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Showing posts from January 10, 2021


Published   17 Jan, 2021   06:55am MUHAMMAD AKBAR NOTEZAI Yaqoob Hazara was a coal miner in Mach for over 30 years. He lived in Hazara Mohalla in Mach town until 2013, when he miraculously survived a firing incident. Such incidents had become all too common in Mach. Eventually, like most Hazaras who were once based in the mohalla, Yaqoob decided to permanently relocate with his family to Hazara Town in Quetta, some 65 kilometres away. Even after moving, Yaqoob continued working as a coal miner in Mach, until his health allowed him to. Eventually, his young and healthy son, Sadiq, took his place. Unfortunately, unlike his father, Sadiq was not lucky enough to escape death. Early morning on January 3, when most of his family and community were still asleep, he and nine other coal miners were brutally killed in the Mach coal field area. Masooma, Sadiq’s younger sister, heard about the killings later in the day. But used to hearing about one tragedy after the other, she tried not to think

The rising East

Trivium China On Thursday, ministerial-level officials concluded their four-day workshop on Xi Jinping’s new development philosophy at the Central Party School  (see  January 12  Tip Sheet ) . At the final session, the Party’s ideological czar, Wang Huning, had three instructions for senior officials  (Xinhua): Understand the big picture. Address “unbalanced” development. Improve the country’s ability to survive, compete, and sustain itself. Easy-peasy!  On Friday, Chen Yixin,  secretary general of Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission, debriefed his colleagues on the workshop's key points  (Sohu). Chen went all big picture: The pandemic will have a profound impact on the international order. The US will persist in trying to contain China. The East is rising while the West is declining. Get smart:  Xi has long held the view that the balance of power in the international order is shifting in China's favor (see the  June 25, 2018 Tip Sheet ). What that means:  Xi and the

Bi-latte-ral relations

Trivium China The socialist market economy and global capitalism makes for strange bedfellows. On Thursday, Xi Jinping wrote a letter to Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz. In the missive, Xi urged the coffee behemoth to help mend tattered ties between Beijing and Washington (Bloomberg): “I hope Starbucks will make active efforts to promote China-U.S. economic and trade cooperation and the development of bilateral relations.” “China…will provide a broader space for companies from all over the world, including Starbucks and other American companies, to develop in China.” Some context:  Xi’s letter was in response to a January 6 message from Schultz, congratulating China on achieving its goal of creating a “moderately prosperous society.” In his response to Xi's response, Schultz expressed his hope that Chinese citizens would use some of that moderate prosperity to buy more bean juice  (CGTN): "China has long been an important part of the Starbucks story." "I truly believe S

India’s inoculation challenges

With COVID-19 vaccine roll-outs happening across much of the world, a huge inoculation campaign is set to begin tomorrow in  India , where the government will focus initially on 300 million people listed as high-priority. Earlier this month, the Drugs Controller General of India approved the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, marketed in India as ‘Covishield’, and a locally developed jab, Covaxin. By end-2020, India, which has a population of around 1.3 billion people, had recorded nearly 10.3 million COVID-19 cases and almost 150,000 related deaths. The first phase of the vaccine roll-out will involve 30 million front-line workers such as healthcare professionals and 270 million priority beneficiaries, including people above the age of 50 and younger people with health problems. It is due to be completed by end-July. No time frame has yet been specified for vaccinating the rest of the population. Apart from the mammoth logistical challenges, the government is facing criticism for its approva

Iraq/Syria: Islamic State attacks by quarter, 2020

Oxford Analytica Wednesday, January 13, 2021 Enabled in part by responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 saw a temporary surge in Islamic State (IS) assaults across rural areas of Iraq and Syria, as illustrated by our  Chart of the Week  this week. Attacks have also again become more coordinated and sophisticated. These trends could continue in early 2021, based on rising COVID-19 cases, new economic crises and political uncertainty. However, there is no chance of a return to the 2014 ‘caliphate’. The new administration in Washington will step up counter-terrorism efforts and stabilisation funding, which could ultimately reverse IS gains.

