A little over four years ago, the window for reversing the development of nuclear weapons and delivery capability by North Korea was closing. Careful monitoring by DPRK Supreme Commander Kim Jong-Un and (effectively the first deputy) Kim Yo-Jong (his sister) ensured that by mid-2017 Pyongyang had developed sufficient strike capability to ensure intolerable loss of life levels in Japan and among US service personnel stationed in the region. By the close of 2019, projectiles capable of reaching Alaska had been developed, although not tested except at the preliminary stage, and by now, it is calculated by those closely tracking developments in the DPRK that such vehicles for nuclear warheads would be able to reach California, with the aim of subsequent refinement being Texas. The 2003 attack on Saddam Hussein was launched by President George W Bush only after it was secretly confirmed that the dictator of Iraq had no WMD capable of wreaking havoc within military formations sent by the US and their coalition partners. Long and chaotic supply lines snaked about the conflict zone unmolested, evidence that there was no longer any WMD in Iraq. Of course, this did not prevent President Bush from pretending that there was—a theatrical performance for which he merited an Oscar. The 43rd President of the US fought the wrong type of war in the wrong country at the wrong time, weakening the position of the US substantially, although the blame for that was placed on the shoulders of the next two US Presidents, Barack Obama and Donald J. Trump. “Teflon Dubya” escaped blame for the dilution of US influence in the manner that Bill Clinton dodged the fact that it was his (Wall Street-crafted) measures that ensured the 2008 financial collapse that saw the billionaires and millionaires remain afloat while the middle and lower classes lost their shirts and many of them their houses. Both Clinton and Bush II were responsible for the ascendancy of the PRC and the rise of Al Qaeda and later ISIS, and both today remain honoured rather than reviled in their own country.
Just as it was impossible for many strategists in Washington to grasp the extent of the hold that Chairman Mao had over the minds of ordinary citizens of the PRC, it is proving difficult for them to fathom the depths of support that is enjoyed by Supreme Commander Kim Jong-Un by the people of the DPRK. Most appear convinced that the tribulations being faced by them are the consequence of the evil designs of countries out to enslave them, and that only Kim Jong-Un can lead them out of this predicament. There certainly are malcontents in North Korea, but these are small in number rather than the tidal waves of the disaffected imagined by the John Boltons and others who dream about pulling the trigger on regime change through street protests. In North America, in particular, there is a significant Korean diaspora that seeks a unified peninsula. A unified Korea would very soon equal, and possibly overtake, an ageing Japan in GDP, but the method that many in this diaspora are looking to is regime change in North Korea. Given the hold that decades of propaganda have had on the minds of the people in the DPRK, this seems highly unlikely. The reality is that the harsh sanctions regime, first put in place by President Clinton and tightened even further by his successors, has affected not the WMD program of that country but its people, rendering them victims to malnutrition, in much the way earlier Clinton sanctions (on Iraq) killed off hundreds of thousands of infants and children in the country during the period before the 2003 invasion of Iraq by Bush II even as Saddam Hussein and his cronies retained their luxurious lifestyles. Most of the sanctions imposed by members of NATO on weaker countries further impoverish the underprivileged, which is why they need to be replaced by fewer sanctions that would target only those responsible for designing and carrying out policies regarded by NATO member states as undesirable.
Information available to the few who have insight into what is taking place in the inner councils of the DPRK suggest that the military and security services of that state have accumulated substantial stocks of chemical, biological and nuclear WMD. Concurrently, despite sanctions there has been progression in the range and stability of the vehicles needed to carry such weapons to their destination in enemy countries. The DPRK leadership is aware that Beijing would profit from a rise in tensions between Pyongyang and Washington, just as it would from a significant increase in the number and intensity of Wahabi-Khomeinist extremist attacks, especially in Europe and the US. Either would draw attention away from the centrality of the PRC theatre as the fulcrum of the conflict that is now in full view between the US and the PRC for dominance in the global architecture. Apparently coincidentally, several technical experts from some of the DPRK’s neighbours have assisted in developing that country’s WMD capabilities, much as retired and on-leave personnel of the Pakistan military have spent substantial periods of time training elements that prepare for the establishment of a Caliphate across much of Eurasia in the way planned by Abubakr al Baghdadi.
