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Showing posts from February 17, 2019

West Bengal: Retired IPS officer commits suicide, holds CM responsible

Theweek.in By Rabi Banerjee February 22, 2019 22:48 IST West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee | PTI He was a police officer with a doctorate on the topic of land reform in West Bengal. He served the left front in the state for over two decades. He described Benoy Chowdhury, land reforms minister in the Jyoti Basu government, as Gandhi. He compared Basu himself to Nehru. He knew CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechuri since his college days in Delhi university, and described former West Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee as "a man of unparalleled honesty, conviction, highly principled to a fault". The police officer, former state inspector general of police Gaurav Chandra Dutt, committed suicide on Tuesday. According to reports, he blamed Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for his death, alleging mistreatment by the administration. An officer of the 1986 batch, Dutt took voluntary retirement early last year and had applied for the release of his pension paper

WEDDING IN RUSSIA

By Sudha  Narayan Murthy, wife of Mr Narayan Murthy (Infosys) She writes: Recently I was in Moscow, Russia. The day I went to the park, it was a Sunday. It was drizzling and cold, though it was summer. I was standing under an umbrella and enjoying the beauty of the place... when suddenly, my eyes fell on a young couple. It was apparent that they had just got married. The girl was in her mid-twenties, slim and with blonde hair and sparkling blue eyes. She was very beautiful Indeed. The boy was almost the same age and very handsome. He was in a military uniform. The bride was wearing a pretty white satin dress, decorated with pearls and pretty laces. Two young bridesmaids were standing behind Her holding up the hem of the wedding gown, so as not to let it get dirtied. One young boy was holding an umbrella over their heads, so that they should not get drenched. The girl was holding a bouquet and the two were standing with their arms linked. It was a beautiful sight. I  wondered

BLF 2018 REPORT AND ARMED ACTIVI-TIES AGAINST PAKISTANI FORCES

BLF 2018 REPORT AND ARMED ACTIVI-TIES AGAINST PAKISTANI FORCES Sangar News BLF spokesperson Gwahram released the annual report and armed activities against Pakistani forces and said,BLF’s struggle against Pakistan is within the parameters of international laws;Armed struggle is one of the essential part of our national struggle to get rid of slavery and restore our national independence as no conscious man would contradict it. Whereas the enemy state (Pakistan) is an unnatural and terrorist state, in the same way the colonization of Balochistan is unnatural and an act of terrorism. This has become clear to the world that Pakistan completely shuns and prohibits all kinds of political activities. This ban is not confined to the verbal decrees but a well established policy that has morphed into extreme levels of violence, which is continued across Balochistan. It is quite natural that against such oppression, repression and state terrorism, the importance of armed struggle increases fur

US: Where the jobs aren't

AXIOS FUTURE Steve Levine Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios   A swath of millions of Americans have been jobless for a year or more — the hard-core unemployed. Among the causes for their stubborn joblessness are lack of skills, drug habits and felony records. But there is another, largely overlooked reason:  Many of these unemployed people simply can't — or won't — get where the jobs are. Erica writes:  Increasing numbers of experts say the concentration of wealth in big cities, along with the rise of automation, is putting low-wage jobs out of the physical reach of workers. Often they live far on the periphery of cities, without easy access to public transportation.And for the first time in the nation's history, big numbers of Americans have stopped moving for work. Even when there are jobs in another city or state, they have been unwilling, for reasons no one has been able to decisively explain, to pick up and start a new life. Both workers  and  employers are gett

New Zealand’s complicated new relationship with China 

New Zealand's former leader denies authoring pro-China op-ed for Communist Party newspaper  / CNBC Did she or didn’t she? Former New Zealand prime minister Jenny Shipley “has denied writing a controversial opinion piece for a Chinese state-run newspaper headlined: We need to learn to listen to China.”: The piece drew scathing criticism from New Zealand’s deputy prime minister, Winston Peters, and comes at a time of heightened tensions between the two countries. This week an opinion piece carrying Shipley’s byline appeared in People’s Daily, a mouthpiece for the Chinese communist party, praising the country for its progress on women, its belt and road initiative, and poverty reduction. It appeared as the most-read article on the paper’s website on Wednesday. But Shipley has denied writing the piece, saying it had been constructed from an interview she gave the newspaper in December last year. Spy chief Andrew Hampton says damage to NZ relations with China plays no part in d

