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U.S. will ‘act forcefully’ to protect Americans, Biden warns Iran after clashes in Syria


President Joe Biden warned Iran on Friday that attacks on American troops would be met with retribution after militias launched a series of rocket and drone attacks against coalition bases in Syria.

“Make no mistake, the United States does not, does not, I emphasize, seek conflict with Iran,” Biden told a news conference in Ottawa during a state visit to the Canadian capital. “But be prepared for us to act forcefully to protect our people.”

Separately, Biden told NBC News that the U.S. was “not going to stop” fighting the Islamic State group in the region.

President Joe Biden speaks at the Sir John A. Macdonald Building in Ottawa, Canada, on Friday.Andrej Ivanov / AFP via Getty Images

His comments came after an American service member was injured at a base near the Conoco Gas field in northeastern Syria, which took incoming rocket fire, two U.S. officials, one from Defense, told NBC News.

Less than an hour later, the officials said three drones had attacked the Green Village, a U.S. installation in the area. Two were shot down and one damaged a building but there were no injuries, the officials said. Earlier on Friday, a 10-rocket attack on Green Village yielded no casualties or damage, they added.

The attacks came after the U.S. carried out retaliatory airstrikes following an attack that killed an American contractor when a suicide drone hit a coalition base near Hasakah in the country’s northeast. Five U.S. service members and another contractor were wounded.

Defense Department spokesman Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder told a Pentagon news briefing Friday that two U.S. Air Force F-15E fighter aircraft had conducted the strikes in response to that attack and to “a series of recent attacks against coalition forces in Syria” by groups affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.  

The strikes, he said, “were intended to send a very clear message that we will take the protection of our personnel seriously and that we will respond quickly and decisively if they are threatened.”

He added that the attacks had been authorized by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin at the direction of Biden.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a London-based opposition war monitor that relies on local sources, reported that the American strikes had killed 11 fighters on the ground.

NBC News has not verified the report.

U.S. forces entered Syria in 2015, backing allied forces in their fight against the Islamic State terrorist group, and there are roughly 900 U.S. troops, and even more contractors, in Syria.

Isis lost its last key territory in Syria in 2019, after an offensive by Syrian Democratic Forces fighters — a coalition of ethnic militias and rebel groups in Syria — and a U.S-led multinational coalition. 

Although Iran opposes the militant group, the uptick in violence marks an escalation in tensions between Tehran and Washington, which have been feuding over Iran’s advancing nuclear program, anti-regime protests and its drone deliveries to Russia.

Having tried and so far failed to revive a landmark 2015 nuclear deal abandoned by Trump, the Biden administration has been tightening economic pressure on Iran and has sent a signal that military force remains an option if all other means fail to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons. 

Iran agreed to restore diplomatic ties with Saudi Arabia in March after seven years of tensions. The truce, brokered by China, was widely seen as a symbol of waning American influence in the Middle East.

Peter Alexander contributed.

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NPR News: 03-25-2023 9AM ET


NPR News: 03-25-2023 9AM ET

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Kitchen Tips: 8 Things To Keep In Mind While Buying A Gas Stove


Do you have any plans to upgrade your kitchen and install a gas stove? Appears like this will be a tough task for you as buying a gas stove needs to fulfill a few requirements of what you call an ‘Excellent Gas Stove’. For many, buying a gas stove could be a tricky decision as it is considered a long-term investment. Now that there is a wide variety of options available for gas stoves in the market, it makes it more challenging for one to find out which stove to buy. You need to upgrade your knowledge about what factors make a gas stove a good gas stove, right from size, shape, style, colour, and quality. And so, to help you out we have listed down all the important factors you need to check before buying a gas stove.

8 Factors To Keep In Mind Before Purchasing A Gas Stove:

1. Size Of Stove

The size of the stove matters a lot. You might be eying on a special stove which might not fit into the space later. Always make sure to check the space you want to place your stove. Measure the areas from back to front. Note down the length and width of the space, so it is easier for you to match the stove at the store.

2. Number Of Burners

Stoves are available with 1 burner to 6 burners in markets these days. However, each burner’s size varies from one. Check your requirements for burners according to the members of your family. If you’re buying for one person, then 2 burners stove will be enough. In case you are buying it for a bigger family then 3-4 burners will work well too.

