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Showing posts from April 29, 2018


Sunday, 06 May 2018 | nadeem paracha | in  Agenda In her 2006 essay, “Branding the nation: What is being branded?” Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Michigan, Ying Fan writes, “People, culture, cuisines, heritage, celebrities, fashion, history and places of a country build perceptions in the minds of international stakeholders. A collective sum of all these perceptions can be termed a nation's brand.” According to Simon Anholt in the  Handbook on Tourism Destination Branding , “the world is turning into a gigantic market where through nation-branding countries compete with each other to boost their exports, attract tourism and foreign direct investment.” In the last two decades, one can notice a more prominent emergence of ‘nation-branding’ in which Governments hire advertising agencies to advertise their countries as brands to attract tourists and investment. For example, Malaysia promotes itself as being “Truly Asia” which expresses an image of a country that

Carina Jahani: The Swedish linguist on a quest to save Balochi Photo by the author Sajid Hussain  January 9, 2018 Profiles In November last year, a Swedish woman stood in front of a dominantly Swedish audience in Stockholm urging them to vote in favour of a presentation about a ‘dying language’ they had probably never heard of. She is Carina Jahani, a professor of Iranian languages at the Uppsala University. She was taking part in a research competition. “The Balochi language must be saved now. Otherwise, it might become extinct in 50 years,” she, dressed in traditional Baloch attire, appealed to the audience and three judges. “We need resources to save Balochi. Next year I’m going to apply for funding from the organisers of the competition,” she told me during an interview conducted at her office in Uppsala University. Born on June 11, 1959, in a small village of the province of Småland in southern Sweden, she has been working on Balochi for the la

GSTN Co from Private to Govt controlled finally … The whole idea is preposterous that a private company controlled by foreigners was driving GST! By   Natraj Shetty  - May 4, 2018 GSTN Co from Private to Govt controlled finally … PM Modi has asked MoF to increase the stake of the central government and the state governments in GSTN to 100%. The GST  implementation  was done with GSTN Co as its backbone. GSTN Co. was incorporated in 2013 during UPA 2 and it is a company that is  largely  a private entity.  Fifty-one  percent of it is owned by private firms including two top banks, two housing finance companies and a subsidiary of India’s leading stock exchange – the National Stock Exchange. The few private stakeholders have  foreign investors  in their holding. The  rest  is owned by the central and state governments. The fact of the matter is that many people still do not know the  difference  between GST & GSTN! There was a malafide intention, a  dubious  angle to the formation of GSTN Co. in 2013, on the

Picture of the day: Muslim women appreciative of Dr Subramanian Swamy

See this in Bengaluru Airport ! Muslim women appreciative of Dr Subramanian Swamy & even want to get photographed with him ! Speaks volumes of his role & how they want Triple Talaq to be banned ! Nation on the March !

U S Army wants to give soldiers a Netflix-like recommendation on the battlefield

Source: C4ISRNET.COM By:  Brandon Knapp     1 day ago To develop and field the next generation of combat vehicles, the Army needs to overcome the current problem: Adding new capabilities and systems is complicated by the weight-bearing and power-generation constraints of the original platforms. (Image courtesy of DASA(R&T)) If you want to watch a movie at home, streaming services like Netflix and Amazon have a suggestion for you. These companies aggregate massive amounts of user data and then leverage artificial intelligence algorithms to offer highly personalized recommendations to those very same users, all in a matter of seconds. Now, the Army wants to take a page out of Netflix’s playbook and use artificial intelligence to recommend decisions to soldiers on the battlefield. Researchers at the Army Research Laboratory (ARL) have developed a new approach to “collaborative filtering,” the AI used by Amazon and Netflix to provide personalized recommendations. The new approach

