International news brief: Musk proposes to buy Twitter for original price & more
Washington, Oct 05: President Joe Biden on Tuesday spoke with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to discuss their next steps after North Korea conducted its longest ever test launch by firing a nuclear-capable ballistic missile over Japan.
The White House in a statement said the leaders condemned North Korea's missile test in the "strongest terms, recognising the launch as a danger to the Japanese people, destabilising to the region, and a clear violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions."
The White House said the leaders agreed to coordinate an immediate and longer-term response together, as well as with South Korea, and with the international community. They also vowed to work to limit North Korea's "ability to support its unlawful ballistic missile and weapons of mass destruction programs."
US President Joe Biden told his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Tuesday that Washington will never recognise Russia's purported annexation of the Ukrainian territories, as he announced an additional USD 625 million in military aid to the war-ravaged eastern European country.
Russia's parliament approved laws on Monday on annexing four occupied Ukrainian regions, namely Kherson, Donetsk, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia into Russia, following a 'sham referendum' that Ukraine and the West denounced as coercive and illegitimate. Biden was also joined by Vice-President Kamala Harris in the call, during which they "underscored that the United States will never recognise Russia's purported annexation of Ukrainian territory," the White House said.
The US President also announced the provision of a new USD 625 million security assistance package that includes additional weapons and equipment, including HIMARS, artillery systems and ammunition, and armoured vehicles.
This round of military aid marks the first time the U.S. has sent additional HIMARS to Ukraine since late July. Biden affirmed the continued readiness of the US to impose severe costs on any individual, entity, or country that provides support to Russia's purported annexation.
Elon Musk to go ahead with $54.20 a share Twitter deal
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has reportedly offered to proceed with his USD 44 billion purchase of Twitter Inc private by proposing to go ahead with USD 54.20 per share to buy the microblogging website.
The surprising turn of events in the Twitter buyout saga sent the shares of Twitter surging as it increased to 12.7 per cent before trading was stopped for the second time, Reuters reported.
Musk has been engaged in a bitter legal battle with Twitter after announcing in July this year that he was pulling the plug on his USD 44 billion purchase of the company following a complex, and months-long courtship, ANI reported.
US President plans to celebrate Diwali at White House
US President Joe Biden has plans to celebrate Diwali at the White House this year, his spokesperson said. Details and nature of preparations have not been revealed yet. "Yes, he has plans to celebrate Diwali just like he did last year," White House Press Secretary Karen Jean-Pierre told reporters at her daily news conference here.
"We don't have a date to share with you at this time but it is an event that he thinks is very important as he sees a partnership with India as well as Indian Americans here in this country," Jean-Pierre said in response to a question.
US: Experts call for 'pragmatic engagement' with Pakistan
A group of experts in the United States has called for "pragmatic engagement" with Pakistan, saying the US administration had pinned great hopes on their alliance, only to be "disappointed and frustrated".
Coinciding with the visit of Pakistan Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, the Pakistani Study Group in a report, "US Re-Engagement with Pakistan: Ideas for Reviving an Important Relationship", spoke about the country's poorly veiled support for the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan, backing for jihadi groups targeting Kashmir, close embrace of China and expanding nuclear arsenal.
At the same time, the experts advise against ignoring or trying to isolate Pakistan because of its population size, its location and possession of nuclear weapons. The report argues for a "modest pragmatic" relationship between the two countries while accepting the facts that the two countries differ on India, China and Afghanistan.