* Foreign

U.S. President reiterates offer to mediate

U.S. President Donald Trump with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan in New York.NYTDOUG MILLS

U.S. President Donald Trump labelled as “very aggressive” a statement from Prime Minister Modi (on Pakistan’s role in terror) at the ‘Howdy, Modi!’ event at Houston on Sunday. Mr. Trump also said he did not realise the statement would be made and said it was well received in the room.

“You have two big countries and they are warring countries, and they've been fighting. I heard a very aggressive statement yesterday, not to say that I was there. I didn't know I was going to hear that statement…but I was sitting there, I heard a very aggressive statement yesterday, from India, from the Prime Minister, and I will say it was very well received within room… that was a big room 59,000 people. But it was a very aggressive statement,” Mr. Trump said.

Mr. Trump’s comments were made to the press, which he addressed along with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan prior to their bilateral meeting. Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Ambassador to the United States Asad Majeed Khan were also present.

Mediation role

Mr. Trump also repeated his offer to mediate, saying he had a good relationship with both leaders and was “ready, willing and able” to mediate on the issue.

“I also have a very good relationship with India. I have a good relationship with both. So if they decide to use that feeling …among both…I think we can help out.”

The White House readout of the Trump-Khan bilateral said the two leaders had discussed de-escalation of India-Pakistan tensions and the importance of dialogue as well as combating terror.

“The two leaders discussed opportunities to deepen mutually beneficial energy cooperation and trade ties. They also discussed ways to de-escalate tension between Pakistan and India, ” the White House said.

House used by the Taliban was located next to the bride’s home

Villagers carrying a body on a stretcher outside a hospital in Lashkar Gah, Afghanistan, on Monday.AFPNOOR MOHAMMAD

At least 40 civilians attending a wedding party were killed by explosions and gunfire during a raid by U.S.-backed Afghan government forces on an Islamist militant hideout, officials in Helmand province said on Monday.

The raid, days after a U.S. drone strike aimed at militants hiding among farmers killed 32 pine nut harvesters, showed how civilians have borne the brunt of a war that has re-intensified since U.S.-Taliban peace talks collapsed two weeks ago.

Afghan officials said a house being used by the Taliban to train suicide bombers was located adjacent to the bride’s home that came under fire during Sunday night’s commando assault in the Musa Qala area of Helmand province.

On Monday, 30-year-old Musa Qala resident Mohammad Salim carried bodies of cousins and relatives to a burial ground from a house decorated for his sister-in-law’s wedding.

Mr. Salim and two senior provincial government officials said 40 people, including 12 children, were killed at the wedding venue when Afghan forces swooped on the house used by Taliban and Al-Qaeda militants to train suicide bombers. “We were going to the bride’s house for the henna ceremony, some of us were outside and some inside, (when) suddenly the battle began... We told the security forces that we were not members of the Taliban,” Mr. Salim said.

“But both sides ended up killing civilians,” he said.

Billy Porter wins best lead actor in a drama while Chernobyl took home a total of 10 awards

Glittering gala: (Left to right) Andrew Scott, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Sian Clifford and Brett Gelman in Los Angeles.AFPROBYN BECK

HBO’s Game of Thrones made television history at the 71st Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday, winning for best drama series. The sprawling fantasy series, which had its finale in May after eight seasons of blood and intrigue, won 12 Emmys for its swan-song season, adding to its record total for the most wins of any television drama ever.

The night was also huge for Amazon, which won the best comedy award, thanks to Fleabag, a series that grew out of a 2014 one-woman show by its creator, Phoebe Waller-Bridge.

Ms. Waller-Bridge won three Emmys on the night, including for best actress in a comedy, a win that came as an upset. The much-decorated Julia Louis-Dreyfus, the star of Veep, failed to win that award for the first time in the show’s seven seasons. Ms. Waller-Bridge also won in the category of best writing for a comedy series.

She has said that the show’s second season would be its last — and seemed to be sticking with her decision to end it. “To be honest, this feels like the most beautiful way to say goodbye,” she said.

As if to emphasise Amazon’s strong performance, even Alexa made an appearance, announcing the name of the nominees for best actress in a comedy as part of a bit put on by Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Kimmel, who were presenters.

Amazon’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, won two awards, with Alex Borstein winning for best supporting actress and Tony Shalhoub taking the prize for best supporting actor.

HBO steals the show

In keeping with Emmy tradition, HBO had a strong night overall, taking three of the top series awards, including a victory for a frequent winner, Last Week Tonight With John Oliver, as the year’s best talk show. The network also won in the category of best limited series for Chernobyl, which won 10 awards altogether.

HBO took the crown this year, earning 34 Emmy wins compared to Netflix’s 27.

