Tuesday, August 20, 2019
By Likhitha Butchireddygari
Companies are restructuring their compensation and benefits packages to attract these qualified women.This year is shaping up to be the first year that women make up the majority of the college-educated labor force, a milestone that is already altering benefits packages offered by companies and one that could influence family sizes in the future.
Women make up only 46.6% of the overall labor force, but they first reached 45% of the college-educated labor force at the turn of the century. Since 2013, the female share of college-educated workers has been around the 49% mark, with 2019 being the year that women cross into a very slight majority. Nicole Smith, chief economist at Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, said this development overall is a positive one.
By HASAN ALHASANThe unfolding situation in Jammu and Kashmir, where India’s Hindu nationalist government has abruptly ended the state’s autonomous status, puts the Arab Gulf states’ balancing act in South Asia to the test. By raising tensions with Pakistan and increasing the likelihood of a local insurgency breaking out, India has created a zero-sum situation for the Gulf states. While Pakistan is likely to interpret neutrality as an implicitly pro-Indian position, India would probably react vociferously against any foreign pressure on what it considers to be an internal Indian affair.
The fate of Jammu and Kashmir currently hangs in the balance. The federal government has revoked the state’s autonomous status under Articles 370 and 35A of the Indian constitution, turning it instead into two union territories controlled by the central government. In anticipation of large-scale violence, the central government has arrested the state’s elected officials and deployed tens of thousands of paramilitary troops. Phone and Internet services have also been suspended, in effect isolating Jammu and Kashmir from the rest of the world.
Historically, Pakistan could count on near-unanimous support among the Arab and Muslim-majority states for its position on Kashmir. Since its creation during the Cold War in 1969, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has served as a platform for pro-Western Pakistan to rally Arab and Muslim support against Soviet-aligned India on Kashmir. Even after the Cold War ended, the Arab Gulf states continued to condemn India’s heavy-handed response to growing insurgency and to advocate for Kashmir’s right to self-determination. In 1994, for instance, Saudi Arabia co-sponsored a Pakistani resolution on Kashmir at the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, illustrating the extent of the Gulf states’ support for Pakistan.
By Walter Russell Mead
New Delhi is a major trading partner and powerful friend in a dangerous region.The Muslim-majority state of Jammu and Kashmir enjoyed a unique status in predominantly Hindu India for more than 70 years. No more. Both houses of the Indian Parliament have approved legislation to divide Kashmir into two “union territories” and allow non-Kashmiri Indians to move freely into the region, open businesses and buy land. Many Kashmiris fear the result will be a wave of migration that ends any hope of Kashmiri independence or autonomy.
Pakistan, which has fought three wars with India over Kashmir, reacted with rage, but it isn’t getting much support from its purported Muslim allies in the Persian Gulf region. As hundreds of Kashmiri intellectuals, journalists and activists were arrested, and as telephone and internet service to much of the state was cut, Saudi Aramco announced a $15 billion investment in an Indian oil company. On Sunday evening, after stone-throwing crowds confronted security forces in Srinagar, Kashmir’s capital, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs announced that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will travel to the United Arab Emirates next week to receive the country’s highest civilian honor. From the U.A.E., he will travel to Bahrain on the first-ever visit to that country by a sitting Indian prime minister.
Civil libertarians and human-rights activists in India and around the world have condemned the crackdown in Kashmir, but a recent opinion poll found 57% of Indians wanted Kashmir to lose its special status. Sixty-five percent said they thought Mr. Modi could solve the Kashmir problem in five years.
In a previously scheduled visit to New Delhi to attend this weekend’s annual India-U.S. Forum sponsored by the Ananta Centre (which also paid my travel expenses), I heard worries but few regrets from well-connected Indians in government, business and the academy. People told me that for decades, India has been lavishing money on Kashmir, but the money has gone nowhere. The Kashmiri economy is a disaster, the radicalization of unemployed and underemployed young people continues to worsen, and Pakistan has no interest in helping to stabilize the situation. Yes, I heard from many Indians, the new policy is risky and could set off another round of violence, but what are the alternatives?
Many hope that if Kashmir is opened to more Indian investment, the economy will grow, young people will have better things to think about than jihad, and the political culture will become less inward-looking and more open to participation in the broader life of India.
