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Global Pandemic 2020! – CORONA – Analysis, Concerns, Lockdown and Chaos without a CURE!

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CORONA VIRUS: The New GLOBAL contagious PANDEMIC

(Please find all information is correct as of 24/4/2020 when this article was written and numbers of death tolls are from the 24th April 2020).

Introduction:

Two million people have come into contact with the Virus and over 196,000 people have died Internationally to date.

The Deadly virus originated from China – Wuhan – where the first case of Corona Virus also referred to as (CO-Vid19) was identified between late November and early December 2019 and was a global pandemic within the first few months of 2020.

Initial emergence of Corona, brief Analysis:

When the CO-VID19 hit the Chinese New Year celebrations were about to begin on January 25th (2020), it is in Chinese culture the year of the RAT which is meant to bring about Success, Peace and Intelligence to the year. Unfortunately Corona ensured the Chinese New Year 2020 was cancelled.

The Virus continues to be a global ongoing pandemic with more people sadly losing their lives day by day.

As the rate of deaths increases, so do concerns from people all around the world and the people it has impacted upon; if not everyone.

The virus that has originated from Bats/ or the Pangolin family has proved to be a dangerous and deadly virus which has evolved and transmitted to humans and evolved; with the ability to transmit from human to human a dangerous mix which has meant that the World has been on lockdown with containment of whole Countries whilst citizens are asked to practice self-isolation, social distancing in a containment effort to control the outbreak of CO-VID19; with many people having to adjust to daily life, the loss of many jobs, with economies having halted to a stop too.

Although Corona shrouds itself in death there are still glimmers of hope; businesses from all over the world have been adapting, changing their production output, to serve the purpose of fighting Corona.

An example of this is Italy; where companies like Armani are now making protective clothing instead of luxurious designer wear. Ferrari have been manufacturing respirators instead of sports cars, Gucci is making face masks, and Bvlgari are making hand sanitizers. It has been amazing to see how every business in the world is trying to adapt in the battle to send Corona away for good.

LOCKDOWN

Today the Norm is for people to wear masks and to only go out for essentials, whilst cutting their own hair at home, and doing work from home. For those unable to work from home, life is still boring at home in the Lockdown with nothing to really do, especially since all sports events have been cancelled. Also many of our daily dietary routines have changed with many people choosing to cook at home and many resteraunts like Nando’s and McDonalds providing some of their recipes, enabling citizens to cook at home rather than risk going to places where there are still gatherings.

Mr President Donald Trump refers to the “All out War on CORONA” whilst many from the British Government have referred to Corona as the main enemy and this as World War 3 from members of the public commenting on the outbreak of Corona.

All International efforts of Unity are focusing on the battle to defeat the Virus in the form of lockdowns with most Countries still in containment mode.

A point of interest is that many Countries in lockdown have interpreted the WHO guidance differently:

A liberal approach from Coutnries like Sweden which kept their schools open throughout the pandemic. Whilst in the UK we took a slightly more moderate approach with Schools only being open for the children of key workers.

Whether it be the UK the USA or Third World Countries; COVID has caused chaos, panic, uncertainty and death everywhere; it seems the World was caught off guard by this Pandemic even though a Global Pandemic had soon been expected.

Many Scientists sent warnings to Governments around the World before the outbreak; it is only now that it is too late, that we realise these warnings should have been heeded earlier.

It is unusual that the many governments were thrown aback by the outbreak and spread of the virus, and were unable to effectively organise Nationally as well as externally with the rest of the world in order to combat the spread and death toll.

It now remains to be seen whether the Governments around the World can pull their Countries back together and ultimately stop the virus without contributing to too many deaths as the numbers continue to rise steadily in favour of the invisible virus killer.

Chaos

With the Virus, came the panic buying and stockpiling of foods, drinks, and surprisingly toilet roll, however this soon calmed down when people realised that it was silly to be over-buying and of course was not fair on others.

The UK saw the release of prisoners early due to COVID 19 and a need for the prisons to be safe enough to contain prisoners and the virus; of course their may also be anxiety to keeping the death rates down within the country.

The UK and the US have both received flack from the media and public – with criticism being based on issues of ordering the lockdowns too late and not preparing enough for this new virus. Especially when the number of care home deaths was not reported at all, when there were a significant number of deaths happening at care homes around the UK.

Mayor Siddique Khan came under fire too when he claimed to be making an effort to obtain masks for TFL (Transport for London) staff, like bus drivers and underground workers.

There has been plenty of controversy surrounding Corona; the main controversies have been to do initially with Government handling of the Virus from the outset, also there has been a massive delay in the UK for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). With Dr’s, Nurses, Care workers and key workers all in dire need; And the worry now is that they are being asked to re-use their equipment by the UK Government, however the PPE has a short re-use expectancy.

There has been much controversy shrouded around the Virus such as when and where the virus originated and why it was allowed to spread internationally.

People have been speculating on the COVID VIRUS too with a number of conspiracy theories growing daily; such as Bill Gates being the reason for the Pandemic (as strange as it sounds) and owning the patent for Corona.

There are worrying theories too, that this may be a human made virus and that the virus originates from not only bats but snakes too. It is not surprising that theories like this exist as the Chinese Government have been very hush on the specifics of who the first person was to contract the virus, how they contracted it and where they contracted it from with; an example of this is that the virus originated from a wet market in Wuhan, China, yet this claim is still unsubstantiated.

Wet markets are where fish, meat, and live animals are sold, all in one place, quite a cauldron of mixture for this virus to form, especially when you add humans to this mixture.

International Concern and Celebrity Influence vs Corona Influenza:

CORONA CELEB

Bollywood actors/actresses such as Anushka Sharma and her Cricketer Husband Virat Kohli are pleading their nations’ and worlds’ citizens’ to stay at home rather than risk the danger of contracting the virus by going out unecessarily.

As for Hollywoo,d Tom Hanks had everyone worried when he contracted the virus; there was also a film which predicted this outbreak aptly named “PANDEMIC” filmed in early 2019 and released amongst the Corona chaos in January 2020.

Embarassing and dangerous, the British Prime-Minister Boris Johnson himself contracted the Virus whilst trying to ensure the success of a lockdown and promoting a message to everyone to social distance and stay at home.

When the Prime-minister of the UK went into intensive care it was a scary moment for the country as it could have been worse for the country if PM Johnson hadn’t made it out; similarly Prince Charles contracted the virus but was not taken into intensive care but made to self-isolate. Recently Prince William has been promoting the lockdown, reassuring the government message that it is for the safety of everyone.

However in America there is more support gaining for the easing of the lockdown with many wealthy business people losing out; with the temporary closure of business due to Lockdowns. The economy has been suffering in the US as a result, many people have lost out in their investments within the stock markets with stocks falling or losing their value sharply.

Edris Elba after recovering from Corona with his wife have started a campaign to raise $200 million and are seeking the help of governments and the private sector to do this. They are particularly concerned about the third world countries and the effect Corona is having on the poor people; and they mentioned that over half a million people around the world could end up living in poverty due to Corona.

The Rise of Corona Charity Work

It is not just celebrities who have been working towards the fight against Corona but also general members of the public doing challenges like climbing the height of Everest by going up and down their staircases to raise money.

Captain Tom Moore from the UK served in the Second World War and came up with an ingenius way to raise money for the NHS corona staff by walking 100 laps of his garden and completed this at 99 years old going on a hundred years; the target total was half a million pounds and Captain Tom Moore managed to raise in total £28,515,322 with the help of 1,342,589 supporters.

POLLUTION:

corona himalaya

We are seeing that our air quality has improved in many places around the world as a result of fewer cars on roads; And now the Himalayas is once again visible in India, due to a stop to daily traffic and as with other parts of the World a stop to all business; has meant globally the environment is doing its best, to recover, from the suffocating toxic atmosphere it has been subjected to the past century by humankind.

Nature is flourishing due to the Lockdown

As a result of less pollution and cleaner air, water, and of course a major lack of interference from humans, not only has the environment benefited; however nature too, animals have been found wondering the city spaces whether in broad daylight or night, for them there is extra territory free from humans for them to wonder into and explore.

Economy

The Economy of every Country has been effected by this contagious virus and all have halted to a stop very quickly. The price of oil is valued now in the negative numbers and oil production is slowly grinding to a stop as there is simply no demand and the oil is being over-produced now and oil companies have had to pay for disposing the over produced barrels of oil.

