Today’s Current Affairs January 4

December 4, 2019

Front page

War clouds over Middle East as U.S. done strike kills Iran’s top general

Maj. General Quaseem Soleimani, Iran’s top military brain for its overseas operations, was killed in Baghdad by a U.S. drone strike on Friday on President Trump’s orders. Gen. Soleimani headed the Qud Force that administers Iran’s covert and overt armed involvement in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Afghanistan. General Soleimani enjoyed iconic status among most Iranians, who venerated him as one of Iran’s ablest military men. On the contrary, the western world, particularly the Americans reviled him as a rogue, and a hideous terrorist.

Gen. Souleimani was the apple of Khamenei’s eyes. The supreme leader reposed great faith in the General’s caliber and loyalty.

Khamenei has already put the U.S. on notice saying retribution of the deadliest nature will follow in the coming days.

An unknown fear has gripped the Middle East, because Iran has formidable ability to hit the U.S. interests in the area. Apprehending instability, oil prices have spiked by 4% on a single day

Trump has continued his belligerence by ordering a second drone strike on the mourning procession of the dead General.

In the meantime, the western world and the Middle East continue to be on tenterhooks as speculations about Iran’s retaliation fill the air.   Angry Iranians continue to spew fire in Teheran’s streets demanding action to punish the U.S. for its misadventure. Some analysts say Trump ordered the strike to get some political mileage in the coming presidential elections

Good words used … Covert, Overt, Venerate, Rogue, Hideous, Revile, Fill the air, On tenterhooks, Spew, Formidable, Belligerence, Apple of one’s eyes, Retribution, Revile, Repose

Pinarayi asks 11 other CMs to pass anti-CAA resolutions

The Chief Minister of Kerala, Pinrayi has written to 11 other chief ministers asking them to pass Kerala-type resolutions in their state assemblies defying the CAA.

PM Modi asks young student-researchers to innovate and patent their dream ideas and products

In the sidelines of the Indian Science Congress session in Bengaluru, Prime Minister Modi has asked young researchers to find technological solutions to India’s problems through innovations. He also asked them to patent their ideas.

J&K job reservation issue

After some quick flip flops, the government has realized that job reservation touches a raw nerve in the hearts of the people, and can’t be done away with suddenly. So, the government is mulling bringing legislation to obviate the problems caused in the aftermath of the abrogation of Article 370.

Good words and phrases used .. Touch a raw nerve, Flip flop,

NHRC wants Kota hospital to explain continuing infant deaths

Alarmed at the public outrage over high numbers of infant deaths in the Kota Hospital, the NHRC has issued a notice to the hospital authorities.

Prof. Abhijit Banarjee and Prof. Esther Deflo launch their book on economic policy

During the launch of their just-published book, ‘Good Economics for Hard Times’, the Nobel laureate duo said that instead of giving corporate tax cuts, the government should put money in the hands of the poor, who will spend it soon, thus stimulating demand and growth.

Supreme Court says a minor boy marrying an adult girl is not an offence

The Court said that the Child marriage Act was meant to prevent marriage of minor girls, not minor boys.

Kerala Assembly Speaker okays the anti-CAA resolution

The Speaker of the Kerala Assembly underlined the authority of the House to pass the anti-CAA resolution.

Huge protest by ASHA workers in Bengaluru

The village level health workers known as ASHA workers descended Bengaluru in huge numbers to present their case for better salary and working conditions.

GST Compensation delays: Chairman defers discussion

As opposition ruled states raised their pitch against long delays in GST reimbursement by center, the Chairman of the GST council, Sri Jayant Sinha deferred the proceedings till after the budget explaining the Union government’s tight financial position whose cumulative revenue shortfall has reached 5 lakh crores.

Five Bangladeshi immigrants arrested

In Chennai, police arrested five members of a family from Bangladesh who had allegedly entered India illegally.

International

Iran will avenge the killing: thunders Khamenie

Thousands thronged the streets of Teheran shouting ‘Death to America’ in spontaneous outburst against the fatal drone attack on General. Soleimani. The roar signifying the rage of Iran was heard in Europe, the United States, Israel, and the Middle East. Iran’s capacity to disrupt oil supplies from the oil-rich Arab states is well-known. It has perfected car-bomb attack techniques, and drone technology.

The U.S. has thousands of soldiers in the area, and some large military installations. The Arab countries have their oil refineries that are poorly defended. American civilians and military personnel are all over the Middle East as contractors, tourists, diplomats and soldiers. For Iran, boiling in anger, these are all legitimate targets. More importantly, Iranians are a vengeful people: they bear grudge against their adversaries for decades. All these make an angry Iran so ominous for western and Arab interests.

The world waits nervously to see how, when, and where Israel strikes, but for oil-importing countries like India, the economic pain is already being felt due to a sudden 4% spike in crude oil prices.

Good words used … Avenge, Thronged, Outburst, Vengeful, Adversary, Ominous, Spike

Vandalism in Nankana Sahib Gurudwara in Pakistan

A small tiff involving romance between a young Sikh inmate of the Gurudwara and a Muslim girl triggered a volatile stand-off between the local crowds and the Sikh community. Vandalism and stone-pelting became ugly before the police came in to disengage the two rival sides.

Gotabaya to implement reforms

Gotabaya Rajapakshe has drawn up plans to bring about electoral and constitutional reforms in Sri Lanka.

Finance

Adani to buy majority stake in Krishnapatnam Port

The Adani Ports and Logistics Special Economic Zone (APSEZ) belonging to the Adani group will buy 75% stake in the Krishnapatnam Port in  Nellore district for Rs. 13,572 crores. The port is presently owned by the CVR group who found it hard to operate the port profitably after the Pollavaram port project was cancelled and also due to the continuing economic slowdown.

U.S.-Iran stand-off pushes up gold prices, and pushes down the value of the Rupee

Global uncertainty aggravated by the spiraling Iran-U.S. tensions resulted in a scramble for gold resulting in a spike in its prices. At the same time, the Rupee plummeted to its 45-day low, as higher oil prices impact the economy hard.

Good words used .. Scramble, Stand-off, Plummet

OYO, owned by SoftBank, mired in controversies despite its phenomenal growth

OYO, the Indian start-up hotel chain has grown exponentially in recent times, and may well emerge as the world’s largest budget hotel company in the near future. SoftBank is the majority investor in the start-up. However, OYO’s spectacular growth has brought with it many management issues such as unethical conduct of its staff, sub-standard accommodations, and questionable HR policies.

Ratan Tata to appeal against the NCALT verdict in the Supreme Court in his personal capacity

Ratan Tata will appeal in his personal capacity to seek redress against the NCALT order. He will argue how the order violates corporate governance principles that give the Board the final say in matters related to selection and continuance of a Chairman.

Indigo airlines owners squabble with each other

An embarrassing and potentially disruptive feud between the promoters of Indigo has again surfaced inviting curiosity and criticism from shareholders and lenders alike. It is feared that the airline will suffer by such animosity.

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