Ruins of Castle – Ardud Fri, 18 Jun 2021 18:41:55 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Ruins of Castle – Ardud 32 32 The coronavirus taught us about problems | Sunday Observer Fri, 18 Jun 2021 18:41:55 +0000

The most hackneyed question regarding Sri Lanka’s post-independence growth trajectory is the comparison to Singapore coupled with the question “how come Lee modeled the country on Sri Lanka and outstripped us so quickly?” “

It shouldn’t have been a hard question to answer if people had their antennas up, even rude ones. Singapore did not have an ethnic divisive problem that turned into an all-out war that lasted for years, keeping the economy underperforming for decades.

Singapore has not seen two youth uprisings, one of which nearly capsized the state ship. Singapore did not have an acrimonious two-party system that had politicians by their throats with endless impeachment dramas and political wrangling that unfolded whenever the economy needed direction and special attention because this aspect of governance had been neglected for years. anyway.

It’s the story of how Sri Lanka became the Singapore South Asia never had. This story can be seen strangely with greater clarity now more than ever before as we face this pandemic that has focused the country on this one issue of health crisis.

Notice how all the other issues related to ethnicity or language, or race, gender and class are no longer important because people have only one idea in mind: to see light in the dark. end of this tunnel.


It is not a respite. Dealing with the pandemic has been almost as daunting as meeting the challenges of war and internal political strife combined.

But it proved what we could never have learned from a lab experiment – that our so-called struggles are little tangles that have preoccupied us at the expense of growing our economy while keeping our country functional.

The pandemic has made some issues so irrelevant that the usual Agent Provocateurs have locked themselves in because they are too shy to show their faces and open their mouths. They are amazed that a simple virus has made them mere spectators of the national drama.

The bait race, rushing at each other for questions of territory, language and settling of scores is not a spectator sport these days because there is no audience.

People worry about how and when they would be vaccinated, or which family of doctors would steal their vaccines right under their noses.

No one wants to stir the pot these days and even if they did, the media wouldn’t bring their issues to the fore because this niche has been occupied by the virus. But there is no need to tear our hair out on issues of devolution and minority.

Essentially, these are divisions created that are then often fed and maintained by external elements. But these are not questions of real urgency. But, had it not been for the coronavirus, a number of issues would have been prioritized and presented as if the skies were crumbling if there was no resolution to these issues tomorrow.

The only issue that has recently received equal publicity for the virus has been the X-Press Pearl calamity, and it was not a political crisis. There were and still are various interested parties trying to take partisan advantage out of this issue, but it is not appealing either.

There were also some made-up tales of the port city, but none of them could be stirred up in a lasting way, as those corner issues that are calculated to cause cracks and obstructions are not important to them. people who focus on their livelihood and survival. during a pandemic.


Divisions based on race and language are usually fodder for external players, but they don’t seem to need anything new to hamper this country’s economy as the pandemic does that job these days.

This should lead us to the question of whether certain aspects of this contagion are also made up – for it is not impossible that various elements will manipulate a crisis of this nature to cause disruption which could then be used to their advantage. For the first time since reasonably reliable GDP records began to be calculated after World War II, emerging market economies will contract, Foreign Policy Magazine says.

The industrialized economies of the West are undoubtedly hit hard, but when emerging market economies are hit, the larger economies could generally benefit from this collapse. Such predatory behavior could also be conceived. There could be economic hired killers lurking around trying to fish in our troubled waters.

While external actors have had to organize various crises such as sectarian conflicts in the past, there is a ready-made crisis that they can make the most of nowadays and it is called the pandemic.

Compared to 2019, global poverty in 2020 could increase by 120 million people. Compared to the baseline poverty trajectory, the 2020 figure is 144 million people higher. That’s according to figures from the Brookings Institution. Imagine that.

One hundred and forty-four million people have slipped below the poverty line as a result of the pandemic, and most of these people live in the developing world. The more the destructive effects of the pandemic and the more restrictions spread, the easier it becomes for loan sharks from credit bureaus and other external predatory elements to gain an average advantage.

When there are sectarian divisions and conflicts in the country, it is easy to dig ditches, but eventually these become visible, but the pandemic does not create that kind of conflict – it causes the swathes to collapse. significant economic growth and a consequent weakening of institutions results.

Tackling these situations can be done by stealth and it’s time for the world’s economies hit by Covid to guard against predatory behavior, whether it comes in the form of good news – financial aid – or otherwise.

It is also the moment to neutralize the elements of this society which are responsible for sectarian disturbances. Their bluff was called. People are not invested in their plans – if they were, the pandemic wouldn’t have stopped them from raising issues of race and language, and a myriad of other supposedly pressing national issues.


There is no sound of discontent on these counts, and the only concern people have these days is how to get rid of the spread of the coronavirus.

The troublemakers have been exposed by the virus – they were the virus before, and a real virus has usurped their place.

That would be fodder for a full academic study in the future – and could be titled “How the Pandemic Exposed the Basis of Sectarian Disruption in Sri Lanka”. People would undoubtedly say that they were not fed bad news, during the pandemic, other invading ethnic groups and disruptive religious practices of other clerics.

