The first, presumably written by the edit page staff of the paper, underlines the absurdity of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s demands placed before the Nawaz Sharif government. Last week, the protest march, led by Imran Khan had stormed Islamabad’s red zone, proceeded towards the country’s parliament with next to no resistance from the government.
While, it was read as a victory for the protesters demanding Nawaz Sharif resign immediately the events that followed revealed that Sharif had played well. Because in the course of the next few days, the events unfolded in a way to make Imran Khan look increasingly vacuous, while Sharif held fort, quietly. From threatening to storming Sharif’s house, Imran Khan came down to demanding a temporary resignation, where he asked Sharif to step aside for a month so that the judicial commission’s enquiry into the alleged rigging in the country’s polls concluded without government pressure.
Naturally, national and international media reacted with ridicule. Almost in the way India’s media reacted when AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal first organised a dharna against his city’s police force, then quit the government and then decided to run for the general elections this year by challenging Narendra Modi. Like Kejriwal’s recent political trajectory in India, Imran Khan’s gimmicky ‘protest’ has not been received well by the media in Pakistan and abroad.
Understandably, therefore, the editorial in Dawn punches several holes in PTI’s stand on the Nawaz Sharif government by observing, “Consider that the very elections that the PTI is disputing were held under a caretaker government. Clearly then, even within the PTI’s scheme of things, if the PML-N was allegedly able to rig an election when not in office, could it not affect the outcome of a judicial inquiry when the party has governments at both the centre and in the principally electorally disputed province of Punjab?”
Almost as a nod to Dawn’s stand, an editorial on another Pakistan daily Express Tribune describes Imran Khan’s situation as ‘Lose Lose’. Talking about Khan’s grand announcements, the writer Saroop Ijaz says about PTI’s stir, “Everybody wants it to stop, except maybe Mr Imran Khan. One can only speculate on how those who truly care for him will be pained to see all this happening to him. It is all heading towards ending with a whimper; any banging sound will only be made by heads.”
The second editorial in Dawn spells it out without mincing words: “What is the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s great revolutionary idea that will fix our broken homeland? Replacement of Nawaz Sharif with Imran Khan? Is the PTI fighting for a goal larger than the political aggrandisement of Imran Khan?”
Writer Babar Sattar observes, “If its sole purpose is to fix a perceived unproven wrong inflicted on the PTI voter in 2013, this movement by definition is a narrow partisan struggle not aimed at empowering ordinary citizens but a means to snatch power from the PML-N and hand it to the PTI.”
And it’s not just Pakistanis who seem to be discomfited by Imran Khan’s flashy political rhetoric and confusing political message. New York Times’ Declan Walsh observes in a piece on the protest that the mood at the protests is mostly carnival-esque. He writes, “On the streets, Mr. Khan’s movement has the boisterous feel of a midsummer music festival. Pop stars introduce his speeches, which are punctuated by songs during which his supporters, many of them women, burst into dance. A disc jockey known as DJ Butt is part of his entourage.”
It’s almost impossible to ignore the glaring similarities with the anti-corruption movement started by Anna Hazare, steeped in rousing youth support. Like that movement was almost a performed, with all its pop culture ramifications, Imran Khan’s ‘protest’ seems theatrical, almost an elaborate attempt to confer heroism on Imran Khan, anew.
It’s equally hard to ignore, how, like the anti-corruption movement that AAP’s grandiose anti-establishment politicking ran out of fizz. And the latter got branded as ‘anarchists’ – a brand they anyway decided to flaunt with impudence. However, the petulance had its effect on the voters, reflected in the shoddy performance of the party in the general elections.
Imran Khan, might, well be headed in the direction. The Wall Street Journal notes that despite all the sound and fury, despite Khan promising at least a million protesters, the officials numbers could be anything between just 20,000 and 50,000. Definitely not more than 60,000.
Like we had noted in our live blog in the past, Khan’s call to stop paying taxes and utility bills was met were severe criticism from the business communities and intellectuals of the country who pointed out that he is encouraging the citizens to serve a death blow to their own country’s economy.
Also, PTI’s voters in Peshawar were reportedly wary of Khan’s theatrics and said that none of the promises made to them have even been taken up by Khan in the past few months. The region continues to suffer from the same old ills.
