CANADA – Ontario faces “chronic” youth unemployment

High levels of unemployment among province’s youth more than just by-product of economic cycle, report says

By: Peter Lozinski

Ontario is suffering from “chronic” youth unemployment, according to a new report released by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives on Friday.

The rate of unemployment for Ontarians between the ages of 15-24 is hovering between 16 and 17 per cent, double that of the normal provincial rate and higher than the national youth unemployment rate of 13.5-14.5 per cent.

“Ontario is competing with the Maritime provinces for being the toughest place in Canada for youth to land a job,” the report says

Read more » http://o.canada.com/business/ontario-facing-chronic-youth-unemployment/

Pakistan will not exist in next 25 Years – American Official

The language of the report is Hindi (Urdu).

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1appi7_pakistan-will-not-exist-in-next-25-years-american-official_news#from=embediframe

Courtesy:» ARY TV »» ZemTv »»» Daily Motion
http://www.zemtv.com/2014/01/31/pakistan-will-not-exist-in-next-25-years-american-official/

Marx Was Right: Five Surprising Ways Karl Marx Predicted 2014

From the iPhone 5S to corporate globalization, modern life is full of evidence of Marx’s foresight

By 
There’s a lot of talk of Karl Marx in the air these days – from Rush Limbaugh accusing Pope Francis of promoting “pure Marxism” to a Washington Times writer claiming that New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is an “unrepentant Marxist.” But few people actually understand Marx’s trenchant critique of capitalism. Most people are vaguely aware of the radical economist’s prediction that capitalism would inevitably be replaced by communism, but they often misunderstand why he believed this to be true. And while Marx was wrong about some things, his writings (many of which pre-date the American Civil War) accurately predicted several aspects of contemporary capitalism, from the Great Recession to the iPhone 5S in your pocket.Here are five facts of life in 2014 that Marx’s analysis of capitalism correctly predicted more than a century ago:

1. The Great Recession (Capitalism’s Chaotic Nature)

The inherently chaotic, crisis-prone nature of capitalism was a key part of Marx’s writings. He argued that the relentless drive for profits would lead companies to mechanize their workplaces, producing more and more goods while squeezing workers’ wages until they could no longer purchase the products they created. Sure enough, modern historical events from the Great Depression to the dot-com bubble can be traced back to what Marx termed “fictitious capital” – financial instruments like stocks and credit-default swaps. We produce and produce until there is simply no one left to purchase our goods, no new markets, no new debts. The cycle is still playing out before our eyes: Broadly speaking, it’s what made the housing market crash in 2008. Decades of deepening inequality reduced incomes, which led more and more Americans to take on debt. When there were no subprime borrows left to scheme, the whole façade fell apart, just as Marx knew it would.

2. The iPhone 5S (Imaginary Appetites)

Marx warned that capitalism’s tendency to concentrate high value on essentially arbitrary products would, over time, lead to what he called “a contriving and ever-calculating subservience to inhuman, sophisticated, unnatural and imaginary appetites.” It’s a harsh but accurate way of describing contemporary America, where we enjoy incredible luxury and yet are driven by a constant need for more and more stuff to buy. Consider the iPhone 5S you may own. Is it really that much better than the iPhone 5 you had last year, or the iPhone 4S a year before that? Is it a real need, or an invented one? While Chinese families fall sick with cancer from our e-waste, megacorporations are creating entire advertising campaigns around the idea that we should destroy perfectly good products for no reason. If Marx could see this kind of thing, he’d nod in recognition.

3. The IMF (The Globalization of Capitalism)

Marx’s ideas about overproduction led him to predict what is now called globalization – the spread of capitalism across the planet in search of new markets. “The need of a constantly expanding market for its products chases the bourgeoisie over the entire surface of the globe,” he wrote. “It must nestle everywhere, settle everywhere, establish connections everywhere.” While this may seem like an obvious point now, Marx wrote those words in 1848, when globalization was over a century away. And he wasn’t just right about what ended up happening in the late 20th century – he was right about why it happened: The relentless search for new markets and cheap labor, as well as the incessant demand for more natural resources, are beasts that demand constant feeding.

