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Alarming US data on child mental health: Wake-up call to end social malaise

By Bharat Dogra  If 1 out of 2 high school girls feel persistently sad or hopeless and one out of six students plan suicide in a year, isn’t it time for a society so affected to look inwards at what has gone wrong, so that at least, and as a first step, the causes of such a dismal state of affairs can be identified correctly? After all, effective remedial action depends first and foremost on a proper identification of causes. This is all the more necessary in a situation when, as this alarming official data for year 2019 for USA tells us, in addition there is an incredibly high rate of increase of these problems. According to the data of the  (the latest such data available at present and also quoted by the USA Surgeon General in the advisory issued by him in 2021), in 2019 37% of all high school students and half of female students reported persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness. What is more, within a decade (2009-2019), this had recorded a 40% increasing, rising from 26% to
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Zakir Naik tumult, Catholic Church power abuse: will Anwar Ibrahim save Malaysia?

Anwar Ibrahim By Jay Ihsan*  Anwar Ibrahim, a hardcore reformist who took a punch to his eye in 1998 from then inspector-general of police, Rahim Noor, has finally been given the mandate by Malaysians to serve as the nation's 10th prime minister. Anwar knows too well the burden of staying true to both trust and faith the people have in him requires every once of commitment and dedication. The question is will he be apologetic for his transgressions enroute to "rebuilding" Malaysia? In his overzealousness to get the job done, Anwar, 75, needs to safeguard every bit of gumption to address prickling issues plaguing the safety of the nation especially those involving communal sensitivities. For one, dare Anwar get rid of terrorist hate preacher and fugitive Zakir Naik for inciting religious unrest in Malaysia? In November 2016, India’s counter-terrorism agency filed an official complaint against Naik, holding him responsible for promoting religious hatred and unlawful activi

A liberal historian, EH Carr interrogated misrepresentation, misuse of facts in history

By Harsh Thakor*  On November 3rd, we commemorated the 40th death anniversary of E.H.Carr who made an outstanding contribution as a liberal historian and gave a new dimension to method of historical research. Carr was an epitome of historical accuracy, being more illustrative than any historian on Soviet Russia. Even though a liberal democrat he applied the Marxist historical materialist method. Carr was not a Stalinist, as many Western writers dubbed him. However he pointed out many of Stalin’s measures undertaken were imperative for Russia to save itself from the encirclement of Western Countries. Carr made it clear that whatever his crimes, Stalin was the anti-thesis of Hitler, saving a progressive state and much more in tune with the given situation than Leon Trotsky. Carr supported Lenin but categorised many of Stalin’s measures as cruel or coercive, condemning Stalin’s suppression of opposition in Russia. Still with great foresightedness, Carr summarised how infiltration of fore

Ukraine war revitalizes silent competition between China and Russia in Central Asia

By John P. Ruehl  At the recent Commonwealth for Independent States (CIS) summit held on October 14 in Astana, Kazakhstan, Tajik President Emomali Rahmon expressed previously inconceivable remarks. His public admonishment of Russian President Vladimir Putin to treat Central Asian states with more respect showed the growing confidence of Central Asian leaders amid Russia’s embroilment in Ukraine and China’s expanding regional influence. After coming under Russian imperial rule in the 18th and 19th centuries , five Central Asian states—Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan— emerged independent from the Soviet Union in 1991. While these countries remained heavily dependent on Russia for security, economic, and diplomatic support, China saw an opportunity in their vast resources and potential to facilitate trade across Eurasia. Chinese-backed development and commerce increased after the Soviet collapse and expanded further after the launch of China’s Belt an

Deplorable, despite Ukraine war IAEA is irrationally advocating on N-power

Shankar Sharma, Power & Climate Policy Analyst, writes to Rafael Mariano Grossi, Director General, International Atomic Energy Agency, France *** This has reference to a few statements recently attributed to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), France, as in the news links below, in the context of COP27. India a platform for new nuclear technologies… I see a very bright future: IAEA chief Rafael Mariano Grossi War a catalyst for expansion of nuke energy: IAEA chief IAEA Chief at COP27: Nuclear is Part of Climate Crisis Solution It is deplorable that even the troubling situation of a war is not missed by IAEA as an opportunity to continue with its irrational advocacy on nuclear power. All sections of the global society, who can think rationally, would have expected IAEA to take a diligent view of the calamitous situation at Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine from the overall welfare perspective, and to take a realistic and extremely cautionary approach to the very id

