Technology • Smartphones, Hardware & Gadgets
iPhone assembler Foxconn allegedly plans $1 billion investment into plant in India
Foxconn factory at Czech Republic
Foxconn factory at Czech Republic Credit: Nadkachna (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

The Taiwanese hardware and technology company Foxconn allegedly plans to invest up to $1 billion in India. The goal is to expand an existing factory southeastern India near Chennai where the company assembles iPhones for Apple.

According to a source published by the news agency Reuters "There’s a strong request from Apple to its clients to move part of the iPhone production out of China". Neither Foxconn nor Apple have commented on the news.

Climate & Environment
Over two million Indians have planted 250 million trees while socially distancing
Farm Fields of Munnar, India
Farm Fields of Munnar, India Credit: / Ravi Pinisetti

In order to work against climate change over two million people have gathered in northern India to plant 250 million trees. The government has initiated the project and officials in Uttar Pradesh have provided the saplings across the state.

According to Associated Press the volunteers, lawmakers and government officials that participated maintained social distance as the Covid-19 pandemic is still going on with India the country with the fourth most infections in the world.

Politics • Asian
Ladakh stand-off eases as China completes troop withdrawal from three areas
Ladakh stand-off eases as China completes troop withdrawal from three areas
Credit: United States Central Intelligence Agency (Public Domain)

China has completed the withdrawal of troops from three sites in the Ladakh area after the agreement from both sites to disengage from the stand-off. Both sides had previously agreed to disengage their troops from the Line of Actual Control with the goal of "full restoration" of peace in the border areas.

The Indian Ministry of External Affairs "They also agreed that for the overall development of bilateral relations it was essential to maintain enduring "peace and tranquillity in the border areas".

Politics • Asian
China - India standoff at Line of Actual control, both sides in "disengagement" phase

The Indian and Chinese sides have agreed on a de-escalation at the Line of Actual control standoff situation in Galwan Valley. Indian National Security Advisor and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi have agreed on disengagement in the areas in order to reduce the tensions. India has confirmed that the Chineses side has removed tents and moved vehicles as well as troops multiple kilometers out of the agreed disengagement areas. Both sides are said to gradually move back around three kilometers.

Lifestyle • Travel
India: Taj Mahal and other Indian monuments to remain closed
Taj Mahal in Agra, India
Taj Mahal in Agra, India Credit: Yu

The Taj Mahal and other Indian monuments such as Agra Fort and Sikandra will stay shut. The national government had given permission to reopen attractions, local authorities in Agra decided to keep them closed to visitors.

"The Taj Mahal, which is in the Taj Ganj police station jurisdiction, is a 'containment zone'," so Agra's District Magistrate Prabhu N Singh.

Politics • Asian
Satellite data: Construction work from Chinese and Indian side as military standoff continues

Satellite images indicate that construction work is underway on both the Indian and on the Chinese side of the Line of Actual Control, the disputed area along the Galwan River Valley. Both sides have previously publically stated through their diplomats that they had agreed to disengage from a standoff. According to experts, the Indian side apparently has built a wall and the Chinese side has expanded an outpost camp that is connected to additional military bases deeper into Chinese territory.

Politics • Asian
China has deployed 20,000 troops to disputed region facing India

The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) has deployed over 20,000 troops to the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the disputed region between India and China after conflicts are tensing. The Times of India has reported on the movement of additional forces, saying that Chinese troops are able to reach the Indian front in 48 hours time using high mobility vehicles and weaponry. According to Asian News International an Indian government source has stated that "The Chinese Army has deployed around two divisions worth of troops (around 20,000) along the LAC in the Eastern Ladakh sector. There is another division (10,000 troops) which has been stationed by it in the Northern Xinjiang province almost a 1,000 kilometres from the front but they can be mobilised to reach our frontiers in maximum 48 hours time due to the flat terrain on the Chinese side".

Technology • Internet & Web
Spotify launches real-time lyrics in 26 markets
Spotify launches real-time lyrics in 26 markets
Credit: Illustration: Pendect, Ashley Winkler – Logos via Spotify & MusixMatch

Spotify has launched a real-time lyrics feature in 26 different markets across India, Latin America and Southeast Asia today. The feature is provided by the music data company Musixmatch.

Politics • Asian • India
India bans TikTok, WeChat and 57 other Chinese apps
iPhone displaying the TikTok app
iPhone displaying the TikTok app Credit: Kon Karampelas

The Ministry of Information Technology of India announced Monday the ban of 59 Chinese mobile applications, including TikTok and WeChat. In a press release, the Ministry, states the ban is a response "of the emergent nature of threats" and that the apps "are engaged in activities which is prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order.".

At the moment, all listed apps are still available on Apple’s App Store and the Google Play store, and it is not clear how the Indian Government plans to enforce the ban.