The Governments are now trying to strike a balance between Lockdown and the economy, especially President Trump of the USA, he has in his country decided to start an easing of the lockdown in some States already and this could be because he needs the economy up and running again.

In America unemployment benefit claims have within the last week jumped to 6.6 million citizens and 26 million have lost their jobs to Corona Virus in the US.

The UK government has seen an increase in those claiming benefits due to lack of employment, and of course CO-VID19 has had a dramatic effect on job losses with businesses going bust and airlines like Virgin in possible collapse.

The UK has also seen Debenhams close down as it cannot survive in this current economic climate.

140,000 small businesses in the UK alone have applied for help from the British Government.

We are seeing big business giants helping in the fight against Corona, although we are still awaiting the emergence of small entrepeneurs who are only starting to trickle through now.

Many countries may be looking at facing recession in the near future due to the effect of Corona Virus on the World.

US – China economic relations may be strained further in the future too and Corona will most likely be the reason.

Disinformation

All around the world people are sharing disinformation on apps like facebook and watsapp; In the form of fake medical tips and advice, and theories like the new 5G speeds are the cause of the virus and 5G towers have been attacked as well as company employees for the new 5G networks. Of course there are always reminders from President Trump that there is a lot of fake news out there too, hopefully not from the mainstream media.

Notable Previous Pandemics:

Ebola – 2014 – linked to Bats/Primates – has no cure as yet and has killed 11,000 to date.

H5N1 – Also known as Bird Flu – linked to birds and poultry – does not have a high death rate as yet but could be dangerous if nothing is done to tackle a bird flu pandemic. Bird flu seems to trigger on and off like a switch and has a high mortality rate with no vaccine as yet.

H1N1 – 2009/2010 – linked to Pigs/Farms – has killed 600,000 to date and is referred to as Swine Flu – there are now annual vaccines in use.

SARS – Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2003– linked to wet markets with a death toll of 1,000 – there is currently no cure.

AIDS – linked to Primates – 32million havde died to date – no cure.

HUMANS too close in proximity to ANIMALS

corona BAT

Is it time to reconsider our safety before animal viruses wipe us out?

60% of known infectious diseases in humans are transmitted from virus of animals!

Many people have started to change their diet and turn vegan or vegetarian, due to the dangers posed of eating meat, especially with all the viruses so prevalently making their way into our lives.

If Human kind were able to stop their relations with Animals the world would be safer as there is no risk of a virus being transmitted to humans. Eating meat and farming meat are not going to help the fight against Corona but could stop a future pandemic like this happening again.

Religion

Many people have been told to worship from home and Ramadan for Muslims just recently started and London Mayor – has asked the Muslim community to avoid social gatherings; until the virus pandemic passes. This means that Holy places of worship will be seeing no worshippers at all due to the guidance on gatherings; many holy institutions are doing their bit to raise money to fight Corona too.

DEATH TOTALS WORLDWIDE

The US has suffered a total of 911,000 total cases and the total number of deaths in the US is 51,516 at the time of writing. (24/04/2020)

The UK have a total of 19,506 deaths and the total number of cases are 143,000. These figures do not take into account deaths in care homes. (24/4/2020).

It is worth mentioning that there has been a huge uproar over lack of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for NHS Staff and Dr’s and Nurses have either had to re-use PPE over and over or go without due to the disorganisation and lack of preparedness for a Pandemic on this scale.

Those on the frontline are very much heroes because they’ve put their personal safety before others going without masks and sometimes even appropriate clothing i.e.- aprons.

Europe still seems to be the centre of Corona and has been referred to as the new hub of the Virus and countries like Spain / Italy / France are where most cases and deaths have occured with the UK following in fifth and the US in top position for most deaths.

India has 23,452* active cases and 723* deaths, and suffered horrid controversy when an immediate and decisive lockdown was implented with only a days notice for everyone; leaving many nationals travelling within India stuck. This mixed with the high poverty levels in India has also meant that people were left hungry and fighting over food rations, with nowhere to go. The Government were slow to react and will be criticised for their treatment of the public and the poor. (24/4/2020).*

Africa is the latest country to be fighting Corona cases, and it is feared that Africa will not be able to cope due to its poor infrastructure all around the country; people are unable to work and earn money and therefore are left without the ability to purchase food; the food aid packages from the Government is not enough to sustain the entire populations of the countries within Africa. Currently the amount of total cases in Africa are 27,385 and the number of deaths at the time of writing are 1,297. (24/4/2020)

As for China, when they went on immediate lockdown, there was much censorship excercised by the government to mute talk about the virus. The Chinese government also used this lockdown to gather further information on their citizens via mobile phone apps linked to information about their citizens health. China currently has a total of 84,311 total cases and the number of deaths total is at 4,642. (24/4/2020.)

Iran was one of the countries to first be hit by the Pandemic and chaos entailed with the country put on lockdown. Although there have been conspiracy theories that there has been a cover up in the number of corona related deaths and China is also accused of doing the same. Iran racked up a total of 88,194 total cases with a total death of 5,574. (As of 24/4/2020)

There is much controversy within South Africa regarding the lockdown and detention centres where homeless people and drug addicts have been sent to until the lockdown is over.

CURE :

National Geographic says there are more viruses than stars; yet why do only some viruses effect us; perhaps this could be a discussion to have with friends, family, colleagues whilst on your next video group conferencing as this is the latest trend to socialise whilst maintaining the lockdown, containment and self-isolation.

As for a CURE there are urgent clinical trials happening all over the World and within the UK to find one; although to no avail as yet, it comes as a surprise to many that Human trials are taking place in Oxford -England so soon. So far the total number of people to recover from Corona is 781,754. As of (24/4/2020)

Corona virus testing has been a concern for all Governemnts around the World and the scrutiny and criticism received from the awful figures of testing has been put under the spot light by the media and the public. In the UK they are looking at ways to speed up the testing process to make it simpler more efficient and less time consuming as well as less sampling needed.

As for the Lockdown in the UK, the toll on citizens mental health is not taken into account and many people will be struggling with staying indoors for much longer; this Lockdown solution has seen the number of domestic abuse cases on the rise; as everyone has been urged to “Stay home and Stay Safe and Save Lives”.

There has also been a finding that many ethnic minorites have died in the UK from Corona although no one knows what to make of this finding as yet, this trend has caused a stir in the concerns for the more likely to be vulnerable; people such as the senior citizens and the young children and those with underlying health conditions from the ethnic minority backgrounnds.

Lastly it is important to mention that from the World Health Organisation (WHO) investigation into Wuhan, China and the emergence of the Virus; their findings were: That this virus was not human made and that the virus was not manipulated in the lab.

However with all the censorship in China and lack of information it is not a surprise that many people still blame China – including President Trump. It is however scary to think that lab made viruses could be a very dangerous venture, and something to stay well away from in the future.

Conclusion :

Time to Heal the World – Fight against Corona; And make a decision to save the Climate before it is too late. We can make a difference!

The time to make up minds on what kind of world we really want to leave behind for future generations is now!

Written by Raj

April 24, 2020 at 10:55 pm

Theresa May’s Urgency for an ‘Emergency Brexit’

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Hasty and feisty :

This article looks at the Brexit and how Article 50 will be triggered now it has been made possible by the Supreme Court ruling which indicated the correct process, and looking at the timeframe of the deadlines and how they’ve been kept on track to meet these through haste on the UK governments part.

Theresa Brexit and Trump:

The process for Brexit seems to have been an emergency Brexit with the Government going about the process with so much urgency that it’s as if the panic button had been pressed, so much for remaining calm whilst under pressure.

Or is this rather an Emergence Brexit – an emergence of Brexit and Trump on their new found relationship. Or has Theresa May chose to ignore the large amount of people who voted to remain, do they no longer mean anything? Given that they almost nicked it to the finish line too. Why the early deadlines then? Similar to Trump and his crazy ban on Muslims he has not shown any concern and shown a lack of liberty for many; social inclusion is important and for a leader of an international country and being an international man how can he make such a devastating call. He too seems to have ignored the vast swathes of the public. Protests, Protests, and more Protests is what he got in return.

Damage:

Brexit has caused much chaos financially with the estimated EU bill between €40bn and €60bn; big companies leaving the UK, but also the economy is suffering and the evidence is in the weakened Pound. Triggering Article 50 after putting a bill together within days even before the Brexit Plan had been announced is unexpected and shocking.

The Brexit bill was voted for in a landslide majority, but there were a lot of resignations and the debate prior to the vote, was heated with many MP’s scrutinising the bill for being put together poorly in order to meet Prime-Minister May’s deadline for triggering Article 50.

