Pemra to suspend channels that air Indian content

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) on Tuesday granted authority to the chairman to revoke or suspend the licenses of companies airing Indian content without providing prior notice.

Pemra issued an order on Monday limiting the amount of airtime allowed for Indian content in Pakistan, mimicing the format India has adopted for the airing of Pakistani content.

The statement declared that the licenses of companies will be revoked or suspended without show cause notice or a hearing if Indian content is aired in violation of the order.

In accordance with section 30(3), the body will take action against the airing of all unauthorised content and TV channels in the country starting October 15.

Last month, Pemra said it would launch a crackdown on the illegal Indian DTH and airing of excessive foreign content by TV channels and cable operators.

Pakistan failed to kill terrorists, so India had to, says Adnan Sami on ‘surgical strike’

Ex-Pakistani citizen, Adnan Sami has a lot to say regarding the current Pak-India situation, regardless of how far he throws himself in the deep end of the pool.

Creating more heat than he did previously when he tweeted thanks to PM Narendra Modi and the Indian Army, Sami has now reportedly said that “Pakistan should thank India for killing the terrorists” in the ‘surgical strike’.

At the India Today Safaigiri Awards the singer drew parallels between garbage and terrorism to explain his point. He said, “If I see garbage flowing from my neighbour’s house and entering my house, I will complain against it to my neighbour. However, if the neighbour fails to do that, I will enter his house and clean the garbage myself, because you couldn’t clean the garbage, I had to enter your house and clean it.”

He further added, “For years, Pakistan has been saying that they too are victims of terrorism. Here, when your neighbour is helping you out, you don’t want to even acknowledge it.”

Urging Pakistan to join hands with India, he said, “Eliminate it (terrorism). If you won’t do it alone, let us do it together so that we and our children can live in this world in peace. That is it. There is nothing more to it. It is as simple as that. Why are you taking this personally? You yourself know there are suicide bombers who blast themselves in mosques, so if someone is helping you eliminate it, you should be thankful.”

Sami’s tweets earlier had hurt the sentiments of Pakistanis, the singer explained that they were not targeted towards Pakistan. “I never said a word against Pakistan.”

“My tweets were against a common enemy. An enemy that has been hurting both the nations and the rest of the world, too. If anything, Pakistan should thank India for finishing the terrorists.”

On the flak he received for his tweet, he argued that terrorists don’t belong to any side of the border. “The tweet came out of my heart and I pardon those who criticised me. They interpreted it in their own way and that’s why I wrote that they see Pakistan and terrorists as the same.”

“It is not important where the strike took place, but why it took place. This is a strike to eliminate terror camps, be it on any side of the border. Terrorism doesn’t have a border. Terrorists attack Mumbai, Peshawar and also Paris.”

The 43-year-old stressed that in times like these everybody wants peace and not just artistes.

“People say that artists always want peace, they call them the messengers of peace and so on and so forth. Although it is true, I don’t think artistes are the only ones who should get this ‘beautiful credit’. I think all our citizens want peace, not just artists.”

 Did Human Rights Watch Sabotage Colombia’s Peace Agreement?

On Sunday, Colombian voters rejected the peace agreement that the government, led by President Juan Manuel Santos, worked out with the FARC guerrillas by the slenderest margin possible: 50.21 percent to 49.78, a difference of 53,894 votes. The turnout was 37 percent, out of 34 million eligible voters.

It’s a heartbreaking disaster for the long, intricate peace process, which sought to put an end to Colombia’s more than five-decade-long civil war. That war has claimed hundreds and hundreds of thousands of lives and has displaced millions upon millions of people. The peace deal, which was worked out during years of negotiations, mostly in Havana, was more aspirational than binding, offering hope that one of the world’s longest-running conflicts would come to an end. Now, that deal is in “tatters.” But keep in mind that “no” won with a sliver of a voting majority (less than 1 percent) of a minority (of eligible voters), with turnout low due to, in many precincts, extreme tropical rain, mostly in coastal departments where “yes” won handily.

