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  • UN Security Council asked to hear from UN mission on Myanmar atrocities

    United Nations: The United States and eight other countries on Tuesday requested a UN Security Council meeting on Myanmar to hear from a UN fact-finding mission that has accused the country’s military of atrocities against Muslim Rohingyas.
    The request is likely to run into opposition from China, which has friendly ties with Myanmar’s military and has sought to shield Myanmar from action by the Security Council.
    In a joint letter seen by AFP, the nine countries said the mission’s chairperson should brief the council to allow it to “receive further information on this situation and its implications for international peace and security.”

    The UN fact-finding mission released an explosive report last month that called on the council to refer the Myanmar situation to the International Criminal Court in The Hague, or to create an ad hoc international criminal tribunal, as was done with the former Yugoslavia.

    The fact-finding mission said that Myanmar’s top generals, including Commander-in-Chief Min Aung Hlaing must be investigated and prosecuted for genocide in Rakhine State.
    Myanmar has rejected accusations that its military committed atrocities in the crackdown last year that forced more than 700,000 Rohingya to flee over the border to Bangladesh.

    – Myanmar objects –
    In a separate letter to the council, Myanmar’s Ambassador Hau Do Suan said his government “strongly objects” to the request to hear the fact-finding mission.
    The ambassador repeated Myanmar’s complaints that the report was “one-sided”, based on “narratives and not on hard evidence”.

    “Putting accountability above all else without regard to other positive developments is a dangerous attempt that will face utter failure,” he warned in the letter obtained by AFP.
    Britain, France, Peru, Sweden, Ivory Coast, the Netherlands, Poland and Kuwait jointed the United States in requesting the meeting to be held during the month of October.

    Support from the nine countries for the request means that China would likely fail to block a meeting through a procedural vote. Nine votes are required at the 15-member council to approve an agenda item and vetoes do not apply.

    Myanmar maintains that the violence in Rakhine was triggered by Rohingya extremists who attacked border posts in August 2017.
    But the fact-finding mission said there were reasonable grounds to believe that the atrocities were committed with the intention of destroying the Rohingya, warranting the charges of “genocide.”

    The report found that the military’s tactics had been “consistently and grossly disproportionate to actual security threats”, and said that estimates that some 10,000 people were killed in the crackdown was likely a conservative figure.



  • Ira Trivedi sends legal notice to Chetan Bhagat for eve-teasing, cyber bullying

    Every other day we have been hearing a lot of MeToo stories and as a society it definitely irked that there are so many people who are victims of sexual harassment. One such MeToo story is of author Ira Trivedi who accused renowned author Chetan Bhagat of sexually harassing her.

    Now the author has filed a legal notice against Chetan Bhagat charging him guilty of eve-teasing (Section 509 IPC), of harassment (Section 354 A, D IPC), of Cyber bullying and other cyber-crimes under the IT Act i.e. (Sections 66, 499, 500, 503 IPC).

    Speaking to Republic TV, Ira Trivedi said, “I have just called out Suhel Seth and Chetan Bhagat for behaving inappropriately with me over the past decade. I have called out these stories so that they do not do the same with many other young women. As I mentioned, I have known both of these men for a long time and I have been an observer to their bad behavior. I have experienced it myself and I believe that no other woman should go through it. I thank all the women who have come before me, the women who have called out Suhel Seth and Chetan Bhagat in the first place. Because it is these women who gave me the platform and path to speak. Thank you so much and I encourage all women to come forward with their MeToo stories.”

    For those uninitiated, Ira has alleged that Chetan made a pass at her in a room and tried to plant a kiss on her lips to which she laughed, not knowing what else to do.  Later, Ira also took to twitter to share her piece of mind on the leaked email excerpts by Chetan.



  • Rogue killers may be behind Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance: Donald Trump

    Washington D.C. [USA]: United States President Donald Trump said he believes that “rogue killers” could be behind the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Trump had spoken to Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz earlier in the day and had mentioned that the Saudi King had denied having “any knowledge” on what could have happened to the scribe.

    “That being said, the king firmly denied any knowledge of it, he didn’t really know. Maybe, I don’t want to get into his head, but it sounded to me like maybe these could have been rogue killers, who knows,” Trump told journalists, according to Sputnik. The US President also confirmed on Twitter that US Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo has been sent to Saudi Arabia at his behest to meet the Saudi King.

    Trump had earlier threatened the Gulf country of “severe punishment” if it is proven that Saudi Arabia had a role to play in Khashoggi’s disappearance, a charge that the Gulf nation has repeatedly and vehemently denied. Meanwhile, CNN reported that Saudi Arabia is working on a report that may reveal Riyadh’s role in Khashoggi’s disappearance while confirming the senior scribe’s death at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2. Jamal Khashoggi has been missing ever since cameras captured him walking into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2. Hatice Cengiz, his fiancee, who was waiting outside the consul, had stated that she did not see him re-emerging from the building, even though Saudi Arabia has claimed that the journalist had left the building within few minutes of entering.


  • Apple Donating 1000 Watches for Binge Eating Study is a Part of a Larger Health Push

    Apple is donating 1000 Apple Watch units for a study that attempts to find out the causes and the symptoms for disorders such as binge eating. The disorder is also known as Bulimia Nervosa. The study is being done by the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, and is called Binge Eating Genetics INitiative (BEGIN). 

    Bulimia is a potentially life-threatening eating disorder, in which people tend to binge eat. Subsequently, they then take steps to avoid weight gain, perhaps as a counter measure for all the food they have eaten—this includes forced vomiting, excessive exercising or fasting for inconsistent periods of time. According to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, as many as 30 million people in the United States alone suffer from an eating disorder. According to researchers, as many as 10 million cases of Bulima Nervosa are diagnosed just in India every year.

    The BEGIN study will enrol 1,000 participants, ages 18 or older, who have experienced binge eating disorder or bulimia nervosa. Each participant will be wearing an Apple Watch during the 30 day period, so that researchers can monitor the heart rate to understand any deviations or noticeable trends during the time of the binge eating. 

    The addition of the Apple Watch to the BEGIN study is just the latest push for the smart wearable into the healthcare space. Earlier this year, Apple added a new features to the Watch to enable it to monitor for signs of Parkinson’s disease, by being able to track the tremors and dyskinesia symptoms. Researchers at Stanford have also teamed up with Apple to study how the Watch can be used to detect arrhythmias, while Cardiogram scientists have already proved how the Apple Watch can be used to identify the early signs of a possible stroke, through irregular heartbeats. Cardiogram is an app for the Apple Watch, and it relies on DeepHeart neural network designed to identify and predict any potential cardiovascular risk—including Afib, sleep apnoea and hypertension.

    Earlier this year, Apple announced that patients of NYU Langone Health, Stanford Medicine and 40 other health systems in the US, representing hundreds of hospitals and clinics across the country, could now view their medical records on their iPhones. The updated Health Records section the Health app on the iPhone will compile medical information from various institutions, allowing for better monitoring—this app also collects data from the Apple Watch. “People hand you all sorts of things these days, and more data is almost never bad, but when they show up with paper, how do you summate that?” said Robert Harrington, cardiologist and chairman of the department of medicine at Stanford, in the official announcement.

    Wearables are clearly catching on with consumers, and medical institutions are understanding their importance as well. According research firm Canalys’ data published in March, as many as 37.9 million wearables were shipped globally in the Q4 2017. The Apple Watch led the way with 8 million units, while Fitbit shipped 5.4 million units if its various wearables.