Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Video - Coolies: How Britain Re-Invented Slavery

Video Report - Panel on Protests in Streets After Trump's Angry, Divisive Speech. #Breaking #POTUS

Video Report - Panel Discuss Trump Delivers Angry, Divisive Speech in Phoenix

Video - Trevor Noah Mocks Donald Trump for Staring at Eclipse

Video - Making Sense of Trump's Afghanistan War Strategy: The Daily Show


The United States warned an angry Pakistan on Tuesday that it could lose its status as a privileged military ally if it continues giving safe haven to Afghan militant groups. One day after President Donald Trump unveiled a new strategy to force the Taliban to negotiate a political settlement with the Kabul government, his top diplomat upped the heat on Islamabad.

Trump had warned that Pakistan's alleged support for the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani extremist network would have consequences, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has now spelled these out.
“We have some leverage,” Tillerson told reporters, as he fleshed out Trump's speech, “in terms of aid, their status as a non-Nato alliance partner — all of that can be put on the table”.
As one of 16 “Non-Nato Major Allies”, Pakistan benefits from billions of dollars in aid and has access to some advanced US military technology banned from other countries.
This year, the US has already withheld $350 million in military funding over concerns Pakistan is not doing enough to fight terror, but the alliance itself was not in question.
Tillerson said Washington wants to work with Pakistan as it expands its own support for Kabul in the battle against the Taliban, but warned it to close alleged militant safe havens.
Some of Pakistan's critics in Washington have urged Trump to go further, by authorising US strikes against militants inside Pakistan or declaring Pakistan a “state sponsor of terror”. Officials have not yet brandished the designation threat, which could lead to severe sanctions and legal threats to Pakistani officials, but Tillerson did not rule out strikes.
The US has hit targets within Pakistan before, most famously when Trump's predecessor Barack Obama ordered US special forces to kill Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden.
“The president has been clear that we are going to attack terrorists wherever they live,” Tillerson said.
“We have put people on notice that if you're providing safe haven to terrorists, be warned — we are going to engage those providing safe haven and ask them to change what they are doing.”
And Tillerson added that, aside from the Afghans, Pakistan has more to gain “than any other nation” from an end to the fighting.
Both Tillerson and Trump also called on Pakistan's long-standing rival and fellow nuclear power India to become more involved in Afghanistan, an idea that is anathema to Islamabad.
Beyond the stand-off with Pakistan, Trump's new strategy also authorises US generals to deploy more American troops to support Afghan government forces in what is now a 16-year-old conflict.

#Peshawar - Fighting Dengue Together

Peshawar and its adjacent districts are being affected by a serious dengue outbreak – Since July over 5000 people have tested positive for the virus and several deaths have been reported in the last few weeks. Different agencies quote different numbers of the people affected, but all estimates confirm that these are not isolated cases, but a concerning epidemic that needs to be tackled proactively by the state.
However, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government has been slow to respond to this threat. It has taken protests by the affected residents of Tehkal and criticism from federal health institutions forced it into action. Finally on Friday, KP Health Minister Shehram Khan Tarakai ordered provision of free test facilities at public-sector hospitals for diagnosing dengue fever. This was followed by Punjab healthcare experts leaving for Peshawar to help their counterparts to control the spread of dengue fever and update the knowledge of physicians there regarding management of patients suffering from the disease, as well as a federal compensation package for the victims.
Despite the anti-dengue campaign having begun an earnest, the focus seems to linger on KP’s slow response and Punjab’s “timely” offer to send their experts to help. There is a time for KP’s healthcare set up to be examined – but now is not that time. Political point scoring and party lines must be set aside so that the authorities can work together to prevent the virus form spreading further. This might seem like an obvious statement, but provinces have failed to cooperate over healthcare before; Sindh has refused help from Punjabi healthcare officials before.
Punjab has suffered from a serious outbreak before and it has managed to considerably combat with help from other jurisdictions. Punjab and KP must coordinate with the center to tackle this threat.