For his work on Game of Thrones, Peter Dinklage won — for the fourth time — the award for best supporting actor in a drama.

Billy Porter, one of the stars of FX’s New York City 1980s ballroom-scene drama, Pose, won best actor in a drama.

It was the first time an openly gay black actor had won in the category.

Jodie Comer, a star of BBC America’s Killing Eve, won for best actress in a drama. In doing so, she bested her castmate Sandra Oh. NY Times

U.S. President says ‘it’s just a Democrat witch hunt’

Donald Trump SAUL LOEB

President Donald Trump on Monday dismissed the threat of impeachment over allegations that he tried to pressure Ukraine’s leader into investigating his 2020 election rival Joe Biden.

Asked if he was taking the threat from some Democrats seriously, Mr. Trump answered: “Not at all seriously.”

U.S. media reports revealed that an intelligence community whistleblower had filed a report after becoming alarmed at Mr. Trump’s alleged attempt to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in a phone call.

Mr. Trump has confirmed that he discussed what he says was corruption by Mr. Biden’s family during the call but denies applying pressure on Mr. Zelensky.

“We had a perfect phone call,” he told reporters. “Everybody knows it’s just a Democrat witch hunt.”

Mr. Trump has spent much of his first term fighting off allegations that he benefited from Russian-sponsored interference during his surprise 2016 win over opponent Hillary Clinton.

According to some reports Mr. Trump tried to pressure Mr. Zelensky to go after Biden by temporarily withholding U.S. military aid to Ukraine.

Vowing to take up what he called his “worries” about “Hindu supremacy” in India and the situation in Kashmir post-revocation of Article 370 with leaders at the United Nations General Assembly, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan said here that he wanted a “reset in ties” with India, but had been rebuffed. In his first reaction to the mega-rally by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Trump on Sunday, Mr. Khan said the Modi government was “carrying out an RSS agenda” against Pakistan.

“After the Pulwama attack, I had said [to the Indian government], please give us any indication a Pakistani was involved. India bombed us instead [Balakot strikes],” Mr. Khan said at the Council of Foreign Relations.

Links to terrorism

While he didn’t react directly to PM Modi’s comments on Pakistan’s links to terrorism in the 9/11 attacks and 26/11 attacks, Mr. Khan said he disagreed with President Trump’s assertion that India and the U.S. would together combat “radical Islamic terrorism”. “There is only one Islam, not moderate or radical,” he said, indicating that he had watched the rally of Indian-Americans at Houston’s NRG centre.

Mr. Khan made the comments ahead of his bilateral meeting with President Trump in New York, his first since the talks with Taliban were called off. He admitted that he had only learned of the U.S. decision to cancel a possible deal with the Taliban only through Mr. Trump’s tweet, and hoped the talks could be restarted. Both PM Modi and PM Khan will address the UN General Assembly on Friday.

Significantly, the Pakistani Prime Minister did not deny the presence of terrorists in Pakistan, and even suggested that Al-Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden had links with Pakistan Army.

“I will say, the Pakistan Army trained al-Qaeda before 9/11, so there were always going to be links. Many in the Army didn’t agree with the policy change post 9/11, when the same people we had trained were called terrorists,” Mr. Khan said.

In Srimad Bhagavatam, a yogiswara named Hari tells king Nimi about the characteristics of bhagavatas, said P.T. Seshadri in a discourse. Hari says that a bhagavatha will not think of a devotee as inferior because of his place of residence. Pillai Lokachariar, in his Srivachana Bhushanam, mentions an incident in the life of Vainateya (Garuda) as an example of what happens to those who think poorly of a devotee who does not reside in a pilgrim centre. While Pillai Lokachariar briefly mentions the episode, Manavala Mamunigal, in his commentary, elaborated on the story. The story is about a lady named Sandili who was devoted to Vishnu. Her story is found in the Mahabharata.

Galava was the sishya of Viswamitra. When the period of study was over, Galava asked the sage what he wanted as guru dakshina. Viswamitra said that he wanted nothing, but when Galava insisted, the sage lost his temper and said, “Get me 800 white horses. Every one of them must have one black ear.” Garuda offered to help Galava find such horses. He carried Galava and they went to all the worlds looking for such horses. But they did not find any.

Then they rested in the Rishabha hills. In those hills lived a devotee of the Lord, named Sandili. Garuda was very impressed with her knowledge and thought to himself that he should take Sandili to a sacred pilgrim centre. That was the proper place for her, not a remote hill, he thought. At once Garuda’s wings fell off. Garuda realised what his sin was. He had felt that the place where Sandili resided was not good enough for her. He had forgotten that a place where a devotee lives becomes a sacred place. Because he had forgotten this, his wings had dropped off. He then asks Sandili to forgive him and she does. And Garuda regained his wings.

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