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ISRAEL AND UAE SIGN HISTORIC DEAL

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Israel and the United Arab Emirates have reached a deal to normalise relations, with Israel agreeing to suspend its controversial plans to annex parts of the occupied West
Bank.

In a surprise statement by US President Donald Trump,
who helped broker it, the countries called the accord
“historic” and a breakthrough toward peace.

Until now Israel has had no diplomatic relations with Gulf
Arab countries.

But shared worries over Iran have led to unofficial contacts
between them.

Palestinian leaders were reportedly taken by surprise. A spokesman for President Mahmoud Abbas said the deal amounted to “treason”, and the Palestinian ambassador to the UAE was being recalled.

President Trump called the deal between Prime Minister
Netanyahu and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin
Zayed Al Nahyan “a truly historic moment”. It marks only the third Israel-Arab peace deal since Israel’s declaration of independence in 1948, after Egypt and Jordan.

“Now that the ice has been broken I expect more Arab and Muslim countries will follow the United Arab Emirates,” he told reporters in the Oval Office, saying there would be a signing ceremony at the White House in the coming weeks.
Earlier, in response to a President Trump’s tweeted announcement, Mr Netanyahu wrote in Hebrew: “Historic
day.”

A foreign policy victory?
In a TV address Mr Netanyahu said he had “delayed” West Bank annexation plans, but those plans remain “on
the table”. Annexation would make some West Bank areas officially part of Israel.

“There is no change in my plan to apply our sovereignty to Judea and Samaria [West Bank] in full co-ordination with
the US. I’m committed to it. That hasn’t changed. I remind you that I was the one who put the issue of sovereignty over Judea and Samaria on the table. This issue remains on the table,” he said.

Mr Netanyahu said Israel would co-operate with the UAE in developing a coronavirus vaccine, in energy, water,
environmental protection and many other fields.

Analysts say the deal could mean a foreign policy victory for President Trump, who will seek re-election in
November, and give a personal boost to Prime Minister Netanyahu, who is on trial for alleged corruption. Both leaders have seen their approval ratings drop because of their response to the coronavirus pandemic.

And in Israel, some on the right who want to annex the West Bank expressed anger over the announcement.
The UAE’s ambassador to the US, Yousef Al Otaiba, said the deal with Israel was “a win for diplomacy and for the
region”, adding: “It is a significant advance in Arab-Israeli relations that lowers tensions and creates new energy for positive change”.

Senior Trump adviser Jared Kushner said he did not think Israel would move ahead with any annexation before
discussing it first with the US. He said he expected to see interactions “very quickly” between Israel and the UAE.
Egypt signed a deal with Israel in 1979, and Jordan in 1994. Mauritania also established diplomatic ties with
Israel in 1999, but froze the deal in 2009.

The establishment of full diplomatic relations;
the exchange of embassies; and normal trade ties between Israel and the UAE is a significant diplomatic step forward. But inevitably it raises questions. Will the full promise of this agreement be realised? And might other Gulf countries follow a similar path?

It is also important to see what it is not. This is far from the comprehensive peace plan to resolve the Palestinian question that President
Trump has long promoted. However, there are short-term benefits for all sides.

The White House was first off the mark in announcing the deal; it is perhaps a small diplomatic feather in President Trump’s cap at a time when his re-election prospects are looking more difficult.

For Israel’s embattled Prime Minister
Netanyahu, it gets him off a hook of his own making; his much-vaunted promise to annex key parts of the occupied West Bank. This has proved undeliverable, not least due to US
ambivalence and significant international opposition. Mr Netanyahu may see this “peace initiative” with the UAE as something that could bolster his chances if he precipitates a further
Israeli general election.

For the UAE, it is harder to say precisely what the immediate benefits are, though its relations with Washington will be strengthened and the deal with Israel may yield significant economic,
security and scientific benefits.

Overall this is an agreement that potentially could offer both more and less than might first appear. And as far as the Palestinians are concerned, it is hard to see this news creating anything other than frustration, that they have once again been pushed to the sidelines.

What has been agreed?
In the coming weeks delegations from Israel and the UAE will meet to sign bilateral deals regarding investment, tourism, direct flights, security, telecommunications, technology, energy, healthcare, culture, the environment, the establishment of reciprocal embassies, and other areas of mutual benefit.

“Opening direct ties between two of the Middle East’s most dynamic societies and advanced economies will transform the region by spurring economic growth, enhancing
technological innovation, and forging closer people-to-people relations,” the joint statement
says.

