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News18 Evening Digest: Sources Say China Behind Sri Lanka Breaking off ECT Pact and Other Top Stories

In this file photo, Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) waves next to Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa during an official welcoming ceremony at Bandaranaike International Airport in Katunayake. (Reuters/Dinuka Liyanawatte)

In this file photo, Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) waves next to Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa during an official welcoming ceremony at Bandaranaike International Airport in Katunayake. (Reuters/Dinuka Liyanawatte)

Here are the top stories we are covering this evening: Chinese hand behind Sri Lanka breaking off ECT pact with India and Japan; Rajinikanth's associate plans his return to politics; 'Atmanirbhar' farmers backbone of country's democracy, says Modi; Indian actress choking on shawl in bizarre 'Sasural Simar Ka' scene is television at its finest; NIA chargesheet in Kerala gold smuggling case does not mention political connections of Swapna Suresh; Sports Ministry grants Rs 2.5 lakh to wrestler who cleaned cars to raise money for training.

A Sea Change: Chinese Hand Behind Sri Lanka Breaking Off ECT Pact at Colombo Port With India and Japan?

Sri Lanka this week pulled out of joint partnership with India and Japan on the Eastern Container Terminal (ECT) project, signalling a shift in its foreign policy. The news was received with shock in New Delhi and Tokyo. According to sources, China is behind the recent developments. To checkmate two of its traditional rivals India and Japan, Beijing allegedly put enormous pressure on the Rajapaksa brothers to go back on their words to New Delhi and Tokyo. They even allege that some of the protests against the partnership with these two nations were funded by the Chinese embassy in Sri Lanka. READ MORE

Delhi Police Files FIR Against Climate Change Activist Greta Thunberg Over Tweet on Farmers’ Protest: Report

Delhi Police has lodged an FIR against teen climate change activist Greta Thunberg for her tweets on the ongoing farmers' protest, according to a report by India Today. In a tweet on Tuesday night, Greta Thunberg wrote "We stand in solidarity with the #FarmersProtest in India". READ MORE

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'If Tomorrow Rajinikanth Says...': Superstar's Associate Plans His Return to Politics

Rajinikanth didn't say he would never enter politics, he said he would not jump into poll fray now, clarified the actor's associate and Gandhiya Makkal Iyakkam founder Tamilaruvi Manian, adding that Rajini has also not disbanded the Rajini Makkal Mandram (RMM). "If tomorrow Rajinikanth says he is entering politics, Gandhiya Makkal Iyakkam will associate itself with him on his journey. If Rajinikanth does not enter politics also, it will continue to function as a sister organization," Manian was quoted in a report. READ MORE

'Atmanirbhar' Farmers Backbone of Country's Democracy, Says PM Modi, Hails Record Produce

Lauding 'Atmanirbhar (self reliant) farmers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that India registered record agricultural produce during times of coronavirus. He further said that the crop growers are the backbone of our country's democracy.

"Farmers have been behind the progress of the country. They also played important role in the Chauri Chaura struggle. In the last six years, steps have been taken to make farmers self-reliant. As a result of this, agriculture sector has grown even during the pandemic," PM Modi said. READ MORE

Indian Actress Choking on Shawl in Bizarre 'Sasural Simar Ka' Scene is Television at its Finest

Indian daily soaps and logic do not go hand in hand. This doesn't necessarily mean that all the content put out by Indian creators for TV is bad, but when it's bad, it has all the necessary ingredients to go viral on the Internet. In the now-viral bit from 'Sasural Simar Ka', we see an annoyed "Mataji" played by Jayati Bhatia and "Pari" (Shweta Sinha) pleading and apologising to the former. Things escalate quickly and Mataji wants to leave the room. The only thing that's stopping her is her shawl which she assumes Pari is holding on to stop her in her tracks. But the villainous shawl, as we see, gets wrapped around Pari's neck and now she's fighting for her life, quite literally. READ MORE

NIA Chargesheet in Kerala Gold Smuggling Case Does Not Mention Political Connections of Swapna Suresh

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) in the Kerala gold smuggling case chargesheet has made no mention of any political patronage to Swapna Suresh or the other accused. The 38-page chargesheet seen by News18 does not mention former principal secretary to Chief Minister - K Shivashankar, as well. Shivashankar has just been granted bail after arrest by the Enforcement Directorate in the case. K T Jaleel, who was questioned by NIA in connection with the case, has also found no mention. READ MORE

Sports Ministry Grants Rs 2.5 Lakh to Wrestler Who Cleaned Cars to Raise Money for Training

Sports ministry has provided a financial assistance of Rs 2.5 lakh to Madhya Pradesh-based wrestler Sunny Jadhav who had been forced to do manual labour, including cleaning others' vehicles, to continue with training and make his ends meet. However, despite the hard work, Jadhav could not afford the expenses for his diet and had to take loans from others to continue with his training. Sunny's father died in 2017 due to a brain haemorrhage post which his financial condition worsened. READ MORE