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Volkan Bozkir is a former minister from Turkey who under a rotational system occupies the high chair of the president of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) for the current year. His position requires him not to sound like a partisan Turkish politician but act independently.
On a visit to Pakistan, he endorsed the contentious Pakistani view on Kashmir, urging it to raise the Kashmir issue ‘more strongly’ at UN platforms. He also linked the Kashmir and Palestine issues. He had nothing to say about Pakistan’s illegal occupation of a part of Jammu and Kashmir, its attempts at incorporating Gilgit Baltistan as a Pakistani province, and the plight of Turkish origin Muslims in China.
Bozkir has shown that Turkish nationals, no matter what position they occupy, have to echo the views of their president, Recep Erdogan, who has forsaken his country’s liberal secular values to walk on the narrow fundamental path. Erdogan’s soul mate is the Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan, once a playboy cricketer; that makes it obligatory upon Turkish leaders to harp on Kashmir on foreign soils. Of course, Erdogan lives in an illusionary world, assuming for himself that under him Turkey has already become a great power. He recently warned US President Joe Biden that he stands to lose a precious friend’ if he corners Turkey, especially on human rights issues.
The long-time member of the US-led military alliance is a virtual pariah within Nato and has been making desperate but vain bids to be accepted as a member of the European Union. Erdogan would not admit it but his abrasive ways have done no good to his country. Turkey and Pakistan are locked in a tight embrace which naturally means that the two countries have joined hands against India. They have established deep military and strategic relations that include an offer of Nato weapons with Turkey to Pakistan.
According to Indian media reports published some time ago, Indian intelligence agencies have found evidence of Turkey’s interference in India’s internal affairs, including support to fundamentalist youth, who are lured with scholarships to Turkey for onward travel to the Mecca of terrorism, Pakistan, where they are radicalized. Some reports even linked the son of Erdogan to these efforts.
Till the extreme right-wing Erdogan became President, Turkey’s relations with India were good even though as a Muslim nation Turkey never supported India on Kashmir. There were many other matters on which the two countries cooperated and worked to mutual advantage. Erdogan changed that quickly. And abandoned the avenue of liberalism and secularism. Turkey antagonized the US and almost the entire West. Dissidence in Turkey is crushed with an iron hand. Anyone questioning Turkish leadership or its policies faces prosecution for ‘insulting’ Turkey. Prominent Turks who have incurred the wrath of Erdogan include Nobel laureate Orban Pahmuk. A veteran dissenting journalist was assassinated.
Turks, like Bozkir, have accepted the fancied world view of Erdogan where Turkey is assumed to have taken over the leadership role of the entire Muslim Ummah from Saudi Arabia. Over a year ago Erdogan had roped in prime ministers of Malaysia and Pakistan to outwit Riyadh by calling a conference of Islamic nations. The trio did not forget to sound the Kashmir bugle from the new forum. Unfortunately, his two Islamist guests – prime ministers of Malaysia and Pakistan – cowered under oblique threats from Saudi Arabia. The coup against Riyadh collapsed ingloriously!
That the Turks’ heart bleeds for Kashmiris and their rights is incongruous. Turkey has been accused of the act of ‘genocide’ in Armenia during World War I. Between 1915 and 1916 about one million Christian Armenians were massacred by the Turkish Ottoman state. It was one of the first genocides or ethnic cleansings the world has witnessed. The holocaust of Germany took place nearly 30 years later.
Nothing riles Turkey more than a reminder of its genocide in and around the Anatolia region. In fact, Turkey does not want the world to use the term ‘genocide’, first used by a Polish lawyer, Ralph Lemkin, for the mass killings of Armenians, but 30 countries do. The number is likely to go up if Turkey pursues its aggressive, fundamentalist policies. President Bozkir needs to be reminded that as far back as 1946 the UN had accepted that an act of genocide was committed by Turkey.
Turkey explains the genocide as a reaction to subversive activities against the Ottoman state. The Armenians are accused of starting a civil war with the armed uprising. But most of the world rejects the Turkish explanation because the excessive and inhuman reaction of the Ottoman state has been quite clear. Turkey cannot talk of the human rights of others when it has a horrible and indefensible precedent that has discredited it in the eyes of most of the world.
Turkey has been denying the rights of its Kurdish minority, using violence and torture to subjugate them. The Kurds are not allowed to speak their language; teaching and learning of their language in schools are banned. Their areas are frequently bombed. Meddlesome Turks like Bozkir would do well to first look inwards at the treatment of Kurdish minorities and the systematic stifling of dissent before gratuitously speaking on behalf of Kashmiris and advocating stronger presentation of the Kashmir issue at the United Nations. (IANS/JC)
The US researchers have discovered a class of immune cells that plays a role in miscarriage, which affects about a quarter of pregnancies.