Walsh notes in The New York Times article, “Mr. Khan’s call for supporters to stop paying taxes and utility bills met with widespread derision because few Pakistanis pay income taxes, and the country is already crippled with power shortages.” Much like Kejriwal’s call to Delhi to stop paying bills was met with a fair amount of concern.
If the alarm bells ringing about Khan manage to shake his voters up, this protest movement might be just his undoing.
Courtesy: First Post
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The government on Thursday approached both Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) after Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif advised Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to give talks one more chance.
Prime minister and army chief met for the second time in three days against the backdrop of government’s lingering deadlock with PTI and PAT.
Insiders told The Express Tribune that Nawaz briefed the army chief about talks with Qadri and Imran.
According to sources, the premier told General Raheel that government had agreed to accept first two demands of PAT in return for Qadri calling off the sit-in outside the Parliament.
But an agreement could not be reached after Qadri refused to accept the government’s condition, sources said.
Sources further said the army chief advised the prime minister to give talks one more chance and after which the government decided to approach both PTI and PAT.
A senior government official claimed that the army chief conveyed a clear message to both Qadri and Imran to resolve the impasse through dialogue.
“It was agreed to take necessary measures for resumption of stalled process of negotiations for an expeditious resolution in the best national interest,” the spokesperson for the PM House added.
The crucial meeting was held hours after talks between government and Qadri broke down on Wednesday evening over the registration of First Information Report (FIR) of Model Town incident.
Following the meeting between the COAS and premier, the government agreed to accept Qadri’s demand of FIR.
The official while requesting anonymity also said the next 24 hours would be very crucial.
He also insisted that the army chief extended his support to the government in the face off of brewing political tensions.
However, army officials could not be reached for their reaction on the meeting between General Raheel and Nawaz Sharif.
Later, both PAT and PTI accepted army chief’s role as mediator and guarantor to end the crisis.
Courtesy: The Express Tribune
KARACHI: In an interview with a private TV channel on late Tuesday night, former president general (retd) Pervez Musharraf supported the demand for ‘change’ and stressed the United States must not interfere in Pakistan’s internal politics. His remarks come at a time when many have been speculating that the military is involved in the prevailing political crisis.
Read more » DAWN
Boko Haram has seized control of a Nigerian town after hundreds of soldiers stationed there reportedly fled across the border to Cameroon, a police source said.
“Boko Haram fighters moved into Ashigashya” overnight on Monday, where they slaughtered three people in front of a church, a Cameroon police source told the AFP news agency on Tuesday on condition of anonymity.
Almost 500 Nigerian soldiers fled the Nigerian border towns of Ashigashyia and Kerawa over the weekend to take refuge from Boko Haram fighters on Cameroonian territory.
Read more » Aljazeera
War takes on new dimension after United Arab Emirates is accused of secretly bombing Tripoli with the help of Egypt.
Libya: The escalation of a proxy war?
The political turmoil in Libya is exposing a growing gulf between rival Arab states. It is also defining a proxy war over the threat to the region’s old order since the start of the Arab Spring.
The United Arab Emirates is accused of carrying out air strikes on militias in Libya with support from Egypt. Two bombings in eight days are said to have caught the US completely by surprise.
Read more » Aljazeera
KARACHI, SINDH: Well-known legal expert Asma Jehangir has said that those driving the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) leader Tahirul Qadri are hell bent on sending the Prime Minister home.
Talking to Geo News, She said it seems as if the law is of no value in the country as any individual can hurl any kind of allegations by pulling together a crowd of 10 people.
Reacting to the allegations levelled by the former additional secretary Election Commission of Pakistan, Asma Jehangir said she had opposed his appointment in the ECP.
She said had the former chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry been involved in rigging, then Imran Khan could also have played a role in it. “All this is part of a conspiracy to dislodge the Prime Minister,” she maintained.
Asma Jehangir asked as to what it is that Imran Khan himself had done for the country. “If Imran Khan thinks that by resorting to such acts he can tie the knot, it is his mistake,” she added.
Read more » The News
A senior US official told the BBC that Washington was not consulted about the attacks and was “caught off-guard”.
