Carl Sagan’s TV series Cosmos is coming back in version 2.0 with a new cast of atheists to spread the gospel of scientism.Two generations have passed since Cosmos became a hit TV series in 1980 with the atheist popularizer of science, Carl Sagan. Now, Neil deGrasse Tyson, the PhD astrophysicist and director of New York’s Hayden Planetarium, is reviving it with the help of PBS and Sagan’s widow, Ann Druyan. Tyson, no less enthusiastic and articulate than his predecessor (if not more so), is also, like Sagan, an atheist, a staunch believer in cosmic evolution, and a passionate defender of science as the fountainhead of all certifiable knowledge.The new 13-episode Cosmos series will begin airing in March on Fox and the National Geographic channel. Space.com tells about the “rebooting” of the series and how, 34 years later, it is being recast for a new generation that expects cutting-edge video and audio. A video clip promoting the new series begins with Sagan’s memorable opening manifesto of materialism from the old series, “The cosmos is all that is, or ever was, or ever will be” – an assertion beyond science that launched a thousand commentaries and criticisms, such as the book Cosmos: Carl Sagan’s Religion for the Scientific Mind by Christian apologist Norman Geisler.Producer of Cosmos 2.0 Brannon Braga (Star Trek) describes the series as, if not opposed to religion, at least one-up to it:“Science doesn’t have to be the opposite of religion in terms of its emotional value,” he said. “Science can move you like any other story. Science can be a visceral, emotional experience. Religion doesn’t own awe and mystery. Science does it better.“The producers expect the new series to continue on past its initial release in reruns, disks and other media platforms for many years. Undoubtedly there will be a book and website. While clips of Sagan will be interspersed in the shows, Tyson will have many advantages not available to Sagan in 1980: the internet, social media, and 34 years of planetary and astronomical discoveries.The original Cosmos was criticized for its promulgation of a largely debunked “warfare hypothesis” of science vs religion. Judging from the trailer, that theme will still be prominent. Sagan portrayed religion as anti-intellectual, responsible for all the wars and regresses of nations. Science was always the savior and liberator of mankind. Central to the plot was Darwinian evolution – not just biological, but cosmic. The trailer includes flashbacks that will probably make it into the “reimagining” of Cosmos: religion burning Giordano Bruno at the stake for suggesting the possibility of life on other worlds, for instance (a largely distorted, though inexcusable incident – he was killed for other sins, historians say).As Cosmos 2.0 makes “the case for science,” it will undoubtedly equate science with cosmic evolution.Critics of scientism had better prepare themselves, because this miniseries is bound to be very appealing to a lot of people, including Christians, Jews and other theists. It will also provide a shot in the arm to the new atheists who are becoming increasingly assertive. Cosmos 1.0 took on a life of its own that has lasted for over 3 decades, reaching around the world as one of the most successful and widely-watched science documentaries in TV history. Now, with 34 years of progress in animation, production quality and scientific advances, it would be surprising if Cosmos 2.0 does not surpass its famous predecessor.One reason is Neil deGrasse Tyson himself. He is a dynamo: energetic, tall, muscular, handsome, articulate, smart, funny, possessing an engaging aura that exudes positive vibes. For some, he will gain extra points simply for being black. He’s likeable, very intelligent, and already has a big following. I’ve seen how effective he is as a communicator; once he gave a special video greeting to the Cassini team and had them all on the edge of their seats. In my opinion, he will be more effective than Carl Sagan in communicating the case for scientism, especially when it’s clear from the trailer he will be presented to viewers as almost a demigod or superhero. What is unknown is whether viewers who can download Lord of the Rings on a smartphone will be so jaded by high-tech wizardry as to find another miniseries just another miniseries. Sagan didn’t have to compete with a thousand cable channels, Netflix and YouTube.Much of the appeal of Cosmos 2.0 will be all the stuff that’s right about it. There will be plenty of good science, like a depiction of the Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn and the Titan landing. Christians will say “amen” as Tyson debunks astrology and other superstitions. This will desensitize them to the poison in the pill, when the “warfare of science and religion” theme (largely discredited by philosophers and historians) builds bit by bit, anecdote by anecdote. Many viewers won’t know the truth about the Bruno affair, the Galileo