Politics • Asian • India
India: Father and son die in police custody over alleged torture

J. Jayaraj, 58, and Bennicks Immanuel, 31 have died in police custody after being arrested on June 19. The police had detained the father and son over the accusation that they kept their store open past permitted hours during the reimposed Covid-19 lockdown in the southern state Tamail Nadu. Their family has filed written complaints about alleged abuse by the police and stated that both suffered from rectal bleeding. Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami of Tamil Nadu has stated that two policemen have been suspended and that the case would be transferred to the federal agency the Central Bureau of Investigation.

Politics • Asian
Border clash: At least 20 Indian deaths and 43 Chinese deaths

During the border clash between India and China at the Galwan Valley at least 20 members of the Indian army and 43 members of the Chinese army have died. The location of the stand-off between the two forces is located on high altitude terrain which exposes the soldiers to temperatures below zero putting additional strains on them. The Indian side claims that China unilaterally tried to change the status quo in the region and couches to protect the Indian border.

Politics • Asian
Chinese and Indian forces clash in Kashmir region - multiple deaths
Indian Soldiers, Kashmir
Indian Soldiers, Kashmir Credit: flowcomm (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

For the first time in 45 years, soldiers have died in the highly disputes Kashmir border region as Chinese and Indian military forces have clashed. India has stated that one officer and two soldiers had died, with both sides saying that "no shots were fired". Indian local media outlets have reported that the soldiers have allegedly been "beaten to death" - with confirmation still pending. China claims that India has crossed the border twice on Monday. According to the Indian army, both sides are "meeting to defuse the situation".

Technology • Internet & Web
WhatsApp rolled out digital payment solution to users in Brazil
Screenshots of WhatsApp Pay in Brazil
Screenshots of WhatsApp Pay in Brazil Credit: WhatsApp

After testing a beta version in India, WhatsApp rolled out a system across Brazil on Monday that allows users to send money to individuals or local businesses within a chat, attaching payments as they would a photo or video.

The messaging application has more than 120 millions in the country, and small businesses already use WhatsApp as a marketing tool to answer questions or send catalogs.

“Payments on WhatsApp are beginning to roll out to people across Brazil beginning today and we look forward to bringing it to everyone as we go forward,” the company said in the post.

Politics • Asian • India
India runs out of ICU beds as 99% are in use in Mumbai

With a rising number of Covid-19 cases, India is running out of Intensive Care Units in Mumbai, which is most affected by the pandemic. The city reports the use of 99% of its ICU beds and 9% use of ventilators according to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation. Out of the 1,181 ICU beds, only 14 are open for new patients.

Climate & Environment
Pakistan's creative fight against continuing locust plague
Pakistan's creative fight against continuing locust plague
Credit: Binemarina (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The locust plagues that have been terrorising East Africa, India, and Pakistan in the past few months have still not disappeared. The unusual amounts of precipitation have caused the insects to reproduce 400 times faster than normal. Many fear the plagues to continue as the monsoons seasons are beginning in Pakistan and India.

Since the swarms have already destroyed tens of thousands of hectares of agricultural land, farmers in Punjab, the most important agricultural region of Pakistan, received ten euro cents for every kilogram of locust. The collected insects were then turned into chicken feed. Since this solution helps both to compensate farmers for their lost income and to eradicate the plague, the Pakistani government is now planning to expand the programme to the entire country.

Politics • American • US
Trump postpones G7 summit and plans to invite other countries

President Donald Trump said Saturday he would postpone the G7 summit scheduled to take place in June. Trump also said he would like to invite Australia, India, Russia and South Korea.

"I don't feel that as a G7 it properly represents what's going on in the world. It's a very outdated group of countries," Trump told reporters on Air Force One.

Earlier this week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she could not attend a June G7 summit in person.

Politics • Asian • India
India records 7,964 new infections in a single day - highest number so far

The Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi has published an open letter to the nation in which he wrote that "Many feared that India would become a problem for the world when corona hits it. But today, through sheer confidence and resilience, you have transformed the way the world looks at us". This comes as the infection numbers have reached a new all-time high for India with 7,964 new infections and 265 deaths in a single day.

Business • Economy
India becomes worlds second largest producer of PPE suits

After the country had only been able to import 52,000 PPE kits for medical use when the global supply shortage broke out, difference ministries and companies have cooperated and started producing PPE suits in India. So far eight million PPE suits have been produced and delivered and another 15 million are in production.

Climate & Environment
Toxic Gas Leak kills at least eight in India's LG Polymers plant

A gas leak from a chemical plant in Visakhapatnam, southern India, killed at least eight people, including three children, on Thursday morning. Around 1,000 more were rushed to hospitals, where around 100 are seriously ill, according to Tej Bharath, a senior Visakhapatnam district official. The leak occurred during the re-opening process of the plant and came from a storage tank.

Climate & Environment
People in northern India report seeing the Himalayas for first time in "almost 30 years" as lockdown eases air pollution

As India has responded to the coronavirus by implementing a lockdown, the air pollution in the country has decreased. People from Jalandhar in northern India are now reporting that they can see the Himalayas for the first time "after 30 yrs" as the air quality has improved due to industries shutting downs, plans being grounded and cars staying off the road.