India Strikes a Political Match in Kashmir

The world's most dangerous disputed border may be about to flare up again. Earlier this year, Pakistani militants killed 40 police officers on the India-controlled side of Kashmir, a Himalayan, majority-Muslim province of 12 million people that is claimed by both countries. India's prime minister, Narendra Modi, responded by launching the first country's first airstrikes inside Pakistan since 1971. Tensions between the countries eventually cooled, but not before Pakistan downed an Indian fighter jet, raising the specter of a wider conflict between the two nuclear-armed arch enemies.


Now Modi and his Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party are stirring the pot again, fulfilling a longtime BJP campaign promise by moving to strip Kashmir of the special status it has enjoyed under India's constitution for decades. The move will delight Modi's base, but revoking long-standing concessions to the region, including its own constitution, flag, autonomy in local decision-making and special property rights for residents will infuriate Kashmiris, who are fiercely protective of their culture, and risks escalating tensions with Pakistan once more.

Pakistan, which has thousands of troops stationed in its own section of the disputed territory, denounced the political crackdown as "illegal" and warned that the unilateral move by India risked destabilizing a region where the countries have fought two wars and where separatist political violence has killed tens of thousands of people over the years. But independent-minded Kashmiris are a political force to be reckoned with, too. New Delhi is braced for trouble: before it announced the constitutional changes, the government sent thousands of additional troops to the region, placed some local Kashmiri leaders under house arrest, and blacked out the internet and mass media. It may take only a small provocation for this political powder keg to explode.

Kevin Sneader, global managing partner of McKinsey & Company, answers the question: Are CEOs getting real about climate change?

The answer, yes. Why? One, it's personal. Many have watched with horror the wildfires that took place recently. Others have even been evacuated. And for some, the snow set in Davos, they experienced incredibly mild temperatures that laid all to quip that climate change really has arrived. But the other reasons are a growing understanding of the nature of climate change.

More

Welcome to the eleventh parliamentary elections in Iran's 40-year history.

Want to run for a seat? You can…if you're an Iranian citizen between the ages of 30 and 75, hold a master's degree or its equivalent, have finished your military service (if you're a man), and have demonstrated a commitment to Islam. Check all these boxes, and you can ask permission to run for office.

Permission comes from the 12-member Guardian Council, a body composed of six clerics appointed by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and six jurists that Khamenei appoints indirectly. If the Council says yes, you can win a seat in parliament. If they say no, you can't.

This parliament, also called the Majlis, does have real power. It approves the national budget, drafts legislation and sends it to the Guardian Council for approval, ratifies treaties, approves ministers and can question the president. The current Majlis represents a wide range of values and opinions.

More

As the head of a leading management consulting firm, global managing partner of McKinsey & Company Kevin Sneader has an inside view into the challenges facing the world's top executives. Every Thursday, Sneader will address questions about key issues like attracting and retaining talent, growing revenue, navigating change, staying ahead of the competition, and corporate responsibility – all in 60 seconds.

GZERO's Alex Kliment interviews New Yorker correspondent and author Joshua Yaffa. The two discuss Yaffa's new book, Between Two Fires, about what life is like for Russians today. They also sample some vodka at a famous Russian restaurant in NYC, of course!