Given ground realities, the policy sought by President Moon of South Korea appears to be logical. This is to try and ensure that North Korea is given pathways to feed its people and provide them employment in a manner that is not clandestine or criminal. There is an obvious inconsistency between the syrupy protestations of love by President Trump to Supreme Commander Kim and the harsh sanctions imposed by the same Trump administration on the DPRK. This may meet with howls of protest from devotees of Trump, but the best path for President Biden to follow for North Korea is to go along with President Moon Jae-In as the latter seeks to develop a friendly relationship with his North Korea counterpart. Both President Biden as well as Prime Minister Suga of Japan need to show that they trust and respect President Moon, if the latter is to be taken seriously in Pyongyang. War breaking out on the Korean peninsula would be a disaster, and given the situation in the DPRK, only the “Bright Sunshine” policy, first enunciated by a professor of geopolitics from India nearly five years ago, can succeed in bringing down tensions within the Korean peninsula. The Koreans are a people with a great civilisation and culture and need to be given the opportunity for conciliation and cooperation designed to promote economic development. Kim Jong-Un seeks to do a Deng Xiaoping in North Korea, and should he succeed, his warheads will be sheathed in a manner that no other method short of a disastrous war can ensure. The greater the tensions between Pyongyang and Washington (not to mention Tokyo), the broader will be the smiles in Beijing, although public statements would not reflect this satisfaction at another diversion from a focus on the PRC by those countries looking to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific.
First Deputy Kim Yo-Jong reflects the mind of Supreme Commander Kim Jong-Un, and what she has said is less a warning of war as it is a note of caution. Her caution is intended (in the view of those familiar with the leadership in the DPRK) so that the White House does not create tensions through a miscalculation of Kim’s intent and capabilities. The North Korean leadership has the capability to respond in kind and will use it. This is the message, but this is only if other options fail or not get tried out. Thus far, since Jill and Joe Biden took up residence in the White House, US interlocutors attempting to engage with the leadership in Pyongyang have been of a relatively low level. Issues involving the DPRK cannot be sorted out at the level of junior officials with no plenipotentiary powers. What is needed is higher-level US-DPRK engagement on the condition that disruptive moves such as nuclear tests or long-range missile launches are avoided by the North Korean side. Such talks could take place in locations that have long maintained friendly relations with both Washington as well as Pyongyang, such as India. The first deputy has conveyed a message to Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and through him to his bosses, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Those tracking the situation in Pyongyang say that the message is not hostile but the reverse. It is a call to diplomacy, but at a level and in a manner that actually makes a difference rather than probes by relatively junior officials performing the job of newspaper correspondents in securing information rather than seeking mutually acceptable solutions to the issue of peace in the Korean peninsula. The people of Korea or those who have Korean heritage deserve to be given the chance for peace and conciliation.
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5 MUST-HAVE JEWELLERY PIECES FOR KARVA CHAUTH
As we spent yet another year at home in our pyjamas, the ongoing festive season has given us the perfect excuse to dress up! It is that time of the year when festivity in India is in its full swing. India boasts of an array of significant festivals, of which Karva Chauth, marks one important celebration for married couples.
Karva Chauth is a celebration of the pious bond between a husband and a wife. Ladies dress up to the nines and observe fast from sunrise to moonrise for a day for the safety and long lives of their husbands.
Undoubtedly, like every year, ladies would be stressed about choosing the perfect outfit for the special day. But do you think your search will be limited to finding a good dress? Of course not!
With your sartorial choices taking the front seat, do not forget to have your hands on the must-have jewellery pieces that not only compliment your clothes but also your personality.
Bhavesh Navlakha, founder of online fashion jewellery brand Sukkhi helped ANI list the trending jewellery pieces that would be a one-time investment for you to perfectly style your outfit not only for Karva Chauth but also for the entire festive season:
1. Pearl choker: Chokers are never out of style and are a beautiful addition to accentuate Indian outfits. The choker lends an edginess to your chosen ethnic outfit. An elegant pearl choker can elevate any outfit and give a rather classy look without being too heavy.