4. Walmart (Monopoly)

The classical theory of economics assumed that competition was natural and therefore self-sustaining. Marx, however, argued that market power would actually be centralized in large monopoly firms as businesses increasingly preyed upon each other. This might have struck his 19th-century readers as odd: As Richard Hofstadter writes, “Americans came to take it for granted that property would be widely diffused, that economic and political power would decentralized.” It was only later, in the 20th century, that the trend Marx foresaw began to accelerate. Today, mom-and-pop shops have been replaced by monolithic big-box stores like Walmart, small community banks have been replaced by global banks like J.P. Morgan Chase and small famers have been replaced by the likes of Archer Daniels Midland. The tech world, too, is already becoming centralized, with big corporations sucking up start-ups as fast as they can. Politicians give lip service to what minimal small-business lobby remains and prosecute the most violent of antitrust abuses – but for the most part, we know big business is here to stay.

5. Low Wages, Big Profits (The Reserve Army of Industrial Labor)

Marx believed that wages would be held down by a “reserve army of labor,” which he explained simply using classical economic techniques: Capitalists wish to pay as little as possible for labor, and this is easiest to do when there are too many workers floating around. Thus, after a recession, using a Marxist analysis, we would predict that high unemployment would keep wages stagnant as profits soared, because workers are too scared of unemployment to quit their terrible, exploitative jobs. And what do you know? No less an authority than the Wall Street Journal warns, “Lately, the U.S. recovery has been displaying some Marxian traits. Corporate profits are on a tear, and rising productivity has allowed companies to grow without doing much to reduce the vast ranks of the unemployed.” That’s because workers are terrified to leave their jobs and therefore lack bargaining power. It’s no surprise that the best time for equitable growth is during times of “full employment,” when unemployment is low and workers can threaten to take another job.

In Conclusion:

Marx was wrong about many things. Most of his writing focuses on a critique of capitalism rather than a proposal of what to replace it with – which left it open to misinterpretation by madmen like Stalin in the 20th century. But his work still shapes our world in a positive way as well. When he argued for a progressive income tax in the Communist Manifesto, no country had one. Now, there is scarcely a country without a progressive income tax, and it’s one small way that the U.S. tries to fight income inequality. Marx’s moral critique of capitalism and his keen insights into its inner workings and historical context are still worth paying attention to. As Robert L. Heilbroner writes, “We turn to Marx, therefore, not because he is infallible, but because he is inescapable.” Today, in a world of both unheard-of wealth and abject poverty, where the richest 85 people have more wealth than the poorest 3 billion, the famous cry, “Workers of the world uniteyou have nothing to lose but your chains,” has yet to lose its potency.

Courtesy: Rolling Stone

Norwegian lawmakers nominate Edward Snowden for Nobel Peace Prize

By Laura Smith-Spark, CNN

(CNN) — Two Norwegian lawmakers have jointly nominated National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden for the Nobel Peace Prize, they said Wednesday on their party website.

Snowden has “revealed the nature and technological prowess of modern surveillance,” and by doing so has contributed to peace, said a joint statement by Bard Vegar Solhjell and Snorre Valen of the Socialist Left Party.

Nominations for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize — whose previous winners include such figures as the late South African President Nelson Mandela

Read more » CNN
http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/29/world/europe/norway-snowden-nobel-nomination/

Pakistan’s march to theocracy

There are growing concerns that the country was fast moving toward a theocratic order.

It was a quick call from my editor’s office in Karachi informing me not to bother writing anymore about the Tehreek Taliban Pakistan (TTP) or any other militant outfit, religious party or even the cricketer-turned-politician’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI). I was told I couldn’t even mention TTP and its other sister organisations. The call came in the wake of an attack on a vehicle carrying staff of a media group which killed three people and injured another four.

The TTP was quick to take responsibility. The spokesman of the militant outfit Ehsanullah Ehsan even appeared on a television program and warned the media group about giving the TTP bad press. The channel’s anchor Javed Chaudhry had to promise a “balanced” representation of views about the militants and their agenda. Furthermore, Ehsan claimed the attack was an attempt to force Pakistan to meet the promise of imposing Sharia law in the country.

A day later on January 19, another 20 Frontier Corps (FC) soldiers were killed and about 30 injured in a suicide attack in Bannu Cantonment in the northern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK). This was followed by an attack on January 20 in Rawalpindi Cantonment near the Pakistan Army’s GHQ, bringing the death toll up to 33 and the number of wounded to 63. Not to mention the constant targeting of polio workersacross the country.

