Obama digs at Trump over climate change

Former US president Barack Obama arrives for his address to the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit in the Indian capital New Delhi on Dec. 1, 2017. Former US president Barack Obama launched a veiled barb at his successor Donald Trump on Nov. 1, saying there is “a pause in American leadership” on climate change. (AFP/Money Sharma)
Updated 01 December 2017
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Obama digs at Trump over climate change

NEW DELHI: Former US president Barack Obama launched a veiled barb at his successor Donald Trump on Friday, saying there is “a pause in American leadership” on climate change.
Since leaving office in January, Obama has been relatively restrained in his comments about Trump, who frequently fires broadsides at his predecessor’s policies.
But he took aim at the Republican president in a New Delhi speech over Trump’s threat to leave the 2015 Paris climate accord on slashing global carbon emissions.
“It is an agreement that — even though we have a little bit of a pause in American leadership — is giving our children a fighting chance,” Obama told a symposium organized by the Hindustan Times newspaper.
“And the good news is that in the United States, there are states, companies and universities and cities that are continuing to work to make sure that America lives up to that agreements that we made in the Paris accords,” he added.
Trump has threatened several times to withdraw from the Paris accord saying it is crippling US business. He has called for the agreement to be renegotiated.
Obama would not be drawn into other questions about the US administration during his appearance in New Delhi, but the former president did attack “destructive populism from the left or the right” that he called a threat to modern democracy.
“The thing I love about America and I suspect the thing you love about India is just this cacophony of life and it throws up all kinds of variety,” Obama said in response to one attempt to force a comment on Trump.
“There are political trends in American that I don’t agree with and abide by but I recognize as part of a running thread in American life.”
The two-term leader said he has become “obsessed” with the way news is handled and consumed, particularly by the young.
“We are more connected than ever before but ... more and more we are fitting facts to suit our opinions rather than formulating our opinions based on facts,” said Obama, who was in China before visiting India, and next goes to Paris.
“This poses a great danger because democracies can’t function if we can’t agree on a basic baseline of what is true and what is false.”


Pakistan orders custody for Hindu girls at center of quarrel with India

Updated 26 March 2019
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Pakistan orders custody for Hindu girls at center of quarrel with India

  • The teenagers left their home in mostly Muslim Pakistan’s southeastern province of Sindh on March 20 to be married in Punjab province
  • Police have detained ten people in the case over their marriages

KARACHI, Pakistan: A court in Pakistan on Tuesday ordered the government to take custody of two Hindu sisters allegedly kidnapped and forced to convert to Islam, police said, a case that triggered a quarrel with Hindu-majority neighbor India.
Police say the teenagers left their home in mostly Muslim Pakistan’s southeastern province of Sindh on March 20 to be married in Punjab province, where the law does not bar marriages of those younger than 18, unlike Sindh.
“The girls appeared before Islamabad High Court on Tuesday morning,” Farrukh Ali, a police official in their home district of Gothki, said by telephone.
“The court has directed the deputy commissioner to take their custody,” he added, referring to an administration official in the Pakistani capital.
The court set a deadline of next Tuesday for the submission of a report into an inquiry ordered by Prime Minister Imran Khan, and directed that the girls not return to Sindh until the case was resolved, broadcaster Geo Television said.
Police have detained ten people in the case over their marriages and registered a formal case of kidnapping and robbery by the teenagers, after complaints from their parents.
The incident prompted a rare public intervention by a top Indian official in its neighbor’s domestic affairs, when Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj said on Twitter she had asked India’s ambassador in Pakistan for a report on news of it.
Pakistan was “totally behind the girls,” Information and Broadcasting Minister Fawad Chaudhry said on social media in response to Swaraj’s Sunday message, but asked India to look after its own minority Muslims.
At a news conference on Sunday, he referred to religious riots in Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state of Gujarat in 2002 that killed more than 1,000 people, mostly Muslims.
In Jammu and Kashmir, India’s only Muslim-majority state, Pakistan accuses India of human rights violations, a charge New Delhi denies.
Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will seek a second term in a general election starting next month. He has taken a tougher stand toward Pakistan in the past five years.