Public television did not have time for these questions, because people cared more about their health than anything NGOs could tell them about how they are discriminated against.

They could also interview the usual divisive culprits. Where were they hiding during the pandemic? What was it like to be made totally irrelevant? Some gems could be discovered about how demotivated these people feel – and this information could be used in the future to demobilize this scum in the absence of a pandemic, and they will come out of the woods to do their dirty work again once. the dust settled.

Part of that research should focus on how the media saw the need to keep toxic topics off the air. TV executives would likely talk about ratings and tell their interviewers that people weren’t inclined to hear about peripheral things when it came to matters relating to their health.

The downside is that people’s health issues – or their hypochondria in some cases – could be exploited as well. That is why, when there is silence on other fronts and the country faces negative economic portents due to the pandemic, the General Observer of Events should try to make the connection.

Who is exploiting us this time around, and on what, should be a legitimate fixer under these circumstances.

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The complicated story, meaning and celebration around the struggle for freedom Wed, 16 Jun 2021 15:56:15 +0000 Juneteenth has become the best-known celebration of the end of slavery in the United States and considered by some to be the second day of independence of the United States. But the history of this important celebration is complex and often misunderstood. Juneteenth is not just a story of emancipation, and it hasn’t necessarily improved […]]]>

Juneteenth has become the best-known celebration of the end of slavery in the United States and considered by some to be the second day of independence of the United States. But the history of this important celebration is complex and often misunderstood.

Juneteenth is not just a story of emancipation, and it hasn’t necessarily improved conditions for many African Americans the next day or even the next decade, according to Erin Stewart Mauldin, assistant professor of history at the campus of the ‘USF in St. Petersburg and expert on Civil War and Reconstruction.

“Juinteen is neither the beginning nor the end of something,” said Mauldin. “The end of the Civil War and the end of slavery didn’t happen overnight and looked much more like a jagged edge than a clean cut.”

Dating back to 1865, the holiday commemorates the day 250,000 slaves from the state of Texas, which became the last stronghold of slavery during the final days of the Civil War, were declared free by the US military.

The following year, local festivities were organized in African-American communities to celebrate and remember the significance of this day, June 19. The celebrations continued year after year.

In the 20th century, as African Americans from Texas and neighboring states spread across the country, the June 10 celebrations also spread. In 1980, Texas became the first to make it a holiday.

Today, 45 states and the District of Colombia recognize it as such, while more and more organizations and businesses across the country are organizing events and educational opportunities dedicated to commemorating the importance of this day.

“There are a lot of people and students who don’t know what Juneteenth is,” said Dwayne Isaacs, director of student life and engagement at USF’s St. Petersburg campus. “Any opportunity we have to provide a space to educate and celebrate this real event is important because it gives a better understanding and perspective on the people around you, especially black people and their history. ”

On Thursday, June 17, the Office of Multicultural Affairs at the University of South Florida will host a celebration titled Juneteenth: Celebration of Liberation. The event brings together students, faculty and staff from all three USF campuses and will be part a history lesson, part a conversation about racial issues today, and part a celebration. Oral poetry and student performances will merge into the conversation.

“We want those who speak up to share their thoughts and for participants to reflect on what Juneteenth means to them, especially in light of the current racial issues in our country,” said Isaacs, who helped organize the event.

Emancipation & the fight for racial justice

All slaves in the Confederate states were technically freed as of January 1, 1863, when the Emancipation Proclamation was signed by President Abraham Lincoln and came into effect. The proclamation was only as good as its enforcement by the Union Army (and did not apply to slaves in the Union border states of Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, and Missouri), meaning that the slavery ended in one region when the army occupied the territory.

Even after General Robert E. Lee, Commander of the Confederate Army, visited Appomattox on April 9, 1865, an event generally considered to be the end of the Civil War, battles, skirmishes and slavery ensued. pursued. The last Confederate resistance fighters moved away as far as possible from the approaching Union army, ending up in Texas.

“When Lee went to Appomattox, it was not over. Major military campaigns went on until June and people continue to fight for years, ”said Mauldin. “Depending on how isolated the slaves were from the US military or news networks or where they could escape, the bondage did not end in 1865.”

From there, the story gets even more complicated. Now free, the former slaves had no wealth, no property, and few places to turn. The best solution for many was to stay where they were, work for former slave owners, and fight to ensure that they would now be paid in a new employer and labor arrangement. employee.

“The plantation owners didn’t want to pay their former slaves at all and the former Confederate states were more or less broke after the war, so they didn’t even have the money to pay,” Mauldin said. “Although slavery ends, the conditions for many change very little at first.”

Eventually, contracts would become standardized between employers and workers and an economic sharecropping system developed. The workers worked a plot of land for a share of the harvest or the profit at the end of the year. Some would begin to amass goods and goods, enough to make their own decisions about what to plant, what livestock to buy, and even hire additional laborers to cultivate the land.

But many in this new economic system would accumulate debts, as the only way to receive goods and items for cultivation was to go into debt to the landowners. The struggle for freedom has turned into a struggle for economic independence.

