CHITRAL: Flash flood due to glacial burst in Yarkun Lasht area of upper Chitral has caused the death of a young girl and damage to about fifteen houses . The Boroghil road is completely blocked. Rescue and rehabilitation measures were undertaken by different agencies e.g. border police, Chitral police, Chitral scouts personnel and the local people. .. CN report, 15 Aug 2020
CHITRAL: The unfortunate accident of the parapet of a balcony giving in at the Terichmir View hotel in Chitral which cost three lives and several injuries, is a most unfortunate occurrence. No words can describe the grief of affected families who had come as tourists to this district. May Allah Almighty bless the departed souls and be with the surviving ones in these hours of grief. May Allah Almighty also help the proprietors and managers of the hotel to bear the shock and loss.
One observation which was very disturbing during the few hours after the accident was that many people were exuberantly reporting the accident to each other, exaggerating the magnitude of the damage as if they were (God forbid) pleased with the whole thing. They appeared not so much bothered about the loss of life of visiting guests, but were more (negatively) concerned about the damage to the hotel. Of course noble exceptions are always there and here also some felt genuinely sad and sorry, but the reaction of a large many was as reported above.
The positive point felt was the role of the press which was cautious and careful in reporting the case unlike when the first Coronavirus patient was detected in Chitral the local press blared the news with headlines that the affectee was a shopkeeper in Ataliq bazar, stressing more on Ataliq bazar than the patient as if Ataliq bazar was the culprit. This time the press has been careful and mature which is a positive sign. .. CN report, 13 Aug 2020
CHITRAL: After the lifting of Coronavirus restrictions, tourists have started moving into Chitral in large numbers as they have to other touristic areas of Northern Pakistan. However some tourists talking to CN were very sore about being held up at the Lowari tunnel while coming up. They said never anywhere do they stop people for so long saying it is tunnel close time etc or road close time or anything like that. Chitralis being used to taking such nonsense may not complain and consider the very presence of a tunnel enough of a blessing, but tourists who are free people not used to being subjected to such rough treatment felt very bad about it. Tourists also complained about the poor condition of roads in general and said they will not visit Chitral again until the roads are improved and the torturing wait at the tunnel is finished off. .. CN report, 13 Aug 2020
Russian President Vladimir Putin has said a locally developed vaccine for Covid-19 has been given regulatory approval after less than two months of testing on humans.
Mr Putin said the vaccine had passed all the required checks, adding that his daughter had already been given it.
Officials have said they plan to start mass vaccination in October.
Experts have raised concerns about the speed of Russia’s work, suggesting that researchers might be cutting corners.
Amid fears that safety could have been compromised, the World Health Organization (WHO) urged Russia last week to follow international guidelines for producing a vaccine against Covid-19.
On Tuesday, the WHO said it had been in talks with Russian authorities about undertaking a review of the vaccine, which has been named Sputnik-V.
Currently, the Russian vaccine is not among the WHO’s list of six vaccines that have reached phase three clinical trials, which involve more widespread testing in humans.
Coronavirus vaccine: When will we have one?
Encouraging results in vaccine trials
Russian spies target Covid-19 vaccine research
More than 100 vaccines around the world are in early development, with some of those being tested on people in clinical trials.
Despite rapid progress, most experts think any vaccine would not become widely available until mid-2021.
What did President Putin say about the vaccine?
Calling it a world first, President Putin said the vaccine, developed by Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute, offered “sustainable immunity” against the coronavirus.
He said he knew the vaccine was “quite effective”, without giving further details, and stressed that it had passed “all needed checks”.Mr Putin also said the vaccine had been given to one of his daughters, who was feeling fine despite a brief temperature increase.
“I think in this sense she took part in the experiment,” Mr Putin said, without specifying which of his two daughters had received the vaccine.
“After the first injection her temperature was 38 degrees, the next day 37.5, and that was it. After the second injection her temperature went up slightly, then back to normal.”
It is rare for President Putin to talk publicly about his daughters – named Maria Vorontsova and Katerina Tikhonova in media reports – and their lives have been shrouded in secrecy.
What do we know about the vaccine?
Russian scientists said early-stage trials of the vaccine had been completed and the results were a success.
The Russian vaccine uses adapted strains of the adenovirus, a virus that usually causes the common cold, to trigger an immune response.In July Russian scientists announced that early-stage trials of a vaccine developed by the Gamaleya Institute had been completed
But the vaccine’s approval by Russian regulators comes before the completion of a larger study involving thousands of people, known as a phase-three trial.
Experts consider these trials an essential part of the testing process.
Despite this, Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said on Tuesday the vaccine had “proven to be highly effective and safe”, hailing it as a big step towards “humankind’s victory” over Covid-19.
Russian officials said the vaccine had been named Sputnik-V, in honour of the world’s first satellite. Sputnik is the Russian word for satellite.
