Daybreak | Trump's Tough Talk On Pakistan, Rajinikanth's Shaking Up TN Politics

Jan 02, 2018, 03:08 AM

In case you missed it

United States President Donald Trump has vowed to cut aid to Pakistan for failing to act against terror groups operating on its soil. In a strongly worded message in his first tweet of the year, Trump said that US has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, but in return Pakistan has given nothing but lies and deceit. “They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!” he wrote.

Seasoned diplomat Vijay Keshav Gokhale, considered an expert on China, was named the next foreign secretary succeeding S Jaishankar, who completes his extended tenure later this month.

Not all heroes wear capes. Some wear khaki. Constable Sudarshan Shinde turned into a hero by risking his life to help others at the fire tragedy in Lower Parel’s Kamala Mills Compound. The fire claimed the lives of at least 14 people and left 21 injured. It could have been much worse. A photo of the police officer, carrying an injured person on his shoulders has gone viral.

Ishrat Jahan, the triple talaq crusader who joined the BJP on Sunday, said she has entered politics to now fight evils like dowry and domestic violence, and take up issues like education of the girl child.

The heart of the national capital came to a standstill as more than two and a half lakh revelers descended on India Gate to celebrate the New Year. The figure was seven times the estimation of the traffic police.

About 1.9 crore of the 3.29 crore Assam residents have been tagged as ‘legal’, while the rest await further verification. The much-awaited first draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) was published on the last day of 2017.

With a massive amount of data yet to be verified, the other half of the population will keep biting their nails till the next announcement expected within 2018. Apart from validating one’s Indian citizenship in the north eastern state, the NRC could also boost one's hope for better employment opportunities.

At the start of the last week of December 2017, an alert was sounded throughout Kashmir about a possible Fidayeen attack on New Year’s Eve along the Srinagar-Jammu highway. Days later, as feared by the security agencies, militants from the Jaish-e-Mohammad managed to sneak into a CRPF camp inside Jammu and Kashmir Police’s Commando Training Centre (CTC) in Lethpora, Pulwama, killing five CRPF personnel. Apart from the grave security lapse, what also makes this daring pre-dawn attack by the Jaish all the more serious is that this was the first Fidayeen attack carried out by local militants in the recent history of militancy in Kashmir.

Tamil Nadu BJP president Tamilisai Soundararajan has told the media that Rajinikanth’s proposed party will be an NDA ally in 2019.

NASA is turning 60 in 2018 and the agency is looking forward to launching a slew of important missions in the coming year, including one to "touch" the Sun.

Agree or disagree?

In a land where for half a century, the Dravidian movement, with rationalism and atheism as its founding principles, has spread its roots and no leader has dared to oppose it, Rajinikanth, a larger than life celluloid figure, turned everything upside down with his announcement of joining politics. Rajinikanth's entry could change the dynamic by making religion and spirituality mainstream ideas.

Post the Gujarat elections, is the Congress' existential crisis over? Is the Congress changing its ideological position to face the BJP's merciless electoral machine? And finally what strategy will it acquire to deal with its potential non-BJP allies? If Rahul Gandhi wants to seek the revenge for the 2014 election defeat, then he has to form a formidable combination of smaller parties and cobble together a non-BJP alliance.

Rajinikanth's announcement that he will launch a political party ahead of the next election and contest all 234 Assembly seats in the state will certainly shake up the political dy...