“Freedom was not a straight line between the emancipation proclamation and the civil rights movement on June 17,” Mauldin said. “Individuals had to fight for every piece of freedom they knew and the struggle for racial justice that began long before the war did not end with emancipation. ”

Today’s celebration of Juneteenth is important because it helps start difficult conversations and raises awareness of the country’s complicated and tragic history of slavery and racial injustice, Mauldin said.

“It is extremely important to remember the difficulties of fighting and to guarantee even the smallest measures of freedom,” she said. “Juneteenth has become a symbol of emancipation and offers a highly visible celebration that addresses these difficult conversations about America’s racial history. ”

General Order No.3 from Major-General Gordon Granger, Freeing Texas Slaves on June 19, 1865 (now Juneteenth)

“The people of Texas are informed that, according to a proclamation of the executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This implies absolute equality of personal rights and property rights between the former masters and the slaves, and the link existing between them until now becomes that between the employer and wage labor. The freedmen are advised to remain quietly in their present homes and to work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to assemble at military posts and that they will not be kept idle there or elsewhere. “

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Factory closures and closures hit wholesale auto sales Sat, 12 Jun 2021 03:01:00 +0000 The combined impact of lockdowns in all states due to the increase in Covid-19 cases and the temporary shutdown of their factories by many OEMs has negatively impacted wholesale shipments. Wholesale shipments from automaker factory doors in May fell sharply across all categories as many states were stranded for most of the month. While the […]]]>

The combined impact of lockdowns in all states due to the increase in Covid-19 cases and the temporary shutdown of their factories by many OEMs has negatively impacted wholesale shipments.

Wholesale shipments from automaker factory doors in May fell sharply across all categories as many states were stranded for most of the month. While the restrictions impacted overall sales, original equipment manufacturers have also halted operations at manufacturing plants for annual maintenance and due to worker unrest over Covid safety concerns. 19.

Passenger vehicle shipments fell 61.2% in May 2021 from May 2019, two-wheelers were down 79.6% and three-wheelers 97.6%, according to monthly data released on Friday. by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (Siam).

Since May 2021 and May 2020 were abnormal months for the auto industry due to the pandemic, a comparison with May 2019, a normal year, presents a more realistic picture.

The total production of passenger vehicles, two-wheelers and three-wheelers in May 2021 was 8 06,755 units compared to 24,17,597 units in May 2019, a decrease of 66.63%.

Retail sales figures for May announced by the Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (Fada) on Thursday also showed a similar trend, with overall sales falling by 71%.

Industry analysts had predicted a double-digit decline in all segments. In May, much of the country was stranded and investigations were significantly below normal. Wholesale sales are expected to decline month over month due to the impact of localized blockages and supply issues, including the availability of industrial oxygen, analysts said.

Nomura said in a research note that wholesale shipments between segments remained significantly lower as Covid-related lockdowns impacted demand. Given the disruption, Nomura said he would avoid drawing conclusions from the May volumes. However, the pace of the recovery will be important to follow from June / July.

Naveen Soni, Senior Vice President of Toyota Kirloskar Motor, said: “Last month we saw no production at our factories in Bidadi as well as minimal sales due to much-needed restrictions and sporadic blockages in different parts of the world. country. Therefore, comparing last month’s performance to May 2020 would be very skewed, as May 2020 had witnessed a gradual restart in operations and sales. Even more so for TKM, because even before the restrictions were announced in Karnataka, we were well within our planned annual maintenance shutdown, thus increasing the number of non-production days. “

Jefferies said the spread of Covid-19 and lockdowns took a heavy toll on Indian auto volumes in May, and web activity indicates interest in PV has bottomed above lows of 2020 and bends again. This, added to the sharp drop in new cases of Covid-19, suggests that a recovery in demand is imminent.

Rakesh Sidana, Sales Manager, MG Motor India, said: “In these times, our efforts continue to be aimed at ensuring the safety of people and maximizing service to the community. The continued lockdown in some states in June indicates that parts shortages will continue to hamper overall production next month. Based on the trend of bookings, we expect an upward trend in June. “

Motilal Oswal said a majority of OEMs brought their maintenance shutdowns forward into April-May 2021 to merge it with the lockdown. He said his interactions with the industry’s major distribution partners reflect optimism for a recovery once the lockdown is lifted.

Yadvinder Singh Guleria, Director of Sales and Marketing, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India, said: “May 21 saw a further slowdown in sales momentum with nearly 80% of the network non-operational due to local bottlenecks. The situation on earth is very dynamic with weekly announcements of confinement extensions. We are monitoring the situation closely and with some loosening of economic activities visible in all cities in accordance with the new guidelines, we are optimistic about the gradual resumption of our concession operations taking care of the safety and convenience of customers. “

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Immigrant deaths at start of pandemic roughly double those of other Canadians: StatCan Thu, 10 Jun 2021 20:08:01 +0000 Immigrants accounted for 48 percent of deaths in Quebec, 45 in Ontario and four in British Columbia. COVID-19 has had a disproportionate impact on some populations, according to the study. “The results here show that the share of immigrants in deaths attributable to COVID-19 was proportionately higher than the share of immigrants in the total […]]]>

Immigrants accounted for 48 percent of deaths in Quebec, 45 in Ontario and four in British Columbia.