These attacks happen despite the civilian government’s claim to engage the Taliban in a dialogue to end the violence. The first attack on the television channel came the same day as the statement by the TTP spokesman announcing his group’s willingness to talk with Pakistan’s government as long as the latter ensured the implementation of Sharia law in the country.

Read more » aljazeera
http://m.aljazeera.com/story/20141266302173397

International Politics: What are likely to be the next new countries, or at least the most likely candidates to become independent?

By Thomas Foster, writer at ThePulp.co

Excerpt;

Quebec

Quebec has had a fairly long independence movement but referendums in 1980 and 1995 have been voted down. Parti Québécois recently won government again but as they are in minority government, have said that they will not hold an independence referendum this term of government.

The numbers of those in support of independence have gone from just under 40% in the 1980 referendum to 49.43% in favour in 1995. However, the Canadian government would now require a majority of eligible voters, not a plurality of votes, for Quebec or another province to secede.

Read more » Quora
http://www.quora.com/International-Politics/What-are-likely-to-be-the-next-new-countries-or-at-least-the-most-likely-candidates-to-become-independent/answer/Thomas-Foster?srid=tdkM&share=1

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Dravida Nadu Separatists Attack Indian Army Convoy

Chennai – The Indian Army and its paramilitary are seen as a dominating force of North India against the South. While South Indians have generally not resorted to violent backlashes as those seen in the Northeast (Manipur, Assam, Nagaland) or Kashmir or Punjab, people in the South are just as adamant about South India achieving Independence.

The anger against the north is not simply hatred out of the blue. The constant discrimination from the north does not help. When our languages are replaced by a fake language, do not expect people to remain quiet either. And lastly, India’s dual game in Sri Lanka was the final nail in the coffin.

India has never been sincere with the Tamil people and has constantly fueled the civil war between the Tamils and Sinhalese. India sent her military to Sri Lanka and massacred both the Sinhalese and the Tamils in Valvettithurai and Trincomalee and named its contingent IPKF or “Indian Peace Keeping Force”. The games of India have been exposed and its only a matter of time until the fires burning at the edges of this country begin to make it’s way towards you in the Hindi belt.

Courtesy: Free DravidaNadu
https://www.facebook.com/FreeDravidaNadu.dn

via Facebook

A country controlled by war criminals

PAKISTAN: More than 100 dead bodies from three mass graves were found in one district of Balochistan

The UN and international human rights organisations must send fact finding missions to probe the illegal disposal of Baloch people in mass graves

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) expresses shock and deep concern over the discovery of mass graves in Balochistan; it is suspected that these graves are of Baloch missing persons who were arrested and subsequently extrajudicially killed. A large number of family members gathered around the places of Tootak village, district Khuzdar to inquire about their loved ones who have been missing for many years. However, the police and other security forces refused them permission to try and identify the bodies and baton charged the people to disperse them.

On January 25, three mass graves were found after one of them was discovered by a shepherd who saw pieces of human bodies and bones. He informed the Levies, a private armed force organised by tribal leaders, and according to Assistant Commissioner, district Khuzdar, Mr. Afzal Supra, Balochistan, the grave was excavated and 15 bodies were found.

As the news of the mass grave spread throughout the district people gathered there and started digging in the nearby area where they found two more mass graves. In total 103 bodies were recovered from the graves. The bodies were too decomposed to be identified. From the three mass graves 17, 8 and 78 bodies were found but the local people say that a total of 169 bodies have been found. People have witnessed more than 100 human bodies in Tootak while they were digging the area. However, Pakistani military forces stopped the local people from unearthing the mass graves and took control of the area. Now, no one is allowed access to the location except military personnel.

According to the media, a security official who spoke on condition of anonymity said so far they have found around 56 unidentified graves and that there are many more. It is claimed that these bodies are those of Baloch missing persons.

Read more » Asian Human Rights Commission
http://www.humanrights.asia/news/ahrc-news/AHRC-STM-023-2014#.UubrcG-W1Xs.facebook

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Bilawal Bhutto Zardari calls for action on Taliban

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, son of the assassinated former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, has called on Pakistani politicians to wake up to the threat posed by militant groups including the Taliban. In a rare interview, he told the BBC’s Lyse Doucet about his political ambitions and his call for military action against armed groups, not talks.

