Skyrocketing tensions: On U.S.-China ties

The U.S. government’s decision to bar passenger planes from China from June 16 is but another instance of rising tensions between the two countries. A trade war which President Donald Trump launched in 2018 is yet to be resolved fully. In recent months, Mr. Trump and other officials in the administration had attacked China over its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. The U.S. has also decided to end Hong Kong’s special trade status in protest against Beijing’s move to introduce a new national security law for the Special Administrative Region. Repeated targeting of China by Washington and Beijing’s retaliatory moves make it look like the world’s largest and second largest economies have entered into a new cold war. Administration officials say the decision on flights is in response to China’s refusal to allow U.S. airlines to resume flights to the country. China had introduced restrictions on international flights in March, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and most of those curbs

Killing Gajah: On the killing of an elephant in Kerala

An outpouring of grief has followed the death of a pregnant elephant in Kerala, the treacherous use of a food bomb causing widespread revulsion and anger. Scores of elephants are killed every year in India as their paths cross those of humans, but the image of a mortally wounded animal standing impassively in a river in Palakkad as life ebbed out of it will remain imprinted on the mind. Whether the booby-trapped pineapple that took its life was intended for elephants or other animals matters little, because such traps litter the troubled landscapes that surround forests across the country. The tragic fate that befell this creature, however, is a ghastly reminder of the rising conflicts between humans and animals that are only destined to grow, as commercial pressures eat into already diminished habitat. The perpetrators may be prosecuted for the elephant’s death, but that can do little to mitigate the larger issue of lost ranges and blocked corridors for these wandering giants. India
 
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A chill in U.S.-China relations

Vijay Gokhale
 
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Swiss cheese and defence reforms

Manmohan Bahadur
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