Sree Iyer: Namaskar, welcome to episode 146 of Daily Global insights with Sri and Sree. Today is the 20th of April 2021 and here are the main points:
- Saudis and Iranians deny first direct talks in years
- Biden calls the situation at Southern Border a crisis for the first time
- 5G network to be developed by Indian Armed Forces to match China Over Artificial Intelligence and Unmanned Vehicles
- J & J Vaccines was paused over blood-clot treatment concerns
- India says all, aged above 18 to be eligible for Vaccination from May 1
Sridharji, your initial thoughts.
Sridhar Chityala: My initial thoughts are when you look at the United States. We are in a very interesting situation in terms of what is developing. Saudi and Iranian is very interesting a perspective Financial Times is reporting. So, there’s some credibility to that information. They call it discussions on the Yemeni Houthi issue. With regard to vaccines, India taking the position of age 18 is a bold and brave move because vast data points locally that these youngsters move about so May 1st is coming, so, that’s probably one of the tools. Indian Armed Forces being given the mandate to develop its own capabilities with full support for the defence needs is a very positive development because now they can you know innovate, develop and operationalize based on their needs rather than somebody else doing the stuff for them. Those are my initial thoughts, sir.
Sree Iyer: Thank you very much.
Sridhar Chityala: Good morning everybody. And sorry, I was quite rude. I responded straight. Good morning and looking forward to the next 20 minutes and hopefully, you all will have a wonderful day.
Sree Iyer: Yes, and in the United States news, Republicans seek to expose Antifa violence as Democrats look the other way. So now this Antifa violence has not abated, you know, it’s now four-six months since things have been happening in Portland, sir. What are your thoughts? What are they fighting now, their party is in power.
Sridhar Chityala: Well first and foremost Biden called it Antifa as an ideal in his election campaign. Progressively the Democratic party including Jerrold Nadler and Nancy Pelosi and others have responded with comments that smacks of immaturity. Republicans have conducted and they want to expose through hearings that happens, one is with Andy Ngo in the House and Andy has revealed that these people selectively infiltrate various cities to inculcate damage and yes, given them the evidence from his perspective at this hearing in the House. In the Senate, Christopher Wray was called it and we covered it and an extensive grilling happened with Christopher’s FBI director and he reveals Antifa is a threat so they’re going to use the House and Senate hearings to continue to find the way. The only conclusion one can draw on all these Democratic, they seem to be using them as you know effective tools and to combat any political agenda that they have in that specific State, you know, obviously, you pointed out Portland is a constant recurrence now, they seem to be present in Washington DC. We haven’t seen much in New York, but there is also in Minneapolis, which has become the hotbed of activity you know, perhaps in a couple of other states you see it as well. So this is the developing scenario only evidential proof will make it fairly clear as to what exactly Antifa is.
Sree Iyer: Yes and Facebook sensors BLM criticism after company co-founder donated Millions to the activist group and Rick Scott says Dear WOKE Corporate America, beware of the backlash that’s coming. So these two taken together now, start painting a very striking picture, sir.
Sridhar Chityala: Dustin Moskovitz who is one of the cofounders of Facebook and he has given five million dollars to Patrisse Cullors, you know, who was the subject of investigation and reporting and 5 million to his NGO groups for some of the activities that she runs. So, Facebook has now started to censor any BLM criticism. This is my observation. Be it crime be it some of these activities the social media platforms you that curate the data that you through Google or they basically, you know downright remove the data. So this is what we are experiencing in this new world and a new order.
Sree Iyer: and Biden calls the situation at the Southern border a crisis for the first time. In fact, I have the video now going in slow motion, where it talks about Biden calling it a crisis, whereas the White House spokesperson says that there is no crisis and they are in fact cancelled the illegal migrant word and I am understanding something here that it’s quite confusing. We’ve been saying this all along that the left-hand doesn’t seem to know what the right hand is doing. The press person is not singing the same tune as a president, sir.
Sridhar Chityala: Indeed. Just sorry. I did not respond to your second point, which is Rick Scott comment on WOKE, it’s very clear that Republicans have taken a very strong position and some of the corporations are beginning to now soft-pedal recognizing that there’s a significant repercussion. So Republicans are not going to let go there has been a series of resignations yesterday in the US Chamber of Commerce including Mr Donohue, who is the president and so you have changes kind of cascading through. So many of these people are now saying they only focus on specific, you know activity or lobby around tax and other types of issues, but we are only seeing the beginning of the Republicans raising. They’re raising their hand and the corporation’s beginning to feel the impact.
