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How should India deal with Balochistan?

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On July 24, a statement was released by a secessionist group Baloch Liberation Army(BLA) that their commander Aslam Baloch went to India without BLA’s permission and he doesn’t represent the BLA. The secretive group also emphasised that they will send their representatives to India only ‘if India makes the issue of Balochistan’s independence its state policy and support Baloch freedom struggle openly’. According to the experts, BLA is one of the oldest and most organised insurgent group fighting against Pakistan. Pakistani officials believe that an exiled political leader, Hyrbyair Marri, is leading the BLA but Mr Marri was cleared of terror charges in a British court in 2009.

After Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day speech, Indian media and NGOs increased their attention on Balochistan. Meanwhile many individuals travelled to India and tried to establish themselves as representative of Balochistan. Naela Quadri was one among several individuals who came to India and established a base here.

According to reliable sources, Aslam Baloch had arrived in India two months ago and he might be planning to launch a new insurgent group with the help of Naela Quadri. Quadri is believed to be offering a large sum of money to insurgents to form a new armed organisation. The statement reflects the policy of BLA that they would never allow any country to interfere in its internal affairs because they have always seen them as the sole protector of the Baloch national interests. However, the question remains that how India as a state should deal Balochistan? What should be the state policy? What kind of people should they support?

‘In the beginning, BLA was the only one, then BLF and BRA came. BLA was not geographically constrained on the other hand BLF was limited to Makuran region and BRA to Marri-Bugti Tribal areas. When you study their activities, and read their old statements it is evident that they took part in well-coordinated combined activities. Coordination was declined gradually after 2008/2009. There are many schools of thoughts with their own explanations that how it happened? One of the most accepted version is that they were unified under one command but regional leaders managed to create their own links, and for greater control, India persuaded an idea to break stronger organisations into several splinter groups. Weak and small groups resulted into less coordination and divided policies toward the enemy, in long term, it weakened the separatist movement’ argued Quetta based journalist Sarwar Ijaz.

If the Indian state and Indian people want to support Balochistan’s independence movement then it should deter state and non-state actor from interfering into their internal affairs and they should recognise that the stronger are organisations like BLA, more it would benefit Indian national interests because only a militarily capable insurgent group would be able to bring geopolitical changes in the region.

 

Adarsh Kumar is a freelance political journalist based in New Delhi.

Vice-president Biden Warns Russia will meddle in European Elections

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Vice-president of the U.S. Joe Biden has warned that Russia will meddle in European elections.

In his last speech before leaving office he said that Vladimir Putin will try and impose a vision of “military might, corruption and criminality.”

Mr Biden was speaking in Davos, Switzerland at the World Economic Forum.  He described Russia as the biggest threat to the liberal order, and called on America and Europe to stand up to Moscow but not “build walls.”

“Impose its will through military might, corruption and criminality”

He said, “Under President Putin, Russia is working with every tool available to them to whittle away at the edges of the European project, test the fault lines of western nations and return to a politics defined by spheres of influence.

“With many countries in Europe slated to hold elections this year, we should expect further attempts by Russia to meddle in the democratic process. It will occur again, I promise you. And again the purpose is clear to collapse the liberal international order.

“Simply put, Mr Putin has a different vision for the future, one which Russia is pursuing across the board. It seeks to return to a world where the strong impose its will through military might, corruption and criminality while weaker nations have to fall in line.”

So far most of the signs look like Trump will try to make deals with Russia rather than have a policy of confrontation.

NATO

Much of the speech made veiled references to Donald Trump, and he called on the incoming president to honour the U.S’ commitment to NATO.

He said, “Defending the liberal international order requires that we resist the forces of European disintegration and maintain our longstanding insistence on a Europe, whole, free and peaceful.

“It means fighting for the European Union, one of the most vibrant and consequential institutions on earth.”

Despite White House Assurances LGBT Advocates Fearful

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Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender equality advocates on Tuesday said they were bracing for President Donald Trump to roll back their rights in the workplace despite White House Assurances that this was not going to happen.