The air strikes on militia positions around Tripoli’s international airport were reportedly carried out by Emirati fighter jets using bases in Egypt.
The Egyptian authorities have denied involvement, and there has been no direct comment from the UAE.
The strikes failed to stop militias from Misrata and other cities, which operate under the banner Libya Dawn and include some Islamist groups, seizing the airport from a militia from Zintan that had controlled it since 2011.
Read more » BBC
The US has said that ISIL is more dangerous than a conventional terrorist group in terms of ideology, military and financial power and present an imminent threat to American people.
US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel said, “ISIL is as sophisticated and well-funded as any group that we have seen. They’re beyond just a terrorist group. They marry ideology, a sophistication of strategic and tactical military prowess. They are tremendously well-funded.”
“This is beyond anything that we’ve seen. So we must prepare for everything. And the only way you do that is that you take a cold, steely, hard look at it and get ready,” he said at a Pentagon news conference which was jointly addressed by General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff.
“If they were to achieve that vision, it would fundamentally alter the face of the Middle East and create a security environment that would certainly threaten us in many ways,” Dempsey said.
Referring to the brutal murder of American journalist James Foley, Hagel said, “When we look at what they did to Foley, what they threatened to do to all Americans and Europeans, I don’t know any other way to describe it other than barbaric.
“They have no standard of decency, of responsible human behavior. They are an imminent threat to every interest we have, whether it’s in Iraq or anywhere else,” he said.
Hagel regretted that the secret operation launched by the US military this summer to rescue American hostages in Syria, including Jim Foley, did not succeed.
“We all regret that the mission did not succeed. The US will not relent our efforts to bring our citizens home and their captors to justice,” he said.
Hagel noted that US’ assistance helped Iraqi and Kurdish forces blunt ISIL’s advance around Irbil, where American diplomats and troops are working, and help the Iraqis retake the strategic Mosul Dam.
“A breach of the dam would have threatened the lives of thousands of Iraqis as well as Americans at our facilities in Baghdad and prevented the Iraqi government from providing critical services to its citizens,” Hagel said.
Courtesy: Out Look India
In an unprecedented public statement, Sindh Government minister has admitted that Pakistani armed forces have recently abducted the dissenting political parties’ activists in Sindh from their houses and later on killed them in a fake encounter.
Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Sindh Minister Javed Nagori has said that Pakistan Rangers, an armed force under the command of Pakistan Army, is abducting activists of various political parties from Liyari, Malir and other parts of Karachi, the capital of Sindh, and killing them extra-judicially in the fake encounters, reports a Sindhi daily Awami Awaz.
He further said that since Pakistan Rangers is a federal armed force and take orders from the Centre, therefore Sindh Government has no practical control over such actions. He mentioned, according to the journalists of Karachi, that Government of Sindh conveyed its objection to the Centre concerning such unlawful actions of the law enforcement agency, which remained unheard by Islamabad.
Malir and Liyari, along with other districts and townships of Karachi, are ethnic Sindhi and Baloch majority area of the city. Many a Sindhi and Baloch political activists have been killed in the fake-encounter so far in these areas. Majority of Sindhi activists killed in the fake encounters were associated with Jeay Sindh Mutahida Mahaz (JSQM), Jeay Sindh Mutahida Mahaz (JSMM) and Jeay Sindh Tahreek (JST). A high scale secessionist uprising has been seen in Sindh province, a historical land, during last ten years.
China’s Inner Mongolia is hosting the biggest military drill ever held by the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. The training of 7,000 servicemen from five SCO member states is set to test troops’ effectiveness in fighting terrorism.
The Peace Mission-2014 drill, being conducted from August 24 to 29 in China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, was declared open by Deputy Chief of Chinese People’s Liberation Army’s General Staff Wang Ning, who is supervising the military training.
Read more » http://rt.com/news/182400-sco-military-drills-china/
Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard says it has brought down an Israeli stealth drone above the Natanz uranium enrichment site in the centre of the country.
The Guards issued a statement saying the drone was trying to penetrate the site, state news agency ISNA said on Sunday.
“The downed aircraft was of the stealth, radar-evasive type and it intended to penetrate the off-limit nuclear area in Natanz… but was targeted by a ground-to-air missile before it managed to enter the area,” ISNA said, citing a statement by the Revolutionary Guards.