Japan: The ‘Sixth Eye’?

Source: Oxford Analytica, Weekly Brefing Japan’s intelligence gathering capabilities have risen dramatically in recent years. The possibility of  Japan  joining the Five Eyes alliance is now seriously discussed in Tokyo and the capitals of the Five Eyes members -- the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Until the 1990s, Japanese governments were reluctant to develop significant intelligence capabilities, fearing a slide back towards the totalitarian surveillance state of the 1930s-40s. Japan's military intelligence community was isolated and often ineffective; as in other areas of security, Japan relied on US capabilities. However, military intelligence gathering was centralised with the creation of the Defence Intelligence Headquarters in 1997, and the government began procuring its first spy satellites in the late 1990s. The second Abe administration (2013-20) accelerated Japan's intelligence efforts. Tokyo signed a General Security of Military I

DeFi + Healthcare = A Trillion Dollar Opportunity

Solve.Care Blog By: David Randall, Ph.D. (David Randall is Executive Director and Resident Scholar with the  American Research and Policy Institute  in Washington, DC. His published peer-reviewed research focuses on health care entitlements, health data analytics and the application of health information technology. Dr. Randall also serves as an Advisory Board member of the  Solve.Care  Foundation). The global and U.S. healthcare marketplace is  h uge! With over 8 trillion dollars spent globally and over 3 trillion in the U.S in 2018, the numbers represent  spending  that dwarfs most industry segments. Herein lie the opportunity and associated challenges in applying new financing regimes that can potentially represent a fundamental shift in how health care is financed using decentralized financing (DeFi) and distributed ledger technology (DLT). As a result of the amount of money associated with the many facets of healthcare financing, there is an almost endless set of use cases to depl

New US Law on Tibet brings hope for Sindh

WASHINGTON, DC: Jeay Sindh Freedom Movement (JSFM) on Wednesday hailed the passage of a new US law in favor of Tibetan freedom and urged the passage of a similar American measure for the people of Sindh languishing under Pakistan military control. The US Congress last week passed the Tibetan Policy and Support Act (TPSA) of 2020 and President Donald Trump formally passed it into law Monday. “The new US law for Tibet brings hope for the long-suffering people of Sindh in Pakistan,” said Zafar Sahito , Founder of JSFM.  “Just like Tibetans have been suffering under Chinese occupation for seven decades, people of Sindh have been brutalized by Expansionist China & CCP closest ally, Pakistan military, for the almost the same amount of time since 1947, reiterated Zafar Sahito. He accused Pakistan military of carrying out war crimes and crimes against humanity against Sindhi people opposed to Islamabad’s loot and plunder in Sindh , just like Beijing has denied the people of Tibet their rig

Ampro Biscuts, Bambino: Kishan Rao Myadam

By Mohan Guruswamy Kishan Rao Myadam was my long time neighbor and friend. He was a fascinating first generation entrepreneur. He started life selling homemade "Ghanta" cheroots on his bicycle. The business expanded enough to give him the capital to start Ampro Biscuits which in a few years became the market leader in AP. I used to handle the Britannia biscuits account at JWT and I knew for a fact that its managers were more terrified of Ampro's growing market share than even  Parles. Unfortunately,  differences with his brother, Janardhan Rao, led to a family partition and the brother got Ampro. Ampro didn't last long without him.  Kishan Rao got cash to start Bambino Foods, now India's largest single manufacturer of pasta with plants in Hyderabad, Gurgaon, Haldwani and Indore. The two big food companies ITC and Nestles tried hard to make his company a contract manufacturer, but he constantly rebuffed them, insisting on keeping his brands flag flying high. Severa

Finance Ministry and Niti Aayog had raised red flags before Adani’s clean sweep of six airports

