• 4 producers bid for India’s $8-bn attack submarine contract

    Four submarine producers from Germany, Russia, France and Sweden have entered bids to design a new diesel-electric submarine for India’s Navy. India sent a request for proposals to six firms in July, but potential contenders from Spain and Japan didn’t respond before the October 16 deadline, the Press Trust of India reported citing sources.

    The future submarine dubbed Project 75 (I) is meant to follow up on the Kalvari-class ships, the Indian variant of the French-Spanish Scorpene design. India plans to have six Project 75 (I) submarines in addition to six Kalvari-class submarines that are currently awaiting commission or being built by the Mazagon Dock Limited, India’s main shipyard. Russia’s Rubin Design Bureau is offering its Amur-class submarine for the Indian tender.

  • Explosion rocks the gates of Kabul military academy – media

    An explosion was heard by the gates of Marshal Fahim Military Academy, near a police checkpoint in Kabul’s Qambar square at around 3.30 pm on Saturday, local media say.
    A mini bus carrying cadets was targeted in the suicide bombing, sources told Tolo news. No casualties have so far been reported.
    The explosion comes several hours after three rockets were fired at foreign facilities early on Saturday morning. Kabul is still reeling from a horrific attack on Friday evening, in which 56 people were killed in a suicide bombing at a Shiite mosque in the capital.

  • Israel targets Syrian artillery positions after errant rockets land in Golan Heights

    The IDF attacked Syrian troops in response to five apparently errant rockets landed in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights on Saturday. The Israeli troops targeted three Syrian Arab Army (SAA) artillery units, the SAA being held responsible by Israel for all incidents of cross-border fire.  Such cross-border incidents occur regularly amid ongoing hostilities in Syria. No reports of casualties or damage in the Israel-controlled territory from the rockets were immediately reported, Haaretz said.

  • General election held in the Czech Republic

    The Czech Republic is voting in a general election on Friday and Saturday, with nine parties running for seats in the 200-member lower house of the national parliament. The populist billionaire Andrej Babis’ Action of Dissatisfied Citizens (ANO, Czech for ‘yes’) party held a 25-percentage-point lead in opinion polls in the run-up to the ballot. Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka’s center-left Social Democrats (CSSD) and the centrist Christian Democrats (ODS), the members of the incumbent ruling coalition, are expected to stay in power with ANO at hand, but a possible alliance between ANO and the right-wing euroskeptic Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) party is also on the table.

  • No alternative to Iran deal, ending it will affect European security – top EU diplomat

    There is no alternative to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, also referred to as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Secretary General of the European External Action Service Helga Schmid told the Moscow Non-proliferation Conference on Saturday. Schmid added that repudiating the deal would “negatively impact European security”, as quoted by the Interfax news agency. Brussels will do its utmost to preserve the landmark agreement, Schmid said, adding that she will visit Tehran personally in November to discuss the developments around the JCPOA.

  • ISIS claims credit for suicide bombing at Kabul Shia mosque killing at least 56

    Early on Saturday morning, Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) claimed responsibility for a deadly suicide attack on the Shia Imam Zaman mosque in the Afghan capital Kabul, Reuters reports. The blast killed at least 56 people. Islamic State did not provide evidence to support its claim, but said the attacker detonated his explosive-laden vest inside the mosque as worshippers were gathering for prayer.