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Deadlines:

The date set out by the PM is March 31, 2017 and by then she will have requested that Article 50 should be triggered; by notifying the European Council of Britain’s intention to leave the EU. She is on-course to meet the deadline given and this just goes to show the intent for setting things in motion and with haste, a Brash and Bold Brexit no time for Brexit Banter.

So what has all this urgency been about by the Conservative Government and the Prime-Minister Theresa May on pressing for an early BREXIT.

We are sure to find out soon when trade negotiations will take place and President Trump is sure to play a role with the UK the USA’s closest ally.

History:

The UK joined the EU in 1973 and are now set to leave it via the Emergency exit via an ill thought out bill. Is the UK trying to keep pace with President Trump and follow his quick succession of executive orders and enforcement of a new beginning by being bullish about the Brexit and do things fast like Trump.

It certainly seems like Theresa May was out to fight when she presented her speech on her terms for Brexit which was in direct contrast to her message of a new partnership with the EU, she said she would walk away with no deal if the EU tried to impose a poor deal and not co-operate further with the EU.

Philip Hammond, the UK chancellor, told the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag this week that he wanted the UK to remain “a recognisably European-style economy with European-style taxation systems and European-style regulation systems”, trading freely with the EU on something close to current terms.

Public opinion:

The public are key and more far right views are taking to the stage – with the UK its been a close call on public opinion on remaining or leaving the EU and in the US its been close too on whether to vote for Hillary or Trump.

Now we have ongoing protests against Trump and ongoing protests again Theresa May, and also Trump’s divisive policy on Muslims entering the US. What will be Theresa May’s move after Brexit?

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Conclusion:

The Government were stalled in triggering Article 50 although it was short-lived. The difficulty initially began when the Supreme Court ruled on Article 50, on 24 January 2017.

The Supreme Court’s ruling on whether Theresa May has the power to trigger Article 50 using a royal prerogative would not get the go ahead.

This was a major ruling and has set a precedent for future rulings in similar situations.

Instead the Supreme Court ruling ensured that Parliament had a vote as to when Britain will begin the formal process of exit negotiation and trigger Article 50.

The Government’s efforts in trying to secure an exit without needing a vote from Parliament proved to be a temporary problem. The Government went about producing a bill which was passed through in Parliament by a majority vote.

This bill could have proved much more problematic if it had been contested and lots of amendments requested; however Theresa May managed to get the bill through although it has been called a mockery and simplistic and there may be a few more legal requirements for the Governments involved in the Brexit from the UK to take into consideration.

Many now want the Government to work with Parliament more closely and obtain votes on key negotiations.

The UK was divided on leaving or remaining in the EU and in London the majority voted to remain. Also because it was a close call there should have been more  sense about the Government’s attempts to try and execute the exit as soon as possible.

The vote in parliament over triggering article 50 happened very quickly and was a slick move by Theresa May to further keep the breeze in the Brexit going.

Scotland’s stance in this process will be interesting to keep an eye on, as they had shown on many occasions a want to remain in the EU.

Northern Ireland and Wales along with Scotland had been firm on their position that they wanted more of a role in the Brexit negotiations which could have lasted up to two years, yet it was resolved within a short amount of time.

The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has put forward his time framework to have terms finalised for the exit from the EU by the end of September 2018.

It seems as if time is of the essence and Prime-minister May will be looking to meet her other deadlines including- March 31, 2019 the Date by which Theresa May wants to wrap up negotiations over Brexit and by May 2019 Britain to formally exit the EU, following ratification of Brexit by all other member states of the EU.

Perhaps there is no hidden agenda and the urgency is because the PM wants to get this crisis of Brexit out of the way as soon as possible. More is bound to be revealed during the next couple of weeks as there is still outstanding controversy over why this bill has been bulldozed through in such a short amount of time and seemingly a lack of preparation of the bill and lack of time for all sides.

 

Syria Air Strikes – Are Bombs the Way…

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I would like to begin with mention and introduction to the most important factors surrounding the complicated topic of Air Bombing Campaigns. It seems that too often the way is always The Bombing way – Bombs away, bombs away, bombs away!

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Air Strikes

The Governments across the World have been doing this for too long; when will this mad and crazy envisaged and implemented notion stop where so many innocent civilians die and often lives are destroyed for many years if not completely. I can write about this with confidence as I have spoken to people who wish to remain anonymous who have lived in fear of bombs and have had to rebuild homes as well as see family members and friends die from the carnage caused by air strikes.

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Terrorism

Air Strikes have not stopped Terrorism instead fueled it, and it was argued by many that it is an effective approach in combating Terrorism, an argument which now holds less strength, in a World where we’ve seen more Terrorism since 9/11.

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Nuclear weapons / Chemical Attacks

Instead Governments should say away with bombs, away with Nuclear weapons, however I would like to focus for now on how The World should say no to these horrific air bombing campaigns.

The war in Syria is the worst exodus since the Rwandan genocide 20 years ago. Especially with Assad’s use of chemical gas/weapons and most recently with a chemical chlorine attack.

Human Rights

England and many other Western and non-Western countries talk of human rights and being countries integral to Religion with Peace and Harmony at its centrality. Surely causing destruction in other countries caused by these campaigns are far from Peaceful and with ones’ Human Rights on point.

There needs to be some perspective in these situations and the public have shown there concern on many occasions with protests too. Many people signed the petitions to stop the action of bombing in Syria. Which has also been a catalyst to more refugees fleeing the country.

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Public Awareness/Division

The UK public seemed divided on Bombing on Syria as were the MP’s who voted whether to launch air strikes in Syria; significantly this division was seen in the BR-EXIT where those wanting to remain in the EU were closely matched to the numbers to exit, whose main rhetoric was about the influx of immigrants many of whom would obviously be refugees to the UK fleeing Syria. Anti-war demonstrators gathered outside Downing Street and other locations across the UK to make their voice heard, after so many setbacks from the previous wars in Afghanistan and Iraq surely many felt that this war in Syria would have the same outcome.

The UK government’s case is built on the argument that bombing would disrupt the ability of Isis to organize attacks in Europe, while containing the extremist group by denying it territory and access to finance, primarily through oil exports.

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Russian Controversy

Russia has been poor in setting an example, by going all out and bombing everywhere across Syria. The UK and US did not waste much time in bombing Syria either and they were quick to push ahead with their campaigns. President Assad is still in charge in Syria and his cruel regime is still using chemical weapons on the innocent civilians. With President Assad still in power the US and the UK will have seen this as a failure although they may say it is still too soon to title this war as such.

Russia’s President Putin has been backing Assad to stay as President and this has become a confusing combination in the war in Syria with air strikes happening from every direction, targeting US and Turkish fighters as well as anyone seen to oppose the regime currently in place with Bashr Al Assad at the top; the civilians on the ground would obviously find it difficult to differentiate between US, UK, French and Russian planes, and as a result are living with death all around them whilst trying to survive being bombed on a regular basis.

Russian air strikes in Syria have killed hundreds of civilians and caused massive destruction in residential areas, striking homes, mosques and a busy markets, as well as medical facilities, in a pattern of attacks that show evidence of violations of international humanitarian law, says ‘Amnesty International’.

“The number of civilian casualties from Russian bombardment is far higher than the number caused by American and French airstrikes,” said Wael Aleji, spokesman for the Syrian Network for Human Rights.

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Destruction

There needs to be a leading nation for promoting Peace and instead of engaging in War there has to be further interest in investing against Terrorism. The UK has been bombed in the bygone past when Germany used aerial bombing strikes.

It seems as if those memories need to be related to now, even more so now. How can the insensitivity of bombs which nowadays with all the modern technology available are even more dangerous not be banned all together.

Power in the missiles launched cause mass damage and have huge radius, despite claims that they are precision based strikes there are many innocent civilian casualties in every strike. The destruction happening is reminiscent of the past whether it be Pearl Harbour, Germany bombing the UK, or Iraq and Afghanistan and other middle east countries like Iran and Lebanon.

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Financial Interests

Behind this facade of helping the innocent civilians through bombing campaigns there is the sinister situation where the rich nations are profiting from the sales in modern weaponry and aerial bombs, the arms industry is worth billions and the Governments around the World benefit from this lucrative business trading and buying and selling; once the destructive damage has been done by dropping bombs, the Governments award contracts to rebuild, the UK and US did this in Iraq making money from contracts given to corporations within the UK and US who are often donors to Governments in Power.