COVID-19 has had a disproportionate impact on some populations, according to the study.

“The results here show that the share of immigrants in deaths attributable to COVID-19 was proportionately higher than the share of immigrants in the total Canadian population. This is particularly true among those under 65 and among men, as well as in British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec.

Immigrants accounted for 30% of all COVID-19-related deaths among those under 65, despite making up 20% of the population, he said.

Between 44 and 51% of people who died from COVID-19 in Vancouver and Toronto were immigrants, according to the study.

Most of the deceased immigrants lived in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, the statement said.

Other studies have found that immigrants are at a higher risk of death because they work in essential services, may live in crowded or multigenerational housing, and may have lower language skills and health literacy.

France and the United States have recorded an equally high number of COVID-19-related deaths among immigrants, he said. However, international migrants in Italy did not have an increased risk of poor performance compared to their counterparts born in Italy, he added.

Andy Yan, director of the City program at Simon Fraser University, said the data is similar to what he has mapped and studied in recent months, where those in communities of Toronto and Vancouver who have jobs in blue collar workers were hit the hardest. by COVID-19.

“It’s a complicated conversation about housing and work,” he said in an interview. “Canada’s COVID frontlines are fundamentally defined by the economic and social lines of the country. “

Yan’s study found that COVID-19 hotspots were correlated with high percentages of people working in manufacturing, households where three or more people contributed to the costs of living, or where five or more people lived in a house.

Other issues compound the risk for this group, including housing conditions that may have multigenerational families living in a single household or a number of people living together due to costs, Yan said.

Lack of knowledge of English, economic instability and discrimination also add to the risk, he said.

“Race and ethnicity are not a shortcut for COVID but are part of the complicated history of the economy, housing and the pandemic.”

The visible minorities that make up many of these hot spots include South and Southeast Asian populations, its correlation analysis found.

“It doesn’t mean that you are South Asian and that you are at risk,” he said.

“But it’s all of those things that come together in terms of work, for example, in terms of living conditions as opposed to ethnicity.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on June 10, 2021.

Hina Alam, The Canadian Press

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Explained: Jitin Prasada and the Brahmin question before the elections in Uttar Pradesh Thu, 10 Jun 2021 01:32:38 +0000 Written by Maulshree Seth, edited by Explained Desk | Lucknow | Updated: Jun 10, 2021 7:32:38 am Former Union Minister Jitin Prasada, 47, who was one of the signatories of the letter written by congressional leaders demanding visible leadership and organizational elections within the party, joined the BJP on Wednesday (June 9). . Prasada had […]]]>

Written by Maulshree Seth, edited by Explained Desk | Lucknow |

Updated: Jun 10, 2021 7:32:38 am

Former Union Minister Jitin Prasada, 47, who was one of the signatories of the letter written by congressional leaders demanding visible leadership and organizational elections within the party, joined the BJP on Wednesday (June 9). .

Prasada had been sulking for a long time – but the bigger question now is: what does his move from Congress to BJP mean politically, ahead of the 2022 Uttar Pradesh assembly elections.

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And the answer is: besides the obvious embarrassment this brings to Congress ahead of the elections, Prasada gave the BJP the opportunity to change the UP’s perception that it is not a very “pro-Brahmin” party. .

Over the past year and a half, Prasada has actively sought to advance his image as a simple “youth leader” and to present himself as a “Brahmin leader” instead.

He traveled across the state to meet Brahmin families who have been affected by crimes such as murder, rape, etc., and vowed to become their voice.

He took out a “Brahmin Chetna Yatra” through Uttar Pradesh to raise “Brahmin” issues and draw attention to the alleged atrocities committed against them.

Congress leader Jitin Prasada during his BJP membership ceremony at BJP headquarters in New Delhi on Wednesday, June 9, 2021. (PTI)

In 2015, Prasada advocated reservations based on the economic context and explained how alienated the upper castes poor people feel.

At a time when the UP has a strong perception of the alleged “Thakurs dominance” in the administrative functioning of government, the enthronement of a nationally recognized leader like Prasada, who has made his voice heard on the problems of the Brahmins, could help The BJP counteracts this perception.

BJP National President JP Nadda with Union Minister Piyush Goyal, BJP spokesperson Anil Baluni and new BJP leader Jitin Prasada, at his residence in New Delhi on Wednesday June 9, 2021. (PTI)

Brahmins are said to constitute between 12 and 14 percent of the votes in Uttar Pradesh – however, their influence goes much further; they are seen as “influencers” or “opinion makers” to other voters in Uttar Pradesh. In the best-known case, this was exploited by the BSP in 2007, when it won a majority in the state with its formula of social engineering comprising Dalits, Brahmins and Muslims.

The BJP has more than 50 Brahmin deputies, but only a few have any power. There is a common perception in the community that the government of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is dominated by Thakurs.

Although the BJP has leaders like Dinesh Sharma as chief deputy minister and Brijesh Pathak as cabinet minister, it has not been able to convince the Brahmins that the party supports them.

