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16/05/2021
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Democracy under attack: The world needs a free press, warns Nobel laureate Amartya Sen

Authoritarian tendencies have been strikingly on the rise inNobel Prize laureate Amartya Sen many countries, says leading economist Amartya Sen, who painted a grim picture of tyranny and the impact of pandemics on participatory democracy.

Cornell, May 6.– Sen was the speaker at the 37th annual Bartels World Affairs Fellowship lecture at Cornell University on Wednesday, 5 May. Awarded the Nobel Prize in 1988 for his work in welfare economics and the causes of famine, the 87-year-old is currently Professor of Economics and Philosophy at Harvard University.

In opening the live web discussion, Cornell Vice-Provost for International Affairs Wendy Wolford made the point: “Famine and poverty are generally not due to scarcity or to lack of ability, but rather to a lack of entitlements. Entitlements that flow from a range of tangible and intangible goods, such as education, political power and racial or ethnic status.”

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Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan arrives in Jeddah, holds talks with Saudi prince

• Pakistan, Saudi Arabia form council to boost collaboration.

• Army chief discusses regional security with Prince Salman.

Saudi Cown Prince welcomes Pakistani Prime MinisterIslamabad, May 8.– Pakistan and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on Friday renewed pledge to enhance cooperation between the two countries in different fields.

The reaffirmation to boost the bilateral ties came during Prime Minister Imran Khan’s official visit to Saudi Arabia.

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Australia Draws a Line on China

Canberra’s had enough of trade embargoes and Chinese grievances—and is ready to draw a line. Australian PM Scott Morrison

Canberra, May 4.– Australian defense officials and politicians alike are striking an increasingly hawkish tone on China. This week, it was revealed that a former top general warned his troops last year of the “high likelihood” of war with China. This comes just days after Australian Defense Minister Peter Dutton raised eyebrows with his assessment that Chinese bullying of Taiwan could lead to a regional conflict.

Canberra’s more muscular posture, coupled with an increase in defense spending even amid the pandemic, spells an unusually confrontational approach toward China for a country that once tried to balance its economic relations with its largest trading partner against its decades-old defense commitments to the United States. Washington is repaying Canberra’s efforts, redoubling diplomatic and military engagement with Australian counterparts to jointly plan any response to Chinese aggression toward Taiwan.

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Colombia Protests Turn Deadly Amid Covid-19 Hardships

Major city sealed off by protesters, clashes claim 25 lives

Bogotá, May 5.– Eight days of protests have left 25 people dead, a major city cut off from food supplies and Colombia’s conservative government scrambling to assert control as it fights the country’s worst Covid-19 surge.

The nationwide unrest was triggered by a proposed tax-collection overhaul and stringent pandemic lockdowns that have been blamed for causing mass unemployment and throwing some four million people into poverty. Colombia is experiencing its third coronavirus surge, with nearly 500 deaths a day on average over the past week, a higher per-capita rate than India’s.

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Chaos gripping Paris as violence & vandalism mark May Day protest

Vienna, May 2.– Lawlessness swept over the streets of Paris on Saturday, with left-wing protesters smashing windows and lobbing stones and fireworks at riot police. The cops have responded in kind, charging and clubbing the rioters.

May Day protesters took over the streets of multiple French cities, with the worst of the early clashes happening in the city of Lyon. By mid-afternoon, however, Paris was the epicenter of unrest, as ‘black bloc’ anarchists marching alongside the traditional trade unionists and workers’ groups started smashing banks and shops in the capital.

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