The economies of the countries conducting the rebuilding on such a mass scale has a rewarding effect on their economy.

New airports are re-built, buildings, military bases, etc all bring in business; not to mention oil from these countries exported at extortionate prices. These war torn countries economies suffer as a result of this exploitation and this effects its citizens directly.

The Guardian News titled one of their articles in 2013 : “Syria intervention plan fueled by oil interests, not chemical weapon concern.” The article went on to say that “Massacres of civilians are being exploited for narrow geopolitical competition to control Mideast oil, gas pipelines.” It also mentioned the reliance on Middle East oil :

“The geographic area of proven oil reserves coincides with the power base of much of the Salafi-jihadist network. This creates a linkage between oil supplies and the long war that is not easily broken or simply characterized… For the foreseeable future, world oil production growth and total output will be dominated by Persian Gulf resources… The region will therefore remain a strategic priority, and this priority will interact strongly with that of prosecuting the long war.”

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Syria’s People – Refugee Crisis

Moving away from financial aspects, I would like to focus on the people aspect however; a recent statistic from Syria provided by Mercy Corps is :

“Syria’s civil war is the worst humanitarian crisis of our time. Half the country’s pre-war population — more than 11 million people — have been killed or forced to flee their homes.”

And the UN says millions of Syrians need our help, According to the U.N., it will take £5 billion to meet the urgent needs of the most vulnerable Syrians in 2016. The U.N. estimates that 6.6 million people are internally displaced. When you also consider refugees, well over half of the country’s pre-war population of 23 million is in need of urgent humanitarian assistance, whether they still remain in the country or have escaped across the borders.

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Conflict and Children

Mercy Corps also says of the conflict and bombing that:

“More than five years after it began, the full-blown civil war has killed over 250,000 people, half of whom are believed to be civilians. Bombings are destroying crowded cities and horrific human rights violations are widespread. In October 2015, Russia began launching airstrikes at ISIS targets in Syria. The bombings have continued, so far killing at least 2,000 civilians and forcing even more Syrians to flee for safety.”

Syrians are now the largest refugee population in the world. Almost 5 million Syrians have registered or are awaiting registration with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, which is leading the regional emergency response. According to the UN, more than half of all Syrian refugees are under the age of 18. Most have been out of school for months, if not years.

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Twitter Controversy

Anti-Isis activist group ‘Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently’ warned on Twitter that airstrikes which kill civilians undermine the fight against Isis and they said of the bombings – “Congratulations to the Coalition u have a new 160 #ISIS new fighters who will join the fight against u after u kill 160 civilian ##Manbij”

Population decline

Since the beginning of the Syrian revolution (2011), there have been more than 115 thousand civilian casualties and 5 percent of all deaths in Syria are caused by terrorist attacks. Due to the high number of casualties, millions of people have fled Syria and in 2014, Syria had one of the the highest population decline rates in the world.

Al-Tukhar & Manbij strikes

Most recently was the bombing of Al-Tukhar and Manbij which has resulted in the largest loss of civilian life by coalition operations in Syria.

“There must be a prompt, independent and transparent investigation to determine what happened, who was responsible, and how to avoid further needless loss of civilian life,” said Magdalena Mughrabi, interim deputy director of the Middle East and North Africa Program at Amnesty International.

Terrorist Trouble

Bombing hinders the innocent Syrian civilians and at publishing the bombing still continues; Rami Abdurrahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said of the bombings that “In Raqqa, Deir Ezzor and Mosul, Isis is living almost totally among civilians, so you can’t hit them.”

He pointed out that thousands of foreign jihadi had managed to travel to and from Syria for the past few years through Turkey and questioned the wisdom of now trying to stop militants with bombs when they could have been stopped with tighter border controls. The Paris conspirators, including the presumed ringleader, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, were able to travel between Belgium, France and Syria while the US-led airstrikes targeting Isis command and control were in full swing.

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Legality & War Crimes

The legality of the War in Syria has also been questioned after the world has witnessed foreign intervention, as to who wanted President Assad removed and whether the international bombings in Syria have contributed to human rights violations.

“Some Russian air strikes appear to have directly attacked civilians or civilian objects by striking residential areas with no evident military target and even medical facilities, resulting in deaths and injuries to civilians. Such attacks may amount to war crimes,” said Philip Luther, Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Amnesty International.

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Syria’s Economy after Foreign Intervention

“The medium-term macroeconomic prospects hinge on containing the war and finding a political resolution to the conflict, and rebuilding the damaged infrastructure and social capital. Violence continues to disrupt the production and distribution of goods and services, and impedes economic activity. Barring a cessation of the conflict, the country’s human and physical capital stock is expected to continue to shrink.” (worldbank.org)

The conflict has significantly damaged the country’s public and private assets including health, education, energy, water and sanitation, agriculture, transportation, housing and other infrastructure. The Syria Center for Policy Research estimated that, for the whole country, the destruction of physical infrastructure amounted to $75 billion. The UN estimated that it would need an investment of $180 billion to bring Syrian GDP back to pre-conflict levels.

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Conclusion

After having spoken to a Syrian gentlemen who lived 19 years in Syria and then moved to the UK; he told me he was upset and saddened to see what was happening in Syria he said that the political complexities are so vast that everyone seems confused about the situation, and the foreign intervention has not helped anything; “I am angered by the amount of civilians dying in Foreign Air Strikes, this war is about more than Assad, if the West wanted him out it would have happened by now. Instead he still lives in the comfort of Syria and is still using chemical weapons.”

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I would like to conclude with a part of the conversation which really summed up my concern for Syrians being bombed in these horrific air strikes;

“You don’t think about these air strikes till it happens to you or your family or friends, before you accept these bombings from all sides you should really think about the devastation, what if this happened to you, that’s when you really feel it, before it happens to you give some thought to those being bombed and try and make a difference, stand up for the Syrians.”

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Tyson Fury’s fierce talk : Knock Out

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BBC SPORTS PERSONALITY 2015 went to Andy Murray, as for Tyson Fury he was slated by the media and many for his outrageous and infuriating comments, however the debate over freedom of speech was brought up by many such as the media and supporters of Tyson.

A headline from the daily mail read: Tyson Fury backed over right to free speech but warned of ‘responsibilities’. Tyson Fury was investigated by the boxing commission and not punished yet reminded he is a role model and has a responsibility to the fans.

“It is very disappointing that the BBC have ignored public opinion and refused to remove Tyson Fury from the shortlist, even though his late addition came after his disgraceful and inflammatory comments about women and gay people.

John O’Doherty, director of The Rainbow Project, an LBGT support group, said about Tyson and went on to say:

“An excellent boxer Tyson Fury may be, however his extremely callous and erroneous remarks about our community make him an unworthy candidate to be recognised among the UK’s excellent sporting personalities and ambassador.”

Andy West who was suspended by the BBC where he worked as a Journalist left his post due to his views that Tyson Fury should not be on the BBC Sports Personality of the Year nominees list, he was one of many people outraged by Fury’s comments.

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He posted and signed the petition in support against Tyson’s comments. Andy West said of his job at the BBC “My employer is hurting me and other gay people by celebrating someone who considers me no better than a paedophile and who believes homosexual people are helping to bring about the end of the world.”

Although Tyson fury apologised about his sexist comments and rant towards homosexuals he was not punished whilst claiming freedom of speech and that he did not want to hurt anyone.

Tyson Fury is meant to be a role model, yet his comments let him down, many people focused on the other side of the argument; that this was a hate speech, he was actually investigated by the authorities in Manchester although no further action was taken.

He was stripped of his world heavy weight title for not agreeing to fight the title contender instead choosing to fight a re-match with Klitschko who had a clause in the previous contract that if he lost he could have a re-match with Tyson Fury.

Almost 140,000 people signed a petition calling for Fury, 27, to be removed from the BBC Sports Personality of the Year shortlist after comments he made about women and gay people.

Around 40 people protested outside BBC’s SPOTY awards ceremony.

At the ceremony, the British fighter said: “If I’ve said anything in the past that’s hurt anybody, I apologise.” yet he still tried to explain his comments later that his views are shaped by his faith, but he got a hard time from BBC Radio 2’s Jeremy Vine who couldn’t make out the details in Tyson’ comments about the end of the world due to abortion, paedophilia and homosexuality.

Some of the 7,500 audience at the SSE Arena booed Fury’s name as it was read out as one of the 12 in contention for the Sports Personality award.