Israel will also “suspend declaring sovereignty over areas outlined” in President Trump’s Vision for Peace between Israel and the Palestinians, in which he backed an Israeli plan to annex Jewish settlements in the West
Bank and the strategic Jordan Valley.

● What does Trump’s Mid-East plan say
on key issues?
● Explainer: Israel, annexation and the
West Bank

The Palestinians have warned that such a move would destroy their hopes of a viable future independent state and violate international law – a stance supported by much of the international community.

The UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Anwar Gargash, said the UAE’s recognition of Israel was “a very bold step” to stop the “ticking time bomb” of Israel’s annexation of the West Bank. He said the UAE saw this as “a
stoppage of the annexation, not a suspension”.

Asked about Palestinian criticism of the UAE move, he recognised that the region was very
polarised and he expected to hear “the usual noise”. “We agonised over this,” he said, but eventually decided “let’s do it”.

The joint statement says Israel will “focus its efforts now on expanding ties with other countries in the Arab and Muslim world”, and that the US and UAE will work to achieve that goal.
The UAE and Israel will also join the US to launch a “Strategic Agenda for the Middle East”, with the three leaders noting that they “share a similar outlook regarding the threats and opportunities in the region, as well as a
shared commitment to promoting stability through diplomatic engagement, increased economic integration, and closer security
co-ordination”.

How have others reacted?

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said “it was my profound hope that annexation did not go ahead in the West Bank and today’s agreement to suspend those plans is a welcome step on the road to a more peaceful
Middle East”.

Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi
welcomed the deal while Jordan’s Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said the agreement could help push ahead stalled peace negotiations.

But a senior Palestinian official, Hanan
Ashrawi, condemned the deal, saying the UAE had “come out in the open on its secret dealings/normalisation with Israel” and telling Prince Mohammed: “May you never be sold out by your ‘friends’.”

Iran’s foreign ministry called the accord
“shameful”, according to state news agency IRNA. And in Gaza, the Hamas militant group called the deal a “stabbing in the back of our people.”

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International

Neuralink: a deeper introspection

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6th sense of Human beings the Neuralink- Neuralink is a medical device developed in order to track and enhance brain activity. Moreover, it is like a Fitbit that tracks brain activities like neuron spike. Elon Musk said that the device will also be able to help regain someone’s eyesight even if they’ve lost their optic nerve. He said that this technology will be able to fix everything that’s wrong with the brain. With complete symbiosis of the tech, humans will be able to interact with each other without the need to talk.

It will be surgically implanted into the brain and with it, one will be able to communicate with machines and control them. For now, human trials are not yet begun but would start at the end of 2020. Furthermore, it will also help study the electrical signals in the brain and help cure various medical problems. Before testing on humans, Neuralink prototypes have been tested on rodents, monkeys, pigs, etc.

Before peeping deeper into Neuralink let’s understand the human brain first.


There are 86 billion Neurons in our Brain. These neurons consist of 3 parts: a dendrite that receives the signal, a cell body that computes the received signal, and an axon that sends the signal out.


Neurons are connected through Synapses. The neurons of your brain connect each other to send and receive signals through axon-dendrite connections called synapses. Neurons communicate through Electric Signals. These signals can be recorded in the brain. Recordings from many neurons allow us to decode the information and it represents intended movements.


To understand how Neuralink works, we must understand how our brain sends information to different parts of our body using neurons. These neurons in our brain connect to form a large network and communicate using chemical signals called neurotransmitters.

This reaction generates an electric field to record the reactions. These electrodes translate electrical signals into an algorithm that a machine can read. This is how Neuralink will be able to read what one is thinking and find a way to talk to machines without uttering a single word. It’s all your thoughts and link’s action.


The neural implant will let you control a computer or mobile device anywhere you go. Micron-scale threads are inserted into areas of the brain that control movement. Each thread contains many electrodes and connects them to an implant, the Link.


The link:

It’s a sealed, implanted device that processes and stimulates, and transmits neural signals.


Neural threads:

Each small and flexible thread contains many electrodes for detecting neural signals.


Charger:

A compact inductive charger that connects to the implant wirelessly to charge the battery; same as a smart-watch or fit bit.

Precision Automated Neurosurgery.


The threads on the Link are extremely fragile and flexible that they can’t be inserted by a human hand. Hence neurosurgeons would be provided with a robotic system that can reliably and efficiently insert these threads. The robot would be able to insert the link within an hour without general anesthesia and the patient would be able to leave the hospital on the same day.