Courtesy: BBC
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-25923415

Pakistan: Bhagat Singh Shaheed’s village selected for preservation

Faisalabad: Bhagat Singh Shaheed native village Banga in Faisalabad is been selected for preservation and has been declared as historical sites by Faisalabad district coordination officers Noorul Amin Mengal. Mr Mengal had earlier named Shadman Fawara Chouck as Bhagat Singh Chouck in 2012 while he was DCO Lahore, Along with Bhagat Singh village, the villages of Sir Ganga Ram, Mirza Jutt and Ahmad Khan Kharal, the other freedom fighters and historical personalities, have also been declared as historical place.

Source – via Facebook

Mesolithics , Thousands of years (roughly 10,000 BCE and afterwards before the height of the Indus Civilization) sites in the Thar Desert

An Archaeological Survey in the Neighborhood of Thari in the Thar Desert (Sindh, Pakistan)

Paolo Biagi and G. Mohiuddin Veesar report on the discovery of many Mesolithic (roughly 10,000 BCE and afterwards, many thousands of years before the height of the Indus Civilization) sites in the Thar Desert in the 1990s.

Courtesy: Harappa
http://a.harappa.com/content/archaeological-survey-neighborhood-thari-thar-desert-sindh-pakistan#.UuVIO0zTQkc.facebook

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Pakistan Railway Decided to Provide Free Internet Facility For Passengers in Trains

Lahore: After Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), Pakistan Railway Department also decided to provide internet and modern facilities for passengers in train. According to Express News, Railway officials has decided to provide Internet access to passenger within trains, passengers will be provided free Internet access and wireless Internet access (Wi- Fi) systems.

Federal Minister Railway Khawaja Saad Rafique while talking to media said that Railways have reduced train fares. He said that “We are working had to get Railways back to its feet and will again restore passengers confidence” .

Note : The PIA also provide phone and SMS service for passengers over flying.

Courtesy: The Pak Media
http://www.thepakmedia.com/pakistan-railway-decided-provide-internet-facility-passengers-trains/2014/01/25/

India Almost Doubled Its Solar Power In 2013 With Big Plans For More

By Ari Phillips

India added just over 1 gigawatt of solar energy to its electrical grid last year, a major milestone that nearly doubles the country’s cumulative solar energy capacity to 2.18 gigawatts. After a slow start to the year, solar installation picked up rapidly — a good sign that India will be able to meet its ambitious solar targets going forward. India hopes to install 10 GW of solar by 2017 and 20 GW by 2022.

The Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission, launched in 2010 by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, aims to help the country achieve success with solar energy deployment. India is currently in the planning stages of building the world’s largest solar plant, which would generate 4 gigawatts in the northwestern state of Rajasthan.

“This is the first project of this scale anywhere in the world and is expected to set a trend for large-scale solar power developments,” Ashvini Kumar, director of Solar Energy Corp, one of five public utilities that will run the plant, told Business Insider.

In the last decade India’s renewable energy capacity has gone from just under 4 GW to over 27 GW as of this month. Wind energy makes up about two-thirds of this total, with small hydropower contributing nearly 4 GW and biomass over 1 GW.

Last weekend India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to cooperate to promote renewable energy, especially solar.

Read more » Think Progress
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/01/21/3184561/india-solar-target-success/

Battery advance could boost renewable energy take-up

By Paul Rincon, Science editor, BBC News website

US researchers have made an important step forward in the quest to store electricity from intermittent energy sources such as wind and solar.

A Harvard University team came up with a way to drive down the cost of flow battery technology, which is capable of storing energy on large scales – within an electrical power grid, for example. Grid-scale storage for renewables could be a game-changer – making wind and solar more economical and reliable.

Read more » BBC
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-25674738

New vaccine for High blood pressure

The blood pressure injection you need just twice a year

Jab blocks effects of a hormone in body that triggers high blood pressure

So far been tested only on rats, and successfully lowered high readings

By Pat Hagan

A vaccine given just twice a year could keep high blood pressure at bay. The jab could free millions of people from the burden of taking pills every day to keep their condition under control.

It works by blocking the effects of a hormone in the body that triggers high blood pressure by making the muscles surrounding blood vessels contract.