affair, and the Christian faith of great scientists, because the stories will be spun to fit the warfare mold. He will also make the origin and evolution of life look very simple and plausible. As Tyson announces “The cosmos is all that is, or ever was, or ever will be,” his persona along with the careful scripting and appealing visuals will make it hard to dismiss. Church-goers may come to their pastors with lots of questions. The worst possible answer is: “I don’t understand science; just have faith.”Parents, pastors and youth leaders should not shield young people from the series; they’re going to get the same propaganda in college anyway, most likely, or in the general culture. You don’t build strong faith by ignoring challenges. You get it by facing them with better weapons and the skills to use them. And Christians have the better weapons! Despite its arrogant facade, the scientism theater is a house of cards if you know where the weaknesses are. For instance, by using logical argumentation, evidence, and reasoning, Tyson and the cast will be cutting their legs out from their own materialistic feet. Where does logic come from? From hydrogen? Perceptive viewers will also notice Tyson turning science into a religion, with superstitious imagery that makes astrology look tame (examples: a big eye embedded in the Ring Nebula; zipping around the universe on a whim faster than the speed of light, space aliens everywhere). With a few master strokes, you can unmask the Cosmos production set as a den of thieves. They plagiarize parts of the Christian worldview (belief in truth, logic and morality) to build a materialistic castle of paper on sand. Pastors and teachers can empower young people and adults with good answers and apologetic training; it will make them stronger after the battle than before. It can actually make them excited about their faith, more passionate to defend it.Specific unbiblical scientific claims should be faced. Creation-Evolution Headlines has a search bar for researching many evolutionary claims; if you don’t know something, look it up. Don’t be overly critical; for instance, both Tyson and Sagan are reputable astronomers deserving respect for their science; Sagan did valuable work for NASA’s Mars and Venus missions, for instance, and became a bit less arrogant in his atheism in later years. Be circumspect in your criticisms; don’t call them fools or evil; go after the claims, not the men. But especially, freshen up your critical thinking skills with our Baloney Detector, recognizing card stacking, big lie*, half truth, visualization**, loaded words, glittering generalities***, suggestion, reductionism, red herring, equivocation, straw man, and other tricks of the propaganda trade. Since the series will be heavy into astronomy, read up on our biographies of Newton, Galileo, Kepler and other Bible-believing astronomers; also, know something about the anti-Darwin biologists and the sordid history of the Darwinian revolution. A prepared mind can enjoy the good aspects of the series, learning things, appreciating its strengths but remaining alert to its weaknesses. It’s safe to say this will be one of the strongest and most consistent presentations of scientism one is likely to see on TV. If you can rock that Goliath to sleep with a logical stone, you’ve got reason for confidence.*Example of a big lie from Cosmos 1.0: Sagan stated emphatically, “Evolution is a fact, not a theory. It really happened.” Then he tried to illustrate it with trivial examples of microevolution and even artificial selection.**Example of visualization: In Cosmos 1.0, Sagan narrated a series of one-dimensional drawings of animals morphing into one another, following evolutionary stages from bacteria to man. This is not only asinine, but contrary to evolutionary theory itself. Straight-line “orthogenesis” is a debunked theory. Animals do not evolve as one individual into another; offspring and whole populations must be considered. It was pure propaganda – simplistic, at that.***Example of glittering generalities: In the last episode of Cosmos 1.0, Sagan summed up the whole cosmic evolution scenario in sweeping generalities. At one point, he said, “Eyes evolved, and now the cosmos could see.” As evolution advanced, leading to sumptuous scenes of civilization, transportation and space exploration, with a final musical crescendo, he capped it all off with this monstrous generality that he admitted sounds like “epic myth”: “These are some of the things that hydrogen atoms do, given fifteen billion years of cosmic evolution.”(Visited 35 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
