‘Stalin’s Daughter,’ by Rosemary Sullivan

BY 

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Svetlana, Stalin’s daughter, 1936, Associated Press.

A young princess walks the corridors of an ancient palace, surrounded by adoring relatives, governesses and tutors. Her father is a beloved ruler of a vast country, and she is his only daughter and favorite child, his “little sparrow,” his “little fly.” She brings him presents of violets and strawberries, and he pets her, showering her in bristly kisses redolent of tobacco. She spends idyllic summers at the family dacha, where her father’s merry friends, whom she calls “aunts” and “uncles,” come on visits and regale her with stories and songs. The world she inhabits seems magical to her, “that place of sunshine.”

Read more  » The New York Times
See more » http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/14/books/review/stalins-daughter-by-rosemary-sullivan.html?smid=fb-share&_r=0

David Headley: Mumbai plotter ‘visited India’ before attacks

A US man convicted for his role in the 2008 Mumbai attacks has told an Indian court that he visited Mumbai seven times in advance to gather information.

David Headley gave details of the planning to a court in Mumbai on Monday through a video link from a prison in the US.

Headley, 52, pleaded guilty and co-operated with the US to avoid the death penalty and extradition to India.

More than 160 people were killed by gunmen in the November 2008 attack.

Read more » BBC
See more » http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-35519546

To protect Chinese investment, Pakistan Army leaves little to chance

Soldiers scan the contents of a truck at a checkpoint on the main highway outside Quetta
Soldiers scan the contents of a truck at a checkpoint on the main highway outside Quetta. Photo credits: Reuters

BY REUTERS

GWADAR: A heavy police presence, guarded convoys, new checkpoints and troop reinforcements have turned parts of the southern port city of Gwadar into a fortress, as Pakistan’s military seeks to protect billions of dollars of Chinese investment.

Securing the planned $46 billion economic corridor of roads, railways and pipelines from northwest China to the country’s Arabian Sea coast is a huge challenge in a country where militants and separatist gunmen are a constant menace.

Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1238167/

Pakistan’s wall of kindness

Don’t need it? Leave it here: Peshawar gets its own version of Deewar-i-Meherbani

BY IZHAR ULLAH

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PESHAWAR: Most of the walls in the posh neighbourhood of Hayatabad are drab structures of white and concrete; others have no paint at all. A bright yellow wall, breaking the monotony, stands out with the curious addition of clothes, hanging in various colours and sizes.

This is Peshawar’s wall of kindness, a charity wall installed on the main road. Any passerby, who wishes to donate used clothes for the homeless and poor, is welcome to drop them off here.

‘If you don’t need it, leave it’

Asad Ali Lodhi led a two-day drive with his organisation Serve Mankind requesting locals not to trash their used clothes, especially warm garments that can be used in the winter.

Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1236975/dont-need-it-leave-it-here-peshawar-gets-its-own-version-of-deewar-i-meherbani

Syria Conflict: Bashar al-Assad’s foreign minister warns Saudi troops will ‘return in coffins’

Syria says any foreign troops would ‘return in coffins’

Syrian foreign minister warns against ground intervention after Saudi Arabia offers to send troops to fight ISIL.

Foreign army soldiers who enter Syria without government consent would “return home in wooden coffins”, Syria’s Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem said, in a warning to Saudi Arabia.

Read more » Aljazeera
See more » http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/02/syria-foreign-troops-return-coffins-160206192130276.html

Pakistan’s Hand in the Rise of International Jihad

By

TUNIS — PRESIDENT ASHRAF GHANI of Afghanistan has warned in several recent interviews that unless peace talks with Pakistan and theTaliban produce results in the next few months, his country may not survive 2016. Afghanistan is barely standing, he says, after the Taliban onslaught last year, which led to the highest casualties among civilians and security forces since 2001.

“How much worse will it get?” Mr. Ghani asked in a recent television interview. “It depends on how much regional cooperation we can secure, and how much international mediation and pressure can be exerted to create rules of the game between states.”

What he means is it depends on how much international pressure can be brought to bear on Pakistan to cease its aggression.

