Nikhila Natarajan
Nikhila Natarajan
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articles by Nikhila Natarajan

Business

Surf Excel ad: Mileage may vary, but brands will measure social engagement not tut-tutting of trolls

It doesn’t matter what we 'think' about the Surf Excel ad, what matters immensely to the brand is how much we’re obsessing over it and for how long. The fundamental disconnect between garden variety opinion and how brands measure earned media is playing out in real time, like it has in so many other moments. In recent months, the Nike ad featuring Colin Kaepernick, the Gillette ad riffing on the #MeToo movement have all applied the same tactic (or you could call it strategy, if you prefer) of inserting themselves into a cultural moment and then measuring the social touchpoints while earned media exploded around the bonfire they started.

World

Paul Manafort, Donald Trump's former campaign chief, sentenced to 'shockingly lenient' 47 months in jail in Robert Mueller case

Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, 69, has gotten away with what legal pundits are describing as a "shockingly lenient" sentence of 47 months in jail for eight criminal counts of tax and bank fraud in the only case brought by special counsel Robert Mueller that has gone to trial so far.

World

H1B spouses' H4 work permits are being walked off the cliff in the Donald Trump era and anxiety is peaking: All you need to know

The Donald Trump government’s process of slow-walking the H4 visa work permit off the cliff is on its last mile and anxiety is peaking across the community of H1B spouses in the United States.

World

Donald Trump to declare 'national emergency' to build US -Mexico border wall after Congress swats him down: All you need to know

US president Donald Trump has decided to invoke the power of his bully pulpit to declare a national emergency that will allow him to build his promised US-Mexico border wall after the US Senate okayed a border security compromise Thursday that ignores most of Trump's wall demands but will do enough to prevent a new government shutdown.

World

Another US shutdown looms as Donald Trump reignites 'circus of paranoia' over border wall demand, threatens 'national emergency'

With the prospect of a government shutdown looming this Friday, US President Donald Trump is turning once again to the politics of fear and dread that catapulted him to power, suggesting that Americans should all be living in a sense of profound dread as long as concrete isn’t poured into a wall along the US-Mexico border.

World

US fake university sting: Many Indian students released from custody, 'immigration status okay in many cases', say officials

Official sources in the US confirmed to Firstpost that "many" of the “close to 140” students arrested in the ICE fake university sting operation by US law enforcement and not implicated have been released and have “gone back” (to their lives as usual or back home to India). In many cases, "their immigration status was okay, there was no problem", sources on the frontlines of the effort to deliver legal resources to the affected students said.

World

Donald Trump turns State of the Union into 2020 political pitch, hails economy 'miracle', seeks end to 'partisan investigations'

It was so Trumpian. US president Donald Trump, profoundly weakened by looming legal and political peril and surrounded by a sea of freshman Democrats dressed in suffragette white, checked off the box on his second State of the Union (SOTU) calling for an end to "ridiculous partisan investigations" alluding to the Robert Mueller probe, "foolish wars" the "politics of revenge" and then insisting that he will "build the wall" along the US Mexico border.

World

Indian students in US arrested in ICE fake university sting: Community leaders plan legal pushback 'this week'

Community organisations led by the Telugu Association of North America (TANA) which are actively involved in getting legal help for the 129 Indians arrested in the ICE fake university sting operation confirmed to Firstpost that a lawsuit against the US government is very much on the cards “as early as this week” as they consider legal pushback to removal proceedings initiated against the arrested Indians.

World

ICE fake university fallout: Students who have overstayed US visa by 180 days face grim prospect of 3 year bar

The Donald Trump government’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials remain firm that that the intent of the 129 students arrested in the ICE fake university sting operation was to “fraudulently maintain their student visa status and to obtain work authorization”.

World

ICE fake university: 'It's entrapment', say Indians reacting to news of 130 students arrested across 20 US cities

Indians in the US and in India still coming to grips with the news of more than a hundred people arrested - mostly students - across US cities this week are increasingly using a one word reaction to a carefully laid fake University trap by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) to round up visa fraudsters: “entrapment”.