This chemical, called angiotensin 2, forces muscles to keep contracting, which makes blood vessels narrower and increases the pressure on vessel walls – raising the risk of a heart attack or stroke. The vaccine prompts the immune system to release antibodies that stop angiotensin 2 from reaching the muscles.

The experimental jab, which has so far been tested only on rats, successfully lowered their high readings and kept blood pressure at lower, safer levels for at least six months before a booster was needed.

Researchers at Osaka University in Japan, where the jab is being developed, hope to carry out trials on humans within the next two years. High blood pressure, or hypertension, affects one in five adults in the UK and is thought to be responsible for half of all heart attacks and strokes.

It develops when blood vessel walls lose their ability to stretch and dilate, restricting the flow of blood through the body.

In some patients, it’s possible to get readings down by eating less salt and taking more exercise, but millions need pills to control it.

One of the main treatments is a class of drugs known as angiotensin  2 receptor blockers (ARBs).

These work by stopping angiotensin 2 from locking on to receptors on the outside of muscle cell walls and thereby triggering the dangerous contractions that cause high blood pressure.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2543019/The-blood-pressure-injection-need-just-twice-year.html#ixzz2rSz0Z86u

Sindh Festival is a ray of hope: Bilawal Zardari

KARACHI: Chairman of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has said Sindh Festival is a ray of hope and it will bring Mohenjo Daro and Makli back to life.

In a televised speech on Tuesday, he said that Sindh festival would become an annual event. “We are proud of our old heritage and will protect it,” the young PPP leader said. Patron-in-chief of the PPP was of the view that our civilisation is under threat because of the Taliban. We will fight against terrorism. The PPP’s outspoken leader, who criticises Taliban militants often, said the world would see how deep our roots are. “We will tell the world that we are not as we are presented,” he said. Bilawal claimed that militants want to take everyone back to stone age, but ‘we’ will not bow before the terrorists. “We were civilized five thousand years ago, which they (militants) are far from even today,” said Bilawal. He reiterated “Marsoon marsoon, Sindh na daisun.”

Courtesy: Daily Times
http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/national/22-Jan-2014/sindh-festival-is-a-ray-of-hope-bilawal-zardari

THE MESSAGE OF MEXICAN MUSICIAN WHO HAVE TURNED THE DEADLY WEAPONS INTO ARTISTIC INSTRUMENTS OF MUSIC

How To Turn 6,700 Weapons Into Musical Instruments

Mexican artist Pedro Reyes makes sweet music from lethal tools.

By Kevin Tang, BuzzFeed Staff

When police seized and destroyed some 6,700 weapons from drug cartels in Ciudad Juarez, they asked artist Pedro Reyes if he wanted to take the scrap metal. Keep in mind, Juarez only recently shook off its title as the world’s homicide capital. In 2008, Reyes had famously melted 1,527 guns, made shovels with them, and planted 1,527 trees in Mexico. For the next two week, Reyes would work with 6 musicians to transform these guns into musical instruments. The results, as you see and hear, are below.

n the artist’s own words:

“This is also a call to action, since we cannot stop the violence only at the place where the weapons are being used, but also where they are made. There is a disparity between visible and invisible violence. The nearly 80,000 deaths by gun-shot that have occurred in Mexico in the last 6 years … This is a large industry of death and suffering for which no cultural rejection is expressed. Guns continue to be depicted as something sexy both in Hollywood and in videogames; there may be actors who won’t smoke on the screen, but there has not been one who would reject the role of a trigger-happy hero.”

Courtesy: Buzzfeed
http://www.buzzfeed.com/kevintang/how-to-turn-6700-weapons-into-musical-instruments

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PAKISTAN: The lives of the long marchers are in danger

The participants of the long march from Karachi to Islamabad for the recovery of Baloch missing persons are facing threats from the notorious intelligence agency. The marchers have been threatened not to enter Punjab province otherwise they would face serious consequences.

Read more » Asian Human Rights Commission
http://www.humanrights.asia/news/ahrc-news/AHRC-STM-020-2014#.Ut64w47BZK4.facebook

85 People Hold As Much Wealth As Poorest 3.5 Billion

Oxfam: Richest 1% own nearly half of world’s wealth

The richest 1% own 46% of global wealth

Almost half of the world’s wealth is owned by just 1% of the world’s population, according to a report published just days before the start of the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting, where the topic of rapidly increasing income disparities will be a major focus.

