India and Pakistan: Taking a Deep Breath

Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan made a dramatic plea this week to ease tensions with his country's neighbor and rival: "I ask India: with the weapons you have and the weapons we have, can we really afford such a miscalculation? If this escalates, things will no longer be in my control or in Modi's."

His fear is justified. This confrontation between nuclear-armed neighbors began with a terrorist attack that killed 40 Indian soldiers in disputed Kashmir, advanced with India's launch of the first cross-border airstrikes since 1971, and escalated when Pakistan claimed to have shot down two Indian fighter planes and held captive an Indian pilot.

Khan has released the Indian pilot, but this story isn't over. It's an election year in India, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi can't afford to appear weak-willed. Pakistan's government, its military, and the various militant groups that operate on its territory don't share the same goals, and there are still tens of thousands of troops mobilized on both sides of the Indian-Pakistani border.

For a deeper dive, watch this video : Pakistan vs India by the numbers

It was inevitable that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would make India's elections a referendum on Narendra Modi, and now that the vast majority of 600 million votes cast have been counted, it's clear he made the right call.

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Among the 23 men and women now seeking the Democratic Party's nomination to take on Donald Trump in next year's election, the frontrunner, at least for now, has spent half a century in politics. Former Vice President Joe Biden, first elected to the US Senate in 1972, is the very epitome of the American political establishment.

Yet, the dominant political trend in many democracies today is public rejection of traditional candidates and parties of the center-right and center-left in favor of new movements, voices, and messages. Consider the evidence from some recent elections:

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It's Friday, and Signal readers deserve at least one entirely upbeat news story.

José Obdulio Gaviria, a Colombian senator for the rightwing Democratic Center party, is an outspoken opponent of government attempts to make peace with the FARC rebel group after 50 years of conflict.

On his way into a meeting earlier this week, Gaviria collapsed. It was later reported that he had fainted as a result of low blood pressure probably caused by complications following recent open heart surgery.

A political rival, Senator Julian Gallo, quickly came to his rescue and revived him using resuscitation skills he learned as—irony alert—a FARC guerrilla. CPR applied by Gallo helped Gaviria regain consciousness, before another senator, who is also professional doctor, took over. Gaviria was taken to hospital and appears to have recovered.

Because some things will always be more important than politics.