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In yet another shocking attack on the India Army since Uri in September this year, at least seven soldiers were feared dead in Nagrota in Jammu and Kashmir, where terrorists attacked an army unit and took more than a dozen hostages, including women and children. "The terrorists were heavily armed and carried sophisticated automatic weapons, Under Barrel Grenade Launchers (UBGL), and had no intention of leaving the camp alive," a senior army official said.
India's largest e-commerce company Flipkart has been dealt yet another steep markdown by a Morgan Stanley mutual fund, revising down the company's valuation by a whopping 38% to $5.54 billion. Flipkart has previously dismissed these markdowns as a cause for worry, in part because of the overall tech industry slowdown. India's IPO markets have seen tremendous volatility since the government's demonetisation move was announced on 8 November.
In a moment of levity in the latest episode of Koffee With Karan, actor Ranveer Singh confessed he would like to marry Deepika Padukone because she is "marriage material". Can such a term, once part of the common parlance, be invoked without raising red flags any more, being not only pejorative to women but also to the institution of marriage itself?
If demonetisation of high-value currency notes hasn't caused mayhem enough, payday is going to create more havoc among the masses. Already with the cash crunch, people are struggling at ATMs in serpentine queues, but with the approaching payday, machines are likely to run dry under the demand for cash.
The printing presses of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) which were printing ₹2,000 notes so far will start printing ₹500 notes from today. "The presses at Mysuru and Salboni will now shift focus to ₹500 notes till the pain is fairly eased by December-end. However, it will not be until January when the system will be comfortable with enough currency notes," an official told Mint.
Much of North India, especially Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR), is enveloped in thick fog this morning, causing delays to flights due to poor visibility. A weather warning issued by the Meteorological Department on Tuesday said shallow to moderate fog is likely to cover Delhi, Chandigarh, Haryana, Punjab, west Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Sikkim for the next six days.
Off The Front Page
According to the multi agency center (MAC) — which collates inputs from the army, paramilitary forces and the intelligence agencies — at least 75 terrorists have entered Jammu and Kashmir, compared to only 30 militants who did so in 2015, making the rate of infiltration go up by more than 100% this year.
It took five years and a series of legal battles for women to secure their right to enter the Haji Ali dargah in Mumbai. When the first women visitors entered the tomb on Tuesday, trustees not only helped devotees offer flowers and the chadar, but also served them tea. With this hurdle conquered, activists are going to focus on fighting polygamy and triple talaq, which Muslim personal law currently grants men.
In a rare incident, a full-grown male tiger jumped over a 12-foot enclosure and killed a 20-month-old tigress in a protected forest in Madhya Pradesh. Experts say such aggression is usually triggered by a bid for territorial dominance.
An editorial in Mint points out that gender budgeting, especially the rolling out of schemes specifically targeted at women, may have helped usher in some social change, but the road to gender equality is still long and paved with difficulties. "However, gender budgeting alone is unlikely to solve the massive problem of gender inequality that not only prevents women from living a full life but also hurts economic growth," it goes on to say, pointing out that women's lives in spheres of economic freedom and public goods also need to be significantly improved.
While the world mourned the death of Fidel Castro, the passing of the legendary Venezuelan diplomat, Bernardo Álvarez Herrera, was not noticed as much. In The Telegraph, KP Nayar revisits Herrera's legacy, which involved almost single-handedly prevented relations between the US and Venezuela from "falling into the abyss that relations between Washington and Havana descended into in the 1960s, depths from which they did not recover for half a century".
A pseudonymous Pakistan-based writer, called Silent Whisper, analyses the challenges that lie ahead of Pakistan's new army chief, Qamar Javed Bajwa in The Indian Express. Apart from leading an institution with a history of immoderate exercise of power, he would have to learn to handle the fractious national politics that determines the fate of the army and vice versa.
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