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A BJP MLC Brahmin reportedly recently sought justice for a female member of the gangster Vikas Dubey’s family.

Over the past two years, several attempts have been made in UP by all political parties to woo this community.

BSP leader Mayawati announced last year that if her party were elected to power in the assembly elections, it would install a statue of Parashuram. She had mentioned that in 2007, the Brahmins had supported the BSP with the Dalits, the arrears and the Muslims, and pointed out that her government had given adequate representation to the Brahmins.

Likewise, Abhishek Mishra, who was a minister in the PS government of Akhilesh Yadav, announced that Parashuram Jayanti would be declared a public holiday if the PS came to power. He too had promised to build a statue of Parashuram.

In 2017, Congress tried to reach out to the Brahmins, on the advice of political consultant Prashant Kishor. The party then chose Sheila Dixit as the face of its campaign, but failed to move the project forward after deciding to ally with the SP.

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King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies: excellence in a year of change and challenges Sun, 06 Jun 2021 17:43:48 +0000 by Nada Htait LONDON – Research institutes, study centers and think tanks increasingly play strategic roles in modern societies, helping to define their national policies and streamline their decision-making processes. Through their specialized production of ideas, analyzes and visions on international relations and various political, economic, social, security and scientific issues, in addition to planning […]]]>

by Nada Htait

LONDON – Research institutes, study centers and think tanks increasingly play strategic roles in modern societies, helping to define their national policies and streamline their decision-making processes. Through their specialized production of ideas, analyzes and visions on international relations and various political, economic, social, security and scientific issues, in addition to planning for the future, they strengthen the security and well-being of States by maximizing their sources of power, preventing threats and increasing their ability to optimize their resources. In addition, they function as nodes in a global network of accumulated and structured human knowledge.

Since the founding of the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) in 1831 as the first think tank independent of government bureaucracies and specialized in serving policymakers, the importance of these centers to modern states has worsened in a predominantly dynamic environment. of complexity, accelerated and continuous changes and globalized cross-border threats. This is happening at a time when the fragmentation of information enabled by modern technology has reached a point where precise technical capabilities are needed if we are to make sense of the world around us.

While these (thinking) institutions are generally charged with supporting decision-making authorities, their impact in communities is visible, both as centers of excellence in academic research and as part of the ideological apparatus of government. the state, informing the public opinion of the company in the background. urgent problems and how best to manage the risks associated with them.

At present, the quantitative and qualitative contribution of such institutions in the formulation of the policies, strategic orientations and ideological structures of the great world powers is well documented, whether in the United States, which hosts by far the most. large numbers, to China, Russia, Great Britain and European Union. Their presence is also noted in other mid-sized powers, such as Japan, Korea (South), Turkey, Iran, Australia and Canada.

In the Arab world, interest in research and study centers has increased in recent decades, in both areas: official and private. Its activity has expanded in quantity, quality and specialization, some of which have become a dominant part of the scientific, academic and knowledge landscape in their countries, and actively contribute to the formation of policies and the position of these countries on regional and international levels. steps.

In Saudi Arabia, which has some of the region’s most advanced study and research centers, the King Faisal Center for Islamic Research and Studies (KFCRIS – since its founding in 1983, is dedicated to serving as a leading academic, intellectual and cultural center in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as well as in the Arab and Muslim world. KFCRIS produces original research in the humanities and social sciences and provides a platform for local, regional and global researchers and research organizations to engage in intellectual exchanges and cultural dialogues in accordance with the vision of the late King Faisal Bin Abdulaziz , which, according to a statement made in 1975, saw the Kingdom “become a source of radiance for mankind” over the next 50 years.

Through its publishing arm, Al-Faisal Cultural House, KFCRIS also publishes books and periodicals that deal with themes and topics important to the Kingdom, Arab and Muslim societies, and the world. In addition, KFCRIS stores historical and modern knowledge through its state-of-the-art library and preserves the memorabilia of the late King Faisal and his family through its Faisal family archives and its museum promotes and maintains the value of Islamic manuscripts and collections. of art.

By all accounts, 2020 has been a particularly difficult year that has affected humanity due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Kingdom has seen its share of victims, which has left serious repercussions on the economy and all aspects of life. KFCRIS has been resilient and has succeeded during a difficult time in migrating most of its social, cultural, educational, business and financial activities online.

One of the most important “migrations” for Saudi Arabia has been the G20 summit, where world leaders met through virtual means to discuss socio-economic plans. The Riyadh summit was the first such event held in the Middle East and addressed both the consequences of the pandemic and appropriate solutions to revive stagnant economies.

KFCRIS played an important role in the preparations for the G20 summit, alongside the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC), as the two institutions were given by royal decree the convening of the Think20 (T20) Engagement Group – the think tank that prepares policy recommendations for Summit members.

