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Showing posts from April 12, 2020

Future of Arctic Security

♦️THE GEOPOLITICAL PRESSURE COOKER AND THE CONSEQUENCES FOR THE NETHERLANDS
The Arctic environment is changing rapidly due to climate change. Despite continued cooperation between the Arctic states and other countries, the risk of the region becoming a playground for great power competition is increasing. _Current trends point to a further geopolitisation of the area, multiplied by the melting of ice._ Increasingly, Russia, China and the United States will compete in the Arctic in the context of the global power game. Moscow is stepping up its military activities and securitisation is increasingly characterising the American Arctic policy. Beijing is increasing its financial- economic investment in the region, which serves its long-term agenda of becoming a global superpower. The US administration has already started to respond, both by accusing Russia and China of their geopolitical activities as well as by stepping up its own involvement in the region. As a result, Arctic security is…

Mata Nasti Pita Nasti

ఆదిశంకరులవారు సన్యాసం తీసుకోని హిందూధర్మ పునరుధ్ధరణ కోసం దేశాటన చేస్తున్న కాలంలో వారి మాతృమూర్తి అర్యాంబ ఆరోగ్యం బాగాలేదని దివ్యదృష్ఠి తో తెలిసి హుటాహుటి తమ జన్మస్థలం కలడి వెళ్ళారు. తాము ఆమెకు ఇచ్చిన మాట నిలబెట్టుకోని ఆమె అవసానదశలో ప్రక్కన ఉండి ఆమె మరణానంతరం తల్లి అంత్యక్రియలు చేసి మాతృణం తీర్చుకున్నారు. మొదటి శ్లోకం:
మాతా నాస్తి, పితా నాస్తి,  నాస్తి బంధు సహోదర,  అర్ధం నాస్తి గృహం నాస్తి,  తస్మాత్ జాగృత, జాగృత
మనం నిత్యమూ చూసేవి సత్యం కాదు--చివరకు మీ తల్లి, తండ్రి , బంధువులూ సహోదరులూ, ధనమూ, గృహమూ కూడా అనిత్యాలు. ఇవే సత్యాలు అనుకోవద్దు. భగవంతుడు సత్యం, ఇవేవీ కాదు.తెలుసుకో, కనుక మెళుకువగా ఉండు. సన్యసించిన తరువాత కూడా తల్లి అంత్యక్రియలు చేసిన భగవత్పాదులు ఈ మాటలు చెప్పటంలో ఆదిశంకరులవారు అందరూ సన్యసించమనే పలాయన మంత్రం బోధించటం లేదు.నీవు నిజమనుకుంటున్నవన్నీ సత్యమూ నిత్యమూ కాదూ అంటే నీ విధ్యుక్త ధర్మాలు నిర్వహించవద్దని కాదు.
కామ క్రోధంచ లోభంచ దేహే తిష్టంతి తస్కరాః ఙ్ఞాన రత్నాపహారాయ తస్మాత్ జాగృత జాగృత
కామమూ, క్రోధమూ, లోభమూ అనేవి శరీరంలో తిష్ఠ వేసుకుని ఉండే దొంగలు. ఈ దొంగలు ఙ్ఞానమనే రత్నాన్ని దొంగిలిం…

Blaming Muslims

Blaming Muslims Updated April 18, 2020
IN a radical move that bears all the hallmarks of bigotry, India has brought charges of culpable homicide against a senior cleric for holding a gathering last month that authorities say led to a big jump in coronavirus infections in that country.Head of the Delhi-based Tableeghi Jamaat Markaz, Maulana Muhammad Saad Khandalvi was booked for manslaughter by police under a provision of the Penal Code which carries a maximum punishment of 10 years in prison.While there is little doubt that Tableeghi Jamaat leaders acted irresponsibly by continuing congregations in several countries, including Pakistan, despite the threat from the coronavirus, the extreme reaction from the Indian authorities betrays the latter’s intolerant and bigoted approach towards Muslim citizens.The action is very much in line with India’s unabashed and sustained discrimination against Muslims under the Modi regime.ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER AD
The recent move to stigmatise a…

TRIVIUM CHINA: Tag-team telecomforting

Malodorous numbers -- China Tip Sheet April 17, 2020 T Trivium China to me
21 hours agoDetails
FRIDAY, APRIL 17, 2020The Tip SheetKnow China Better.SIGN UP FREEHEARD IN BEIJING"[T]he stability of...the supply chain is impacted to some extent."
- Xu Kemin, Director of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology Industrial Policy and Regulations Department
Context: Talk about an understatement. Xu made this comment Thursday while discussing the difficulties facing Chinese firms in procuring key components from foreign producers in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many companies have been forced to jack up their prices to offset the increased cost of sourcing materials from abroad. Beijing may not like it, but China’s economic recovery will depend strongly on when the rest of the world reopens for business. More in the Tip Sheet below.