Women and children carried RDX, explosives used in Pulwama terror attack

ZeeNews By Amit Bansal | Updated: Feb 20, 2019, 14:50 PM IST SRINAGAR/NEW DELHI: Women and children were recruited to transfer explosives used in the Pulwama terror attack from one point to another, top intelligence sources told  Zee Media  on Wednesday.  The explosives were carried from across the border over a period of few months and the actuating mechanism to trigger the explosives were created locally. Both the components were fitted in the bomb justs days before the attack.  On February 14, over 2000 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel travelling in a convoy of 78 vehicles on Jammu-Srinagar highway was attacked by a vehicle-borne suicide bomber at Lethpora (near Awantipora) in the Pulwama district. The attack resulted in the death of at least 40 CRPF personnel and injured many others. Terror outfit JeM claimed responsibility for the attack and Kashmiri local Adil Ahmad Dar was identified as the suicide bomber. The RDX used in the attack is reported to be of Mili

AI'S DIPLOMACY DISRUPTION

Uscpublicdiplomacy.org Feb 20, 2019 Artificial intelligence, or AI, was a hot topic at this year's  Diplocamp , hosted by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Brussels, Belgium. At the center of the discussion was the question of how AI will change diplomatic practice. A recent report by the  DiploFoundation 's Diplo AILab, commissioned by the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, begins to address this query.  Importantly, the report delineates between different ways AI's disruptive power will impact diplomacy: it will be a prominent topic diplomats need to address as they manage global relationships; it will serve as a tool for diplomats to use on a daily basis; and it will impact the environment in which diplomacy is conducted. However, it states that diplomats should not fear that diplomacy as we know it will become obsolete with AI's rise.  "AI is often talked about as a technology with great potential for disruption and diplomacy will have to adapt,&q

An AI that writes convincing prose risks mass-producing fake news

MIT Technology Review Fed with billions of words, this algorithm creates convincing articles and shows how AI could be used to fool people on a mass scale. by  Will Knight   February 14, 2019 Here’s some breaking fake news … Russia has declared war on the United States after Donald Trump accidentally fired a missile in the air. Russia said it had “identified the missile’s trajectory and will take necessary measures to ensure the security of the Russian population and the country’s strategic nuclear forces.” The White House said it was “extremely concerned by the Russian violation” of a treaty banning intermediate-range ballistic missiles. The US and Russia have had an uneasy relationship since 2014, when Moscow annexed Ukraine’s Crimea region and backed separatists in eastern Ukraine. That story is, in fact, not only fake, but a troubling example of just how good AI is getting at fooling us.  That’s because it wasn’t written by a person; it was auto-generated by an algorithm f

Southern Thailand’s Fractured Peace Process at a Crossroads

https://www.geopoliticalmonitor.com/southern-thailands-fractured-peace-process-at-a-crossroads/ SITUATION REPORTS  - February 15, 2019 By  Michael Hart The shock return to power of political veteran Mahathir Mohamad in Kuala Lumpur last May signaled not only a new dawn for Malaysia, but also fresh hope of a peaceful resolution to a decades-old conflict raging across the border in southern Thailand. The 93-year-old Mahathir, returning for a  second stint as Malaysia’s prime minister , has long held an interest in securing peace in Thailand’s troubled Deep South, where separatist Muslim insurgents have fought the military for independence since the 1950s. After a high-level meeting in Bangkok last October between Mahathir and the head of Thailand’s ruling military junta, Gen. Prayut Chan-ocha, both sides appointed new peace envoys and initial talks began in January. The early signs were remarkably positive. Thailand, for the first time, voiced a willingness to consider making  conce