Balochistan: Pakistani forces attacking funeral gatherings

They have begun attacking our funerals; condemn the shooting at AtifBaloch’s burial: Dr Allah Nazar (Sangar News) Pro-independence Baloch leader Dr Allah Nazar strongly condemnedthe shooting atmartyrAtifBaloch’s funeral by Pakistani state backed death squad in Mand. The attack on the funeral is the worst example of state terrorism. Dr Allah Nazar Baloch said, Pakistan is violating all international laws in Balochistan. Silence of the UN on those violations is licensing Pakistan Army, its death squads and religious extremists to continue their vicious activities in Balochistan. Today, the so-called nationalists who talk about tradition and values;the religious scholars who issue fatwa in the name of Islam,are blinded by greed and power. All are silent on onMand incident. Such deed is a slap on the faces of so called nationalists as well. Their silence on such acts of terrorism during such events ispart of their preparations for the up-

RISK: If China invests in PoK At a broader level, if China invests heavily in the region, it risks becoming party to what has been a troubling bilateral dispute between nuclear-armed rivals. *If CPEC gets operationalised and fortifies the emergence of a fully functional China-Pakistan axis, this would hamper India’s larger interests in the South Asian region and force a strategic rethink in South Block. * The incentives for this would be even stronger if CPEC’s potential success renders PoK more industrially developed, thus granting Pakistan greater legitimacy over the region.* Whether India has any road map to take the conversation on PoK forward is a different debate but no nation can be expected to wilfully forsake its territorial claims. *Had India not registered its protest, that would have been perceived as a weakness,* and would have been a setback for India’s emerging power status in the international system.

Mind the Gap: How France and Germany Can Spearhead Joint Foreign Policy Initiatives Now

 Download     📌 Mind the Gap: How France and Germany Can Spearhead Joint Foreign Policy Initiatives Now 15/02/2018 | by  Claire Demesmay ,  Jana Puglierin ,  Laure Delcour ,  Barbara Kunz ,  Stefan Meister ,  Andreas Rinke ,  Frédéric Charillon ,  Laura Lale Kabis-Kechrid ,  Dorothée Schmid Given the current instability on Europe's borders and uncertainty about the international role of the US under President Trump, it is high time for Franco-German foreign policy initiatives. However, differences between the two, both on policy issues and in their strategic cultures, also limit their cooperation. This study shows how France and Germany can bridge - and exploit - these gaps to facilitate joint initiatives on four key topics: Russia, transatlantic relations, Syria and Turkey

EVENT: Pakistan and the Implications of the Rise of Islamic Militancy

EVENT 🔴 Pakistan and the Implications of the Rise of Islamic Militancy ➡INVITATION ONLY IN THE AUDITORIUM OF THE ANNEX BUILDING OF THE PARLIAMENT ARKADIANKATU 3, HELSINKI ➡ Date 15.05.2018 ➡ Time 10:00 - 12:00 🔷INVITATION ONLY As the Western allies in Afghanistan try desperately to come up with a solution to the ongoing war, the best-case scenario may be a less stable and more corrupt version of Pakistan. Pakistan is considered to be one of the most fragile places in the world, vulnerable to terrorist violence, political upheavals and huge economic challenges. Pakistan is also very much plagued by Islamic militancy that not only threatens Pakistan itself, but has broad ramifications in the South Asian neighbourhood and beyond. This seminar addresses the current situation in Pakistan with these themes in mind. In what direction will the situation in Pakistan most likely develop? What do the developments in Pakistan mean for the neighbours and beyond?