Read more » Aljazeera
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More details » BBC urdu
Islamic State militants are the most dangerous threat America has faced in years, top US officials have warned. Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel said US strikes had weakened IS in Iraq, but the group could be expected to regroup. America’s top general Martin Dempsey said IS fighters could not be defeated without attacking its base in Syria.
Read more » BBC
Hamas must halt its campaign of summary executions of suspected collaborators, Amnesty International today said after at least 18 more Palestinians were put to death by firing squad for allegedly providing information to Israel.
It brings the number of alleged informants executed in the past two days to 21, including several people arrested yesterday in relation to the killing of three senior Hamas commanders by Israeli forces.
“This flurry of executions by Hamas is made even more shocking by the fact that the victims were sentenced to death after trials which, if they happened at all, were summary and grossly unfair,” said Anne FitzGerald, Amnesty International’s Director of Research and Crisis Response.
“Hamas must immediately and totally cease its use of the death penalty.”
At least 11 people, including two women, were executed by firing squad today in al-Katiba prison yard in the west of Gaza City.
Seven others were executed after Friday prayers outside the main mosque in Gaza City.
Read more » Amnesty International
(Beirut) – Saudi Arabia has executed at least 19 people since August 4, 2014. Local news reports indicate that eight of those executed were convicted of nonviolent offenses, seven for drug smuggling and one for sorcery.
Family members of another man, Hajras bin Saleh al-Qurey, told Human Rights Watch on August 17 that they fear his execution is imminent. The Public Court of Najran, in southern Saudi Arabia, sentenced al-Qurey to death by beheading on January 16, 2013 for allegedly smuggling drugs and attacking a police officer during his arrest.
“Any execution is appalling, but executions for crimes such as drug smuggling or sorcery that result in no loss of life are particularly egregious,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa director. “There is simply no excuse for Saudi Arabia’s continued use of the death penalty, especially for these types of crimes.”
According to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), the Saudi government news agency, on August 18, authorities executed four Saudi men in Najran province. A court had previously convicted the men – identified as Hadi al-Mutlaq, Awadh al-Mutlaq, Mufreh al-Yami, and Ali al-Yami – of attempting to smuggle hashish into the country.
Read more » Human Rights Watch
GENEVA (14 August 2014) – Two United Nations human rights experts today expressed their grave concern at the situation of Pakistani asylum seekers in Sri Lanka who are being detained and forcefully deported to Pakistan without an adequate assessment of their asylum claims.
“States must guarantee that every single asylum claim is individually assessed with due process and in line with international law,” stressed the UN Special Rapporteurs on minority issues, Rita Izsák, and on freedom of religion and belief, Heiner Bielefeldt.
At least 108 Pakistani citizens have been deported since the beginning of August, according to the UN Refugees Agency (UNHCR).
“Most asylum seekers from Pakistan belong to religious minorities, including Ahmadiyya Muslim, Christian and Shia, groups that are often subjected to persecution, discrimination and violence in Pakistan,” Ms. Izsák said. “Many of them are being deported despite being registered with UNHCR and having their first instance interviews still pending.”
Violent attacks against religious minorities have increased significantly in recent years, according to Pakistani sources. Last year, 687 persons belonging to religious minorities were reportedly killed in over 200 separate attacks.
“Such violence is fueled by existing blasphemy legislation particularly targeting minorities and lack of protective measures for them in Pakistan,” Mr. Bielefeldt said.
“The personal security and safety of Ahmadiyya Muslims, Christians and Shias who are being returned to Pakistan from Sri Lanka is a matter of serious concern, due to the large number of cases of violent attacks and threats against members of those religious communities by militant extremists in Pakistan,” he highlighted.
The UN human rights experts called on the Government of Sri Lanka to comply with the principle of non-refoulement (no-forced-returns) when there is a credible potential threat against an individual and to stop the deportations immediately in order to allow the completion of the entire asylum claim process.
Read more » UN, Office of High Commissioner Of Human Rights
Disney India and Ashutosh Gowariker Productions Pvt. Ltd (AGPPL) are to collaborate on Mohenjo Daro.