With regard to the border crisis that you alluded there an article that we can post and a number of terms have been eliminated including alien, illegal alien is called a migrant to be called migrant accompanying, unaccompanied child migrant Etc. So they have given, who are they? This is the Border Control what you call as Immigration Customs Border Control has issued a directive, sorry, it is Immigration and Customs Border Patrol (ICBP) has said that we have to be sympathetic and we have to be cognizant and they’ve given the whole verbiage is a directive as to what people should be called. So I have personally written a note to Mr Biden, when is ICBP going to be withdrawn from airports. So, we all can come in. When is scanning going to be withdrawn at the airport? So you now remove all the backlogs, why only to this illegal for people who are coming in or legally illegal people coming in or an aspiring migrant as he wants to call it coming in. So why not be removed, then people can carry everything as we used to do before 9/11 like we used to do that. You can go to the airport. So it has become a mockery of this whole thing. Now to your question, which is namely you know, first Jake Sullivan issues a statement that’s contradicted by Biden because a bunch of people like Pramila Jaipal and others have raised an issue, which is around the cut-off date and the limits then you have White House Press secretary making a statement that it’s not a crisis. So, there seems to be a Progressive directive by various parties within the White House, which is all not controlled by Mr Biden issuing statements and that message carrying through. Clearly, Biden is not in control. It’s very evident based on you cannot have 200 flip-flops on every matter that seems to prop up.
Sree Iyer: And here’s an interesting aspect though. First hundred days in office Biden has enjoyed 56% positive coverage while President Trump was slammed with 89% negative press and it says, emperor Biden eyes cancelling Federal Student Debt now, without the congress’s help. Now, this was something that again we were talking about it. He walked it back, he thought about this, he walked it back and he wants to walk forward again, sir.
Sridhar Chityala: Well, Biden is the Emperor. Okay. He’s the emperor is the anointed emperor of unofficial official anointed Emperor. He is the media Czar and is the media boy notwithstanding the fact he has not been seen in an open Press Conference, notwithstanding the fact that you have 200 flip-flops on policy, notwithstanding the fact we have a range of issues that confronting us around the border, the security and the Law and Order in several States. they do he’s still the emperor notwithstanding the fact that you know, we have a high rise in crime rates in the country. Even on the covid situation notwithstanding the fact, everybody critiques India and other countries. The United States is close to 50% plus at least one vaccine. We today are at 74,000 new cases that have grown at 26%, nobody wants to talk about it because we have Mr Joseph Biden as the Unofficial official Emperor president of the United States. He is the darling of tech platforms. He is the darling of the left Woke corporations. He is the darling of the media. He’s darling of everything that you want to see on the internet anything that somebody says against him is immediately removed. If this is the way that one needs to project why 89%, you can have 100% voting. You can see I mean we can publish lots of pictures, lots of data, and lots of information. The data is evident in terms of what is going on in the United States.
Sree Iyer: In Global News, Biden Administration demands that Israel stop bragging about disabling Iran Nuclear Facility, your thoughts on this. I thought we had identified an Iranian dissident who was responsible and he has since fled Iran.
Sridhar Chityala: There are three different issues here. One is the one who is fled and I forget his name Shah Muhammad Reza, he is identified by Iranians as a potential internal saboteur who’s responsible. The second is the continued enrichment of uranium which the United States is turning a blind eye to. The third is the Israelis have made a press statement. This is in the Israeli News Channel that came about for which by Biden Administration has responded by saying you bragging about the incidents in nuance is affecting our negotiations. We are in the middle of negotiations with the Iranians. It has an impact on American national security. Stop talking about this is a directive that has been issued by the US state department or somebody in the US Administration to Israel. The fact that this is that these have leaked not that your Israel cares, but it also reflects the policy shift that is taking place under Mr Biden.
Sree Iyer: UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson puts off his visit to India for the second time because of the virus surge and he’s going to hold talks remotely. Taiwan says it is seeking long-range Cruise besides from the US. So, Taiwan is also beginning to build itself. Boris Johnson thing is very understandable that because of the surge, he doesn’t want to take a chance. He’s already being covid positive once. So let’s talk a little bit about Taiwan, sir. Taiwan wants to have its own control so that in case it takes time for the quad or others to respond that it has some armament of its own hands. What are your thoughts, sir?
Sridhar Chityala: It is building its own armament but it is seeking very specifically joint air-to-surface launch missiles. They specifically asking for AGM-158 JASSM missiles from the United States. The JASSM stands for Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles, which has a 1000 kilometre range. Taiwan wants to prepare itself, should it be attacked? It has all the other facilities but it wants to have the capability to launch missiles from the air. They have F-16s. The JASSM missiles are capable of being launched from an F-16 and this can go deep and create profound damage within the Chinese territory. So they want to make sure that there are enough deterrents to make sure that this is not going to be game over right from day one. This is going to be sitting ducks like what happened in Hong Kong. So it’s a reflection of a complete change in strategy and direction that is unfolding in Taiwan.
