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President Mukherjee lauds Russia for contributing to India’s growth, vows reciprocation

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Referring to Russia as a pillar of strength, President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee said that India’s history is filled with many deteriorating compounds and Russia has always acted as a patron of India.

President Mukherjee said, “India-Russia relations, have been shaped because of our historical experiences, cultural affinities, political convergences and economic opportunities. This bond will not be affected by winds of transient global political trends.”

The views were expressed during his visit to Russia today, where he was honored as a doctorate from the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs .

Expressing his views on India’s national policy he said, “Russia has contributed to India’s development, growth and security. India will always reciprocate this support. Across Indian society and the spectrum of its political structures, there is unanimity that friendship with Russia is an important pillar of India’s foreign policy.”

On his trip to Russia, the President  was honored as a Doctorate from the Diplomatic Academy at Moscow, where he expressed his views on India’s relationship with Russia.

“Russia is and will remain our most important defense partner. It is also a key partner for our energy security, building on its leading role in the development of nuclear power generation in India,” the president said.

The President also said that the dynamic development of India-Russia strategic partnership owed a great deal to the vision and leadership of President Vladimir Putin.

“His personal commitment has led to new heights in relations between the two countries”, he said.

Ties between Russia and India have enabled both the countries to extensively cooperate in defense, nuclear energy and security, apart from the development sector.

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Exposed! Paradise Papers reveal Tax-haven Secrets of the Super-rich! Even Queen Elizabeth II hasn’t been spared!

The publication of this investigation for which more than 380 journalists have spent a year combing through data that stretches back 70 years comes at a time of growing global income inequality.

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Paradise Papers expose tax haven secrets of ultra-wealthy, including Queen Elizabeth. The details come from a leak of 13.4 million files that expose the global environments in which tax abuses can thrive - and the complex and seemingly artificial ways the wealthiest corporations can legally protect their wealth. VOA

London, November 6, 2017 : A huge new leak of financial documents has revealed how the powerful and ultra-wealthy including Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II’s private estate secretly invest vast amounts of cash in different offshore tax havens, media reports said on Monday.

The details come from a leak of 13.4 million files in the Paradise Papers on Sunday that expose the global environments in which tax abuses can thrive – and the complex and seemingly artificial ways the wealthiest corporations can legally protect their wealth.

The material which has come from two offshore service providers and the company registries of 19 tax havens was obtained by the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and shared by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) with 100 other media organisations including the Guardian, the BBC and The New York Times.

Some of the revelations in the Paradise Papers include millions of pounds from Queen Elizabeth II’s private estate that has been invested in a Cayman Islands fund and some of her money that went to a retailer accused of exploiting poor families and vulnerable people.

Paradise Papers detail extensive offshore dealings by US President Donald Trump’s cabinet members advisers and donors including substantial payments from a firm co-owned by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s son-in-law to the shipping group of the US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

The leak shows how social media giants Twitter and Facebook received millions in investments that can be traced back to Russian state financial institutions along with aggressive tax avoidance by multinational corporations including Nike and Apple.

It also includes information about a tax-avoiding Cayman Islands trust managed by the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s chief wealth manager.

The leak also includes how some of the biggest names in the film and TV industries protect their wealth with an array of offshore schemes and the complex offshore webs used by two Russian billionaires to buy stakes in Arsenal and Everton football clubs.

The disclosures will put pressure on world leaders including Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May who have both pledged to curb aggressive tax avoidance schemes.

The publication of this investigation for which more than 380 journalists have spent a year combing through data that stretches back 70 years comes at a time of growing global income inequality.

Offshore finance is about a place outside of one’s own nation’s regulations to which companies or individuals can reroute money assets or profits to take advantage of lower taxes reports the BBC.

These jurisdictions are known as tax havens to the layman or the more stately offshore financial centres (OFCs) to the industry. They are generally stable secretive and reliable often small islands but not exclusively so and can vary on how rigorously they carry out checks on wrongdoing. (IANS)

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Hinduism Acts As a Boundary for the Spread of Radical Islam in India: Chinese Media

The article called attention to the solid impact of Hinduism in India

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Hinduism in India
Hinduism in India. Pixabay

Sep 03, 2014: Muslims in India generally stayed unaffected from the radicalization of Muslim gatherings in different parts of the world in light of the strong impact of Hinduism in the nation, which has established a mark of itself by going past a religion to end up plainly as a lifestyle and a social establishment, said the state-run Chinese media on Wednesday.

Adulating Hinduism for helping India setting up an ever lasting attachment towards the religion among different sects, an article in Global Times, titled – “Hinduism tied to India’s geopolitical standing” said that Hinduism made India a boundary for the spread of radical Islam on the global geopolitical scene.

The article asserted that-

Why does it seem that Muslims in India have remained largely apart from the radicalization that has happened to Muslim groups in other parts of the world? Indian Muslims seldom have extreme organizations compared with groups in many other Asian countries. In the southern part of the Philippines, extremists backed by Islamic State have turned their occupied cities into horrible places. In southern Thailand, terror attacks staged by Muslim extremists take place almost every week.