Also Read: Young Boy’s Makeshift Gas Stove To Fry Samosas Is Winning The Internet

3. Quality Burners

When you are checking the stoves, give a glance at the burners and check what their quality is. These come either in steel or brass. Stainless steel burners are more economical as compared to brass. Whereas, brass burners look classy and also have high heat tolerance. So, you can choose as per your budget and requirement.

4. Distance Between Burners

Keep a keen eye on the distance between the burners. There should be a good distance between each burner, as it will be easier to place big-size utensils on it. You may not be able to use more than one big utensil at the same time if there is not enough gap between the burners.

5. Top Finish

The traditionally used stove is the stainless-steel stove. It is the go-to stove for Indian families as these are quite durable and have a longer shelf life. Stainless steel stoves are also easier to clean as stains can easily be removed, but if you want to go for something new, then glass-top finished stoves are also available. These look classy but are delicate to use. You will have to be careful while using them and clean them right after using them.

Also Read: Easy Kitchen Tips: How To Clean Gas Burner 


It’s important to note all these factors while purchasing a gas stove. Photo: iStock

6. Auto ignition or manual ignition

Stoves are available in two kinds; auto ignition and manual ignition. With a manual ignition stove, you will have to manually operate the stove by using a match stick or lighter. Whereas, an auto-ignition stove doesn’t need anything to light the burners. You can operate it just by turning on the stove knob, however, these are not safe if you have kids in your house.

7. ISI Certification

Be smart and look for ISI certification. Many stores might fool you into buying a Non-ISI Certified stove which might not have been tested and isn’t safe to use. ISI marks are the hallmark of the Indian Standards Institute, so make sure to ask the seller about the ISI certification and procedure.

8. Style And Design

These days market is full of a variety of gas stoves that come in different designs, shapes and colours. Right from black, red, blue, any colour you look for will be available. So, the ball is in your court. Choose what suits your style and taste the best, also match it with the design of your kitchen so it blends in well.

Hope these tips will be helpful for you. Do let us know in the comment section below.

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Gold prices in Pakistan ease as market awaits clear direction


An undated image of a gold set displayed at a jewellery store. — AFP/File

Gold dropped nearly 1% in Pakistan on Saturday as investors look for a clear direction as the rupee hold ground against the US dollar fading the shine of the yellow metal.

According to the data released by All-Pakistan Sarafa Gems and Jewellers Association (APSGJA), the price of gold (24 carats) plunged by Rs1,800 per tola and Rs1,543 per 10 grams to settle at Rs205,700 and Rs176,355.

Cumulatively, the precious commodity lost Rs2,600, or 1.25%, per tola during the short week ending on March 25 — as the precious commodity registered losses in four out of the five sessions as the market remained closed on March 23. 

A day earlier, the bullion price jumped by Rs5,600 per tola as local markets reopened after a day off due to a public holiday on account of Pakistan Day.

Gold price moves in line with the rupee-dollar parity as the country meets almost all its gold demand through imports, and traders follow its international price in setting rates in the country.

Jewellers import the metal against the US dollar and UAE dirham before converting its price into rupees.

The association also mentioned that the price of gold is Rs16,000 per tola “undercost” in Pakistan, as compared to the Dubai market, showing that the Pakistani gold market was currently cheaper than the global.

In the international market, gold dipped in a volatile week that saw bullion prices north of the key $2,000 figure as bank contagion fears bolstered both safe-haven demand and bets on a pause in Federal Reserve rate hikes.

The per-ounce price settled at $1,978 after a decrease of $19.

Meanwhile, silver prices in the domestic market gained Rs30 per tola and Rs25.71 per 10 grams at Rs2,250 per tola and Rs1,929 per 10 grams, respectively.

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‘John Wick’ director gushed over Rina Sawayama debut


‘John Wick’ director gushed over Rina Sawayama debut

Lede: John Wick filmmaker Chad opened up about Rina Sawayama has entry debut as Akira in John Wick: Chapter 4.

Speaking to NME, the 54-year-old said that he got in touch with Sawayama after watching her music videos.