Directed by Gowariker, the film will star Hrithik Roshan and new comer Pooja Hegde in an epic adventure love story set at the time of the Indus Valley Civilization.
Mohenjo Daro, meaning Mound of the Dead in Sindhi, is a lost civilization that was abandoned in 19th century BCE. The city’s ruins lie in the Larkana district of Sindh, and are a designated Unesco World Heritage Site since 1980.
Given the settings, the movie is likely to be a sweeping historical extravaganza, along the lines of Jodhaa Akbar and Lagaan, the former also an association between UTV Motion Pictures (aka Disney India), while the latter an Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Film; both movies were critical and box-office hits.
According to a press release, Disney India Producer Sunita Gowariker said, “There has always been a natural creative synergy between UTV and AGPPL in our previous movies. This time through our collaboration with Disney we’ll have an even greater focus on entertaining families”.
“After Jodhaa Akbar, we are thrilled to work with Ashutosh and Hrithik again, and we are excited about bringing another wonderful Indian story to the big screen,” said Amrita Pandey, VP and Head of Marketing & Distribution, Disney Studios, India.
Mohenjo Daro is set to go into production in South Africa from October 2014.
The U.S. military said U.S. forces conducted nine strikes on Saturday and another 16 on Sunday in efforts to help the Iraqis retake the dam.
As we noted earlier, a pitched campaign delivered control of part of the dam to Kurdish forces earlier this weekend before the entirety of what has been called “the most dangerous dam in the world” was seized on Monday. As Daniel Pipes told CNN after the structure was initially seized by the marauding group just two weeks ago:
If you control the Mosul dam, you can threaten just about everybody — a very substantial part of Iraq — with flooding, with lack of electricity, with lack of water.
Last week, we mentioned the growing role of the PKK, the Kurdish Workers’ Party, in the fighting. Despite being designated a terrorist group by the United States for waging a decades-long battle against Turkey, the group has become a formidable opponent in the battle against ISIS. Helping to lead the way have been female guerrillas who enlisted in the battle to fighting alongside the Kurdish Peshmerga.
Read more: Business Insider
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The Islamic State militant group has released a video online purporting to show the beheading of a US journalist. The victim was identified by the militants as James Foley, a freelancer who was seized in Syria in late 2012. The militants said it was in revenge for recent US air strikes against the Islamic State group in Iraq. The video has not been independently verified, but the White House said if it was genuine, the US would be “appalled by the brutal murder”.
Read more » BBC
The paper reported that the Indian government decided this after a meeting between Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit and senior Hurriyat Conference leader Shabbir Ahmad Shah in New Delhi. Earlier on Monday, the high commissioner met Kashmiri leader ahead of the proposed secretary-level talks between Pakistan and India.
Read more » Daily Times
Another statement of the Chairman of the UN Committee on the conduct of the IDF in Gaza continues to doubt the sincerity of future conclusions: William Schabas said that Netanyahu was biggest risk to the survival of Israel. This statement is in addition to a previous statement where Schabas said that he would like to see Netanyahu in the Hague.
At the same time that Schabas, Chairman of the UN Inquiry Committee on IDF conduct in Gaza, is denying that he is anti-Israel, more and more statements against Netanyahu are being published. A newly uncovered video shows Schabas calling Netanyahu the greatest threat to the survival of Israel.
In the video published by UN Watch on its YouTube channel, Schabas refers to threats that endanger the survival of the State of Israel, and says above all, the Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. “Honestly, if I had to think of a person who is considered the greatest threat to the survival of Israel, I would probably choose to Netanyahu,” said Schabas as mocking laughter erupted from the other members of the panel.
Read more » Jerusalem Online
FERGUSON, Mo. — Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency and imposed a curfew in Ferguson, Mo., on Saturday, following nights of protests after 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot and killed by a police officer.
“If we’re going to have justice, we must first have and maintain peace,” Nixon said at a Saturday afternoon press conference. “The eyes of the world are watching.”
Read more » USA Today
Militants massacre 80 Yazidis; airstrikes target insurgents around Iraq’s largest dam
Some 80 members of Iraq’s Yazidi minority have been massacred by Islamic State militants in a village in Iraq’s north, Kurdish officials said.