Robots will do everything from the incision, removing the skull, inserting electrodes, placing the device, and then closing it up. These robotic systems were tested on numerous pigs used to test the device. This system has no room for errors. The Head of the machine holds and guides the needle that performs the operation and contains a large number of cameras to capture the whole brain.

How Neuralink will help to overcome mental disorders?


The Neuralink aims to fight neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and epilepsy, spinal cord injuries, and other medical problems. The link is expected to even fight with common anxiety and depression yet that’s not proven. By taking primitive measures of implementing the Neuralink slowly and gradually we can hope best for it. There are high abilities and possibilities that Link could help fight a large number of medical illnesses and aims to create an affordable solution for people who lack the essential needs of medical treatment. At its level best, it will help to control the number of suicides that end lives before help can be received.


For now, those goals are very much out of reach. Scientists need to learn far more about the brain and how it works for any of those ideas to become reality. The brain is still mysterious and the neurological causes of addiction and anxiety are still unclear.


Why is Elon Musk testing his implant on Pigs?


In August 2020, Elon Musk’s 3 pig trial got rearing spotlight. The Neuralink implant was tested on 3 pigs; on 1st with no implant, on 2nd with an implant for some days and later it was removed and the 3rd pig still has the implant in her brain. The experiment of 2nd pig was done to show that if someone wanted to remove the link, they should be able to live a happy and healthy life after that. 3rd pig’s implant is active to track down all neural movements and to list down moments of snout and sniffs.


Hiring engineers for neurotechnology firm Neuralink


Neuralink is almost done dealing with a neuroscience background. The chip is an electrical device that requires mechanical/software engineers to deal with. It would be easier for these engineers to sort out problems like processing, indictive charging, power mgmt, etc. Most importantly, great problem-solving skills, solving high-volume, high-reliability, low-cost production problems are especially valued.

In the end, let’s hope best for the future of brain interfaces and inventing new technologies that will expand our abilities, our community, and our world.


-Anushka Sharad

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International

The Presidential elections.

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How are presidential elections held in the USA?
Unlike India where citizens directly vote for their preferred party, the USA’s election system
is more complicated and distinctive from that of India.
In the USA, the electoral college system exists which means that voters are adjudicating
upon state-level contests, rather than the national one. These are called electoral
colleges, they initialize a representative of trump or Biden, often acknowledged as
Electors
There are 538 electors present, who further vote for the resident on behalf of the voters in
their state — the winning candidate is whoever gets a majority of 270 or more.
Presidential elections: 2020
The product of the US presidential elections is not obtrusive as of now, both candidates
claim to possess a potential path to victory,
Mr. Trump has even lawsuits in the two states where Mr. Biden holds a lead, several
substantial states are contemplated to conclude the counting by the end of Friday, but the
election result may remain in the state of irresolution for days.
Mr. Biden is still holding slim leads in several key states if the trend continues, Mr. Biden
may propel to gain the Electoral college and the presidency.

Mr. Trump’s prospect of acquiring his second term is attributed to his capability of holding
on to states like Georgia and Pennsylvania.
Results so far
Let’s disintegrate the convoluted election results,
Mr. Trump has encompassed a win in Florida, Ohio, Texas, and Lowa respectively, Mr.
Biden has entrenched a win in Michigan and Wisconsin and the results remain uncertain
in Arizona, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Georgia.
In Arizona, Joe Biden has received 500,000 votes and still counting and it even
accounts for 60% of the population of the state.
In Nevada, reports say that Mr. Biden has achieved a very narrow lead and the
counting is going at an adequate pace.
In Georgia, Mr. Trump has a very attenuate lead over Mr. Biden, the Secretary of state
has announced that results will be announced by midday Thursday(local time).
In Pennsylvania, there are more than 580,000 ballots left to count, but so far Mr.
Trump leads Biden

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All you need to know about the Armenia-Azerbaijan Clash

