‘I Am Truly and Deeply Concerned’ – Gorbachev

 

Excerpt:

Gorbachev Interview: ‘I Am Truly and Deeply Concerned’

Interview Conducted by and Britta Sandberg

SPIEGEL: Do you think it is possible there could be another major war in Europe?

Gorbachev: Such a scenario shouldn’t even be considered. Such a war today would inevitably lead to a nuclear war. But the statements from both sides and the propaganda lead me to fear the worst. If one side loses its nerves in this inflamed atmosphere, then we won’t survive the coming years.

SPIEGEL: Aren’t you overstating things a bit?

Gorbachev: I don’t say such things lightly. I am a man with a conscience. But that’s the way things are. I am truly and deeply concerned.

SPIEGEL: The new Russian military doctrine labels NATO’s eastern expansion and the “reinforcement of NATO’s offensive capabilities” as one of the primary threats facing Russia. Do you agree?

Gorbachev: NATO’s eastward expansion has destroyed the European security architecture as it was defined in the Helsinki Final Act in 1975. The eastern expansion was a 180-degree reversal, a departure from the decision of the Paris Charter in 1990 taken together by all the European states to put the Cold War behind us for good. Russian proposals, like the one by former President Dmitri Medvedev that we should sit down together to work on a new security architecture, were arrogantly ignored by the West. We are now seeing the results.

SPIEGEL: The Ukraine conflict is a personal one for you — and not just for political reasons.

Gorbachev: That is correct, and anything else would be strange. I am, after all, half Ukrainian. My mother was Ukrainian and my wife Raisa was too. I spoke my very first words in Ukrainian, and the first songs I heard were Ukrainian. The southern Russian region of Stavropol, where I come from and where I once served as party chief, had a partnership during Soviet times with Ukraine’s Donetsk region, where this terrible war is raging today. Back then we offered each other mutual help. We were friends and we lived in one state. Still, even today I have friends and relatives in Ukraine — as do most Russians.

SPIEGEL: As general secretary of the Communist Party, you fought for glasnost (openness) and perestroika (restructuring) in your country. Has everything that you pushed for during your political life fallen into ruin under Putin?

Gorbachev: I take an entirely different view. Glasnost isn’t dead and neither is democracy. A new generation has grown up in Russia under entirely different conditions — and it is much freer than in the Soviet Union. The clock can no longer be turned back. Nothing has fallen into ruin.

Read more » SPIEGEL ONLINE INTERNATIONAL
See more » http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/gorbachev-warns-of-decline-in-russian-western-ties-over-ukraine-a-1012992.html

Why Stephen Hawking is more afraid of capitalism than robots

by

In October, a Reddit user asked Stephen Hawking if he thinks robots are coming to take all of our jobs.

“In particular, do you foresee a world where people work less because so much work is automated?” the user asked the renowned physicist on an Ask Me Anything thread.

The question isn’t crazy. Computers are getting smarter and more efficient all the time. It’s conceivable that we one day will reach a point where machines’ output is simply much more valuable than humans’.

Hawking didn’t discount the notion that machines may replace us. But he said whether this is good or bad depends on how the wealth produced by machines is distributed. That is, Hawking is more concerned about capitalism than he is about robots. He wrote:

..Everyone can enjoy a life of luxurious leisure if the machine-produced wealth is shared, or most people can end up miserably poor if the machine-owners successfully lobby against wealth redistribution. So far, the trend seems to be toward the second option, with technology driving ever-increasing inequality.

We could be headed toward a work-free utopia where machine-produced goods and services are cheap and plentiful for all. Or, as Hawking suggests, the coming robot age will just exaggerate the income inequality that’s rampant across the globe. (Hawking is generally ambivalent on the advent of artificial intelligence. “We are facing potentially the best or worst thing to happen to humanity in history,” he has said.)

Read more » Vox
See more » http://www.vox.com/2016/2/27/11119804/stephen-hawking-robots

Pakistan – Punjab Assembly approves Women Protection Bill

LAHORE (Dunya News) – Punjab Assembly on Wednesday has approved Women Protection Bill calling for end to violence against the female gender. Those convicted of serious crimes such as throwing acid on women will now have to wear a GPS tracker and face various other consequences.

According the bill passed in the Assembly, those accused of throwing acid on women, rape and other grave offences will be restrained from visiting the concerned female’s work place or areas frequented by her. The offender may also be restrained by the court from contacting the woman based on the evidence submitted by her. The accused person will have to maintain the stated distance from the concerned female as ordered by the court in view of the events.

The Bill also states that female victims of domestic violence cannot be evicted from homes without their consent and in case of such an event; the court will reinstate the concerned female’s position.