“They arrived in vehicles and they started their killing this afternoon,” senior Kurdish official Hoshiyar Zebari told Reuters.“We believe it’s because of their creed: convert or be killed.”
In addition to the murders, local women were kidnapped from the village, another Kurdish official source told Reuters. A local Yazidi lawmaker confirmed the information.
According to BasNews, a Kurdish website, it was the Yazidi minority village of Kojo some 20 km south of Sinjar that came under attack by the Islamic State (former ISIS) radicals.
BasNews reports that around 80 men – the village’s whole male population – was slaughtered, while all the women were kidnapped.
Read more » Toronto Star
Islamabad has become political hot spot these days due to Imran Khan and Tahirul Qadri’s ‘Freedom’ and ‘Revolution’ protest marches. Taking advantage of Pakistani and international media focus on these marches, the Sindh Police, [!–!?–!} have allegedly launched the unannounced military operation in natural resources rich Sindh province against the secessionist Sindhi nationalist parties.
At least 12 Sindhi secessionists have been killed and over 100 have been either arrested or involuntarily disappeared, according to the reports from Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur, Larkana, Dadau, Nawabshah, Jamshoro, Badim, Mirpurkhas and Umerkot districts of the historical province. The victims are associated with the Jeay Sindhi Qomi Mahaz (JSQM), Jeay Sindh Mutahida Mahaz (JSMM), Jeay Sindh Tahreek (JST), Jeay Sindh Mahaz (JST).
According to the Sindhi newspapers, the people of Sindh observed Black Day on 14th August, the day Pakistan was created out of united India in 1947. The day in Sindh is usually organized against the creation of Pakistan and the subjugation of Sindh to the ethnic Punjabi Muslim dominated Pakistan.
WSJ report of frayed relations between Washington and Jerusalem, including combative Obama-Netanyahu phone call, sparks firestorm among Israeli politicians
Prime Minister Modi asks all the neighbouring countries to come together and work jointly to erase the poverty from the region
PM ASKS NEIGHBOURING COUNTRIES TO JOINTLY WORK TO END POVERTY
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday gave a clarion call to all neighbouring and SAARC countries to work “shoulder-to-shoulder” to remove poverty from the region, leaving behind the world of death and killings.
Read more » http://www.news.nom.co/pm-asks-neighbouring-countries-to-11459555-news/
Wagah: After spending 48 hours in Pakistan’s custody, a Border Security Force jawan returned home this evening. “I was treated well,” said 30-year-old Satyasheel Yadav, who was swept onto the Pakistan side of the border in Jammu after he fell into the River Chenab on Wednesday. (After Falling Into River, BSF Jawan is in Pakistan’s Custody)
“They made me comfortable. I was given food. I have no complaints. I am very happy I am going home,” he said in a brief statement, hours before he was released by Pakistani troops.
Mr Yadav walked back across the border at RS Pura in the Jammu region, dressed in his combat fatigues and flanked by his seniors.
“I am grateful to them (Pakistanis) for treating him well,” said DK Pathak, Director General of the BSF after the trooper returned. “I can’t answer why they took so long to hand him over. They did ask some questions, it isn’t uncommon,” he added
Read more » NDTV
With the independence referendum just around the corner, Naomi Lloyd-Jones asks why the Scottish Home Rule Association, an important precursor of the SNP, has been largely forgotten.
Informing electors of the importance of the opportunity now afforded them, one of Scotland’s most prominent nationalists declared that:
For the first time since the Union, they will have it in their power to determine whether Scotland is to recover the management of its own affairs.
At first glance we may naturally assume that this comment relates to the independence referendum that takes place this September, but it was actually written 121 years ago by William Mitchell, treasurer of the Scottish Home Rule Association (SHRA). In the same piece Mitchell urged that the time had come for his fellow countrymen to throw off the shackles of the Westminster party system and support solely those who were pledged to the restoration of a Scottish parliament. The SHRA, formed in 1886 in the midst of an acute constitutional crisis, sought the passage of ‘legislation for Scotland in Scotland’ and used the term ‘Home Rule’ to ‘express shortly the right of the Scottish people to manage their own affairs’. They counselled that only a reinstated legislature could ‘carry out what the people of Scotland want’, for ‘the Scottish people know their own business best’.