“I knew very little about her beforehand,” the director said. “I was exposed to her as we were casting the role of Akira.”

The filmmaker continued, “We’d seen her music videos and just something about her look and something about her performances in her music videos was… she seemed right out of an anime, and Japanese anime is a big influence for this.”

The stuntman added that he imvited singer to a Zoom call, “24 hours after I’d seen her video” and invited her to fly over to Berlin.

“She flew over, met Keanu [Reeves], met myself, and her enthusiasm and professionalism… She was just great and she asked a lot of questions. We put her with the stunt team. Again, her enthusiasm just nailed it. We knew we had the right person.”

Keanu Reeves also gushed over the 32-year-old stunt executions, “She’s a dancer and a performer, so her control and her understanding of space and her body and what it does mean to train… but yeah, because I think she hadn’t really lifted weights.

Chad set her up with a trainer, so doing exercises specifically for being able to do somersaults, rolls, kicking, punching and reactions. It takes time and prep, and she did it.”

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Srikanth Venkatachari Becomes New CFO Of Reliance Industries



Reliance Industries Ltd has appointed Srikanth Venkatachari as chief financial officer effective June 1, according a late evening release by the company.

He takes over from Alok Agarwal, who has been CFO since 2005, and will now assume the role of senior advisor to Reliance Chairman Mukesh Ambani.

Mr Venkatachari is currently the joint CFO for the company.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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No plan B other than IMF: Miftah Ismail


Former finance minister and PML-N member Miftah Ismail. — Twitter/@a4arshi

As Pakistan’s economy continues to dwindle amid financial woes and the authorities struggle to strike a staff-level agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), former finance minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) Miftah Ismail said matters with the global lender seem to have come at a standstill.

The cash-strapped country has faced growing economic challenges, with high inflation, low forex reserves, a widening current account deficit and a depreciating currency.

“The government did everything it could to keep up with the IMF,” he said, when speaking during Geo News show ‘Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Sath‘.

He added that there is no plan B other than the IMF in his view.

Miftah, when commenting on securing funds from friendly nations, said that Pakistan must conduct high-level diplomacy with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

“At the moment, Pakistan is in dire need of Rs5 billion to Rs6 billion,” he added.

Miftah further stated that if Pakistan defaults, it will not even be good for the world.

Commenting on the IMF’s concern with Islamabad about providing subsidy to smaller vehicles and motorcycles, Miftah said that the Washington-based lender’s question on the matter is valid.

However, he also mentioned that Pakistan, too, has the answer to their query on fuel subsidy.

Earlier this week, the federal government had decided to subsidise petrol up to Rs100 to motorcyclists and owners of vehicles up to 800cc — in its bid to provide relief to the inflation-hit masses.

“Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has directed to provide subsidy on petrol to low-income people up to Rs100 per litre,” Minister of State for Petroleum Musadik Malik had said.

Earlier, it was decided to provide a subsidy of Rs50 per litre.

The minister had said under a comprehensive strategy, subsidised petrol will be available to motorcyclists and owners of vehicles up to 800cc.

Malik had further said owners of vehicles above 800cc would be charged full price.

He had said the decision to provide fuel at subsidised rates will be implemented within six weeks, adding that the government will make petrol cheaper for the poor.

Meanwhile, the IMF’s Resident Representative for Pakistan Esther Perez Ruiz, when reacting to the news of petrol subsidy, had said that the global lender was not consulted by Islamabad before it planned to increase fuel costs for wealthier drivers in order to pay for a subsidy for the country’s lower-income population.

“Fund staff are seeking greater details on the scheme in terms of its operation, cost, targeting, protections against fraud and abuse, and offsetting measures, and will carefully discuss these elements with the authorities,” Ruiz had said.

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Tornadoes tear through Mississippi killing at least 10 and leaving 100-mile destruction path


A severe weather outbreak across several southern states Friday evening and Saturday morning produced at least one deadly tornado in Mississippi.

FOX News Channel has confirmed at least seven dead in Rolling Fork, Mississippi and three in Carroll County, Mississippi, due to the storm that pummeled across the state Friday evening, destroying buildings and knocking out power for thousands of residents. FOX Weather confirmed at least two people were injured, too. Those numbers are expected to rise.