World

Indian-American Kamala Harris, running for US president in 2020, is being hailed as top candidate: All you need to know

Kamala Harris, a first-term senator and former California attorney general known for her rigorous questioning of President Donald Trump's nominees, entered the Democratic presidential race on Monday. Harris would be the first woman to hold the presidency and the second African-American.

World

'It's Watergate 2.0': Bombshell BuzzFeed story ignites renewed calls for Donald Trump impeachment

A bombshell BuzzFeed story that details investigators’ claims that Donald Trump told his lawyer to lie to Congress about his deep Russia connections during the 2016 election campaign is being hailed as a gamechanger in the American political scene. Political analysts are comparing this to the “Titanic coming at the iceberg and Trump is the Titanic”.

World

The Donald Trump government shutdown playbook: All base, all politics, all the time

America’s longest running shutdown without an end in sight is US president’s Donald Trump’s all-base, all the time gamble despite polls showing that most Americans blame Trump for the shutdown. Will walking 800,000 Govt workers and their families off the cliff work for Trump in 2020 if he’s back on the ballot?

World

‘I will not be bullied’: US Attorney General nominee William Barr breaks with Donald Trump over Mueller probe

Barely days ago, Donald Trump thought he was rid of the men who helped launch the Robert Mueller-led investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 elections; he didn’t realise there’s a third man of his own choice who could prove to be far more dangerous: William Barr, Trump’s own pick for the post of US attorney general and a long-time friend of Mueller’s who vowed today in a US Senate grilling that he “will not be bullied” by his political masters in the White House.

World

Donald Trump walks back 'national emergency' threat as US govt shutdown becomes longest ever in country's history

US president Donald Trump has no escape route from America’s government shutdown of his own making than to declare a national emergency so he can funnel funds from his own government departments to build his promised border wall along the US Mexico border.

World

Donald Trump’s greatest fear comes true: Former fixer Michael Cohen to testify publicly in US Congress 7 February before going to jail

Television reality star turned US president Donald Trump will be face to face with his worst fears via the same medium he obsesses about: must-watch television that may well rival Super Bowl ratings. Trump's former fixer Michael Cohen will testify publicly in US Congress on 7 February about Trump dirt that has already hit the ceiling as White House lawyers up for what's turning out to be a terrible year for the US president.

World

US Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is leaving; sparks intense buzz that Mueller bombshell report is ready to land

US Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the most dogged human guardrail for the Robert Mueller probe into alleged Russian collusion with the 2016 Donald Trump election campaign is reportedly on his way out of the Justice Department.

World

Donald Trump reels off immigration scare stories in Oval Office address; Democrats swat him down in stinging rebuttal

A Hail Mary presidential address from a bully pulpit on steroids. That’s what we got today on the Donald Trump parallel reality prime time show from the Oval Office as the US president exploited his powerful office to spread more lies about a non-existent “humanitarian crisis” and thousands of terrorists are streaming through the US border.

World

US shutdown Day 18: Donald Trump plans prime time TV speech on 'border crisis'; news networks debating whether to give airtime

Donald Trump is plotting a prime time television distraction Tuesday night 9 pm EST from the Oval Office to justify his $ 5 billion demand for a wall and what he describes as a "humanitarian and national security crisis" on the US Mexico border after his White House claimed falsely that 4000 terrorists have entered America from there.

World

'We’re going to impeach the motherf---er': Democrats rip into Donald Trump, but Republicans not abandoning US president

“We’re going to go in and impeach the motherf—er” - that’s the fiery new vocabulary from a freshman Democratic Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib in Washington DC less than 24 hours after Democrats roared back to power in the US House of Representatives, ready to make life hell for US president Donald Trump but Republicans are not showing any signs of ditching Trump despite his rapidly rising legal and political peril.