In its study titled “Working for the Few,” the British-founded development charity Oxfam concludes that the $110 trillion wealth of the 1% richest people on the planet is some 65 times the total wealth of those floundering at the “bottom half” of the world’s population.

Further, this poorer “bottom half” now has about the same amount of money as the richest 85 people in the world, and the wealthiest grew their share of bounty in 24 out of 26 countries surveyed between 1980 and 2012, the study says. The research was compiled using data from Credit Suisse’s World Wealth report and the Forbes’ billionaires list.

“In the last 30 thirty years seven out of 10 people have been living in countries where economic inequality has increased,” Nick Galasso, one of the co-authors of the study, told USA TODAY. “This is a trend that has been unfolding globally for the last two or three decades. What we’ve not seen is any political will toward curbing it.”

Read more » USA Today
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2014/01/20/davos-2014-oxfam-85-richest-people-half-world/4655337/

Times Square bomb plot: Pakistani Army major arrested

A Pakistani Army major, who was until recently a serving officer, has been arrested in connection with the failed Times Square bomb plot.

By Rob Crilly, in Islamabad

Pakistani and US sources say there is evidence that mobile phone calls were exchanged between Major Adnan Ejaz and the suspected would-be bomber, Faisal Shahzad, who was arrested on May 3 as he attempted to fly out of New York.

A Pakistani law enforcement sources said that the major had mobile phone contact with Shahzad on the day of the attempted bombing, including one conversation at the same time the bomber was allegedly parking his car loaded with propane tanks and explosives.

He had also met the naturalised American in Islamabad, he claimed.

Shahzad, the son of a retired Pakistani Air Force officer, has told interrogators he received training from the Pakistan Taliban in its rugged mountain stronghold of Waziristan.

Pakistan’s military and intelligence services have a long history of working with Jihadi organisations as an instrument of foreign policy.

Read more » The Telegraph
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/pakistan/7772507/Times-Square-bomb-plot-Pakistani-Army-major-arrested.html

Russell Brand’s Revolution Is Right, We Have To Change.

Bob Geldof Backs Russell Brand’s Revolution In Call For New Politics

The Huffington Post UK | By Asa Bennett

Sir Bob Geldof has thrown his weight behind Russell Brand‘s call for a political revolution, warning that the current system of democracy “may not be viable for much longer”.

Speaking to the Huffington Post UK, Geldof praised Brand for his “articulacy and expressing the anger of the moment”, after he sparked a controversy with an essay in the New Statesman magazine calling for the “overthrow of the current political system”.

The Irish rockstar and political activist said: “We have to change and it needs to be in the context of how we live now rather than with some old-hat political ideal.”

Geldof blamed the failure of capitalism on the banks going “out of control” and due to human greed, inventing “completely spurious” financial products.

“They ceased to [give money to others] and gave it to themselves through fraud, outright international global gangsterism.

In an impassioned attack on recent banking scandals, he went on: “That’s what it was. Mispricing of products, fraud. Mis-selling of products, fraud. Fixing the interbank lending rate. Fraud. It was fraud on an unprecedented scale! They sucked billions out of the world economy, destroying individuals, companies and countries.”

“Russell [Brand] is completely right. That model cannot sustain us as we saw, it bankrupted Greece, almost Italy, almost France and almost Ireland. It just can’t work.”

Geldof, renowned for his role behind the Live Aid and Band Aid charity initiatives, spoke to HuffPostUK after talking to young entrepreneurs at an event hosted by the RockStar Youth group.

Geldof warned Brand that replacing the current political system with anarchy was “not viable or plausible”, adding: “You can’t just have a free for all. It just wont work because we will form structural organisations within that as it’s the kind of thing we do.”

However, he said the bankers’ immense levels of pay posed a serious threat to society. “When you have these supposed masters of the universe averaging more than 248 times the average worker’s pay, you have a serious problem of inequality. Inequality stops a society functioning and so it has to stop.

“I do think the version of democracy that we have been living with just may not be viable for very much longer. We will have something where we have proper freedom and elected representation.”

“We all co-operate in the knowing lie, which is that everybody promises more and that the economy will inevitably grow. what does that mean? It means more, more of what? That’s not viable in an unsustainable and finite world.