The official line is that the 2014 executive order issued by President Barak Obama that barred discrimination against the LGBT community working for federal contractors remains intact.

A White House statement said, “The President is proud to have been the first ever GOP (Republican) nominee to mention the LGBTQ community in his nomination acceptance speech, pledging then to protect the community from violence and oppression.”

Advocates, however, fear that Trump will bring in a new set of executive orders that would allow discrimination on religious grounds undermining the executive order that protected them.

Trump at Odds with other Republicans over LGBT

Many of Trump’s fellow Republicans have often fought civil rights that protected sexual orientation and gender identity.  Enforcing the previous executive order does place Trump at odds with others in his own party.  During his presidential campaign, he had acknowledged gay rights and called for LGBT voters to vote for him.

The LGBT community, however, is hardly secure in having a President like Donald Trump.  His vice president Mike Pence is a conservative Christian and he, along with other senior Republicans oppose gay rights.

The president of Human Rights Campaign, Chad Griffin, felt the appointment of Pence showed Trump’s true views on LGBT.

He said that although Trump spoke a good game he has filled his cabinet with those who had spent careers demonising the community.

U.S Supreme Court

The death of Antonin Scalia has left a vacant position at the U.S Supreme Court with many in the LGBT community fearful of who Trump will nominate as a replacement.

In an MSNBC interview in 2015 Trump said the Supreme Court ruling allowing gay marriage should stand.

Man Dies After Car Hits Him at Rock Ferry

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Reports have stated that a male pedestrian was killed after he was hit by a car that veered off of Old Chester Road and smashed into a wall at Rock Ferry.

The authorities confirmed that the man had died from the crash as of Tuesday morning.

The emergency services were contacted around the early hours of Tuesday around 7:30 am after the car had been reported to have struck the male pedestrian and then smashed into the wall.

The incident occurred near the intersection of Bedford Road. The driver of the vehicle was said to have survived the crash but is injured.

Death at Any Moment

After the crash the pedestrian was rushed to a hospital but had then been officially pronounced as dead.

The driver, who had to be cut out of the vehicle was also hospitalized but the condition regarding the injuries is currently unknown.

The authorities as of now are in the process of revealing the identity of the pedestrian who was killed and to be able to notify his family and relatives.

According to a spokeswoman for the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, their teams were said to have arrived at the location of the incident around 7:42 am.

Cutting the Driver Out

The spokeswoman stated that the pedestrian that was hit had received treatment by their paramedics’ team and was transported to the hospital of Arrowe Park.

According to the spokeswoman, the driver of the vehicle was taken out of the car after firefighters were forced to remove the entire roof of the car by means of hydraulic cutting equipment.

This method was to assure that the male driver can be safely removed and not injured by their methods.

Members of the fire services stayed at the scene of the incident for over an hour.

The authorities have requested for any eye witnesses to this incident to come forth and notify the roads policing team with whatever information they have.

London celebrities threaten to boycott council tax over bin collections row

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Shirley Valentine actor Tom Conti, fashion designer Nicole Farhi and playwright Sir David Hare are all threatening not to pay their council tax in a row about fortnightly bin collections.

Camden Council in North London, where they all live, used to collect rubbish once a week. However, in a bid to cut costs, it has cut back the collections to once every fortnight instead. However, the move has not gone down well in plush areas of London, including Hampstead, Primrose Hill and Belsize Park, which are all well known for being celebrity haunts.

Mr Conti, 75, said he pays £2,719 per year in council tax but wasn’t getting enough for his money. He said it was shocking that the council wasted so much money and did not collect the rubbish. He added: “It will mean dirtier streets. I don’t know whether they are targeting richer neighbourhoods on purpose but it wouldn’t surprise me.”

