Counter-Strike 2, the highly anticipated upgrade for CS:GO, has finally arrived. Valve announced today that it’s launching CS2, which comes with some major updates like improved smoke grenades, redesigned maps, and improved network features.
American author Mario Pozzo begins his novel "Godfather" with the same sentence of French author Anne de Balzac. It was only after this reference in the dissenting note that political opponents started calling Nawaz Sharif a godfather and a Cecilian mafia. Prime Minister Imran Khan has been convinced from day one that corruption is the root of all ills in society. Money made dishonestly is sent out of the country through various means.
The elites involved in this process have businesses and properties abroad. In national and international forums, he has repeatedly said that money made through corruption must be stopped from flowing out of the country, and that corrupt people must be severely punished, and that western countries' developing countries must return. Stop money from coming to your countries. Undoubtedly, strict laws are the need of the hour to eradicate corruption.
Pakistan has an authoritative body, the National Accountability Bureau, which is engaged in rooting out corrupt people from head to toe. Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal, the head of the agency, will complete his term on October 8. The new chairman of the NAB is to be appointed in consultation with the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition. So far no consultation has taken place and whether the consultation will take place in the future or not, the question mark remains.
The question of whether Chairman NAB will be replaced or Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal will remain in office remains. In the midst of all this, the government legal team was busy running and drafting an ordinance. One of the key points of this ordinance is that the existing clause of consultation between the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition will remain in force. The name of Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal will also be considered for the new chairman NAB.
If there is no agreement, the matter will go to the parliamentary committee. If there is a deadlock in the talks, the current chairman will remain in office until the new chairman arrives. The Supreme Judicial Council will have to be approached to remove the NAB chairman. The clause not to extend the chairmanship of NAB will also be removed by the ordinance.
Whether it is accountability or revenge, the government has often expressed its good intentions in this regard. Through this ordinance, the highly capable and astute legal team of the government has brought some new aspects to the fore. Legally important in this ordinance is that the NAB courts will also have the power to grant bail to the accused before 90 days.
Additional Sessions Judges and former Judges will also be appointed in NAB courts. For the appointment of the Chairman NAB, the provision of consultation between the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition was made so that the head of the accountability body would agree.
No one could point a finger at his character and neutrality. Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal also became the head of the accountability body through this consultative process. However, now the opposition often keeps pointing fingers at him. Forough Naseem, who belongs to the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, is currently the country's law minister. The preparation of this ordinance will undoubtedly involve his hard work, and he believes that the appointment of the new chairman of the NAB will be in consultation with the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition Shahbaz Sharif. Naseem, however, acknowledged that Shhebaz Sharif has yet to be contacted in this regard.
Babar Awan, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Parliamentary Affairs, also confirmed the existence of a consultation clause between the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition in the NAB Amendment Ordinance. It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post. On this action of the government, PML-N leader and former Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi says, "Chairman NAB is being extended by breaking the law. The law says consult but the Prime Minister is refusing. The President is also against the ordinance." We are ready to sign."
The PPP has termed the extension of NAB chairman's tenure through an ordinance as unconstitutional and illegal. PPP Vice President and Senator Sherry Rehman raised the question that how can the current chairman work after his completion of term? If consulting the opposition is a conflict of interest, aren't there cases against ministers, including the prime minister? Sugar, flour, petrol, medicine, BRT, LNG, Ring Road, Billion Tree and helicopter scandals are against whom? Is the Prime Minister not protecting his own interests and the interests of his ministers?
The concerns and questions of PML-N and PPP are on the one hand, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry explained teh reason as why did not the premier and the opposition leader consult each other for the appointment. Talking to media, the minister said, "We will not consult Shahbaz Sharif about the NAB chairman. We will bring in an ordinance to remove the legal loophole so as to remove the alleged complexities in the law which has made it mandatory to consult the Leader of the Opposition on this issue,” he said.
In his briefing, Fawad further said: "The ordinance will clarify how the head of the anti-corruption watchdog will be appointed if the opposition leader is accused of corruption." Responding to Fawad Chaudhry's statement, PML-N spokesperson Maryam Aurangzeb said, "Consultation with the Leader of the Opposition on the appointment of NAB chairman is a constitutional requirement. With this decision, they are giving NRO to those who are flour, sugar, electricity, gas and medicine thieves.
It is clear from the heated rhetoric on this ordinance that the Prime Minister is not sitting in consultation with the Leader of the Opposition Shahbaz Sharif for the appointment of a new Chairman NAB. Shahbaz Sharif is currently facing only corruption charges, cases are pending, if anything is proved, he will definitely be found guilty. It would be fair not to talk to them after that. He is currently the representative of the opposition in the country. He should get his constitutional position.
