Weekly Fix: Syrian deaths, re-elected leaders, scam updates


Xi Jinping can remain president for life

The National People’s Congress passed a constitutional amendment on March 11, removing the two-term limit on the presidency in China. Know more.

Russian airstrike kills 61 in Syria

According to Anadolu Agency, the White Helmets civil-defence agency confirmed the death toll and said the attack occurred in the town of Kafr Batna. – ANI

Trump Jr’s wife files for divorce

Vanessa Haydon Trump is seeking an uncontested divorce. The two are splitting after 12 years of marriage. More here.

Finland is world’s happiest country

The 2018 World Happiness Report shows that the top four slots have been taken by Nordic countries, in the following order: Finland, Norway, Denmark, and Iceland. More facts here.

Bidhya Devi Bhandari wins the second term as Nepal’s President

She is also the first Nepali President to be re-elected. President Bhandari garnered over 74 percent of the votes to be re-elected, while her rival Nepali Congress’ Kumari Laxmi Rai hardly drew 25 percent of the votes. More here.

Merkel re-elected for fourth term

Angela Merkel, who has been in office since 2005, was re-elected to the German Parliament on March 14. More here.

Stephen Hawking dies

The prominent British theoretical physicist has died at the age of 76, a family spokesperson said in a statement on Wednesday. More here.

Saudi to issue tourist visas

Saudi Arabia is planning to issue its first official tourist visas from April 1, according to tour operators.

The plan is a bid to allow non-Muslim tourists visit historic sites such as Jeddah, Riyadh and the ancient city of Mada’in Saleh in the Arabian Desert. – ANI

Tibetan women hold anti-China demonstration in Dharamshala

Over one thousand Tibetan women, including Tibetan Buddhist nuns and young students, gathered to participate in the protest march against the Chinese rule in Tibet. More here.

Myanmar allegedly building military bases on Rohingya land

Detailed satellite images published by Amnesty International on March 12 appeared to show “new security infrastructure” replacing the burnt homes of the refugees after Myanmarese forces launched a brutal campaign against the Rohingyas, which the United Nations has described the violence as “ethnic cleansing”. More here.


Finance Bill passed in Lok Sabha

The Bill was passed in 30 minutes, and 218 amendments were cleared, without debate!

35,000 farmers march 180 kms to Mumbai, govt bows to demands

Around 35,000 farmers from Nashik, Maharashtra, set out on March 6 to Mumbai to demand that the government fulfill its promises to them, which are chiefly loan waivers, profitable prices for their produce, and title to forest land. Traversing 180 kms on foot, they reached Mumbai on March 11. The farmers have agreed to withdraw the protest after the Fadnavis-led government gave assurance in writing that their demands will be fulfilled. Here’s an explainer.

Bhawana Kanth second Indian woman fighter pilot to fly solo

Flying Officer Bhawana Kanth became the second woman pilot of Indian Air Force to fly solo in a fighter aircraft. She flew in a MiG-21 Bison aircraft from Ambala Air Force Station on Friday. She is second only to Flying Officer Avani Chaturvedi who created history on February 21 by being the first ever woman fighter pilot to fly solo. – ANI

PNB Fraud case: 11 arrested

A CBI court in Mumbai remanded to judicial custody 11 persons in connection to the Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam. More here.

TDP breaks alliance with BJP

Estranged ally, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) on Friday pulled out of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

The decision was taken following a tele-conference conducted by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandra Babu Naidu with his party members – ANI


Dhinakaran launches party

The name of his party is Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK). The party’s flag bears Jayalalithaa’s image. More here.

Telephone exchange scam: Maran Brothers Discharged

A CBI court in Chennai discharged Dayanidhi Maran and Kalanidhi Maran due to lack of prima facie evidence. Full story here.


6 Inventions You Wouldn’t Have Without Women – Nat Geo

A late share, this is an International Women’s Day special. Psst… the inventions include wireless tech!

The Relationship Between Creativity and Mental Illness – Brain Pickings

Did mental illness facilitate [these creators’] unique abilities, whether it be to play a concerto or to perceive a novel mathematical relationship? Or did mental illness impair their creativity after its initial meteoric burst in their twenties? Or is the relationship more complex than a simple one of cause and effect, in either direction?

Fascinating read.

The Tyranny of Convenience – The New York Times

Does convenience have a dark side? Should it be one of the ideals to aim for? Is convenience liberating? Read this profound write-up by Tim Wu and decide for yourself.

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