So neither the police or boxing authorities punished Tyson Fury. The way Tyson Fury aimed his speech at targets certainly victimised many of society, yet he has not been punished for his hate speech, was this not seen as an example of inciting hatred and abuse or even violence?

Surely the Journalist from the BBC was right to flag it up and walk out of the company; the BBC is meant to be a public service broadcaster and should take more responsibility in embracing the views of its community not just the outspoken sports celebrity who is out of sync with his views on equality and freedom to be whatever you choose to be.

Tyson’s fury has cost him, so soon after beating Wladimir Klitschko he got a knock – out by the viewers of the BBC who titled him as ‘vile’. He is a human like everyone and makes mistakes, I would hope to see a British role model like Tyson Fury do well and not make another crazy outrageous rant or continue being negative.

Tyson Fury’s comments also include talk about the devil, and how the devil is coming and how he sees homosexuality and abortion being legalised as something that shouldn’t have been done; he has also talked about women in a sexist way; whether he gets into more trouble if he continues expressing these types of views in an inciting or hateful way then he should be punished.

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As for the rematch its on British TYSON FURY vs Wladimir Klitschko.

Vitali who is Wladimir’s brother said of the Ukranian Boxer that he will come back to beat Fury.

Tyson will want to cause another upset, let’s hope not of the wrong kind this time.

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Fracking a Catalyst to Earthquakes…

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This article ‘Fracking a ‘Catalyst to Earthquakes’ looks at the link between fracking and earthquakes:

I also have an article which looks at the basics of Fracking and tells you more about what Fracking is and how its done.
T
he other article is titled ‘Lords’ Pro-Fracking Report published yet poll shows Fracking not in Favour!’ (in the link below):

Lords’ Pro-Fracking Report published yet Poll shows Fracking not in Favour!

Fracking a Catalyst to Earthquakes

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Fracking is a catalyst to Earthquakes and this is evident in a rise in seismic activity in places like USA’s – Oklahoma where earthquakes have been occurring on a much larger scale; than before Fracking had begun for oil and gas, so much so that Oklahoma now sees more Earthquakes than anywhere else in the world. The most recent happening on the 30 December 2015 with a magnitude of 4.3, followed the next five days by aftershock/tremors with a further threat of more to follow. As a result 4,400 residents were left with no electricity and caused damage to the properties.

The United States Geological Survey says that more Earthquakes are to be expected as a major fault may have been re-activated by the Earthquake and that as a result this may result in further 4.0 and more magnitude earthquakes.

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Oklahoma went from two earthquakes a year before 2009 to two a day. This year, roughly 700 earthquakes of magnitude 3 or higher has shook the state, compared to 20 in 2009.

In August 2015, Oklahoma Governor – Mary Fallin admitted there was a “direct correlation between the increase of earthquakes that we’ve seen in Oklahoma [and] disposal wells.”

The latest 2015 figures for Oklahoma, show that fracking has become common, state authorities issued a report saying that the state has experienced 585  (magnitude 3+) earthquakes in 2014 compared to 109 events recorded in 2013. Oklahoma has more earthquakes in 2015 than all of continental U.S. combined. Earthquakes are hitting in swarms, and it has been reported in America that in Oklahoma no one apart from concerned residents is taking this seriously.

The disposal wells are a particular problem as the waste fluids pumped underground seems to be causing the ground to form faults and displace the stable earth to an unstable state leading to these Earthquakes.

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Honn Kao, a research scientist with Geological Survey of Canada said of this pumping of fluid, “In theory, a bigger injection of fracking fluid can certainly trigger a bigger quake.”

At the moment there is not much concern about the Earthquakes with a magnitude of 3.0 or under it is only when it reaches 3.5 magnitude that regulators have suggested shutting down the fracking operations and re-locating to a new location. There should be some serious concern for these smaller magnitude quakes too.

A lady from Oklahoma said of the multiple Earthquakes – “I live in Medford and my husband is a handy-man and we can tell you that these little quakes do cause damage. Doorways are askew, cracks are appearing and growing, and parts of houses are sinking!” she also said “The Oklahoma Corporate Commission refuses to fine these wells that are injecting too much waste fluid too deep.”  Frustrated by the media she says that “they are not even reporting all of the quakes we’ve felt.”

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In the UK test drilling for Shale gas, twice caused magnitude 2.0 earthquakes, and this in the testing stage in Lancashire, after two earthquakes of 1.5 and 2.2 magnitude hit the area a subsequent study found it was “highly probable” that shale gas test drilling triggered the tremors.

The UK government-appointed panel said there could be more tremors as a result of fracking, but they will be too small to do structural damage above ground. This is what was said in Oklahoma and they are reporting currently Earthquakes at 4.3 magnitude.

Does the UK not need to take all this into consideration rather than speeding up the process as they are currently doing. In most recent Earthquake News Ohio has been linked to Fracking where a new study links nearly 80 earthquakes ranging between 1.0 magnitude to 3.0 magnitude that occurred in Ohio’s Mahoning County in March 2014 to nearby fracking operations.

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The British Columbia Oil and Gas Commission released a report in August 2015 stating that a  4.6 magnitude earthquake that rocked northeast British Columbia in August was caused by fracking and may be the largest earthquake on record to be attributed to the controversial energy extraction process.

These human related earthquakes are human made with the number of earthquakes rising in many areas, with this in mind should Fracking continue in the US, UK, or anywhere in the World?

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The National Parks are under threat to with David Cameron confirming that the UK is to go “all out” for shale gas. The Parks could be in danger from Earthquakes too, yet the plans to do this fracking under national parks has already been approved.

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Many residents from all around the country have opposed fracking by protesting in places like Chester, Balcombe, Greater Manchester and Blackpool and Fylde Coast. Yet the government seem to be pushing for fracking.

In an insight from former Environment Agency chairman Chris Smith, The UK is going into reverse on renewable energy while trying to hasten the beginning of the fracking process. The emphasis should be on working on developing green energy and not putting the UK/US/EU/World land at risk of earthquakes. Asia will be watching with keen eyes as to what kind of approach the richer nations take on this risky road of Fracking before making a stake for their own Fracking Revolution or Fracking Revolt, as for the Indian strategy they seem to be moving cautiously a smart approach and small scale explorations/operations are occurring.

 

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In conclusion:

We are learning more every day about this linking of Fracking to Earthquakes and it is becoming more evident by the day.  

Renewable energy is the future that needs to be worked further towards and invested in much more, at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris 2015 the world agreed to officially work towards a greener future and work to keep global warming down, fracking for shale gas is injurious to the planets Earth if it triggers quakes especially a large one. 

And these quakes are a first of their kind they are Human made; is Human kind really sizing up Seismic activity and are they ready to take on the consequences and why are countries not exploring green energy alternatives to the dangers of Fracking as outlined in this article and its link to earthquakes.

 

On an interesting note:
Did you know many animals may be able to sense Earthquakes days before they happen, there is ongoing scientific studies, mainly in Asia with animals like dogs, snakes, bees, as Scientists try to understand how prior to an earthquake animals can go into hiding like when this happened in Peru in 2011 when  magnitude 7.0 struck.

 

I also have an article which looks at the basics of Fracking and tells you more about what Fracking is and how its done.
T
he other article is titled ‘Lords’ Pro-Fracking Report published yet poll shows Fracking not in Favour!(in the link below):
Lords’ Pro-Fracking Report published yet Poll shows Fracking not in Favour!

Mahindra Picks up Pininfarina in Purchase! Another Mahindra Magic Move!

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Mahindra the Indian car giant has gone after the amazingly stylish Pininfarina which many know as the stylish Italian car designer  which has designed almost 1,000 cars across brands over the years.

Pininfarina were operating with a debt of approximately 47.4 million euros and Mahindra have now picked up the company for 25.3 million euros and will help enhance Pininfarina in the future.

Mahindra will also inject 20 million euros into the designer through a rights issue of new stock, and will provide a guarantee worth up to 114.5 million euros to its lenders, creditors and lessors.

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Mahindra now own 76.6% of Pininfarina, the remaining percentage to be left open to be purchased in the future.

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Pininfarina will continue to remain an independent company, listed on the Milan Stock Exchange, with Mr Paolo Pininfarina continuing as the Chairman of its board, Paolo is the son of Sergio (above) who is son of the original founder Battista (image 2).