The T20 (Think20) is one of the G20 engagement groups and is a network of research institutes and think tanks from all of the G20 countries that serves as an “idea bank” for the G20. It brings together policy briefs from global experts and provides evidence-based policy recommendations to G20 leaders. KFCRIS ‘participation in the Saudi edition of T20 focused on five main themes: Climate and environment (creating circular carbon economies to support climate action), Women and youth (empowering women and preparing young people for a society more inclusive), Multilateralism, Economic Development and Finance (providing prosperity through international cooperation, economic development and financial sustainability), sustainable resources (securing, maintaining and improving the global energy supply and availability , food and water) and technology and digitization (harnessing technology and digitization to solve global problems).

Saudi T20 initially established 10 working groups. In response to the outbreak of the global COVID-19 pandemic, an additional 11th task force was formed to develop policy recommendations aimed at effectively facilitating a transition to post-pandemic reconstruction. Of these 11 working groups, KFCRIS oversaw the work of five working groups, which produced 49 policy briefs in total, out of the 146 made available for the summit.

Despite serious logistical challenges, the members of the KFCRIS team maintained their scientific reputation and strengthened the centre’s status as one of the region’s most respected research institutions. Equally important, the center has cemented collaborative working relationships with dozens of research organizations around the world. Prince Turki Al-Faisal Al Saud, Chairman of the Board, in his introduction to the recently released KFCRIS Annual Report 2020, said that “in addition to these high profile events, KFCRIS has also kept its commitment and its main objective of producing academic research and generated dozens of publications on a variety of topics, including language, culture, and social and political concerns in Arabic and English.

KFCRIS has also organized a comprehensive program of seminars, public lectures and panel discussions with the participation of eminent thinkers from around the world.

Two new research units, the Cultural Studies Unit and the Socioeconomics Unit, have been created. The African Studies Unit has launched a new edited monthly report, Africa Follow-ups. The Asian Studies Unit has edited a special issue of the Asian Journal of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies on Saudi Arabia-China relations. Throughout the year, KFCRIS organized and co-organized 37 research events and published several research papers, including eight Dirasat editions (KFCRIS Papers), one Qira’at (KFCRIS Humanities Papers), 14 special reports , 20 comments, two guidance notes, and eight special weekly reports on the regional and international impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The editorial arm, Al-Faisal Cultural House, published a total of seven books in 2020 and continued to publish the Journal of Linguistic Studies and Al-Faisal, a widely read cultural magazine. In addition, he began publishing the bilingual International Journal of Humanitarian Studies for the King Salman Center for Humanitarian Aid and Relief, the first two issues of which appeared during the year. The Faisal Family Archives continued to collect resources regarding King Faisal and his family and provided documents to external entities, including King Faisal’s interview on his 50-year vision, which was released by Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) on Saudi National Day.

In 2020, KFCRIS also significantly improved its infrastructure and improved its quality. In particular, its library has completed a transfer of its database to the Koha open source integrated library system; its museum has also set up a new laboratory for the conservation of the centre’s manuscripts and art collections. After the outbreak of the pandemic, its administrative functions worked tirelessly to move the centre’s activities to online platforms, allowing the center to operate seamlessly despite the lockdown times.

KFCRIS today is a beacon of understanding and learning in a part of the world that is changing rapidly and for the better and if it fulfills its mission, it is largely, according to the two, Prince Turki Al-Faisal. Bin Abdulaziz and Dr. Saad Al-Sarhan, Secretary General, because of the dedication of the centre’s researchers, collaborators and employees and their eagerness to add value to their local and global communities.

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Our cities: state programs are our national laboratories Sat, 05 Jun 2021 15:03:07 +0000 My wife, Deb, wrote about the concept of “Big Little Ideas”. These are seemingly modest, simple, and practical steps that can have surprisingly far-reaching consequences. I am drawn to the parallel concept of “new old ideas”. These are themes from the American past that have new relevance for the United States today and for years […]]]>

My wife, Deb, wrote about the concept of “Big Little Ideas”. These are seemingly modest, simple, and practical steps that can have surprisingly far-reaching consequences.

I am drawn to the parallel concept of “new old ideas”. These are themes from the American past that have new relevance for the United States today and for years to come.

Each nation has its leitmotivs: its tendencies, its excesses and its achievements, which run through its history. Probably because I know more about the history of the United States – or at least I have read more – than elsewhere, I pay more attention to these recurring themes than for other countries. (Of the many books on this topic, two that come to mind are Think in time, by the late Professors Ernest May and Richard Neustadt, and Special Providence, by Walter Russell Mead.)

As the United States of the early 2020s contemplate its possibilities in the wake of the public health, economic, and civic tragedies of recent years, I think the record of its most successful past renewal efforts deserves special attention.

Because Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal programs have lasted so long and have come in response to such a sustained and severe economic crisis, they are understandably and obviously a primary source of parallel guidance. And the parallels run deep: what the Rural Electrification Administration meant for Americans in the 1930s, by bringing millions of people to the possibilities of electric lighting for homes and electric refrigeration for their food, a national effort to improve food safety. rural broadband access could mean today. What the Federal Writers’ Project has done to shape Americans’ perspective on the contradictions and breadth of their country, a new writers’ project – like the one that Representative Ted Lieu from California has proposed – could help achieve it now. The architectural and infrastructural legacy of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and the Federal Art Project is still an important part of the American urban landscape – in auditoriums and amphitheatres, libraries and post offices, arcades and murals – more than 80 years later. During our travels, Deb has written about the lasting imprint of New Deal programs, including the National Youth Administration, in a small town on the coast of Maine. The creations and constructions of the Civilian Conservation Corps, the most famous of the New Deal programs, are also still part of the visible public landscape and invisible public infrastructure.