Sree Iyer: The foreign minister said that New Zealand is comfortable with expanding the ‘Five Eyes’ program to confront China perhaps you can touch upon what ‘Five Eyes’ is and how this will be able to counter China?
Sridhar Chityala: Yes, my apologies, I am uncomfortable with expanding ‘Five Eyes’. Firstly, ‘Five Eyes’ was formed in the 1940s. It is a collaboration between Australia, New Zealand, Canada, UK and the US. If you recall these are the countries that were a part of World War II. This was formed as an intelligence-sharing network amongst the five countries to coordinate and logistically manage, if you recall in Hong Kong and various checkpoints in the Indian Ocean etc there was the Australian -New Zealand Navy plus the Australian- New Zealand satellites, etc. Similarly, Hong Kong was an outpost from which intelligence was gathered and disseminated etc. So the ‘Five Eyes’ program relates to that. In subsequent years they have more away and focused on what’s happening around defence, big tech, economy, regulations all that impact not just these five countries, but overall as part of the ‘Five Eyes’ program. The New Zealand foreign minister now feels, recently they focused on Uyghur as well, that this is not the way to deal with China. So we should be taking a softer approach. So she seems to be saying that she’s uncomfortable probably because the Chinese are getting closer and they’re far more sympathetic towards whatever the Chinese mindset is.
Sree Iyer: The Czechs say that Russian retaliation will be stronger than expected and they urge EU solidarity. Macron also says that the nations must define their red line with Russia. So Russia is again suddenly in the limelight. We have been talking about this, sir. Maybe you can quickly touch upon it before I go on to India news.
Sridhar Chityala: Just quickly on the Czechs. Czechs, apparently are now blaming for a peak Ammunition Depot flow out to two Russian spies who have also involved in that UK 2016 or 2018 incidents. So they are as per their putting the responsibility on the Russians. They expelled the Russian diplomats from the Russian Embassy giving them 72 hours. Russia responded by expelling 12 Czechs within 24 hours. So based on those learnings the Czechs are now saying that whatever Russians do will be much much stronger if the EU is not taking a coordinated effort towards Russia as a deterrence. Thus far, the EU has not done that, if you take the Crimea instance, if you take the Ukraine instance, they’ve not taken.
As far as Macron is concerned, he had discussions with the Ukrainian president, Mr Zelensky. He was being interviewed on ‘Face the Nation’ on the CBS network and his perspective is that we have to stand firm. We have to define the red line. He also had Angela Merkel on the conference call and basically saying if you’re going to soft-pedal, Russia is going to have a decisive swing in not only Ukraine, but that may be the starting point towards re-establishing whatever their other aspirations are.
Sree Iyer: In Indian news, the 5G network is going to be developed by the Indian Armed Forces to match China over artificial intelligence and unmanned vehicles. I’m a little unclear about this. Is it for military purposes or is it for civilian purposes also, sir?
Sridhar Chityala: It’s only for the military.
Sree Iyer: Okay, that’s good to know. MSME minister Nitin Gadkari says that India is going to become the top EV manufacturer in the world. He also added that India will start making Lithium-ion batteries by the end of the year. The two have to go hand in hand. So I think that’s a good strategy, sir.
Sridhar Chityala: It is a good strategy in terms of one more reinforcement that the EV Vehicles, as well as the Lithium-ion batteries, are integral components of the EV industry, so India has got a strategy. Having said that, many Europeans still complain about the effectiveness of EV vehicles. I know Asia is kicking off a lot of activities, even in the United States is kicking off a lot of activities.
Just to get back to the first point on the Indian Indian Armed Forces, most of these technologies are becoming very combative and competitive. It’s not a commercial technology they want to take and use it. They want to use very specific technology be it on the usage of AIs or UVs or 5G Network for communication. In one of the talks, we talked about this small/medium mobile communication networks that Army wants to use without interference which is not commercial but it is exclusively defence with special security packets and protocols etc. It is good that it is being made public because India is a very porous state, everything gets revealed. At least they’ve taken a strategic step forward in making this announcement.
Sree Iyer: In the Global covid update, we have an update on the J&J vaccines. It is believed that they were passed over blood clot treatment concerns, sir. Can you please expand on this? Is J&J still a concern?
Sridhar Chtyala: You asked yesterday is it imminent? Then I said, it’s imminent. In all probabilities, in the investigation on this blood clot, they seem to have addressed it or they seem to believe that they have a mechanism to take care of it. You remember I talked about blood thinners as one of the protocols that are used. I don’t know what protocol that they were going to use to address this specific issue. By this Friday. Dr Fauci himself has made the comment that in all probability, he will lift the pause.
