Firstpost Editor's Picks: China's Taliban shuffle, Chennai water crisis, Vande Mataram; today's must-read stories
China’s growing political and diplomatic profile at the international level requires it to assume a more assertive role.
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.”
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.
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?
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.
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”.
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Afghanistan government airstrikes kill 24 civilians, injure 6 in northern province of Kunduz, say witnesses
The Afghan defence ministry claimed the airstrikes killed 30 Taliban fighters, but added an investigation was being held into claims that civilians were among the dead
As per the proposal, minimum punishment for dowry deaths will be 10 years, while maximum punishment for stalking will be 7 years (on subsequent conviction)
Focus on micro-containment zones, Narendra Modi tells CMs of seven states with high COVID-19 caseload
The prime minister also asked the states to enhance efforts for effective testing, tracing, treatment, surveillance, and clear messaging in order to curb the pandemic