The article called attention to the solid impact of Hinduism, the dominant religion of India while answering the question: Why does it seem that Muslims in India have remained largely apart from the radicalization that has happened to Muslim groups in other parts of the world? 

“Like many other religions, Hinduism has its extreme side, but for the most part, its more moderate side has the strongest influence. Perhaps it is this more moderate influence that has helped establish India’s lasting cohesion and is one of the reasons that the country has not separated”

Indians take pride in the Mughal Dynasty, the time of history which was built up by Muslims, not even by the Hindus, however, there was a strong Hindu influence in that time also.

“In the long history of India, Hinduism has gone far beyond a religion to become a lifestyle and social institution. Both its extreme and tolerant sides have constituted the foundation for its relationship with Muslims and this dual character is going to exist for a long time,” it said.

The consequence of this relationship has made India a hindrance for the spread of radical Islam on the global geopolitical scene.

Also Read: How Hinduism is Interpreted by Western Indologists-David Frawley. Wendy Doniger. Koenraad Elst

The article brought up that the absence of Islamic fanatics in India has established its role in Asia and it has been thought about by the US, Japan, Russia and European nations as well.

“In the future, India is sure to continue to stand out in geopolitical significance when it comes to increasing religious and ethnic conflicts around the world. Where China is concerned, this significance should not be ignored”, the article concluded.


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“I Was Only Cleaning The Society of Biological Waste”, Says Killer As The Blue Whale Challenge Continues to Claim Lives Around The World

Games and challenges played via social media are not a new phenomenon. The ALS-Ice bucket challenge had been widely accepted and performed by people worldwide. However, this new challenge is quite the opposite- you play and you die!

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The blue whale challenge is an online phenomenon that currently plagues the world.
The last task of the 50-day Blue Whale Challenge is suicide. (Representational image) Pixabay
  • Children around the world in the grip of an online exploitative game called The Blue Whale Challenge
  • Originating in Russia in 2013, the game is rumored to have claimed more than 100 lives worldwide
  • The Russian game has a 50 day challenge, which ultimately ends with suicide.

August 3, 2017 : Rina Palenkova (Russia) was 17 in November 2015 when she posted goodbye selfie moments before committing suicide. In December 2015, Vilena Piven (Ukraine) was 15 when she jumped off a 13 floor building. More recently, Isaiah Gonzalez from Texas was only 15 when he filmed his own suicide. These and many more children are victims of a sick mind-manipulation game, The Blue Whale Challenge.

“Yes I was truly doing that. Don’t worry, you’ll understand everything. Everybody will understand”, were the words of 22 year old Phillip Budeikin, the creator of the nihilist menace currently engulfing people all over the world.

What is The Blue Whale Challenge?

Budeikin’s Blue Whale Challenge can be described as an obscure online phenomenon that began in 2013, that makes use of hideous mind exploitation and assigns participants 50 bizarre and eventually mortal tasks that they must perform.

The tasks include tweeting that you are a blue whale using a hashtag while a different task asked a participant to cut an arm three times, and range between standard and self-mutilating psychopathy.

The Blue Whale challenge first began in 2013.
The game allegedly involves a variety of tasks that range between physically hurting yourself, slicing wrists and cutting yourself with blades and pins. (representational image) Wikimedia

In June this year, as reported by Daily Mail, Russian investigators said a 26-year old postman from Moscow, Ilya Sodorov had confessed of being an administrator (curator) and revealed that participants used to update him about their daily progress.

According to Russian investigative newspaper Novaya Gazeta, suicides of 130 Russian children between November 2015 and April 2016 have been linked to this lethal game. However, officials are yet to find physical evidence to support this hypothesis.

In an interview in Russia with Saint Petersburg News in May, Budeikin, nicknamed Philip Lis (Fox) accepted to intentionally pushing teenagers to suicide.

“There are people- and there is biological waste, those who do not represent any value for society. Who cause, or will cause, only harm to the society”, Budeikin said, saying that he was only ‘cleaning’ the society.

However, he refuted claims that his game was directly responsible for 130 deaths in Russia, stating that he had only directly influenced 17 suicides. He said the others had communicated with him, and committed suicide later, however without any direct influence from him. Chillingly, he added that there still were 28 people who were willing to take their lives.

“They were dying happy. I was giving them what they didn’t have: warmth, understanding, connections”, he said.

Though the scope and scale of the Blue Whale Challenge are yet to be confirmed, reports of suicide from different corners of the world are being linked to this online phenomenon, with the latest case coming from Mumbai where a teenager (14) is believed to have committed suicide following his alleged association with the game.

Budeikin has been sentenced to three years in prison this July.

However, Russian MP Irina Yarovaya has called for tougher penalties against Budeikin. She believes the law must catch up with abusive social media trends which threaten lives of young people, as reported by the Daily Mail.

Media Reportage

The issue has caught mass attention with several national and international media outlets covering stories about it.