In the Pandora Papers, offshore companies of close associates of the Prime Minister have come to light. The requirement of justice is not to sit with them till they are proved innocent. "Behind every big crime there's a crime," recalls the Panama case verdict, because now the Pandora's box has opened, and some of the culprits have been exposed. Let's see how does indiscriminate accountability take place?
India must give visas to Pakistan cricket fans as per ICC laws: FM Jilani
ICC received a letter from the PCB complaining about a visa delay.
Islamabad: Interim Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani highlighted that India is obligated to grant visas to Pakistan cricket fans for the ICC World Cup 2023 according to the International Cricket Council (ICC) regulations.
Visas for members of Pakistan's national cricket squad and personnel have already been delayed by India. The Pakistani team's participation in the competition is now definite after they were officially granted visas on Monday.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) had received a letter from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) complaining about a visa delay.
The Pakistani team's pre-tournament preparations were further hampered by this delay because they were unable to meet in Dubai for a "team-bonding trip."
The foreign minister said, "As per ICC rules, providing visas to the fans is mandatory," during a news conference on Thursday in Islamabad.
He continued by saying that Pakistani supporters must obtain Indian visas and that the PCB will bring up the issue with the ICC.
It should be mentioned that the Pakistani squad was welcomed with open arms when it arrived in India on Wednesday to compete in the ICC World Cup 2023.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) posted the touching moments on its official social media accounts on Thursday.
Pakistan team took part in a training session at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium, Hyderabad, on Thursday.
This was Pakistan’s first training session after arriving on Indian shores for the ICC World Cup 2023.
The majority of the Pakistan players took part in the session, which included captain Babar Azam, Shaheen Afridi, Iftikhar Ahmed, Haris Rauf and Hasan Ali.
Pakistan will play two warm-up matches before beginning their World Cup campaign against the Netherlands on October 6.
Arch-rivals India and Pakistan are set to clash in a mouth-watering October 14 contest in Ahmedabad.
Counter-Strike 2 is out now
Twenty years after the original Counter-Strike, and more than 10 years after the release of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Valve has replaced its long-running team FPS with Counter-Strike 2.
After years of rumors, Valve announced CS2 in March and opened up a limited test. The updated game is based on Valve’s Source 2 engine, giving the game a much-needed facelift, reworked audio, UI enhancements, and upgraded Community Workshop tools. There’s even a new “tick-rate-independent gameplay” that Valve describes as a way for servers to “know the exact instant that motion starts, a shot is fired, or a ‘nade is thrown.”
You can download the 27GB CS2 for free from Steam, with its listing directly replacing the more than 10-year-old CS:GO. All of the items you’ve collected in CS:GO will be available in CS2, while stock weapons will also get an enhanced look thanks to the Source 2 engine.
Human progress has come at the expense of animals. It doesn’t have to.
Add in the extreme suffering of tens of billions of farmed animals, and suddenly the world looks like a much darker place.
If there’s one idea that forms the foundation of Future Perfect, it’s this: The human present is better than the past, and barring catastrophe, we can likely expect the future to be better than the present.
The statistics are so clear as to be indisputable. Nearly two centuries ago, almost half of all children died before their 15th birthday — now it’s below 5 percent globally. Starvation was high, life expectancy was low, violence was more common, and literacy was reserved for the elite. Human rights as we know them barely existed and even the idea that the world shouldn’t be this way was still centuries away from being born, and centuries more from becoming close to a reality.
This fact — that the past used to be really bad for almost all of us — was driven home for me when I first visited Ireland, where, you’ll not be surprised to learn, most Walshes come from. Driving through County Kerry in the country’s west, my wife and I came across a restored 19th century cottage built into the hillside. An entire family would live in tiny, smoke-filled rooms, eking out a subsistence living on little more than bread and potatoes. Or at least they did, until the Great Famine came in the mid-1800s, killing at least a million people and leading even more to leave Ireland forever. Altogether, the country may have lost as much as a quarter of its population.
Today, the Republic of Ireland is an EU member and far wealthier on a per capita basis than its former colonial overlords in Britain. And while far too many people in far too many countries today still live in conditions at least comparable to the poor souls who once dwelled in that cottage, the trends have long been pointing in the right direction, with extreme poverty, hunger, and death from preventable diseases all declining sharply, especially over the past few decades.
Even when we see disruptions in those trends, as I wrote about last week, it’s less a matter of the world truly getting worse than not getting better as quickly as it could — and should. Climate change, which is measurably making the world worse in some ways with each passing year, is on track to be less bad than we thought five or 10 years ago, and appears unlikely to reverse broader trends that will mean “a future where, in most scenarios, humanity is better educated, better fed, longer lived and healthier, also with less poverty and less conflict,” as the researcher Brian O’Neill wrote in Nature Climate Change recently.
