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  • IAF always cautious and alert says Air Chief Marshal Dhanoa:-As tensions continue between India and Pakistan over the abrogation of special status to Jammu and Kashmir, Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa has said the Indian Air Force (IAF) is "always cautious and alert" to check any untoward aerial movement on the border....
  • Chandrayaan-2 placed in Lunar orbit, focus now on soft-landing:- India's Chandrayaan-2 mission, aimed at soft landing a rover in the unexplored south pole of the Moon, achieved a major milestone as the ISRO successfully injected the spacecraft into the lunar orbit on Tuesday. ...
  • Chandrayaan 2 successfully enters orbit around Moon:-In a major milestone for India's Moon mission, the Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft successfully entered the lunar orbit on Tuesday. Lunar Orbit Insertion (LOI) maneuver was completed successfully at 0902 hours as planned, using the onboard propulsion system, the Bengaluru headquartered space agency said in a statement....
  • Pak Army chief Gen Bajwa gets three-year extension:-Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa's term has been extended for another three years by Prime Minister Imran Khan in view of the "regional security environment", an official announcement said on Monday....

British warship to sail through disputed South China Sea

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SYDNEY (AFP): A British warship will sail from Australia through the disputed South China Sea next month to assert freedom of navigation rights, a senior official has said in a move likely to irk Beijing.

China claims nearly all of the resource-rich waterway and has been turning reefs and islets into islands and installing military facilities such as runways and equipment on them.

British Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson on Tuesday said HMS Sutherland, an anti-submarine frigate, would arrive in Australia later this week.

"She'll be sailing through the South China Sea (on the way home) and making it clear our navy has a right to do that," he told The Australian newspaper after a two-day visit to Sydney and Canberra.

He would not say whether the frigate would sail within 12 nautical miles of a disputed territory or artificial island built by the Chinese, as US ships have done.

But he said: "We absolutely support the US approach on this, we very much support what the US has been doing."

In January, Beijing said it had dispatched a warship to drive away a US missile destroyer which had "violated" its sovereignty by sailing close to a shoal in the sea.

Williamson said it was important that US allies such as Britain and Australia "assert our values" in the South China Sea, which is believed to hold vast oil and gas deposits and through which US 5.0 trillion in trade passes annually.

"World dynamics are shifting so greatly. The US can only concentrate on so many things at once," he said.

"The US is looking for other countries to do more. This is a great opportunity for the UK and Australia to do more, to exercise leadership."

When asked on Tuesday about a possible freedom of navigation voyage by the British, China's foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said all countries have "navigation and overflight freedom in the South China Sea".

"We hope other countries will stop stirring up trouble," Geng said.

China in December defended its construction on disputed islands, which are also claimed by Southeast Asian neighbours, as "normal" after a US think tank released new satellite images showing the deployment of radar and other equipment.

In a separate interview with broadcaster ABC, Williamson warned of the need for vigilance to "any form of malign intent" from China, as it seeks to become a global superpower.

"Australia and Britain see China as a country of great opportunities, but we shouldn't be blind to the ambition that China has and we've got to defend our national security interests," he said.

"We've got to ensure that any form of malign intent is countered and we see increasing challenges -- it's not just from China, it's from Russia, it's from Iran -- and we've got to be constantly making sure that our security measures, our critical national infrastructure is protected."

Australia has been ratcheting up the rhetoric against China in recent months, with ties tested in December when parliament singled out Beijing as a focus of concern when it proposed laws on foreign interference.

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Chandrayaan-2 leaves earth's orbit, moving towards moon

India's second moon mission 'Chandrayaan-2' left the earth's orbit early on Wednesday, 23 days after being launched, and is moving towards the moon following the successful completion of a crucial manoeuvre by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). The Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft is expected to reach the moon's orbit on August 20 and land on lunar surface on September 7.

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