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Showing posts from May 31, 2020

Sweden Sees Economic Growth in 1st Quarter Despite Global Pandemic

Sweden's GDP growth is a stark contrast to nations who initiated hardline lockdowns. Saturday, May 30, 2020 Image credit: Wallpaper Flare   Jon Miltimore CNBC  reports  that Sweden, which avoided a hardline lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic, saw its economy grow in the first quarter.  The Swedish economy expanded at a far superior rate than many of its European counterparts over the first three months of the year, data published Friday showed, following the government’s decision not to impose a full lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus. The Nordic country’s statistics office  reported  gross domestic product ( GDP ), the broadest measure of economic health, grew at an annual rate of 0.4% in the first quarter.  Sweden’s GDP increased by 0.1% in the first quarter, when seasonally adjusted and compared to the final three months of 2019. The median forecasters in a Reuters poll

The power of authenticity: Four leadership lessons from Jacinda Ardern

ANDREI ALEXANDER LUX JUNE 1, 2020 NZ PRIME MINISTER JACINDA ADERN. SOURCE: AAP/DAVID ALEXANDER. The qualities that have made Jacinda Ardern New Zealand’s  most popular prime minister  in a century were on display last week as she took an earthquake in her stride during a live television interview. “We’re fine,”  she declared cheerfully  as the 5.9-magnitude quake shook New Zealand’s Parliament House in Wellington for 15 seconds. “I’m not under any hanging lights.” Her coolness under pressure, self-discipline and the decisiveness of her government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic have led some  to call Ardern the most effective national leader in the world . But the key ingredient to her popularity and effectiveness is her authenticity. In the words of Helen Clark, New Zealand’s prime minister from 1999 to 2008, Ardern is a natural and empathetic communicator who doesn’t preach at people, but instead signals that she’s “ standing with them ”. . “They may even think: ‘Well, I don’t qu

India plays with fire spicing up G7 expansion

Source:Global Times Published: 2020/6/5 11:38:4 54 US President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi attend "Howdy, Modi!" at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas, September 22, 2019. Photo:VCG Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi responded positively to US President Donald Trump's proposal of expanding G7 into a G11 or G12 that includes India.  In a phone conversation on Tuesday, Modi commended Trump for his creative and far-sighted approach, acknowledging the fact that such an expanded forum would be in keeping with the emerging realities of the post-COVID-19 world, according to a statement by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs. The idea of G7 expansion carries geopolitical calculations with an obvious attempt to contain China. The US is keen on roping India in not only because the latter has become the fifth-largest economy in the world, but also because India is considered an important pillar for the US' Indo-Pacific Strategy. The US has long sought t

Hustling in the Himalayas: The Sino-Indian Border Confrontation

ASHLEY J. TELLIS JUNE 04, 2020 ARTICLE Source: Getty Summary:   Once again, Chinese and Indian forces find themselves locked into a tense border standoff. That the latest encounters are occurring at multiple locations along the Line of Actual Control suggests a high degree of Chinese premeditation and approval for the military’s activities from the very top. Related Media and Tools FULL TEXT (PDF) Print Page + Once again, Chinese and Indian forces find themselves locked in a tense border standoff. Confrontations between Chinese and Indian soldiers in contested territories along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Himalayan borderlands are not new. But, for the most part, these encounters end uneventfully, without the firing of weapons or loss of life on either side. Patrolling platoons have, however, often engaged in intense physical altercations involving scuffles and stone th

Delhi Riots: Denial of bail to a pregnant woman In May 2014 a heavily pregnant ex-Muslim woman Dr Median Yahya Ibrahim was given death penalty by court for leaving Islam and marrying a Christian man, in Sudan. Islamic law prescribes death for Apostasy, ie death to anyone who leaves Islam, whether born Muslim or convert. This is the law today in 8 Islamic countries, eg Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan etc.  〰Those clamouring over denial of bail to a pregnant woman, accused in Delhi riots should be cornered over this. That woman is on record giving provocative slogans in Delhi, she can't be pardoned just for being pregnant. The law specifies what to do in such cases, and is being duly followed.  Let us attack the death penalty given to a pregnant ex-Muslim woman and the death penalty to apostates in Islam. Let us trend # ExMuslimLivesMatter since ex-Muslims have a rewaard on their heads in any part of the world, including USA, Europe, Canada, Australia etc.   BBC News

Pakistan Army runs 'death squads' in Balochistan to eliminate Baloch people, says BNM