2. Long-chain jhumkis: Long-chain jhumkis, also referred to as Bahubali-inspired earrings, is a style statement that acts as the perfect addition to any ethnic outfit. It is a contemporary take on traditional earrings which adds a touch of glamour to your outfit without the need for any more jewellery.
3. Pearl bangles: Bangles are one of the most traditional accessories used in India. Bangles are a versatile jewellery piece that compliments our ethnic outfits. Adding jewellery pieces to your wrist acts as the perfect accessory to just about every Indian outfit.
4. Jhumkis: Jhumkis are immensely popular as one of the most worn jewellery pieces and is loved by everyone for their intricate design. Jhumkis can be paired with Indian ethnic outfits and also western outfits to create an eye-pleasing ensemble.
5. Kundan neckpiece: Kundan neckpieces look elegant and sophisticated and can glam up your outfit in no time. Not just for Karva Chauth, but Kundan sets can be worn by pairing them with your favourite outfit and layering the necklaces.
With jewellery trends constantly evolving and changing every year, we find it hard to keep ourselves updated on them. So, now that we have got you all covered, style your outfit with the above-mentioned jewellery pieces, making your ensemble not only look great but also speaking volumes for you!
Needledust launches its first-ever store in Mumbai
India’s first-ever designer jutti label, Needledust is thrilled to announce the launch of their first-ever store in Mumbai at Reliance’s first premium mall in Mumbai’s Bandra Kurla Complex, Jio World Drive.
Housing more than 90+ premium and luxury brands, JIO World Driver is an exciting hub for luxury, fashion, shopping and entertainment. Located in Bandra Kurla Complex, and spanning across an area of 17.5 acres at Maker Maxity, Jio World Drive is Mumbai’s newest, vibrant urban hangout. The precinct is home to 72 prominent International and Indian brands, 27 culinary outlets with cuisines from across the globe, Mumbai’s first rooftop Jio Drive-In Theatre, an open-air weekend community market, pet-friendly services, a dedicated pop-up experience and other bespoke services. With an international consumer base, Needledust launched in 2014 with an original first of its kind product in the designer jutti space.
Following the immense success of their existing stores in Delhi & Chandigarh and a spectacular online presence on Needledust.com, this is a significant milestone for the brand as they open their doors to the tinsel town.
Needledust brings to you a line of bespoke fine leather juttis that speak the charm of a true old school artisan with a desire to recreate this age-old craft for those who wear, admire, preserve its elegance and culture.
The celebrated label is all about unbridled passion for the revival of the jutti and unmatched craftsmanship, amalgamating the finesse of old royal moulds with innovative design and embroidery patterns that impeccably reflect 21st-century aesthetics.
MANUBHAI JEWELLERS LAUNCHES AN EXCLUSIVE BRIDAL JEWELLERY COLLECTION FOR NEW BRIDES-TO-BE
This wedding season, Manubhai Jewellers, a leading jewellery brand for over 30 years has made the process of finding the perfect jewellery for all the brides-to-be more special and remarkable. The brand has launched a new campaign called “Wedding by Manubhai” that features jewellery for every function – Sangeet, Mehendi and Wedding -along with a special traditional experience for all the new brides-to-be to wish them good luck and prosperity.
Speaking about the new campaign, Samir Sagar, Director, Manubhai Jewellers, said, “We at Manubhai Jewellers have been creating intricate and beautiful pieces of jewellery that balance between tradition and contemporary design to suit every occasion. For the wedding season, we want to take the opportunity to highlight the traditional values associated with our brand and offer a new bridal experience.” Manubhai Jewellers are popularly known for their specially crafted and curated collections in Mumbai. With a retail presence in Borivali, they cater to every customer’s needs ranging from beautiful modern diamond pieces to fanciful and chic gold wear, to traditional Kundan and Jadau jewellery. The brand is one of the few jewellers in Mumbai creating bespoke designs in Polki, Temple and Antique.
Additionally, Manubhai Jewellers are also committed to specialising in bridal jewellery called Madhuban. The Madhuban collection features beautifully handcrafted inspirational jewellery displayed in the store with a royal theme. Manubhai’s traditional concepts stand are brilliantly reflected through the indigenous craftsmanship of the Madhuban collection and has made the brand popular among the best jewellery shops in Mumbai. Further, all jewellers at Manubhai are hallmarked and certified.