The Southern Gas Corridor: Challenges to a geopolitical approach in the EU’s external energy policy Challenges to a geopolitical approach in the EU’s external energy policy

The Southern Gas Corridor: Challenges to a geopolitical approach in the EU’s external energy policy Challenges to a geopolitical approach in the EU’s external energy policy PUBLISHED 03/02/2017BRIEFING PAPER 216 SUMMARY Natural gas is considered an important component of the EU energy mix, both as a replacement for more polluting fossil fuels and as a back-up for intermittent renewable energy production. However, declining domestic production has led to an increase in EU import dependency on gas. After the Ukraine crisis, the EU has become wary of energy interdependence with Russia, its main external supplier. This led the Union to accelerate the integration of its internal gas market and to support new pipeline projects, most notably the Southern Gas Corridor (SGC). The SGC will transport Azeri gas to South Eastern Europe, but faces numerous challenges related to its geopolitical nature. These include the lack of access to significant gas resources, security-related risks along i

The “European Approach” to Fighting Disinformation

The “European Approach” to Fighting Disinformation : Lessons for the United States April 27, 2018 Bradley Hanlon Research Assistant, Alliance for Securing Democracy      The European Commission  published  a communication on April 26 to the European Council and Parliament outlining the “European Approach” to combatting disinformation. The Commission’s report was the result of a several month process including consultations with citizens, stakeholders, and experts. The document focuses on four key principles: improving transparency in the way information is produced or sponsored, promoting diversity of information, fostering credible information, and fashioning inclusive solutions to disinformation. The Commission specifically calls for a broad, unified effort involving “cooperation of public authorities, online platforms, advertisers, trusted flaggers, journalists, and media groups.” The communication also explicitly identifies Russian disinformation campaigns as a driver behind

How pro-Kremlin Accounts Influence Western Public Opinion The Syria Swarm: How pro-Kremlin Accounts Influence Western Public Opinion May 3, 2018 Bret Schafer Coordinator, Communications, Social Media and Digital Content, Alliance for Securing Democracy      As the United States, Britain, and France launched targeted airstrikes against suspected chemical weapons sites in Syria on April 13, U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis  predicted  that there would be “a significant disinformation campaign over the coming days by those who have aligned themselves with the Assad regime.” Data collected by  Hamilton 68 , an online dashboard that tracks the messaging of roughly 600 Russian-linked accounts, revealed a significant spike in pro-Kremlin activity in the aftermath of the strike, lending credence to Mattis’ prediction. On April 14, accounts monitored on Hamilton 68 tweeted 32,083 times, a 35 percent increase from the d

Japan Should Increase Military Ties With Taiwan, Says Former Japanese Navy Chief

The Epoch Times May 3, 2018 11:34, Last Updated: May 3, 2018 22:58 Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyer JS Ashigara (DDG 178), foreground, the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108) and the Ticonderoga-class cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57) transit the Philippine Sea on April 28, 2017. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Z.A. Landers) SHARE   Share Tweet Share Email     By  Paul Huang WASHINGTON – As the Chinese regime continues to flex its military muscle, the former chief of Japan’s naval forces said that it is high time for Japan to increase its military exchanges and cooperation with its close neighbor Taiwan, which is also being threatened by Beijing’s aggressive activities in the region. In a Sasakawa Peace Foundation  forum in Washington on May 2, Tomohisa Takei, the retired Admiral and former chief of staff of Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF), said that Japan should remain vigilant in ensuring that China do

Mediating Security Arrangements in Peace Processes: Critical Perspectives from the Field

In this pa­per, Je­remy Brick­hill pro­vides an in­tro­duc­tory un­der­stand­ing of me­di­at­ing and im­ple­ment­ing se­cu­rity arrange­ments in peace processes as well as the tools, con­cepts and mech­a­nisms avail­able to man­age se­cu­rity tran­si­tions. More specif­i­cally, Brick­hill fo­cuses on 1) the re­cur­ring prob­lems of se­cu­rity arrange­ments me­di­a­tion; 2) the se­cu­rity and mil­i­tary as­pects of peace processes, and how to in­te­grate these crit­i­cal el­e­ments into me­di­a­tion and peace-build­ing strate­gies; 3) the phases of se­cu­rity tran­si­tions from war to peace; 4) how to pro­vide the at­ten­tion to de­tail nec­es­sary in se­cu­rity arrange­ments me­di­a­tion, and more. Download Eng­lish (PDF, 80 pages, 740 KB)