That bad-weather luck almost wants you to invoke the apocalyptic conclusion to Colombia’s most famous novel, Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude, where an unending hurricane washes all away. But the peace might not be lost. Lisa Haugaard, of the indispensable Latin American Working Group, told me, “The Colombian government, fully engaged in finding a negotiated solution, did not do the outreach, socializing, and explaining of the accords that was necessary.  The ‘no’ campaign effectively organized around its negative message. Fortunately, after it was clear the ‘no’ vote narrowly won, both President Santos and FARC leader Rodrigo Londoño pledged that the cease-fire will hold and that they remain committed to peace.”

According to The New York Times, the government and FARC have already announced that they would send diplomats to Havana to begin discussing how to salvage the peace. The FARC responded to the vote by announcing that they remained committed to peace; indeed, the UN has already started disarming the guerrillas. Santos stated that the cease-fire will hold, and the historian Robert Karl, who just wrote a terrific “centuries long history behind Colombia’s peace agreement with the FARC” in TheWashington Post, tells me that Santos, as president, has “a good deal of discretionary power” over the military, so let’s hope Santos can keep the security forces on a leash. What Washington, who has spent billions on this war (for the lethal effects of Plan Colombia, see these very useful charts by the Latin American Working Group), will do is unclear. As of early morning Monday, the State Department hasn’t commented.

“No” won because the right wing, led by former President Álvaro Uribe, was able to turn a vote that was supposed to be on peace into a vote on the FARC. The geographic breakdown of the referendum indicates that “no” won in areas where Uribe and his political party have their support. Take a look especially at the department of Antioquia, where Uribe got his political start as a champion of paramilitary death squads. Sixty-two percent of Antioquia’s voters cast “no.” In the department’s capital, Medellín, a city that has been sold in the United States as a neoliberal success story—Modern! Urbane! Fun! Come visit!—63 percent of voters said “no” (for Medellín’s neoliberal “makeover,” see this essay by Forrest Hylton).

Uribe served as president from 2002 to 2010. He is best thought of as a Colombian Andrew Jackson, riding to the top office of his country on the wings of mass murder, rural ressentiment, and financial speculation. As an ex-president, he has been toxic, doing everything he could to keep the war going.

The Colombian elite, especially the retrograde sector Uribe represents, has much to lose with peace: The end of fighting would create a space in which the country’s many social conflicts—having to do with land, labor, and resource extraction—could be dealt with on their own terms, rather than distorted through counterinsurgent politics. And peace would be costly for some sectors, especially for all those Colombians in the “security” business who for years have fed off the Plan Colombia trough.

Polls show that a majority of Colombians favor peace. But Uribe and his allies in the media and congress lied, obfuscated, and scared. They managed to convince a small minority (the 54,000-vote victory margin for “no” is about a quarter of the number of civilians killed or disappeared by the state since the start of the civil war) that the agreement was a giveaway to the FARC and that Santos was “delivering the country to terrorism.” TheTimes identifies Uribe and the “far right” as the “biggest winner.” The former president “had argued that the agreement was too lenient on the rebels, who he said should be prosecuted as murderers and drug traffickers. ‘Peace is an illusion, the Havana agreement deceptive,’ Mr. Uribe wrote on Twitter on Sunday after casting his ‘no’ vote.” Thus Uribe has forced himself on the bargaining table, with Santos saying, as paraphrased by the Times, that he would be “reaching out to opposition leaders in the Colombian Congress like former President Álvaro Uribe,” with the Times adding that “experts predicted a potentially tortured process in which Mr. Uribe and others would seek harsher punishments for FARC members, especially those who had participated in the drug trade.”

The campaign to keep Colombia’s war going had an unlikely ally: Human Rights Watch. José Miguel Vivanco, the head of HRW’s Americas Watch division, emerged as an unexpected player in Colombian politics when he came out strongly against the “justice” provisions of the peace agreement. Vivanco agreed with Uribe by offering the most dire reading of the agreement possible, saying that perpetrators—in the FARC and the military—of human-rights violations would receive immunity. Vivanco was all over the press in Colombia, with his comments used to build opposition to the accords. Once it became clear that he was lining up too closely with Uribe, he staged a mock public dispute with the former para-president, even while continuing to basically support Uribe’s position (h/t Alejandro Velasco).