Further, to make the moment special for new brides, Manubhai Jewellers have also introduced “Madhuban Delight” wherein the bride is first welcomed in a traditional way with the ‘Aarti thali’ and then gifted with a ‘Potli’ – a traditional drawstring bag that contains silver coins, vermilion, rice and Swastik that symbolise good luck, prosperity and imply the underlying cultural significance of ceremonial rituals.
Karva Chauth 2021: Stand out with these easy makeup looks
Karva Chauth, an important festival for married couples has always been about dressing up to the nines and sporting elaborate makeup looks for women. Karva Chauth is a celebration of the pious bond between a husband and a wife. Ladies dress up to the nines and observe fast from sunrise to moonrise for a day for the safety and long lives of their husbands. This year Karva Chauth will be celebrated on 24 October, that is, Sunday.
Ladies, you may even have spent days planning out your Karva Chauth outfit and makeup look. However, with the Covid-19 pandemic easing down, there is much of a point in getting decked up like earlier.
So, it is time to come up with a makeup look that is not only appropriate for your special day but also worthy of posting on Instagram!
Check out the simple tips listed below by Professional MUA Sahibjeet Kaur shared with ANI to create a makeup look that is unapologetically you:
1. Basic red, with popping eyeliner or kajal: Women love to wear traditional red shades for their Karwa Chauth, but another trend that has really taken up and we cannot get enough of is the coloured eyeliner or kajal look. Gone are the days when your eyes could carry only basic black or simple brown colours. Now, you can use coloured eyeliner or kajal to add a unique point to your Karva Chauth look. Add trendy colours like lime green, electric blue, and bubblegum pink to your eyeliner or Kajal. You can play around with a sleek cat-eye look or experiment with a graphic liner look by doing a cut-crease with a coloured liner. Apply bold blood-red lipstick with small size red bindi. To compliment your look, style your dress with gajra, mang tikka, and a choker neckpiece.
2. Have fun with the eyeshadow palette: Bid adieu to your basic pink and red eyeshadow look. Explore the peppy colours in the palette and blend the shades that go with your outfit. To add more glam to your eye makeup, apply artificial lashes on your eyes and coat them with intense mascara. Go light with your lip-shade to let your eyes do the talking!
3. Smokey eyes with a glitter twist: A trend that can never become stale is the basic smokey eye makeup look. But, why should you settle for basic? Pick up your makeup brush tool and add some glittery twist to the whole look. Choose a colour matching to your outfit for the smokey eyeshadow. Blend it until you achieve the perfect smoke. Apply artificial lashes to your eyes and coat them with intense mascara. Ditching the basic black, add a glittery twist to the whole look by applying a silver shiny eyeliner. Apply nude or glossy lipstick and a stroke of highlighter on your cheekbones. If you can wear big jhumkis, it can enhance your look like anything.
4. Add some glow to your look: Steer clear of your ultra-bright golden highlighter and go for a subtler look instead. Opt for a subtle highlighter in the shade of rose gold, champagne, or dull gold. Apply it at the high points of your cheekbones, on your brow bones, and down your nose to give yourself that lit-from-within look. This will make your makeup look understated while still making you look effervescent.
5. Get peachy with blush: Red, pink or green- choose any colour for your outfit and peachy makeup will add volumes to your look! Go for a peachy blush with a slight shimmer to add warmth to your face and elevate that dewy look. You can apply the blush straight across your cheekbones and nose to create a pretty fresh look and to your nose to give yourself that lit-from-within look.
Pro-tip: Do not neglect your eyebrows. You can use an eyebrow pencil to shape up your eyebrows or can use eyeshadow to give a natural uplift to your brows.
Now that we have got you all covered, try out these makeup tips to glam up this Karva Chauth!
DIAL M FOR MINIMALISM
With the adage ‘Less is more’, allow your furnishings and accessories to come through placing them judiciously, giving your home an effective yet understated appeal that is easy on the eyes.