Meanwhile, I was told, Indian security forces have become much more sophisticated when it comes to identifying the areas and families from which many of the security threats emerge. By concentrating the efforts of the security forces and law enforcement on a relatively limited high-risk population, Indian policy makers hope to reduce both the danger of terrorism and the impact of counterterrorism activities on everyday life.Perhaps. Estimates vary, but tens of thousands of people have died in Kashmir since resistance to Indian rule exploded into violence in the 1980s. Anticipating another round of violence, Indian authorities have shut down the region, closing schools and government offices and imposing curfews. Indian authorities had hoped to begin easing restrictions this weekend, but in the face of mounting protests and confrontations between security forces and stone-throwing crowds, many restrictions remain in place.
Critics worry that more violence in Kashmir will exacerbate sectarian violence across the subcontinent. Lynchings and mob attacks on minority religious communities, Christians included, have increased in India, and local officials haven't always been zealous in bringing perpetrators to justice.
That may not affect India’s relations with the hardened realpolitikers of the Gulf. As Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar reminds visitors, the economic ties between India and the Gulf are deep. Of India’s 10 largest trading partners, three are Gulf states. Roughly two-thirds of India’s energy imports come from Gulf nations, and more than half of India’s remittances come from workers there. As a growing market for Arab oil and gas, as a source of highly trained and competent personnel, and as a friendly country with a powerful military and a strong interest in geopolitical stability, India is a valuable neighbor in a dangerous part of the world.
From one angle, the willingness of the Gulf states to overlook Kashmir in dealing with India, or the Xinjiang internment camps when dealing with China, looks cynical. Yet pragmatism also has its virtues. That India and the Gulf states are setting religious and cultural differences aside to build partnerships based on common interests isn’t the worst thing that could happen in the region. Too much moral righteousness in international politics often leads to fanaticism and conflict—though too little integrity can lead to the corruption and oppression out of which new conflicts arise.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s ex-wife claimed that he knew beforehand about India’s plans to abolish the autonomy of Kashmir and even tried to negotiate a “deal” with New Delhi.
Earlier this month, India revoked the decades-old self-governing status of the Jammu and Kashmir state, part of the disputed Kashmir region that it has controlled since the late 1940s. Pakistan, which considers the whole of Kashmir to be its territory, heavily criticized the move, and vowed to seek support at the UN.
Imran Khan’s ex-wife, Reham, now claims that the prime minister had known about New Delhi’s plans to strip Kashmir of its autonomy and even attempted to make a “deal” with Indian leader Narendra Modi.
“I would say that Kashmir has been sold off,” she said on Tuesday, as quoted by the New Indian Express. A British-Pakistani journalist and author, Reham Khan was married to Imran for 10 months in 2015.
Your PM Imran Khan, the day he was to give a policy statement [on Kashmir], he got up to say, ‘I knew he [Modi] was going to do this,’” Reham Khan alleged in an interview. “Imran said, ‘I knew this when I met him in Bishkek [during the Shanghai Cooperation Organization event in June] and he was rude to me.’”
And when you knew all this, and did nothing, then it means that you are incapable of doing anything, or you are very weak.
It is not the first time that Reham Khan has criticized her former husband. In a June interview with newspaper the Hindu, the journalist called Imran Khan “the ideal puppet” of the military, who “has no knowledge of a lot of complex issues.” Last year, she authored a controversial tell-all memoir, containing multiple salacious claims about Imran Khan’s political and personal life.
Indian PM Modi has defended his government’s decision to strip Kashmir of its special status, pledging to restore the region to its “past glory” with “more and more development.” Pakistan, meanwhile, believes India’s decision violates international law and will even result in "ethnic cleansing."
Monday, August 19, 2019
Steve Bannon (right), watches as President Donald Trump (left) speaks on the phone with Prime Minister of Australia, Malcolm Turnbull, in the Oval Office on January 28, 2017 in Washington, DC. Photo: VCG"Now Sloppy Steve has been dumped like a dog by almost everyone. Too bad!" This is how US President Donald Trump mocked his fired White House chief strategist Steve Bannon in a tweet on January 6, 2018.
It is hard to believe that this "dumped dog" was one of Trump's "best pupils" during his election campaign. Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, also Trump's former campaign chief who spread Trump's anti-immigrant and nationalist calls leading up to the US general election, has now made attacking China his new business after being dumped by Trump.
In 2019, Bannon intensified his assault on China with even more hysterical right-wing opinions.
Steve Bannon told the South China Morning Post, a Hong Kong-based newspaper, that the executive order signed by US President Donald Trump banning Huawei from the US market and cutting off vital components is "10 times more important than walking away from the trade deal."
On May 6, he published an article in the Washington Post vilifying and inciting his country to confront China.