They have likened the search for a vaccine to the space race contested by the Soviet Union and the US during the Cold War.
Russia has previously been accused by the UK, US and Canada of seeking to steal research related to Covid-19.
Russia’s vaccine data cannot be verified
Russia is fast-tracking its Covid-19 vaccine at an extraordinary pace. It began the first clinical trials on 17 June, months after teams in China, the US and Europe.
Unlike other groups, the Gamaleya Institute in Moscow has not released any safety or immunity data from its studies. This makes it impossible for independent scientists to make an assessment.
President Putin is keen to send a clear message to the world regarding the prowess of Russian science. But simply being first is not enough.
No Covid-19 vaccine being developed has yet been shown to offer protection against coronavirus. That central question remains unanswered.
What reaction has there been to Russia’s vaccine efforts?
The progress Russia says it has made on a coronavirus vaccine has been met with scepticism by health officials and media outlets in the US and Europe.
Last month, America’s leading infectious diseases expert Dr Anthony Fauci expressed doubts about the rigour of the testing process in fast-track vaccine efforts in Russia and China.
WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier has echoed those sentiments, telling reporters on 4 August: “Sometimes individual researchers claim they have found something, which is of course, as such, great news.
“But between finding or having a clue of maybe having a vaccine that works, and having gone through all the stages, is a big difference.”
Meanwhile the Moscow-based Association of Clinical Trials Organizations (Acto), which represents the world’s top drug companies in Russia, urged the health ministry to postpone approval until after phase-three trials.
Acto executive director Svetlana Zavidova told the Russian MedPortal site that a decision on mass vaccination had been carried out after a combined first- and second-phase tests on 76 people, and that it was impossible to confirm the efficacy of a drug on this basis … Source
CHITRAL: In China, students caught cheating in college entrance exams are awarded seven years imprisonment. In Pakistan cheating in exams is considered a normal practice and even examiners are lenient on it. Some examiners even help cheating after getting gratification. So much for a conservative muslim society. Result is that we have high degrees but low knowledge and low moral base. In Pakistan, imprisonment should be announced for cheaters and death sentence for examiners helping in cheating. We shall prosper then onward, Insha Allah. .. CN report, 07 Aug 2020
CHITRAL: It can only happen in Pakistan. On one hand we are crying about shortage of electricity while on the other hand a 108 Mw hydel powerhouse located at Golen in Chitral is non operational for three weeks due to minor damage to the channel, because of floods. As per the local engineer, closure of power station caused a loss of around Rs 25 million daily as it could generate 2.6 million units (kwh) of electricity in 24 hours.
The faulty design of the power station has never been investigated into or at least no body has been held accountable for the faulty design, because of which the exchequer is loosing millions per day. .. CN report, 07 Aug 2020
CHITRAL: Pakistan has for the first time stood up to the OIC ‘s torturous silence on Indian atrocities in occupied Kashmir. foreign Minister SM Qureshi, while talking to TV reporters said that Saudi Arabia and UAE must clearly say whether they are with us or not with us on Kasmir issue. He said, if he does not receive a reply, he will ask the Prime Minister to convene a meeting of countries that support the Kashmir cause irrespective of whether they are members of OIC or not.
.. CN report, 06 Aug 2020
.. by Mir Wazir Khan
The world is commemorating 75-years anniversary of 75-years old ‘Little Boy’. In most of the world’s cultures, little boy is a name for someone within the age of early adolescent. However, 75-years ago in July 1945, the United States nuclear scientist gave the name of ‘Little Boy’ to its first nuclear bomb which they were planning to drop over Japan shortly.
The Nazi Germany had surrendered in May 1945; but the war was extremely bloody over the Pacific front between the forces of the US and Japan. The US’ efforts for invasion of Japan by land through amphibious assault by sea had failed and the US was losing thousands of troops on daily basis. The large number of body-bags returning to the US angered the people and leadership of the US and forced them to think seriously for ending the war by all means possible.
During the war the US was engaged in the development of a nuclear bomb under the supervision of Robert Oppenheimer and the project was named Manhattan Project. The project reached its culmination on July 16, 1945 when a nuclear bomb was detonated for the first time in human history. The detonation took place in the desert of New Mexico at 5:29 am. After the successful experimentation of its first nuclear detonation, the first nuclear bomb to be used against Japan to end the war was code-named ‘Little Boy’.
August 6, 1945 was chosen as a date to use the bomb and Hiroshima was selected as the city for the catastrophe. A B-29 bomber of the US Air Force with Colonel Paul W. Tibbet as its chief pilot were to operate the flight for the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. For the special nuclear bombing mission, the flight of the B-29 bomber was code named as Enola Gay in honor of the mother of Col. Paul W.Tibbet.