This assumes significance given that on August 31 last year, the Adani Group signed another deal to acquire a controlling interest in the country’s second largest airport, in Mumbai — the Airports Authority of India cleared that takeover on January 12. Written By  Pranav Mukul  ,  Anil Sasi  | New Delhi | Updated: January 15, 2021 7:55:51 am Last August, Adani Group signed deal to acquire a controlling interest in country’s second largest airport in Mumbai. File BOTH THE FINANCE Ministry and Niti Aayog had put on record objections regarding the 2019 airport bidding process, which were over-ruled, clearing the way for a clean sweep of six airports by the Ahmedabad-based Adani Group, records accessed by  The Indian Express  show. This assumes significance given that on August 31 last year, the Adani Group  signed another deal to acquire a controlling interest  in the country’s second largest airport, in Mumbai — the Airports Authority of India cleared that takeover on January 12. ADVERTI

New Business Models For The New Economy: How Professional Services Firms Can Innovate

SAP BRANDVOICE | Paid Program Innovation By Asha Ambike, Director – Industries and Customer Advisory, SAP Back in 2010, I worked for a global management consulting firm, and one of our projects was for a large telco around ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) Enhancement and Churn Management. A bunch of consultants spending months analyzing and modeling churn behavior and making recommendations on how the telco could enhance ARPU and control churn. Cut to today, the same job can be automated by a  SaaS solution  that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) to predict customers at risk and suggest retention offers to keep them in the fold – at a fraction of the cost of what we billed to the telco customer. This anecdotal incident is symptomatic of the disruption and change that digital technologies are bringing about in the professional services industry. One such  study  from McKinsey estimates that knowledge work automaton tools and systems could take on tasks that would

Rimdan marketplace links Iran to China-Pak economic corridor

Jan 9, 2021, 10:33 AM TEHRAN, Jan. 09 (MNA) – Chief Executive of Chabahar Free Industrial-Trade Zone Organization said that Rimdan Marketplace will connect Islamic Republic of Iran to the economic corridor of China and Pakistan. Speaking in an interview with IRNA on Sat., Abdolrahim Kordi reiterated that Rimdan Border Marketplace in Dashriari city will connect Iran to the economic corridor of China and Pakistan and plays a leading role in developing and promoting bilateral trade ties. Not only Rimdan Border Marketplace will provide suitable grounds for Iranian traders and producers to get access to Pakistan market, but also it creates a connection link to the joint economic corridor of Pakistan and China, he opined. After five years of continuous activity as well as approval and implementation of development of this area, suitable grounds have now been provided for activity in this free zone, t he managing director added. Emphasizing the significance of Rimdan Border Marketplace as a f

You could break espionage laws on social media without realising it

Sarah Kendall ,  The University of Queensland January 13, 2021 6.09am AEDT Did you know you could be  charged with spying  if you connect with someone who turns out to be a foreign spy on LinkedIn? Apparently, not enough of us do. Australia’s domestic spy agency ASIO recently launched its first  public awareness campaign , warning foreign spies are using social media and professional networking sites to recruit Australians as unwitting agents. So, how easy is it to commit espionage by simply making connections on social media? How do we know when a line has been crossed between innocent social networking and a national security offence? Who is at risk? ASIO warns foreign spies are targeting Australians who have access to  sensitive or valuable information , such as national security, government, intellectual property and commercial information. This could potentially involve public servants, or others with a government security clearance,  academics and researchers , and those in secto

Erdogan’s great game: Soldiers, spies and Turkey’s quest for power

Turkish president’s muscular foreign policy has left Ankara more isolated from the west       January 12, 2021 5:00 am   by  Laura Pitel  in Ankara This is the first part of a series looking at Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s geopolitical ambitions, from his renewed push in Africa and the fringes of Europe to his troubled relationship with the EU. In Baku’s Freedom Square last month, thousands of marching Azeri soldiers in fur hats and braided coats celebrated their country’s victory in the Caucasus — and the man who made it possible: Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Invited as guest of honour, the Turkish leader looked on as  drones  he supplied to Baku as it battled to regain lands lost to Armenia in Nagorno-Karabakh were given a prominent place in the military parade. “Today is a day of victory and pride for all of us, for the whole Turkic world,” said Mr Erdogan, surrounded by Turkish and Azeri flags. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, top left, with Ilham Aliyev. president of