NEW DELHI, Aug. 2 (UPI) -- NEWSTRACK
Indo-US space partnership to be signed
New Delhi, Aug 2 (UPI): India and United States will soon signed a crucial space launch agreement to allow Indian to launch US made satellites from other US allies countries.
"The understanding will, said The Times of India Tuesday, help India's premier space body, Indian Space Research Organization, boost its earnings". It will also help the once-estranged democracies get into a tighter strategic partnership.
Both sides are working out some last minute refinements in the agreement relating to pre-launch treatment of US satellite on Indian rockets. Unidentified sources said India has already accepted two US payloads for the Chandrayan mission.
More such joint endeavors are expected and together with that closer exchange of strategic space technologies. The newspaper said this might not evoke protest that greeted India-US civilian nuclear agreement.
Key Israel leader secretly visits India
New Delhi, Aug 2 (UPI): The point man of Israel for Gaza disengagement paid a quiet visit to India last week to convey his country's commitment to the withdrawal from Gaza strip, commencing August 17.
Head of the political and international department of the Israel's Defense Ministry Amos Gilad was in New Delhi July 26-27 and met Deputy National Security Advisor Vijay Nambiar and Rajiv Sikri, Secretary (East) in Indian Foreign Ministry.
"He briefed them on Israel's withdrawal plan from the Gaza-occupied territories besides reaffirming Israel's commitment to the Middle-East peace process," said The Indian Express newspaper Tuesday.
"A retired Major General Gilad is considered to be extremely close to Israeli Prime Minister Aiel Sharon. To ensure that India is kept posted on the situation, he took time out to visit New Delhi despite being in the thick of negotiations," the newspaper said.
India-Korea to sign defense pact
New Delhi, Aug 2 (UPI): India and South Korea Monday firmed up agreements on cooperation in defense and customs that will be signed in the near future. The two however, signed a pact on visa exemption for diplomatic and official passport holders, said a Foreign Ministry official Tuesday.
After a meeting between Indian Foreign Minister K Natwar Singh and his visiting counterpart Ban Ki Moon, both agreed to quickly wrap up the pact between coast guards of the two countries.
"The two Ministers signed the agreement on visa exemption after talks on a range of bilateral and international issues--including political, trade and investment, energy cooperation, defense, civil aviation, tourism and science and technology," said an unidentified Foreign Ministry official.
The Indian Foreign Ministry spokesperson said the two sides also endorsed the texts of two agreements on cooperation in customs and defense and logistics, which will be signed shortly.
Heavy rains again in India's business hub
New Delhi, Aug 2 (UPI): Heavy rains again lashed out India business hub Mumbai in western state of Maharashtra Monday resulting water logging and large scale traffic disruption, said state government official Tuesday.
"Appeal were made on radio and television asking the people to stay indoors. Local trains ran almost empty and officers reported thin attendance, said the officials
Traffic on the arterial roads, The Hindu newspaper said Tuesday, in central and north Mumbai was disrupted and the western express highways closed for a while due to water logging.
It said after the water level rose in the Mithi river that flows through Kurla area, an alert was issued to resident of adjoining localities Andheri, Bandra and Kalina. About 2,000 people were evacuated from the areas and Army and Navy boats ferried essential supplies.
The Weather department has forecast heavy to very heavy rain in the next 24 hours. The government, that declared holiday for schools and colleges Monday, extended it to Tuesday also.