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All you need to know about the Armenia-Azerbaijan Clash
Armenia and Azerbaijan is a small country located in between Turkey, Russia and Iran. Armenia is mostly a christian majority country with 95% of it’s 30 million population practising christanity and Azerbaijan comprises 99% of muslim population. This conflict can escalate into a full fledged war according to experts.The population of Azerbaijan is 10 million and both are secular countries. The conflict is about a small region called Nagorno-Karabakh region. Both of these countries were part of the USSR till 1990. Both these countries attained independence from the USSR in 1991. This Nagorno-Karabakh region is partially occupied by both Armenia and Azerbaijan. This region is a heavy mountainous region and it is tough to access this region. According to the 2015 census only 1.5 lakh people live in this Nagorno-Karabakh region in an area of 4400 square kilometers. This population of this region is ethnically Armenian.
This region has been disputed since 1920 when both these countries were part of the erstwhile Soviet Union. This region belonged to Azerbaijan till 1990 and it was an autonomous region controlled by Moscow directly. When the USSR split then Moscow decided to hand over this region to Azerbaijan but then the local provincial assembly voted to stay with Armenia. This voting was opposed by Moscow and Azerbaijan governments. After this the Armenian separatists occupied a part of the Nagorno-Karabakh region and they have been running the government in that part backed by the government of Armenia. But according to the International law this region is part of Azerbaijan because when this region was split up in 1991 then Moscow had decided to merge this territory with Azerbaijan.
This region has seen heavy ceasefire violations since 1991 up till 2020. Recent clashes have continued over several days. You can understand this territory similarly like Kashmir where both India and Pakistan claim Kashmir. In May 1994 USA, France and Russia had tried to implement a ceasefire so that these countries could talk and negotiate but all in vain. This conflict started on 27 september 2020 and since then both countries have said that the other one broke the ceasefire first. Russia plays a very important role here. Russia has a military base in Armenia and it supplies weapons to Azerbaijan but it has not said a word over this conflict.
Turkey on the other hand supports Azerbaijan openly since Turkey and Azerbaijan have strong relations and Armenia does not have good relations with Turkey. In the first week of October Turkish F-16s were seen in Armenian airspace thus, adding fuel to the fire. Turkey has openly said that it will provide military support to Azerbaijan if needed and it is trying to flex its muscle power in the region. Turkey and Azerbaijan being muslim countries are natural allies. Armenian foreign minister has said that this conflict is a preplanned strategy of Azerbaijan with Turkish support.
Turkey is a bigger country and it wants to influence a smaller nation like Azerbaijan. Turkey buys crude oil and gas from Azerbaijan and similarly Azerbaijan is one of the main investors of Turkey. So it is natural that they will come together. Their economic ties are stronger than ever. On the other side Turkey and Armenia have strain relations. During the ottoman empire a genocide was conducted over the armenians by the turks. This charge is denied by the Turkey government and so does Azerbaijan deny it in the support of its ally.
Azerbaijan is a republic just for namesake. Actually it is a dictatorship. After its split from the USSR their first president was Heydar Aliyev in 1991. He was president till 2003 then his son Ilham Aliyev succeeded him in 2003 and he has been the president since then. Ilham Aliyem has won every successive election since 2003 with over 80% vote share and it shows that there is no opposition in the country. Foreign journalists are not allowed to work freely and there are over 160 political prisoners. There is no free media in this country. So you can imagine if it is really a democracy. Whoever raises voice against the president then he/she is thrown into jails. Recently, in 2016 Aliyev held a controversial referendum according to which the minimum age to become the president of Azerbaijan has been brought down to 18 from 35. According to political experts this has been done so that his son can succeed him in 2025. There is no free press and this country ranks 146/157 in the global democracy index. You can imagine the scenario.
On the contrary Armenia ranks 86/167 and it is in a better position than Azerbaijan. Till 2018 Armenia was itself a dictatorship. In 2018 25 lakh people had protested on roads out of its 30 lakh odd population. The protestors were protesting over the election fraud conducted by the then PM. 2.50 lakh people were on roads and not a single bullet was fired. It was a huge success. The Velvet revolution led to the establishment of democracy in Armenia. The then opposition leader Nikol Pashniyan under whom this revolution was initiated had been elected as the PM in 2018 and he is the PM currently. You can understand the situation yourself.
Azerbaijan kids are taught to hate Armenians naturally on account of nationalism. This is the propaganda being spread by the Azerbaijan government. Their economy is in turmoil because of low crude oil prices. But people are taught to think about nationalism. According to a 2012 poll 91% Azerbaijan people think that Armenians are their natural enemy and similarly 63% Armenians agree the same. Armenians are described as Bandits, hippocrates in the Azerbaijan books. In 2011, famous Azerbaijani chess player Taimur Radjabov had said that he hates armenians. Such is the scale of hate in between these 2 nations. In 1988 and 1989 3.5 lakh people were affected due to this conflict.
In July a major protest occurred in Azerbaijan and people marched to the parliament of their country and demanded that their president declare war on Armenia. Such is the scale of nationalism. They protested not on account of depreciating economy or dictatorship but to declare war. Such is the propaganda that Azerbaijani people are taught to hate Armenians. Nothing concrete will come out of it. You decide. What should be done?
Amid covid 19 is it okay to fight?

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