Researchers at the University of California-San Francisco found that the recently discovered subset of cells known as extrathymic Aire-expressing cells in the immune system may prevent the mother's immune system from attacking the placenta and fetus.
The researchers showed that pregnant mice who did not have this subset of cells were twice as likely to miscarry, and in many of these pregnancies fetal growth was severely restricted.
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"When you're pregnant, the immune system is seeing the placenta for the first time in decades -- not since the mother made a placenta when she herself was a fetus," said Eva Gillis-Buck, from UCSF.
"Our research suggests that this subset of immune cells is carrying out a sort of 'secondary education' -- sometimes many years after the better-known population of the educator cells have carried out the primary education in the thymus -- teaching T cells not to attack the fetus, the placenta and other tissues involved in pregnancy," she added. The findings are published in the journal Science Immunology.
The immune system has to be educated not to attack one's own tissues and organs to prevent autoimmune disease. But pregnancy presents a unique challenge since the fetus expresses proteins found in the placenta as well as proteins whose genetics are distinct from the mother.
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"It was a conceptual leap to link Aire-expressing cells, which are critical for preventing autoimmune disease, to pregnancy," said Tippi Mackenzie, Professor of Surgery at UCSF's Center for Maternal Foetal Precision Medicine.
In the thymus, Aire-expressing cells begin interacting with other immune cells very early in life to teach them what not to attack. The thymus begins to shrink and is nearly gone by adulthood, by which time most immune cells have been educated. But as the thymus shrinks, the population of eTACs in lymph nodes and the spleen expands, the researchers explained.
The study suggests a healthy pregnancy may depend on having these cells around, they added. (IANS/KB)
The tiny emojis being shared on billions of devices worldwide can play a major role in digital communication, with most people saying that emoji compels them to feel more empathy towards others, according to an Adobe report.
Adobe's global emoji study found that emoji even helps people overcome language barriers and form connections that would otherwise be difficult to do.
"We were surprised and delighted by the discoveries made in the survey, most notably how enthusiastic respondents were for emoji as a means to express themselves," the company said in a statement.
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Emojis sometimes get criticized for being overly saccharine, but this sweetness is key when it comes to diffusing some of the heaviness of online communication.
"Many of the emoji are focused on positive emotions, so it's easy to insert them into our conversations and lighten the mood," the Adobe study said.
It's not surprising that over half of those surveyed feel more comfortable using emojis than talking on the phone or in person.
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This applies to less intense situations too. Dating, for example, can be tricky — especially when it's online or via digital apps, as it often is now.
The study also found that emoji even helps people overcome language barriers and form connections that would otherwise be difficult to do.
In celebration of World Emoji Day on Saturday, Adobe's '2021 Global Emoji Trend Report' surveyed 7,000 people in the US, the UK, Germany, France, Japan, Australia, and South Korea. (IANS/KB)
Following the grand Richard Branson show where he carried Andhra Pradesh-born Sirisha Bandla and fellow space travelers on his shoulders after successfully flying to the edge of space, it is time for Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos to applaud Sanjal Gavande, one of the key engineers who designed the New Shephard rocket set to take Bezos and the crew to space on July 20.
Billionaire Bezos is set to fly to the edge of space aboard what is touted as the world's first unpiloted suborbital flight. Born in Kalyan, Maharashtra, Gavande is a systems engineer at Blue Origin who always dreamt of designing aerospace rockets.
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After completing Bachelor's in mechanical engineering from the University of Mumbai, she flew to the US in 2011 to pursue a Master's in mechanical engineering from the Michigan Technological University. She also applied for an engineering job at the US space agency NASA but finally landed her dream job at Blue Origin
Sirisha flew to the US in 2011 to pursue a Master's in mechanical engineering from the Michigan Technological University.IANS
Bezos, his brother Mark, aviation pioneer Mary Wallace 'Wally' Funk, and other passengers are set to liftoff from west Texas and travel just beyond the edge of space on July 20. Blue Origin announced this week that Oliver Daemen, an 18-year-old high school graduate from the Netherlands, would join the crew.
Oliver is the son of millionaire Joe Daemen, Founder, and CEO of the Dutch investment company Somerset Capital Partners. Blue Origin, however, did not reveal how much Daemen paid for his son's trip to space. Bezos chose July 20 as the launch date to honor the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.
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The launch site for Blue Origin's first human flight will be in a remote location north of Van Horn, Texas, from where the firm had launched New Shepard for previous flights. Blue Origin has received final approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to carry humans on the New Shepard rocket into space.
On July 12, Bandla touched the edge of space with three others, including Virgin Galactic's billionaire CEO Richard Branson. Bandla vaulted into space onboard VSS Unity 22. After the successful spaceflight, Branson carried the Indian-American on his shoulders while celebrating their flight to space, at Spaceport America in New Mexico. (IANS/KB)