“Nor can you in a four year electoral cycle put into place programmes that would help to ameliorate the effects of that. If the economy is affected in that way by definition politics are so that the politics that we’ve grown up with in a different economy cannot work in a new one, there has to be a newer type of politics.

“You will see a change in the type of politics. It’ll still be our government, it needs to be otherwise you’ll have problems and it still needs to be a more coherent economy.”

Courtesy: Huffington Post
http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/01/18/bob-geldof-russell-brand_n_4622761.html

At the mercy of men of straw

Ayaz AmirBy Ayaz Amir

Except; … What a contrast with our mighty men of straw moving about in their gleaming motorcades, bullet-proof vehicles, hundreds of men for their protection, yet consumed by fear, fear sitting in their hearts, and therefore seeking endless excuses for their irresolution.

The Taliban are in no doubt. They have virtually declared war against Pakistan, its army and its people. What does it take to see that their aim is not the emirate of Waziristan, or even drawing a line at the Indus but something higher, the whole of Pakistan? Yet far from being goaded into action, the men of straw in command of the republic’s destiny seek endless excuses for not doing anything. Hamlet’s “to be or not to be…” would seem a model of decision compared to their indecision.

The enemy is not at the gates; he is within. And while the Taliban make an art of the hidden roadside bomb, their deadliest weapon as it was of the insurgency in Iraq, the governing class hailing from Punjab – along with that other gift to clarity, Imran Khan – continues to weave bandishes (variations) on the raga of talks.

The Taliban kill a general of the Pakistan Army – Maj Gen Sanaullah – and our men of straw are for talks. A Peshawar church is bombed and they are for talks. Imran’s party men are killed in KP and he is for talks. Pakistan’s toughest cop, Chaudhry Aslam, is killed and the talks mantra does not change. In Hangu young Aitizaz sets an example for the entire country to follow but his sacrifice is in vain because those who should take heed remain men of straw.

So what should we do? God knows this is not a country of Athenian or Spartan warriors. But whatever bit of pluck and daring there may be, it is being held in check – nay, dissipated – by the ruling lot a blind Providence has been pleased to place upon the people of this country. Of what avail another Chaudhry Aslam, another Aitizaz, when the nation’s caravan is led by such heroes?

Read more » The News
http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-9-226460-At-the-mercy-of-men-of-straw

Multi-crore tax scam at American Embassy School

by Rajeev Sharma

India is on the verge of gaining some leverage in the Devyani Khobragade case with the unearthing of what looks like a gigantic multi-year tax evasion scam by the American Embassy School here. Even as the US has declined to drop charges against Khobragade on the ground that it does not mess around with domestic law, India now can pressure the Americans to do so, given the growing dimensions of the tax evasion. The Khobragade visa fraud case is now counterbalanced by what seems to be an American tax fraud in India that either went unnoticed or was ignored in the general need to defer to Uncle Sam in the past. In fact, there is some evidence—quoted in a New York Times story—that the spouses of American diplomats may have been encouraged to lie about their status to avoid having to get a separate work visa in India. Just as Devyani’s maid may have lied about her wages, US diplomats’ spouses may also have misrepresented their status. US Embassy in Delhi.

The Americans who threw the rule book at Khobragade and preached visa ethics are now finding themselves on the wrong side of the law here. Washington needs to be worried, very worried, on two counts. First, credible sources told this writer that the American Embassy School (AES) has been violating a number of Indian laws and fraudulently evading income tax since 1972. The cumulative tax evaded thus far and the penalties would easily run into scores of crores, if not more. The American diplomats in India have also been found to be indulging in an institutionalised mechanism of visa and tax frauds for decades. Worse, unlike the Devyani incident, which was a one-off case, the AES scam has been routinely perpetrated at the behest of top officials of the US embassy in New Delhi.

Read more » First Post
More at: http://www.firstpost.com/india/multi-crore-tax-scam-at-the-american-embassy-school-unearthed-1343915.html?utm_source=ref_article

Musadiq Sanwal passes away

SINDH – KARACHI: Musadiq Sanwal, the editor of Dawn.com, passed away on Friday after battling with lung cancer for more than a year.

Born in 1962, Sanwal will be remembered for his dedication to journalism, his closeness to his colleagues and love for the arts, most importantly music which he learnt in his younger years and performed regularly.