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2-Founder Battista Pininfarina battista

Battista Pininfarina the founder is where the Pininfarina brand came about; he began working in his older brothers car body workshop at the age of 12, in Turin, Italy, he worked here for decades and it was here where he learnt about body work and he even began designing his own cars.

Interestingly Battista incorporated his nick name Pinin meaning the youngest/little one in the family, so the logo read as Pininfarina and also in 2013 Mahindra the Indian company hired Hubert Tassin, a former Pininfarina designer.

The Pininfarina features their logo on many Ferraris and have collaborated with Alfa Romeo for over 70 years too. Other collaborations include Maserati and Lancia and General Motors and BMW, Bentley, Rolls Royce, Jaguar to mention the most prominent.

The logo is world renowned and a car featuring the logo is known to be an exclusive model. The Pininfarina site sums up their history from 1930 to date by saying:

“Starting from its roots and from the solid reputation achieved during 85 years of glorious history, Pininfarina has confirmed its role as standard-bearer of the aesthetic values of Italian design in the world. Today’s activities are focused on design (automotive and non-automotive), engineering services (product development, testing, prototype construction) and production of very small series or exclusive high quality cars.”

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“In its genes, Pininfarina today is the same as it was in the Thirties: the central role of design, aesthetic sensitivity capable of creating timeless beauty, constant striving for innovation, the strength of a tradition that brings together industry, technology and stylistic research, the capacity to interpret the client’s requirements thus maintaining its brand identity, and a propensity for long-term collaborations. These values, together with the commitment of the entire Group, will enable us to build a bridge towards the future” – Paolo Pininfarina grandson of Battista Pininfarina.

Battista’s son was Sergio who managed the Pininfarina brand until 2012 when he passed away.

The Pininfarina brand is 85 years old and has worked with a variety of Car manufacturers, many of which are exotic. Paolo is currently chairman of the board. “The firm will remain in Italy, as will the workforce and management, the style and the brand are linked to our history.” Said Paolo Pininfarina.

The Pininfarina cars sell at Auction for millions especially the Ferrari models. Mahindra the Indian car manufacturer have purchased the Italian car designer at a discounted price as they were in financial trouble and needed the help of a bigger company to help them recover and continue their excellent work in the future. The Pininfarina website stated recently that they have become the latest jewel in the Mahindra crown.

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Mahindra will be able to feature more now internationally not just India, but also in Germany, Italy, China and the US. Pininfarina said of the acquisition “For Pininfarina, the acquisition will mean an ability to leverage Tech Mahindra’s presence across 90 countries and access to about 780 customers. Tech Mahindra’s global delivery model will lend Pininfarina a newly heightened scale to its operations.”

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It looks like we are soon set to see Mahindra continuing the work alongside Pininfarina to create super styled model cars and with the wealth of Mahindra these cars will be set to take the future by storm and allow Pininfarina to grow and produce more of these exquisite future models and set a new platform for the future of stylized cars.

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You can find out more about Pininfarina at : “Pininfarina.com” and more about Mahindra Tech / Mahindra and Mahindra at “TechMahindra.com”.

Written by Raj

December 20, 2015 at 8:00 pm

India’s submergence in Water, Poverty, Smog and the list goes on …

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India’s Submergence and future emergence is the topic of this post, however I would first like to draw to attention the monsoon rains which are economically important to India when they fall in fair amounts is good for Agriculture with 17% of the population relying on the rains as a means for profit and survival within the agriculture industry.

Unfortunately I mentioned the monsoon early on with the natural flooding disaster which is a sad state to see happening right now in Chennai; where floods have taken hundreds of lives and where two-thousand residents have been evacuated. Many poor people living in wood built homes have been left homeless and many have lost everything including their lives. The Indian Government have come in for criticism for building to close to the rivers which are seen as a reason for the substantial levels of water, with bad drainage and architectural planning taking criticism.

Prime-minister Narendra Modi fresh from his visits to Britain and France (which I will mention more about later) has gone to see for himself the devastation that has been caused in Chennai.

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India’s Home Minister Rajnath Singh informed India’s fourth largest city (Chennai) that the government had released 9.4 billion rupees ($141 million) for flood relief and restoration. Mr. Modi went on to announce an additional 10 billion rupees for relief operations, he said:

“The Government of India stands shoulder to shoulder with the people of Tamil Nadu in this hour of need.” Chennai formerly known as Madras is said to have been impacted by the effects of climate change, Mr Modi claims, however this could be an attempt to shy away from ongoing criticism of his Governments handling of the situation and the lack of taking onboard that much of the flooded land is low in level and that this should have been flagged as a danger to Chennai early on to prevent the crisis coming to people wading through the depths of muddy water amongst snakes and debris.

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As Modi was leaving Britain onto his next stop in France for the Climate Conference, rain was beginning to fall continuously across Scotland, David Cameron spoke a week later about the mass floods’ in Scotland (which are still ongoing) and attributed the floods to Climate Change too, although he too came under criticism for the same reasons as Prime-Minister Modi in India.

In France there have been many events occurring such as the awful terrorist incidents, immediately followed by the UN Climate Change Conference held in France near Paris.

The conclusions after these events were a declared war by France on the terrorist organisation responsible (Daesh).

Also a new 1.5 to a Max of 2.0 warming limit has been drafted by the countries involved in the UN Climate Change Conference, the Coalition of about 100 developed and developing countries could have some influence over nations less willing to sign up to a truly ambitious deal due to be finalised soon.

The US have set out an aim for the 1.5 warming limit for the climate, however countries like Africa and India have said that it is not fair that they take the burden of the developed countries who have for the most part developed at the cost of polluting the skies, whilst expecting the undeveloped countries to put their poor people aside and take the burden to clear the airs.

Although the developing countries want to work with greener energy they are still set on the route of fossil fuels like coal to continue burning and stressing that the onus is on the developed countries to cut their emissions and assist in greener development in the undeveloped world.

The UN Climate Change conference has seen most countries asked to answer to the call for a legally binding, fair, durable agreement in Paris that must set a long-term goal, be reviewed every five years and include a system for tracking progress.

India receive aid from the UK and on the back of this Conference taking place many of the British Tabloid and broadsheet papers had eye catching headlines highlighting that the UK gives hundreds of millions in Pounds of Aid to India. Britain gave India nearly £300million in financial aid last year despite pledges by ministers to end the handouts.

India became the second highest recipient of Britain’s aid spending after its funding rose by £10million to nearly £279million, more than Sierra Leone, South Sudan and Syria. Conservative MPs said the amount of taxpayer’s money being given to one of the World’s fastest growing economies is “ridiculous”. India has its own space programme and recently unveiled plans to spend more than £10billion on a fleet of new warships and submarines. “A country with its own space programme does not need aid from us” said Sir Gerald Howarth, Conservative Party Member of Parliament.

Japan gives more in Aid to India than the UK and Germany and the US are said to be giving more in the future which will outdwarf that of the UK.

It sounds unfair that although the developed world have brought about their ease of development through fossil fuels that they can then turn around and expect the opposite from the undeveloped nations. Although India is being helped in aid it is to promote greener cleaner use and implementation of green energy.

It was reported recently that Uruguay now have a solely green energy for the country with 100% renewable energy being used to provide electricity.

The leaders of 30 of the world’s poorest countries said they wanted the world to be 100 per cent renewable by 2050 at the UN Climate Conference.

Renewable energy and climate targets will be a key theme of these talks in the future. There is a major push by poorer nations for their – and the world’s – energy needs to be supplied by renewable energy, as part of their insistence that the climate target be tightened to prevent average warming of more than 1.5C.

India is focusing on strong solar power generated energy, yet it is being said that India may cause an upset in Paris at the UN Climate Conference, with a possibility that they may not play ball in the talks or come to agreement with other countries.

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When will India eradicate poverty and be a key developed country and emerge to be a real Superpower who talks the talk and walks the walk. Prime-Minister Modi before being elected campaigned on the reforms he would bring in and ensure that India will continue to develop at a leading economic rate which they are continuing to do, despite China’s slight slow-down. Modi has made it clear that he will continue as China and Africa will be doing to continue relying on fossil fuels whilst slowly working towards greener and renewable energy.

With PM – Modi it seems his nationalism is what is driving him and he is intent on driving the country to the best possible rise in economy, not a graceful rise but a rise by any means for Modi; India has recently seen pollution that is worse than China’s smog in places like Delhi. Is it right that India are saying that fossil fuels are essential in bringing the poor out of poverty or is it a case that to fund the green projects is less profitable even though green renewable is the right thing for the long-term as it is sustainable and clean.

