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Showing posts from May, 2021

Pakistani Journalist Hamid Mir's Unhinged Response to Attack on Asad Toor

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Hamid Mir, a primetime TV talk show host, has reacted angrily to an attack on fellow Pakistani journalist Asad Ali Toor this week. Without explicitly naming anyone in his emotional outburst against the Pakistan Army and the ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence Service), Mir has accused their leadership of cowardice in allegedly ordering attacks on journalists. Dredging up the name of "General Rani", believed to have been the mistress of former Army Chief and President Yahya Khan in the 1970s, Hamid Mir has threatened to reveal similar scandals of current Pakistan Army generals. “If you’re breaking into our homes to assault us, well, we cannot enter your homes as you have tanks and guns, but we can make things public, things from inside your homes,” Mir said at a journalists' rally in Islamabad.      Hamid Mir (2nd from right) with Asad Toor Pakistan  ISI  has denied any role in the attack on Toor.  A  statement of the agency  said: "The ISI believes that when the faces o

Karachi Fintech Startup Raises $6.5 Million Seed Round To Launch Derivative Trading App

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Seed Labs, a Pakistani  financial technology  startup based in Karachi, has raised $6.5 million in seed funding to launch a derivatives trading platform. It was founded about a year ago by four young men in their mid-20s: Yameen Malik, Rabeel Jawaid, Zabi Mohebzada, and Ahmad Jawaid, according to Bloomberg reporter  Faseeh Mangi .  Seed Labs Founders Seed Labs's first app is designed for decentralized trading of derivatives on commodities, cryptocurrencies and stocks using blockchain technology.  Seed Labs  is backed by venture money from investors in 9 different countries, including institutional liquidity providers, Alameda Research, Kronos Research, LedgerPrime and others that collectively trade over $28 billions a day, the company said in a statement. The initial platform planned to launched later this year will primarily be a Perpetual Swap Trading Exchange. It will allow any trade pair from any asset class to be offered — from commodities, equities, digital assets to pre-IPO

E-Commerce: Will Amazon Help Boost Pakistan's Exports?

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Global  e-commerce  giant Amazon has recently added several dozen Pakistani exporters to its approved list, according to Eric Broussard, vice president of Amazon International Seller Services. "We are excited to announce that as of today, Pakistani entrepreneurs are eligible to sell on Amazon. We are eager to work with Pakistan's dynamic business community, including small and medium-sized sellers and help connect them with customers around the globe," he said.    Amazon Global Marketplace. Source: Wikipedia Amazon e-commerce platform has global reach. As of March 2021, Amazon Marketplace operates and sells in 18 countries, mostly in advanced economies of Europe, Japan and North America as well as in emerging markets like Brazil, China, India, Arab Gulf states and Turkey. It boasts  200 million members  for its Amazon Prime program that offers fast free shipping and other benefits, including Prime Video streaming for a fixed annual fee. The company hosts millions of selle

US Media Losing Control of the Middle East Narrative?

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Citizen journalists armed with ubiquitous smartphones and access to social media platforms have challenged the western media reporting of the latest Israeli brutal assault on Gaza. While the established western media outfits have stuck to " Israel's right to defend itself " narrative, this new breed of young journalists has posted unfiltered images and videos of the Israeli war crimes against Palestinians. Some of these powerful posts have gone viral with many young people, including Jews, sharing them broadly on social media. People, particularly Americans, who share these posts see the Palestinian struggle as a civil rights struggle not unlike the recent Black Lives Matter movement in America.  Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on CNN The western media, particularly the mainstream American media, are quick to accuse Israel's critics of being anti-semitic, a familiar tactic to distract from the Israeli crimes against humanity. A recent example is the CN

Israel: An Apartheid State Created & Propped Up By the West

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As Israeli military pounds  Gaza  and kills large numbers of Palestinian men, women and children yet again, the western media and politicians are busy white-washing the Israeli crimes by repeating the same old mantra: "Israel has a right to defend itself". There's little mention of the decades-long occupation and continuing brutalization of the Palestinian people by the Israelis. Nor is there any discussion of how the West is culpable in this long-running injustice. To put the current events in perspective, let us examine how we got to where we are today.  The foundation of the state of Israel as we know it now was laid when the British government issued a public statement in 1917 called the "Balfour Declaration" in support of the creation of a "national home for the Jewish people" in Palestine. This came at a time when the First World War was still ranging and Palestine was a province of the Ottoman Empire. The Balfour Declaration was contained in a l

India's BJP-Linked Hindu Group Brings Dalit Slavery to America

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A Hindu sect with close ties to India’s ruling BJP has exploited hundreds of low-caste men in a years-long construction project, reports the  New York Times . A US federal lawsuit filed against the Hindu group alleges that the men brought to the United States under religious R-1 visa had their Indian passports confiscated by the Hindu group. It further alleges that the workers, mainly Dalit men who worked 13-hour days doing heavy lifting for about $1 an hour, were kept as prisoners at the construction site of a massive Hindu temple in Robbinsville, New Jersey.  Cases of caste discrimination and exploitation among India diaspora have also surfaced in Silicon Valley.  Hindu Temple in Robbinville, New Jersey Caste Discrimination in America: Shocking as it is, the New Jersey case of exploitation of Indian Dalit workers brought to America is not unique.  Over two-thirds of  low caste Indian-Americans  are discriminated against by upper caste Indian-Americans in Silicon Valley, according to

America's New Green Deal: Will Biden Ban Burgers?

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President Joseph R. Biden's climate policy has recently triggered rumors in right-wing American media of a potential burger ban in America. Such speculations about beef ban have been categorically denied by Tom Vilsack, the Secretary of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). However, there are reasons to believe that the Biden focus on r enewable energy  alone will not be enough to achieve his ambitious targets. The current  food production  methods, particularly the beef industry, will also have to be fundamentally redesigned to meet Biden's climate goal of  50-52% reduction  in carbon emissions by 2030. Other industrial processes that will need fundamental rethink to reduce emissions include production of cement, steel and plastics. Dealing with these challenges will require a lot of innovation and new technologies. It presents an opportunity for technology entrepreneurs to reshape the world yet again.   Meatless Meat Products Impact of Meat Production: Animal agriculture i