were affected by the fire, and about 100 residents were evacuated. The Kremlin said Russian President Vladimir Putin was informed about the crash and ordered the ministers of health and emergencies along with the local governor to head to the site.

Pak Interior Minister blames inflation for ruling PML-N party's defeat in by-elections

Pakistan's Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, a key leader of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, on Monday blamed inflation as the main reason for his party's dismal performance in the key by-elections.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party led by former prime minister Imran Khan on Monday swept the crucial by-elections, winning six out of eight National Assembly seats and two out of three provincial assembly seats in Punjab, in a jolt to the Shehbaz Sharif government.

Australia drops recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital

Australia has reversed a previous government's recognition of West Jerusalem as Israel's capital, the foreign minister said Tuesday. The center-left Labor Party government Cabinet agreed to again recognize Tel Aviv as the capital and reaffirmed that Jerusalem's status must be resolved in peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, Foreign Minister Penny Wong said.

Australia remained committed to a two-party solution to the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, and "we will not support an approach that undermines this prospect," Wong said. Former conservative Prime Minister Scott Morrison formally recognized West Jerusalem as Israel's capital in December 2018, although the Australian embassy remained in Tel Aviv.

Confident of Pakistan's commitment, ability to secure its nuclear assets: US

The US is confident of Pakistan's commitment and ability to secure its nuclear assets, the State Department has said, days after President Joe Biden dubbed the country "one of the most dangerous in the world" as it has "nuclear weapons without any cohesion".

The US has always viewed a secure and prosperous Pakistan as critical to US interests, State Department's Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel said on Monday. Biden's remarks, made at a Democratic Party congressional campaign committee reception here on Thursday, were rejected by Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif as "factually incorrect and misleading" as Islamabad summoned the US Ambassador to lodge an official demarche.

Man convicted in death of Texas agency's 1st Sikh deputy

A man was convicted of capital murder in the 2019 shooting death of a law enforcement officer who was the first Sikh deputy in his Texas agency. A jury took less than 30 minutes before finding Robert Solis, 50, guilty in the killing of Harris County Sheriff's Deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal during a September 2019 traffic stop in a residential cul-de-sac 18 miles (29 kilometres) northwest of Houston.

Authorities say the 42-year-old deputy was shot multiple times from behind after he stopped Solis and was walking back to his patrol car. The same jury in Houston that convicted Solis began hearing evidence late Monday afternoon in the trial's punishment phase. Prosecutors are seeking a death sentence. Just before his trial began last week, Solis fired his court-appointed attorneys and chose to represent himself.

Kevin Spacey testifies about sex abuse claims: 'Not true'

Kevin Spacey testified in a New York courtroom that he never made a sexual pass at the actor Anthony Rapp, who has sued, claiming the Academy Award-winning actor tried to take him to bed when he was 14.

Identifying himself as "Kevin Spacey Fowler," the actor was on Monday asked about Rapp's claims that a then-26-year-old Spacey picked him up like a groom does a bride after a 1986 party and put him on his bed before lying on top of him. Rapp testified earlier in the trial that he squirmed out from underneath Spacey in the fully clothed encounter before fleeing the apartment, only to have Spacey follow him to the door and ask if he was sure he wanted to leave.

China spying on Germany, say intelligence chiefs

The head the BND foreign intelligence service warned parliamentarians in Berlin about "naivety" toward China in an annual public hearing of Germany's three main spy agencies Monday.

Bruno Kahl questioned the wisdom of ever-deepening ties with Beijing, saying there was "certainly room for improvement" when dealing with China.

Federal Intelligence Service President Kahl made the statement in testimony delivered alongside Military Counterintelligence (MAD) President Martina Rosenberg and Thomas Haldenwang, president of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) domestic intelligence agency, in an annual public hearing before the Bundestag.

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