MINNEAPOLIS: Democrat Amy Klobuchar today joined the 2020 White House race, adding a pragmatic voice from the heartland state of Minnesota to an ever-growing field of contenders hoping to unseat Trump.
In a speech that was almost a point-by-point rejection of the president’s policies and of the country’s toxic divides, she told supporters, “We are tired of the shutdowns and the showdowns, of the gridlock and the grandstanding.” “Enough is enough. Our nation must be governed not from chaos but from the opportunity.” Klobuchar, the 58-year-old granddaughter of an iron miner, made the announcement before a heavily bundled-up crowd under gray and snowy skies in a park along the Mississippi River, as volunteers passed out hand warmers. In a year when many Democrats say their top priority in a candidate is an ability to defeat Trump, Klobuchar’s words seemed – time after time, issue by issue — to target the president.
She said that if elected she would return to the international climate treaty on “Day One”; she promised more stringent gun laws and set a target of universal health care; and she said America must support its troops, diplomats and intelligence officers. “They deserve better than foreign policy by tweet,” she said. Klobuchar has been visibly building a national profile. Crucially, she has proven popular even in the more Republican-friendly rural parts of her state. She won re-election in November by a resounding 24-point margin, carrying 1,200 precincts won by Trump in 2016.
A former prosecutor with an unpretentious demeanor, she referred again and again in her speech to her roots in a region that prides itself on an ethic of honesty and hard work. But at odds with that image, her own work ethic has emerged as a focus of criticism in recent days. Several former aides have been quoted saying she is difficult to work for, with bouts of “explosive rage” leading to exceptionally high staff turnover. Her defenders say she is simply someone who demands excellence, and that the allegations against her would not be made against a man.
US elections: No proof of Russian meddling
MOSCOW: Russia on Friday once more dismissed the Mueller report, saying that it failed to present evidence of any meddling by Moscow in the 2016 US election.
“As a whole, the report as before does not present any reasonable proof at all that Russia allegedly meddled in the electoral process in the US,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists, saying it contained “no new information”.
Countering Indian hybrid warfare techniques
KARACHI: Security analysts Friday warned people to be wary of the content on social media, as the Indian hybrid war against Pakistan was trying to cause discontent and confusion among the masses.
Addressing a seminar “Post Pulwama-Threat of Hybrid Warfare and What Next,” organized by Karachi Council on Foreign Relations (KCFR) speakers including former Ambassador Najmuddin A. Shaikh, former Foreign Secretary, Dr. Asif Mahmood, Dr. Huma Baqai, Associate Dean at IBA and senior defence analyst Ikram Sehgal were unanimous in their opinion that India has been seen piling up and imposing instruments of hybrid warfare on Pakistan. The situation demanded that the nation must be cautious in expressing their views on social media that may not only counter the national cause but also lead to manipulation of a national perspective.
Mentioning that hybrid warfare is a blend of conventional and irregular warfighting techniques that may also employ other non-kinetic means to undermine an enemy’s strength, speakers said Pulwama incident was a manifestation of their very technique. Modi Government was said to have taken advantage of it by blaming Pakistan for the terrorist act hence not only attempting to gain world sympathy but also affecting issues involving the two neighbors and taking up the issue at international level.
Hybrid Warfare, the elaborated was more catastrophic in essence as it pervades into multifaceted frontiers of the enemy’s territory; psychologically undermining its decision-making capabilities. I also have ability to systematically crippling its financial and information networks using cyber technology, economic strangulation via coercive economic diplomacy and leveraging its influence over international actors and institutions meanwhile, developing and maintaining a robust defense posture.
It was emphasized that Pakistan needed to get around the world and show the Indian intelligence agency’s vile face and its role in getting innocent human beings, getting killed in and outside India. Mumbai carnage, attack on Indian Parliament, attack on Pathankot Brigade Headquarters were cited to have been already proven as False Flag Operations conducted by RAW and other covert agencies of India to promote and protect their interests.
The speakers were firm in their suggestion that Pakistan must continue its support, morally and politically so that Kashmiris were essentially allowed to exercise their right to a plebiscite as narrated in UNSC Resolutions. On the occasion 12 of the UN Security Council resolutions starting in April 1948 were extensively discussed explaining as how much important it was to get Kashmir issue resolved in a democratic manner through a free and impartial plebiscite.
Comedian Zelensky to be new Ukrainian President!
KIEV: Volodymyr Zelensky, a 41-year-old politically inexperienced comedian who is on track to become Ukraine’s next president, stirs strong feelings.
Supporters say he is the fresh face the country needs to clean up Ukrainian politics after a 2014 uprising ousted a Kremlin-backed regime. Critics fear that a Zelensky presidency could throw the country into turmoil. Here are four key questions about Zelensky’s extraordinary rise to political prominence: Zelensky – whose schoolteacher character in “Servant of the People” becomes president after an expletive-laden tirade goes viral – channels the protest votes.
The TV star has capitalized on Ukrainians’ despair over mainstream politics, war with Kremlin-backed rebels, poverty, and corruption. “Essentially people are voting against (President Petro) Poroshenko and not for Zelensky,” said Oleksandr Paskhaver, a Ukrainian economist and former adviser to the president.
Poroshenko’s backers credit him with rebuilding the nation’s army, securing an Orthodox Church independent of Russia and winning visa-free travel to Europe. But critics say the 53-year-old has done too little to tackle graft, improve living standards or uphold the rule of law. Anti-corruption campaigners and other activists regularly suffer attacks.
Kateryna Gandzyuk, a 33-year-old anti-corruption activist, died last November, a few months after she had about a liter of acid poured on her by several attackers.