As described in detail here and here and elsewhere, these New Deal agendas, and breakthroughs from other eras of reform and renewal in American history, have been distinguished by their rapid cycle of trial and error experimentation. These experimental projects at the national level were, in turn, often based on local or state innovations in previous years.

That’s why I think programs like California Volunteers deserve our attention. (As described at the start of the pandemic lockdown, and again last fall.) Due to California’s near-national scale – with an economy larger than that of the UK or India, and home to one-eighth of all U.S. residents – projects carry unusual weight there, whether they intend to or not. Those in charge of the Cal Volunteers project, and in particular of its new “Climate Action Corps” project, are in this case quite intentional about the example they hope to set for their programs.

“From the start, this [Climate Corps] the effort was really about being a real-time laboratory, for ideas that could be a model for the nation, ”Josh Fryday told me this spring. Fryday, a former mayor of the small town of Novato, Calif., Is the state’s Chief Service Officer, who has been appointed to a cabinet-level position under the leadership of Governor Gavin Newsom.

When I spoke with Fryday recently, he gave me many details about how the Climate Action Corps was launching sustainability and climate change mitigation efforts across the state. (For example, this business in my own hometown of Redlands, San Bernardino County, which is pictured in the main photo above.) You can get lots of updated details, as well as photos and information. registration, on their site. For now, my attention is on how Fryday described the rationale for the program and the longer-term, larger-scale effects he hoped it might have.

He said there were three big ways he thought the California experimentation could be a guide for the nation. To oversimplify, and add my own comment, they were:

  • The service, as well as the ““We are applying the idea of ​​service and civic engagement to fight climate change,” Fryday told me. “Most people have focused on policies to take advantage of climate change. We are talking about the power of the people – the power of the people on a grand scale. We’re trying to foster a culture of climate action here. This is a significant change in the way the climate is approached at the political level. “

    Obviously, policies matter. In the case of California, the most famous example is the state’s insistence, starting in the 1960s, on more stringent fuel consumption and car emissions standards than in the rest of the country. But Fryday argues that “muscle memory” and civic habits and incentives can be pointed in the same direction.

  • Local flexibility and innovation: “First and foremost, we support local goals,” said Fryday. Although he didn’t put it that way, the idea paralleled the famous maxim “Think globally, act locally”. In the case of California, that meant recognizing the ultimate goals – reducing emissions, improving resilience, increasing awareness – but tailoring tactics place by place and opportunity by opportunity.

    “Climate means different things in different communities,” he said. “We have built this program to adapt to rural communities, to suburban communities, to all communities that want to be part of it and will be part of it. We bring state resources, bringing together the resources of academia, business and civil society, to support and achieve locally defined goals and opportunities. All of this is fully in line with the “old new ideas” of combining national / global support with lessons in local adaptability.

  • Connection tools, no division: “It’s really important for us to create an opportunity where the power of service can unite people, bring them together rather than divide them,” Fryday told me. This is of course a deliberate invocation of the CCC model, plus subsequent iterations, of the idea that service projects can bring people from different backgrounds together in unexpected ways.

    This unifying aspect of a service in America has a very long pedigree. This was part of William James’ renowned assessment of the aftermath of the Civil War, the influence of extensive military service in World War II and thereafter, and the Peace Corps and Americorps and Habitat for Humanity and many other illustrations. “We have a real chance to use this as an opportunity to bring people from different backgrounds together,” said Fryday. “But if we’re going to do that, we can’t just focus the program on a few people.” To this end, the Climate Action Corps program has an elaborate structure of multi-level service opportunities, which I will not detail at this time, but which may prove to be useful guidelines for other communities.

    (Bottom line: at the most involved level, Californians would sign up for a period of dedicated service, modeled on the old CCC, and in return for educational and other benefits. On the other end of the spectrum, they could learn from a list of “Ten things you can do at home” to improve the climate, from planting a tree to reducing food waste. More details later as the results of these real-time local lab experiments will happen.) “We want to have a pyramid of services,” Fryday said. “Whether you have an hour to donate or a year, we would like to create an opportunity for you to get involved in the process. ‘climate action.’

Sign saying
Collecting “Treestock” trees this month at the University of Redlands (Carlos Puma)

The heart of the “new old idea” here is that local or statewide innovation can be a model for projects elsewhere. Are there signs of movement at the national level in similar directions? Here are just a few:

  • In March in The New Yorker, Jim Lardner had a story called “The Civilian Climate Corps is a great idea of ​​government that all Americans can adopt.”
  • For NPR in May, Scott Detrow and Nathan Rott had a report on the Biden administration’s climate body plans.
  • Also for MSNBC in May, Talia Levin wrote about the potential for relaunched versions of the Federal Writers’ Project and similar artistic endeavors.
  • A group of young state and local elected officials have informally organized themselves into a group called NewDEAL, whose goal (among other things) is to adapt past successful models to current challenges.