Pakistan Army runs 'death squads' in Balochistan to eliminate Baloch people, says BNM ANI |  Updated:  Jun 05, 2020 16:53 IST London [UK], June 5 (ANI): The  Baloch National Movement  (BNM) has urged the international community, especially neighbouring countries including India, to protect the Baloch people from  Pakistan  Army's "death squads". Hakeem Baloch , President of BNM (UK chapter) made the comments in the wake of massive protests that erupted across  Balochistan  after a four-year-old child, Bramsh, was seriously injured and her mother, Malik Naaz, shot dead by assailants in Makran area in the province. Some Baloch social media activists are pointing fingers at Zahoor Buledi -- the Minister for Finance of  Balochistan  provincial government to be having connections with the gang. Hakeem told ANI, "We know the mentality of  Pakistan ,  Pakistan  Army, military intelligence and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) as once this matter gets settled down, o

Why historic SpaceX launch blazes a trail for Australia’s burgeoning space industry

ANALYSIS ,  INNOVATION Rocket fuel: Why historic SpaceX launch blazes a trail for Australia’s burgeoning space industry CASSANDRA STEER JUNE 5, 2020 THE SPACEX LAUNCH AT THE KENNEDY SPACE CENTER. When Elon Musk’s commercial giant, SpaceX, launched two NASA astronauts in a spacecraft named Crew Dragon last weekend, he may have been blazing a trail for the burgeoning Australian space industry. The Falcon 9 rocket launched the spacecraft, returned to Earth and landed on a ship to later be re-used. And the Crew Dragon — which, from the inside looked like a souped-up Tesla — eventually docked autonomously with the International Space Station (ISS). The flight marks the first time in history: A commercial company has launched astronauts; A crewed spacecraft has docked with the ISS while ‘self-driving’; and A reusable rocket has been used to launch people, sparing us from debris re-enterin

Dangerous delusions — Ertugrul mania

Pervez Hoodbhoy Updated  June 06, 2020 The writer teaches physics in Lahore and Islamabad. A TURKISH drama series brimming with tribal intrigues, blood, murder, and conquest — all wrapped in pious religious idiom — has taken Pakistan by storm. Filmed in Anatolia, Dirilis: Ertugrul is a 150-episode fictional account of Ertugrul Ghazi, father of the Ottoman Empire’s founder. As of yesterday (Friday), the YouTube count for the 30th Urdu-dubbed episode had already clocked up 5.5 million views on Pakistan Television. Even those who made Dirilis are astonished — and hugely pleased — at its tumultuous welcome. Tribal Turkmen fighting for a homeland can’t be expected to capture the imagination of millions in some far-off country. But Pakistan is different. Transfixed, entire families are spending evenings watching it together. They think it is wholesome entertainment and genuine Islamic history. What history? This is a free-wheeling caricature of 13th-century Anatolia of which we know next to

Why Modi doesn’t feature in a list of India’s reformist prime ministers

Despite big ideas, Modi comes off poorly as a reformer, because his bureaucrats lack the motivation to push reforms and are beginning to enjoy unbridled power. SHEKHAR GUPTA .  6 June, 2020 Illustration: Soham Sen | ThePrint T hree questions: First, is Narendra Modi an economic reformer? Second, where would he rank in the list of India’s reformists: P.V. Narasimha Rao, Dr Manmohan Singh, Atal Bihari Vajpayee? And third, how successful is he in implementing his reformist ideas? If the answer to the first question is yes, what does he have to show for as he begins his seventh year? A lot has been announced and welcomed by those like us waiting for reforms to resume after a 10-year drought since UPA-2 began its slow suicide in 2010. Railways, agriculture, banking, manufacturing, labour laws, power sector, civil aviation, FDI in new sectors, PSUs, coal, mining, taxation — the


02 JUN 2020 - 17:18 BACK TO ARCHIVE Author(s):   Ian Anthony The Chemical Weapons Convention is widely recognised as the most successful multilateral disarmament instrument. Yet, recent developments (especially in Syria) show that the prevention of chemical attacks and the prosecution of perpetrators remains highly complex. This fifth episode of the Clingendael Spectator series on arms control analyses how the OPCW can maintain the Convention effectively in the face of political contestation. With 193 States Parties, the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) represents a commitment by 98 per cent of the world population to turn their back on chemical weapons (CW) in perpetuity. The CWC obligations fall equally on members and it includes far-reaching verification procedures to detect chemical warfare agents in militarily significant quantities. OPCW Headquarters in the Hague. © OPCW / Flick