Seventh most vulnerable nation, effects of climate change can be seen in Bangladesh

Mashrur Siddique Bhuiyan*  From November 6–18, 2022, Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt is hosting the 27th Conference of Parties (COP27) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. This two-week climate conference is critical for the globe because it occurs at a time when nations are coping with a global energy crisis, the conflict in Ukraine, rising inflation rates, and dwindling funding for climate adaptation. It also has great significance for Bangladesh, as the country's ability to maintain its economic growth depends on raising the necessary finances for urgent climate action and mitigation. This year’s theme is "Delivering for People and the Planet," which aims to hasten global climate action by lowering greenhouse gas emissions, fostering resilience and preparing for climate change's unavoidable effects, and increasing the flow of climate finance to developing nations. The goals of COP27 are based on the outcomes of COP21, which was held in Paris in 2015

Red alert on world's 19 hunger hot-spots issued, but will help reach in time?

By Bharat Dogra  The Global Report on Food Crisis has been drawing attention to the people affected by acute hunger annually for seven years, and this year its recently presented estimates stated that as many as 205 million spread over 45 countries are affected by acute food insecurity and need urgent assistance. To this were later added 17 million people from 8 other countries leading to a total of 222 million in 53 countries. This is the highest level seen in the 7 years since the report has been prepared. Subsequently in September the Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Food Program issued an update which presents the acute hunger outlook for the period October 22, 2022 to January 23, 2023. This has presented a more concentrated report on 19 hunger hot-spots (19 countries and situations/regions). In Afghanistan as many as 6 million people are affected by a food insecurity emergency. Loss of life relating to this may be already occurring. In Tigray region of Ethiopia rene

Significance of Russian Foreign Minister's upcoming visit to Bangladesh

By Tilottama Rani Charulata*  Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov may visit Bangladesh in 23-24 November. During his planned official visit, Bangladesh may explore the possibility of cooperation with Russia in the energy sector. Foreign Secretary of Bangladesh Masud Bin Momen has indicated that. He said that the Minister of Foreign Affairs. These issues can be discussed in the bilateral meeting with AK Abdul Momen. Apart from this, there will also be a discussion on the speedy implementation of projects in the pipeline including food grain supply and Rooppur nuclear power plant, said Foreign Secretary Masood Bin Momen. "We have invited him and he is likely to come here," Bangladesh's foreign secretary told reporters at the end of a seminar at the Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS) on Sunday (13 November). We welcome him and this visit will provide an opportunity to discuss our challenges and priorities with Russia." Foreign Secreta

Military exercises with US push Japan into conflict with China, its largest trading partner

By Vijay Prashad*  In early December 2022, Japan’s Self-Defense Force joined the U.S. armed forces for Resolute Dragon 2022, which the U.S. Marines call the “largest bilateral training exercise of the year.” Major General Jay Bargeron of the U.S. 3rd Marine Division said at the start of the exercise that the United States is “ready to fight and win if called upon.” Resolute Dragon 2022 followed the resumption in September of trilateral military drills by Japan, South Korea, and the United States off the Korean peninsula; these drills had been suspended as the former South Korean government attempted a policy of rapprochement with North Korea. These military maneuvers take place in the context of heightened tension between the United States and China, with the most recent U.S. National Security Strategy identifying China as the “only competitor” of the United States in the world and therefore in need of being constrained by the United States and its allies (which, in the region, are

Impact of Myanmar-Bangladesh’s growing trade and business ties in 2022

By Samina Akhter*  According to reports of pro-government media outlet of Myanmar, Global New light of Myanmar , Myanmar’s export has been surpassing imports in the cross-border trade with Bangladesh and 8,620.7 tonnes of exports to Bangladesh was estimated at US$10.733 million between April and October in the 2022-2023 financial year. Myanmar’s fishery export accounted for 65 per cent and dried groceries constituted 35 per cent in Myanmar’s two border posts with Bangladesh; Sittway and Maungtaw border posts. The fishery products include farmed rohu, hilsa, mackerel, dried anchovy and dried fish powder. Tamarind, onion, ginger, dried jujube powder, jaggery, longyi and clothes are also exported. The values of fishery products to Bangladesh via two border posts stood at $6.318 million (7,093.413 tonnes) in the 2019-2020FY, $4.76 million (5,010.7 tonnes) in the 2020-2021FY and $13.987 million (11,362.97 tonnes) in the 2021-2022 six-month mini-budget period (October-March). “Bangladesh