Government official was quoted as saying “We’ve taken more care for nature than the earlier regime.” The introduction of an air pollution monitoring system, a revision of emission norms and a bill to plant trees in degraded forest areas.

India is not doing enough and have made the talks in Paris seemingly look like it is all about money, and in this world it is always about money to every Country around the globe. The British empire were selfish when they raided India and left it in a worse position economically before they arrived. It will be interesting to see how India reduce its carbon footprint and poverty by 2020, it is a choice that they will decide whether to act on the aforementioned or not.

David Cameron went all out for PM Modi’s arrival to the UK and this was because he wants to promote more investment and trade between the two nations, can the former colonial empire/power work well with India, already TATA’s success in the UK with Jaguar and Land Rover is a symbol of success between the two. India may choose to invest more in the UK and also vice-versa although the Indian market is still seen as difficult to break into for UK companies wanting to expand into the lucrative Indian market.

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train2Before I conclude on some positives about India, I would like to note that there are many upsetting things in relation with India – (the list as mentioned in the title) :

  • Natural Disasters
  • Smog/Pollution/Emissions
  • Poverty still not eliminated although being considered as a superpower
  • Corruption in all areas of governance and black money
  • Banning of NGO’s like Greenpeace India amongst 5,000 other banned NGO’s
  • Forest cutting bad for the environment bad for the Tigers and projects like WWF Tiger
  • Human Rights Abuse not just in India but also in Nepal
  • Internet over-regulated and censored
So does India allow itself to get submerged with all the negatives or does it try and make many improvements along the road of continual support and progress for the betterment of the country and its people, through good governance rather than the nationalistic approach Modi has taken to and feels restricted and promised to, after all he wants to keep his promises.
Contrastingly the positives are that India is one of the biggest contributors to the UN and one of the main contributors to the UN Peacekeeping forces of the UN.
The Times of India’s recent headline is that: At 7.3% in 2016, India to remain fastest growing economy: UN – Times of India
Also India has just contracted Japan to build a Bullet train system from Mumbai to Ahmedabad which will reduce travelling time from 8 hours to 2 hours, India was also considering China for the contract however Japan nipped it to the finish line in this race; it is hoped it will continue to push the Indian and Japan economies and create more jobs.

I hope to have given you all an insight into India as it is leading into 2016 on some of the most important aspects, what Incentives will India choose to act upon and how they go about it will be a point of focus by many nations as India is clearly a key player in the future, it is a leader in its region already, whether it remains in the future depends on Modi for now and his successors; Technology company IBM has said India needs better governance too if it is to be a real leader in the 21st Century.

Will India make it to a Developed nation and be a real superpower, will India set a stable platform on which to lead on, before rushing into a super pose, as Modi seems to be doing a lot of. When will India re-emerge and emerge as a real force for the future, only time will tell, although going by India’s economic performance it can be done and substance will be key, alongside key alliances for economic trade and progress.

India will be a focus and how it emerges in 2016 will be interesting to see.

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Written by Raj

December 11, 2015 at 3:51 am

Sri Lanka’s scary past UNHRC ensuring accountability for Future

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Sri Lanka has a scary past and the previous governments and their Presidents have witnessed the country in a state of turmoil, with so many deaths numbering  70,000 after 25 years of war plagued with suicide bombings and rife in violation of Human rights abuses on both sides.

This number grew to estimates between 25,000 to 75,000 alone in the final two years of the civil war, between Tamil rebels and the government armed forces when there was a massacre in 2009.

The number the government put the final phase assault, was at 9,000 which many Human rights groups contest.

The UNHRC had at one point commended Sri Lanka for an apparent turn around in the number of war crimes and violation of human rights.

It was shortly discovered that Sri Lanka’s government army was killing thousands and by the number and no prosecutions were occurring whereas war crimes were taking place and violations of human rights were in abundance.

NATION AT WAR
Army and Tamil separatists were engaged in conflict involving air raids, roadside blasts, suicide bombings, land and sea battles. Hospitals were attacked and civilians including children, women and men were killed and abused in a barrage of constant attacks in North and East of Sri Lanka.

A 2011 UN report said hospitals, UN centres and ships belonging to the Red Cross were deliberately targeted by the army. The government was accused of using heavy weaponry and shelling in a government-designated “safe zone” for civilians.

Now the United Nations Human Rights Council has taken a stance on Sri Lanka by passing a consensus resolution which the Sri Lanka government and current President Maithripala Sirisena have agreed to implement after attending the United Nations General Assembly in New York (Oct 2nd, 2015) he is now back in the Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo.

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The core UNHRC group which proposed the resolution, including the US and UK governments will want to see progress from Sri Lanka and the President of Sri Lanka was positive and said on the resolution that he will “discuss various issues concerning reconciliation, the government will hold conferences with all political parties, leaders of all religions, intellectuals and Sri Lankan diaspora”

The President has a task ahead to include everyone unlike in the past where many have been sidelined and left without a voice, now the UNHRC have pushed forward an agenda and a challenge of inclusiveness to the Sri Lankan government. Although the President has been making promises on reconciliation since his newly elected government came to power.

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UK Prime minister David Cameron said: “Britain is committed to standing up for those affected by Sri Lanka’s civil war, and has been instrumental in the United Nations (UN) investigation and adoption of this resolution. I welcome the Sri Lankan government’s commitment to ensuring those responsible are held to account and I encourage them to continue to work with the UN.”

The country is stunning and beautiful, yet Sri Lanka’s citizens lives have been far from beautiful with the country in civil war for the past 25 years.

It is appalling that so many innocent children, women, and men have lost their lives in these dangerous conflicts and in such a tragic way.

The country’s leaders and their governments have been on the sidelines allowing mass murder to occur & atrocities that have upset the international organization UNHRC as well as many human rights groups.

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The Human Rights groups and Tamil groups have not been quite on this issue pointing out that there is no international investigation to take place when there was previously talk of one likely to take place and that the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa is not going to be in the electric chair and the country is not on any blacklist for war crimes. An upset and shocked reality for them.

Humanosphere.org’s headline before the resolution was passed was:

“U.N. resolution may not offer justice for Sri Lanka’s war victims”

Humanosphere.org cover topics on poverty and world health.

As I mentioned the reason they stated for their headline was not having any international involvement which they stated could mean more difficulty for the people of Sri Lanka to acquire fair justice.

The Terrorism Act in Sri Lanka is often a matter of controversy, as it is seen as being misused to target people of minority unfairly and the human rights violations which follow down this path in mass numbers.

The Government have said they are genuinely fighting terrorists, however this resolution will now place Sri Lanka further in the limelight and under the careful watch of the international community.

Amnesty International urged the global community and Sri Lankan authorities to see to it that victims and their families were consulted at every step of the process to get to truth and justice; expressing disappointment over the dilution of principles of justice in the resolution.

The Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE), a New York-based body, however said it would form an international team comprising judges, lawyers and human rights specialists to monitor the implementation of the resolution.”

Violation of people’s human rights needs to be taken seriously; If the constitution is reviewed in the future, it may well mean that the judges of the courts will be international rather than from Sri Lanka and there may be international courts within Sri Lanka to try against war crimes, which is what many are calling for as it is viewed as an open unbiased and democratic process and un-corrupt from internal agendas.

Sri Lanka should embrace its diversity, if not for the citizens then for the  image it portrays to the world, though this hasn’t stopped other leaderships such as President Assad of Syria and his chemical attack, and the lessons are there to be learnt from the unjustifiable wars and the war crimes taking place.

Whether Sri Lanka will move away from this murderous air of hostility  many will hope, with a vision to see no more bloody times in this beautiful country that is theirs and should be able to democratically deal with these horrors internally, although not corruptly.

Another chance for Sri Lanka then; they should not abuse the opportunity to the country’s own governance of their courts they have been given a chance to strive for the country’s peace, independent of international investigations and international court systems.

The President on his return from the UN General Assembly was welcomed by many and greeted with peace offerings, whether he chooses to lead the country in a positive and peaceful direction, Sri Lanka’s people will hope.

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The resolution calls for an oral report in June 2016 and a written report in March 2017.

Peace for the future, is a big ask of a country with such a tragic past, but there is always hope that Sri Lanka may surprise everyone with a turn around in their violent past.

KEY information ABOUT THE SRI LANKAN CIVIL WAR:

Period: July 23, 1983 – May 18, 2009

The Civil war began with ethnic tensions between the majority Sinhalese and the Tamil minority in the northeast. Recriminations over Human rights abuses by both sides continue.