Pandemic or no, the stability (and quality) of the Tip Sheet will not be affected. Keep the Tip Sheet’s supply chain unbroken by forwarding to…

Why Ventilators May Not Be Working as Well for COVID-19 Patients as Doctors Hoped

Time.com Getty Images BY JAMIE DUCHARME 
APRIL 16, 2020 New York City emergency-medicine physician Dr. Cameron Kyle-Sidell sparked controversy when, two weeks ago, he posted a YouTube video claiming that ventilators may be harming COVID-19 patients more than they’re helping.“We are operating under a medical paradigm that is untrue,” Kyle-Sidell warned. “I believe we are treating the wrong disease, and I fear that this misguided treatment will lead to a tremendous amount of harm to a great number of people in a very short time.”Weeks later, claims from Kyle-Sidell and like-minded doctors continue to spark impassioned debate within the medical community, with some doctors moving away from the use of ventilators and others defending the current standard of care. What’s clear, though, is COVID-19 patients on ventilators aren’t doing as well as doctors would hope—and health care experts are scrambling to fix it.Mechanical ventilation always comes with risks: a tube must be placed into a patien…

COVID-19: Testing the exits

AXIOS.com
Where's the peak? Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Wednesday that the thinnest of margins — an infection rate of 1.0 vs. 1.2 — will determine whether Germany’s outbreak remains manageable or outstrips hospital capacity and forces a new clampdown.Why it matters: The key to reopening economies will therefore be to quickly identify and isolate those who are exposed to the virus.1. Some epidemiologists have proposed intense testing campaigns in which most of the population — even those who don’t have symptoms — are tested as often as once a week.But even Germany, which has Europe's greatest testing capacity, is testing roughly 0.6% of its population each week.2. Antibody tests could be used to pinpoint those who have recovered.Such tests are currently coming on line and, if accurate, would, in theory, allow large numbers of people to move about the world without risk or restrictions.But it remains unclear how long the antibodies last an…

COVID-19: China asks MEA to import certified testing kits, PPE

Posted:Apr 16, 2020 07:08 PM   Updated:2 hours ago Medical workers check information as they take swab samples from people to be tested for the COVID-19 novel coronavirus in Wuhan. AFP Tribune News Service
New Delhi, April 16Reacting to reports of defective personal protection equipment (PPE) having been exported to India, China has asked all sourcing authorities to be wary and has suggested that the problem may have arisen because the sourcing may have been done disregarding the genuineness or the ability of the supplier.There have been reports that nearly 90,000 PPE kits from China have failed the Indian quality and safety test.Of them, about 50,000 were among the 1.70 lakh donated units which arrived from China on April 5. Also smaller consignments of PPE, many from China, also failed the safety test.
Chinese Embassy spokesperson Ji Rong skirted the issue of even donated kits turning out to be faulty which are presumed to have been checked by the donators.Ji had a word of advice for th…

India Will Reject All Faulty PPE Kits Donated by China, Say Govt Sources; 50k of 1.7 Lakh Kits Failed Checks

China, the world’s main supplier of the kits, reportedly sent a poor-quality consignment that failed the quality tests. News18.comUpdated: April 16, 2020, 7:43 PM IST Image for representative purposes only.
New Delhi: Top government sources on Thursday told CNN-News18 that India will reject all the faulty personal protection equipment (PPE) kits donated by China and those that have failed quality checks.China, the world’s main supplier of the kits, reportedly sent a poor-quality consignment that failed the quality tests.
At least 50,000 of the 1.7 lakh PPE kits from China failed checks, said the sources.When questioned about the PPE quality problem, spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy in India Ji Rong said Chinese authorities have recently introduced stricter regulatory measures that require relevant exporting enterprises to provide written or electronic statements when declaring to the customs that their exports have obtained the registration certificate for medical device from the State…

Jaagrata Jaagrata: Awaken Awaken

(1/1)srkudai:
This is a simple poem which is supposedly by Sri Adi shankracharya. We can make see the Truth of these verses as we journey through our lives. Every moment, every instant, we can really see how True this teaching is.

There are several such works attributed to Sri Adi Shankaracharya which may not have been actually by Sri Adi Shankaracharya himself. May be some of these were by another acharya of the shankara parampara. However in this context the content of the verses is more important than the person who wrote them.

Elsewhere I heard a story related to this song. There used to be a watchman. In olden days the watchman used to roam around singing "Jaagrata! " to mean "Be Alert/Mindful" to everyone. That was the job of the watchman , besides ofcourse the obvious task of taking care of the security. Once this watchman had to go on a vacation and so he asked his son to do the job. The next day morning the king himself came down to the watchman's house t…

India dials up medical diplomacy, sends 85 mn HCQ tablets to 108 countries

The exercise to deliver the HCQ and paracetamol tablets has been a complicated exercise since most countries, including India, do not permit flight operations. PM Narendra Modi has cleared consignments of HCQ and other drugs for nearly 108 countries.Updated: Apr 16, 2020 13:02 ISTBy Shishir Gupta , Hindustan Times, New Delhi India has dialled up its medical diplomacy, sending loads of medicines to 100-plus countries over the last two weeks to help them fight the Covid-19 pandemic. A top government official told Hindustan Times that India is supplying nearly 85 million hydroxychloroquine tablets and close to 500 million paracetamol tablets to the 108 countries.This is apart from the 1,000 tonnes of paracetamol granules that have been sent to make tablets.“As we speak, a total of 4,000 plus consignments to 60 countries are being cleared for dispatch,” the government official cited above said. In all, the medicine supplies will cover 108 countries.