"Steve Bannon has now added a new project to his portfolio - one designed, like all Bannon projects, to harness the worst in a situation to make it even worse. Lately, he has been focusing on an adversary that troubles those on both the left and right: China. But Bannon's aim is hardly to reduce tensions between the US and China; he means to ratchet up the trade war," according to the American Prospect, an American political and public policy magazine.
The "China threat theory" has fermented rapidly in the Trump era, and this can be partly attributed to the profound influence Steve Bannon had on the US president. Although Bannon left the White House in 2017, there are no fundamental differences between Bannon and Trump in terms of governance philosophy and China policy, and he still has access to the White House to influence its China policy decisions, said Chinese experts.
In May, Bannon claimed in his Washington Post article that the goal of the Communist Party of China is "to be the global hegemonic power," and asserted China "has been waging economic war against industrial democracies."
Bannon maliciously smeared China by saying that it is a "rapidly militarizing totalitarian state imprisoning millions in work camps," and "the world is a house divided, half slave, half free." Washington and Beijing are "facing off to tip the scales in one direction or the other," he wrote.
Bannon focused his fire just at a time when pressure is growing on China-US relations. But how can Bannon stir up a new wave of anti-China rhetoric in Washington after being kicked out of the White House? It could be because his personnel deployment strategy in the White House is still working.
"A new chapter of American greatness is now beginning," Trump said at one point. "A new national pride is sweeping across our nation." That sort of rhetoric is right out of Bannon's world and evidence of just how much influence Bannon has over Trump, said the Washington Post on March 1, 2017.
Bannon grabbed a place in the White House National Security Council in January 2017 when it was being reshuffled. The Council has had an unwritten rule for years: no standing seats for officials with strong political views. Bannon is not only politically radical but also has little experience in foreign and national security decision-making.
But this move made him more influential than most other cabinet officials. He used his power to promote to the White House a host of middle-ranking right-wing officials who shared his values.
Steve Bannon lost his National Security Council seat in April amid fears that the circle of US intelligence chiefs was being politicized.
Although Bannon has been personally sidelined by Trump, most of his followers remain in their posts, building on their radical ideas.
Kiron Skinner, the director of policy planning at the US Department of State, said in public earlier in May that the growing competition with China is "the first time we will have a great power competitor that is not Caucasian," drawing criticism for her racial characterization of the conflict, according to South China Morning Post.
This showed that some officials like Skinner had largely embraced Bannon's ultra-conservative right-wing views.
After leaving the White House, Bannon is still actively expanding his media network, maintaining close contact with many hosts from Fox News, the main platform for American right-wing conservatives, as well as making frequent appearances for various far-right organizations.
A widely anticipated debate between Liu Xin of China Global Television Network (CGTN) and Trish Regan of the Fox Business Network in the US drew global attention in May. What many people don't know is that Bannon was also behind this debate.
On May 22, Liu Xin strongly refuted Regan's remarks on the US-initiated "economic war" against China in a short video commentary. The next day, Trish responded to Liu in her show, then invited Bannon to appear on it.
Bannon said that China's personal attacks on him showed it was "in a state of hysteria." Bannon stated that President Trump has fully understood that Beijing has been "running an economic war against the industrial democracies now for 20 years," reported CNBC. Bannon goes to great lengths to describe how "jittery" China is.
After this show, Regan offered to have a debate with Liu Xin.
In addition to keeping a close eye on China issues in Fox News, Bannon is personally close to a number of hosts, regularly meeting with them, relentlessly promoting the "China threat" and using the media megaphone to get his voice heard.
Bannon has also worked with other hawks to create an Anti-China clique. The latest example came in March, when Bannon colluded with other Washington policy advisers to establish the Committee on the Present Danger, which targets China.
It aims to facilitate "public education and advocacy against the full array of conventional and non-conventional dangers" posed by China, according to an announcement the group released. The committee is widely believed to be fueling bilateral tensions between the two countries.
Many political analysts believe that Bannon was valued by Trump not because of how competent he is, but because he and Trump have many things in common: they are eloquent, part of the elite, and hold similar ideas in trade, immigration and public security.
More importantly, Bannon took advantage of the moment when both parties were looking to adjust their strategy toward China, creating an infectious anti-China atmosphere and blaming China for many problems in American society.
But now Bannon's influence on Trump is arguably minimal. After Trump won the 2016 election, Bannon compared himself with Thomas Cromwell, an ambitious adviser to King Henry VIII in the 16th century, triumphantly hinting at his powerful influence over Trump.
This metaphor is ironically accurate. The "Cromwell" who once advised the "King" did not escape the fate of being eventually discarded by his master.