The severe line of storms prompted a tornado emergency to be issued in a few towns, which is the most dire of tornado-related alerts. By definition, it warns that a “large and violent” tornado likely to cause significant widespread damage, and numerous fatalities is on the ground.

Many areas across Mississippi experienced widespread damage, including the northeastern town of Amory, which is not too far from the Alabama state line. Resident Holly Barnes shared a series of photos on Facebook with the caption, “Amory got hit, but we got out. Trying to get home if we still have one.”


Significant damage to the National Guard building in Amory, Miss. following a tornado outbreak. (Holly Barnes)

Homes damaged from a tornado in Amory, Miss., on Friday, March 24, 2023.

Homes damaged from a tornado in Amory, Miss., on Friday, March 24, 2023. (Holly Barnes)

First responder agencies in the hardest hit towns posted on social media asking drivers to stay away from the ravaged areas. 

Amory’s police and fire departments shared the same statement shortly after the tornado passed through:

“Please stay home and do not attempt to drive through Amory. Emergency crews can not do their jobs to help get power back on and assess damage and perform rescue if they cannot access areas. Please be safe and stay in a secure location instead of driving through Amory!”

Debris wrapped around trees in Amory, Miss., after a tornado struck the town on Friday, March 24, 2023.

Debris wrapped around trees in Amory, Miss., after a tornado struck the town on Friday, March 24, 2023. (Holly Barnes)

Damage left behind from a devastating tornado in Amory, Miss., March 24, 2023.

Damage left behind from a devastating tornado in Amory, Miss., March 24, 2023. (Holly Barnes)

The first major tornado started in the town of Rolling Fork,  FOX Weather reported, and continued 30 miles northeast through Silver City – first responder agencies report severe damage in both areas. Radar analysis indicated it was on the ground for about 80 miles and lifted debris at least 20,000 feet in the air during its destructive path.

Fred Miller, the former mayor of Rolling Fork, told FOX Weather much of the town has been destroyed.

“The west part of Rolling Fork is a residential area, and just a number of houses over there have been completely destroyed,” Miller said. “Highway 61, where most of our businesses are, all of the businesses on 61 have been completely destroyed. People are trapped in a couple of the eateries, and people are trying to get them out now.”


Brett Adair, FOX Weather’s field meteorologist who was chasing the storm, witnessed the twister enter Silver City.

“We had the drone up in the air and saw this massive tornado coming in, probably 5 or 6 miles away, and then just watched numerous explosions as it came across the highway here in Silver City.”


Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said the state activated medical support following the outbreak and tweeted the following statement:

“Many in the MS Delta need your prayer and God’s protection tonight. We have activated medical support—surging more ambulances and other emergency assets for those affected. Search and rescue is active. Watch weather reports and stay cautious through the night, Mississippi!”


As of 3:20 a.m., over 20,000 people were without power across Mississippi, according to PowerOutage.us.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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This Hyderabadi Veg Dalcha Is A Delicious Addition To Your Lunch Menu


Hyderabadi cuisine is one of the most loved cuisines in the country. It is an amalgamation of Mughlai, Turkish and Arabic cuisines, and boats of a wide variety of non-vegetarian delicacies. From the world-famous biryani, haleem to korma, nihari and more, Hyderabad is every non-vegetarian food lover’s paradise. While these meaty dishes certainly hold a special place in our hearts, the city also offers a wide range of flavourful vegetarian delicacies. Be it the classic Hyderabadi bagara baingan or Hyderabadi khatti dal, these dishes too never fail to disappoint our taste buds. Adding to the list, here we bring you a Hyderabadi veg dalcha recipe that makes for a delicious addition to your lunch menu.

Dalcha is a Hyderabadi-style dal that is typically made with meat. It is quite filling, has a thick texture and is oozing with flavours. This vegetarian version of dalcha is made with chana dal and lauki. You can make this delicious stew for a wholesome lunch meal. It tastes best when paired with piping hot jeera rice, biryani or any other Indian bread of your choice. This is a very simple recipe and we are sure that you’ll absolutely love it! Let’s take a look at the recipe below.