Read more » Dunya News Tv
See more » http://dunyanews.tv/en/Pakistan/324600-Punjab-Assembly-approves-Women-Protection-Bill

Australia to boost defence spending

Australia has announced a surge in defence spending, a move that reflects concern over military expansion in the region.

Military spending will grow by A$29.9b ($21.4b, £15.4b) over next 10 years, the 2016 Defence White Paper outlined.

The largest investment will be made in submarines, with investment also being made in additional naval vessels, fighter jets and personnel.

Read more » BBC
See more » http://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-35657021

Shuja Pasha admitted ISI’s role in Mumbai attack: ex-CIA chief

In his latest book ‘Playing to the Edge’, Michael Hayden, the former CIA Director, expressed his deep frustration of the “duplicity” of the Pakistani leadership when it came to taking action against terrorist groups.

Read more » The Hindu
See more » http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/shuja-pasha-admitted-isis-role-in-mumbai-attack-excia-chief/article8271880.ece

It’s official: Native Americans and Siberians are cousins

After more than a century of speculation, an international group of geneticists has conclusively proven that the Aztecs, Incas, and Iroquois are closely related to the peoples of Altai, the Siberian region that borders China and Mongolia.

Scientists have suspected for a long time that Native Americans are closely related to the peoples of Altai. The theory of the Altai peoples migrating from Siberia across Chukotka and Alaska, down to the Tierra del Fuego at the tip of South America, appeared almost a century ago.

Since then researchers have tried to prove this, and in late 2015 the famous Russian geneticist, Oleg Balanovsky, finally confirmed the theory. In addition, Dr. Balanovsky’ss tudies also proved that some Native Americans have kinship with the indigenous populations of Australia.

“The current study confirms the theory that the Altai peoples are closely related to Native Americans,” said geneticist Valery Ilyinsky at the RAS Institute of General Genetics. “We now have clear proof, and it is useless to contest it.”

Read more » RBTH
See more » http://rbth.com/science_and_tech/2016/02/23/its-official-native-americans-and-siberians-are-cousins_569517

Embracing Punjabi

By Obed Pasha

Rabindranath Tagore was once asked why he got the Nobel Prize for literature and Allama Iqbal did not. Tagore replied “Probably because I write in my mother tongue and Iqbal doesn’t.”

With this answer Tagore touched on two important points. First, that people can best express themselves through the language they grow up speaking. And second, that the Muslim Punjabi intelligentsia has stopped using its native language as a medium of expression.

Read more » The News
See more » http://www.thenews.com.pk/print/44143-embracing-punjabi

Humanity is a bond

By: Social media

Humanity is a bond that is shared without boundaries and barriers. Iranian initiative of The Wall of Kindness reached Pakistan and now our lovely city Hyderabad has its wall all set to help needy people with help of ‪#‎PUAN‬ Jamshoro chapter. Tomorrow all youngesters, elders and social activists are invited to join hands together, own Dewaar e Meharbaani and donate as many clothes, shoes and school bags as you can.
Venue: Near Giddu traffic chowky, Thandi Sarak. Timing: 2 to 3 pm. Date: 19 Feb 2016

Courtesy: via Facebook

Train service between Pakistan and Turkey on the cards

ISLAMABAD: A new train service between Asia and Europe is on the cards. The service will enable Pakistani exports to reach Turkey via Iran in 15 days.

Pakistani exports to Turkey include: rice, sesame seeds, leather, textiles, fabrics, sports’ goods and medical equipment. Turkey’s exports to Pakistan are wheat, chickpeas, lentils, diesel, chemicals, transport vehicles, machinery and energy products.

Read more » Customs Today
See more » http://www.customstoday.com.pk/train-service-between-pakistan-and-turkey-on-the-cards/
More detials: BBC urdu
http://www.bbc.com/urdu/pakistan/2016/02/160219_turkey_pak_rail_link_fz?ocid=socialflow_facebook

‘IT park to improve trade between Pakistan, S. Korea’

ISLAMABAD: South Korea wants to improve trade ties with Pakistan and the establishment of an IT park in Islamabad is a step towards doing so, South Korean Ambassador Dr Song Jong-Hwan said at a gathering at the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI).

South Korea will establish one of the biggest and most advanced IT parks in Islamabad in an area of about one million square feet.

The Exim Bank of Korea has agreed to provide $50 million for the establishment of the park and South Korean teams are expected to conduct a feasibility study with assistance from the Ministry of IT and Pakistan Software Exports Board (PSEB).

It is expected that the IT park will attract international companies to develop software and hardware solutions and will also help boost the country’s IT exports.

“Establishing the park will promote small and medium enterprises as well,” Dr Song said.

Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1240330/

Google Translate adds 13 more languages for a total of 103

Now you can chat with people from Ethiopia and Kyrgyzstan.