Arsenic in Pakistan groundwater ‘alarmingly high’: study

Levels of arsenic in the groundwater of eastern Pakistan are “alarmingly high” and pose a significant health hazard to tens of millions of people who drink the water, researchers said on Wednesday.
The study in the journal Science Advances is the first to create a comprehensive map of arsenic in the groundwater across Pakistan, and follows earlier, smaller studies that showed high arsenic levels in some places.
Groundwater samples were taken from nearly 1,200 sites throughout the country, and researchers used a model to project the likelihood of increased arsenic concentrations for all of Pakistan.
Areas in eastern Punjab — which includes Lahore — and around Hyderabad were especially likely to have groundwater that exposes large numbers of people to arsenic contamination.
Many parts of the densely populated plains along the Indus River and its tributaries showed arsenic concentrations in groundwater were higher than the World Health Organization guideline of 10 micrograms per liter, said the report.
“Very high concentrations, above 200 micrograms/liter, are found mainly in the south,” it warned.
Overall, 50 to 60 million people use groundwater which very likely contains more than 50 micrograms per liter, or five times higher than WHO guidelines.
“This is an alarmingly high number, which demonstrates the urgent need to test all drinking water wells in the Indus Plain,” said lead author Joel Podgorski, a geophysicist at the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag).
People who regularly drink water with high concentrations of arsenic face a higher risk of lung cancer, heart disease and skin disorders.
Researchers are not sure why the arsenic in Pakistan is so high, but one hypothesis is that heavy irrigation could be boosting the arsenic level in groundwater.
Rice, wheat, cotton and sugar cane are heavily farmed in the area.
Podgorski said more water from wells in high-risk areas must be tested, because concentrations of arsenic can vary widely in small areas.
Also, more testing is needed because local aquifer conditions cannot be predicted sufficiently accurately by modeling.
If the suspected link to irrigation practices in confirmed, new techniques would need to replace current practices.

Bilawal directs for relief to rain-affected people in Karachi

Chairman of Pakistan People's Party (PPP) Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Wednesday expressed deep grief and sorrow over losses of human lives in Karachi during two-day heavy rains and asked concerned authorities to provide relief to the people without any delay.
In a statement issued here, the PPP chairman said that deaths of innocent people in rain-related incidents in the provincial capital have saddened him and the fellow citizens.
On Tuesday night, a fresh spell of torrential rainfall lashed the metropolis leaving at least five people dead and bringing the total death toll in rain-related incidents to 13 since Monday.
"Steps should be taken to prevent and avert such incidents in future while war-footing basis engagements should be carried out to drain away stagnant water from the city’s low-lying areas," he added.
Bilawal said that both the provincial and local governments should work in coordination to minimise negative impacts of heavy downpour in the city and other areas of the province.

Pakistan - Asif Zardari never accepted US pressure

Reacting to policy statement of the US President on Afghanistan, PPP-P President Asif Ali Zardari yesterday said that the US President had better fight in Afghanistan if he really wanted to fight against terrorism.

Addressing a meeting of party workers at Bilawal House here, Zardari warned the American President stating that he (Trump) should know that he was dealing with Pakistan and not Afghanistan. “Don’t threat us, Mr Trump. We are Pakistanis and Muslims”, he cautioned, adding if America wanted to keep count of his financial assistance to Pakistan, it would lose count when it came to counting the sacrifices rendered by Pakistan in the war against terrorism.
“The sacrifices of Pakistanis are far greater than those of the Americans,” he added. Zardari said he felt the pain of Pakistan and that is why he remained awake till late at night to listen to the policy statement of Donald Trump.
The PPP chief also came down hard on the ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif whom he called a friend of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “Nawaz did not appoint any lobbyist in America due to his friendship with Modi,” he said. On Trump’s statement, Zardari said: “Whatever Nawaz Sharif wanted him (Trump) to state he said that”. Zardari further said: “We have to save Pakistan with diplomacy and political sagacity”. He said that the political conduct of Nawaz Sharif was not such that he could complete his five-year term. He, however, added that even a bad democracy was better than dictatorship. He said that he saved Nawaz government in 2014 for the sake of democracy.
Also, speaking on the occasion, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that Asif Zardari never accepted US pressure during his presidential tenure. “He (Zardari) was the one who got vacated the Salala Air base from the Americans. “It is only the PPP which can go eye ball to eye ball with the American President”, Bilawal remarked.
Earlier, talking about NA-120 by-election, Zardari said that it was the election of PPP and its workers and not of Faisal Mir alone. He asked party’s Lahore office-bearers to join the election campaign of PPP candidate from NA-120. Meanwhile, leaders of PPP South Punjab office-bearers and workers called on PPPP President Asif Ali Zardari and Chairman PPP Bilawal Bhutto Zardari at Bilawal House Lahore.
Those who called on with the two leaders included former Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza, Gilani, former Governor Punjab and President PPP South Punjab Makhdoom Ahmed Mehmood, Ms. Natasha Doultana and other office-bearers from South Punjab.
Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani and Makhdoom Ahmed Mehmood apprised the party leadership of the preparations for the visit of South Punjab by the PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. On this occasion, Asif Ali Zardari said that the current government had exploited South Punjab and farmers were suffering from faulty policy of the current government. He said that the Nawaz government had targeted farmers and South Punjab.
PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari instructed office-bearers to strengthen party in the region and work hard for party’s success in the next elections.
He said that he will visit every City and district of South Punjab and will meet people and party workers.