Read more » The New York Times
See more » http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/07/opinion/sunday/pakistans-hand-in-the-rise-of-international-jihad.html?mwrsm=Facebook&_r=0

Jaalis have their roots in the Indus Civilization: Prof Kenoyer at IITGN

JaaliGandhinagar: The Jaalis that are widely seen as a part of many architectural structures and including many homes, have their roots in the Indus Civilization. This information was shared by Prof Jonathan Mark Kenoyer, Professor of Anthropology at University of Wisconsin, Madison, during his talk at IIT Gandhinagar on Tuesday. Prof Kenoyer was delivering the “First Indira Foundation Distinguished Lecture” of IIT Gandhinagar on “Scientific and Technological Contributions of the Indus Civilization: Their Relevance for the Present”.

Talking about various technologies that were developed during the Indus Civilization which are used until today, Prof Kenoyer said, “The Indus people living in cities developed the screens or Jaalis to allow fresh air and light to get into the house and at the same time keep privacy in crowded urban neighborhoods. They were also the first to develop the spinning wheel. Many of the contributions of the Indus set the foundation for later technologies in subsequent periods and the principles which still have their relevance today.”

Read more » Desh Gujarat
See more » http://deshgujarat.com/2016/01/12/jaalis-have-their-roots-in-the-indus-civilization-prof-kenoyer-at-iitgn/

Saudi Arabia lacks courage to send ground troops to Syria: Head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard

saudiKSA lacks courage to send ground troops to Syria: Head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard

BY REUTERS

DUBAI: The head of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard said on Saturday Saudi Arabia lacked the courage to go through with a plan to send ground troops to Syria, and warned they would be wiped out if they went in.

Mohammad Ali Jafari’s blunt words on the Fars news agency were Iran’s first official reaction to a statement from its regional rival Saudi Arabia this week that it was ready to join ground operations in Syria if a US-led military alliance decided to start them.

Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1237813/

The Quest for Political Identification in the Himalayan State of Jammu Kashmir

BY

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Prior to the emergence of modern state, during the monarchy, the subjects of monarchs had little say in their relationship with the state. Over time, the concept of citizenship and identity developed, with the principle that citizens were not just residents of a given territory, but were members of a political community with a particular identification and recognition. Civil, political, and social rights became associated with citizenship, differing by country in the balance among these and in their scope.

Read more » Kashmir Observer
See more » https://kashmirobserver.net/2016/opinions/quest-political-identification-himalayan-state-jammu-kashmir-2909

First Corbyn, now Sanders: how young voters’ despair is fuelling movements on the left

Bernie 1On both sides of the Atlantic, economic insecurity is fuelling the rise of new movements on the left

By Owen Jones

He’s the septuagenarian powered by youth. The figures behind Bernie Sanders’ triumph in Iowa – in which his grassroots insurgency scored a virtual tie against what he rightly described as “the most powerful political organisation” in the US – are astonishing. Among Iowa Democrats aged between 17 and 29, 84% opted for this unlikely youth icon; among those aged 30-44, Sanders still had a 21-point lead over Hillary Clinton. It was older Americans who flocked to Clinton’s camp: nearly seven out of 10 of those aged over 65. The generations appeared separated by a political chasm.

Read more » The Guardian
See more » http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/feb/04/jeremy-corbyn-bernie-sanders-young-voters-left?CMP=share_btn_tw

 

Hadar Cohen was ‘larger than life’

660922Hundreds attend funeral of heroic Border Policewoman killed while attempting to thwart massive attack in Jerusalem.

By Cynthia Blank

Hadar Cohen, the 19-year-old Border Police officer killed Wednesday in a shooting and stabbing attack at Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate, was brought to rest Thursday afternoon at the Yehud military cemetery.

Hundreds attended the funeral, including Ravit Mirilashvili, Hadar’s comrade who was also injured in the attack. Earlier on Thursday, sheattributed her life to Hadar’s heroism.

Read more » Israel National News
See more » http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/207537#.VrNshLIrLcs

Pakistan Army offers to help rescue Indian soldiers buried under Siachen avalanche

pak-india-flagPakistan Army director general military operations (DGMO) called his Indian counterpart on Thursday and offered assistance for the rescue of Indian Army personnel who went missing after an avalanche hit the Siachen glacier area.