5 March 2013 Nkosinathi Dludla and his wife Patricia on Monday became the first South African parents to receive an unabridged birth certificate for their new baby boy, Sakhile. Home Affairs Minister Naledi Pandor visited the young couple at Netcare Park Lane Hospital in Johannesburg to hand them an unabridged birth certificate for their four-day old son. South Africa’s new birth certificates contain details of both parents along with added security features that will make duplication much more difficult. Pandor said her department would no longer issue abridged birth certificates, as part of a move to secure the integrity of South Africa’s National Population Register, and to eradicate identity book theft and fraudulent birth registrations. “This initiative will really give us a chance of having a national population register that we all trust and which we can use for planning service provision,” Pandor said. “As from today, all [newborn] babies will be receiving unabridged certificates, and our wish is to issue them on the spot, but at the most it will be within 30 days.” The certificates will be issued at no cost to first-time applicants. Existing abridged certificates will, however, continue to remain legal documents. Speaking to SAnews at her hospital bed, Patricia Dludla said: “Being the first mother in the country to receive these new birth certificates, it is a real honour to me. I feel so special.” Pandor also issued an unabridged certificate to Silulami Libalele, whose baby girl, Dala, was born on Saturday. “Together with my wife, we are very excited by the department’s move to issue this new birth certificate to our baby without us travelling to their offices,” said Libalele, adding that his daughter’s name, Dala, means “to create”. Source: SAnews.gov.za
23 January 2014Africa needs to create an enabling environment for domestic and foreign investment to realize its potential and ensure inclusive growth for its population, panelists agreed at a special session on the opening day of the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland on Wednesday.However, the continent had many challenges to overcome, including addressing a pervasive and growing inequality that was fueling instability. And with the continent’s population expected to rise to 2-billion by 2050, it was imperative that the foundation for sustainable and inclusive growth be laid now.“We need jobs, jobs, jobs,” said Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama, one of the panelists at the session dubbed “Africa’s Next Billion”. “Economic and social inclusion is a top priority. We create space for the private sector, and it’s one of government’s responsibilities to distribute the fruits of growth.”More intra-Africa trade could boost economic growth, Mahama added. “I feel ashamed that trade between our countries is only 11%. That is unacceptable.”To build on the progress Africa had made so far, he said, governments also had to continue to realize the democratic dividend of good governance, respect for human rights and rule of law.Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan pointed out that there was stability in most African countries today. “But before we could talk about economic growth, we needed political stability,” he said.Aliko Dangote, chief executive of Nigeria’s Dangote Group and a co-chair of this year’s annual meeting, pointed out that the majority of foreign investors were too cautious in the lead-up to elections and during what could be the short-lived reign of political parties. “Today there is no government that will be against business, so go ahead and invest,” he urged.“People always underestimate what Africa can be,” Dangote said. “By 2050 we will have a united Africa with one common market … Can you imagine if we had sufficient power? Our GDP would be US$9-trillion by 2050. It can happen.”Julian Roberts, group chief executive of Old Mutual, United Kingdom, told participants: “Africa is on the move and it is moving forward. But we need to ensure we have an enabling platform for business.” Roberts said the continent would not succeed unless there was a “handshake between government and the private sector”.If the continent’s infrastructure bottlenecks can be overcome, particularly intra-African transportation routes, intra-Africa trade could flourish and create prosperity,” Roberts added. “Our target should be 80% intra-Africa trade by 2050.”Africa’s economic growth might be accelerating, but, according to Winnie Byanyima, executive director of Oxfam International, United Kingdom: “The concentration of wealth and power is excluding and locking out millions of people, which is driving insecurity and instability.” So far, economic growth had been a race to the bottom, Byanyima said. “We need a race to the top so we have policies and regulation to protect human rights, the environment and reduce poverty.”Doreen Noni, creative director of Eskado Bird, Tanzania, noted that young people in Africa were not trained from a young age to have entrepreneurial skills. Because of its huge young population, Africa’s workforce was set to burgeon by 2050. “We need to awaken our youth … and direct them to be entrepreneurial. We can only get our continent to have inclusive growth if we are educated and change our mindsets.”Source: World Economic Forum
