Daily wrap: Kamal says he called Godse extremist; WhatsApp confirms spyware attack

WhatsApp, Spyware, NSO, Facebook, Hack
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Kamal says he called Godse extremist, not terrorist 

At the campaign for the Thirupparankundram Assembly bypoll in Tamil Nadu, Kamal Haasan sought to clarify his Godse remark saying he used the Tamil word for extremist rather than terrorist. While campaigning for his party, MNM, in Aravakkurichi on May 12, Kamal Haasan had said, “Independent India’s first ‘theevaravathy’ was a Hindu and his name was Nathuram Godse.” At Thirupparankundram, Haasan said, “Please understand the word I used. I could have called him bayangaravathy [terrorist] or kolaikaaran [murderer] but I didn’t. My fans are intense [theeviram]. I am intensely involved in politics but there is no violence,” he said.

Abhinandan’s squadron gets ‘Falcon Slayer’ patches to mark F-16 air encounter

In order to commemorate Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman’s encounter with the Pakistan Air Force’s F-16 aircraft in February this year, the MiG-21 Bison Squadron, which he belongs to, will now have special uniform patches. The squadron has assumed the sobriquet –Falcon Slayers. Along with the MiG 21 squadron, no 51, the Sukhoi-30 squadron that successfully countered the air attack by Pakistan through the AMRAAM missiles of the PAF F-16s has been assigned the name ‘AMRAAM Dodgers’.

Monsoon likely to arrive 5 days late on June 6

The monsoon is likely to be delayed by five days this year as its arrival is expected on June 6, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Wednesday. This year, the statistical model forecast suggests that the monsoon onset over Kerala is likely to be slightly delayed, the IMD said. The southwest monsoon is likely to set in over Kerala on June 6 with a model error of plus or minus 4 days. Conditions are becoming favourable for the advance of the southwest monsoon over the southern part of Andaman Sea, Nicobar Islands and adjoining southeast Bay of Bengal during May 18-19, it added.

Vandalism of icons statues meant to smash ideologies

Nearly 130 years after Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar breathed his last, Kolkata is once again mourning the revered figure of the Bengal Renaissance after his bust inside a college was smashed to smithereens by clashing supporters of the BJP and the TMC on May 14. While both the parties have blamed each for the violence that broke out at several spots across the city during BJP president Amit Shah’s massive roadshow on Tuesday, the vandalism appears to be a ‘targeted attack’ as the bust was accessed by smashing a glass case. However, the broken pieces of the bust signify something that has become a part of the clashing political culture, not just in Bengal but across India.

Jet Airways shares continue to fall for 3rd day; tank nearly 7 pc

Shares of Jet Airways continued to fall for the third straight session on Wednesday, dropping nearly 7 per cent, after four senior executives, including chief executive Vinay Dube and his deputy Amit Agarwal, quit the ailing airline. After a weak opening, the scrip further tumbled 6.85 per cent to ₹120.25 — its 52-week low — on the BSE. On the NSE, shares slumped 6.90 per cent to ₹120. In top level exodus at grounded Jet Airways, four senior executives have quit the ailing airline.

WhatsApp confirms spyware attack, urges users to install latest version

A security flaw in WhatsApp, one of the most popular messaging apps in the world, allowed attackers to install spyware on phones, the company said on Tuesday (May 14), in the latest trouble for its parent Facebook. The vulnerability — first reported by the Financial Times, and fixed in the latest WhatsApp update — allowed hackers to insert malicious software on phones by calling the target using the app, which is used by 1.5 billion people around the world.

How CBSE is planning to discourage rote learning for Class 10 students

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is planning to introduce some ‘creative’ changes in the Class 10 examination pattern by decreasing the number of objective questions, from the current academic year.

There is something about Priyanka Gandhi’s smile

At a rally in Punjab’s Bathinda, Priyanka comes on the stage, takes the lantern and says, ‘Bole so nihaal.’ The rows of men in colourful turbans and women in bright dupattas seated in front of her chant back, ‘Sat sri akal’. Priyanka Gandhi reveals a grin that will stay on her face throughout her 20-minute speech. There are smiles and there is the Priyanka smile. Pasted on the mug of most Indian politicians, a smile is either a smirk, a sneer, a nervous chuckle, a condescending expression of dominance, a meek admission of failure, a smug announcement of a triumph, an intent of mischief or a forced parting of lips, the kind you see on botoxed faces of socialites posing just for the heck of it. To understand all these smiles, think of Smriti Irani, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Lalu Prada Yadav, P Chidambaram… there is a long list of exponents.

Is the UK’s central bank ready for the Raghuram Rajan effect?

Recent news that former Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Raghuram Rajan is one of the top contenders for the Bank of England (BoE) chief caught the attention of top economists, RBI officials and general citizens alike. Pundits in the world of business, finance and economics are closely following the developments to see if Rajan, ranked second in the most-likely nominees to take over from 54-year-old Mark Carney according to a Bloomberg survey, will get the position. These speculations started pouring in a month ago, when the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond started his ‘head hunt’ for a successor to Carney, who is scheduled to leave at the end of January 2020. Since the Chancellor stressed on the need for a governor with international stature and the current governor is Canadian, economists rated Rajan as a prime contender.