Read more » History Today
By Karn Pratap Singh, Hindustan Times New Delhi
You have seen them regulating traffic on roads and dealing with women complainants at police stations. Soon, you will find the women personnel of the Delhi Police patrolling the streets on two-wheelers (scooties), armed with the latest weapons.
By Ayaz Amir
Calling on the army to protect Islamabad, from dangers yet to be adequately defined, is no one-off affair. It is the latest addition to a pattern we have seen growing rather dramatically over the last three months: the army’s influence on the rise, its profile getting bigger, even as civilian authority recedes and comes close to a point of total collapse. This is a takeover in all but name.
As far as anyone can tell, no one has planned this outcome. It is the playing out of no strategic configuration. No one has ever accused General Headquarters (GHQ) of such subtlety before, and this is a subtle drama we are witnessing: almost a creeping coup, a coup by stealth, Pakistan’s first ‘soft’ coup. No “meray aziz humwutnon” – my dear countrymen, the familiar invocation heralding Pakistani coups – no seven-point national agenda a la Musharraf.
An assertion of army authority nonetheless but, and this is the crucial difference, propelled less by Bonapartist ambition than civilian dysfunctionality, a political government succumbing not to military plotting but the burden of its incompetence.
US condemns shelling of UN school in Gaza but restocks Israeli ammunition
White House issues unusually strong rebuke after 16 deaths
But Pentagon confirms that US resupplied Israel with ammunition
The United States issued a firm condemnation of the shelling of a United Nations school in Gaza that killed at least 16 Palestinians on Wednesday, but also confirmed it restocked Israel’s dwindling supplies of ammunition.
The White House expressed concern that thousands of civilians who had sought protection from the UN were at risk after the shelling of the girls’ elementary school. Some 3,300 civilians were taking shelter there, after being told by Israel to leave their homes.
The UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, which runs the school, said its initial assessment was that it has been struck by Israeli artillery.
Read more » The Guardian
The new Indian army chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag on the first day of holding office issued a stern warning to Pakistan referring to alleged beheading incidents of soldiers, stating that the said actions would get an “intense and immediate” response, a report published on the Times of India website said.
The alleged beheading of an Indian soldier, Lance Naik Hemraj, by Pakistani soldiers along the Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch sector on January 8, 2013 came under highlight.
The newly appointed army chief upon receiving the guard of honour addressed reporters on the occasion and said that there would be timely reciprocation of such incidents.
General Dalbir was asked how the Indian side had given a ‘befitting reply’ to Pakistan over Hemraj’s alleged beheading as stated by former army chief General Bikram Singh.
Read more » DAWN
A new study by researchers at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (Sanford-Burnham) has found that a peptide called caerulein can convert existing cells in the pancreas into those cells destroyed in type 1 diabetes—insulin-producing beta cells. The study, published online July 31 in Cell Death and Disease, suggests a new approach to treating the estimated 3 million people in the U.S., and over 300 million worldwide, living with type 1 diabetes. “We have found a promising technique for type 1 diabetics to restore the body’s ability to produce insulin. By introducing caerulein to the pancreas we were able to generate new beta cells—the cells that produce insulin—potentially freeing patients from daily doses of insulin to manage their blood-sugar levels.” said Fred Levine, M.D., Ph.D., professor and director of the Sanford Children’s Health Research Center at Sanford-Burnham. The study first examined how mice in which almost all beta cells were destroyed—similar to humans with type 1 diabetes—responded to injections of caerulein. In those mice, but not in normal mice, they found that caerulein caused existing alpha cells in the pancreas to differentiate into insulin-producing beta cells. Alpha cells and beta cells are both endocrine cells meaning they synthesize and secret hormones—and they exist right next to one another in the pancreas in structures called islets. However, alpha cells do not normally become beta cells. -
Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper blames Hamas for Palestinian casualties after Israeli shells hit UN shelter in Gaza
Prime Minister Stephen Harper is reiterating his government’s hard line against Hamas, saying it is solely responsible for the death and destruction in Gaza.
Harper said that while no one likes to see the suffering and loss that is occurring in the Middle East, Hamas is to blame. The prime minister said Hamas started the war because the terrorist organization wants to destroy the state of Israel.
Read more » National Post