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Looking for man’s origins in Bulgarian savannah

AFP RUPKITE: Seven million years ago the sunflower and corn fields in parts of southern Bulgaria were like an African savannah, roamed by gazelles and giraffes. And perhaps also, amazingly, by the oldest known human ancestor — which most scientists have hitherto believed came from Africa. A small team of …

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What’s Happening at Pakistan’s Gwadar Port?

Despite big promises, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is yet to deliver local benefits. By Zofeen T Ebrahim A stray dog snoozes under a red boat lying next to a rickety tea shop on the quay at Sur Bandar, where a few dozen small boats are bobbing in the Arabian Sea. …

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Can Pakistan Afford CPEC?

There are concerns that the secretive agreement will lead to unsustainable debt for Pakistan while China reaps the benefits. By K.S. Venkatachalam China’s investment of $62 billion in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), as part of its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI),  is set to change the face of Pakistan’s economy. …

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Astola island declared country’s first marine protected area

KARACHI: Astola island, a major biodiversity hotspot and the largest island along Pakistan’s coast, was declared the country’s first marine protected area through a notification issued by the Balochistan government on Thursday. The island covers an area of about 400 square kilometres and is located 39km east of Pasni, Balochistan. …

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The simmering conflict in Balochistan

Hafeez Jamali Balochistan appears to be boiling over again. Over the last month, Baloch nationalist insurgents targeted a group of labourers working on a road project near Gwadar, attacked a Frontier Corps (FC) convoy in Turbat, and unidentified men kidnapped two Chinese citizens in broad daylight from a posh neighbourhood …

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China’s Dream of Economic Power May Come with Great Risks

The most surprising aspect of the Belt and Road Initiative is how it has prompted a famously risk-averse China to embrace increased risks abroad. Michael Clarke June 14, 2017 In his opening address to the “Belt and Road Forum” in Beijing on May 14, Chinese president Xi Jinping described the …

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Naughty Qatar

Mahir Ali THE extraordinary excoriation of Qatar in the immediate wake of Donald Trump’s May dance in Riyadh was almost certainly premeditated. Before his foray into a region about which he knows next to nothing, the US president was briefed by princes from Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi. Hence he …

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Will Iran Descend Into Chaos?

LONDON — Almost since the beginning of this millennium, Iran has been an island of calm amid instability and violence. Afghanistan, its neighbor to the east, descended into chaos following the American-led invasion of 2001; Iraq, across its western border, suffered the same fate after 2003. Eight years later, in …

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The Saudi prince, a sheikh and the isolation of a Gulf renegade

THE choreographed statements by Saudi Arabia and three allies to quarantine Qatar at just after 6am on June 5 were not signed, but there was no mistake about who was behind them. The move to halt air and sea transport and shut the tiny Gulf nation’s only land border carried …

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CPEC: the Baloch Perspective

 Naseer Dashti   CPEC (China Pakistan Economic Corridor) is one segment of the proposed ‘One Belt One Road’ program of the Chinese government aimed at expanding Chinese economic and strategic influence in Asia. It involves a road and rail link from the Baloch town of Gwadar to Western Chinese city …

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