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HEad Headline News 29/06/2022


• Indian Police Arrest Prominent Muslim Journalist

• French Propose Iranian and Venezuelan Oil Should Be Considered as Alternative to Russia

• Turkey Clears Path for Finland, Sweden to Join NATO


Indian Police Arrest Prominent Muslim Journalist

Police in New Delhi, India, arrested prominent Muslim journalist Mohammed Zubair, the co-founder of fact-checking website Alt News, on June 27 over a 2018 tweet that allegedly inflamed religious sentiments and risked being incendiary. Zubair's 2018 tweet contained a clip from the 1983 romantic comedy film that showed a hotel signboard's repainting from "Honeymoon Hotel" to "Hanuman Hotel," referencing the Hindu god. Zubair's caption — "Before 2014: Honeymoon Hotel, After 2014: Hanuman Hotel" — appeared intended to criticize the rise of Hindu nationalism following the BJP's ascension to power in 2014. The Indian government allegedly asked Twitter in 2021 to block the accounts and tweets of certain prominent journalists, politicians and organisations that had criticized the government and its policies. Zubair's arrest reinforces allegations of declining public criticism of government and the increasing marginalisation of Muslims in India.

French Propose Iranian and Venezuelan Oil Should Be Considered as Alternative to Russia

The French have announced that Iranian and Venezuelan oil should be considered viable alternatives to Russian oil amid high global energy prices. French President Emmanuel Macron also told his U.S. counterpart that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates can barely increase oil production. The Saudis' claimed 12.5 million barrels per day of production capacity cannot come to the market quickly, the only global spare oil production capacity outside of Russia is in Venezuela and Iran, two countries where US sanctions are restricting exports. Nuclear talks with Iran restarted on June 28, and Venezuela said a U.S. delegation arrived in Caracas on June 27, suggesting that Washington might be trying to ease sanctions on both. The French lost out of large investments in Iran’s energy industry when the Obama administration agreed to the nuclear deal with Iran which allowed Iran to join the global economy. But President Trump eventually left the deal bringing back sanctions on Iran.

Turkey Clears Path for Finland, Sweden to Join NATO

After weeks of holding up Finland and Sweden’s entry into NATO, Turkey and the Nordic nations signed a trilateral memorandum for the two Nordic countries to join NATO, removing Ankara's block to the accession process. It comes after the leaders of the three nations spoke in a three-hour meeting at the NATO summit in Madrid. “I am pleased to announce that we now have an agreement that paves the way for Finland and Sweden to join NATO,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Tuesday in a news conference confirming the deal. Details of the deal have not been published and it would seem they consist of principles and values rather than any firm commitments. Despite all the noise by Erdogan, it would seem Erdogan was using the event for domestic political considerations.

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