The nuclear bombing flight took off from US military base from North Field of Northern Mariana Island in the Pacific that was housing major US airpower against Japan. The airbase was around six hour’s flight away from Hiroshima. A 12-person crew boarded the B-29 along with the silent ‘Little Boy’. The project director of the Manhattan Project, Maj. Gen. Leslie B.R Groves wanted to photograph the take-off for the coming generations to see. So the airfield was illuminated with flashlights to take photographs of the take-off. The colonel-pilot Paul W. Tibbets was instructed to take out his head from the cockpit window of the bomber and to wave to the assembled viewers who were none other than senior people of the Manhattan Project and senior military personnel of the USA.
The bomber flew for about six hours towards its unfortunate target with the ‘Little Boy’ sleeping. Capt. Williams armed and assembled the bomb during the six hour flight (a nerve- wrecking mission given the possibility of its mid-air explosion). Capt. William’s assistant 2nd Lt. Morris removed the safety devices of the bomb (another unbelievably dangerous feat) to get it ready for dropping about an hour before it could be released above the chosen target.
The B-29 bomber arrived at the target—the city of Hiroshima- at an altitude of 32333 feet. High altitude was chosen for the flight because the Japanese, due to shortage of fuel, were reluctant to scramble and engage enemy aircrafts at high altitude. The Japanese were not aware that that particular bomber was on a special mission. At 8:15 am on August 6, 1945 the bomb was released from an altitude of 31,060 feet. The bomb detonated above the predetermined site of the city at an altitude of 1968 feet. A doomsday scenario enveloped the city of Hiroshima. Around 80000 died and 70000 were injured in a matter of minutes. The Japanese determination and resistance was shaken. Col. Paul W.Tibbets, the aviator for the first nuclear bombing, in an interview said that he was not sorry for his action as he was doing his assigned duty of a bomber pilot and was acting under the rightful command of his superiors and in service of the nation. He rose through the ranks of US Air Force and retired at the rank of Brigadier-General. After retirement, he worked for aviation companies and died on November 1, 2007 at the age of 92. Before his dead he had asked for no funeral and headstone fearing that opponents of nuclear weapons may use his tomb as a place of protests. His body was cremated and ashes thrown into English Channel.
Two days later from the first nuclear bombing, on August 9, 1945 another nuclear bomb code-named ‘Fat Man’ was dropped over Nagasaki. Japan surrendered on August 15, 1945 and World War II ended with alarming message for the world. Fearing the enormous destructive power of the nuclear bomb, other countries also commenced preparation to acquire the same at any cost. Thus preparation for World War III has begun immediately after the termination of World War II. The ex-Soviet Union become the next nation to possess the ‘Little Boy’. Presently, there are about twelve countries (seven declared and five undeclared) to be in possessions of ‘Little Boys’. Now the nuclear weapons are in a more advanced and destructive shape. It doesn’t need six-hour flight to drop a single nuclear bomb. Rather the Intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarine-launched ballistic missiles and long-range nuclear bombers can destroy planet Earth several times during the span of six hours. May God save us from any nuclear apocalypse and grant wisdom and sagacity to world leaders to say ‘No’ to nuclear weapons! .. Mir Wazir Khan, Chitral, 06 Aug 2020
CHITRAL: A senior Chitrali personality who himself has been in highest of offices and has close rapport with senior bureaucrats, police officials and other elite administrative officials who have at some time served in Chitral in key administrative positions, disclosed to this scribe that in official statements these officers may have been praising Chitralis for their peace loving nature and civility etc etc, but in private conversations they did not mention much good about the nature of Chitralis.
Also read: Time to revisit perceptions about Chitralis
The most prominent point unanimously opined by former administrators about Chitralis was that they do not stand for principles, rather mostly bow to the rising sun, implying they were spineless. They are by nature jealous and ill wishers of each other and put more effort in pulling down others rather than rising themselves, some opined. They said there was a visible dearth of unity amongst Chitralis. One former official quoted an example that if people of an area address a genuine press conference against an alleged misdoing of some administrative official, the very next day another group of people from same area will voluntarily hold a press conference rebutting their fellow brethren and in support of the official. They said for these reasons it was very easy to govern and control Chitralis. .. CN report, 04 Aug 2020
CHITRAL: In Hunza, a neighbor landof Chitral, all the people of the village who pledge to sacrifice animals bring them to a central location and a joint Qurbani is held. The meat is then distributed among all the residents of the village in an equal proportion, regardless of the fact who owned animals and who did not. In other words, if you owned a sacrificial animal, you’ll get the same amount of meet as compared to the one who did not own any.
Most impressing thing is, most people don’t even know who offered animal for sacrifice. After a brief ritual at home, the owner silently takes the animal to the place where joint Qurbani is taking place and hands it over to the volunteers.
No hired butchers, all the work is done by youngsters of the village, girls participate in cleaning and washing meat, while men do other related tasks. This practice is common across Hunza region. .. Source: Colors of Hunza, 02 Aug 2020