Vivanco has tried to fudge his position with a false “even-handedness,” complaining that the accord let both the FARC and the military off the hook. But as the always insightful and usually temperate Adam Isacson, from the Washington Office on Latin America, described Vivanco’s bizarre proxy campaign on behalf of Uribe: “not everyone in Colombia is reading Human Rights Watch’s detailed ten-page analysis. What they hear are the large quotes like ‘piñata de impunidad’…or “checkmate against justice’ and believing as a result that Human Rights Watch opposes the entire process. It is a question more of tone, of supportiveness, and of urging creativity at a very key moment.” “Blows like this”—that is, Vivanco’s extremely dire analysis of a necessarily vague political agreement—“can do real damage.” They did.

That Human Rights Watch played useful idiot to Colombia’s far right was confirmed by its executive director, Kenneth Roth, who on Sunday nightgloated about the outcome of the vote on Twitter: “Looks like Colombians aren’t so eager to premise ‘peace’ on effective impunity for FARC’s and military’s war crimes.”

Now what, Ken? What are you going to tweet at these victims of the FARC who came together to urge a “yes” vote? According to the Colombian weekly Semana, those regions that suffered the most deaths at the hands of the FARC were the most supportive of the peace talks. A “paradox,”Semana said. Enough was enough, victims and their families said. They are painfully aware—in ways that Roth and Vivanco, with their unaccountable Twitter broadsides against the peace process apparently aren’t—of consequences. And they prove more capable of understanding something that the leaders of Human Rights Watch can’t: that you don’t end a half-century war, with its nearly incomprehensible political history and ever-shifting alliances, by applying legal absolutes. You rather end it by political compromise.

Hurricane Matthew: Haiti braces for deadly storm

The storm packing 145-mph winds had already killed at least three people, caused cruise ships to change course and prompted the governors of Florida and North Carolina to declare states of emergency.
Hurricane Matthew Tuesday 8 am

At 5 a.m. ET Monday, the Category 4 hurricane was plodding along at about 9 mph as the eye of the storm approached southwest Haiti, the National Weather Service said. Matthew is expected to either make landfall or skirt the Haitian coast sometime after daybreak.
Ferocious rain and wind thrashed Haiti throughout early Monday. Haiti’s Civil Protection Agency reported the coastal towns of Anse-d’Hainault and Tiburon had partially flooded. Up to 40 inches of rain could be dumped on the impoverished nation — one still recovering from a devastating earthquake that struck six years ago.
“It could make landfall at any time,” Interim Haitian President Jocelerme Privert said at a news conference. “We’ve already seen deaths. People who were out at sea. There are people who are missing. They are people who didn’t respect the alerts. They’ve lost their lives.”
As Matthew drenched Haiti with dozens of inches of rain, Cuba, the Bahamas and the United States took steps to prepare for the storm’s arrival in the coming days.

Death toll rising

Three people have died because of Hurricane Matthew within the past week, authorities said.
The Caribbean braces for Hurricane Matthew

The Caribbean braces for Hurricane Matthew 01:16
In Haiti, Guillaume Albert Moleon, director of communications for the Interior Ministry, said one fisherman died on Sunday. A second fisherman is presumed dead, but his body has not been recovered.
In St. Vincent and the Grenadines, a teenage boy died in a landslide as he was cleaning a drain behind his house, according to Michelle Forbes, deputy director for the National Emergency Management Office. The boy died Wednesday after storms from Matthew passed over the island.
The hurricane could cause further devastation for Haiti as much of the country’s infrastructureremains weak after the 2010 earthquake that killed more than 200,000 people.
John Hasse, the humanitarian aid agency World Vision’s national director in Haiti, said 400 workers were there ready to help rural residents whose poorly constructed houses could be leveled by the storm.
“It’s not safe to stay in your house,” Laura Sewell, CARE’s assistant country director for Haiti, told MEDIA “It’s not a normal rainstorm. People need to move to shelters immediately.”
The Haitian government, who has urged people to find shelters, has identified about 1,000 different facilities as temporary safe havens. The number of people who have sought refuge in shelters in the southern and west parts of Haiti now stands at more than 6,400, Civil Protection tweeted.
After the storm clears Haiti, standing water would likely continue to plague the nation, Hasse said. Haiti continues to recover from a post-quake cholera outbreak that killed another 10,000.
“That means a potential spike in cholera cases,” Hasse said. “Other mosquito-borne diseases that have been more or less controlled are going to rear their heads.”