There will be others, who deserve attention and support.

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The Omaha riots in the 1960s Sat, 05 Jun 2021 00:19:00 +0000 OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) – While Omaha has seen protests and riots for more than a generation last year, the civil unrest was not without precedent. Northern Omaha has seen a series of protests and riots, with much more destruction in the mid to late 1960s. The Safeway grocery store sat for a few years on […]]]>

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) – While Omaha has seen protests and riots for more than a generation last year, the civil unrest was not without precedent.

Northern Omaha has seen a series of protests and riots, with much more destruction in the mid to late 1960s.

The Safeway grocery store sat for a few years on 24 and Lake Streets from the mid to late 1960s. It was also where the first Omaha riot of the 1960s began, which led to over protests and riots for several years after that.

“It wasn’t planned, it was spontaneous,” said David Bristow, editor of History Nebraska.

It all started with a few children in northern Omaha on a hot July 4th weekend.

“And they hang out there because they have nowhere to go, they have no opportunity for recreation,” Ashley Howard said.

“A kid decides it’ll be funny to throw a rock at the car,” Howard said.

This stone was thrown at a police car, pushing the underlying racial tensions to the extreme.

A real riot spread throughout northern Omaha. After three days, the National Guard and the Omaha police arrested him.

“It’s just kind of a tipping point, but what’s always looming in the background are these economic, racial and social inequalities,” Howard said.

There were many tensions. The racial red line separated Omaha, the schools in northern Omaha were worse than the rest of the city, and black residents said they were over-policed.

Adam Fletcher Sasse is a northern Omaha historian and has written a book called “#OmahaBlackHistory”.

“When young people have too much time, they don’t have enough advice, there aren’t enough opportunities … they create activities to fill the space,” said Fletcher Sasse .

Omaha Mayor AV Sorenson and Nebraska Governor Frank Morrison were initially sympathetic to Black Omahan concerns.

“At first there were statements from leaders on, ‘We have to make changes,’” said Bristow.

And things were finally suppressed until 1968, when the segregationist Governor of Alabama, George Wallace, ran for president and spoke at the Civic Auditorium.

“Wallace was notoriously racist, he was very anti-black,” said Fletcher Sasse.

Originally from Omaha, Ashley Howard, who studies African Americans in the Midwest at the University of Iowa, said civil rights protesters came to the event and were even placed in the front row by Wallace’s team.

Wallace displayed his explosive and racist rhetoric.

“When he reported, that’s when the police officers on leave, members of his own security team and just bystanders, the people who had come to see George Wallace speak… started beating the kids out. from the auditorium. “

David Bristow, editor of History Nebraska, said Wallace had cultivated the unrest that eventually spilled into the streets.

“Protesters were running a glove, people in the audience were hitting them with folding chairs,” Bristow said.

“And it escalated into a gigantic riot,” said Fletcher Sasse.

The following year, tensions in the community again reached a breaking point. This time it was a 14-year-old Black Omaha girl Vivian Strong.

Strong was dancing in an abandoned building with friends. The cops came to smash everything. An officer fired a shot behind Strong, killing the teenager.

This caused a series of unrest, vandalism and fires.

The officer involved, James Loder, was ultimately acquitted by an all-white jury. He then joined the Omaha Police Department.

“At least one of the jurors was subsequently quoted as saying, ‘Well that was a tough decision, but I feel like we have to support the police or we won’t have the law and order, ”said Bristow.

Unlike the way the riots were handled in 1966 – which included city leaders meeting with civil rights leaders – in 1969 Omaha Mayor Gene Leahy took a law and order approach. order.

“The idea is just to crack down, to throw the police on the problem, to fund them deeply,” Leahy said.

The riots destroyed many businesses, some owned by blacks, others by whites. Many black-owned businesses were championed by members of the Black Panther Party.

“The participants in the uprising were very strategic about the businesses they reached, not just the white-owned businesses, but whether it was a white-owned business that also disrespected black customers,” Howard said.

All three historians say the protests and riots were a visible sign that Omaha had racial issues in some ways similar to those in the South.

Some measurements indicated that Omaha was as segregated as Birmingham, Alabama, in the 1960s.

“While they did not necessarily display signs saying ‘Whites only’, [they] were very determined to keep it as it was, ”said Bristow.

Howard said lessons can be learned as racial justice remains at the forefront of our national conversation.

“This thing is this giant uprising, but if you had just listened to what black people were saying for years, it shouldn’t have happened,” Howard said.

It was difficult for black business owners to reopen businesses after the riots.

Some banks refused to lend them money, insurance companies were reluctant to insure buildings amid fears that more riots could occur.

This stifled the economy of northern Omaha for years to come.

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Predictable with a pinch of caution Fri, 04 Jun 2021 16:01:11 +0000 Posted: June 04, 2021 10:01:11 PM The proposed national budget of more than 6 trillion Taka for the next fiscal year (FY) 2021-2022, placed in the middle of the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, appears expansionary. However, he failed to find the right chord, at least in some important areas. Unless there is more […]]]>