Read more » DAWN
http://www.dawn.com/news/1080909/editor-dawncom-musadiq-sanwal-passes-away

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China has tested an ICBM hypersonic warhead.

Will China’s new supersonic warhead bust US missile shield?

China has tested an ICBM hypersonic warhead. It follows from the test results that China may deploy its ICBMs with these kinds of warheads in the foreseeable future, says an expert with the Centre for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies, Vassily Kashin.

The testing of the ICBM hypersonic warhead is the first practical achievement of a large-scale programme to create hypersonic weapons, a programme that China is translating into life. China has been engaged in developing hypersonic cruise vehicles for several years. In July 2012, the Chinese media reported the commissioning in China of a unique high-speed wind tunnel capable of testing model aircraft at speeds of up to Mach 9. Now China has reported the flight test of a hypersonic cruise vehicle. The basic questions that arise in this context are how the new technology will influence the Chinese nuclear strategy and what other hypersonic weapon projects China is carrying out.

Read more: http://voiceofrussia.com/2014_01_15/Will-Chinas-new-supersonic-warhead-bust-US-missile-shield-1589/

Empires Of The Indus by Alice

Many of the proselytizing saints who arrived in Sindh from Iran or Middle East gave their mission a boost by putting down roots in ancient Hindu places of worship, or even by allowing themselves to be identified with Hindu gods. Sehwan Sharif, where Lal Shahbaz Qalandar’s tomb is located, is the site of an important Shiva centre. The name Sehwanistan, as it was known untill recently, derives from Sivistan, city of Shiva, and the modern faqirs still dress like Shaivite yogis, in torn clothes, with matted hair.

Lal Shahbaz Qalandar also used to be called Raja Bhartari by hindus ; and when I visit his shrine I see, flashing in red neon Urdu script above his tomb, the words Jhule Lal, one of the many Hindu names for god of water. At least untill the nineteenth century, it was believed by Muslims and Hindus that the Indus waxed and waned according to Lal Shahbaz Qalandar’s whim.

Courtesy: Empires Of The Indus by Alice

Indian and Pakistani troops swap gifts at LoC on Prophet’s birthday

LoC gets a sweet exchange as Indian and Pakistani troops swap gifts on Prophet’s birthday

By Mail Today Bureau

Indian and Pakistani troops exchanged sweets and gifts to celebrate the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad on the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday.

Indian and Pakistani troops on Tuesday exchanged sweets and gifts in Kargil and Uri sectors in an effort to restore normalcy along the LoC, a Srinagar-based defence spokesman said.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/indiahome/indianews/article-2539467/LoC-gets-sweet-exchange-Indian-Pakistani-troops-swap-gifts-Prophets-birthday.html#ixzz2qPja4N3F

Polygamy as Lifestyle Choice, and a Reality TV Brand

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LAS VEGAS — Kody Brown, his four wives and 17 children want to be the new face of polygamy, what some consider the next frontier after same-sex marriage.

That is why, the Browns say, they invited TLC television cameras into their homes for their reality show “Sister Wives,” why they have written a best-selling book about their lives, and why they challenged Utah’s polygamy ban in federal court.

Fear of prosecution under that law led them to flee to Nevada. Last month, a federal judge partly overturned the ban, ruling that prohibiting “cohabitation” violates the First Amendment guarantee of free exercise of religion.

Read more » The New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/09/us/polygamy-as-a-lifestyle-choice-and-a-reality-tv-brand-name.html?_r=0

Pakistan: Nation on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Fatima Bhutto

Pakistan is a country plagued by natural disasters, endemic political corruption, religious fundamentalism and is claimed by many to be the central headquarters of Islamist terrorism. And it’s a nuclear power. Fatima Bhutto, scion of the Pakistani political family, addresses the current state of her country in her Opening Address at the Sydney Writers’ Festival 2011.

Fatima Bhutto is an Afghan-born Pakistani poet and writer. She is the granddaughter of former prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and niece of Benazir Bhutto (both assassinated). She is active in Pakistan’s socio-political arena but has no desire to run for political office. She currently writes columns for ‘The Daily Beast’, ‘New Statesman’ and other publications.

Courtesy: Blip.tv
http://blip.tv/slowtv/pakistan-nation-on-the-verge-of-a-nervous-breakdown-fatima-bhutto-5236151