Collision course for Cuba

hurricane matthew caribbean javaheri lkvl_00000716

After passing through Haiti, forecasters expect Matthew to churn toward Cuba, where it is expected to move near the eastern coast Tuesday afternoon. The storm could dump up to 20 inches of rain in some isolated parts of the country.
The United States, taking no chances, this weekend began to airlift 700 family members of military personnel stationed at Guantanamo Bay to Florida. Essential military personnel along with 61 detainees, who the United States is holding prisoner as alleged enemy combatants, will not be evacuated, officials added.
Watches and warning

Hurricane warning is in effect for:

• Haiti

• Cuban provinces of Guantanamo, Santiago de Cuba, Holguin, Granma and Las Tunas

• Southeastern Bahamas, including the Inaguas, Mayaguana, Acklins, Crooked Island, Long Cay and Ragged Island

• Central Bahamas, including Long Island, Exuma, Rum Cay, San Salvador and Cat Island

• Northwestern Bahamas, including the Abacos, Andros Island, Berry Islands, Bimini, Eleuthera, Grand Bahama Island and New Providence

Hurricane watch is in effect for:

• Cuban province of Camaguey

Source: National Hurricane Center

The US government followed with a travel advisory warning Americans in Cuba to find immediate shelter if they haven’t already made travel plans.
From there, Matthew would take a “prolonged trip” toward the Bahamas that’s expected to last through Wednesday night. It would then turn toward the US while losing some of its strength, dropping down to a Category 3 with 120 mph winds.
Multiple cruise lines have rerouted some trips to get out of Matthew’s path. Royal Caribbean, Disney Cruise Line, Norwegian Princess and Carnival have rerouted trips, with more changes possible.
A Carnival cruise ship that planned to stop in the Bahamas on a six-day excursion will instead visit Cozumel, Mexico, reported the Post-Courier in Charleston, South Carolina.

‘There could be massive destruction’

How to prepare for a hurricane

How to prepare for a hurricane 01:00
Over the weekend, meteorologists had predicted Matthew would largely miss the US. But the latest extended forecast now shows that the hurricane has made a westward turn toward the US East Coast.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency for the entire state.
 forecasters predict the storm could hit parts of Florida starting Thursday night. Florida could be under a hurricane or tropical storm watch sometime Tuesday, the National Weather Service said.
“If Hurricane Matthew directly impacts Florida, there could be massive destruction which we haven’t seen since Hurricane Andrew devastated Miami-Dade County in 1992,” Scott said in a statement. “That is why we cannot delay and must prepare for direct impact now.”
Hurricane to slam islands, States of Emergency in FL, NC

Hurricane to slam islands, States of Emergency in FL, NC 02:29
Taking advanced precautions, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory also declared a state of emergency for more than half of the state’s counties.
Forecasters cautioned it was too early to predict how hard the hurricane would strike the United States.
But the potential threat was enough for Rick Knabb, director of the hurricane center, to fire off a warning to Americans.
“U. S. East Coast: find out today if you live in an evacuation zone,” Knabb tweeted. “If so, decide where you’d go, how you’d get there if told to go.”

White House shuts down online petition against Pakistan

WASHINGTON: The White House has shut down the India’s petition, seeking to designate Pakistan as state sponsor of terrorism.

The White House has announced to wind up this petition. The petition was launched against Pakistan by two pro-India American congressmen Ted Poe and Danarwahrabi.

White House said that Indian petition against Pakistan was not acceptable. This petition has been archived because it did not meet the signature requirements. It can no longer be signed. Fraud signatures were made on the petition therefore it has been removed.