5 TAKEAWAYS ON U.S. CITY DIPLOMACY DURING THE COVID-19 CRISIS

UscPublicDiplomacy.org
Apr 14, 2020 by Jian (Jay) WangSohaela Amiri COMMENT PRINT AS PDF The current pandemic is a global crisis with implications for all levels of governance, but most importantly cities as they are on the frontlines of crisis response. It calls for leadership at the local level as well as synergy between the local and the federal governments. An integral part of the local response is cities’ international affairs role, given the growing linkages between international relations and urban priorities.Last week, the USC Center on Public Diplomacy brought together city leaders with international purview from 10 U.S. cities to share experiences and perspectives in navigating the current crisis. The group explored difficult challenges facing city diplomacy, impactful actions and future outlook for the practice. We would like to share five key takeaways from the roundtable discussion.Joining broader, city-wide effort of emergency responseThe functions of city diplomacy are sign…

ASIAN SOFT POWER GROWS IN THE CORONAVIRUS ERA

Apr 13, 2020 by Shay Attias : This article was originally published here by the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at Bar-Ilan University.The global health crisis precipitated by the coronavirus (COVID-19) requires a swift and dramatic increase in global transparency, collaboration, diplomacy and communication. The pandemic is forcing a reconstruction of global priorities, agendas and even the known order.Within that context, South Korean president Moon Jae-in is pushing a public diplomacy campaign to elevate his nation’s brand by leveraging the information the country has accumulated since January 2020 on how best to respond to the crisis. South Korean data has proven essential to the crisis management programs many other states are now scrambling to assemble.Coronavirus is not the first viral outbreak to severely affect Asian countries. The 2003 SARS epidemic, which hit China, Hong Kong and Singapore, pushed those economies to prepare for the next crisis. Because of that preparat…

RAND RECOMMENDS NEW METHODS FOR COMBATING DISINFORMATION

Apr 14, 2020 There is much work being done worldwide to combat misinformation and other malignant information campaigns, and effective research must go beyond simply identifying small components of much larger subversive efforts. The time it takes to uncover and stop fake news or compromised accounts requires a more robust methodology.  In response, RAND Corporation’s new report, “Detecting Malign or Subversive Information Efforts Over Social Media- Scalable Analytics for Early Warning,” authored by RAND researchers William Marcellino, Krystyna Marcinek, Stephanie Pezard and Miriam Matthews, provides recommendations in response to three key questions:What evidence currently exists regarding malign or subversive information campaigns on social media?What analytic methods can be used to detect such campaigns on social media?How could such methods be of use to the U.S. government, other researchers, and social media companies in the future?The crux of the publication is a novel methodolog…

China already has a WHO alternative

AXIOS.com
Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios We've all heard of China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which I have described as a growing global network of "Chinese-led, largely opaque alternatives to Western-led institutions and global norms."Yes, but: Western observers have tended to ignore a BRI-linked initiative that Chinese President Xi Jinping has recently touted — the "Health Silk Road" (健康丝绸之路).Xi has alluded to the initiative in phone calls and letters with several European heads of government since the coronavirus pandemic began, including Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and French President Emmanuel Macron.Why it matters: "It is the clearest example of the fact that BRI is not about infrastructure construction, but a broader effort to redraw the world according to Beijing’s preferred design," said Nadège Rolland, a senior fellow at the National Bureau of Asian Research.The intrigue: In August 2017, the then-n…

Inauguration of CPEC project Thakot-Havelian gets delayed due to corona

MUHAMMAD ASAD CHAUDHRY   
ISLAMABAD-The inauguration of Thakot-Havelian Expressway of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has been delayed due to the ongoing corona pandemic.
An 80 kilometre long portion from Mansehra to Thakot was set to be completed in the last week of February 2020.
However, when contacted the project director Ashfaq Ahmed Khan informed that the construction work has almost been completed and project is ready for handing over and taking over—a formal transfer of any road by contractor to the custodian.
READ MORE: PM announces extension of partial lockdown for next two weeks He, however, informed that the same process could not be initiated due to the ongoing corona pandemic because movement is curtailed due to lockdown in the country.
The said portion is a part of 120 kilometre long expressway being constructed by M/s China Communications Construction Company Ltd under CPEC that is divided into two sections, a 40 kilometre long Havelian to Manshera section and 80…