Last week, President Donald Trump surprisingly sided with this his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on the question of Russian meddling in the 2016 election by saying that he didn’t see why it would be Russia who had interfered in the election. This drew a barrage of criticism from both sides of the isle and sent Trump on the back foot. Realizing the damage that was done, Trump quickly retracted his statement. “The sentence should have been, ‘I don’t see any reason why I wouldn’t, or why it wouldn’t be Russia’” instead of “why it would,” Trump said Tuesday of the comments he had made standing alongside Putin on the summit stage in Helsinki.
The Syrian civil war started when the whole Arab world was experiencing the so-called ‘Arab Spring’, some protestors in the Syrian cities namely Darra and Homs got hostile with the police forces that caused many civilian deaths. The aim of the protests was primarily to address socio-economic issues in the Syrian society. However, the armed insurgency that arose from the unarmed protests grew into a full-on civil war. The arms of the rebels who are more commonly known as the Free Syrian Army (FSA) got smuggled in from neighbouring countries Turkey and Jordan. The FSA with financial support from Gulf Arab countries such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE along with prominent Western countries and Turkey.
For the past one year, Ishaq Dar has squandered Pakistan’s good credit standing to issue billions of dollar bond to prop up rupee against US Dollar as opposed to raising fund for expanding the economy. Independent economists and IMF has consistently predicted that Pak Rupee is overvalued and its true market value is somewhere close to Rs. 130 per USD.
Last Monday, at a joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin, US President Donald Trump questioned the findings of his own intelligence agency and sided with Putin on question of Russian interference in the presidential election of 2016, when pressed by the media to rebuke Putin for his role in the election. This seemed alarming to most Americans, including those in favor of the Trump Administration. Trump’s too-friendly relationship with his Russian counterpart has been under the spotlight since he assumed office. But invalidating the findings of his own intelligence agency in front of world media seems like a step too far even for Trump. Not only did he did Putin’s work for him by defending him in front of the media, he even lauded Putin’s offer to allow American government officials inside Russia to watch interrogations, in exchange for American interrogation of people like Bill Browder, an anti-Russian activist.
Over the half of the past decade there has been a steady increase in discrimination based on race, religion and ethnicity manifested in the treatment of minorities/less important, immigrants and especially Muslims in large parts of the world. It can be variously understood or described as ultra-nationalism, populism and xenophobia generated by ill fated economic conditions, fear of “Islamist Terrorism” and effects of globalisation. This phenomenon is becoming increasingly rampant in the US under President Trump, in Europe where Hungary, Poland, Austria and Italy are ruled by parties openly hostile to Muslims and immigrants or in Germany, France and UK whose governments are threatened by ultra-nationalist and xenophobic forces. In the Middle East and South Asia as well, countries like Israel and India are ruled by extremist, anti-Muslims, ultra-nationalist leaders. Edward Luce of the Financial Times compared these facts/evaluations to “echoes” of the 1930s.
A signboard in front of the Statue of Liberty read: “Government Shutdown.” This was almost poetic, because the bold idea of openness that the lady upholds is at the centre of the whole US federal government shutdown shenanigan.