Ridiculous idea

Meanwhile, Ms Farhi who is married to Sir David branded the changes ridiculous, asking where she was meant to store her rubbish while waiting for a collection. She pointed out that she already pays more for her council tax than many people because she has a large house, and demanded that she get the same service as other boroughs of London. Ms Farhi said she was also concerned that less frequent rubbish collections would attract vermin such as rats and foxes.

Other celerity residents set to be affected include One Direction singer Harry Styles, chat show host Jonathan Ross and comedian David Walliams.

Camden Council said it was taking a road by road approach to bin collections, adding that it had made sure those homes will be serviced just once a fortnight have big enough storage areas so that rubbish does not spill out into the streets.

Police Make an Arrest in Quebec Mosque Shooting

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A man has been arrested in connection with the Quebec Mosque shooting that happened on Sunday evening.  They have also detained a witness for questioning.

The attack left six people dead, and five people are in a critical condition.  Earlier, police had said they had two suspects in custody.  Now one appears to be a witness to the attack.

One of the men was arrested at the scene, while the other was picked up after he called 911.  According to authorities the two men are believed to be in their 20s and 30s and had no prior record.

Canadian authorities have stated they do not believe that there was anybody else involved in the attack and they have the situation “under control.”  They have not given a possible motive for the attack.

Fifty People at the Mosque at the Time of the Shooting

At the time of the incident there were 50 people at the mosque.  Twelve other people were injured in addition to the six dead and five critically injured.  The fatalities were aged between 35 and 65.

In the aftermath of the attack provincial police have increased police presence by seventy five officers, while investigation teams are looking for forensic evidence at the mosque.

Terrorist Attack

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard have described the shooting on the Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre as a terrorist act.

The attacks come as U.S President Trump’s executive orders ban Muslims and people from seven countries from the Middle East and Africa.

The president of the mosque, Mohamed Yangui said the shooting happened where men were worshipping and was dismayed by the incident.  He was not inside at the time.  He thanked the public for the support shown on the mosque’s Facebook Page.

In June last year the same mosque was targeted by an Islamophobic group who put a pig’s head on the steps of the mosque during Ramadan.   Pork is forbidden to be eaten in Islam.

Pac-Man Father Dies at 91

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Masaya Nakamura, the famous Japanese founder of Namco, a well renowned games company, has died at the age of 91.

The most famous game of all that had been released by Nakamura was Pac-Man, which had been originally designed by an engineer from Namco called Toru Iwatani.

Iwatani was a game maker and in the year 1980 Pac-Man was released into the game market, with numbers showing that it had been played as much as 10 billion times.

Nakamura first founded the Namco Company back in 1955. The department store had first contained nothing except two mechanical horse rides.

Later on an invention of games took place as well as the creation of amusement parks.

Guinness World Record

According to the Guinness World Records, Pac-Man is considered to be the most successful game in the arcade world that is operated by coins.

Although the game does not involve any type of violence, game players were instantly hooked into it as they attempted to keep on trying to get the famous Pac-Man around the maze to collect prizes and avoid the other creatures.

The Pac-Man went on to spread towards merchandise such as t-shirts, as well as even influencing a nickname for boxer Manny Pacquiao from the Philippines.

Starting With the Pizza

Originally the roots for the idea of the Pac-Man had started due to an image that was seen of a pizza with one slice missing from it.

Nakamura then decided to use the word Pac, which is ‘pakku’ in Japanese, which represented the sound of the prey in the game being eaten by the Pac-Man.

In 2015 game maker Iwatani explained why Pac-Man became such a hit to people all over the world.

“Pac-Man is a gamer friendly game with tons of cute characters,” adding that these simple factors made it such an attraction to several game players.

Paris Jackson lands her first acting role

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Michael Jackson’s daughter Paris is entering the acting world. The teenager has just won her first acting role, on the Lee Daniels show, Star. Daniels had already sparked rumours a fortnight ago when he posted an image on Instagram showing the two engaged in a meeting. He captioned it “talking, talking, talking”.