By Mariella Moon , @mariella_moon

Google Translate could help connect even more people now that it’s added13 more languages to its roster. Those 13 are Amharic (Ethiopia), Corsican (Corsica island in France), Frisian (Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands), Kyrgyz (Kyrgyzstan), Hawaiian, Kurdish/Kurmanji (Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria), Luxembourgish, Samoan, Scots Gaelic, Shona (Zimbabwe), Sindhi (Pakistan), Pashto (Afghanistan) and Xhosa (South Africa). Google says all of Translate’s 103 available languages cover 99 percent of the online population.

Read more » Engadget
See more » http://www.engadget.com/2016/02/18/google-translate-adds-13-languages/

‘One Belt, One Road’ – China’s road to the future

One Belt, One Road’ is China’s bid to create a new approach to economic development that could benefit all of Asia.

Writer: Umesh Pandey

Greater integration among Asean economies, coupled with China’s ambitious One Belt, One Road policy, could set the stage for China to undertake many projects to show the world that it has come of age as…

Read more » Bangkok Post
See more » http://m.bangkokpost.com/news/847144

Please credit and share this article with others using this link: http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/asia/847144/china-road-to-the-future. View our policies at http://goo.gl/9HgTd and http://goo.gl/ou6Ip. © Post Publishing PCL. All rights reserved.

PM praises Pakistani scientist who played key role in discovery of gravitational waves

By Abdul Manan

 

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has felicitated Dr Nergis Mavalvala, the Pakistani-American Astrophysicist, for being part of the team of scientists who have recently detected gravitational waves in space.

In a statement on Monday, the prime minister said Mavalvala, who is also a professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is a source of inspiration for Pakistani scientists and students aspiring to become future scientists.

Read more » The Express Tribune
See more » http://tribune.com.pk/story/1047451/pm-congratulates-pakistani-who-played-part-in-discovery-of-gravitational-waves/

First ‘Silk Road’ train arrives in Tehran from China

Tehran (AFP) – The first train to connect China and Iran arrived in Tehran on Monday loaded with Chinese goods, reviving the ancient Silk Road, the Iranian railway company said.

The train, carrying 32 containers of commercial products from eastern Zhejiang province, took 14 days to make the 9,500-kilometre (5,900-mile) journey through Kazakstan and Turkmenistan.

“The arrival of this train in less than 14 days is unprecedented,” said the head of the Iranian railway company, Mohsen Pourseyed Aqayi.

“The revival of the Silk Road is crucial for the countries on its route,” he said at a ceremony at Tehran’s rail station attended by the ambassadors of China and Turkmenistan.

The journey was 30 days shorter than the sea voyage from Shanghai to the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas, according to Aqayi.

The railway will not stop in Tehran “as we are planning to extend the railway to Europe in future,” generating more income for Iran from passing trains, he added.

Read more » Yahoo News
See more » http://news.yahoo.com/first-silk-road-train-arrives-tehran-china-134703954.html

Nergis Mavalvala: The Karachiite who went on to detect Einstein’s gravitational waves

Karachi-born quantum astrophysicist Nergis Mavalvala, Associate Department Head of Physics at MIT is a member of the team of scientists that announced on Thursday the scientific milestone of detecting gravitational waves, ripples in space and time hypothesised by physicist Albert Einstein a century ago. Continue reading Nergis Mavalvala: The Karachiite who went on to detect Einstein’s gravitational waves

Karl Marx Was Right

By Chris Hedges

 

Karl Marx exposed the peculiar dynamics of capitalism, or what he called “the bourgeois mode of production.” He foresaw that capitalism had built within it the seeds of its own destruction. He knew that reigning ideologies—think neoliberalism—were created to serve the interests of the elites and in particular the economic elites, since “the class which has the means of material production at its disposal, has control at the same time over the means of mental production” and “the ruling ideas are nothing more than the ideal expression of the dominant material relationships … the relationships which make one class the ruling one.” He saw that there would come a day when capitalism would exhaust its potential and collapse. He did not know when that day would come. Marx, as Meghnad Desai wrote, was “an astronomer of history, not an astrologer.” Marx was keenly aware of capitalism’s ability to innovate and adapt. But he also knew that capitalist expansion was not eternally sustainable. And as we witness the denouement of capitalism and the disintegration of globalism, Karl Marx is vindicated as capitalism’s most prescient and important critic.

In a preface to “The Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy” Marx wrote:

Read more » truthdig
See more » http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/karl_marx_was_right_20150531

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

Gandhinagar: 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/

KSA 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

 

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

Hadar Cohen was ‘larger than life’

Hundreds 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

Pakistan 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/

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.

 

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

By Mariam Al Hakeem

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