FEATURES & ANALYSIS
In a society increasingly driven by science and technology, world religions and the communities they inspire remain a rock-solid political force. In this series, faith leaders explore the intersection of religion and the politics of climate change. -(The Real News Network)
Experts warn that president-elect Biden's plan to include climate as a national security issue can lead to militarization of climate agenda and can fuel new geo-political tensions.
(The Real News Network)
Former US global media agency CEO John Lansing worked hard to consolidate his power. His Republican successor, Michael Pack, is putting those powers to use, and compromising the journalistic independence of the US taxpayer-funded news networks he oversees. -(The Real News Network)
In this climate episode of The Run Up, we cover the rights of nature, an emerging people’s third party, and the future of global climate reparations, and we speak to Democratic megadonor and 2020 Democratic primary candidate Tom Steyer. -(The Real News Network)
Former senior diplomats who have steered U.S. policy on Afghanistan say U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to pull thousands of troops out of that country give a free hand to Taliban while not getting anything substantial in return. Click the headline for full article. -(VOA NEWS)
This short film brings a personal story to the Dark Skies Awareness campaign, by following the amateur astronomer Irene Pease as she struggles to find a patch of darkness amid the dazzling lights of the Big Apple. Produced by New York-based filmmakers Lucina Melesio and Aman Azhar, it is the first in a series commissioned by Physics World as an official media partner of the International Year of Light (IYL 2015). -(Physics World-UK)
Richard Olson, the former U.S. special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan and was previously U.S. ambassador to Pakistan. In a Voice of America interview, he warned that growing rivalries between the United States and China were likely to complicate security and other issues in this already volatile region. A contest between Washington and Beijing for dominance can frame the U.S.-Pakistan relationship and can pose new challenges," Olson said. -(VOA News)
US Assistant Secretary of State (r) Richard Boucher
Former US Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher is no stranger to global politics. He was instrumental in patching differences between Pakistan's former military dictator Gen. Musharraf and his political rivals. Aman Azhar quizzes him on a range of issues including whether Kashmir can be the next nuclear flashpoint between Pakistan and India, the nuclear neighbors in a historically troubled relations. -(VOA News)
As Pakistan, Afghanistan and U.S. officials meet to discuss peace efforts, regional experts are cautioning such a plan would remain elusive until Pakistan and India agree to ease their proxy war that continues to play out in neighboring Afghanistan. Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi traveled to Kabul on Friday at the invitation of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to discuss mutual measures against terrorist attacks. Ahead of the meeting, Alice Wells, U.S. principal deputy assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asia, was in Islamabad to discuss strained bilateral relations, as well as efforts for peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region.
The office of the special envoy was tasked with heralding reconciliation efforts with the Taliban and other political factions in Afghanistan. State Department officials, who wished to remain anonymous due to the sensitivity of the matter, told VOA the core SRAP team focused on Afghan reconciliation was dissolved on Sept. 29. The unit will be integrated into the broader South and Central Asia Bureau. -(VOA News)
The State Department says it has "nothing to announce on the matter at this time," but has previously said it has the "authority to impose a range of travel controls" under the 1982 Foreign Missions Act. Last month, Pakistani media reported that diplomats would be restricted from traveling more than 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the embassy in Washington or consulates in other cities without permission. -(VOA News)
Tension marked the U.S.-Pakistan relationship in 2018. The year saw continuing U.S. criticism of Pakistan's alleged lack of cooperation in fighting terrorism and the South Asian nation pushing back against what it considered a hardline stance by the U.S. -(VOA News)
Richard Olson steered US policy on Pakistan and Afghanistan as senior US diplomat. In this wide-ranging interview, senior VOA journalist Aman Azhar quizzes Ambassador Olson on a host of subjects including US draw down from Afghanistan, agreement with Taliban and related concerns.