A UN report published in 2011 said both sides in the conflict committed war crimes against civilians. The Sri Lankan government rejected this and later reports as biased.

The US in 2012 said that “serious human rights violations” including disappearances, torture, summary killings and threats to free expression persisted in Sri Lanka, despite the end to the bloody separatist war with Tamil Tiger rebels in 2009.

The comments came at the Universal Periodic Review at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

The Tamil Tigers are also known as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

The LTTE  guerrilla organization sought to establish an independent Tamil state, Eelam, in northern and eastern Sri Lanka.

The LTTE was established in 1976 by Velupillai Prabhakaran as the successor to an organization he had formed earlier in the 1970s. The LTTE grew to become one of the world’s most sophisticated and tightly organized insurgent groups. During the 1970s the organization carried out a number of guerrilla attacks.

In 1983, after the killing of 13 soldiers by Tamil guerrillas and retaliatory attacks by the Sri Lankan military, large-scale violence erupted between the government and the LTTE.

By 1985 the group was in control of Jaffna and most of the Jaffna Peninsula in northern Sri Lanka. Under Prabhakaran’s orders, the LTTE had eliminated most of its rival Tamil groups by 1987.

To fund its operations, the group engaged in illegal activities (including bank robberies and drug smuggling) and the extortion of Tamils in Sri Lanka and elsewhere, but it also received considerable voluntary financial support from Tamils living abroad.

The LTTE lost control of Jaffna in October 1987 to an Indian peacekeeping force IPKF that had been sent to Sri Lanka to assist in the implementation of a complete cease-fire. However, following the withdrawal of the IPKF in March 1990, the Tigers grew in strength and conducted several successful guerrilla operations and terrorist attacks.

On May 21, 1991, a suicide bomber killed former Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi while he was campaigning in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Other attacks included an August 1992 land-mine explosion in Jaffna, which killed 10 senior military commanders; the May 1993 assassination of Sri Lankan President Ranasinghe Premadasa; a January 1996 suicide bomb attack on the central bank of Colombo that killed 100 people; and a July 2001 attack on Colombo’s international airport that destroyed half of the country’s commercial airliners.

An elite unit of the LTTE, the Black Tigers,” was responsible for carrying out suicide attacks.

If faced with unavoidable capture by Sri Lankan authorities, those operatives and others purportedly committed suicide by swallowing cyanide capsules that they wore around their necks.

For more information on the Sri Lanka civil war you may want to visit the link below:

http://asianhistory.about.com/od/Sri_Lanka/fl/The-Sri-Lankan-Civil-War.htm

Galapagos Island Volcano Erupts!

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A dark plume estimated to be 10km (6.4 miles) high was reported from the Volcan Wolf as its known on Monday 25/05/2015 when it first started spewing lava in the early morning.

Isabela Island is where the volcano has erupted, on the largest of the Galapagos Islands. The elevation of the Volcano is 5,600 feet above sea level, which makes it the Island’s highest point.

There was initial concern for the people residing on the island, however it was later found that the islands residents are safe from the eruption, yet some of the ash cloud could descend upon them. The Volcano and island drift along the Equator and the erupting Volcano is directly on the Equator.

The Wolf Volcano has not erupted for the past 30 years, 33 years to be precise.

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The island was formed by the merger of 6 shield volcanoes – Alcedo, Cerro Azul, Darwin, Ecuador, Sierra Negra and Wolf, the island is aged at approximately the 1.5 million year old mark . All of these volcanoes are still active, except Ecuador, which means Isabela is evidently the most volcanically active place on Earth.

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The island is shaped like a seahorse resulting from the merging of six large volcanoes into a single landmass.

The island which is home to the world’s only Pink Iguana a new species (only discovered in 2009) which lives at the top of the Volcano North crater.

Isabela Island is also home to more Tortoises than any other island, they roam there in mass numbers with no threat of predators, carving out paths amongst the fauna that grows on Isabela.

The abundance of species on Isabela is astounding there are also other wildlife such as penguins, cormorants, marine iguanas, blue-footed boobies, pelicans and crabs. Galapagos land iguanas, finches, Galapagos hawks, Galapagos doves are all on the island too, where Charles Darwin studied on the theory of evolution.

At Present the Volcano has been oozing lava on the South face, so potentially the Pink Iguanas (an endangered species) may have had time to escape danger. The Wolf is said to be between 0.7 and 1.5 million years old. Island officials say there is no danger to tourists as yet.

Galapagos Pink Land Iguana (Conolophus marthae) new species described in 2009, open mouth threat display, Isabella Island, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

Teleporting experiment on the Brain!

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brainThis experiment shows how the brain constructs an identity or sense of self when posed with the situation of being teleported.

Teleporting – What did the Scientists do?

Scientist Arvid Guterstam is a neuroscientist at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden and worked with his team to find out through this perceptually illusory experiment what and how parts of the brain process, produce and react to teleporting their body to somewhere else.

Fifteen people were experimented on to learn the brain activity that goes on in there heads when faced with Scientists Guterstam’s illusion which gives the experimented participants a realistic teleporting experience with visuals and the sense of touch is applied in this experiment to provide the full teleporting feel.

And how did they do it?

The fMRI (Brain scanner) machine scanned the participants whilst they were laying on their backs, whilst attached to them was a visual display screen which was attached to a camera on a mannequin in the same room. The experiment allowed the person to look through the eyes of the dummy, which shows the room (and themselves in the scanner) in the dummy’s point of view. Then the sense of touch is brought into the experiment when simultaneously the dummy is stroked alongside the person in the scanner. Providing the teleporting experience.

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What happened?

The Scientists found that the brain experiences an out of body experience and they were able to see the parts of the brain that were working when this happened, a key finding was learning the brains sense of the self through body and the sense of self location. Identifying the parts of the brain that were being stimulated was key and this happened through comparing the results of the participants with a map like study of brain patterns which were analysed and then compared.

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What part of the Brain lights up in a fMRI Scan whilst in a teleporting experience?

The posterior cingulate cortex, a region deep in the middle of the brain, near the back of the head lit up when faced with the teleporting experience and combined the ability to perceive sense of self through the body and the sense of self location.

Before the experiment little was known about the uses of the posterior cingulate cortex in the latter functions; “We normally discover a lot about brain function by studying people who have had a stroke, but the cingulate cortex is located in between stroke-prone areas and is rarely affected itself. “This means we know little about its function, it’s a very mysterious area.” Said Neuro-scientist Arvid Guterstam (above).

What the Scientists knew before the experiment:

“What Scientists did know was that the cingulate cortex was already linked with emotion formation, memory and learning, and that any abnormal activity in the cingulate cortex has been linked to depression and schizophrenia and (as they expected from previous and other experiments/studies/findings) the parietal lobe and premotor cortex were also involved in generating the teleporting illusion.

“These parts of the brain are known for integrating information from different senses to build higher representations of the body,” says lead author of the study Guterstam. Other areas, known to house specialised place and grid cells that help us navigate, were also active during the illusion.

“This finding is particularly interesting because it indicates that place cells are not only involved in navigation and memory encoding, but are also important for generating the conscious experience of one’s body in space,” says principal investigator Henrik Ehrsson, professor at the Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet.

Brainstorm

Social Context:

The teleporting experience shows the beginnings of study into the perceptual self and the mapping in the future of the brain to provide a succint picture of the brains functions. This study came about in inspiration of the Studies in rats which has shown that specific regions of the brain contain GPS-like ‘place cells’ that signal the rat’s position in the room – a discovery that was awarded the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physiology of Medicine. To date, however, it remains unknown how the human brain shapes our perceptual experience of being a body somewhere in space, and whether the regions that have been identified in rats are involved in this process.

“The sense of being a body located somewhere in space is essential for our interactions with the outside world and constitutes a fundamental aspect of human self-consciousness,” says Arvid Guterstam. “Our results are important because they represent the first characterization of the brain areas that are involved in shaping the perceptual experience of the bodily self in space.”

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Conclusion:

The experiment of the rats was a key point in this type of Science and this teleporting experiment is also a key point and a stepping stone to the beginning of this kind of scientific study which links so well with the social aspect and study of our perceptions of the self in a social context. Future studies like this are likely to occur given the buzz around the field for Mind mapping and whether they will identify key factors in the functioning of the brain as did Arvid Guterstam and his team is likely to take place over time, however the race seems to be on to Map the mind as soon as possible.

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