However, it was not confirmed what they were talking about, until now. Sources said that the renowned director and producer actually met her so she could do a screen test. She impressed the 57 year old so much that she has now been offered a part in the show. Star already stars music legend Queen Latifah, and is about three women who form a band in Atlanta.

Paris has long spoken about her acting ambitions. In an interview with The Ellen DeGeneres Show six years ago, she said that she decided she wanted to act when she saw her father in the movie Moonwalker. The 18 year old has already embarked on a modelling career, being spotted doing a shoot for Chanel in Paris.

Low self esteem

She told Rolling Stone magazine that she had suffered from low self esteem problems for years, saying that there were people who thought she was ugly and others who thought she wasn’t. However, she revealed that when she was modelling, and focusing on what the photographer was saying, she felt pretty.

Paris also opened up about the heartbreak she suffered as a result of losing her father at such a young age. She said that while people told her that time heals, she did not think this was true. She added that you simply got used to it. However, she also said that losing her dad in 2009 meant she felt braver going forward because she had already dealt with the worst thing that could have happened to her.

Seattle Approves for ‘Safe Injection’ Sites for Drug Addicts

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Last Friday officials in Seattle announced that they have approved in what is called ‘safe-injection’ sites drug addicts addicted to substances such as heroin as well as other illegal narcotics.

These sites would serve as the first of its kind within the United States. It comes after a huge rising epidemic of drug overdoses that kills tens of thousands yearly within the nation.

Although such a measure has been regarded as extreme by them, they added that it is necessary nonetheless.

Such sites exist within Europe, in which drug addicts are supervised by medical teams and offer them needles that are clean and sterile.

If one user experiences the beginning phases of an overdose, drugs are given to them instantly to reverse the matter.

A Healthier Way to Inject

Places such as Boston, New York and others have been interested in these sites due to the increased deaths that have been resulting from overdoses of users.

Several have criticized such sites due to claims that it would further promote and encourage the use of such illegal narcotics.

However, others have stated that these sites will at least keep the addicts alive long enough so they can eventually help them in receiving treatment later on.

Sustainable Using

Those who supported these sites have stated that facilities like these have proven to prevent the spread of fatal diseases such as Hepatitis C and HIV back in the 80’s and 90’s.

This is due to users not sharing needles with one another. Ed Murray, the Mayor of Seattle, has stated that these methods will surely guarantee that lives of users are spared.

One professor on health law, Kelly Dineen has stated that these sites are not officially legal under the federal law.

According to figures regarding the deaths of users who overdosed, in 2015 about 33,000 users were reported to have been killed due to illegal narcotics.

Sir Mo Farah may not be able to get home to wife and children – because of Trump’s immigration rules

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Olympian Sir Mo Farah fears President Donald Trump’s new immigration rules could prevent him from getting home to his wife and daughters, who live in America. On Friday, the new president signed orders stopping anyone who is a citizen of seven, mainly Muslim countries, from entering America for 90 days.

And, while Sir Mo may be one of Britain’s most successful athletes, having taken two gold medals at the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games, he was actually born in Somalia, which is one of the countries on President Trump’s hit list.

He and his family are based in Oregon, but he is currently out of the country, training in Ethiopia. In a strongly worded message on social media, Sir Mo wrote: “On 1st January this year, Her Majesty The Queen made me a Knight of the Realm. On 27th January, President Donald Trump seems to have made me an alien.”

Now their home

He explained that he was a British citizen, but had lived in the US for six years. Sir Mo said he worked hard, contributed to society and paid his taxes. He added that he was bringing his four children up in a place which they now considered to be their home.

Sir Mo said he was so worried about the situation that he was now thinking about how he would tell his youngsters that their Daddy might not be able to get back home to them, and he went on to say that the President had made a policy decision based on “ignorance and prejudice”.

The elite athlete moved to Britain from Somalia when he was eight, and said that Britain had welcomed him, giving him the chance to fulfil his dreams. Sir Mo is now trying to clarify the situation as it applies to him because, although he was born in Somalia, he only holds a British passport.

 

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