Firstpost Editor's Picks: China's Taliban shuffle, Chennai water crisis, Vande Mataram; today's must-read stories

China does the Taliban shuffle: Beijing's invite to terror outfit's chief negotiator a bid for greater geopolitical influence

China’s growing political and diplomatic profile at the international level requires it to assume a more assertive role in resolving regional disputes. Afghanistan is a test case for China, since the situation involves diverse conflict dynamics with both regional and global implications. Thus, Beijing has sought to change the diplomatic modus operandi, clearly implying that China must act as a real “problem solver,” rather than just serving as a “channel of communication.”

Water crisis in Chennai: Ministers and officials say there is no problem even as four major reservoirs run dry

Chennai requires 550 million litres per day to quench its thirst and meet other needs. However, poor rainfall has left the four major reservoirs located around the city virtually dry. According to the Chennai Metro Water Supply and Sewage Board data, two of the reservoirs at Sholavaram and Redhills contain water well below the required minimum storage levels, while the other two, Poondi and Chembrampakkam, have barely 21 mcft and one mcft of water respectively, which is 0.05 percent of the water the reservoirs had at this time last year.

Fernando Torres retires: Striker's career is a cautionary tale of putting prize ahead of process

In a career that has spanned over 18 years, Fernando ‘El Nino’ Torres was as whirlwind as the South American storm-cycle of the similar name. He has won the 2010 World Cup, and the 2008 and 2012 Euros with Spain. Was officially the world's third best football player in 2008 - an accolade that disappointed many as objective observes of the game will enthuse that he deserves the second spot behind Lionel Messi and ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo. They wouldn’t be wrong. In that lightning burst at Liverpool, he was comfortably one of the most natural finishers football has seen since Luis Ronaldo. Why is it then that Torres finds himself at Sagan Tosu, in Japanese J1 league?

Tracing Vijay's exponentially increasing box office dominance over the years in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and overseas

From harshly criticising opinion columns on his looks in the nascent stage of his career to becoming a celebrated, the most in-demand star in South Indian cinema, Vijay's filmography has been a roller-coaster ride. As Thalapathy Vijay celebrates his 45th birthday today on 22 June, and the internet is replete with record-breaking tweets and wishes for his 63rd film Bigil, we trace his exponentially rising box office stature in the last few years.

India and the Indian: At the heart of resistance to Vande Mataram is the context of its writer's opinions, writes Pragya Singh

It would appear that there is a strong connection between Barq’s ‘Mother Earth’ and Chattopadhyay’s ‘Mataram’. The latter, Vande Mataram, was originally a reference to Bengal, where a tradition of mother goddesses prevails. After it became a nationalist slogan, Vande Mataram was pulled into the service of the entire-nation-as-mother. The distinction between these two versions of mother lies in the third and fourth stanzas of Chattopadhyay’s poem, where the goddess Durga and the motherland are seen as one and the same: “You are Durga, Lady and Queen, with hands that strike and sword of sheen”.

Updated Date: Jun 22, 2019 19:43:22 IST