The Arab embargo against Qatar continues this week, and Saudi Arabia has put forward a list of 13 demands that it wants to be fulfilled before lifting the blockade. The demands include shutting down the Al Jazeera media house, reducing cooperation with Iran, removing Turkish troops from Qatari soil, and ending contact with groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood. Unsurprisingly, the Qatar government has called these demands “unreasonable”.
Otto Warmbier, an American student that spent 17 months in North Korean captivity died six days after his return to the US. In 2015, he was sentenced to 15 years of hard labour in North Korea on charges of “hostile acts against the state” after he attempted to steal a propaganda poster from his hotel room. He was recently released and sent to the US on “humanitarian grounds”, and was found to be in a comatose state on arrival. The US administration has termed this as another reflection of the North Korean regime’s brutality and repressiveness.
More than 14 people were killed in a suicide blast in Quetta, the capital city of the Baluchistan province in Pakistan. A few different outfits including the IS and the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, which appears to have been targeted at the Inspector General of Police (IGP’s) office in the city. Baluchistan has historically been a restive region, with separatist groups waging war against the Pakistani State in an effort to gain Independence.
The CEO of Uber, Travis Kalanick has resigned, apparently under pressure from major investors. The investors felt that there was a need for immediate change in leadership, as the transport giant had been unable to navigate legal and financial troubles for a while now. Amidst allegations of workplace sexual harassment, an intellectual property lawsuit, and a US government investigation into malpractice, it is not difficult to see why investors could no longer place their confidence in Kalanick.
A complete overhaul of the indirect taxation system in India is about to take place as the Goods and Services Tax goes into effect on the 1st of July. The GST scheme equalises tax rates on goods and services all across the country, which the government claims will turn India into a ‘common market’. It is said that the taxation scheme in the country will be greatly simplified post-GST, as it subsumes many central, state, and local taxes within itself.
There has been the talk of privatising Air India, India’s national airline. Air India faces a crippling debt of over Rs 50 000 crores and continues to make a significant loss year after year. Much of this has been chalked up to mismanagement and poor market strategy, and the Tata Group is being touted as a potential buyer
Kidambi Srikanth won the Indonesian Open Super Series Premier Title, defeating Japan’s Kazumasa Sakai 21-11, 21-19 in 37 minutes. He had earlier defeated world number one Son Wan Ho from South Korea in the semifinals 21-15, 14-21, 24-22.
The Women’s Cricket World Cup got off to a flying start as India defeated two-time champions England by 35 runs. A solid 144 run opening partnership for India set the tone for the game, with the prodigious 20-year-old Smriti Mandhana scoring a 100 ball 90, and captain and veteran batter Mithali Raj eventually leading India to a total of 281. This proved unassailable for the English batting lineup, who seemed unable to deal with Deepti Sharma’s off spin. Sharma took 3 wickets as England only managed to scrape to 235.
The Indian Men’s Hockey Team defeated Pakistan 6-1 in the 5th-8th classification match in the Hockey World League in London. Goal Scorers Ramandeep Singh, Mandeep Singh, Harmanpreet and Talwinder Singh ensured that Pakistan got no respite after last week’s 7-1 thrashing. India now plays Canada in the 5th-6th place decider and have already qualified for the next Hockey World Cup.