In case you missed it
Iran on Boil: Iran's supreme leader appointed Esmail Qaani as the new head of the Revolutionary Guards' foreign operations arm after its commander, Qasem Soleimani, was killed on Friday in a US strike on Baghdad airport. Meanwhile, Iraqi President Barham Saleh called for restraint after Soleimani's death. Tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Tehran to protest against American "crimes" after Soleimani was killed in the strike. Read more.
Fresh Tension: The Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance in Maharashtra seems to be on shaky ground owing to the difference of opinion between the alliance partners over Hindutva ideologue Vinayak Damodar Savarkar. In the latest incident, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut trained guns at the Congress over a Seva Dal booklet questioning the credentials of Savarkar as a patriot and his reputation for valour. The Hindi booklet had claimed that Savarkar and Mahatma Gandhi's killer Nathuram Godse were in a physical relationship. Read more.
CAA Row: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday said the BJP-led government will not budge an inch on its decision to implement the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) despite the opposition's strident criticism of the law. Launching an awareness programme in support of the amended law in Jodhpur, Shah accused the Congress and other opposition parties of running a misinformation campaign. Read more.
War of Words: A war of words has ensued between Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad over the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). A day after Prasad reiterated that all states have a constitutional duty to implement laws passed by Parliament, Singh claimed that the CAA is a “misguided legislation” that could be converted into a “national security threat”. A number of chief ministers have already announced that the new citizenship law is "unconstitutional" and has no place in their states. Read more.
Mamata Hits Out: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday stepped up her attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and questioned why he frequently compares India with Pakistan. Addressing a rally against the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in Siliguri, Banerjee asked Modi why Modi talks about Pakistan all day. She said, ""Is he their ambassador? If someone says ‘give me job, I have no work’, he says go to Pakistan." Read more.
Australian Bushfires: The Australian navy on Friday began evacuating around 1,000 people stranded on the east coast of the fire-ravaged country as a searing weather front was set to whip up more blazes across the states of Victoria and New South Wales (NSW). Victoria declared a state of disaster for the first time, giving authorities broad powers to compel people to leave their properties and take control of services, similar to the state of emergency that has been declared in NSW. Read more.
Agree or disagree?
The year 2020 and the new decade has commenced with a fresh emerging crisis in the Middle East. On Friday, Major General Qasem Soleimani, the Commander of Iran’s Quds Force which is a part of the elite Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), was killed in a US air strike near the Baghdad airport. There are mixed responses to the event with the US officially expressing its satisfaction at the elimination of what it perceives as the perpetrator of the killing of many US servicemen in the Middle East over a period of time. However, it is certain that Soleimani’s killing is likely to lead to greater escalation with some form of out of the ordinary asymmetric action by Iran’s proxy forces. Read the piece by Lt Gen Syed Ata Hasnain, who argues that any major strategic event in the Middle East has a direct effect on the price of energy and an escalation of three per cent is already indicated even without the full impact being realized yet.