Clamping down on consumption for some has indirectly affected their aesthetic (most for the better). It has initiated a shift in consumer choices. The year 2020 and a majority of 2021 have seen a shift in design trends. Instagram accounts with zen influencers have made impressions in the aesthetic inclinations of many. Enter Marie Kondo, the purveyor of minimalism with tidying up as her motto. Known to preach cleanliness, she believes ’Tidying up’ fosters joy and serenity. Indulgence and maximal living is a personal choice and we are not arguing about it. Respect, Kardashians and Jenners.
However, understated interiors are an aesthetically pleasing choice of decor. This style that is #trending can be incorporated into homes of all shapes and sizes. Whether it’s Japanese, modern or Scandinavian, there are many ways to achieve this coveted look. An added advantage is it is not labour intensive to execute so you can save energy for your upcoming HIIT session. Most of these sleek looks can be achieved by incorporating simple streamlined furniture with chalky hues for upholstery.
Clean modern lines, a pastel palette of colours and simple silhouettes. With the adage ‘Less is more’, allow your furnishings and accessories to come through placing them judiciously, giving your home an effective yet understated appeal that is easy on the eyes. Colours are imperative.
A decluttered coffee table with a statement pot planter can do the trick. Facets that add to the zen features range from contemporary ceramic bowls to a some-free soy wax candle. These contemporary bowls can be procured from Ellementry, a home accessory studio from Jaipur. Nestasia (an online Indian home store) boasts of geometric ceramic pots that are unique and trendy. They are available in chalky hues in harmony with a minimalist’s handbook. For everything else there is Ikea.
Rattan mirrors are topping the charts for sprucing up your blank spaces. Choose from a range of hand made rattan numbers to bevelled circular pieces. One mirror on a single wall should do the trick. A multitude of small rattan mirrors can add that subtle adornment. These handmade rattan numbers could be found at gingercrush.com. You could also explore www.pepperfry.in for some sleek round mirrors by the brand Flairglass.
Tables with sharp lines or curves comply with the minimalist’s montage. Sofas and couches with forms conforming to the Marie Kondo design sensibility.
If you’re looking to fix the mess, commit to tidying up. Investing in simple yet effective pieces with minimum maintenance. Airy spaces with sunlight pouring in are therapeutic. Choose earthy and pastel colours in tandem with the zen philosophy. To destress, declutter.
WITH NEARLY 50 LEOPARDS, 30 TIGERS, KATARNIAGHAT IS CLAIMING STIR FOR ECO-TOURISTS
Once known for having tigers in its reserve; now the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve in Uttar Pradesh now has a good number of leopards as well for Eco-tourists as it now comprises more than 30 tigers and over 50 leopards.
“Uttar Pradesh has tremendous potential to attract tourists in tiger reserves in the Terai belt as it is well-connected by road and the train network. Dudhwa Tiger reserve that has noticed with a significant rise in healthy population comprising of 30 plus tigers and 50 plus leopards that has grown over years, says Divisional Forest Officer of Katarniaghat Akash Badhawan.
The 2018 tiger census had projected around 173 tigers in UP which was a remarkable increase of about 48% against the national average of 33% from the previous census held in 2014 which counted around 117 tigers in UP. Ecotourism, however, is still in a fledgling stage in UP.
As per recent report of Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shivalik Hills and Gangetic plains have 1,253 (1,158-1348) leopards (Bihar 98, Uttarakhand 839, and Uttar Pradesh 316), central India and Eastern Ghats have 8,071 (7,654-8,488) (Andhra Pradesh 492, Telangana 334, Chhattisgarh 853, Jharkhand 46, Madhya Pradesh 3,421, Maharashtra 1,690, Odisha 760, and Rajasthan 476), the Western Ghats have 3,387 (Goa 86, Karnataka 1,783, Kerala 650 and Tamil Nadu 868).
“It’s due to the good number of principal prey species such as wild boar, spotted deer, swamp deer, blue bull and hog deer while Leopard’s main prey species are small sized ungulates, langurs and monkeys. Deer species of Dudhwa Tiger Reserve like sambhar, swamp deer, spotted deer, hog deer, barking deer along with wild boar and blue bull constitute various prey options for the big cats,” said Badhawan.
Adding further, Badhawan said that Feral cattle in Katerniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary constitute significant prey base for tigers and leopards.
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