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall called on farmers and ranchers to redouble their efforts to advocate for agriculture, even as the current administration has begun moving to undo some of the regulations that have burdened them for years.“We have had a seat at the table with the Trump administration,” Duvall told nearly 7,000 farmers and ranchers gathered for the organization’s annual convention in Nashville, Tennessee. “Folks, I can tell you that it has been a breath of fresh air to be able to advocate for getting things done…instead of having to constantly defend agriculture against a steady stream of challenges from our own government.”In his address Duvall covered the gamut of major issues that began to move in recent months.“Probably the biggest challenge we faced in recent years was the Waters of the U.S. rule,” he said. “That over-reaching regulation would have allowed the federal government to dictate not just how you farm — but whether you could farm at all. Thanks to your engagement, and thanks to EPA administrator Scott Pruitt, the old rule is being reconsidered. And we are urging the agency to propose a new rule…one that draws clear lines that protect waters without regulating farm fields.“It’s thanks to your engagement that Congress passed tax reform last year — giving farmers a new 20% deduction on their business income, doubling the estate tax exemption, preserving tax credits that farmers depend on, and lowering the individual tax rate,” he said.Duvall underlined the importance of trade to American farmers.“As I have traveled, I have discovered that even some within agriculture don’t understand what’s at stake if we lose our trade agreements. Trade should not be a dirty word. Because without those global markets our already-depressed farm economy would go down even more. We sell about half of what we produce to foreign markets around the world. If we lose those markets, where is that agricultural production going to go? Ag trade is an American success story.”Immigration remains a key issue with American farmers.“We also have some work to do on immigration and ag labor,” he said. “This is yet another issue that has been overtaken by politics. But I have met many farmers and ranchers across the country who deal with the reality of farm labor shortages on their farms. Everywhere I go, no matter which region or state, farmers tell me this is the number one problem they face—not enough ag workers to get their crops out of the field.“Last year, Congressman Bob Goodlatte of Virginia introduced a bill that would let existing workers apply for visas to stay in the U.S. and keep working on our farms and ranches. We need Congress to pass that bill so we can keep from losing ag production to other countries that have better access to labor.”The farm bill, meanwhile, is expected to pass Congress sometime this year. Duvall reminded Farm Bureau members it remains a top priority at a time when farmers and ranchers are facing the worst outlook since the collapse of the farm economy in the 1980s. “The fact is — the farm bill is a food security bill for everyone,” he said. “It’s for consumers. And it’s for conservation. It’s for rural development. It’s for energy security. It’s for research so we can continue to increase production and meet future demand. And, yes, it is and should continue to be for those low-income Americans who need extra help to put food on their table.”
TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games opening LATEST STORIES SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion Curry scored 14 of Golden State’s 29 points in the third, including their final eight for an 81-72 lead.Tobias Harris led the short-handed Clippers with 28 points. Rookie guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander tied his career high with 24 in their season-worst fifth straight loss. They played without injured Lou Williams, and Danilo Gallinari left with lower back spasms.Cousins picked up his third foul 32 seconds into the second quarter. Then he hit a 3-pointer for the Warriors’ first basket of the period, bringing loud cheers from their many fans at Staples Center.Cousins missed his first shot but came right back with a one-handed slam off Durant’s bounce pass for the Warriors’ first basket. Cousins was called for two fouls in the first three minutes and sat down.The Warriors took their first double-digit lead in the first four minutes of the third when the Clippers missed their initial six shots. Golden State opened on a 14-2 run with five different players scoring, including a basket by Cousins before getting his fourth foul, to go up 66-53.ADVERTISEMENT LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Is Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? MOST READ Kyrie Irving stays hot with 38 points, leads Celtics to close win over Grizzlies Golden State Warriors center DeMarcus Cousins, center, dunks