Seven Days

The states of the nation: news, headlines, gossip, rumours, things we learnt
Seven Days
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Kerala
Now SFI In Action

The ABVP is in the news in l’affaire Rohith Vemula, but the SFI is not far behind in its hooliganism, roughing up former diplomat T.P. Sreenivasan outside a hotel in Kovalam. The slapper was sacked, but the damage was  done. Despite condemnations by the CPI(M), SFI scored another self-goal by suggesting he had provoked the protesters and called them names. Sreenivasan denied it on FB, while the DGP said on FB that it was police failure.

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Across The World

Move over Ebola. The WHO has declared a global public health emergency after the Zika virus hit Argentina, with infected pregnant women giving birth to babies with brain defects. Not just the mosquito bite but even sexual contact is said to spread the disease. Tata Motors was forced to rename its new car model Zica, launched ironically by Argentinian soccer star Lionel Messi, after the Zika outbreak.


Delhi
Menacing Mantras

Is Subroto Roy reading books of quotations in Tihar jail? Cliches like ‘Time is a good healer’ and ‘Money is a good servant but a bad master’ appear liberally in Life Mantras, the first of his promised trilogy of Thoughts from Tihar. The Sahara boss, who has spent two years in jail after failing to raise Rs 10,000 crore fixed by the SC for bail, describes his jail term as ‘painful but tension-free’ due to his God-given gift to keep stress away.

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Italy, Kerala, West Bengal
Prime Ministerial Trade-Off

Did the Indian PM promise to help resolve the issue of the Italian marines accused of killing two fishermen in Kerala in exchange for evidence to implicate any member of the Nehru-Gandhi family in the Finmeccanica/ Agusta Westland helicopter deal? While the MEA spokesman dimissed it as fantastical, The Telegraph reported that a British arms agent has indeed made the allegation in a letter to the aribtration court  at The Hague. Christian Michel, 54, said Narendra Modi had suggested the trade-off during a ‘brush off’ with Italian PM Matteo Renzi at the UN. A Congress leader refused to comment and suggested that the report was another ‘plant’ by NSA Ajit Doval.


Gujarat
Time Barred

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A petition pointing out that the Rs 3,000 crore Statue of Unity Project does not have environment clearance and will in the long run impact the Narmada basin has been thrown out by the western zonal office of the National Green Tribunal. There was merit in the petition, said the bench, but since it was not filed within six months of the work order, it was time-barred. The plea that it took time to get details and understand implications failed to impress the bench, despite its seeing merit in the plea.


Tamil Nadu
Amma’s Not Amused

AIADMK party MLAs thump their desk once every minute like robots. Ministers move around with six PAs. No discussions and workers treated like cattle are some of the ‘explosive’ statements by Pala Karuppaiah in an interview to Ananda Vikatan. Amma expelled him, her supporters pelted his house with stones and abuses. He is the third functionary to be exp­elled in the last eight months by the party.


Maharashtra
Doubly Difficult
As if imposition of President’s rule in Congress-ruled Arunachal wasn’t bad enough, the Governor’s sanction for the CBI to prosecute former CM Ashok Chavan in the Adarsh scandal has queered the pitch. Claims of “vendetta politics” will convince nobody, nor will talk of the CBI’s independence, but in hitting at someone seen to be close to Rahul Gandhi, the BJP has a battle ahead if it wants to pass the GST bill.

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Happenings
7 Stories We Are Not Covering This Week
  • Bangalore
    Siddharth Mallya, son of ex-liquor baron Vijay Mallya, making a splash at Sund­ance film festival with Brah­man Naman, a sex comedy
  • Athens
    Half a million people signing an online petition for Lesbos, a Greek island at the frontline of EU’s migrant crisis, to be awarded the 2016 Nobel peace prize
  • Mumbai
    Antara Teland, 24, a differently abled woman passenger on Air India, being told to take off her prothetic limb, weighing 6 kg, for security screening
  • Patna
    A petitioner, who “sued” Lord Rama for exiling his wife Sita to the forest for 14 years, being asked to produce his witness
  • New Delhi
    Union minister Uma Bharati terming Nathuram Godse a ‘sarfira’ (a crazy person) for the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi
  • Bangalore
    A potential bridegroom walking out of a marriage hall because of the poor quality of the ‘sambar’ organised by the bride’s side
  • Calcutta
    Rooms at the Raj Bhavan being renamed to shed the British legacy. The Prince of Wales suite is now Kaviguru Rabindranath Tagore Kaksha.
Happenings
VII Things We Learnt Last Week
  • 40 years before Hillary Clinton, America had a lady presidential hopeful in Shirley Chisholm, the first African-American woman elected to Congress
  • The caste system began in India 1,575 years ago under the Guptas, a study by the National Institute of Biomedical Genomics, Kalyani, W. Bengal, suggests
  • 3,228 farmers committed suicide in Maharashtra last year; 1,541 in Vidarbha, from which CM Fadnavis hails
  • The human brain is powerful enough to store the contents of 4.7 billion books (if you can memorise that many)
  • 75,000 of India’s 3.72 lakh beggars have passed out of 12th class; 3,000 have diplomas or graduate degrees
  • Donald Trump is a germophobe, he doesn’t shake hands with others and never touches the ground floor button of an elevator
  • Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal, together, spent over Rs 5,000 crore in doling out discounts to customers

Compiled by Uttam Sengupta, Alka Gupta and Ashish Bagchi

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