In May, public schools in Alabama warned parents of their children’s likely indulgence in the ‘game’. Meanwhile, police officers in Miami also released a video on Facebook, alerting parents of the Russian game’s warning signs. Lately, the issue has also been taken up by the Indian media.

 

A school in Alabama shared about the blue whale challenge with parents through its Facebook page.
Schools in the US have chosen to discuss about the game with parents to keep them informed. Facebook

Reports suggest parents keep a check on their children’s social media accounts and not bring up the subject, unless the child already knows about it.

In April this year, the Pink Whale Challenge came up to counter its evil brother, urging people over the internet  to perform 50 happy tasks over a course of 50 days to prove “that the internet can be used to viralise the good.”

Some social media outlets like Instagram have also channeled efforts to curb the menace. If the words #BlueWhaleChallenge are searched, Instagram automatically pops a message encouraging the user to seek support.

Instagram asks users if they need help.
Various social media sites are now making an effort to gauge the scope of the menace. Instagram

 

How The Game Works

According to reports, the game holds its origins in the Russian social media platform VKontakte.com, where a person is supposed to download the app, create a profile and then share a public post expressing their interest to play the game.

In order for the curators to ‘find’ you, the post must have an exclusive selection of tags like,

#curatorfindme

#thebluewhale

#iamingame

#wakemeupat420, etc who then go through these profiles to prey upon targets, usually vulnerable 12-16 year olds.

The ‘game’ as they say, then begins.

 

the blue whale challenges continues to gather attention of kids worldwide.
Children continue to post statuses and tweets from different corners of the world about their willingness to participate in the game. Facebook and Twitter.

The selected players are then contacted through personal chats by curators. In other words, no individual can willing play the game; all you can do is say you want to, and then wait if the curators pick you.

 

The Challenges

Budeikin’s Blue Whale Challenge is believed to have been inspired by the blue whale’s tendency to beach themselves on purpose before death. And the repetitive mentions of 4:20 signal to the marijuana culture.

While some tasks seem harmless like waking up at 4:20 am, meeting a ‘whale’ (can be a fellow player/administrator) and listen to music that has been sent to you, the game allegedly turns violent as the levels progress, with tasks including cutting your lips, cutting the shape of a blue whale/4:20/ some random code on your arm using a blade. The administrator assigns the next task only after the previous ones are proven with photographic evidence. If not, the player faces penalties.

The blue whale challenge is a 50 day challenge, with the last task being suicide.
The alleged list of tasks that a child has to undertake as part of the game. Reddit.

While these may seem stupid to any mature person, young, impressionist children are suspected to be falling prey to the older administrators who threaten to kill or hurt their families and friends. These threats can seem rather real to a young teen or pre-teen, who is depressed or suicidal, which forces them to continue with the tasks. By the time they want to stop, the only way out appears to be through suicide, which is the final task for day 50.

 

Exposing the Real ‘Game’ called Blue Whale Challenge

While it is described as a game, the Blue Whale Challenge is far from being one. It is not an app and one cannot find it on Google Play Store. It cannot be downloaded through the computer, or played on an Xbox. Refuting popular belief, there is no website where you can sign up and land in the game.

So if it isn’t a game, then what is it?

We will recommend you view this as a phenomenon instead – a malicious tactic to establish contact and manipulate vulnerable children on social media, in the comments section of discussion forums and on shady websites.

The intention for such a nihilist act is difficult to interpret, it sure has psychopathic roots.

While there is no physical evidence as of now to link suicides from around the world to this game, what also needs to be understood here is that this ‘game’ is not taking lives. People hiding behind computer screens, who are merely making use of an established idea, are the ones who are to be blamed instead.

[sociallocker][/sociallocker]

What You Can Do

As it is not a ‘game’ that can be uninstalled, the only way to avoid it is to not indulge in it. Kids must be advised to not interact with strangers on the internet, and to avoid revealing much of any sort of personal information on open mediums.

While it can also not be completely ridiculed, there are a few things you can do, assuming all this is not another over-hyped internet sensation,

  1. If you come across ‘suicide’ groups or communities on Facebook, where people are asking to be found by curators, report the group.

If you notice people tweeting #i_am_whale, #bluewhalechallenge or anything similar, do not hesitate to flag it ‘Abusive or Harmful’.

You can do the same on Instagram, where the game is beginning to witness some activity with kids posting pictures with similar captions.

Reaching out to these children can also be considered.

  1. Because the ‘herd-mentality’ never ceases to leave Indians alone, if you find yourself or somebody else curious to indulge in the game, simply DO NOT. 

Seek help, instead.

Additionally, you can also reach out to suicide prevention NGOs and help-lines given below. Because even when life hits you hard and seems exhausting, or for the sheer adrenaline rush, the risk is too huge to take.

Aasra : 91-22-27546669

Lifeline Foundation : 91-33-2474-4704/5886/5255

ROSHNI : 91-40-7904646

– by Soha Kala of NewsGram. Twitter : @SohaKala


 

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