Also Read: 5 Authentic Hyderabadi Mutton Recipes You Must Try

Hyderabadi Veg Dalcha Recipe: How To Make Hyderabadi Veg Dalcha

  • To begin with, first, we need to wash the chana dal thoroughly. Soak it in water for around 30-40 minutes. Drain the dal and keep it aside. Now, heat some oil in a pressure cooker. Add jeera and finely chopped onions and cook until the onions become translucent.
  • Add green chillies, ginger, tomatoes and all the dry masalas. Cook until the tomatoes become tender, stirring occasionally. (You will notice that the onion-tomato masala will begin to release oil).
  • Next, add the soaked chana dal and stir well. Add chopped lauki, imli and salt. Now, add water and give it a nice mix. Cover it with a lid and pressure cook on high heat for 3-4 whistles. Once done, remove the lid and garnish with fresh coriander leaves. Serve hot!

For the step-by-step recipe of Hyderabadi veg dalcha, click here.

Try out this recipe at home and let us know how you liked its taste in the comments section below. If you’re looking for more Hyderabadi recipes, click here.

About Vaishali KapilaVaishali finds comfort in eating parathas and rajma chawal but is equally enthusiastic about exploring different cuisines. When she’s not eating or baking, you can often find her curled up on the couch watching her favourite TV show – FRIENDS.

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Covid: Could the common cold give children immunity against Covid? | India News – Times of India


STOCKHOLM: Why children are less likely to become severely ill with Covid compared with adults is not clear. Some have suggested that it might be because children are less likely to have diseases, such as type-2 diabetes and high blood pressure, that are known to be linked to more severe Covid. Others have suggested that it could be because of a difference in ACE2 receptors in children – ACE2 receptors being the route through which the virus enters our cells.
Some scientists have also suggested that children may have a higher level of existing immunity to Covid compared with adults. In particular, this immunity is thought to come from memory T cells (immune cells that help your body remember invading germs and destroy them) generated by common colds – some of which are caused by coronaviruses.
We put this theory to the test in a recent study. We found that T cells previously activated by a coronavirus that causes the common cold recognise SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID) in children. And these responses declined with age.
Early in the pandemic, scientists observed the presence of memory T cells able to recognise SARS-CoV-2 in people who had never been exposed to the virus. Such cells are often called cross-reactive T cells, as they stem from past infections due to pathogens other than SARS-CoV-2. Research has suggested these cells may provide some protection against COVID, and even enhance responses to COVID vaccines.
What we did
We used blood samples from children, sampled at age two and then again at age six, before the pandemic. We also included adults, none of whom had previously been infected with SARS-CoV-2.
In these blood samples, we looked for T cells specific to one of the coronaviruses that causes the common cold (called OC43) and for T cells that reacted against SARS-CoV-2.
We used an advanced technique called high-dimensional flow cytometry, which enabled us to identify T cells and characterise their state in significant detail. In particular, we looked at T cells’ reactivity against OC43 and SARS-CoV-2.
We found SARS-CoV-2 cross-reactive T cells were closely linked to the frequency of OC43-specific memory T cells, which was higher in children than in adults. The cross-reactive T cell response was evident in two-year-olds, strongest at age six, and then subsequently became weaker with advancing age.
We don’t know for sure if the presence of these T cells translates to protection against COVID, or how much. But this existing immunity, which appears to be especially potent in early life, could go some way to explaining why children tend to fare better than adults with a COVID infection.
Some limitations
Our study is based on samples from adults (26-83 years old) and children at age two and six. We didn’t analyse samples from children of other ages, which will be important to further understand age differences, especially considering that the mortality rate from COVID in children is lowest from ages five to nine, and higher in younger children. We also didn’t have samples from teenagers or adults younger than 26.
In addition, our study investigated T cells circulating in the blood. But immune cells are also found in other parts of the body. It remains to be determined whether the age differences we observed in our study would be similar in samples from the lower respiratory tract or tonsil tissue, for example, in which T cells reactive against SARS-CoV-2 have also been detected in adults who haven’t been exposed to the virus.
(The Conversation)

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