as Los Angeles Clippers forward Tobias Harris, left, and Warriors forward Draymond Green watch during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Jan. 18, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)LOS ANGELES — Stephen Curry scored 28 points, DeMarcus Cousins added 14 before fouling out of his Warriors debut after being sidelined for nearly a year, and Golden State pulled away in the third quarter to beat the Los Angeles Clippers 112-94 on Friday night for its seventh straight victory and sixth in a row on the road.The Warriors shot just 9 of 37 on 3-pointers on a night when Curry made only three from long range. Fellow Splash Brother Klay Thompson missed all four of his 3-point attempts.ADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion Cousins shot 5 for 11 from the floor and finished with six rebounds and three assists during his first game since Jan. 26, 2018, when he ruptured his left Achilles tendon playing for New Orleans. He missed the rest of last season, including nine playoff games for the Pelicans. The Warriors signed him last July.With Cousins finally in the lineup, Golden State became the first team in 42 years to start five All-Stars from the previous season.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine football chiefSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsInstead of his usual scowl, Cousins left the court after his sixth foul at 8:51 of the fourth smiling and high-fiving his new teammates. Curry and Kevin Durant, who scored 24 points, looked happy, too.Cousins went out with a bang. He got his fifth foul just 30 seconds into the fourth and then made two consecutive 3-pointers — holding up three fingers — that extended the Warriors’ lead to 87-72. Draymond Green got two technical fouls in the second quarter, the second one for swinging from the basket after a high-flying dunk that sent the Warriors into halftime leading 52-51.Neither team led by more than six in the first half.TIP-INSWarriors: They’re in LA for five days. “I unpacked my bag for the first time ever on a road trip,” said coach Steve Kerr, who plans to catch up with friends from San Diego during the down time. … Durant got a technical in the third. … They’ve had 10 turnovers in each of their last four games. … Lead the season series 2-1. … G Shaun Livingston, drafted fourth overall by the Clippers in 2004, visited retiring Clippers play-by-play announcer Ralph Lawler before the game. … Golden State’s longest win streak of the season is eight games from Oct. 22 to Nov. 5.Clippers: Had just 11 assists. … Gallinari scored one point in eight minutes. … Williams has a sore right hamstring. He’s the NBA’s leading bench scorer at 18.7 points per game. He missed four games last month with a sore left hamstring. … Clippers coach Doc Rivers got a technical for the second straight game. … Patrick Beverley earned a technical while on the bench. … The teams’ last regular-season meeting is April 7. … Coolio performed at halftime. Emma Stone, Jennifer Garner (who sat with team owner Steve Ballmer), Ellen Pompeo and Billy Crystal attended.UP NEXTWarriors: Play at the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday before heading East for the rest of a five-game trip.Clippers: At the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday to begin a four-game trip. View comments
DefinitionAnkle arthroscopy is surgery that uses a tiny camera and surgical tools to examine or repair the tissues inside or around your ankle. The camera is called an arthroscope. The procedure allows the doctor to detect problems and make repairs to your ankle without making larger cuts in the skin and tissue. This means that you may have less pain and recover more quickly.Alternative NamesAnkle surgeryDescriptionYou will likely receive general anesthesia before this surgery. This means you will be asleep and unable to feel pain. Or, you may have regional anesthesia. Your leg and ankle area will be numbed so that you do not feel any pain. If you receive regional anesthesia, you will also be given medicine to make you very sleepy during the operation.During the procedure, the surgeon does the following:Inserts the arthroscope into your ankle through a small incision. The scope is connected to a video monitor in the operating room. This allows the surgeon to view the inside of your ankle.Inspects all the tissues of your ankle. These tissues include cartilage, bones, tendons, and ligaments.Repairs any damaged tissues. To do this, your surgeon makes 1 to 3 more small incisions and inserts other instruments through them. A tear in a muscle, tendon, or cartilage is fixed. Any damaged tissue is removed.At the end of the surgery, the incisions will be closed with stitches and covered with a dressing (bandage). Most surgeons take pictures from the video monitor during the procedure to show you what they found and what repairs they made.advertisementYour surgeon may need to do open surgery if there is a lot