Part of the reason we write about these positive trends so often at Future Perfect is because as clear as they might appear in the numbers and on the page, most people still don’t believe them. Just to cite one poll of many, from 2017: a plurality of respondents in a number of countries, including the US, reported that they believed life was better 50 years ago.
There are many reasons for that, including the role the media plays in focusing our attention on bad news, as my colleague Dylan Matthews wrote earlier this year. But even there, I suspect, part of the reason we mistakenly see the world as getting worse is because we’ve internalized the idea that it should be getting better. And that very notion — that the world can and should improve — is more recent and more radical than many of us know.
What about the animals?
So zoom out far enough, and things really are getting better all the time. Except for one exception that is so large and significant that, depending on your values, it might be enough to turn the entire story of progress on its head: animals.
That’s the argument made in a fascinating blog post by Kyle Fish that appeared on the Effective Altruism forum earlier this week. Using data that goes back to 1961, Fish estimated the changing levels of total welfare of both humans and animals to make the striking case that even with humans doing better and better, the sheer misery and rising numbers of farmed animals like pigs, chickens, and cows mean that on net, global welfare is declining and trending negative. As he puts it:
“The entire good of humanity may be outweighed by the cumulative suffering of farmed animals, with total animal suffering growing faster than human wellbeing is increasing, especially in recent decades.”
The kind of moral math that went into these calculations can be hard to parse for those outside the utilitarian mindset that characterizes effective altruism, but the foundation is relatively simple. Estimate the overall welfare of a species — roughly, how much suffering they’re experiencing, weighted more heavily to species we believe can suffer more — and multiply it by the total population. Put it all together, and you get a (very rough) estimate of net global welfare for humans and farmed animals.
The picture Fish paints isn’t a pretty one. As we’ve written about repeatedly in Future Perfect, the existence of factory-farmed animals is a horrifyingly terrible one, even given some improvements that have been made on the margins.
But the calculations go beyond the sheer misery of the median farmed animal. What really changes the picture on global welfare is the question of numbers.
Over the past 60 years, the human population has more than tripled, from 3 billion to 8 billion. And because human life has been getting better over that time period, that’s created a significant increase in global welfare. Without getting too deep into the weird world of population ethics, generally speaking, more people who are more happy means more welfare overall.
But human population growth has been absolutely dwarfed by the growth in the number of farmed animals. In 1961 there were more humans on the planet than all farmed animals except for chickens, and they outnumbered us by less than a billion. Today, there are four times more chickens than humans, and more than an order of magnitude more farmed fish and shrimp. Put it this way: the number of land animals alone killed for food, every year, is 10 times the global human population — and even that figure is dwarfed by the number of slaughtered fish and shrimp.
Perhaps worst of all — and very much unlike human beings — this is rapidly worsening. With each passing year, more and more animals live short lives of suffering only to be mercilessly killed.
Given that human population growth is declining, and our numbers are even projected to start shrinking within this century, the human proportion of overall global welfare will likely fall as well. But the population of farmed animals shows little sign of slowing down.
The result, as Fish puts it, is that “humanity may have set systems in motion that put the total welfare of the world on a steep downward trajectory.” That’s not progress. That’s net hell on Earth.
Changing the unchangeable
So have we indeed locked ourselves into a future that is more and more miserable for living creatures on net?
Just as whether we accelerate the reduction in extreme poverty — or not — is a choice, so is whether we will continue to permit the extreme suffering of billions of animals. Technology can help, through better plant-based meat alternatives, and perhaps eventually, even lab-grown cultured meat that can eliminate the need for farmed animals altogether. Politics will help as well, as governments put in place regulations that at least somewhat reduce the worst forms of animal suffering on the farm.
But the real change would need to come in our moral values. If you don’t believe that the moral value of a farmed animal has any weight next to a human being, these calculations mean little to you. And in practice most of us do not, whatever we might say or feel, given that close to 90 percent of the human population eats meat, while global per capita meat consumption has nearly doubled between 1961 and now.
To attempt to fix this is to engage in perhaps the most radical social change in the history of humanity, to upset an established order most of us never stop to question. The Atlantic’s Annie Lowrey put it well in a recent profile of the animal rights activist group Direct Action Everywhere, a movement “burdened with advocating for billions of suffering creatures and being able to help only a few. They are burdened with the futile, enraging task of trying to get people to live by their own articulated values.”
And yet. To a child who once lived in that dark cottage I saw in County Kerry, it surely must have seemed as if nothing could change, as if this nasty, brutish, and short life was the way things always were, and would always be. But it wasn’t. The history of humanity shows that we have a capacity to change and improve, through better technology, better politics, and above all, better morals.
We’ve brought that change, imperfect but real, to the human story. The question is whether we will extend it to the living beings with whom we share this planet.
A version of this newsletter originally appeared in the Future Perfect newsletter. Sign up here!
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