Ten Indian soldiers were feared buried in an avalanche that hit Siachen glacier in the India-held portion of Kashmir on Wednesday, The soldiers were hit while on duty at a post at an altitude of 19,000 feet.

Read more » The Express Tribune
See more » http://tribune.com.pk/story/1040287/pakistan-army-offers-to-help-rescue-indian-soldiers-buried-under-siachen-avalanche/

BP posts biggest ever annual loss, to cut 7,000 more jobs

jobBY KAROLIN SCHAPS AND RON BOUSSO

LONDON — Reuters:  BP slumped to its biggest annual loss last year and announced thousands more job cuts on Tuesday, showing that even one of the nimblest oil producers is struggling in the worst market downturn in over a decade.

Read more » The Globe and Mail
See more » http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/international-business/european-business/bp-posts-worst-annual-loss-in-20-years-to-cut-7000-more-jobs/article28505561/

Pakistan – Local manufacturing of mobile handsets from April

ISLAMABAD: A Chinese manufacturer will launch its mobile handset manufacturing and assembling unit in April (Pakistan’s first), a senior official at Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication said on Monday.

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The manufacturer — China’s Haier — is already operating in the country and has established a laptop manufacturing unit in Lahore.

The move would help in reducing the import bill as smartphones are in demand and also bring good investment as well as creating job opportunities, the official said.

The government had announced tax incentive package for manufacturing of mobile phones in budget 2015-16. These included income tax exemption for five years, zero per cent depreciation allowance for plants, machinery and production line equipment used for manufacturing of mobile phones certified by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) in the first year.

In the wake of new government policy facilitating local manufacturing/assembling of mobile handsets, a delegation led by Haier Groups CEO, Zeeshan Qureshi met with Minister of State for IT and Telecom, Anusha Rahman.

Mr Qureshi said Haier considers Pakistan a very lucrative and flourishing market for mobile handset manufacturing/assembling particularly with uptake of 3G/4G services in the country.

Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1236875/

Misyar marriages gain popularity among Saudis

Matchmakers are becoming busy by the day with the wider appeal of misyar marriages in Saudi Arabia.

By Mariam Al Hakeem

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Riyadh: Matchmakers are becoming busy by the day with the wider appeal of misyar marriages in Saudi Arabia.

There has been a 50 percent increase in misyar marriages after the issuance of a religious edict (fatwa) giving the alliance sanctity last month by the Islamic Fiqh Academy.

Read more » Gulf News
See more » http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/saudi-arabia/misyar-marriages-gain-popularity-among-saudis-1.238221

Sindhi Song by Bhagwanti Navani “Putda kahidi khapeyi kunwaar”

Bhaghvanti Navani (Well known voice of Sindhi songs) and Surendar Kumar (Sindhi Indian singer). Bhaghvanti Navani was a great Sindhi singer lady. She was born in Nasarpur, Sindh, Pakistan, then migrated to India. She had left prominent mark on Sindhi music. She died in India.

Sindhi song “O Putda Kahidi Khapeyi Tokhe Kunwar” loaded by founder of Sindhi TV Mr Ram Amarnani.

Courtesy: Ram Amarnani + Youtube
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ead more about Bhaghvanti Navani » CLICK HERE

‘Indus civilisation spread through its strong culture, not military conquests’

BY PEERZADA SALMAN

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KARACHI: Sindh belongs to the Indus Valley Civilisation, which was unique in that it did not spread through military conquests but by cultural expansion as its roots can be detected from Mehrgarh to Kathiawar to Madhya Pradesh.

This was stated by eminent historian Dr Mubarak Ali during his presidential address in the first session at the Sindh Development Conference, which was organised by the Sindhi Association of North America (SANA) at a hotel, on Saturday afternoon.

Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1234932

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor: A boon for the economy, a bane for locals

BY ZOFEEN T. EBRAHIM

Pakistan’s Gilgit-Baltistan region is frequently in the news these days, but not necessarily for its mouth-watering cherries and dried apricots. The much touted US $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will pass through this beautiful province in the north to reach Chinese-operated Gwadar port in the country’s south. While there is hope it will transform the economy and help bridge Pakistan’s power shortfall, CPEC has also triggered concerns that the local people might be left out of the gains.

Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1236159/

ISI cultivated Taliban to counter Indian action against Pakistan: Musharraf

musharraf2Musharraf: Pakistan and India’s backing for ‘proxies’ in Afghanistan must stop

In interview with the Guardian, former Pakistan president voices his support for Ashraf Ghani and hints that he cultivated the Taliban

By  in Karachi

Pervez Musharraf, the former Pakistani military ruler accused of sheltering and supporting the Taliban after 2001, has called for an end to the backing of militant “proxies” in Afghanistan.

In an interview with the Guardian, Musharraf admitted that when he was in power, Pakistan sought to undermine the government of former Afghan president Hamid Karzai because Karzai had “helped India stab Pakistan in the back”. But now the time had come to “totally cooperate” with Ashraf Ghani, the Afghan president since September, who Musharraf believes is “the last hope for peace in the region”.

“In President Karzai’s times, yes, indeed, he was damaging Pakistan and therefore we were working against his interest. Obviously we had to protect our own interest,” Musharraf said. “But now President Ashraf Ghani has come and he is trying to restore balance in Afghanistan. We must totally cooperate with him.”

Read more » The Guardian
See more » http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/feb/13/pervez-musharraf-pakistan-india-proxies-afghanistan-ghani-taliban

 

A one-country / two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

cropped-live-together.pngIsrael-Palestinian conflict: Is one homeland the solution?

As support for a two-state solution to their conflict declines among Israelis and Palestinians, a different approach to finding a peaceful settlement is being proposed.

Called “Two States – One Homeland”, the group, led by Israeli journalist Meron Rapoport and Palestinian politician Awni Almashni, is advocating the creation of an Israeli-Palestinian confederation.

They say that their plan, now picking up public and official backing, can solve the difficult issues – Israeli settlements, the right of return for Palestinian refugees, and the fate of Jerusalem – that have scuttled past negotiations.

Read more » BBC
See more » http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-35428457

India- Govt. ships 450 maiden made in India metro coaches to Australia

This is the first shipment of the planned 450 coaches that will be exported to Australia over two-and-a-half year period

metro
Photo credits: Social media + Internet.

The government on Friday said maiden consignment of six metro coaches made in India were shipped to Australia from Mumbai port.

“The maiden consignment of six metro coaches built in Baroda for export to the Australian government were shipped from Mumbai Port,” a statement from Ministry of Shipping said.

Read more » DNA India
See more » http://www.dnaindia.com/money/report-government-ships-450-maiden-made-in-india-metro-coaches-to-australia-2171566

Pakistan: Women can race jeeps in desert rally

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Photo credits: Internet

LAHORE: Tourism Development Corporation of Punjab has added a new category in the Cholistan Jeep Rally under which women drivers can also participate in the event.

It was announced by TDCP officials at a press conference held at Royal Palm Golf and Country Club on Wednesday. Minister for Tourism Rana Mashhood was chief guest.

Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1235845/

Yemeni army, allies capture 3 bases in southwestern Saudi Arabia

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File photo: Photo credits: Social media.

Yemeni army forces backed by fighters from allied Popular Committees have wrested control of three military bases in Saudi Arabia’s southwestern region of Jizan as Riyadh presses ahead with its military campaign against its southern neighbor.

On Thursday, Yemeni forces established control over the strategic Jabal al-Doud, al-Aril and Madba’ bases in the border region, Sky News Arabia television network reported.

The development came only hours after at least one Saudi and three Qatari troopers were killed in a retaliatory shelling attack by Yemeni army soldiers and allied forces against the al-Makhrouq military base in the kingdom’s southern region of Najran.

Read more » Press Tv
See more » http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2016/01/28/447763/Yemeni-forces-Ansarullah-fighters-capture-bases-Saudi-Arabia-Jizan-Jabal-alDoud-Najran/

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