Sree Iyer: The daily new cases remain elevated at an average of around 67,400 up 26%. I think this is for the United States or India, sir?
Sridhar Chityala: It is the US. The US vaccinations hold steady at around 3 million. They are averaging around 3 million for the past week or so. The reason we included this is to give a message to the Indians that while vaccinations occur it doesn’t mean that things can stop if other disciplines are not followed or adhered to. So, in a 340 million, if you have 67,400 cases with 50% of the country vaccinated, with probably less than 2-3% of the country vaccinated in India one can expect a rise in cases with this whole community engagement and social engagement and everybody doing things as though nothing has happened.
Sree Iyer: Here’s an interesting statistic. The CDC says that fewer than 6,000 fully vaccinated Americans contracted covid. So there is a tremendous benefit in taking the vaccine, sir.
Sridhar Chityala: Yes. We have crossed 100 million, while you can calculate the percentage, 6,000 people vaccinated contracted covid. So if you assume that nobody will have any side effect is an oxymoron or a misnomer, but the number is not material, the advantage is overwhelming for people to be vaccinated.
Sree Iyer: With rising cases, India liberalizes its covid-19 vaccination to all aged about 18 to be eligible for vaccination from May 1st. Indian covid basket case of data manipulation and political agenda much more than covid-19. You think so, sir?
Sridhar Chityala: I am basically making this comment and observation and this is a view that is shared by a number of people. As more and more people start going for mainstream activity, when you look at the number of cases, which is around 15.3 million, when you look at 187,000 roughly deaths, when you look at 13 million people having fully recovered and then you have about 1.9 million. You can go and check plus or minus the numbers 1.9 million active cases and even in the active cases many of them are recovering when you look at the death rates, then it begs the question you have two vaccines Covishield and Covaxin, the critical questions are, what the data is saying is alarming. Is it just vaccinations or is it out the mismanagement of the vaccines etc? So to me, rather than objectively looking at the data and saying ‘okay, here are the three things that I can do’ like by having more oxygen, there’s a lot of oxygen and that works as a deterrent. This is acting as a deterrent.
Then when you take the second case, which is, has there been any country in the world, any country doesn’t matter, any country that has gone ahead of the curve and contained the virus? I am giving the example of the United States. Close to 100 million people, that is about 50% of the eligible population is vaccinated, yet, you have close to 70,000 people rise in cases. So, is it mismanagement, it is the political agenda? Rather than being objective about speaking what are the issues and how you deal with them? The agenda here is vaccination must happen. We had problems in the United States lack of supply, inadequate supply, asymmetric supply to various States, but I think it’ll normalize. This is a pandemic. We have not had a pandemic. You don’t have pandemics every other year, we have pandemics that happen every maybe 50 years, 70 years, 90 years. So, therefore, I think politicians and the media are not looking at the data, they believe in sensationalism. Now, I don’t want to comment on the number of issues that people are reporting about you know black markets and scandals and so on and so forth.
There is also another case, I don’t know how far this news item is accurate but it is published in major media that if you have the money you can go to Dubai and get the Pfizer vaccine and follow protocols, you can get the vaccine and you can stay. So Suga comes to the United States and says, I need vaccines. Dubai says I have vaccines available. In India, they say vaccines have been mismanaged that is why you have a rise in cases and then you have some agents and media reporting that some of these vaccines have paracetamol and water fill in the vaccines. Today, we have reports saying they have had water in the vaccines by accident. So these things are likely to happen as they try to expand the distribution centres. There’s a lot of rhetoric that is going on rather than trying to address the issue of how to breach the problem and everybody has become a doctor. Everybody has become a scientist. Everybody has become a manufacturer and specialist on vaccines and everybody now knows how to solve this problem, when nobody has addressed a pandemic ever. When was the last pandemic? 1913-1914? That was the last time that we had. That’s my point.
Sree Iyer: In markets news, Dow slips more than a hundred points from record. As tech stocks dive, NASDAQ also closes down 1%. Wall Street Banks view the Central bank’s digital currencies as the next big disruptive. Sir, I understand digital currencies, why Central Banks? Central Banks are just regulators, aren’t they?
Sridhar Chityala: There are the issuers of currency. They are the only people who can issue currency.
Sree Iyer: That brings us to a close on today’s news segment. We’ll be back again tomorrow bright and early. Thanks. Stay safe. Get your vaccinations done. And as always it’s a pleasure to have you on our Channel Sridharji, Namaskar.
Sridhar Chityala: Namaskar, and thank you so much. Have a wonderful day.
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