of damage. Open surgery means you will have a large incision so that the surgeon can get directly to your bones and tissues.Why the Procedure Is DoneArthroscopy may be recommended for these ankle problems:Ankle pain: Arthroscopy allows the surgeon to explore what is causing your ankle pain.Ligament tears: A ligament is a band of tissue that connects bone to bone. Several ligaments in the ankle help keep it stable and allow it to move. Torn ligaments can be repaired with this type of surgery.Ankle impingement: Tissues in your ankle can become swollen and sore from overuse. This makes it hard to move the joint. Arthroscopy can remove the tissue so you can move your joint.Scar tissue:This can form after an injury to the ankle. This surgery can remove scar tissue.Arthritis: Arthroscopy can be used to help reduce pain and improve movement.Cartilage injuries: This surgery can be used to diagnose or repair cartilage and bone injuries.Risks Risks of general anesthesia are:Allergic reactions to medicinesBreathing problemsRisks of ankle arthroscopy are:BleedingInfectionBlood clotFailure of surgery to relieve symptomsFailure of repair to healWeakness of the ankleInjury to tendon, blood vessel, or nerveBefore the ProcedureTell your health care provider what medicines you are taking. This includes medicines, supplements, or herbs you bought without a prescription.During the 2 weeks before your surgery:You may be asked to stop taking medicines that make it harder for your blood to clot. These include aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Naprosyn, Aleve), and other medicines.Ask your health care provider which medicines you should still take on the day of your surgery.If you have diabetes, heart disease, or other medical conditions, your surgeon will ask you to see your doctor who treats you for these conditions.Tell your health care provider if you have been drinking a lot of alcohol, more than 1 or 2 drinks a day.If you smoke, try to stop. Ask your health care provider or nurse for help. Smoking can slow wound and bone healing.Tell your doctor about any cold, flu, fever, herpes breakout, or other illness you may have before your surgery.On the day of surgery:You will likely be asked not to drink or eat anything for 6 to 12 hours before the procedure.Take the medicines your health care provider told you to take with a small sip of water.Your health care provider will tell you when to arrive at the hospital. Be sure to arrive on time.After the ProcedureYou can usually go home the same day after you recover from the anesthesia. You should have someone drive you home.Keep your ankle elevated above your heart for two to three days to help reduce swelling and pain. You can also apply cold packs to reduce swelling.Keep your bandage clean and dry. Your health care provider can show you how to change the dressing.You can take pain relievers, if needed, as long as your doctor says its safe to do so.Youll need to use a walker or crutches and keep weight off your foot.Outlook (Prognosis)advertisementArthroscopy uses small cuts in the skin. Compared to regular surgery, you may have:Less pain and stiffnessFewer complicationsFaster recoveryThe small cuts will heal quickly, and you may be able to resume your normal activities in a few days. However, if your doctor had to repair a lot of tissue in your ankle, it may take several weeks to heal. How quickly you heal depends on how complicated the surgery was.You may be shown how to do gentle exercises as you heal. Or, your doctor may recommend that you see a physical therapist to help you regain the full use of your ankle.ReferencesIshikawa S. Arthroscopy of the Foot and Ankle. In: Canale ST, Beaty JH, eds. Campbells Operative Orthopaedics. 12th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Mosby; 2012:chap 50.Miller M, Hart J. Surgical Principles. In DeLee, JC, Drez D Jr, Miller MD, eds. DeLee and Drezs Orthopaedic Sports Medicine. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2009:chap 2.Review Date:5/15/2013Reviewed By:C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Assistant Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
Nuclear-armed Asian neighbours, India and Pakistan have had particularly difficult relations since the time of their inception as sovereign nations but tensions have lately assumed a hitherto unseen extent leading to a diplomatic deadlock. The violent Partition in 1947, Kashmir, and numerous conflicts big and small – all along primarily communal lines have come to be the locus of relations between India and Pakistan which is defined largely by hostility and suspicion. In the most recent times, diplomatic relations have been severely downgraded with the Pakistani Ambassador to India being recalled and the Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan getting expelled from there. War mongering was the trend and tone right after India suffered the deadliest peace time attack since Independence this year after a Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad suicide bomber rammed an explosive laden car on February 14 and murdering 40 Indian security personnel. This incident resulted in a cycle of offence and counter-offence between the two countries, the air strike by India in Pakistani territory being the most prominent one, especially in the wake of Wing Commander Abhinandan Vardhaman’s capture and later his release. Pakistan’s terror tactics and its state policy to breed terrorism against primarily India has globally earned Pakistan a bad reputation. Diplomacy, too, has come to a difficult point as Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar expressed bluntly in an international forum regarding Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s opinion piece for The New York Times. Pakistan openly practices terrorism, financing and recruiting militant groups and till the time Islamabad does not reign in this tendency, any talk between India and Pakistan will only be superficial and ultimately futile because the very basis of problem between the two countries is terrorism coming from Pakistan. The Narendra Modi-led BJP government has been instrumental in altering the equation between the Asian neighbours. With remarkable efforts made initially ease tensions and bring the two nations closer, Pakistan’s unrelenting policy to deploy terror has brought matters to the point where talks of war came as easy as drawing-room conversations and war against Pakistan became a hot subject of feverish nationalism. Obviously, such public sentiments do little good to the nation and its forces. A war is a only a measure of loss, the extent of which is decided by the warring parties. Going a step beyond conventional warfare, and given the prospects of a nuclear war, the talks of which were very quickly escalated by propaganda and popular media rants, Pakistan says in an assuring tone that it will never be the first one to start a war with India. Going by Pakistan’s policy, it is to “bleed India by a thousand cuts”. Pakistan’s policy against India has never been so straight and has only ever been openly clandestine; and Kashmir for its dominant Muslim polulation has been the scapegoat for the last mant decades. Prime Minister Imran Khan went on record to explain, amid tensions between the two nuclear-armed neighbours over Kashmir, that “We will never ever start the war. Both Pakistan and India are nuclear powers and if tension escalates the world will face danger,” Saying that war is not a solution to any problem, the Pakistani Prime Minister said this while addressing a gathering of the Sikh community. The Sikh community is now a new angle in the boiling relations between India and Pakistan with the Kartarpur Corridor project supposedly moving towards completion. Kartarpur is in the Narowal district of Punjab province of Pakistan, about 4.7 kilometres from the Pakistan-India border, so near that it can be physically seen from the Indian side. Indian Sikh pilgrims undertake the journey to this Gurudwara via a longer route into Pakistan. In this initiative to make Indian Sikhs undertake this pilgrimage, the governments of India and Pakistan, before the Kargil war broke out, came together to allow visa-free passage to the pilgrims. Two decades, one war, numerous skirmishes, and different governments down the line, neither India nor Pakistan are the same. As matters stand officially, unless Pakistan does anything about its terror nurssaries, India cannot expect any concrete moving forward. There are security concerns galore and any decision the government takes in the direction of mending ties with Pakistan, it is the common people on both sides of the border that will experience the effect of decisions the most. As much as it is a challenge to India’s diplomacy, relations with Pakistan also affect internal matters within India.
Tamara PimentelAPTN NewsThe dogs are ready to run.“These dogs love it,” said Canzada Maruskie, dog musher. “If they couldn’t run they wouldn’t have anything to do at that point, they love what they are doing.”So do their owners.The Maruskie family traveled over 3,600 kilometres from Alaska to be at the South Slave Arctic Winter Games.They’ve also been doing it for a while and picked up a few things along the way.“We don’t feed them the morning before the race, pretty much the only thing that we do differently,” said Zachary Maruskie. “Some mushers probably do that too. It’s just so they don’t poop on the trail.”However, some issues came up they couldn’t account for.A minimum of four teams are needed for dog sledding at the games, according to the official rules.In 2016, host Greendland didn’t offer the sport.But it appears the games are making an exception this year with only two teams entered.“We are already prepared, we already paid, we got sponsors, we got all this stuff to do, you can’t just cancel it at the last minute,” said Scott Maruskie.firstname.lastname@example.org